Tag Archives: Evan White

Fly Away Home

Title: Fly Away Home

Author: Eve Bunting

Illustrator: Ronald Himler

Publisher and Year Clarion Books, 1991

Number of pages: 32

Tags/Themes: Emotion, Family, Fiction, Picture Book, 2-3, Evan White

Genre: Realistic Fiction; Family, Children’s Book

Descriptive Annotation:  Fly Away Home is about a father and son living in an airport.  There are special rules on how to live in the airport so they don’t get caught like to always be moving and not talking to people.  The son observes how his dad is always trying to find a job so they can find a real home for them, but often falls short.  The boy is still optimistic and works to help his dad.  He returns bags for 50 cents and believes he will find a permanent home one day.

Classroom Application: I can use this book to reinforce social sciences/culture to show different areas of living.  A unit like urbanism, suburbs, rural and going deeper into types of places people live in and discuss different homeless areas.  This text also demonstrates Social and Emotional Learning Standards  about demonstrating caring and concern for others.  Teaching the students how anyone can be affected by a situation and their bad situation does not necessarily mean it’s the induvial fault to create empathy.

Linguistic and Cultural Diversity Analysis: This book represents the poor/homeless culture.  Teaching kids’ different people can be homeless, the young, old, families.  Also teaching being poor does not mean you’re stupid or deserving of it like media can display.  The young boy is responsible and saves his money, the father works endlessly to provide for his son.  The Father and son are very smart and know how not to get caught, and they are very friendly with the other homeless residents.  I might introduce this book giving each student or group of students a setting and they can brainstorm how they might survive or be able to live in the setting.  “He and I collect rented luggage cars that people have left outside and return them for fifty cents each.  If the crowds are big and safe, we offer to carry bags” (22).  This quote would connect to the students before text activity.  The young boy uses his head to find a way to make money.  I think this quote also shoes how the boy are maturing faster than other children.  The tone is serious and very straightforward.  The son needs to be quick and fast in his days’ work to make the most money and his language shows he needs to be straight to the point.  Even though the boy is maturing faster he still does not know how to handle his emotions. “Sometimes I get mad and I want to run at them and push them and shout, ‘Why do you have homes when we don’t? What makes you so special?’ that would get us noticed all right” (30).  This quote shows the difficulty of being homeless and the toll is does to your emotions.  The text shows how the boy is struggling to control his emotions.  He wants to release his emotions in an outburst , but the boy still knows what consequences could be for out bursting.  It shows the students there are consequences for actions they can do on impulse, especially impulse actions the homeless could do in an airport.

Game Changer

Title: Game Changer

Author: John Coy

Illustrator: Randy DuBurke

Publisher and Year: Carolrhoda Books (October 1, 2015)

Number of pages: 32

Tags/Themes: Diversity, Picture Book, Social Science, 4-5, 6-8, Evan White

Genre: History; Non-fiction; sports

Descriptive Annotation:  Game changer is the true story of Coach John McLendon organizing a basketball game between the best white college basketball players from Duke University Medical School and his team from North Carolina College of Negroes in 1944, whose team was called the Eagles.  The teams met up in a gym and locked the doors so no one could walk in.  Both teams played as hard as they could but the Eagles won 88 to 44.  The next day, the two teams decided to play again, but mix the teams up.  This was the first time there was inter racial basketball.  The boys all had a great time playing mixed together but also knew it was not socially unacceptable if outsiders found out.  All the boys began to grow closer together and learn from one another.  The artwork of the book is very dark but the tone of the writing has a message of optimism of time changing.  At the back of the book, there is a timeline of civil rights movement and progression of black athletes coming into the spot light.

The students will need to know about segregation, the term negroes, prejudice, and the KKK.

Classroom Application:   This text can be used to reinforce history, and could be used as the sports perspective within civil rights.  The book also explores the progression of equality in America in different areas, like sports.  Game Changer can also be used to reinforce history with breaking down barriers.  As the coach did a brave thing for the time period and can teach how it is important to take risks that go against social norms.  A social norm doesn’t mean it’s a moral norm, so taking risks and stepping outside of comfortable spaces can lead to impact on society.

