Vinaora Nivo Slider Vinaora Nivo Slider Vinaora Nivo Slider Vinaora Nivo Slider Vinaora Nivo Slider Vinaora Nivo Slider Vinaora Nivo Slider Vinaora Nivo Slider Vinaora Nivo Slider

LATTICE Book Club

alt

The LATTICE International Book Club for Teachers meets once a month during the school year to discuss international literature for children and adolescents.  Each month a different title is chosen, and members discuss how it might be used in a classroom. International students participate to provide insight into a culture and share their experiences. Goals are to gain knowledge, promote understanding, and overcome stereotypes.
 
For more information, or to find out current dates and titles, please contact Book Club Co-leaders Amy Kilbridge, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or Mary Hennessey, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

LATTICE Book Club's "Life List"

Satrapi, Marjane - Persepolis 1 and 2
altThis autobiography in graphic novel form caught our interest because of the Iranian background of the author. Iranian discussants assured us that Satrapi’s experience was typical of the upper class family in Teheran during the time period she covers. Members commented on the unique experience of “reading” the art as well as the words. It was a novel and powerful experience. For more information, check out this web site, which has information about the author, samples of the art work, and links to web sites about the history of Iran, graphic novels, and more: randomhouse.com 
 
Fadiman, Anne - The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down
altThis is the story of a Hmong family with a child who suffers from epilepsy...the medical culture in the US meets medical beliefs and customs of Hmong family. This is a powerful story which is written for adults, not children. However, educators find it particularly interesting since it tells the heartrending story of a culture clash between well meaning professionals and a family in need. It’s possible to have similar situations/conflicts in our schools. The web site for this book includes an audio excerpt, study questions and updates on the people in the book: spiritcatchesyou.com 
 
Li Li Jiang, Red Scarf Girl
altThe Cultural Revolution lasted for ten years in the People’s Republic of China (PRC). As dramatic and challenging as this period was for everyone in the country, it seemed to us that this story should not be the only one that students read about the PRC. However, when Chinese LATTICE members shared their own family stories about this period and then told us contrasting stories of their lives in the 21st century, they held our attention for hours! A discussion guide to Red Scarf Girl can be found here: multcolib.org. An interview with the author might also be of interest to readers in here. One teacher made a webquest for her 6/7th grade students with writing activities, links to information about the Cultural Revolution, and more: yesnet.yk.ca. The author’s web page is hjilijiang.com.  
 
Staples, Suzanne Fisher - Shabanu: Daughter of the Wind
altIt’s hard to put this book down once you get started on it. A middle school student will certainly get caught up in Shabanu’s unique setting and life challenges. However, our Pakistani members felt that the book tells the story through the eyes of a westerner rather than through the eyes of a Pakistani. Students will get the most out of this read if there are resource people to join them in discussions. For related reading and a study guide, try this web site: glencoe.com. Another guide for leading discussions on this book, as well as an interview with the author where she tells how she came to write this book, can be found at here.  
 
Stephanek, Mattie T.J. - Heartsongs
altMattie J.T. Stepanek began writing poetry at the age of three. He was 11 years old when he wrote the poems in this book.  One reviewer says: “In Heartsongs, Mattie explores the uncensored reality of living with a rare form of muscular dystrophy and with the grief associated with the loss of his three siblings to the same life-threatening condition. Heartsongs is a collection of the early poems and artwork of this gifted, courageous, award-winning poet.”
 
Lekuton, Joseph Lemasolai - Facing the Lion: Growing up Maasai on the African Savanna
alt"Joseph Lemasolai Lekuton gives American kids a firsthand look at growing up in Kenya as a member of a tribe of nomads whose livelihood centers on the raising and grazing of cattle. Readers share Lekuton's first encounter with a lion, the epitome of bravery in the warrior tradition. They follow his mischievous antics as a young Maasai cattle herder, coming-of-age initiation, boarding school escapades, soccer success, and journey to America for college. Lekuton's riveting text combines exotic details of nomadic life with the universal experience and emotions of a growing boy." Our Kenyan LATTICE members assure us that this book is accurate. Local educators found the story to be inspirational, informational and amazing. 
 
