It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA!
Jen Vincent of Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee Moye, of Unleashing Readers, help share and spread book-love, by hosting this fun meme. Check out their blogs for links to others who enjoy celebrating their reading weeks.
I've been blessed to have connected with and made a lovely friendship with author/illustrator, Salina Yoon ~ all because of her beautiful book, Be a Friend! I've continued to share this lovely book with many children and educators, most recently by opening a booktalk session by reading it aloud to about 50 educators. Through the course of little snippets of conversations (via Facebook, Twitter, and blog comments), Salina has helped me realize something very important about my reading life (both personally and professionally).
Because of her and her encouragement for us all to be, "Bold, Brave, and Shine," I've come to know that my niche in writing about books and reading is what I have been feeling all along in my heart ~ and that's exactly it, writing from the heart! Making connections in the wonderful world of reading and writing, to myself. How books and authors and illustrators impact me.
After the announcements of the YMA, I attempted to get a copy of the Newbery Medal winning, Last Stop On Market Street written by Matt De La Pena and illustrated by Christian Robinson. I was unsuccessful. Fast forward to this past week and I was luckily able to get a copy of this most amazing picture book!
|2016 Newbery Medal Winner|
Upon my first reading of this important picture book, I instantly felt my heartstrings being tugged. The first connection that I felt was the memory of riding the city bus with my own grandmother. Walking from her house to the bus stop, waiting on the busy street to climb aboard the bus, climbing those big steps to put money into the coin collector, finding a seat, sitting by the window but looking around at all the others who were already on the bus and as we rode closer into town, those that got on and off, and oh, the buzzer cord that was tugged to sound the signal for the bus driver to stop at the next stop, and finally, to getting to pull the cord so that we could descend the steps onto the downtown streets. Memories of walking on the downtown streets, peering into store windows, and eventually, heading into Woolworths (or as Grandma called, it the Five and Ten), to sit at the counter to order lunch. How I wish I could remember what I ate ~ my guess is that it might've been a Patty Melt (those were one of her favorite diner/lunch counter delights).
Of course, like many others I’m sure, I loved that so many of the characters on the bus, not to mention, CJ and his nana, are so real and so many of us can relate to them on a personal level, for one reason or another.
Last Stop On Market Street is a picture book that I know will be an important read for many children. It's a story that Matt De La Pena has told that will help many of its readers see themselves in a different way. It will tug at their heart for one reason or another. Most importantly, it is a book that will turn children into readers because through the reading of this picture book, readers will begin to realize that they can find what they need in the words of authors.