Friday, August 21, 2009

Poetry Friday

Forty years ago was a summer of firsts. It was the year Armstrong walked on the moon. It was, also, the year my dad moved my mom, me, and my brother from suburban Denver to on of the biggest cities in the world, Mexico City. It was a summer of first for me too! I had my first artichoke, pepino (sliced cucumber covered in lime juice and chili powder) from the street vendor, limón paletta (lime popsicles made with lime juice), earthquake (OK my only one!)and my first ride on a subway, El Metro del Cuidad de Mexico. Wow, this boy was hooked. I have never gotten over living in a big city. Our apartment even had an elevator as the front door.

As I thought of what poem to do for Poetry Friday I immediately thought of Subways are People from Lee Bennett Hopkins new book of poetry City I Love. Come on what boy does not love trains, and the metro is subterranean train? When I first read this poem the memories rushed by just as the Mexico City Metro rushes by the Aztec ruins. Enjoy.

By Lee Bennett Hopkins

Subways are people-

People standing
People sitting
People swaying to and fro
Some in suits
Some in tatters
People I will never know.

Subways are people-

Some with glasses
Some without
Boy with smile
Girl with Frown

People dashing
Steel flashing
Up and down and round the town.

Subways are people-

People old
People new
People always on the go
Racing, running, rushing people
People I will never know.


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Guilty Pleassure

Last February at the CCIRA conference Jane Yolan gave a potent luncheon speech. One of her points was that publishers “create” series to make money. I agree, but some of them are fun and do get kids to read. I read the fourth 39 Clues this summer. It is not great literature, and will probably not stand the passage of time, but they are fun. I borrowed the book from M. He emailed me four times to see how I liked it, and to tell me “Mr. Kimmal it is the best one yet!”

How bad can a book be if it keeps a nine year old reading during the summer?
Reading Level high 3rd grade and above.