California Educator

August/September 2023

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 10 of 71

S T A R T T H E S C H O O L Y E A R with books from CTA's California Reads — an annual list of engaging, teacher-vetted books for all grade levels. Find them all at, plus find links to buy the books at a 20 percent discount. Among this year 's selections: Buffalo Bird Girl: A Hidatsa Story (written and illustrated by S.D. Nelson; grades 1–2), is a stunning picture book biography of a 19th century Hidatsa woman. Buf- falo Bird Girl learned the ways of her people living along the Missouri River on the Great Plains. She planted crops, tended fields and joined in the harvest. She prepared animal skins and dry meat. She also played games, trained her dog and saw all sorts of fascinating things at the white man's settlements when she visited the trading post. Nelson, a Standing Rock Sioux, interweaves actual words and stories of Buffalo Bird Woman (ca. 1839–1932) with artwork, archival photos and a historical timeline of the Hidatsa. Featuring nearly 50 iconic oil paintings and a dramatic double-page fold-out, We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball (by Kadir Nelson ; grades 3–5) shares the story of the league from its beginnings in the 1920s through its evolution, until after Jackie Robinson crossed over to the majors in 1947. Children will learn about gifted athletes and determined owners, racial discrimination and international sportsmanship, and triumphs and defeats on and off the field. A mir- ror for the social and political history of Black America, these are stories of unsung heroes who overcame segregation, terrible conditions and low pay to do one thing they loved most: play ball. Sylvia & Aki (by Pam Munoz Ryan; grades 6–8) is a remarkable story based on true events around Mendez vs. Westminster Schools District. This California court case desegregated schools for Latino children and set the stage for Brown vs. Topeka Board of Education at the national level. Aki Munemitsu and her family run an asparagus farm in Westminster, Calif., until they are summarily dispatched to an internment camp in Arizona for the duration of World War II. Sylvia Mendez' family leases Aki's family farm but must fight for Sylvia to attend a neighborhood school instead of the "Mexican" school. The girls meet unexpectedly and correspond. Dis- cover who Sylvia and Aki were, and why their stories still matter. Read! Ready? Set ? P A T R I O T D A Y, on September 11, is an annual day we pay tribute to the heroes and victims who lost their lives on September 11, 2001. While it is not a federal holiday, it is a National Day of Service and Remembrance. 9 A U G U S T / S E P T E M B E R 2 0 2 3 I N E W S & N O T E S

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of California Educator - August/September 2023