Ho, Minfong - The Clay Marble
altThis story about war and the life of refugees in Cambodia led to similar tales from LATTICE members who come from many different parts of the world. Elementary children will find this book captivating and worthy of discussions which will broaden their perspectives. A study guide for this book can be found at here. An additional web site of interest is called  Beauty and Darkness: Cambodia in Modern History.The Beauty and Darkness project provides information on the recent history of Cambodia, particulary the Khmer Rouge period. This includes materials pertaining to Cambodia, as well as information about Cambodian refugees and immigrants abroad. Click here to find much information about Cambodian history, oral history, photos, facts and figures as well as travel information! :  mekong.net
 
Osa, Nancy - Cuba 15
altViolet Paz knows little about her half-Cuban, half-Polish heritage. She simply feels American. So when her Cuban grandmother insists that she have the traditional Quinceanera (the celebration of Violet's 15th birthday), she is reluctant. Will she have to wear an awful ruffled dress and be put on the market for marriage? She finds that quince is instead about tradition, family and self-discovery.  This young adult novel was a Pura Belpre Honor Book, an award presented to a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience iin an outstanding work of literature for children and young adults. Our LATTICE member from Cuba, however, felt that it wasn't a truly accurate protrayal of quinceanera in her country.
 
Kurtz, Jane - Jakarta Missing
alt“Third Culture” issues kept us talking for hours. Kurtz has captured the dilemmas faced by these children who have lived an infinite variety of situations like this. The author’s web site has a wealth of information for teachers, including how the author came to write the book, pictures from a trip to Ethiopia, a link to a bibliography about culture shock and assimilation, and classroom activities chapter by chapter from the book: janekurtz.com 
 
Park, Linda Sue - A Single Shard
altPark’s book about Korean celadon pottery and life long ago in Korea is definitely appropriate for 4th graders. There are good websites available for information about celadon pottery, and discussion questions for school readings. Teachers will find the author’s website useful. It includes a biography of the author, a quiz about the book that students can take, wonderful pictures of Korean celadon pottery that inspired the author, and much more! : lspark.com 
 
Zephaniah, Benjamin - Refugee Boy (Eritrean/Ethiopian refugee to England)
altHere’s another take on the life of a refugee. An Ethiopian refugee confirmed that the situation for a child with mixed heritage is accurate but the LATTICE readers questioned the portrayal of the amazing social workers.
 
Cohen, Barbara and Lovejoy, Bahija - Seven Daughters and Seven Sons
altA retelling of a traditional Arabic tale in which a young woman disguises herself as a man and opens up a shop in a distant city in order to help her impoverished family. A guide for using this book in the curriculum can be found here: uen.org 
 
Armstrong, Jenifer - Shattered: Stories of Children in War
altThese fictional accounts by recognized authors of children’s stories offered a number of different points of view as well as different settings of war. Highly recommended.
 
Peacock, Louise - Crossing the Delaware
altWritten by a LATTICE member, the readers appreciated the history as well as the fiction in this book for elementary and middle school aged children.

Sharra, Steve - Fleeing the War
altWritten by a LATTICE member, this wonderful book with story and illustrations is not available in the US. Another LATTICE member brought back 20 copies from Malawi last summer.
 
 

LATTICE International Book Club’s “Life List” 2001 – 2013

 

2001-2005

 
 

LAHIRI, JHUMPA - NAMESAKE

(also discussed Lahiri’s short stories Interpreter of Maladies)

 

UNG, LOUNG -  FIRST THEY KILLED MY FATHER:A DAUGHTER OF CAMBODIA REMEMBERS

Sample of information shared by Book Club participants.  Another book that

could accompany it: Teenage Refugees from Cambodia Speak Out by Stephanie St. Pierre. It's part of the In Their Own Voices series from Rosen Publishing Company (others in this series are Teenage Refugees from Bosnnia-Herzegovina..China...Haiti....Iran...Vietnam.... and more......Speak Out.)

