Bunting, E. (1990). The Wall. New York, NY: Houghton Mifflin
This story was about a young boy and his father visiting the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington. They go to find the boys grandfathers name who was killed during the war.
Readers who like to read about the Vietnam War; Readers who are interested in the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
Rate:5; I really enjoyed this book, it showed the connection between the father and son well. It also paid tribute to the Veterans who lost their lives.
Question: What do you know about the Vietnam war?
Reading strategy: KWL chart
Before reading the book the teacher would form a KWL chart and ask the students what they know about the Vietnam War and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall in washington , then what they want to know about it. After reading the story the teacher would ask what they learned from the book about the two.
The KWL chart helps students really think of the background knowledge they have on topics and then be able to add on what they learn after lesson.
Bibliographic: Bemelmans, L. (1967). Madeline (New Viking ed.). New York: Viking Press.
Short annotation: This is the story of a little girl named Madeline who lived in a convent with other little girls, and how she ended up in the hospital having her appendix removed.
The genre: Historic Fiction, Picture book
Grade level: Preschool to Second grade
Readers who like this book: Children, Parents and Education
Personal response and rating: I would give this book a 5; I loved that at the end of the story all the other little girls wanted to have their appendix removed, just like Madeline.
Question: Have you very need to have surgery?
Bibliographic Information: Witteman, B. (2002). Sacagawea. Minnesota: Bridgestone Books.
Annotation: This book focuses on the life Sacagawea lived. It is very detailed on her journeys and the legacy Sacagawea left behind.
Genre: Historical Fiction
Grade level: 2nd – 3rd Grade
Readers who will like this book: Readers who are looking for more information and pictures on Sacagawea will enjoy this book.
Personal response/rating: I rate this book a 5, because it is well organized and provides important facts about Sacagawea. I also like how pictures are on every page to help the reader make a connection with the content.
Question I would ask before the reading: Have you ever heard of Sacagawea before?
For this book I would use the Quilts (Tompkins, p. 103) reading strategy. Each student would be asked to complete a square to add to our class quilt. Our class quilt will be representing Sacagawea. The squares will include background information on Sacagawea, her journeys, and the legacy she left behind. This reading strategy is necessary for this book because students will analyze how visual elements contribute to meaning and students will integrate information presented in formats to understand the importance of Sacagawea.
Title: A Picturebook of Ann Frank
Bibliography: Adler, David. (1993). A Picturebook of Ann Frank. New York: Holiday House.
Short Annotation: A biography of Anne Frank with also a bit of general history about the Holocaust.
Genre: Historical Fiction
Grade Level: 1-4
Readers who will like this book: Children who are interested in world history, children who wants to know about WWII events
Personal response and rating: I thought the book was very well done, considering the touchy topic. I think it would be great to have in the classroom. Rating: 4
Question: Does anyone know who Ann Frank is?
Bibliographic Information: Glaser, I. (2005). Lewis and Clark. Mankato Minnesota: Capstone press.
Short Annotation: Lewis and Clark changed how the U.S. is today. They made a very long journey to explore the west and to the find the North West passage.
Genre: Biography and Memoir.
Grade Level: Kindergarten through the third grade.
Audience: Students would enjoy this book. This book is a great resource for teachers to use in their classrooms.
Personal response and rating: I give this book a rating of eight. I liked how they described their journey with the most important details that a young reader should know.
Question: Have you heard of Lewis and Clark before?
Polacco, P. (1994). Pink and Say. New York: Philomel Books.
Sheldon Russell Curtis(Say) was injured during a battle and was helped by Pinkus Aylee (Pink). Pink takes say to his mother’s house where Say is nursed back to health and the two boys become quick friends.
Genre: Picturebook, Historical Fiction
Grades: 3rd-6th, though anyone older than that I would still recommend this book
Audience: Parents, Teachers, Students
I would give this book a five. Along with Patricia Polacco’s beautiful artistry paired with this emotional true(ish) story about two boys during the civil war make this book an interesting read.
