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October Book Talk

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Title: October Book Talk


1
Mrs. Mahoney's
October Book Talk
2
Why Courage Matters
By John McCain
3
Summary
  • Senator McCain approaches the investigation of
    courage from a position of unease at how diluted
    a commodity it has become in our society, and at
    how shallowly the label is applied. In offering
    anecdotes of individuals whose actions embody the
    rarity of true courage, his well-drawn examples
    range from Navajo leaders to Colorado River
    explorers to Jewish freedom fighter Hannah
    Seneshand Burmese dissident and Nobel Peace
    Prize-recipient Aung San Suu Kyi. He coaches
    readers to believe that one can use "fear as
    the opportunity for courage," and, by tackling
    modest daily challenges, increase the probability
    of summoning deeper reserves when needed. The
    book is not a primer but is, rather, a
    declaration of why striving for courage is
    fundamentally important as an attribute of
    character.

4
Barack Obama
The Politics of Hope
5
Summary
  • Part of the "Shapers of America" series, Barack
    Obama The Politics of Hope is a remarkably
    extensive biography for young adults about the
    charismatic African-American state senator from
    Illinois who has become one of the Democratic
    Party's most prominent figures. Tracing the
    journey of his life from Hawaii and Indonesia to
    Harvard Law School, Chicago's South Side, and the
    halls of Congress, Barack Obama is illustrated
    throughout with black-and-white as well as color
    photography. Chapter notes and an index round out
    this highly accessible resource.

6
Feathers
Author Jaqueline Woodson
7
Summary
  • Narrator Frannie is fascinated with Emily
    Dickinson's poem, "Hope is the thing with
    feathers/ that perches in the soul," and grapples
    with its meaning, especially after a white
    student joins Frannie's all-black sixth-grade
    classroom. Trevor, the classroom bully, promptly
    nicknames him "Jesus Boy," because he is "pale
    and his hair is long." Frannie's best friend,
    Samantha, a preacher's daughter, starts to
    believe that the new boy truly could be Jesus
    ("If there was a world for Jesus to need to walk
    back into, wouldn't this one be it?"). The Jesus
    Boy's sense of calm and its effect on her
    classmates make Frannie wonder if there is some
    truth to Samantha'a musings, but a climactic
    faceoff between him and Trevor bring the
    newcomer's human flaws to light. Frannie's keen
    perceptions allow readers to observe a ripple of
    changes. Because she has experienced so much
    sadness in her life (her brother's deafness, her
    mother's miscarriages) the heroine is able to see
    beyond it allto look forward to a time when the
    pain subsides and life continues. Set in 1971,
    Woodson's novel skillfully weaves in the music
    and events surrounding the rising opposition to
    the Vietnam War, giving this gentle, timeless
    story depth. She raises important questions about
    God, racial segregation and issues surrounding
    the hearing-impaired with a light and thoughtful
    touch. Ages 8-up.

8
Miss Crandall's School
For Young Ladies Little misses of Color
9
Summary
  • Grade 7 UpTwenty-four sonnets tell the story of
    Prudence Crandall and her efforts to educate
    young African-American women in Canterbury, CT,
    1833-1834. The school began as a boarding school
    for white girls when two black women inquired
    about taking classes and Crandall agreed, the
    townspeople withdrew their daughters. As she
    accepted more black students, the town became
    more vocal in its resistance, poisoning the
    school water supply, refusing to sell it
    supplies, and charging Miss Crandall and others
    with a variety of "crimes." The sonnet format is
    challenging but compelling. Each poem addresses
    an individual aspect of the story therefore, the
    tone and cadence change depending upon the person
    speaking or the event being depicted. . Lucinda
    Snyder Whitehurst, St. Christopher's School,
    Richmond, VA

10
Chew on this
Everything you dont want to know about fast food
Author Eric Schlosser
11
Summary
  • The authors dish up a somewhat-less-stomach-churni
    ng look at the fast-food industry's growth,
    practices, and effects on public health. They
    trace the hamburger's early years and the
    evolution of the McDonald's Corporation's
    revolutionary Speedee Service System. They follow
    with vivid tours through feedlots, abattoirs, and
    a chicken-processing plant to explore how fast
    food has achieved spectacular international
    success, particularly among an increasingly obese
    youth market, then round off with glimpses of
    Alice Waters' Edible Schoolyard initiative and
    other alternatives less likely to lead to gastric
    bypass surgery. Readers may not lose their
    appetites for McFood from this compelling study,
    but they will definitely come away less eager to
    get a McJob and more aware of the diet's
    attendant McMedical problems

12
Good Masters! Sweet Ladies!
Author Laura Amy Schlitz
13
Summary
  • From Publishers WeeklyStarred Review. Schlitz
    wrote these 22 brief monologues to be performed
    by students at the school where she is a
    librarian here, bolstered by lively asides and
    unobtrusive notes, and illuminated by Byrd's
    stunningly atmospheric watercolors, they bring to
    life a prototypical English village in 1255.
    Adopting both prose and verse, the speakers, all
    young, range from the half-wit to the lord's
    daughter, who explains her privileged status as
    the will of God. The doctor's son shows off his
    skills ("Ordinary sores/ Will heal with comfrey,
    or the white of an egg,/ An eel skin takes the
    cramping from a leg") a runaway villein (whose
    life belongs to the lord of his manor) hopes for
    freedom after a year and a day in the village, if
    only he can calculate the passage of time an
    eel-catcher describes her rough infancy her
    "starving poor father took me up to drown in a
    bucket of water." (He relents at the sight of her
    "wee fingers" grasping at the sides of the
    bucket.) Ages 10-up.

14
Hiroshima Dreams
Author Kelly Easton
15
Summary
  • Lin cant explain the knowledge she has of the
    future, of what people will say or what will
    happen. Its a gift she shares with Obaasan, her
    grandmother, who has recently come from Japan to
    live with Lins family. But seeing the future is
    more than knowing whether or not a boy will call.
    What is Lin to make of the visions she has of a
    day long ago, when the atomic bomb was dropped on
    Hiroshima?
  • Acclaimed author Kelly Eastons poignant
    coming-of-age novel about a girl with psychic
    abilities is rich in imagery and memorable
    characters

16
Keeping Corner
Author Kashmira Sheth
17
Summary
  • Ba slipped the gold bangles from my wrists. The
    gold ones were plain so I didn't mind taking them
    off, but I loved wearing my milk-glass bangles
    and the lakkh bracelets. "A widow can't wear
    bangles," she said. "They are signs of a woman's
    good fortune. When your husband dies it's over."
    "What if my good fortune comes back?" "It
    doesn't." Pretty as a peacock, twelve-year-old
    Leela had been spoiled all her life. She doesn't
    care for school and barely marks the growing
    unrest between the British colonists and her own
    countrymen. Why should she? Her future has been
    planned since her engagement at two and marriage
    at nine. Leela's whole life changes, though, when
    her husband dies. She's now expected to behave
    like a proper widow shaving her head and trading
    her jewel-toned saris for rough, earth-colored
    ones. Leela is considered unlucky now, and will
    have to stay confined to her house for a
    year--keep corner--in preparation for a life of
    mourning for a boy she barely knew.

18
The End
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