“They are thin, lots of pictures, and moving stories"

 

MIKLOWITZ, GLORIA  - THE ENEMY HAS A FACE

 

RIFA’I, AINBINDER, AND TEMPEL - WE JUST WANT TO LIVE HERE

The letters of two teenagers, one Israeli and the other Palestinian.

 

HELLO, DEAR ENEMY!  An exhibition of 100 international children’s picture book for peace and tolerance from 55 countries.

Examples:

*Batezut, Elinor Sisulu The Day Gogo Went to Vote - Illustrated in rich pastels, the book provides a child's-eye view of an important milestone in South African history – a black grandmother is allowed to vote.More

Show Less

Innocenti, Roberto Rose Blanche

Maruki, Toshi Hiroshima No Pika

Leaf, Munro The Story of Ferdinand

Scholes, Katherin Peacetimes

Dr. Seuss, Butter Battle Book

 

SATRAPI, MARJANE - PERSEPOLIS 1 AND 2

This graphic autobiography caught our interest because of the Iranian background of the

author. Iranian discussants assured us that Satrapi’s experience was typical of the upper

class family in Teheran during the time period she covers. Members commented on the

unique experience of “reading” the art as well as the words. It was a novel and powerful

experience.

 

FADIMAN, ANNE - SPIRIT CATCHES YOU AND YOU FALL DOWN

This is the story of a Hmong family with a child who suffers from epilepsy...the medical

culture in the US meets medical beliefs and customs of Hmong family. This is a powerful

story which is written for adults, not children. However, educators find it particularly

interesting since it tells the heartrending story of a culture clash between well meaning

professionals and a family in need. It’s possible to have similar situations/conflicts in our

schools.

 

SHARRA, STEVE - FLEEING THE WAR

Written by a LATTICE member , this wonderful book with story and illustrations is not

available in the US.

 

PARK, LINDA SUE - A SINGLE SHARD

Park’s book about Korean celadon pottery and life long ago in Korea is definitely

appropriate for 4th graders. There are good websites available for information about

celadon pottery, and discussion questions for school readings.

 

STEPHANEK, MATTIE T.J. - HEARTSONGS

 

LEKUTON, JOSEPH LEMASOLAI - FACING THE LION: GROWING UP MAASAI ON THE AFRICAN SAVANNA

Our Kenyan LATTICE members assure us that this book is accurate . Local educators

found the story to be inspirational, informational and amazing.

 

OSA, NANCY- CUBA 15

 

COHEN, BARBARA AND LOVEJOY, BAHIJA - SEVEN DAUGHTERS AND SEVEN SONS

 

HO, MINFONG - CLAY MARBLE

This story about war and the life of refugees in Cambodia led to similar tales from

LATTICE members who come from many different parts of the world. Elementary

children will find this book captivating and worthy of discussions which will broaden their

perspectives.

 

SEPHANIAH, BENJAMIN - REFUGEE BOY (Eritrean/Ethiopian refugee to England)

Here’s another take on the life of a refugee. An Ethiopian refugee confirmed that the

situation for a child with mixed heritage is accurate but the LATTICE readers questioned

the portrayal of the amazing social workers.

 

KURTZ, JANE - JAKARTA MISSING (Third Culture Children)

“Third Culture” issues kept us talking for hours. Kurtz has captured the dilemma’s faced

by these children who have lived an infinite variety of situations like this.

 

ARMSTRONG, JENIFER EDITOR - SHATTERED: STORIES OF CHILDREN IN WAR

These fictional accounts by recognized authors of children’s stories offered a number of

different points of view as well as different settings of war. Highly recommended.