Linguistic and Cultural Diversity Analysis: This book represents the culture in the 1940s and how the black community stood together to progress in equality.  This book could be used to generate discussion in looking at current sports diversity and examine if they are diverse, how diverse, and if certain groups are not represented in sports.  This can be done by using percentages and ratios of diverse athletes with a math reinforcement.  Using the charts, we can look at the time the athletes were playing.   “Nineteen years before Dr. King’s “I have a Dream” speech and three years before Jackie Robinson broke the color line in Major League Baseball, black players and white players worked together as teammates in an illegal game in segregated North Caroline” (19).  I think this quote is important because it established there are leaders in civil rights other than Martin Luther King.  It is important to learn about more than one leader, and how there was multiple leaders in civil rights through the years, no matter how famous they became.   Learning about strong leaders would lead into this next quote.  “A reporter for the Caroline Times, Durham’s black weekly newspaper, heard about the game, but he agreed not to publish the story at McLendon’s request since the Ku Klux Klan was active and considered ‘race mixing’ a crime punishable by death” (24).  This is a powerful quote that should be used with a mature class ready for these topics.  This quote shows the serious tone of the book and paints a picture of how brave the boys were for playing in an interracial basketball game.  Understanding the serious consequences makes the coach and players stronger leaders for the students.

Funny Bones

Title: Funny Bones

Author(s) Duncan Tonatiuh

Illustrator/Photographer Duncan Tonatiuh

Publisher and Year: Harry N. Abrams, 2015

Number of pages: 40

Tags/Themes: Award Book, Culture, Diversity, Fine Arts, Non-fiction, Picture Book, 4-5, Evan White

Genre: biography; art; history; cultural picture book, children

Descriptive Annotation:  Funny Bones is biography of José Guadalupe (Lupe) Posada.  Lupe was a famous Mexican artist in the late 1800s and early 1900s.  He was most famous for his calaveras (skull or skeleton drawings).  The book starts at Lupe’s childhood and how he learned different art forms like lithography and wood engraving.  As Lupe grew older, he opened his own shop in Mexico City and would draw calaveras in current political events like the Mexican revolution and the corrupt government at the time.  The students will need no background knowledge as the book explains the Spanish words and what Day of the Dead is.  The author’s note has a detailed explanation of Day of the Dead with its history of calaveras.  There is also a glossary of Spanish words for a more detailed definition .

Classroom Application: This text can be used to reinforce social science and used to give more detail into Day of the Dead and its culture.  This book could be used in a series for students to compare and contrast Day of the Dead and Halloween so the students understand the cultural differences and appreciate the differences.  This book does an excellent job showcasing the artwork for Day of the Dead, with the detail in the calaveras.  Funny Bones could also be used to reinforce poetry.  Calavera drawings could have a funny poem with the drawing, and the students can work on creating fun and silly poems.

Linguistic and Cultural Diversity Analysis: Funny Bones would teach about the art culture within the Mexican Culture, diving deep into different aspects of Mexican culture.  I might introduce this book by introducing the art forms of drawing calaveras first or give the students a picture of calaveras, and they have to create a poem around the photo.  Funny Bones also shows different aspects of Day of the Dead.  “On those days, the city was full of vendors who sold pan de muerto (bread), cempasúchil (marigold flowers), alfeñiques (sugar Skulls), and papel picado (paper cutouts).  People bought these and other items to decorate the ofrendas (offerings they made for their loved ones who had died)” (15).  This quote gives an insight into what a day is like and what people would normally buy during this time.  On page 17, there is a drawing of a calavera proposing so another calavera.  “I am sorry Senñor.  But that cannot be.  You’re handsome and all, but too skinny for me!”  This can be a good example for the students for what poems in calaveras are like.  They are short and sweet with some humor in them.  The text is printed on the poster of the calavera drawings with distinct font.

Audrey’s Magic Nine

Title: Audrey’s Magic Nine

Author: Michelle Wright

Illustrator: Courtney Huddleston

Publisher and year: Penny-Farthing Productions Inc. 2018

Number of pages: 144.

Tags/Themes: Adventure, Diversity, Family, Fantasy, Fiction, Friendship, Graphic Novel, 2-3,e

Genre: fantasy, sequential art, graphic novel, adoption

Descriptive Annotation:  Audrey is a 10-year-old black girl who has been in the foster care her whole life.  Her foster parents neglected her and her foster siblings giving her little food, and when the news station reported it, Tabitha saw Audrey and wanted to adopt her.  Tabitha and her husband overworked Audrey with piano, violin, ballet, and school work when all Audrey wanted to do was draw in her notebook.  One night she finds a magic puppet from another world who was kicked out of his world from an evil magic queen.  Audrey and her new friend Asa try to find his new friends while Audrey is learning how to live with her new parents.

The graphic novel does a good job showing Audrey’s drawings as a central piece to storytelling in the book .

Classroom Application:  Audrey draws to help her cope and deal with any stress she has.  The book can be used to encourage the children to use the arts as a way to express themselves.  Children learning how to express and explain their thoughts or emotions will be very helpful as they grow up.  Methods can be comic making, drawing, paintings, creative writing, acting and script writing, or sculpting.  Students can do a writing piece filled with their emotion and do a companion piece of art to complement their writing.

