Monday, October 20, 2014

Mentor Monday: Books on Perseverance

It's time to link up with Emily at The Reading Tutor/OG for Mentor Monday! This week focuses on picture books that teach perseverance. I asked my 9-year old daughter which books she felt demonstrated perseverance and pulled these two off her bedroom bookshelf!
The first book is You Forgot Your Skirt, Amelia Bloomer by Shana Corey. Amelia Bloomer is NOT a proper lady. This is a hilarious tale of Amelia Bloomer, who does not behave the way nineteenth-century society tells her a "proper lady" should.
She is a rebellious reformer and early women's rights activist.She starts a newspaper for women, The Lily. Amelia understands how ridiculously impractical women's huge hoop skirts are, and she is determined to make a change. (One of my favorite illustrations is a picture of Amelia walking down the street with trash and debris stuck to the bottom of her hoop skirt!) So she invented bloomers (baggy pantaloons worn with a skirt over them), thus liberating women from the dangerous and oppressive clothing of her time. No matter how much she is ridiculed, Amelia is determined to make things better for women. This is a wonderful story of perseverance!!

A second book with the theme of perseverance is Ruby's Wish by Shirin Yim and Sophie Blackall. Ruby comes from a large wealthy family in China, whose grandfather made his fortune in the California Gold Rush. Ruby, however,  is unlike most little girls in old China. Instead of aspiring to get married, Ruby is determined to attend university when she grows up, just like the boys in her family.
Ruby's Wish is the perfect example of perseverance: an engaging portrait of a young girl who strives for more and a family who rewards her hard work and courage. It is based on the inspirational story of the author's grandmother. 

Both of these books are wonderful!! Kids can totally relate to being told they CAN'T do something and these two heroines prove they CAN make a change with determination and perseverance! My class has been utilizing Close Reading strategies: stopping to "Notice and Note' while they read (or while I read to them!) These books are great examples of (modified) Contrasts and Contradictions: characters acting in a surprising manner (from what you would expect). Both Amelia and Ruby do NOT act like women of their time. I've made a quick Signpost sheet for these books; feel free to download here.

What books do you use to teach perseverance and determination? I'd love to add to my list!

2 comments:

  1. Two new books for me. Thanks for sharing these great titles. I'll have to add them to my collection.
    Carla

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    1. I know you'll love them! The illustrations in both books are very eye-catching, too!

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