Tag Archives: Rylie Loux

Child Soldier When Boys and Girls Are Used in War

Title – Child Soldier When Boys and Girls Are Used in War

Author(s) – Jessica Dee Humphreys & Michel Chikwanine

Illustrator/Photographer – Claudia Davila

Publisher and Year – September 1, 2015 by Kids Can Press

Number of pages – 48 pages

Tags/Themes – Rylie Loux, 6-8, Graphic Novel, Emotion, Family, Culture, Friendship,

Genre – Graphic Novel

Descriptive Annotation: An ex–child soldier tells his horrifying story, that begins by being kidnapped at the age of 5 and forced to kill his best friend. Michael was abducted by a rebel militia at age five while growing up in the Democratic Republic of Congo in the 1990s. Michel and his best friend, Kevin, are kidnapped with other boys by a rebel militia when they’re playing soccer on the field after school. They’re thrown into trucks and taken to the soldiers’ camp in the hills, where Michael is forced to become a child soldier. While they are kidnapped they are beaten, cut with knives, forced to consume cocaine, and even killed. Michel is blindfolded, a gun is put into his hand, and someone behind him grabs his fingers, puts one on the trigger, and forces it to shoot. A soldier takes off the blindfold and Michel sees he’s killed Kevin. After Michel escapes and returns home, he continues to suffer because his father is kidnapped and tortured and sent to a refugee camp in Uganda. The family joins him there, and after his father’s death, Michel, his mother, and one sister migrate to Canada when he’s 16.

Classroom Application: This is a perfect resource for engaging students in social studies lessons on global awareness and social justice issues, and classroom discussions about conflict, children’s rights and even bullying. This can associate with other historic events that are similar. They’ll also gain an awareness that the horror of child soldiers remains an issue in many countries of the world today, as well as military services. As a teacher, you can ask your students if they know that young adults are forced into the military and where is this still happening in our world today? Another ideology that this book presents is the idea of making a difference in your own and someone else’s life. This story shows how much has changed since the 1990s but how there is always room for someone to make an advancement.

Linguistic and Cultural Diversity Analysis: This book represents the culture of the Democratic Republic of Congo. This story is used to teach students and generate discussion about the history in different countries. Davila’s illustrations stay clear of explicit violence, using facial expressions to convey vividly the rebels’ brutality, the shock of their child captives, and the narrator’s emotional scars. This is giving students a realistic glimpse of what happened in the 1990s. This book also gives important political and historical context to these events.

Quotes –  

“Your family will never take you back now. We are your only family.”

“Working together, we will make positive, changes in the world. As my father used to tell me, “If you ever think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping in a room with a mosquito.”

Bad Apple: A Tale of Friendship

Title – Bad Apple: A Tale of Friendship

Author(s) – Edward Hemmingway

Illustrator/Photographer – Edward Hemmingway

Publisher and Year – Scholastic, 2012

Number of pages – 32 pages

Tags/Themes – Rylie Loux, Friendship, Emotion, K-5

Genre – Fiction

Descriptive Annotation: This story is about an apple named Mac and his unlikely friendship with a worm named Will. At the start of the book, the duo is inseparable, finishing each other’s sentences and playing games. But apples aren’t supposed to be friends with worms, so other apples in the orchard start bullying Mac calling him “rotten” and “bad apple.” In the end, Mac is a “good apple” who gains the courage to stand up to the bullies and learns the importance of being a loyal friend.

Classroom Application: This is a perfect resource for engaging students in an anti-bullying lesson. By bringing this book to the classroom, it can help express the issue of bullying to the class and how to prevent it and help kids who are experiencing it. The ideology that is presented in this story is the importance of kindness and acceptance of others, helping students understand that each and everything they do makes a difference on someone else. To incorporate this into the classroom, I would present it at the beginning of the school year to set the standards of bullying in the classroom. Also the students could create a venn diagram to compare and contrast Mac (the good apples) with the bullies in the story (bad apples). Also the students could also make a list of qualities of a good friend.

Linguistic and Cultural Diversity Analysis: The main ideology that is presented is bullying. A quote from the story is “But no one in the orchard would play with them.” This gives the students the ability to see themselves in this situation because each day they talk and play with other students in their class. “Luckily Mac knew he’d rather be a bad apple with Will than a sad apple without him.” This expresses that Mac would rather be stand out and be friends with Will rather than fit in with everyone else. This teaches children to stand up for what they want rather than what it “cool” or popular. This story gives students a way to learn the importance of accepting one another and to not bully their classmates.


