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MTYT: Bronze and Sunflower

My Take Your Take May 2018

This month we discuss books that present situations of pain and bravery as young people learn to negotiate the difficulties of life while still quite young. As part of their negotiations, they learn about love and the lengths people will go through to keep loved ones safe. Each book offers surprises and perhaps a bit of controversy. Each is thought-provoking and worthy of our reading time. Our first book is Bronze and Sunflower by Cao Wenxuan and illustrated by Meilo So.

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MTYT: Long Way Down

This month’s My Take/Your Take discussions focus on the 2018 American Library Association (ALA) award winners. Mary Fahrenbruck and Tracy Smiles continue with a discussion of the multi-awarding winning novel, Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds. The novel, written in free verse poetry won the Newbery Honor Book Award, the Printz Honor Book Award, the Coretta Scott King Honor Award and numerous other awards from organizations other than ALA.

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MTYT: Crown

Continuing our look at award winning-books, this week Mary Fahrenbruck and Tracy Smiles share their take on Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut, awarded a John Newbery Honor, a Caldecott honor and Corretta Scott-King Honor in 2018. The story by Derrick Barnes and illustrations by Gordon C. James presents readers with, as the Huffington Post said when naming it among 2017’s best picturebooks, “a celebration of self-esteem and a thoughtful nod to the importance of stepping into the world with a touch of swagger.”

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MTYT: All Around Us

This month’s My Take/Your Take discussions focus on the 2018 American Library Association (ALA) award winners. Mary Fahrenbruck and Tracy Smiles begin with a discussion of All Around Us, winner of the 2018 Pura Belpré Illustrator Honor Book. The story by Xelena Gonzalez and illustrations by Adriana M. Garcia pair perfectly to give readers a sensual literary experience.

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MTYT: When Dimple Met Rishi

The Tucson Festival of Books celebrates its 10th anniversary this year and to honor that milestone, this month My Take/Your Take features four books by 2018 festival authors. We provide our personal take after reading the books, hearing from the authors in sessions and sometimes meeting the author in person. This week we give our take on When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon.

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MTYT: Drum Dream Girl

By Jean Schroeder, Holly Johnson, Prisca Martens, Mary Fahrenbruck, Tracy Smiles, Jeanne Fain, Rebecca Ballenger, and Celeste Trimble

This year, the Tucson Festival of Books celebrates its 10th anniversary. In a short period of time, the festival rose to become the third largest book festival in the U.S. drawing crowds in excess of 130,000. Each year the festival hosts 60-70 authors and illustrators of books for children and adolescents. This month My Take/Your Take features four books by this year’s festival authors to provide a personal take, starting with Jean and Holly on Drum Dream Girl by Margarita Engle and Rafael López.

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MTYT: Six Dots

For our last My Take/Your Take discussion of Schneider Family Award winning picture books, Mary, Christopher and Leslie share their takes on Six Dots: A Story of Young Louis Braille written by Jen Bryant and illustrated by Boris Kulikov. “Too small. He won’t survive!” cluck visitors looking into Louis’s bassinette. Readers follow along with Louis as he grows from a small baby into a healthy, curious toddler. Tragically, Louis’s curiosity leads to an accident that eventually results in him being blind.

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MTYT: The Pirate of Kindergarten

Mary, Christopher and Leslie have chosen another picture book with a young protagonist for this weeks’ My Take/Your Take. George Ella Lyon’s The Pirate of Kindergarten tells the story of Ginny and her struggles with double vision. Avril’s illustrations help readers experience for themselves what Ginny sees when she looks out into her world–two of everything. When she tries to read the words in a book there are twice as many words. Frustrated, but determined, Ginny desperately wants to read.

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WOW Currents

In the Shadow of the Sun: Understanding Complex Identities

By Dorea Kleker, University of Arizona

Google “North Korea” right now and a flurry of presidential tweets and news stories of missiles is surprisingly absent. This week, the Olympics overwhelmingly trump (pun intended) impending war and dangerous egos. The top three hits include an Australian Kim Jong-Un impersonator, the North Korean Olympic delegation and 229 members of the North Korean cheerleading squad. On the surface, they’re light stories. Read beyond the headlines and the deeper issues persist: dictators, brutal regimes, extreme human rights abuses and nuclear threats.

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