 

PEACOCK, LOUISE - CROSSING THE DELAWARE

Written by a LATTICE member, the readers appreciated the history as well as the

fiction in this book for elementary and middle school aged children.

 

STAPLES, SUZANNE FISHER - SHABANU: DAUGHTER OF THE WIND

It’s hard to put this book down once you get started on it. A middle school student will

certainly get caught up in Shabanu’s unique setting and life challenges. However, our

Pakistani members helped us to see that the book tells the story through the eyes of a

westerner rather than through the eyes of a Pakistani. Students will get the most out of

this read if there are resource people to join them in discussions.

 

LI LI JIANG -  RED SCARF GIRL

The Cultural Revolution lasted for ten years in the People’s Republic of China (PRC). As

dramatic and challenging as this period was for everyone in the country, it seemed to us

that this story should not be the only one that students read about the PRC. However,

when Chinese LATTICE members shared their own family stories about this period and

then told us contrasting stories of their lives in the 21st century, they held our attention

for hours!

 

COERR, ELEANOR - SADAKO AND THE THOUSAND CRANES

Our Japanese mentors found a number of aspects of this story for young adults to be

lacking in accuracy. First of all, from interviews with Sadako’s father, it is clear that the

details about Sadako’s life are not true. Furthermore, the Japanese do not treat illness in

the way that is described in this book. Although it is an inspiring story because the

making of the cranes remind us of the universal wish for peace in the midst of terrible

stories of war, we decided that Sadako’s story is too often used as a reason to make paper

cranes rather than as a reason to have deeper discussions about war and conflict

resolution.

 

GORDON, SHEILA - WAITING FOR RAIN

One LATTICE teacher in a local high school not only taught Waiting for the Rain to her

students but arranged for her students to correspond with a class of Zulu students in South

Africa who had also read this book.

 

BROKER, IGNATIA - NIGHT FLYING WOMAN: AN OJIBWAY NARRATIVE

 

ESBENSEN, BARBARA JUSTER - STAR MAIDEN: AN OJIBWAY TALE

 

FULLER, ALEXANDRA -  DON’T LET’S GO TO THE DOG’S TONIGHT

This adult book is an amazing read. Fuller ,born in Rhodesia, takes us through the last

forty years with her family. It’s a complicated but not flattering story about a kind of

“white” family which lived throughout southern Africa.

 

HOSSENEI, KHALED - THE KITE RUNNER  - Setting:  Afghanistan and the U.S.

BUCK, PEARL S - THE BIG WAVE  Paired with The Ink Keeper’s Apprentice by Allen Say  (a picture book) Setting: Japan

SHIHAB-NYE, NAOMI - HABIBI AND SITTI’S SECRETS Middle East                                                 Sitti’s Secrets is a picture book that gives a fictionalized account of the author’s trip to visit her Palestinian grandmother. 

ADICHIE, CHIMAMANDA NGOZI - PURPLE HIBISCUS  Setting: Nigeria

BOK, FRANCIS - ESCAPE FROM SLAVERY: THE TRUE STORY OF MY TEN YEARS IN CAPTIVITY – AND MY JOURNEY TO FREEDOM IN AMERICA- Sudan

 

LATTICE Book Club’s “Life List” Continued - 2006 to present

March 13, 2006 CITY OF THE BEASTS BY ISABEL ALLENDE – South America

 

April 17, 2006 SHOW WAY BY JACQUELINE WOODSON – meeting was held at the M.S.U. museum for a talk about quilting by guest speaker:  Marcia McDonald

 

November 16, 2006 THE LANGUAGE OF BAKLAVA BY DIANA ABU-JABER – JORDAN     Guests: Adnan Shinnaq and Sakeena Elayan

 

January 18, 2007 MOUNTAINS BEYOND MOUNTAINSBY TRACY KIDDER – Haiti Guest:  Pierre Balthazar

 

February 15, 2007 UNBOWED, A MEMOIR BY WANGARI MAATHAI - Kenya

 

