Wednesday, August 10, 2005

It is a lot more fun to teach to a group of students than to a video camera! I just finished video-taping a session on how to do booktalks for my graduate YA Literature class at UHCL. I usually fly to Houston and present it face-to-face but the class is totally online now so I thought an informal video of me doing booktalks would help. Talk about informal - the cat walked past me during part of it and there's her tail in the video. :-) Oh well - I said it was informal and I did it in shorts and a t-shirt. At one point you can hear birds twittering outside on the porch. I will actually show them the view from our porch in my introduction video. :-)

Have been putting books away since Steve got another bookshelf put up for me in the livingroom and while I was unboxing books I found my copy of A Wreath for Emmett Till by Marilyn Nelson. I was aware of the lynching and of Chris Crowe's two books about Emmitt Till, Mississippi Trial, 1955 and Getting Away With Murder: The True Story of the Emmitt Till Case, but the power of Nelson's sonnet brought me to tears. I read it out loud and felt the hair raise on my arms and the tears come to my eyes. I plan on sharing this with the HS English teacher both for the beauty and power of the poetry and for the subject matter. What an intense book.

We had a wonderful time at Dockside bookstore yesterday buying books for the Montessori Library. As we were picking out books the discussion came up about why there aren't more children's and YA novels with black characters that are not issue driven, that are just stories about kids with no discussion of their color or ethnicity. We were only able to find a couple of these types of stories for the 8-12 age group, but I immediately thought of Freeman's Corduroy, with the little black girl and The Snowy Day and other books by Ezra Jack Keats. I think the stories have been available for quite some time, but more so in the picture book format. We had a great time picking out the books - much more fun than I'll have getting them ready for the shelves! There is nothing like putting four women who love books in a bookstore having a 25% off sale and telling them to buy books for the library! I love our PTA!! :-)

I'm going put some more books out and see what else I find.