Review: Educating All God’s Children

“Most disturbing, Anthony regarded society’s low expectations of him as the reason why his school didn’t have the necessary supplies.” page 12

Educating All God’s Children: What Christians Can – and Should – Do to Improve Public Education for Low-Income Kids by Nicole Baker Fulgham.
BrazosPress, Baker Publishing Group, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2013.
Persuasive non-fiction, 235 pages including notes.

Fulgham wrote this book for the sixteen million children growing up in poverty in the United States of America and receiving a drastically different education than their upper and middle-class counterparts.  This book is fairly unique to America, because US education is uniquely flawed.

Educating All Gods Children

The first time I read this book was as a young educator ready to change the world.  This time, I read it having parented, including having parented children in highly segregated schools.

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Review: Clara Lee and the Apple Pie Dream

“When I woke up that morning and saw the red and gold leaves swirling around my backyard, I just knew it was gonna be my kind of day.” page 1

Clara Lee and the Apple Pie Dream by Jenny Han, illustrated by Julia Kuo.
Little Brown and Co., Hachette Book Group, New York, 2011.
Realistic fiction, 149 pages plus discussion guide.
Lexile:  600L  .
AR Level:  3.8 (worth 2.0 points)  .
NOTE: This is a work of fiction although I’m not reviewing it on Fiction Friday.

Korean-American third-grader Clara Lee has one big dream – to be Little Miss Apple Pie in her town’s annual Apple Blossom Festival.  To make it she’ll need a lot of luck!  But she’s also having bad dreams at night – maybe Grandpa can help.

Clara Lee and the Apple Pie Dream resized

There are two covers for this book.  I have the version with the red background, which gives the impression that this book is intended for older middle-grade students.  The main character is in third grade and while a somewhat older student could certainly read and enjoy it, this is an elementary school novel aimed at the 2nd to 5th grade chapter book market.

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Review: A Child Shall Lead Them

A unique perspective on youth involvement in the civil rights movement, particularly in relation to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

A Child Shall Lead Them: Martin Luther King Jr., Young People, and the Movement by Rufus Burrow Jr.
Fortress Press, Minneapolis, 2014.
Academic non-fiction, 331 pages (including index).

In six chapters, this accessible academic work conveys the history of youth involvement in the Civil Rights Movement, with a special focus on youth interactions with Martin Luther King, Jr.

a-child-shall-lead-them
A Child Shall Lead Them: Martin Luther King Jr., Young People and the Movement by Rufus Burrow Jr.

As soon as I saw this at the library, I had to check it out.  Children, MLK, and the Civil Rights movement?  All favorite reading topics for me.  But when it came to writing this review, I dithered.  For weeks months I have been thinking about this book, rereading sections, and trying to decide if I’ll write about it here.  I’m simply not knowledgeable enough in this field to assess the author’s arguments and write what I would think of as a proper review.  In the end, I am reviewing it as an interested layperson, since that’s how I read this book.

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Review: Courage to Soar

“Adam was the one who’d suggested Bannon’s Gymnastix for the field trip. It was just down the street from the day care, and he knew that his little sisters would enjoy it…” p. 44

Courage to Soar: A Body in Motion, A Life in Balance by Simone Biles, with Michelle Burford.
Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2016.
Young adult biography/autobiography, 250 pages.
Not yet leveled.

This is the story of Simone Biles, a gymnast who came to national and international attention as the first female gymnast ever to win three consecutive all-around titles, and then again as she took the Olympics by storm in Rio this year.

courage-to-soar
Courage to Soar: A Body in Motion, a Life in Balance by Simone Biles with Michelle Burford.

This book is co-authored by Michelle Burford, a founding editor of O magazine who has assisted several public figures with their biographies, including Gabby Douglas.

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