Coretta Scott King Award Books: Using Great Literature with Children and Young Adults

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Here's a fresh opportunity to learn more about these fine titles and integrate them into the curriculum. The first half of the book presents annotated bibliographies of all author and illustrator winners and honor books. The entire second half of the book is devoted to activities, including some reproducibles, based on select titles.

During the past 30 years, the titles recognized by the Coretta Scott King Award have consistently presented excellent writing, storytelling, history, and values. Stephens's book is designed to help educators learn more about these fine titles and integrate them into the curriculum. After giving background about the award and its history, the author presents annotated bibliographies of all author and illustrator award winners and honor books. The second half of the book is devoted to providing activities based on specific titles. Helpful tips and reproducibles make this a classroom-friendly resource.

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Editorial Reviews

In commemoration of the life and work of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the Coretta Scott King Award is given annually to authors and illustrators of African descent whose books promote an understanding and appreciation of the "American Dream." This review was written and published to compare and contrast two books about the awards written by Nancy Polette and Claire Gatrell Stevens. Both these works are directed at teachers preparing units on award-winning books. The books include many of the same winners but offer various ideas directed at different grade levels and could be used by librarians in preparing programs or book discussion groups as well. Celebrating the Coretta Scott King Awards provides a selection of activities for primary or middle school teachers for using the award books in their classes. Polette selected nineteen books that are listed alphabetically. She introduces each title with information about the book and its author and then moves on to reading activities, postreading ideas, and suggestions for further reading. The activities include making masks, writing poetry, and searching the Internet (with recommended Web sites). Some activities are more appropriate for preteens, but many would work with or could be adapted for younger teens, particularly reluctant readers. The Stephens book offers an introductory chapter about the awards and some information on some of the winners before moving on to the classroom applications. She uses some of the same books as Polette, but many activities are geared toward an older audience. Each chapter includes an introduction to the story, a list of unit objectives and notes to the teacher, vocabulary words, and comprehensionquestions. There are also activities called "literary learning," which highlight some literary device (such as foreshadowing) used in the winning title and are followed by character studies and integrated curriculum ideas. Some titles overlap with Polette's choices, but there is a wider selection of titles for teenagers here including Jacqueline Woodson's I Hadn't Meant to Tell You This (Delacorte, 1994/VOYA April 1994), Toning the Sweep by Angela Johnson (Orchard, 1993/VOYA June 1993), and Mildred D. Taylor's Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry (Dial, 1976). The Stephens book gives a more thorough list of ideas for teachers and educators to use, and each winning title would take several sessions to study if all the ideas listed are used. With objectives for each chapter, discussion leaders can easily understand the purpose of the activities in any given unit. With its inclusion of activities and materials for high school students and its more thorough examination of the winners, Stephens provides the better book for libraries with connections to high schools and their teachers or for librarians with higher level book discussion groups. The Polette book, with its photocopiable pages and larger print, is more appropriate for younger teens and reluctant readers and can be used more easily in developing book discussion programs at libraries. Both would be valuable additions to any teacher collection. Index. Biblio. Further Reading. 2000, Libraries Unlimited, 238p, Oversize pb. Ages Adult. Reviewer: Kendall Diane Brothers SOURCE: VOYA, June 2001 (Vol. 24, No. 2)
Public libraries should all have this, and also all colleges training teachers. Middle schools can at least use the YA selections such as Toning the Sweep; The Watsons Go To Birmingham; Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry; I Hadn't Meant To Tell You This, and several others. These books are discussed at length, with many ideas for teachers to use in the classroom for discussions and assignments. There are even some ideas for related studies in science, math, and social studies. There are lists of related materials, including Internet sites. All of these suggestions would be of use to classroom teachers. In addition to the chapters featuring one selection each, there are general chapters that discuss the award itself, the winning books, and that feature authors in selected biographies. 2000, Libraries Unlimited, 238p, illus, bibliogs, index, 28cm, 99-051955, $26.00. Ages Adult. Reviewer: Claire Rosser; September 2000 (Vol. 34 No. 5)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781563086854
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/15/2000
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 1,338,691
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.54 (d)

Meet the Author

CLAIRE GATRELL STEPHENS is Media Specialist, Walker Middle School, Orange County Public Schools, Orlando, Florida.

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