It’s Monday! What are you reading? 9/14/15


This week I was challenged to read books from different award categories. Beyond the Newbery and Caldecott honors, I didn’t realize there were other book awards, so I learned a lot this week.  Below you will find a description of the award and book summary.


Schneider Family Book Award

This award is given to an author or illustrator that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences. Very neat award!

I chose to read the book Rules, by Cynthia Lord. This book follows the life of twelve year old Catherine. Between her best friend moving away and her brother with Austism, Catherine feels like she doesn’t have anyone there for just her. While at her brother’s clinic, Catherine meets a boy named Jason who shows her what a true friend really is.

This was a phenomenal book! I think anyone could benefit from reading this story. It really sheds light on what life is like for the families of people with disabilities. Catherine is a very real portrayal of a twelve year old, and I feel like kids could really relate how she handles life.


Pura Belpre Award

This award is given to a Latino/Latina writer or illustrator whose work best portrays the Latino cultural experiences in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth. The namesake comes from the first Latina librarian at the New York Public Library, Pura Belpre.

In Esperanza Rising, young Esperanza’s life is turned upside down by tragedy. In a turn of events, Esperanza goes from being a member of a happy, wealthy family to working in Mexican labor camps in California. Over the course of a year, Esperanza experiences a lot of growth through trials, and comes out stronger than before.

I was totally blown away by Esperanza Rising. I’ve seen this book in numerous classroom libraries, but was never drawn to it. Boy, was I missing out! The author writes with such richness that you can easily picture the book in your head. There are many great vocab words in both English and Spanish that add to the story.


California Young Reader Medal

This is the people’s choice equivalent for the state of California, where I am currently at!

Alexander, Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday, is Alexander, who is admiring the money his brothers have. However he knows if he has more money, he will just spend it. He knows, because he used to be rich last Sunday! And now he isn’t rich anymore.

I enjoyed this book! I think the author does a great job portraying how a young child views money. I think it would be interesting to see how a student today would react to Alexander thinking that $1.00 is a lot of money. The black and white illustrations make this a very unique books!


Coretta Scott King Award

This award is given to authors and illustrators that demonstrate an appreciation of African American culture and universal human values.

Nelson Mandela is about the struggles Mandela faced, as well as his contributions to piece.

This book does a great job at addressing such a heavy topic and gets the point across for the younger crowd. The illustrations also do a good job of making the book intriguing. I think a book like this would be a great read to break up the usual MLK and Parks stories that accompany civil rights lessons.


The Robert F. Sibert Medal

This award is given to the authors and illustrators that produce distinguished informational text.

Balloons Over Broadway is the story of how the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade came to be.

This is a clever book! The illustrations make this book inviting, and you don’t totally realize you are reading a history book. I think anyone would find the information in this story very interesting. I learned a lot!


6 thoughts on “It’s Monday! What are you reading? 9/14/15

  1. Balloons Over Broadway looks great! I’ll have to read it before Thanksgiving.
    I have seen Rules on shelves and in middle grade hands. Do you think it would easily enhance and/or augment tolerance and inclusion discussions? Do you think middle grade readers would connect it with the mission of the award?
    Nice choices!


    • Yes! I don’t want to give too much away, but the main character is put on the spot to either include her friend with a disability, or lose his friendship. I think the way it ends is very real–not the “in a perfect world” scenario.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Melissa Sweet has illustrated a number of brilliant nonfiction books. My favorites are her collaborations with Jen Bryant, an author. Rules is a favorite of mine. If you enjoyed Rules, I definitely recommend Kathryn Erskine’s Mockingbird and R.J. Palaccio’s Wonder.


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