A book for which to look

like-298×461.jpgOn my recent travels, I was reading an advanced copy of Ravi Howard‘s Like Trees Walking. This first person narrative is a fictionalized account of one of the last hangings in the south. The authors lightly places elements in the book to remind us of the times in which the story occurred such the social setting, music and dance fads and values of the times. The young man in the story belongs to a prominant family which has high expectations for his future and for that of his brother. In fact, the entire community is vested in its children. True to his age, our storyteller is filled with so many doubts about himself and the world around him! Then, someone he personally knows is found hanging from a tree. Murder? Suicide? Motives? Reactions? The author uses the family’s mortuary business to help the narrator explore themes such as race, success, family, death, faith and religion. Unfortunately, as I was finishing this reading and finding our how everthing was coming together, I left my book on an airplane. Now, I’ll have to wait for the book to be published early ’07 and finish reading the copy I purchase for my school library.

Do You Find Inspiration in Literature and Movies?

The National Collaboration for Youth (NCY) and Heartland Film Festival’s Truly Moving Pictures have teamed together in a collaborative project called F.I.L.M., an acronym for “Finding Inspiration in Literature and Movies.” The literacy and film program encourages youth associated with NCY organizations to screen the featured films, read the books associated with the movies, participate in activities from the free, downloadable activity guides, and complete service projects that relate to the central themes of the books and movies.

The organization offers a wealth of resources to improve literacy. The often email information about free passes to screenings of family movies. The latest film activity guide is for “Happy Feet”

Children Left Behind

The International Reading Association’s blog just posted a link to a new report from the Thomas B. Fordam Foundation. The Fordham Report 2006: How Well Are States Educating Our Neediest Children?. The Foundation collected 15 years of data and sythnesized it into a report on how well each state has education its poor and minority students. Only 8 seem to be doing the job. I geuss the rest are in serious need of Hilary Swank. (See previous posting)