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Sunday, August 15, 2010

BUSING BREWSTER- Richard Michelson

Earlier this week, I got together with one of my all time favorite literacy all stars (and one of my most bestest friends), Laura Benson. We had a lovely dinner and then wandered next door to Tattered Cover. We ended up in the Children's Department, where we found a whole crop of terrific new literacy-related picture books that would be just perfect for the first day of school. I'll be blogging about a few over the next few days…

BUSING BREWSTER is a terrific picture book for both little and big kids.Brewster is entering first grade. All summer he envisions himself attending first grade with Miss Evelyn ("you'll read over my dead body!". Late that summer, however, his mama informs him he will, instead, be bused to Central, whose student population is mostly Anglo. Mama is excited because the new school has both a pool and a library…

The first day, Brewster and Bryan are met at the bus by a crowd of jeering sign waving, stick throwing adults. Later that day, after another incident, they end up in a kind of in-school suspension in the library with another child, who Bryan calls Freckle-Face. A kind librarian (who should probably be on Mary Lee and Franki's list of cool teachers) brings the boys together around books. R.G. Roth's geometric illustrations, done in shades of brown, gold, orange, and black, are absolutely perfect.

A great "Did that really happen?" kind of book. I know this book would evoke tremendous conversations not only about integration, but also about respect, friendship, and how we treat each other. I can envision myself using it with books like SISTER ANNE'S HANDS, THE OTHER SIDE, and SIT-IN. Can't wait to share this one with kids on Thursday!

4 comments:

Patrick A. Allen said...

Is there anything better than book shopping with a friend? I've been known to wrestle over a good find...

There is such power in a great picture book! Thanks for sharing and I hope you and Laura had a lovely time.

I have two gift certificates to TC. I may just have to take a trip next weekend.

Mary Lee said...

Does the librarian have a name? Let me know -- I'll add her to the list!

Laura Benson said...

Right back at 'ya, Soul Sister! Here's to more time together xoxo

Carol said...

The librarian's name is Miss O'Grady. She sees Brewster looking at a book about space and says that maybe he will be an astronaut. He tells her that his mama hopes he will be president. She responds, "Well then you will be going from here to Harvard. So we better begin by teaching you how to read."