Wednesday, November 23, 2005

book cover
Forbidden Schoolhouse: The True and Dramatic Story of Prudence Crandall and Her Students by Suzanne Jurmain
In 1831, Prudence Crandall opened the Canterbury Female Boarding School which quickly became very popular with wealthy and important local families. Unlike many educators of women, Prudence felt girls should have a real education and the courses taught included reading, writing, math, geography, history, philiosophy, chemistry, astronomy and French. The girls were happy, the school was busy, until Prudence made an unpopular decision.

On one September day in 1832, Sarah Harris, an African American, asked Miss Crandall if she could attend her school so she could "get a little more learning, teach colored children." Prudence knew if she admitted Sarah, the parents of the white students would be angry. But, she could see no reason to deny an education to a young woman because of her skin color.

In January 1833, Sarah Harris took her seat at the Canterbury Female Boarding School and Prudence Crandall's troubles began. This is the story of a time not so long ago when getting an education if you were female was difficult and almost impossible if you were African American.

Recommended for grades 5 and up. A great family read-aloud.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Sketches from a Spy Tree by Tracie Vaughn Zimmer

A touching story told through the poems and sketches of Anne Marie, a twin, who is adjusting to several changes that are occurring in her life. The poems link together her feelings about her family, her neighbors and friends, and the fresh perspective on it all from her "built-in / born-in / look-alike / best friend", Mary Anne.
L. Frank Baum's The Wizard of Oz: The Graphic Novel adapted by Michael Cavallaro

Dorothy and the gang go 21st century in this graphic retelling. Have fun reliving the adventure. You can find this on the paperback rack along with Anna Sewell's Black Beauty: The Graphic Novel. Reccommended for grade 3 and above.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Sammy Keyes and the Dead Giveaway by Wendelin Van Draanen
No good deed ever goes unpunished, Sammy discovers as she walks an elderly friend's dog straight into another mystery. Someone is trying to force the older woman and her neighbor out of their homes so a new rec center can be built. Even though Sammy's all for upgraded sports facilities, she can't stand silent when the methods used are underhanded. It turns out to be a little harder to speak up, however, when she accidentally kills her teacher's pet bird and her arch-enemy sets herself up to take the blame! Will Sammy still do the right thing when it's her own neck on the line? Recommended for grades 6 and up.