From the illustration on the cover, what do you predict this book is about?
Title: Flying Free: Corey’s Underground Railroad Diary
Bibliographic information: Wyeth, Sharon D. (2002). Flying Free: Corey’s Underground Railroad Diary. New York: Scholastic Inc.
Brief annotation: This book is a diary of a young boy who escaped slavery with his parents and little sister. It is about his family making a life for themselves after successfully reaching Canada through the Underground Railroad. It is the second book in Corey’s series.
Genre: Historical Fiction
Grade Level: 2nd – 5th
Readers who will like this: Children who really like history will like these books because they give a child’s point of view on historical events. These books would also be good for classes that are learning about historical topics.
Rating: 4 – I really enjoyed this book and I think that they would be great books to have in a classroom for children to read.
Question: What do you know about slavery? Was it hard to escape? What is the Underground Railroad?
Reading Strategies: A double-entry journal would be a good strategy for this book because it is structured as a diary. Students can choose an entry or a quote that stood out to them and write an entry of their own that reflects the one in the book.
Moss, M. (1999). Emma’s journal: The story of a colonial girl. New York, NY: Harcourt Brace & Company.
Emma’s Journal provides an extremely informational, educational, but fictionalized account of a ten-year-olds life during America’s struggle for freedom from Britain.
Genre: Historical fiction
Readers who will like this book: Children who enjoy reading journals, children who keep journals/diaries of their own, children who enjoy learning about American history.
Response and rating: 4; Overall, I thought that this book did a fantastic job of providing young readers with educational information about a slice of American history. The supporting information included through illustration and marginal notes not only added an interesting and eye-catching element to the book, but this detail aided me in better understanding the material presented in the main text. I think that young readers, especially young girls, would have an easy time relating to Emma’s life due to the careful formatting of this book.
Question: How and from whom did the U.S. gain its independence? What was colonial life like for children in the U.S?
Bibliographic Information: Moss, M. (1999). Emma’s journal: The story of a colonial girl. New York: Harcourt Brace & Company.
Brief Annotation: This book tells of the unrest and violence leading up to the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the beginning of the Revolutionary War through the fictional diary of Emma, a girl living in Boston with her aunt.
Genre: Historical fiction
Grade Level: 3-6
Readers who will like this: Readers who like stories about the American Revolution; readers who enjoy historical fiction; readers who like stories about intrigue.
Rating/Response: 4; The format for this book, part of the “Young American Voices” series, provides a range of historical information in a way that is accessible to 3rd-6th grade readers. Along with the words, there are labeled illustrations of items that the reader may not be familiar with throughout the book, from 18th century clothing to seeds. There are also drawings that briefly illustrate scenes from the book. All of the illustrations are presented as though they were drawn by the narrator as an expansion to her diary. The two central conflicts in the book are a nice balance between relatable and exciting, as Emma struggles to get along with her aunt’s boarder, Thankful, and briefly becomes a spy for the Sons of Liberty. This is a long book that is more suited to independent reading than to reading aloud, but it is an excellent way to get children to engage with history.
One question you would ask before a read aloud: What do you know about the beginning of our country? How do you think it felt to be alive during that time for someone your age?
1. The Great Migration: Journey to the North
2. Greenfield, Eloise & Spivey Gilchrist, Jan (2011). The Great Migration: Journey to the North. New York: HarperCollins, Amistad.
3. Annotation: This book is about the families moving North for the Great Migration. All different perspectives are represented and accounted for, such as children’s, mother, and father.
4. Historical Fiction, Poetry
5. Grades 2-4
6. Readers who like poetry, history, and reading different perspectives of the same event will like this.
7. Rating/Response: 3; This book was very good, the little bit of personal experience that was in there made it very well written.
8. Question: Has your family ever moved? Was that hard for you and your family members?