Two Homes

Title – Two Homes

Author(s) – Claire Masurel

Illustrator/Photographer – Kady MacDonald Denton

Publisher and Year – Candlewick Press,  Cambridge, MA (2001)

Number of pages – 40 pages

Tags/Themes – Rylie Loux, Family, Emotion, K-1, 2-3

Genre – Fiction

Descriptive Annotation: This story is about a boy named Alex and how he lives in two different homes, because his parents are separated. He describes the many different things that he has at his mommy’s house and daddy’s house.  “I love Mommy. I love Daddy.” While these two homes are very different, he knows that whether he is with mommy or daddy, he loves them and they love him.

Classroom Application:  This book would relevant in teaching younger children because divorce and the separation of parents are real life situations and this book would be a helpful independent tool especially if the teacher knows the students family dynamic. This could also be helpful for children who are transitioning into a life of two homes, by giving them a young character that they can connect and relate to. A quote from the story is, “I have lots of friends. Friends come and play at Daddy’s. Friends come and stay at Mommy’s.” This quote shows students that they are still able to have their friends over, because they have two places to go. This book could also be used as an independent study if the teacher knows a student whose parents may be going through a divorce. In today’s world, with divorce becoming more common, it may be appropriate to read this to the entire class for them to know they are not different or any less than those with married parents.

Linguistic and Cultural Diversity Analysis: This story focuses on what is gained rather than what is lost when parents divorce. It depicts a child-centered and positive outlook of a family split between two homes. This story highlights how things are different, but they are also the same because both parents love them very much. This book shows that even through this sad moment in life, having two homes does not have to be a bad thing.

My Friend Has Down Syndrome

Title – My Friend Has Down Syndrome

Author(s) – Jennifer Moore-Mallinos

Illustrator/Photographer – Marta Fabrega

Publisher and Year – B.E.S Publishing, October 1, 2008

Number of pages – 31 pages

Tags/Themes – Rylie Loux, Emotion, Friendship, Diversity, Fiction, K-5

Genre – Fiction

Descriptive Annotation: This book is about a little girl at camp that shares her experience of meeting her best friend, Tammy. The little girl is asked to be her buddy, as Tammy will need extra help. The little girl reveals that Tammy has Down syndrome. Many of the children at the camp had many questions about Down Syndrome but after the counselors explained to them, they were ready and willing to help her feel included and happy at camp. In the end, the little girls shares that Tammy teachers her things too, and that they are a great team because they learn from each other.

Classroom Application:  This book explains to children what Down Syndrome is, in terms that they can understand. This would be a great book to read to children to teach them that it is all right to be different and the importance of being accepting of each of their classmates. “But last summer was the best camp ever, because that’s when I met Tammy.” This little girl explains how she and Tammy became best friends. This is an example of how to accept people for who they really are.  This shows students that everyone can become best friends with a student with Down Syndrome. No one else at the camp had Down Syndrome besides Tammy but she fit right in. This helps students learn that they are both good at different things and that by helping each other overcome their fears and difficulties they can accomplish anything together.

Linguistic and Cultural Diversity Analysis: The main ideology that is presented is that just because someone is different from you doesn’t mean they have to be judged or singled out.

The children reading this book will have lots of things to consider such as the feelings of others. “When Ms. Teresa asked me if I wanted to be Tammy’s buddy I got excited!” This quote is an example that teaches life lessons to not judge people because of a disability and that it does not define someone.One of the best things about this story is that it proves that children can help those who might have disabilities, but they can also learn a lot from them as well.


The Skin You Live In

Title – The Skin You Live In

Author(s) – Michael Tyler

Illustrator/Photographer – David Lee Csicsko

Publisher and Year – Chicago Children’s Museum, April 1, 2005

Number of pages – 32 pages

Tags/Themes – Rylie Loux, Culture, Diversity, Emotion, Family, Friendship, Poetry, K-5

Genre – Poetry

Descriptive Annotation: This story is a story which explores the concept of skin to encourage self-esteem and to celebrate the ways in which children are both unique and similar. This story uses different activities, metaphors, and examples to show children that everyone is valuable.

Classroom Application: This book can be used in the classroom to to teach children about diversity, cultures other than their own, accepting themselves the way that they are and accepting others. An important quote from the story is “Glows when it shows that it knows we love you skin.” This is an opportunity to compare skin tones and talk about how they are all beautiful. Another way to incorporate this into learning would be to have each student write something that they love about themselves as well as all of their classmates. This creates an inclusive classroom and allows the students to express what they love about each other.

