Anyone who knows me, knows in order to get my full attention quickly all you have to do is say the words, “New York City.” Needless to say when I was in Barnes and Noble this Friday after school I went home with three new books, all of which tie into New York City in one way or another.
Book 1: The Misfits by James Howe. It’s a book I’ve been meaning to pick up since this past summer. James Howe was one of the keynote speakers at Columbia University’s Writing Project that I attended in August. Not only was he AmAzInG at Columbia, James Howe’s Bunnicula was one of my personal favorites as a fifth grader, so I’ve been itching to get my hands on this book for awhile to see if I could use it with my kids. I’m only fifty pages into the book, but I’m already in love with the quirky misfits Howe created in this book.
Book 2: Hip Hop Speaks to Children edited by Nikki Giovanni. On the New York Times best seller list and featuring poetry written by both Langston Hughes and Kanye West, I’ve had my eye on this one for a long time. It is a picture book that comes with a CD of the poets reading their work. This book of poetry can be used for a variety of ages and purposes. Certainly some of the pages cater to a younger crowd with poems titled, Ham ‘N’ Eggs and The Girls in the Circle but there are plenty of places to stop and reflect with older kids as well. I can’t wait to use it in the classroom and see what my kids have to say about calling some of their favorite musicians poets (Jay-Z minus the curse words = poetic genius).
Book 3 (and maybe the one I’m most excited about): Pick-Up Game: A Full Day of Full Court edited by Marc Aronson & Charles R. Smith. Always on the lookout for a book that will capture the boys in my room, this anthology looks amazing. It’s a collection of short stories that form a novel when put together. The short stories are written by: Walter Dean Myers, Bruce Brooks, Willie Perdomo, Sharon G. Flake, Robert Burleigh, Rita Williams-Garcia, Joseph Bruchac, Adam Rapp, and Robert Lipsyte. It’s a lineup of all-stars if ever there was one. I haven’t had time yet this weekend to start reading this one for fear I wouldn’t be able to put it down. I’ll let you know what the boys think when I show them on Tuesday.
As a side note I wouldn’t have even picked up book three except for the fact that a kid next to me was flipping through it and I saw a photograph of the West 4th Street-Washington Square subway stop— otherwise known as my run from the A train to the F. New York City, you always bring such good things.