Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Hope is an Open Heart

Hope is an Open Heart (Help for Haiti Edition)
by Lauren Thompson
Scholastic, 2008/2010
review copy purchased for my classroom library

This is not a book to take off the shelf once in the spring before state tests to "teach" metaphors. True, the text is a lyrical series of metaphors about hope. However, the strength of the book lies in the photographs and in the explanation of the photos in the back of the book.

There are pictures of children from Alabama and New Orleans who lost their homes to Hurricane Katrina, children from Sri Lanka whose school was washed away by the tsunami in 2004, children from East Timor who have lived with political violence, and children from Haiti who lost everything to the recent earthquake.

With images and information in the media about the ever-spreading oil spill in the Gulf, we will need to be ready to have lots of conversations with our students about hope, and about the things they can do to make a difference. The blog ripple, begun on June 3, 2010, has this mission: "A small sketch -- a small donation -- each small act helps. Together we can cause a ripple in the oil soaked waters of the gulf." Read artist Kelly Light's first post and complete mission statement, and think about the kinds of small ripples you (and your students) can make so that you don't simply feel hopeless or disconnected from this disaster that will ultimately touch all of our lives in some way.

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