Readers of all ages will be fully engaged in reading this creative, relatable story about learning and living in everyday life!
not just your eyes. Colors also seen through Gérard DuBois’s illustrations play a large role in the story because his drawings enable the reader to feel emotion through his color choices. Whether his detailed drawings and paintings are black and white, include some red, or are in full color, they allow the reader to feel what the characters are feeling, symbolizing how Dorothea captured the feelings of the Great Depression through the faces in her photographs. Rosenstock leaves her readers at the end with more of Dorothea’s photographs, a timeline of her life, and an important last line: “Dorothea’s eyes help us see with our hearts.”
Flying Lessons & Other Stories Oh, Ellen. (Ed.). (2017). 218 pp. Crown. 978-1-101-93459-3. $16.99 (Intermediate/ Young Adult). —by Hanna Gibson “That is what this book is all about—ten diverse stories from ten great authors. For all of us” (p. xii). The authors range from Kwame Alexander, Jacqueline Woodson, Tim Federle, and Meg Medina, all the way to Walter Dean Myers. The
Reading Matters Literature Matters
Jonda C. McNair, a former primary-grade teacher, is a professor of literacy education at Clemson University.
book is edited by Ellen Oh, the cofounder of We Need Diverse Books. Kelly J. Baptist shares a story that touches on the challenges of growing up lower class in a discussion about being tired of eating the same thing every day. A story by Matt de la Peña focuses on his challenges in trying to play basketball while being told that he is too skinny and too Mexican. The stories are all very different but reiterate the shared community found in life despite differences. It is important for students of all backgrounds to read stories from diverse authors to become aware of the experiences of others. The Foreword features a story from Oh about finding a stray kitten on the street named George, only to realize on the way home that she is allergic to cats. The stories are much like sitting at a table with friends sharing stories about things that have happened. All of the stories shared by these authors are meant to build a community within authors and readers.
Dorothea’s Eyes Rosenstock, Barb. (2016). Illus. by Gérard DuBois. Unpaged. Calkins Creek. 978-1-629- 79208-8. $16.95 (Primary/Intermediate). —by Ellie Corbin Do you ever wonder about the eyes behind the lens of the famous photo “Migrant Mother”? Barb Rosenstock’s book tells the story of the photographer, Dorothea Lange. Historically, people recognize
her famous photograph of the migrant mother but do not know much about the photographer behind the lens. Rosenstock opens the minds of readers by having them look through the eyes of Dorothea. In this picturebook biography, readers get to learn the background of Lange and how her love for photography began despite a childhood struck with polio, which made her feel inadequate. Throughout the text, Rosenstock emphasizes that Dorothea photographed the invisible, overlooked, and forgotten people. “She used her photographs to tell the stories of the people the world ignored—the homeless, the jobless, the poor.” She believed she could tell people’s stories through simple photos of their faces. She knew that photos capture the true story behind someone’s eyes, greater than any written words could. Rosenstock uses the color red throughout the text to emphasize important themes of the text, such as seeing with your heart