Linguistic and Cultural Diversity Analysis: This story delivers an important message of social acceptance to young readers. On one page, the author portrays an African American little girl with the text “Hey, look at your skin” and on the next page is a Caucasian boy doing the exact same thing with text saying “The wonderful skin YOU live in.” This quote related to the themes that are presented including are friendship, acceptance, self-esteem, and diversity. There are also children’s activities for all cultures, such as swimming in the ocean, hugging, catching butterflies, and eating birthday cake. The major theme of this book is body positivity, and encouraging the idea that even though we all look different, we are all worthy.

Pink is for Boys

Title – Pink is for Boys

Author(s) – Robb Pearlmann

Illustrator/Photographer – Eda Kaban

Publisher and Year – Running Press Kids, June 5, 2018

Number of pages – 40 pages

Tags/Themes – Rylie Loux, Diversity, Emotion, Friendship, Poetry, K-5

Genre – Fiction

Descriptive Annotation: This story is a story explaining the importance of boys and girls can love the same colors and interests. For each new color, Pearlman shares an example of where to find the color whether that be on sports uniforms, crowns, race cars, or teddy bears. This notion is demonstrated with illustrations of boys and girls in all examples.

Classroom Application: This book can be used in the classroom to set the expectations and standards at the beginning of the year. It is important for students to know that boys and girls can like the same things. This is a standard that a teacher will want to set at the beginning of the year so that students understand and grasp the idea that is being presented in the story and connecting that to their classroom. It is also very important for all students to feel welcome and comfortable in their classroom. This book is multicultural and all inclusive. Using this story to set the tone, can help all students feel welcome.

Linguistic and Cultural Diversity Analysis: This book starts out saying “Pink is for boys. And girls.” This books is an important message for young ones, early on in life, to aid in explaining that girls and boys can love all the colors. This story aims at the importance of acceptance, that colors are for everyone, regardless of gender, race and cultural expectations. This book challenges gender norms and encourage kids to enjoy whatever colors or hobbies that make them happy.  The pictures in this story do the talking. Later on in the story it says, “And all the colors are for EVERYONE. Girls and boys.” This story provides a powerful message that life is not color-coded.

Two Bad Ants

Title – Two Bad Ants

Author(s) – Chris Van Allsburg

Illustrator/Photographer – Chris Van Allsburg

Publisher and Year – HMH Books for Young Readers, October 24, 1988

Number of pages – 32 pages

Tags/Themes – Rylie Loux, Animals, Emotion, K-1, 2-3

Genre – Fiction

Descriptive Annotation: This story is about two ants who endure a dangerous adventure in a human kitchen. When morning comes, the ants are violently awakened by a large scoop lifting them out of the crystal jar and dropping them into a hot brown liquid. They manage to escape and take one last crystal each and leave the strange and frightening place. Dragging their crystals back home, they are glad to be doing the right thing and returning to their family.

Classroom Application: This is a perfect resource for engaging students in a descriptive writing lesson. When Chris Van Allsburg is describing the kitchen he doesn’t tell the readers directly. He uses familiar descriptions for the readers to identify the setting without him actually saying it. This encourages and teaches children to give as many details as possible in their writing so the other students or readers are able to guess where their story is taking place. An example of this in Two Bad Ants is “When the ants climbed out of the holes they were surrounded by a strange red glow. It seemed to them that every second the temperature was rising. It soon became so unbearably hot that they thought they would soon be cooked.” In this excerpt, Allsburg is describing the toaster. Through this story, students are able to capture examples of the skill descriptive writing.

Linguistic and Cultural Diversity Analysis: This book represents the idea of being bad and what the consequences may be. If someone is doing something they shouldn’t be, they may not always get caught. In the story Bad Ants the ants face many obstacles because they are in a place they shouldn’t be. “But as soon as they had climbed inside, their hiding place was lifted, tilted, and lowered into a dark space.” This quote explains that once the ants thought they were in good spot, they were about to be caught. By the end of it all, after they’ve almost been drowned, cooked, and electrocuted, they are ready to head back home. This is showing the readers that sometimes it’s not a good idea to head off on your own or be somewhere you shouldn’t.


Misadventures of Sweetie Pie

Title – Misadventures of Sweetie Pie

Author(s) – Chris Van Allsburg

Illustrator/Photographer – Chris Van Allsburg

Publisher and Year – HMH Books, November 4th, 2014

Number of pages – 32 pages

Tags/Themes – Rylie Loux, Animals, Emotion, Family, K-1, 2-3, 4-5

Genre – Fiction


Descriptive Annotation: This story is about Sweetie Pie, a hamster, that faces many difficult times with different homes and humans. Sweetie Pie was the last of his litter to be chosen from the pet store and he is handed off when he is no longer cute or wanted. Finally he ends up in a classroom, where the students take care of him. But one day, a student leaves him on the playground. The next morning, when the student rushes to look for Sweetie Pie, he is nowhere to be found. None of the children seem to care that Sweetie Pie is gone, because they just move on and get a guinea pig for their classroom. The good news is Sweetie Pie was rescued by squirrels and now has a great life with squirrel friends in a tree. The bad news is that there are no consequences for all the children that just left Sweetie Pie behind.


