Summer of Kings
Title: The Summer of Kings
Author: Han Nolan
Publisher: New York, Scholastic, Inc.
Genre: Historical Fiction
Number of Pages: 334
Pub. Date: 2006
Summary: Set in Westchester New York in 1963, Ester is a 14 year old girl who fantasies about an exotic romance with an 18 year old, African-American male who is sent to live with her family after being accused of murdering a Southern, White man. As the summer goes on and she learns more about King-Roy, she delves into the current issues of racism and segregation. Through her experiences and her struggles against her unsupportive family, she learns more about herself and of what she is truly capable of. In the end, she even convinces her whole family to participate in a march for peace in Washington D.C., and convinces King-Roy to turn away from the ways of a violent Muslim leader, which unfortunately leads to his death.
Critique: This piece is a great example of historical fiction. It fits within the category of historically researched with imaginary characters. It is set in New York in 1963, a time when racial issues were a very present issue. The main characters, Esther King-Roy and her family are most likely invented, but I’m sure there were people who lived during that time that went through a lot of the same things that they did. I’m sure there were young white girls who just wanted equality for all and wanted to go to the march and young black men who had to endure harsh realities because of the color of their skin. The author does a careful job of not sheltering the reader for the realities of the time, the racial segregation and violence, but she does relay the information through the viewpoint of a 14 year old girl, which makes it understandable, yet not too harsh. In the book, there is talk of and details presented about a violent Muslim movement and a peaceful one by Martin Luther King Jr. These are both elements that were present in that time, which displays the historical accuracy of the book well.
Response: I like how the author incorporates some very intense issues like racial violence and segregation in a narrative format that is easy for children to because the main character is a child encountering many of these issues for the first time. It allows for that ability to talk about these issues with children at a relatable point of view.
Book Report Sandwiches
The teacher draws slices of ham, tomato, and Swiss cheese; lettuce leaves; a layer of mayonnaise, and a couple of slices of bread. Then she photocopies the drawings onto appropriately colored sheets of paper -- ham on pink, tomato on red, Swiss cheese on yellow, etc. The sheets served as the ingredients for the students' book report sandwiches.
- On the top slice of bread, each student wrote the title and the author of the book the student had just finished reading.
- On the lettuce, the student wrote a brief summary of the book.
- The student wrote about the main character on the tomato slice.
- On the mayonnaise, the student described the book's setting.
- The student shared the book's climax on the Swiss cheese.
- On the ham slice, the student described the plot.
- On the bottom piece of bread, the student drew a favorite scene from the story.
Students stapled together their sandwich layers, then slapped their concoctions up on a bulletin board headlined "We're Hungry for Good Books!"
Example for Summer of Kings:
Tomato slice: King-Roy- He is an 18 year old Black male who is sent to live with a white family for the summer. King-Roy is haunted by an event in his past where is brother and sister were both injured because of a peaceful walk that was turned away with violence from white men. He is struggling to believe in the peaceful movement anymore and has turned to find hope in a violent, Muslim movement.