Once upon a time, fairy tales were a whole lot cooler than the ones that you might have heard. Back in the day, the Brothers Grimm wove some totally bloody, awesome stories, many of which have been lost to the ages in favor of flouncy princesses and happy endings.
A Tale Dark and Grimm sets the record straight, retelling some of the best of the Grimm fairy tales in an innovative new way. Hansel and Gretel, famous for their gingerbread house-eating, are cast as the heroes of all of these stories, which are spun together to form one merry gory narrative.
Not all is well in the kingdom of Grimm, and the two unfortunate siblings are forced to find their way in the world, falling head over heels into trouble with every step of their journey. All the siblings want is to reunite with their long lost parents (who, by the way, once chopped off both of their heads…but don’t worry, they got better!), but numerous evil adults, monsters, and even the devil himself keep thwarting them. In the end, all that stands between Hansel and Gretel and happiness is a huge horrible dragon. Not surprisingly, it falls to the children to save the kingdom from the fire breathing beast…and a happily ever after ending is nowhere in sight!
Readers (especially boys) will get a kick out of this twisted fairy tale, which has plenty of tongue-in-cheek humor, daring feats, and severed body parts to go around. Fairy tales are cool again.
Life as Fadi knows it ends the night he and his family make their narrow escape from Afghanistan’s oppressive Taliban rule; it is the same night that his six-year-old sister Mariam becomes lost and left behind in the increasingly unstable Middle East. Fadi and his parents and older sister Noor are forced to press on to their new home in California to avoid capture, all blaming themselves for sweet Mariam’s disappearance.
All four of them try to make the best out of a bad situation while their overseas connections mount searches for Mariam. Fadi begins middle school and finds comfort in the after-school photography club and his new friendship with bossy Chinese classmate Anh.
What little peace and solace Fadi finds is short-lived, though, as the events on September 11, 2001, turn his life upside down once again. He quickly finds himself at odds with a group of dangerous racist bullies, and the political climate makes it even harder to find traces of the missing Mariam. Throughout all of the hardship and intolerance, his family struggles to keep their fervent hopes alive, and Fadi soon plans his own scheme to bring his little sister home.Everything hinges on the upcoming Societé Geographique photography contest, and he just knows that he can win the grand prize: plane tickets overseas. But how can he find the perfect shot?
N.H. Senzai writes very convincingly as likeable hero Fadi, and all of the rich details of Pukhtun culture enhance the story and will invite readers to learn more about Afghanistan and its people and history. A helpful glossary of terms and facts can be found at the back of the book. 272 pages. Ages 10-14.
Readalikes: Laugh With the Moon, by Shana Burg
This week, I have been working with a lot of students on researching and citing their sources. Not everyone knew that they have accounts in Noodle Tools. Instead of citing sources the hard way, this site will act as a tool for you to make sure that you are compiling all of the correct components in your bibliographies.
To use Noodle Tools, you can either find a link under the "Citations" section of the Media Center "Research" tab or simply visit noodletools.com.
Your username is your first initial + your last name + ppms (example: Mine would be mcrumbleyppms), and your password is your lunch number. In a few cases, someone with your same first initial and last name might already have an account--if that happens, add your middle initial and you should have no problem!
Wow--we had 28 attendees at our first 6th grade Makerspace! It was awesome to see students collaborating on Snap Circuits, Little Bits, Legos, and Gears and I can't wait to add more projects to our space. Remember--Makerspace for 6th graders is during lunch Mondays and Thursdays, 7th graders on Tuesdays, and 8th graders on Wednesdays. Grab a pass and come see me!
Ever since the death of her twin sister, twelve year old Bluebell’s life has been in disarray. With her trusty video camera, Blue captures the aftermath of the Gadsby family life in an alternating combination of short film clips and diary entries. Blue is most comfortable when she can disappear behind the camera, and she has made invisibility an artform in the halls of her school.
Despite her quiet existence, though, Blue’s world is nevertheless filled with a fascinating array of characters like dramatic pink-haired sister Flora, a family of white rats, pesky little sibs Twig and Jasmine, and prickly Bosnian au pair Zoran. Most interesting to Blue, though, is the sudden addition of a next-door neighbor. Specifically, a very cute next-door neighbor named Joss who seems to actually notice and like her.
Over time, Blue gets to remember what it feels like to be noticed, to learn how to be her own person even with the jarring absence of Iris. After Iris is a sympathetic story with a lot of humor and heart that tackles realistic issues in a thoughtful way. The transcripts from Blue’s films let readers see the world as she does, and the chapters told from her point of view are even more insightful and frank. This is a winner.
Posts by Mrs. Remington, School Librarian