Classroom Application: This is a perfect resource for engaging students in a lesson involving animals and respect. It is important for students to know how to treat, respect, and care for their animals at a young age. Children also need to know what happens when the neglect to their duties as a pet owner. It also covers emotional connections and how they would feel if they were tossed between parents and not taken care of properly. This can also be used in the classroom to talk about the author’s purpose and point of view. Each author has a purpose behind their story and this book does a good job of expressing that purpose. This can be used in the classroom to teach the definition of author’s purpose and provides a great example. Also this story is shown in the perspective of the hamster and this presents to the children different ways a story can be written.


Linguistic and Cultural Diversity Analysis: This book represents the students emotional connection to animals in the story. “He’s soooo sweet! squealed the pigtailed girl. The hamster had heard these words before.” This quote expresses that since he has heard the same things over and over and had never been treated correctly, the compliment doesn’t even phase Sweetie Pie. This is implying that sometimes when people say the same things without changing, it is hard to still believe them. The other major moral of this story is the understanding of how to treat animals. This story is presented in a way that is relatable for students and also connects to their emotions. “Since it was the only time he was let out of his small cage, he pretended to like it.” This quote relates to the idea that Sweetie Pie doesn’t get treated the right way and is always traveling from house to house in his cage. He is never played with or set free and this is not the way to treat a pet. The author uses Sweetie Pie to help the children understand what his life is like. This story shows students that to have a pet, you must treat it the best you can.


Just A Dream

Title – Just a Dream

Author(s) – Chris Van Allsburg

Illustrator/Photographer – Chris Van Allsburg

Publisher and Year – Houghton Mifflin, 1990

Number of pages – 48 pages

Tags/Themes – Rylie Loux, Adventure, Fiction, 2-3, 4-5, Emotion

Genre – Fiction

Descriptive Annotation:  Walter is a young boy who litters and refuses to sort trash for recycling. One night when he falls asleep, he dreams of a future that is overcrowded and polluted. He is taken on an adventure into his future based on his actions and careless mistakes of his past. When he wakes up from his dream, he changes his attitude towards the environment.

Classroom Application/Linguistic and Cultural Diversity Analysis: This is a perfect resource for engaging students to get to know and understand the importance of our environment. The strong environmental message of the book helps children see how pollution affects their future. “We have met the enemy and he is us.” This is the focus of recycling and the importance of each and every student taking on the role of keeping their environment clean. This can be applied by asking the students how they are helping the environment each day. Throughout the story, Walter has his own opinion, learns from his mistakes, and then is able to correct his wrong doings. Walter is so preoccupied in his past time activities that he pays little attention to what the world has to offer. This is showing students that they are always able to change for the better and that how the choices they make today will affect them in the future. This story also includes a strong sense of independence and personal responsibility. Culture and diversity is applied because everyone comes from different backgrounds and this story is showing students that no matter where they came from, they all play a part in the bigger picture and everyone is accountable for something.

A Ticket Around the World

Title – A Ticket Around the World

Author(s) – Natalia Diaz, Melissa Owens

Illustrator/Photographer – Kim Smith

Publisher and Year – Owlkids, March 17, 2015

Number of pages – 32 pages

Tags/Themes – Rylie Loux, Culture, Diversity, Nonfiction, 2-3, 4-5

Genre – Nonfiction

Descriptive Annotation: This book is about an unnamed boy who visits friends in 13 countries, offering readers a world tour via his first-person narration as he samples foods, views landmarks, and attends cultural events, among other activities. Each country has a small map so that the readers are able to imagine they are traveling too.

Classroom Application and Linguistic and Cultural Diversity Analysis: This is a perfect resource for engaging students to get to know and understand the background and different cultures of the countries. This informational picture book brings engaging nonfiction content to younger readers by showing them how other children just like them live around the world. Students can summarize cultural attributes, like popular food, national animal, official flower and official language all while reading this story. Also students will be able to compare and contrast between the different countries and their own cultural attributes. Many students may not even know about all the different countries, so this is a way to get them involved and learning about cultural differences. “I love to travel. The more places I visit, the more friends I make and the more things I discover.” This can be applied to each students background for students to get to know each other individually.