March 15, 2007 SHIVA’S FIRE BY SUSAN FISHER STAPLES Guests:  E. Lansing High School students performed Indian dances

 

April 12, 2007  Palestine by Joe Sacco – A Graphic Novel  Palestine  Guests:  Motasem __________Hassan _______________

 

*September 6 , 2007  Books:  GALIMOTO BY KAREN LYNN WILLIAMS – This picture book describes a young boy from Mali and his quest to find enough materials to make himself a galimoto toy, a traditional toy in Mali and other parts of Africa.   There are themes of persistence and creativity in the book and it would integrate well with an art class since students could make a galimoto toy.  Another good theme for this book would be recyle/reuse since the Galimotos are made from used cans, wire, etc.   Catherine Stock and Heaven Shop by Deborah Ellis  Themes: Malawi/Aids/Persistence  Guest Speakers: Steve Sharra and Sam and Grace Kamponderi

 

October 4, 2007 Book:  STEALING BUDDHA’S DINNER: A MEMOIR BY BICH MINH NGUYEN  Theme: Vietnam/Assimilation  Guest Speaker:  Le Tran

 

November  1, 2007  Book: BEFORE WE WERE FREE BY JULIA ALVAREZ   Themes:  Dominican Republic/Oppression  Guest Speakers:  David Smith and Pierre Balthazar

 

January 17, 2008 Book: AMERICAN BORN CHINESEBY GENE LUEN YANG   Themes: Chinese American/Graphic Novels  Guest Speakers:  Jay Jong, and visiting scholars Zhao, Chan-Carol and Yang, Emily.

 

February 14, 2008 Books:  ASK ME NO QUESTIONS BY MARINA BUDHOS AND AT ELLIS ISLAND: A HISTORY IN MANY VOICES BY LOUISE PEACOCK AND WALTER LYON KRUDOP  Theme: Immigration  Guest Speakers:  Vincent Delgado and Louise Peacock

 

March 20, 2008 Book: BORN CONFUSED BY TANUJA DESAI HIDIER Themes:  Indian American/Identity    Guest Speakers: Dorey Daniels and Kali Majumdar

 

April 24, 2008  Book:  WHEN MY NAME WAS KEOKO BY LINDA SUE PARK  Themes: Korea/WWII  Guest Speaker: Jade Richards

 

September 11, 2008 - THEY POURED FIRE ON US FROM THE SKY  This is the One Book/One Community book for East Lansing and MSU. We paired this with the children's book Home of the Brave by Katherine Applegate.  Guest Speaker: David Deng

 

October 9, 2008  - THREE CUPS OF TEA BY GREG MORTENSON   We paired this with children's books by Rukhsana Khan.  She has written the following picture books: Roses in My Carpet, Ruler of the Courtyard and Silly Chicken, a picture book set in rural Pakistan.     The Roses in my Carpets  is a picture book about a young boy and his mother and sister who come to a refugee camp to escape the war in Afghanistan.  The young boy finds some comfort in the beauty of the carpets he is learning to weave.  Would be great to use in any lesson about power of art to heal the human spirit.

Guest Speaker:  Saad Bin

 

 November 13, 2008   THE DEWBREAKER BY EDWIDGE DANTICAT   We paired this with her book for a younger audience:  Behind the Mountains by Edwidge Danticat.  Guest Speaker:  Pierre Balthazar

 

 January 15, 2009   MONIQUE AND THE MANGO RAINS BY KRIS HOLLOWAY about Mali  We paired this with a *children’s book, Sundiata: Lion King of Mali by David Wisniewski.  In the thirteenth century, Sundiata overcame physical handicaps, social disgrace, and strong opposition to rule the West African trading empire of Mali.  The illustrations in the book are beautiful.

