1 January 2012, Abrams Books for Young Readers
This well illustrated and researched book (published in association with The Library of Congress)is a fantastic overview of the changes in African American rights from the 1800s up through Brown vs. Board of Education. It is especially interesting to find out that before the Civil War, African Americans were making some group in integrating into society, but after this time period their freedoms were greatly curtailed. Separate by Equal is discussed at length, as is the topic of African Americans fighting during the wars. The accompanying photographs, and copies of documents and other ephemera are especially interesting. This would be great to read aloud during Black History Month.
Holm, Jennifer and Castaldi, Elicia. Eighth Grade is Making Me Sick.
7 August 2012, Random House
I read this, I understood it, and it's hard to write a review. This and the first book in the series, Middle School is Worse than Meatloaf, are great fun.There is a plot to this-- Ginny's mother has remarried and is pregnant, the family has moved into a big new home, but then the step father loses his job, Ginny's brother is born prematurely, and all of the changes stress Ginny out so much that she doesn't eat and becomes ill. I was never a fan of wordless picture books, and these have a similar effect, although there are words in the memos, cartoons, etc. It's still a very impressionistic way to get a story. By big beef-- Ginny's brother is named Ballou. Ballou is not a good name for a child. But don't Google it! The Disney bear is spelled Baloo, and the other spellings is apparently for a gentleman who models... somewhat scanty things. Oops.