Sunday, April 21, 2013

Unplug & Read Blog Tour and a Book Review

Imagine going about your day without the trappings of screen media: no phones, computers, tablets, televisions. Preschoolers today spend as much as 4.1 to 4.6 hours per day on one screen or another. Including multi-tasking, children 8 to 18 spend 7.5 hours per day with screens. This Spring, Random House Children’s Books is issuing a challenge: UNPLUG & READ during Screen Free Week April 29 – May 5.

Inspired by Dan Yaccarino’s Doug Unplugged (On sale February 12, 2013) about a robot who discovers that the real world trumps the virtual, we are launching Random House Unplugs: A Screen Free Week promotion. We are committed to supporting teachers, librarians, booksellers and parents in their efforts to encourage children to UNPLUG & READ during Screen Free Week from April 29 – May 5.

Screen Free Week is the annual celebration from the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) that encourages turning off screens and turning on life. CCFC’s Screen Free Week is a creative response to growing public health concerns about the unprecedented time children spend with entertainment screen media—television, computers, video games, and smart phones. Studies show that Preschoolers spend as much as 4.1 to 4.6 hours per day using screen media. Including multi-tasking, children 8 to 18 spend 7.5 hours per day with screens. Unplugging for one week provides an opportunity to reset media habits, establishing a healthy, sustainable tradition of media consumption in households and schools.

When Random House invited me to be a part of this tour I was excited to accept. I am a teacher and I'm always looking for ways to get students to read more. I have been promoting and preparing my students for Screen Free Week since the beginning of the month. I am always encouraging students to get outside. I want them to learn to use their imagination. Students who learn to use their imagination bring so much more to the books they read and become better writers. Random House also provided me with a book to read and review. I was thrilled they took the time to see what would be a good fit for my blog. I am even more thrilled to introduce you to the book that I will be recommending not only to my class, but to the media specialist at my school.

My Book Recommendation for Screen Free Week/Unplug & Read

Bee by Kimberly Newton Fusco
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Pages: 336
Source: received review copy in exchange for my honest review
Genre:  Middle Grade Realistic Fantasy

Young Bee is an orphan.  When her parents are killed while working for a carnival she is allowed to stay on with Pauline.  Pauline raises her until their boss sends Pauline away. Then her friend Bobby, who runs the pig races goes off to work in a factory.  Bee has always felt alone, but never as alone as she does now.  She is born with a birthmark that covers one side of her face. This subjects her to taunts and teasing.  Now her protectors are gone.  Bee decides it is time to leave the carnival and find a permanent place to stay.  She and a dog she had found set off until they find the perfect gingerbread looking house.  There she finds Mrs. Swift and Mrs. Potter.  Mrs. Potter has been visiting her since her parents died.  The problem is no one else can see her or Mrs. Swift.  Through their love and lessons Bee must learn to stand on her own and become the person she was born to be.  You must read this book.  I was sucked in emotionally form the beginning.  You want to pity Bee, but at the same time you want to scream at her to stand up to those who bully her.  It is a story that takes place during the time when America is at war with Japan.  Families are separated and people are bullied for all kinds of things.  Being different brought out the bully in people you wouldn't expect to be bullies.  There are lessons for everyone to learn.  Kids will love this book because they will be able to relate to the different types of bullying.  They will learn because they will be able to sympathize with the victims.  This is a book that not only kids but adults will enjoy.  If I could make it a rule every school would read this book at the beginning of the year.  In many ways it reminded me of the book Wonder.  If you liked that book you will LOVE this one. 

No comments:

Post a Comment