California Educator

November / December 2016

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THE BOYS NEXT DOOR — AND A STEAMPUNK CINDERELLA Black teen Rashad is mistaken for a shoplifter by a cop — who is also father figure to his best friend Quinn, who is white. A series of further mistakes ends with Rashad getting a severe beating, witnessed by Quinn and caught on video. Timely and gripping, the novel All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely (grades 9-12) follows Rashad and Quinn as they deal with the repercussions of this single violent act, which leaves their school, community, and ultimately the country bitterly divided by racial tension. A 2016 Coretta Scott King Author Honor book and Walter Dean Myers Award winner. In Mechanica, by Betsy Cornwell (grades 6-8), "Mechanica" is the demeaning nickname that Nicolette's stepsisters call her because of the machines she invents to help her clean house. When the teen discovers her deceased mother 's secret workshop — complete with furnace and mechanical tools, and powered partly by magic — she starts to imagine a new, entrepreneurial life for herself. It's Cinderella with a modern-day, independent streak: At the science exposition and royal ball, Nick is determined to invent her own happily-ever-after. See for more recommendations. #CaliforniaReads American Indian Heritage Month November is American Indian/Alaska Native Heritage Month. Educators can check out multimedia resources and lesson plans, includ- ing literature, arts and history and cultural studies. Try NEA (, EDSITEment! (, and the National Museum of the American Indian ( For example, EDSITEment! suggests students read Native American Joy Harjo's poem "Remem- ber," about our connectedness to the world, and then watch a video ( of Harjo read- ing the poem. Students can track the different experiences and meaning they get from both. Special Ed Day Celebrate and reflect on national Special Educa- tion Day on Dec. 2 — and consider reform for the future. The first federal special education law, the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act, was signed into law in 1975 to ensure that children with disabilities have the opportunity to receive a free appropriate public education, just like other children. The law has been revised many times over the years. Read CTA's policy brief on special education at and see our story on special ed teacher Hope Bosheff on page 16. #SpecialEducationDay Mask is an image of Git Hayetsk (people of the copper shield), by Mike Dangeli. Photo: Smithsonian Institution/ National Museum of the American Indian. 8 in the know calendar

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