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Monday, April 6, 2015

Celebrate National Library Week with Your Favorite Book

National Library Week is April 12-18.  There are so many wonderful books to read.  Check out a book from our school library and/or visit your local public library to find something classic or the latest best sellers.

As I write this I am nearly finished reading the graphic biography El Deafo, by Cece Bell.  This is the author's own story of losing her hearing at age 4 due to meningitis.  It is heartbreaking, humorous, and inspiring all at the same time.  And it is the best example I have seen of blending narrative with graphics.  It's pretty powerful to see speech bubbles that are blank, because Cece cannot hear anything without a powerful hearing aid.  This is one of the books that has been selected for next year's DCF list.

Reading El Deafo also made me think back to Wonder, by R.J. Palacio, the
ficitonal story of a boy born with extreme facial differences and hearing impairment.

There are many other wonderful books about overcoming challenges -- here's a quick list:

Anything But Typical, by Nora Raleigh Baskin.  The story of a 12-year-old autistic boy who wants to become a writer.

Finding Ben: a Mother's Journey through the Maze of Asperger's, by Barbara LaSalle

Granny Torrelli Makes Soup, by Sharon Creech

I Funny, by James Patterson. The story of a boy in a wheelchair who aspires to be a "stand up" comic.

Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key, by Jack Gantos. First in the series of books about Joey, a boy with ADHD.

One-Handed Catch, by Mary Jane Auch. Based partly on the experiences of the author's husband, who lost a hand as a young boy.  Humorous and inspiring, with many strong characters (especially the boy's mother who is unforgettable).

Out of My Mind, by Sharon Draper. A brilliant 5th grader with cerebral palsy is thought to be retarded because she cannot speak.  She eventually finds a device that helps her to communicate all she wants to say.

Rules, by Cynthia Lord. A 12-year-old girl tries to help her autistic brother by making up rules for him to follow.

Small Steps: the Year I Got Polio, by Peg Kehret. The author's true story of her difficult but inspiring recovery from polio.  This was a DCF Book Award winner.

Temple Grandin: How the Girl Who Loved Cows Embraced Autism and Changed the World, by Temple Grandin