Old Misery by James Sage

Old Misery by James Sage

I admit it. The drawings are what drew me to Old Misery, along with the title. The blurb above gives a good summary, but I will say I found it amusing who all managed to get stuck in her tree. The illustrations are perfect for the story, simple and amusing but grim too. But we all know that wishes can often be double-edged swords.  The "surprise visitor" who really probably wasn't much of a surprise to the old woman, ends up stuck in the tree and Old Misery learns why you have to be so careful with your wished. It's a cute re-telling of the Auntie Misery folktale. It's dark and a reminder that there will always be Misery and Death in the world, but I'm pretty sure there are certain kids, some of whom may or may not be in my family, who will love it....
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On Our Way to Oyster Bay by Monica Kulling

Good points: Excellent introduction to Mother Jones and her cause. To be honest, I had never heard of her before and found her fascinating. Told from a kid's point of view, allowing children to relate Takes others' problems, like child labor, and reminds us that Americans have dealt with the same issues Very good¬†artwork, detailed and added to the story Includes factual information for parents/adults at the end Gives a call to action encouraging children that they can make a difference in the world Negative points: I can't see this one being any kids favorite. It's good and historical, just not engrossing. May need some explanations, depending. Some kids may not be familiar with the sewing machinery terms, some may not even be familiar with what a strike is. It's disappointing that the kids don't actually get to meet President Roosevelt. Overall: A good one to borrow from the library. A must-buy for an elementary school classroom library.  ...
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