Picture Book Review: The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors

Every six months or so I find a book to share with my students in every grade level, from the littlest kindergarteners to the biggest fifth graders.  It has to be a funny book with compelling characters, each with a unique voice.  A few months ago I came across The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors…

Kwame Alexander: The Voice of a Generation

My first encounter with Kwame Alexander was through his book Crossover.  When a title wins several awards including the Coretta Scott King Award and the Newberry Award I felt the need to pay attention.  I expected to find a novel about teenage angst set in a high school whose identity fit within the lined border of…

Little Boy Lost: Jonathan’s Adoption Story

Jon never figured into our plans to become a family.  In reality, he never seemed to fit into anyone’s plans.  When the social worker first discussed Phillip and Carl with us, she told us there were four brothers.  One was about to turn four and the other was two.  The two year old lived with…

The Slow Cruelty of Dementia

Fat, wet snow flakes plopped from the clouds to cover the the green leaves of the shrubs that flanked the front door.  All you could see was the red berries whose vibrant colors would not be hidden so easily under the soft white blanket.  It was freezing outside but I didn’t feel it.  I sat…

Graphic Novel Review: Kingdom Come by Mark Waid and Alex Ross

Superheroes are ubiquitous in our world.  Walk down the toy aisle of Target or Walmart and you’ll see a cornucopia of meta-human action figures and baubles of every imaginable type.  Disney’s purchase of the Marvel catalog of characters and its release of the Marvel Cinematic Universe reestablished the comic book world for a new generation…

Beyond the Book: The Life and Lies of Laura Ingalls Wilder

My family’s love affair with Laura Ingalls Wilder runs deep.  Not only did my mother read the series as a school girl in the 1950s, she also read them to me in the mid 1970s.  The production of the Little House on the Prairie television series sent us into a frizzy.  Shoot, I was even…

The Book that Saved my Life

I’ve always been a rule follower.  Even as a kid I never got into trouble.  I would sit in my playroom with my denim record player listening to books on 33 1/3 records and follow along with the floppy paperbacks until they nearly fell apart.  Other times I wrapped construction paper around empty cereal and cracker…