Sunday, 13 January 2019

A Song for Gwendolyn Brooks: Book Review

Gwendolyn Brooks, a young girl who managed to rise above society's views and become a respected poet. 

Title: A Song for Gwendolyn Brooks
Series: People Who Shaped Our World
Author: Alice Faye Duncan
Illustrator: Xia Gordon
ISBN: 9781454930884          Language: English

Classification: Fiction based on a real person
Themes: adversity, dreams, author

What's it about? 
This is based on the life of Gwendolyn Brooks who won the Pulitzer Prize for her work Annie Allen in 1950. It details through poetry her life from a child, to school, to marriage, and beyond.

Embrace
A book that focuses on a woman of colour showing how despite her very humble beginnings and the setbacks (including being accused of plagarism) she was still able, through hard work and determination, to follow her love of writing and make it into a career. For her time that would have been an extraordinary achievement but the message is still relevant today for any child from a low socio-economic background.

Beware
Needs a level of adult imput to explain the technique of poetry and some of the vocabulary.


My Thoughts
I will say that I'm not big on poetry, in fact I think I only own one poetry book in total, but this book is a bit unique in that it tells Gwendolyn's story through the style in which she wrote.

While this is partly autobiographical and on first glance might look like a picture book I think this book could be put to use with older students. Ones around grade 4 and up that are just starting to look at poetry and the different types that there are. I feel most students would need a bit of guidance with this one.

One thing I really liked about the book was the inclusion of the timeline at the back of Gwendolyn's life. While the content as mentioned is better suited for an older age range if you are focusing on women of history or people of colour then the younger grades, especially grade 2, could focus on the biographical nature of the story and conduct timeline activities based on it. They could then use that knowledge to create their own timeline of their life up until now and perhaps predict their own future - thus creating a solid Text-to-Self connection.

Perfect for person-studies, accomplishments, and poetry-focused lessons.


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Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2019 (1/25/19) is in its 6th year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. Our mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in homes and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents, and educators.

MCBD 2019 is honored to have the following Medallion Sponsors on board


Medallion Level Sponsors

Honorary: Children’s Book Council, The Junior Library Guild, TheConsciousKid.org.

Super Platinum: Make A Way Media

GOLD: Bharat Babies, Candlewick Press, Chickasaw Press, Juan Guerra and The Little Doctor / El doctorcito, KidLitTV,  Lerner Publishing Group, Plum Street Press,

SILVER: Capstone Publishing, Carole P. Roman, Author Charlotte Riggle, Huda Essa, The Pack-n-Go Girls,

BRONZE: Charlesbridge Publishing, Judy Dodge Cummings, Author Gwen Jackson, Kitaab World, Language Lizard – Bilingual & Multicultural Resources in 50+ Languages, Lee & Low Books, Miranda Paul and Baptiste Paul, Redfin, Author Gayle H. Swift,  T.A. Debonis-Monkey King’s Daughter, TimTimTom Books, Lin Thomas, Sleeping Bear Press/Dow Phumiruk, Vivian Kirkfield,

MCBD 2019 is honored to have the following Author Sponsors on board

Honorary: Julie Flett, Mehrdokht AminiAuthor Janet Balletta, Author Kathleen Burkinshaw, Author Josh Funk, Chitra Soundar, One Globe Kids – Friendship Stories, Sociosights Press and Almost a Minyan, Karen Leggett, Author Eugenia Chu, CultureGroove Books, Phelicia Lang and Me On The Page, L.L. Walters, Author Sarah Stevenson, Author Kimberly Gordon Biddle, Hayley Barrett, Sonia Panigrah, Author Carolyn Wilhelm, Alva Sachs and Dancing Dreidels, Author Susan Bernardo, Milind Makwana and A Day in the Life of a Hindu Kid, Tara Williams, Veronica Appleton, Author Crystal Bowe, Dr. Claudia May, Author/Illustrator Aram Kim, Author Sandra L. Richards, Erin Dealey, Author Sanya Whittaker Gragg, Author Elsa Takaoka, Evelyn Sanchez-Toledo, Anita Badhwar, Author Sylvia Liu, Feyi Fay Adventures, Author Ann Morris, Author Jacqueline Jules, CeCe & Roxy Books, Sandra Neil Wallace and Rich Wallace, LEUYEN PHAM, Padma Venkatraman, Patricia Newman and Lightswitch Learning, Shoumi Sen, Valerie Williams-Sanchez and Valorena Publishing, Traci Sorell, Shereen Rahming, Blythe Stanfel, Christina Matula, Julie Rubini, Paula Chase, Erin Twamley, Afsaneh Moradian, Claudia SchwamLori DeMonia, Terri Birnbaum/ RealGirls Revolution, Soulful Sydney, Queen Girls Publications, LLC

We’d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team who not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also works tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE.

Co-Hosts and Global Co-Hosts

A Crafty Arab, Agatha Rodi Books, All Done Monkey, Barefoot Mommy, Biracial Bookworms, Books My Kids Read, Crafty Moms Share, Colours of Us, Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes, Descendant of Poseidon Reads, Educators Spin on it,  Growing Book by Book, Here Wee Read, Joy Sun Bear/ Shearin Lee, Jump Into a Book, Imagination Soup, Miss Jenny's Classroom, Kid World Citizen, Kristi’s Book Nook, The Logonauts, Mama Smiles, Miss Panda Chinese, Multicultural Kid Blogs, Raising Race Conscious Children, Shoumi Sen, Spanish Playground

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FREE RESOURCES From MCBD

Free Multicultural Books for Teachers: https://wp.me/P5tVud-1H

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