Friday, May 14, 2021

Poetry Friday -- Arrival


I await a
the first
to emerge
from its
underground burrow
at the oak’s
brown skirt.

at first
then red-eyed
and loud
there’s never
just one
they move
in a crowd.

I await a
the first
of the brood.
A seventeen-year

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2021

For more information about Brood X, check out Cicada Safari. Irene has the Poetry Friday roundup at Live Your Poem.

Saturday, May 08, 2021

Text Set: Teacher as Reader-Taking Care of Our Own Reading Lives

  Texts for this Text Set have been posted daily on Instagram. Follow @TextSets there to get daily updates! 

Summer is around the corner. So, this week's "text set" is about taking care of our own lives as readers. I am a true believer that to be a teacher of reading, you must be a reader yourself. And I am the first to admit that I don't give enough time to my own reading life.  I spend so much time reading children's books (which I LOVE) and books to share with children, that I don't always make time for my own reading. This week's list is to make sure that we can think ahead to summer--so that we can start building our reading lists with books that aren't for the children in our classrooms, but for us. Because taking care of ourselves and our personal reading lives is important.

I loved this book so much and I need everyone I know to read it because there is soooo much to talk about.  Klara and the Sun is fascinating and I think no matter what your taste as a reader, you'll enjoy it.  I read Kazuo Ishiguro's book Never Let Me Go and it's one that has stayed with me for over a decade. I think Klara will be the same. I started this with the audio and it is fabulous --then I moved to the book. I highly recommend either or both. I read this book several weeks ago and have been thinking about it ever since. If you read it, you must let me know so we can chat!

The Vanishing Half is by far one of my favorite adult fiction novels of all time.  Brit Bennett was a new author to me when I read this and I am so glad that I discovered her writing. I love books with complex characters that I love and this one has that.  I love so many characters in this book and it was pretty incredible how well developed so many of the characters are. Really one of the best books of the decade, I think. 

I read Such a Fun Age last summer and loved it. It is definitely a book that gives us lots to think about and another with characters I loved.  This is a quicker read than the last two but it is also powerful and important. 

Juliet Takes a Breath is a young adult novel everyone should read!  This author. These characters.  The writing. All of it.  There is a new graphic novel version of the book too--I haven't read it yet but I hear it is also fabulous!

I am not always a fan of graphic novels. I read lots of middle grade graphic novels but not very many graphic novels for myself. But Dancing at the Pity Party is one I am so glad that I read. This is young adult but definitely a great read as an adult.  Family. Grief. Traditions. Growing up. It is brilliantly done.

This week's books were linked at Brain Lair Books. If you are looking for a fabulous independent bookstore to support, this is an amazing one. 

Follow @TextSets on Instagram for next week's Text Set!

Thursday, May 06, 2021

Poetry Friday -- To My Students

To My Students

I am the riverbank
and you are the water.
You flow past me
year after year
a little wild.

I do my best 
to ensure you
a safe passage
and teach you 
and the ways of the world.

But you rush on.

Time passes.
You return
to the familiar banks,
the remembered curves and shallows.

I will not know you,
and yet I will have
a deep memory of your passing.
Your passing
wore me down
changed my direction
made me new.

©Mary Lee Hahn, date unknown

Bridget has this week's Poetry Friday Roundup at Wee Words for Wee Ones.

Saturday, May 01, 2021

Text Set: Immigration Stories

Texts for this Text Set have been posted daily on Instagram. 

Follow @TextSets there to get daily updates! 

Reading across a topic so that an idea doesn't become a single story is important. When we think about immigration we have to make sure to think about immigration as broadly as possible when we think about time period, reasons for immigration, representation and more. I was hesitant to put this text set together because even with 6-8 books, this list is still very limited.  But I am hoping these books create a starting point or fill in gaps to the stories you have.

Home is in Between and Lailah's Lunchbox are two picture books that share experiences of children who have immigrated. Both show some celebrations and challenges with an eye toward the experiences of young children.  Even though these are fiction picture books, both are based on the authors' experiences and the author's note is a critical component in each of the books.

These are two very different books but the language and word choice was what made me put them together on one slide. Dreamers is a beautiful book that can be read and also studied as a writer. Six Words Fresh Off the Boat is a collection of 6 Word Memoirs that capture the experiences of people coming to America. Six Words Fresh Off the Boat is not written for children, but many of the 6 Word Memoirs can be shared with children.

The voices of children are highlighted in these books.  While Stormy Seas: Stories of Young Boat Refugees spans decades of people journeying by boat, Hear My Voice focuses on the current crisis of children being detained at the US Border.  Hear My Voice is a brand new, bilingual book   with powerful words and illustrations. All proceeds from Hear My Voice go to Project Amplify.

Their Great Gift is filled with poetic language and powerful images that celebrate immigration. The photos show the diversity and experiences of immigrants. While other books focus on different time periods of immigration, this book focuses on the 21st century.

Wishes and Two White Rabbits both focus two very different journeys that families take to find safety. Wishes releases next week and is must-have new picture book. Much of the story in both of these books is told in the illustrations.

This week's books were linked at Cover to Cover Children's Bookstore. If you are looking for a fabulous independent children's bookstore to support, this is an amazing one. We are lucky to have them in Central Ohio!

Friday, April 30, 2021

National Poetry Month: #haikudiary.30

one month, thirty days
seventeen syllable rut
ready for a change

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2021

Happy end of National Poetry Month! Matt has this week's Poetry Friday roundup at Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme.


Thursday, April 29, 2021

National Poetry Month: #haikudiary.29

it's urgent, not optional
sacrifice comfort

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2021

Found haiku while listening to Dr. Sonja Cherry-Paul speak at the NCTE member gathering.


Wednesday, April 28, 2021

National Poetry Month: #haikudiary.28

playground drama
duck nest under the slide
brave mama

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2021


Tuesday, April 27, 2021

National Poetry Month: #haikudiary.27

summer in a jar
basil, parmesan, garlic
tastebud time travel

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2021


Monday, April 26, 2021

National Poetry Month: #haikudiary.26

just strolling along
big leather feet flap flapping
parking lot goose

©Mary Lee Hahn


Sunday, April 25, 2021

National Poetry Month: #haikudiary.25

we turned a corner
(the redbuds are leafing out)
over there -- summer

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2021