April 02, 2017

Module 10 Historical Fiction

Book Cover

Book Summary:
Tomas' family moves from Iowa to Texas to work in the fields. This story tells about how he went to the library and read books given to him by the librarian to read. He would get lost in the books and be able to take some home to read to his family because the librarian checked some out under her name. When it was time to leave he thanked her with some pan dulce and she gave him a new book and a love of reading to remember her by. Later on in life Tomas became a national education leader and professor but still remembered this librarian in Iowa.

APA Reference of Book:

Mora, P., & Colón, R. (1997). Tomas and the library lady. New York: A.A. Knopf.

WOW! This book was powerful in that it shows how just reading a book can transform your life. The librarian went out of her way to make the books accessible to Tomas by checking books out to him under her name and by giving him books that he was interested in. I also like how it shows the spanish/hispanic culture of story telling, food, and family. The pictures with their wood block printing also gave it a "old time" feel but also lent to the culture as well. Living in Texas this should be a staple in any classroom or library!

Professional Review:
Gr 2-4--Tomas Rivera, who at his death in 1984 was the Chancellor of the University of California at Riverside, grew up in a migrant family. Here, Mora tells the fictionalized story of one summer in his childhood during which his love of books and reading is fostered by a librarian in Iowa, who takes him under her wing while his family works the harvest. She introduces him to stories about dinosaurs, horses, and American Indians and allows him to take books home where he shares them with his parents, grandfather, and brother. When it is time for the family to return to Texas, she gives Tomas the greatest gift of all--a book of his own to keep. Colon's earthy sun-warmed colors, textured with swirling lines, add life to this biographical fragment and help portray Tomas's reading adventures in appealing ways. Stack this up with Sarah Stewart and David Small's The Library (Farrar, 1995) and Suzanne Williams and Steven Kellogg's Library Lil (Dial, 1997) to demonstrate the impact librarians can have on youngsters.

Elleman, B. (1997). Preschool to grade 4: Fiction. School Library Journal, 43(10), 105.

Library Uses:
Hmm. Not sure maybe to talk about someone who was important to their reading journey or just talk about what they remember about learning to read and books to now? Maybe favorite book? Or did someone ever recommend a book to you since the librarian gave him a book she thought he would like.

My Rating: I would give this book 4 out of 5 stars!

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