Monday, November 16, 2015

I Survived

I Survived

Juvenile nonfiction
Many young (and, admit it, not so young--I'm one of gazillions
adults mesmerized by the Titanic's I'll-fated maiden voyage)--readers
are fascinated by stories of epic historic disasters. Who knows why?
Eye catching volumes that bring these events to life fly off library
shelves, building history knowledge as well as reading skills and
Lauren Tarshis' I Survived: Five Epic Disasters introduces
young readers to the Children's Blizzard (1888), the Titanic Disaster
(1912), the Great Boston Molasses Flood (1919), the Japanese Tsunsmi
(2011), and the Henryville Tornado (2012). Each chapter starts with a
description of the disaster centered around a child or children who
survived it. This is followed by richly illustrated historical
information. A listing of sources can help students find more
information on any particular disaster that kindles their interest.
Needless to say, some of the older disasters had to be
researched through primary sources. However, the Henryville Tornado
was brought to Tarshis' attention by three young survivors: Shelby,
Dana, and Lyric. They sent her an email: "We have so many stories to
tell you about that crazy day when the tornado destroyed our school
and our town. We want you to write our story, and we want to help
you." Four days later she travelled out to meet with them.
Students in the targeted age group, grades three to six, chapter
book affecianados who have graduated picture books but are not quite
ready for the YA section are often quite fond of series. Readers who
enjoy I Survived: Five Epic Disasters will be motivated to track down
Tarshis' other ten other I Survived books, each focussing on a single
historical event.
On a personal note, November Orono Arts Cafe was anything but a
disaster. We had a packed venue, an amazing line up which included
middle school stringed instrument music and teaser scenes from a high
school musical. $240 was raised from admissions and refreshments. It
was very special for me because, in addition to reading my poetry and
dancing and playing tambourine for Redman, I sang a solo for the first
time. We were in the place where Eugene and I had our wedding
reception twenty-six years ago. I sang In My Life by the Beatles and
dedicated my performance to my husband. My friend Jack accompanied me
on guitar. Singing felt as natural as breathing. I owned that stage
and felt fully alive and shining every second I was up there. People
loved my voice. Life is good.
A great big shout out goes out to my Orono Arts Cafe family--
performers, audience members, and folks like Terrie who keep the whole
thing going. You are all rock stars.
Julia Emily Hathaway

Sent from my iPod

No comments:

Post a Comment