Linguistic and Cultural Diversity Analysis: This book has a representation of the foster care system and highlights issues like child neglect, overcoming personal problems, and using art as a coping mechanism.  It gives a sense that families come in different forms (step-parents, multi-racial families) teaching children not to make assumptions about others’ family structures.  When in new or stressful family situations, the book teaches how to use expressive skills so family issues do not get bottled up causing any future emotional harm.  The story also shows a strong female character who is brave and wants to help her friends.  I might introduce this graphic novel by having the students describe their favorite super powers, what they admire in heroes, and what they don’t like about super villains.  This can set up their interests with the super  powered puppets, creating future empathy with the characters and a greater admiration for Audrey being brave throughout the story.  “There were several young girls in the Mercer fosters home, ranging in ages 5-16 and allegedly subjected to such punishments as hours spent in a small, locked closet ” (12).  This sets up the tone right away.  This graphic novel is serious and straight to the point.  It is not afraid to state the facts what life is like for some children.  “But those people have put that poor woman in danger, just for taking pizza out of the trash ” (73).  This shows the empathy Audrey has the for the world.  Even though she has been is foster care where she can’t express her emotions, she is still seeing the beauty in people and wants everyone to be valued.

Scarlet Ibis

Title: Scarlet Ibis

Author: Gill Lewis

Illustrator: Susan Meyer

Publisher and Year: Oxford University Press, 2014

Number of pages: 273

Tags/Themes: Animals; Chapter Book; Emotion; Family; Fiction; 4-5; 6-8 E

Genre: fiction, family.

Descriptive Annotation:  Scarlet is a young black girl who lives with her mum  and her brother “Red” who both are white.  Scarlet spends all her time taking care of Red who is a young boy with autism, who loves birds. Scarlet often takes care of her mum who has anger problems.  After an incident with Scarlet’s mum falling asleep with a cigarette in her mouth and almost burning down their apartment, Scarlet’s family was taken away from her.  Her mum stayed in a hospital, Red went to a foster home, and Scarlet went to a different foster home with her caretaker, Avril.  Scarlet desperately wants to find Red but is unable to contact with him.  She struggles with living with a new family in a new home coping with her emotions with her frustrations with social workers refusing to let her see her mum and brother.

Students might need to know the variation of “mum” to understand it means mom, but a different spelling.

Classroom Application: This text can be used to reinforce health/physical education area.  The major plot point is after Scarlet’s mum burns down their apartment.  After reading that chapter, it would be important to discuss with the class and practice fire safety and ways to prevent fires in their home.

This text meets the SELS of students experiencing family emotional stress.  It can also be used to stretch how the students think of the definition of family.  A foster family can be just as tight or close to other types of families.


Linguistic and Cultural Diversity Analysis :

This book represents the culture of children in foster care/families.  It would be used to generate discussion on how foster care works, why it happens, teaching the students to not bully students with different families.  It also represents the culture of children with autism.  Generating discussion on how children/people with autism or special needs require a lot of love, and give a lot of love, just like how the students require love from their family and give a lot to their family.  Growing a culture of respect and value for students with autism/special needs is another classroom application from this book.  I might introduce this book to my students by having them draw a memory or activity they value about their family to get them in the mindset of valuing family with the content of this text. “Red cradles Little Red in his lap.  I watch him run is hand from the pigeon’s head to his tail feathers.  Little red becomes calm and turns his head to look at Red.  Red touches the soft down of his chest.  Red relaxes and I see his shoulders drop.  He’s happy just stroking the bird.  I slump into the armchair.  My head feels heavy.  My whole body feels tired.  All I want to do is to curl up and sleep, and sleep, and sleep” (213).  This quote shows how much Scarlet values her brother, but at the same time how drained she is.  The tone is serious, Scarlet feeling tired with her words and imagery.  It paints a picture how she needs help taking care of Red, and how students need to no place everything on their shoulders. “I take a step toward them. “It’s all right for you,” I say. “You can go back to your nice homes with your nice families.  You can have your meals cooked every night.  Your mums and dads look after you.  They’re not crazy.  They don’t swear at you or call you names.  But Red and I don’t have that.  We don’t have anything like that.  All we’ve got is each other.  And if you tell on us, we’ll be split up, and then we won’t have anything as all ”” (228).   This quote really shows the conversation tone in this book.  Scarlet frustration built up and she is exploding to her friends.  You can hear her anger and frustration in the sentences.  The beautiful thing about this quote is her friends listen to her afterwards and give her the space to vent and be vulnerable to them.  Teaching the students friends allow each other to be vulnerable to each other.