February 18, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Women with a Story to Tell | JLG’s Booktalks to Go Teen

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So many books, so little time. It’s hard to sell something you haven’t had time to read yet, so JLG’s Booktalks to Go Teen provides ready-to-use booktalks on new releases for teen readers. Additionally, resources for teaching the titles, such as links to supportive websites, including lesson plans or media (when available) are also included. This month’s titles, selected by the editors at Junior Library Guild, are stories about women who made a difference in the world.

FARRELL, Mary Cronk.  Pure Grit: How American World War II Nurses Survived Battle and Prison Camp in the Pacific. Abrams. 2014. ISBN 9781419710285. JLG Level: HH : History – High School (Grades 10 & Up).

Pure GritIn the summer of 1940, making a decision about free-time activities was a peacetime nurse’s biggest challenge in the Philippines. Non-duty hours were spent at the beach or learning to play golf. They dressed in long gowns for dinner and had plenty of soldiers to vie for their attention. Nine hours after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Philippines was bombed. Leisure time was over. Without any combat training, the nurses were at war, and the worst was yet to come.

Author of several books about strong women, Mary Cronk Farrell’s website offers insight into writing and research. A book trailer features photographs of the army nurses. A little-known story, 79 American military nurses were captured and held in POW camps in the Philippines. A recent newspaper interview with the daughter of Ethel Thor, one of those prisoners, reveals that the story was even kept silent by its victims. Students may want to learn more about the history of the army nurse corps. The National Women’s History Museum posts primary source documents on the women in the military. Read excerpts from oral histories at WomensMemorial.org. From maps to time lines and over 18,000 photographs, researchers of WWII history won’t want to miss the free resources at World War II database.

HALL, Shyima, with Lisa Wysocky. Hidden Girl: The True Story of a Modern-Day Child Slave. S & S. 2014. ISBN 9781442481688. JLG Level: NH : Nonfiction High (Grades 9 & Up).

Hidden GirlMaybe you thought slavery ended with the Emancipation Proclamation. You’d be wrong. Shyima Hall was an eight-year-old girl when her parents sold her to another Egyptian family. They brought the child to California where she worked all day, never being allowed to attend school. Physically and mentally abused, Shyima slept in a garage, washed her clothes in a bucket, and never celebrated her birthday. She went to Disneyland but held backpacks instead of riding the attractions. Each day was one hard day after another. Would she never be free?

Because Hall was finally freed from slavery, her case is heavily documented. Students can read accounts in the media, such as the LA Times, Reader’s Digest, and ABC News. Scholastic Times has an excellent article which cites the number of slaves around the world today as well as her story. Students may want to know more about human trafficking, so you can direct them to FreetheSlaves.net. Since the battle for citizenship is also part of Hall’s story, have students go to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services website to learn about the steps to naturalization. Perhaps they can even take the test. The site provides extensive material on the process with lessons, videos, and other guides to prepare for becoming a US citizen.

I am MalalaYOUSAFZAI, Malala with Christina Lamb. I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban. Little, Brown. 2013. ISBN 9780316322409. JLG Level: NH : Nonfiction High (Grades 9 & Up).

What began as an ordinary ride on the school bus for 14-year-old Malala ended in a nightmare. Shot in the face at point-blank range, the Taliban’s attempt to silence her and her campaign for girls’ rights to go to school would later fail. They would neither kill her or the stop the fight for equal rights for women in Pakistan. Her voice would soon be heard around the world.

Malala’s autobiography tells the story of Pakistan’s history and her fight for education. Find out more by reading her blog or watching videos on her website. Now an international figure, students may want to follow her on Facebook or Twitter. Winner of Pakistan’s first National Youth Peace Prize, she was also nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2013 and 2014. Taking her crusade to the United Nations, Malala told them, “Let us pick up our books and pens. They are our most powerful weapons. One child, one teacher, one pen and one book can change the world. Education is the only solution.”

Additional Resources

In an effort to organize these links, I have created a LiveBinder. All websites will be posted within the LiveBinder, along with the accompanying booktalk. As I write more columns, more books and their resources will be added. Simply go to JLG Booktalks to Go where you will see LiveBinder tabs. Each color-coded main tab is a book title. Under each main tab are gray subtabs with links to media, websites, and other related documents. Everything you need to teach or share brand new, hot-off-the-press books is now all in one place. Please visit JLG’s new LiveBinder, JLG Booktalks to Go. For additional library resources, please visit JLG’s Shelf Life Blog.

Junior Library Guild (JLG) is a collection development service that helps school and public libraries acquire the best new children’s and young adult books. Season after season, year after year, Junior Library Guild book selections go on to win awards, collect starred or favorable reviews, and earn industry honors. Visit us at www.JuniorLibraryGuild.com. (NOTE: JLG is owned by Media Source, Inc., SLJ’s parent company.)

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Deborah B. Ford About Deborah B. Ford

Deborah is the Director of Library Outreach for Junior Library Guild. She is an award-winning teacher librarian with almost 30 years of experience as a classroom teacher and librarian in K–12 schools.

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  1. Thanks for adding to my personal reading list! Fascinating and timely selections.