Guest Speaker: Chris Worland and guest

 

 February 19, 2009 - STILL LIFE WITH RICE BY HELIE LEE about Korea.  Guest Speaker: Mi Kyung

 

March 12, 2009   ORACLE BONES BY PETER HESSLER about China  Guest Speakers: Marianne Forman, Nancy Lubeski  and Pam Moore

 

 April 16, 2009     ELIJAH OF BUXTON BY CHRISTOPHER PAUL CURTIS, paired with Copper Sun by Sharon Draper – African American  Guest Speaker: Greta McHaney Trice

 

September 17, 2009 - HOME OF THE BRAVE BY KATHERINE APPLEGATE  AND NO ENGLISH BY JACQUELINE JULES AND AMY HUNTINGTON  – Immigration (Sudan)

 

 October 15, 2009 THINGS FALL APART BY CHINUA ACHEBE AND THE NIGHT HAS EARS: AFRICAN PROVERBS BY ASHLEY BRYAN  - Nigeria  Guest Speaker:  Chukwuemeka O. Igwe

 

 November 12, 2009  AFTER TUPAC AND D FOSTER (NEWBERY HONOR BOOK) BY JACQUELINE WOODSON  and Remember: The Journey to School Integration (Bccb Blue Ribbon Nonfiction Book Award (Awards)) by Toni Morrison   - African American   Guest Speaker:  Valerie Smith

 

 January 21, 2010 CITY BOY BY JAN MICHAEL – Malawi, My Grandfather is a Magician: Work and Wisdom in an African Village by Ifeoma Onyefulu, and Kofi and his Magic by Maya Angelou and Margaret Courtney-Clarke   Guest Speaker:  Dr. Valerie Struthers

 

February 18, 2010 THE SHEPHARD’S GRANDDAUGHTER BY ANNE LAUREL CARTER – Palestine

 

March 18, 2010 WHERE THE MOUNTAIN MEETS THE MOON BY GRACE LIN-  This is a fantasy story crossed with Chinese folklore. Lin’s beautiful illustrations, printed in full-color, accompany the text throughout. She is  influenced by artists like Matisse and it shows in her drawings.  Picture Book: The Ugly Vegetables by Grace Lin  The artwork is colorful and fun.

 

April 15, 2010   RED GLASS BY LAURA RESAU – Mexico Guest Speaker:  Juana Gonzales

 

Sept. 28, 2010 – YUKI AND THE ONE THOUSAND CARRIERS BY GLORIA WHELEN – Japan

WAITING FOR THE OWL'S CALL BY GLORIA WHELEN- Afghanistan

YATANDOU BY GLORIA WHELEN – Mali

Yatandou lives in a Mali village with her family and neighbors. And though she is only eight years old and would much rather play with her pet goat, she must sit with the women and pound millet kernels. But as they work, the women dream of a machine that can grind the millet and free them from their pounding sticks. Yatandou must help raise the money, even if it means parting with something she holds dear.Through the eyes and voice of a young girl, award-winning author Gloria Whelan brings to life one village’s dream of a better future. Atmospheric paintings from artist Peter Sylvada capture the landscape and spirit of this inspiring story of sacrifice and hope.


Guests: Gloria Whelan and a representative from Sleeping Bear Pres talked about the Discover the World Series and Tales of the World Series. 


*October 28, 2010 DIAMOND WILLOW  BY HELEN FROST 
- Native American Using diamond-shaped poems inspired by forms found in polished diamond willow sticks, Helen Frost tells the moving story of Willow and her family. Hidden messages within each diamond carry the reader further, into feelings Willow doesn’t reveal even to herself.  This book could be used to talk about the connection between art and nature.

 Guest Speaker: Debbie Reese, author of a blog on American Indians in Children’s Literature

 

*November 18, 2010  THE DREAMER BY PAM MUNOZ RYAN A fictionalized book about the famous Poet Pablo Neruda’s childhood. The book combines elements of magical realism with biography, poetry, literary fiction, and exceptional illustrations that are sprinkled throughout the text.

Chile Guest Speaker: Fredy Rodriquez of the Residential College of Arts and Humanities at M.S.U.

