Without further ado, may I present our...
OVERALL TEAM BEST
It's unanimous! We all chose After the Fall as our top pick due to the fresh, unexpected, masterful content. With most fractured tales being humorous, we were not expecting to crack open a layered, emotional, theme-packed tale. A huge dose of perspective and scale increases the interplay impact. On almost every page, there are bird images foreshadowing what is to come. To top it all off, this mentor text infuses an amazing surprise ending!
Life by Cynthia Rylant and Brendan Wenzel
Concept Book + Bibliotherapy = Fresh. Life packs a punch using sparse texts and layers. This one had me thinking about it long after I walked away; mainly about gratitude and getting through life’s struggles and chalking them up to something that will change (something our world desperately NEEDS right now!) And yet, the theme still has an underlying quality because of stellar interplay between the text and soft nature illustrations. Wenzel's animal characters are tender-hearted and relatable.
Not Quite Narwal by Jessie Sima
This story is beautifully illustrated with clever text. It's the perfect story to evoke discussion on what it means to be different and how to find your place in the world. This is a great mentor text for making a point without being didactic. The story makes it clear that differences are wonderful without making us feel like it's a teaching moment.
Before She Was Harriet by Lesa Cline-Ransome and James E. Ransome
The story of Harriet Tubman starts at the end of her life and moves to her childhood using the phrase “Before she was…" The author also uses a list format to sum up the circular story and return the reader to where the story started. I enjoyed the free verse style.
Malala’s Magic Pencil by Malala Yousafzai and Kerascoët
This book is an excellent example of how to tell a difficult story to a young audience. Malala uses her memory of a magic pencil to introduce children to hope in a story that includes despair and violence. And the illustrations are magical.
Furthering our tradition, we take leave for a holiday break with our families. We'll resume our regular posting schedule on January 2 and it won't be long until the 4th annual ReFoReMo challenge. We have an excellent team of presenters lined up, so stay tuned for announcements in the new year.
Which 2017 mentor texts did you learn most from this year?
May all of your 2018 writing goals come to fruition!
Carrie, Kirsti, Janie, & Keila
Your Reading for Research Blog Team