One of my New Year’s Resolutions is to be more consistent with the fab ‘just 1 book’ feature not only because I love hearing about what books inspire others but also because I’ve received so many emails saying how much readers appreciate and enjoy the series.
And who wouldn’t? We’re learning about great books, getting to ‘meet’ authors, and making our community a little bit stronger.
I’m so excited about the first ‘just 1 book’ guest post of 2011 because I totally love the book she wrote. Carol Liu’s book, Arlene on the Scene, was written to raise awareness about the most common hereditary neuropathy, Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, or CMT.
Her ‘just 1 book’ post focuses on the book that inspired her to write Arlene, and she’s giving away a signed copy of her book to one teach mama reader! Yeah!
About the author: Carol Liu combines her social work and legal background into work as a child advocate in the Washington, DC area. Her real passion, though, is writing, and her most recent title is Arlene on the Scene, a chapter book for ages 6-12 that delivers a powerful message about the value in embracing difference and disability.
- just 1 book: author guest post by Carol Liu
Appreciating Difference: Tacky, the Penguin by Helen Lester, Illustrated by Lynn Munsinger
Tacky, the Penguin really opened my mind to the idea of writing about difference. We all like to think we embrace differences, but in the end, we constantly notice difference in each other, constantly put people in categories and groups, and I think it actually takes effort to work against our natural inclinations to do this. Let’s face it, when someone is different, we notice. Question is, how do we then consider that difference?
Tacky, the Penguin illustrates this in a gentle, yet hilarious way. Tacky is different, no doubt about it. The other penguins immediately notice and set him apart, like we all do at times. But when the hunters come looking for penguins, Tacky’s differences actually save the day. The quirky characteristics of Tacky scare off the hunters, and by the end, Tacky has the other penguins singing goofy songs along with him. This story is a beautiful way to convey a great message to younger children.
Plus, it is a terrific read-aloud book! I had the best time pretending to be Tacky with my kids, screaming his songs so loud the neighbors could hear, walking his wacky steps all around the room. Then, of course, encouraging my kids to do the same. This bo0k is an absolute joy to read!
So when I started writing my own book, it was this idea of not just accepting difference, but appreciating it—celebrating it, even—that I wanted to write about. This is what I hope we achieved with Arlene on the Scene, for an audience slightly older than Tacky’s. You can check it out at www.arleneonthescene.com or on amazon, barnes and noble, wherever books are sold.
Many thanks, Carol, for sharing what book motivated you to write your own book! Arlene on the Scene is a fabulous book, one that I am eager to read with my own children and believe more people should read themselves. I am embarrassed to say that I don’t know much about CMT, so it’s incredibly informative with a super- important message for readers of any age.
Do you want to learn more about CMT or have some resources for using this book in the classroom?
- Arlene on the Scene Teacher’s Guide (50 pages! it’s so awesome!)
- Educational Resources from Arlene on the Scene blog
- Hereditary Neuropathy Foundation
- Arlene on the Scene blog
- Grace’s Courage Crusade
- Charcot-Marie-Tooth Association
GIVEAWAY: A signed copy of Arlene on the Scene!
- Leave a comment here (along with your email address) simply sharing why you want your own copy of Arlene on the Scene.
- For extra entries, you can share this post with a friend–or teacher or school counselor or anyone!–(just tell me who you shared it with!) OR Tweet this: Win a signed copy of @ArleneOnScene on @teachmama http://teachmama.com/?p=999 #ece #literacy
This contest ends on Monday, January 10, 2011 at midnight ET.