Lasting Connections of 2013
Each January in Book Links, we publish a partner list to Booklist's Books for Youth Editors' Choice selections. "Lasting Connections" highlights our top 30 choices for the K–8 classroom, all published in the previous year and all selected for their natural connections across the curriculum and to the Common Core State Standards. This year, we're offering readers a sneak peek at the list in this special edition of Quick Tips. Scroll down for your advance look at "Lasting Connections" of 2013! Also in this special issue, we're honoring President John F. Kennedy on the anniversary of his assassination, and who better to consult than our in-house Kennedy expert, Books for Youth Senior Editor Ilene Cooper, who speaks below about a new edition of her award-winning title Jack: The Early Years. As always, we welcome your suggestions. Did we omit one of your own favorite "Lasting Connections" titles from the previous year? Send us your own lists of 2013 classroom winners, and we'll post the results in an upcoming Quick Tips feature.
Gillian Engberg, Editor
By Gillian Engberg
Book Links magazine's choices for the top classroom picks for 2013!
Brush of the Gods. By Lenore Look. Illus. by Meilo So. 2013. 40p. Random/Schwartz & Wade, $17.99 (9780375870019). K–Gr. 3.
With swirling brushstrokes and lyrical words, this vibrant picture book offers a "reimagined life" of Wu Daozi, a painter in late seventh-century China. While learning calligraphy, young Daozi begins to create spectacular images with the swoop of his brush. Eventually, he begins to paint on walls, and his fanciful images shimmer with such intensity that they seem to spring alive—and even vacate the surfaces on which they were created. Naysayers are finally outnumbered by fans, who accept the magic behind Daozi's art, and the emperor commissions him to create a splendid mural for the palace wall. So's watercolors dance across the spreads of this captivating story, which will find a place across the curriculum.
Fairy Tale Comics: Classic Tales Told by Extraordinary Cartoonists. Ed. by Chris Duffy. 2013. 128p. illus. First Second, $19.99 (9781596438231). 741.5. PreS–Gr. 2.
As in Nursery Rhyme Comics (2011), this winning compilation features offerings from some of the most celebrated comics artists, who reinterpret classic texts to thought-provoking and hilarious effect. Readers will recognize many familiar tales, from "Snow White" to "Goldilocks" to "Hansel and Gretel," along with some more obscure selections, and a small note indicates each story's source. Standouts include Emily Carroll's wondrously textured "12 Dancing Princesses" and Luke Pearson's eerie "The Boy Who Drew Cats." Filled with humor, wonder, and a well-tuned interplay between words and images, this title will find wide appeal as both a classroom supplement and a personal reading choice.
Follow Follow: A Book of Reverso Poems. By Marilyn Singer. Illus. by Josee Masse. 2013. 32p. Dial, $16.99 (9780803737693). 811. Gr. 2–5.
This lively companion to Mirror Mirror (2010) offers another fairy-tale- and fable-themed collection of free-verse poems, each paired with its "reverso," or the same poem in reverse—a form that Singer invented. The flipped lines offer fresh, intriguing views of the classic tales that inspire each selection. In some cases, the reversed poems even create varying perspectives from different characters, as in "Ready, Steady, Go!," which presents both the tortoise's and the hare's points of view. Beautifully rendered, richly hued illustrations artfully transition between each of the flipped scenarios and interweave fantastical details. Teachers and students alike will delight in this natural read-aloud choice, which may well inspire kids to try "reversos" of their own.
Ghost Hawk. By Susan Cooper. 2013. 336p. Simon & Schuster/Margaret K. McElderry, $16.99 (9781442481411). Gr. 6–10.
After spending three months alone as part of a coming-of-age ritual in his Pokanoket tribe, young Little Hawk returns to find his village decimated by disease. He finds a home in another community, where he encounters English settlers, including 10-year-old John Wakeley. The lives of the two boys become irreparably linked in this powerful, mysterious story—part thrilling wilderness survival, part piercing historical fiction— that asks essential questions about bigotry, religious tolerance, and America's founding values.
|Books by Booklist Authors
Ilene Cooper, Books for Youth senior editor and resident
Kennedyphile, talks about JFK's childhood and the
challenge and craft of writing notable nonfiction.
In 2003, Booklist Books for Youth Senior Editor Ilene Cooper's Jack: The Early Years of John F. Kennedy was published by Penguin's Dutton imprint to critical acclaim. In fact, it was included on the independent booksellers' list of top JFK books of all time (adult and youth). This year, as the fiftieth anniversary of the Kennedy assassination approaches, Puffin is publishing a new paperback edition of Jack to appeal to a new generation of readers. Below, Ilene talks about the return of Jack.
BKL: Why did you decide to cover only this time period?
Cooper: Well, having been something of a Kennedyphile from the time I was a kid, I knew there was an interesting story there. Jack was a sickly boy in a healthy family. His illnesses gave him time to become a reader and the space to be an observer, rather than just a participant in the family dynamics. I wanted to tell the fascinating story of mischievous Jack and his contentious relationship with his older brother, Joe, the family's golden boy. This relationship, and his father's influence, defined Jack's early life.
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In This Issue:
From the Editor
Lasting Connections: 2013
Books by Booklist Authors
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