The Dream Keeper and Other Poems

I don’t know how many of you are aware of this, but April is National Poetry Month. So, what better way to celebrate it than writing some poetry posts, huh? I wouldn’t be surprised if nearly any person reading this knew the name of The Dream Keeper and Other Poems, written by the well-known Langston Hughes, but how many of you have actually read it? It’s a stupendous collection of poems on all things, from the rise and fall of the ocean to quiet girls. Not only do these works entertain, but they also give a bit of an insight to the author and how he lived. I’ve found that many books do. The poems are made even better by the unique illustrations of Brian Pinkney. This book will satisfy anyone, a sailor, a fashion designer, a dreamer, and you.  So, to commemorate National Poetry Month, why don’t you give it a try? I’m sure good old Langston would be pleased!

Madam C. J. Walker: Entrepreneur

Who was Madam C. J. Walker? Many of you have probably already heard something about her. She started her own line of hair products for women and was a busy millionaire by the end of her life! She also gave much to charity and opened a theater in Indiana. Are you curious yet? I was, when I was told I had to read a biography of an African American in February. So, I hightailed it over to the library to get this great book by A’Lelia Bundles, who also happens to be Madam C. J.’s actual great-great granddaughter (talk about coming from an inspiring background). This book outlines the life of one of the best women in history, from her days in the south as Sarah Breedlove to the days of her thriving business in Harlem. Well-written, interesting, and with plenty of good pictures, this book will not only educate, but entertain. You might think nonfiction is boring, and I might have too at one point, but if you just try it you’ll figure out that there are somethings that are just as interesting as books about magic and witches. So why don’t you go to the bookstore and give this a try?

P. S. And for the adultsOn Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madam C. J. Walker.

A Pot O’Gold

LOVE this book. I’m all for learning more about my heritage and the places I come from. One of those places is Ireland, the world of Leprechauns, Fairies, and a country that (as I’m told) loves its words. For anyone interested in Ireland’s culture, whether you’re Irish or not, this is a book that it wouldn’t hurt to read. Even if you’re not interested, would it be so bad as to give it a try? Okay, I’m getting a little ahead of myself. First things first. This book by Kathleen Krull is a treasury of Irish folktales, songs, poetry, and blarney. It’s separated into different subjects, such as Food and Music. From the tale Bewitched Butter to song Cockles and Mussels, I’m fairly certain you will enjoy this book. The words are also accompanied by lovely pictures, as a plus. So, why don’t you break out your library card and do yourself a favor?

Around the World in 80 Tales

I saw this book in my parents’ bookstore and immediately wanted it. Folktales from across the globe! If anything sounded interesting, that did. And, come my birthday, that’s what I found in a package. Around the World in 80 Tales, by Saviour Pirotta. Stories from China, Brazil, and other places you may have never heard of! I read some of these tales to a three-year-old once, and he wanted more. When I asked him, “Do you want me to bring this book back?” he said yes! Whether you are eight or eighty, you will enjoy at least one of the stories in this book. I’m interested in other countries, and this is a good way to dip into other people’s lives from all over. You can see what kind of stories parents in South America might read to their children! Or Asia, Africa, or Europe. So look online or somewhere else for Around the World in 80 Tales.

Please Write in This Book

This book will suit both boys, girls, and even adults, I’m sure. It’s funny, and contains views from all possible characters. The interesting people and plot keep your eyes glued to the pages. Mary Amato has created a book for positively everyone. Ms. Wurtz decides to place an empty notebook in the Writers Corner of her classroom. The kids love writing in the book, but they don’t always get along. It’s a lot of fun to read the hilarious views of Luke and the bold words Lizzy wants to get out there. The kids have a number of adventures-there is the Stinky Feet Experiment, and the different styles of cute drawings are just making the book better. This story is quite the read. I suggest you check at your library, got to the bookstore, just find the book!

Lives of the Writers

Did you ever know what Charles Dickens ate? Or how Frances Hodgson Burnett dressed? This is a good book that enables you to find out. Lives of the Writers is not merely a collection of short biographies of different authors-it is a very interesting and absorbing book as well, written by Kathleen Krull. Seriously, I couldn’t put it down. Some of its stories include the lives of the Brontë sisters, Hans Christian Anderson, and E.B. White. It has a lot of cool facts, like did you know the Brontës made up a whole different world called Glass Town? There’s that and more. I actually convinced a friend to read it, and when she returned the copy to me, she said that she’d expected it to be boring, but it was really awesome. Are you convinced yet? This would be an excellent gift for any young (or adult) reader so that they can learn more about their favorites. So get in your car, and go to the nearest good bookstore or library. I don’t care which one.

P.S. If you enjoyed this, you might also enjoy Kathleen Krull’s other books in the series, such as Lives of the Artists.

Clara and the Bookwagon

This book, written by Nancy Levinson, was the frst chapter book I read as a little girl. Therefore, I read it many times over. Meaning, at least thirty. It’s a good read for any starting reader. Especially if they already enjoy books a lot. Clara spends her time on her family’s farm in Maryland doing chores and looking after her little siblings. No time for reading. Papa says that farm people don’t read. Clara doesn’t agree, especially when opportunity comes knocking in the form of Miss Mary and her bookwagon, which is specifically for farm people. Clara’s enraptured! Books, books, and more books! What could be better? Clara’s exactly like me. I feel a sort of hunger when I see tons of books all in one place. If your child is having trouble growing enthused with literature, believe me, this could be a colossal help. So look it up on Powell’s, or something. Seriously.