March: Book One John Lewis

A Turning Point

I tutor a student in reading, and she has come a long way from when I initially started working with her. Last summer, she was a rising 6th grader, but she was reading at the 4th grade level. This young student had a negative attitude towards reading and had no interest in picking up a book to read. Her mom asked me if I would work with her, and there was no way that I was going to say no.

Although she complained because she wanted to have her summer off, we worked together twice a week. Since she has “old school” parents, I had to laugh when they told her that she had no choice but to improve with her reading and that learning during summer was an option. It was a struggle, at first, because her fear of reading was really deep. However, the more we worked together, the more she began to feel comfortable.

We read a variety of print, which includes comic books and graphic novels because she loves them. Last week, we met for our session, and I told her that I had a surprise for her. She likes history, so I showed her a copy of March: Book One by John Lewis. I explained to her the purpose for this graphic novel and why I thought she would like it. When I told her that this copy now belonged to her, the look on her face was priceless. Then, the reading began. She read the first five pages, but she wanted to read them again. I told her to read with attitude this time, and she gave me ATTITUDE! I was so proud of her because she was not afraid; she was confident; she commanded the text. She is a different reader from last summer. She asked how many pages she had to read for our next session; I told her that was up to her. She replied, “Good!” I have a feeling that she will read many pages if not the entire graphic novel. When she said, “I’m glad Mr. Lewis wrote this book for students like me,” I knew that this was her turning point.

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Forever Reading

Langston Hughes Anyone?

Although this collection of poems is written for children, it is appropriate for individuals of all ages. Included in this non-intimidating volume are Hughes’ well-known poems. Accompanying the poems are illustrations that depict each poem and will catch the reader’s attention. It allows readers to visualize the theme/subject of each poem. Moreover, footnotes are included at the bottom of the page, so the younger audience will know the meaning of dialectical words and vocabulary words. Before each poem, a brief synopsis is provided so that the children will understand the subject of each poem.

Before reading this poetry, an introduction with a picture of Hughes is included. This introduction helps readers to understand Hughes’ life, his impact on the Harlem Renaissance, and his fight against racial and social justice. These poems not only help young readers but also all readers understand the struggles of African Americans during this time in history.

I loved this book; in fact, there was not one poem that I did not like. As I read “Aunt Sue’s Stories,” I was reminded of stories that my maternal and paternal grandparents shared with me. Also, “Mother to Son” is still relevant because African American mothers are still encouraging their sons to continue to stand strong and reach for the prize even though life may throw many curve balls their way.

As you read these selected poems, go on a journey with Langston Hughes. Travel down Hughes’ avenue of poetry. See the images, and hear his sounds. Feel the beat, and feel his moods. Read this book of poems!

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Forever Reading’s Rating = 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