 

 

January 20, 2011 THE SURRENDER TREE: POEMS OF CUBA'S STRUGGLE FOR FREEDOM BY MARGARITA ENGLE – Cuba OPTIONAL:  other recent books about Cuba:
The Red Umbrella by Christina Gonzalez  Leaving Glorytown: One Boy's Struggle Under Castro by Eduardo F. Calcinesalso optional: Margarita Engle's other titles:

Tropical Secrets: Holocaust Refugees in CubaThe Firefly Letters: A Suggragette's Journey to Cuba, and The Poet Slave of Cuba: A Biography of Juan Francisco Manzano.

 

 

February 24, 2011  FREE? STORIES ABOUT HUMAN RIGHTS EDITED BY AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL  (FOR GRADES 7 AND UP) AND   WE ARE ALL BORN FREE: THE UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS  ED. BY AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL. (for grades 2 and up)  Guest Speaker: Keneth Harrow, Amnesty International member

 

March 24, 2011     MY NAME IS SANGOEL Author study of Karen Lynn Williams. 

 

October 13, 2011 BETWEEN SHADES OF GRAY BY RUTA SEPETYS - Lithuania  Guest Speaker:

International student from Lithuania

 

November 10, 2011- A TIME OF MIRACLES BY ANNE-LAURE BONDOUX – Republic of Georgia


January 12, 2012 -
INSIDE OUT AND BACK AGAIN BY THANHHA LAI – a novel in verse.  Inside Out & Back Again is based on the author’s own experiences as a ten year old coming to America from Vietnam in the 1970’s.  The book is one long beautiful poem  and a 2012 Newbery Honor book.  and Noodle Pie by Ruth Starke – Vietnam  Judy Huynh

February 9, 2012 -
A SCHOOL FOR MY VILLAGE (FORMER TITLE: THE PRICE OF STONES) by Jackson Kaguri – Uganda   Guest Speaker: Jackson Kaguri

 

March 8, 2012 — THE BAMBOO PEOPLE BY MITALI PERKINS – Burma/Myanmar Guest Speakers: Several students/refugees from Burma

 

Thursday April 26, THE FRIENDSHIP DOLL BY KIRBY LARSON - Japan Guest Speaker: Madomi Ishika

 

September - BEHIND THE BEAUTIFUL FOREVERS by Katherine Boo.


October - NO ORDINARY DAY BY DEBORAH ELLIS. Reviews:
Booklist Reviews 2011 November #1

*Starred Review* Valli, an orphan living in Jharia, India, spends her days picking up coal, fighting with cousins, and avoiding the "monsters" (lepers, actually) who live on the other side of the tracks. When she learns her family are not true blood relatives, she runs away to Kolkata, where she survives by "borrowing" what she needs, using it for a while, and then passing it on to someone else. Finally, she meets Dr. Indra, who recognizes that Valli, too, suffers from leprosy and helps the child to secure treatment and hope for a better future. What keeps this story from becoming maudlin is Valli's positive outlook. Quick, intelligent, and fearless, she isn't above begging to ensure her survival, but rarely does she play the victim card. Details about leprosy (causes, symptoms, treatment, prognosis) are carefully woven into the story and never feel forced or didactic. While Valli's situation will seem alien to most young North Americans, this compelling and accessible novel will enlighten, spark discussion, and prompt readers to try other Ellis titles, in particular, the Breadwinner trilogy. Copyright 2011 Booklist Reviews.


