20 April 2013

A bit of Kid's Non-fiction

For class, I had to read 2 non-fiction books for the Under-13 set. I ended up reading 3 because I had to write a paper on one and wanted to give myself options.  All were Sibert Medal Honor/Award books.

Witches!:  The Absolutely True Tale of Disaster in Salem written and illustrated by Rosalyn Schanzer- This was the one I wrote my paper on, getting full marks!  It's about the Salem Witch trials and I really liked it, all the way up until the last sentence.  Until then, it was really good about explaining what happened, how the Puritan worldview led that to happen, and then the outcomes.  It shared the blame around and I loved that it showed, by this incredibly bad series of events, the benefits of rational thinking and skepticism without specifically saying that.  However, at the very end it says something like "these things will never happen again---or will they?" I actually heard the dramatic "duh-duh-DUH!!" in my head reading it.  it was such an odd change in tone; none of the events/attitudes of the time were connected to events/attitudes today.  If they had been, then the rhetorical question ending would have worked for me.  i recommend it anyway.  also, the art was great!    a 6.

An American Plague: The True and Terrifying Story of the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793 by Jim Murphy--definitely terrifying.  I ended up using this one in my reading record.  This one was about an epidemic in Philadelphia and all the terrible things that happened.  Made me very, very glad i live now and not then.  Did you know there's no cure for yellow fever yet?  a 6.

Vincent van Gogh by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan-- my extra book.  It was fine, informative, clear and interesting.  Many direct quotes and several pages of pictures helped too.  I learned some things and have picked up the giant Van Gogh: The Life to read more.  I just didn't feel as strongly about it as the above two so I didn't end up using it.  a 5.  Has anybody else read a Van Gogh biography and pictured the Van Gogh from Doctor Who?  

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