Mightier Than the Sword : Rebels, Reformers, and Revolutionaries by Rochelle Melander

Mightier Than the Sword: Rebels, Reformers & Revolutionaries Who Changed the World through Writing

Rochelle Melander, Author

Melina Ontiveros, Illustrator

Beaming Books, Nonfiction, Jul. 27, 2021

Suitable for Ages: 8-13

Themes: Biographies, Changing the world, Social justice, Writing

Book Jacket Synopsis:

Throughout history, people have picked up their pens and wielded their words–transforming their lives, their communities, and beyond. Now it’s your turn!

Representing a diverse range of backgrounds and experiences, Mightier Than the Sword connects over forty inspiring biographies with life-changing writing activities and tips, showing readers just how much their own words can make a difference. Readers will explore nature with Rachel Carson, experience the beginning of the Reformation with Martin Luther, champion women’s rights with Sojourner Truth, and many more.

These richly illustrated stories of inspiring speechmakers, scientists, explorers, authors, poets, activists, and even other kids and young adults will engage and encourage young people to pay attention to their world, to honor their own ideas and dreams, and to embrace the transformative power of words to bring good to the world.

Why I like Mightier Than the Sword:

Mightier Than the Sword is for young people who dream of someday making a difference in their world.  Rochelle Melander show students that they can make a difference through the power of their pens, just like inspiring writing reformers she features from around the globe. Her book is my favorite kind of book to share with readers.

Melander celebrates the lives and stories of over forty diverse and trailblazing people whose writing transformed history from ancient times (978) through the present. They include Murasaki Shikibu (novelist), Abu Abdullah Muhammed Iban Battuta (traveler/travel guides), Martin Luther (theologian), William Shakespeare (playwright and poet), Phillis Wheatley (poet), Sequoyah (anthropologist), Langston Hughes (poet) Rachel Carson (marine biologist and environmentalist), Patsy Takemoto Mink (lawyer and politician), Anne Frank (diarist), The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., (minister and activist), Gene Luen Yang (cartoonist and graphic novelist) Malala Yousafzai, (activist), and Sonita Alizadeh (rapper and activist).

This wonderful resource book for young people is well-researched and beautifully presented. Each featured writer is given two double-page spreads with colorful portraits and illustrations. Melander includes an interactive writing exercises that accompany each featured individual. Her book can be read from beginning to end, or students can scan the Table of Contents and look up individuals they want to read. Make sure you check out the introduction and the end section book where students receive hands-on writing and editing advice.  

Rochelle Melander is a speaker, a professional certified coach, and the founder of Dream Keepers, a writing workshop that encourages young people to write about their lives and dreams for the future. Rochelle wrote her first book at seven and has published eleven books for adults. Mightier Than the Sword is her debut book for children. She lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Visit her at her interactive website.  Teachers will find activities to use in the classroom. 

Greg Pattridge hosts Marvelous Middle Grade Monday posts on his wonderful Always in the Middle website. Check out the link to see all of the wonderful reviews by KidLit bloggers and authors.

*Review copy won on Natalie Aguirre’s website Literary Rambles, where she interviews authors and agents weekly and offers a lot of giveaway opportunities.  Make sure you check out her wonderful site.

 

Bear’s Book by Claire Freedman

Bear’s Book

Claire Freedman, Author

Alison Friend, Illustrator

Templar Books, Fiction, May 14, 2019

Suitable for Ages: 3-7

Themes: Bear, Animals, Reading, Writing, Helping, Friendship

Opening: Once upon a time, there was a bear whose favorite thing to do was read.

Book Synopsis:

Bear loves to read. Unfortunately, he has read his big book of stories so many times that it’s falling apart. One day, all the pages blow away in a gust of wind.

Bear decides to create his own story. But when he sits dow to write, he can’t think of a single idea.

Will bear’s animal friends be able to help him think of ideas for his book?

What I like about this book:

Claire Freedman has penned a tender story about friends helping friends. Bear goes for a walk through the forest to help his writer’s block. He hopes that  a back-scratch, a swim, and climbing a tree might be just what he needs. But he runs into some endearing friends who need his help — a mouse who needs help with a dance, a rabbit in a boat who needs a tow, and a little owl stuck on a tree limb. He still can’t think of a story until he recalls his day.

Bear does write and illustrate a book. It appears as a fold-out towards the end of the book. Children will be able to read his book and learn about how a story has a beginning, middle and end. The ending is sweet.

Alison Friend’s happy illustrations are warm, cozy and show how friends help each other. The cover is beautiful and appealing.

Resources: This is an excellent story to read out loud to at home or in a classroom. Use Bear’s book to talk about the structure of a book. Write a group book in the classroom and ask students to draw the illustrations.

Claire Freedman is the author of more than 100 books for young readers. She is best known for her award-winning Underpants series, She lives in Essex, England.

Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book. To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books (PPB) with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s website.

*Review copy provided by the publisher.

Ice Cream Summer

Ice Cream Summer9780545731614_p0_v2_s192x300Ice Cream Summer

Peter Sis, Author and illustrator

Scholastic Press, Fiction, May 26, 2015

Suitable for Ages: 4-8

Themes: Ice Cream, Summer, Writing, Counting, Exploring, History

Synopsis: “Dear Grandpa, Thank you for your letter. So far, it’s been a delicious summer. I am very busy. But don’t worry, I am not forgetting about school.”

Synopsis: Joe is eager to join his grandfather on a special trip at the end of the summer, so he shares his “delicious” summer in his letter. He reassures his grandfather that he is staying current with his studies during his vacation. He is reading, writing, practicing his math, charting maps and learning history. What he doesn’t tell his grandfather is that he studying his favorite tasty treat, ice cream.

Why I like this book:

The wonderful Peter Sis dishes up a yummy story about everything you want to know about ice cream. His whimsical story is a refreshing celebration of children’s favorite frozen treat. Told with minimal text, children will follow Joe on his journey of reading the lists of flavors at a local Ice Cream store, writing and illustrating a book with ice cream artwork, practicing math problems with the addition and subtraction of ice cream scoops, and studying the ancient history and invention of ice cream.

Sis’s lively pastel illustrations are in delightful shapes: waves appear as colorful scoops of ice cream, sand castles resemble ice cream cones, hammocks strung between two cones, and the Statue of Liberty holds a torch filled with ice cream. Children will have a ball studying each exquisitely detailed picture and spying delicious treats. Ice Cream Summer will appeal to a variety of ages. This is a perfect hot-summer read and is best read with a bowl of ice cream.

Resources: What I like about this book is how easily it can be used in the classroom. Ask children to write a story about their favorite flavor and draw a picture. Talk about how the first ice cream was made 2,000 years ago in China with snow, milk, rice and fruit. Chart a map that shows how ice cream began to travel to different cultures worldwide. There’s some great history there. Visit Peter Sis at his website.

Peter Sis is an internationally acclaimed author, illustrator and filmmaker. Ice Cream Summer is a light-hearted and fun book for the author of The Wall, Tibet Through the Red Box, The Tree of Life, Three Golden Keys and Madlenka.

Even though Perfect Picture Books is on vacation until September 11, you can still visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Books to see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books (PPB) with resources.