 

November -LADDER TO THE MOON BY MAYA SOETORO- about Indonesia,

Review:

Booklist Reviews 2011 March #1

*Starred Review* A lush, haunting story that brings together a grandmother and her grandchild. When Suhaila ask her mother, "What was Grandma Annie like?" the answer comes, "She was like the moon . . . full, soft, and curious." And that night a ladder to the moon appears with Grandma Annie waiting to take Suhaila to the sky. Together they listen to moon songs, but then they hear other voices: swimmers struggling against high waves, and sisters in two swaying towers. All are invited to come and rest and drink "sweet moondew from silver teacups." These experiences, especially observing so many on earth praying to "make the fighting stop," have an effect on Suhaila, who now knows "more than she had known before." Once home, Suhaila realizes she has changed, having helped others learn and heal. Soetoro-Ng, maternal half-sister of Barack Obama, has written this story of compassion as a tribute to their mother. Not every listener will understand the particulars or references, but the evocative words will wash over them, and they will respond to the expressed feelings of empathy and love. It's hard to imagine a more perfect illustrator for this text than Morales, whose rounded shapes, sunset colors, and softness and strength mirror the words. Morales captures the luminosity of both the sky and the people on earth striving and straining to make the world a better place. The endnotes by author and artist add insight into a book meant to be discussed. Copyright 2011 Booklist Reviews.

 

January - TUA AND THE ELEPHANT BY R.P. HARRIS. – about Thailand  the packaging is beautiful -text in purple, with yellow and orchid linoleum print illustrations. This is an "upbeat" book.

SLJ Reviews 2012 June

Gr 3–-6 —Children will be smitten with Harris's endearing story about a tender friendship between a girl and the elephant whose life she is trying to save. Nine-year-old Tua (Peanut) lives with her mother in Chiang Mai, Thailand, a lively place where everyone seems to know and watch out for one another. One day at the bustling night market, she encounters an elephant being forcefully led by two sleazy con men who are masquerading as mahouts. Tua and the elephant connect and quickly forge a strong emotional bond. Determined to rescue her new friend from a horrific situation, she deftly sneaks her away from her captors. Navigating the crowded streets is no easy feat with an elephant in tow, but they eventually end up at the house of Tua's charismatic Auntie Orchid. Though sympathetic, she is unable to harbor the fugitive pachyderm and directs her niece to a Buddhist temple that has walls tall enough to hide the large animal. At the temple, Tua and the newly named Pohn-Pohn (Double-Happiness) are told that the best place for an elephant is a sanctuary run by a compassionate animal lover. Tua endeavors to get Pohn-Pohn to safety while avoiding the criminal mahouts, who have been pursuing them all along. Yoo's vibrant full-page illustrations, rendered in charcoal and linoleum-block printing, perfectly complement and elevate Harris's remarkable tale. A charming story sure to capture the hearts of young readers.—Lalitha Nataraj, Escondido Public Library, CA


 

February. – children’s books about Mongolia (they could be hard to find.)

 

HORSE SONG: THE NAADAM OF MONGOLIA BY TED AND BETSY LEWIN. This husband and wife team, Caldecott Honor winners, write and illustrate this lovely book about their travels to Mongolia for Naadam. This is an annual summer festival where child jockeys ride half-wild horses for miles across the Mongolian steppe. Lovely illustrations!

 

I RODE A HORSE OF MILK WHITE JADE BY DIANE LEE WILSON. – Middle School level

 

March - STONES FOR MY FATHER BY TRILBY KENT.- South Africa   This book has won the Children's Africana Book Award for Older Readers for 2012. It also won the TD Canadian Children's Book Award, which is like the Newbery for Canadian children's lit.

 

Book Club's "Life List"

altSome of the LATTICE teachers have been meeting once a month to discuss literature with a global perspective. Taking advantage of the rich international resources in our group, we make sure that we have representation from the countries or regions that are presented in each book. As a result of this, we’ve learned much more about the cultures and feel more comfortable using the books in our schools because we are more knowledgeable about which aspects of each book are accurate and which are not. We haven’t been looking so much for the “perfect” books as much as we’re wanting to read a wider variety of books and be more prepared to teach them well. The following list includes some of the books we’ve read and discussed. There are wonderful websites associated with many of these books but we highly recommend that readers seek out people in their community who can add yet another dimension to the appreciation and understanding of each book.