Some Writer!

Some Fridays, I share middle grade titles. Others, I share picture books. Today, I offer a special combo – a middle grade biography filled with pictures. Check it out! Title: Some Writer! The Story of E.B.White Written and Illustrated by: Melissa Sweet Hougton Miflin Harcourt, biography 2016, 176 pp. Suitable for ages: 7-10 Lexile: 1030 … More Some Writer!

Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras

An incredibly interesting and engaging book… Title: Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras Written and illustrated by: Duncan Tonatiuh Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2015, biography, 40 pages Suitable for ages: 6-10 (and older) Themes/topics: art, Mexico, Day of the Dead Opening: Skeletons riding bicycles…skeletons wearing fancy hats…skeletons dancing and strumming … More Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras

It Jes’ Happened and more from Don Tate

Today’s Perfect Picture Book Friday post features a man of seemingly endless talents, author /illustrator Don Tate. Looking forward to meeting him at the WOW retreat and learning about his process, with text and art! Title: It Jes’ Happened, When Bill Traylor Started to Draw Written by: Don Tate Illustrated by: R. Gregory Christie Lee and … More It Jes’ Happened and more from Don Tate

The Kid From Diamond Street and other Audrey Vernick favorites

Another WOW Retreat author is Audrey Vernick. She’s definitely a baseball fan and writes nonfiction as well as fiction picture books. Title: The Kid From Diamond Street, the Extraordinary Story of Baseball Legend Edith Houghton Written by: Audrey Vernick Illustrated by: Steven Salerno Clarion, HMH, 2016, biography Suitable for ages: 4-7 (easily extends to age 10) … More The Kid From Diamond Street and other Audrey Vernick favorites

Dorothea’s Eyes and The Noisy Paintbox

Another author I’m thrilled to meet at the Week of Writing (WOW) Retreat is Barb Rosenstock. I’ve already started my list of questions for her. What an amazing writer! It’s hard to choose just two favorites… Title: Dorothea’s Eyes, Dorothea Lange Photographs the Truth Written by: Barb Rosenstock Illustrated by: Gerard DuBois Calkins Creek, 2016, … More Dorothea’s Eyes and The Noisy Paintbox

Dare the Wind

Title: Dare the Wind: The Record-Breaking Voyage of Eleanor Prentiss and the Flying Cloud
Written by: Tracey Fern
Illustrated by: Emily Arnold McCully
Margaret Ferguson Books, Farrar Straus Giroux, 2014
Suitable for ages: 5-8, (independent 8-12)
Lexile: AD880 (AD=Adult Directed)
Themes/topics: history, women, courage

Opening: Ellen Prentiss had always felt the sea tug at her heart, strong as a full-moon tide. Her papa said that was because she was born with saltwater in her veins. While other girls spent their days stitching samplers and sweeping floors, Ellen spent her days at the shore in Marblehead, Massachusetts. She chased the waves. She raced the wind. She watched great sailing ships skim over wide endless water. And she dreamed of living her life at sea and catching her share of adventure.

Brief synopsis: (from my library catalog) Ellen Prentiss’s papa said she was born with saltwater in her veins, so he gave her sailing lessons and taught her how to navigate. As soon as she met a man who loved sailing like she did, she married him. When her husband was given command of a clipper ship custom-made to travel quickly, she knew that they would need every bit of its speed for their maiden voyage: out of New York City, down around the tip of Cape Horn, and into San Francisco, where the Gold Rush was well under way. In a time when few women even accompanied their husbands onboard, Ellen Prentiss navigated their ship to set the world record for speed along that route.

Links to resources:
Activity Page posted on Teacher/Parent Resource Page.
Several resources for further reading are listed in the Author’s Note.

Why I like this book: The illustrations set the scene beautifully, and the text flows with rich figurative language. The reader feels Ellen’s internal conflict when she must balance the drive to win and the safety of the crew. She is a risk-taker whose studies pay off in the battle with the roiling sea. There’s nothing like a hearty sea adventure, eh-matey? … More Dare the Wind