Sunday, June 9, 2013

Smoky Nights

Author: Eve Bunting
Illustrator: David Diaz  
Publisher:  Harcourt Brace & Company
Publication Year:   1994
Location: Personal Collection

Awards:   Caldecott Medal, ALA Notable, School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, Parent's Choice Award Winner

Summary:  Daniel and his mother watch during the Los Angeles riots and are forced to flee as their building begins to burn.  They discover that their cat and that of their Korean neighbor are both missing.  The community gathers in a shelter to escape the fire and the looting and the cats are found. The book does touch on sensitive subjects, but it ends hopefully with the two cats teaching the humans a lesson about getting along. Diaz's collage art is incredible incorporating real objects with paintings.

Classroom Ideas: This book could be used in a discussion about late 20th century history and riots. It also touches on problem solving and tolerance for difference. An art teacher could use it talk about collage.

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