A Box of Crystal Kite Winners

I live in the woods, at least an hour from the nearest bookstore and the library system for which, as an out-of-towner, I buy yearly access. Instead of trips to the city, I look forward to a three-mile trek to the post office.

The box that came in the mail this week contained half a dozen Crystal Kite Award winners, first run books published in the past year by members of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Two books on the list I already owned and had shared with my Reading Lab students…and with a couple of second grade classes to whom I read every chance I get.

One, Tiny Stitches: The Life of Medical Pioneer Vivien Thomas by Gwendolyn Hooks and Colin Bootman, was also the winner of an NAACP Award. This is a must-share book, the story of a smart, brave African American who changed the world for the better. Tiny Stitches will appeal to students in upper elementary through high school and beyond. The storytelling is superb, as are Bootman’s illustrations.

Space Boy and the Space Pirate by Dian Curtis Regan and Robert Neubecker is the second Space Boy book. I hope there are more. The books are fun, and the kids appreciate the message about the power of imagination, not to mention tips on getting along with a pesky sister. I shared both Space Boy books with my second grade friends. They loved them as much as I did, and they got the clues and the humor.

Schools out now. I have the summer, my box of books, and plenty of coffee. Life is good!

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