Friday, September 24, 2010

More for the 5/6 Social Studies Project

I'm not usually a big reader of historical fiction, but my bookclub chose The Physik Book of Deliverance Dame (about Salem and witches and mothers and daughters) and it was perfect for me, as the prelude to the 5/6 social studies project.  I find questions about memory, about storytelling, and about the historical canon fascinating.  I think Grace does too, but of course her sense of "history" is just emerging, which is fascinating in and of itself.

November 27th has been deemed the National Day of Listening by StoryCorp and NPR - an opportunity to record some of the unique stories that emerge from the 5/6 social studies project... and if all this piques curiosity enough, PBS has an interesting site about American Families including an online family tree that allows relatives to all contribute to a shared site. 

I just read a review of Patricia Reilly Giff's new book The Storyteller, and immediately interlibrary loaned it for Grace.  It seems right up the ally of the 5/6 social studies project and I know she has enjoyed other books by Giff.  Here is a review from the 4th Musketeer blog (which has other reviews of historical literature for kids, as well), and from RandomHouse's web page: 

View the Teachers Guide!
Buy this book online.

Juvenile Fiction - Social Situations - Friendship Wendy Lamb Books | Hardcover | September 2010 | $ 15.99 | 978-0-375-83888-0 (0-375-83888-0)
About the Book

A story of the American Revolution from two-time Newbery Honor–winning author Patricia Reilly Giff.

While staying with her aunt, Elizabeth finds something remarkable: a drawing. It hangs on the wall, a portrait of her ancestor, Eliza, known as Zee. She looks like Elizabeth.
The girls’ lives intertwine as Elizabeth’s present-day story alternates with Zee’s, which takes place during the American Revolution. Zee is dreamy, and hopeful for the future—until the Revolution tears apart her family and her community in upstate New York. Left on her own, she struggles to survive and to follow her father and brother into battle.

Zee’s story has been waiting to be rediscovered by the right person. As Elizabeth learns about Zee, and walks where Zee once walked and battles raged, the past becomes as vivid and real as the present.

In this beautifully crafted, affecting novel from beloved author Patricia Reilly Giff, the lives of two girls reflect one another as each finds her own inner strengths. 

What books get you thinking about the connection between family and history?