This Week: BIOGRAPHIES, STRONG VOICES – Picture books for all ages to read and discuss in the classroom.
The Phone Booth in Mr. Hirota’s Garden
by Heather Smith is a perfect picture book to discuss natural disasters with young readers. Based on a true story, this tale is based on the 2010 tsunami in Japan. Makio and his neighbor, Mr. Hirota, witness the violence of the tsunami, which claims the lives of loved ones. Mr. Hirota helps Makio and others their village to deal with their grief in a lovely, unusual way. In addition to being a book about a natural disaster, this can also function as a story to help children deal with loss.
Orca Book Publishers, ISBN 978-145-982-1033
Pirate Queen, A Story of Zheng Yi Sao
by Helaine Becker is the unique, true story of a kidnapped Chinese girl who became the most powerful pirate ever to roam the South China Sea. She ended up building an empire of ships, even conquering the Emperor’s fleet. I was not aware of this part of Chinese history and found it a fascinating read about a strong woman. This illustrated book is great for middle school.
Groundwood BooksISBN 978-1-77306-124-5
Meet Terry Fox
by Elizabeth MacLeod, illustrated by Mike Deas.
The true story of Terry Fox is told in text as well as illustrations with speech bubbles in this book, which is part of a series of biographies. It is the story of a determined boy growing up in Canada. Terry loves sports and is quite competitive. But an agressive form of cancer claims one of Terry’s legs. He is determined to play sports again and, eventually embarks on a 8,500 kilometer run across Canada to raise awareness and money for cancer research. The Terry Fox Run has become legendary and has rasied nearly $800 million, Even many years after his death, school children still participate in the annual run honoring this determined young man who made a huge difference during his life.
Scholastic, ISBN 978-1-4431-8206-5