Tag Archives: horace pippin

What I Read the Week of January 28, 2013


ChainsChains by Laurie Halse Anderson

This was one of those books that I had seen over the years, but never knew anyone who read it.  I happened to get a hold of the audio book and I’m so thankful I listened to it.  It’s an amazing story of a young slave girl who finds herself living in New York during the first year of the American Revolution.  Although she had been promised her freedom by her original owner on her deathbed, the will is “lost” and she and her younger sister are sold into slavery.  The story was beautifully told and Anderson does a wonderful job of provoking a wide range of emotions in the reader.  I think what I loved most about this book was that we see the fight between the Patriots and Loyalists from the perspective a slave.  Because Isabella is owned by a Loyalist, her allegiance is assumed to be to the King as well. Yet, circumstances lead her to support the Patriot cause, although never without a price. Teachers of American History definitely need to have this book and its sequels on their radar.  Reading about this aspect of the Revolutionary War adds another layer of complexity to a study of this era.

A Splash of Red

A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin is much more than a biography.  It’s the story of what anyone can accomplish with determination and perseverance.  Despite poverty and a disability, Pippin was a 20th century artist who used bold colors and designs to create his art. The story is beautiful and the artwork that goes along with it is bold, colorful, and eye-catching. I think the book is appropriate for any age and readers can find a variety of messages in this narrative.


Oliver is a sweet story of a young boy who doesn’t really fit in. He’s in his own world and does his own thing, which doesn’t really bother him. Oliver does find a friend who appreciates his quirkiness. This is the kind of book that can prompt interesting discussions among students, no matter how old they are


As someone who has studied the Civil Rights Movement, I’m always excited when I find a book that highlights a component of that time in American History. Especially when it’s a part of the movement that doesn’t always receive as much attention as Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr. And that is just what Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down does. It tells the story of the four young men who sat down at a lunch counter designated for whites only. Despite being tormented and bullied, the four young men and the hundreds who followed in their footsteps, stayed the course of a nonviolent demonstration. The result of integrated lunch counters was just one part of the Civil Rights Movement of the mid-twentieth century. Pinkney does a fabulous job of telling the story through words and pictures, including a timeline of the movement found at the end of the book.
hello! hello!

hello! hello! is a book that really, everyone should read.  A family is wrapped up in their technology, not really interacting with each other despite a young girl’s attempts.  It’s the story of how the girl gets out of the house and away from technology and her attempt to bring her family together.  I think this would be a fascinating story to share with different age groups as a discussion starter on the good and bad of technology and the 21st century.

I started to listen to the audio book of Artemis Fowl.  It’s been around for a while and I know that it’s popular, so I thought it was high time to try it out.  Unfortunately, I just couldn’t get into it and I abandoned it halfway through the second CD.  Not really sure why I didn’t enjoy it.   So I abandoned it and started Elijah of Buxton by Christopher Paul Curtis.  I hope to have that finished for you next week.

Not sure what else I’ll read this week.  I have a stack of Caldecotts and new picture books waiting for me at home.  I think I might try to start The Fault in Our Stars as it comes highly recommended.