Monday, November 15, 2010

Module 5: Through the Lens By Martin Q. Sandler

Sandler, Martin W. Lincoln through the Lens: How Photography Revealed and Shaped an Extraordinary Life. New York: Walker Pub., 2008. Print.

"He was born in a humble log cabin but rose to the highest office in the land. He had almost no formal education but earned a place in history as one of the most eloquent leaders the world has ever known. He held a nation together during its most bitter and tragic conflict but became the last, great casualty of that war."

In Lincoln: Through the Lens, readers will get a rare opportunity to see pictures of Lincoln throughout history. Lincoln was the first president to have his political career captured on film. Each double-page spread focus on a part of Lincoln, as well shows a couple of pictures of Lincoln or of events surrounding him.

Take a book about Abraham Lincoln, subtract the dry information that will make students put it down, and add back in rare pictures taken of an extraordinary leader in history, and you have Lincoln: Through the Lens. Students will get a chance to know more about a president besides the fact that he was president during the Civil War. With each set of pages is a new piece of information about him, written so that it is not only easy to read, but also fascinating. Each story is placed in chronological order, which will make it easy for readers to take in. A starred School Library Journal review says, "The text not only offers a fascinating updated history on the eve of the bicentennial, but also includes many colorful anecdotes and quotes about the mischievous Lincoln boys, Lincoln's beard, and Thanksgiving. This appealing, accessible title will be savored from beginning to end." This book is asset to every library and history classroom.

After sharing this book with a class, assign each student a president from after Lincoln. The students will show the life of that president through pictures and short stories.

Auerbach, Barbara. "Lincoln: Through the Lens." School Library Journal. Amazon. Web. 17 Nov. 2010. .

Module 5: Hitler Youth By Susan Campbell Bartoletti

Bartoletti, Susan Campbell. Hitler Youth: Growing up in Hitler's Shadow. New York: Scholastic Nonfiction, 2005. Print.

"Sixty years have passed since the bloodiest war in history ended. Some people wonder: Could another despot like Hitler rise to power on the shoulders of young people?
Only young people today can answer that question. What are you willing to do to prevent such a shadow from falling over you and others?"

In this haunting tale, Susan Campbell Bartoletti takes us into Germany, 15 years before the United States entered World War II. There we find Germany in ruin over World War I and desperate for a leader to get them out of it. Adolf Hitler was man to do just that. At the top of his agenda was to start "Hitler Youth", and organization dedicated to Adolf Hitler. Within this program, they taught young men and women discipline and adoration of Hitler. By the end of the war, millions were dead and the youth of Germany was just realizing the innocence the had given up for fanatic.

As you read this award winning book, your heart cannot help but go out to the children that were brainwashed. Some of the soldiers that were in WWII were very young when Hitler Youth started in 1926. Not only is this book compelling, but students will be drawn in through the descriptive language. The book was written in chronological order, which makes since for a book about the history of something. One of the confusing parts is they have about ten young adults that they are following and they just interject their stories into the written history. This book might flow more if each chapter focused on one youth's experience. One of the most amazing things about this book were the pictures that showed the different kids of Hitler's Youth. Some were shooting guns, some just in their uniform, and some were doing things that I would never imagine kids that age doing. A starred Booklist review states,"The handsome book design, with black-and-white historical photos on every double-page spread, will draw in readers and help spark deep discussion, which will extend beyond the Holocaust curriculum. The extensive back matter is a part of the gripping narrative." This book is a much addition to all libraries.

This book would make a great e-book that could be the warm-up during a Holocaust unit. This is a part of the rising of Germany that is not talked about as much, and I think that keeping it as a warm-up would be good. You could also have groups each take one of the people focused on during the book, and have them summarize the information about them.

Rochman, Hazel. "Hitler Youth." Booklist (2005). Amazon. Web. 17 Nov. 2010. .

Module 5: Fire from the Rock By: Sharon Draper

Draper, Sharon M. Fire from the Rock. New York, NY: Dutton Children's, 2007. Print. ISBN: 9780525477204


"Let our voices be heard
Let our faces be seen
Let us shine."

Sylvia Patterson has a great life. She has a wonderful family, does well in school, has great friends, and an almost-boyfriend. But as Sylvia gets closer to high school, she must make a HUGE decision. Sylvia lives in Little Rock Arkansas in 1957. She has been chosen as a candidate to go to Central High during the next school year. Integration is happening whether the town of Little Rock wants or not, but can Sylvia overcome her fears of the violence and lack of acceptance she will find at Central High?

Fire from the Rock takes straight into the heart of integration in Little Rock during 1957. Most people did not want it to happen, white or black, but there was no choice. Sharon Draper pushes as right to the heart of the matter when our main character is put on the list of possible students to be the first to integrate Central High. Sylvia is written as a normal African American girl, who gets asked to be a part of making history. Not only will students be able to connect to having to grow up overnight as well as go through the normal pains of being a teenager. There is also a secondary character, Rachel, that is a young, white Jewish girl. Rachel and Sylvia are friends, and through Sylvia's eyes we see how the community also treated the Jews. Then by placing the story in Little Rock, the heart of the integration controversy, readers will have the opportunity to live through a time that is long since passed. By the end of the story, the readers realize sometimes the brave thing to do is to step aside and some times the right decision for one is not the right decision for all.

From the start readers will travel back in time to a period that many of Americans look back on in shame, but as young adult readers, they will have a chance to understand and connect to what happened. School Library Journal states, "The author's ability to explore numerous prejudices subtly without bogging down readers with too much back story is impressive, and she effectively shows the enormity of the decision and the tenor of the times." Students will not only get a history lesson, they will understand a time in which we hope to never see again.


Since this book has so many connections to history, students will have the opportunity to connect primary sources with the text. The student could look at Martin Luther King Jr.'s Time cover, the governor televised speech, as well as pictures from the time.

Monaghan, Kimberly. "Fire from the Rock." School Library Journal (2007). Title Wave. Follett Library Resources, Oct. 2007. Web. 21 Nov. 2010.