Maybe it's because his mother was a teacher. Or maybe it's because he has spent most of his life in classrooms - as a wide-eyed first grader, a naive college student, a seminarian, and now as a visiting writer in residencies across the country. There's something about school that infuses the work of Donald Davis and he has collected his all-time favorite school stories in the book. Whether we're traveling around the world with Miss Daisy, the fourth grade teacher who was integrating arithmetic, geography and English before the term whole language ever surfaced; or watching in awe as a classmate conjugates malaprops in Miss Vergilius Darwin's Latin class; or driving a school bus and learning about segregation - we experience flashes of recognition in moments that transcend Donald Davis's childhood stories.
Bubbling with beautiful princesses, dragon-slaying underdogs, and crafty tricksters, these Franco-American stories explore a heritage that has become known as "a quiet presence". Co-authors, Parent and Olivier recount the lutin's tricks on farmers, the Jack-like adventures of Ti-Jean, Pierre and his modern-day chainsaw, a beautiful princess conquering an evil witch, and family stories passed down from generation to generation. Meet Michael's grandfather, Honor Fournier, who spoiled his grandchildren with kindly generosity, and Alexis Lacasse, Julien's grandfather, who didn't let a prank stop him from arriving to dinner on time. Life in Franco-American families revolved around two entities: family and church. The authors address these two important aspects and how they have influenced their stories. Olivier and Parent inherited their families' love of stories and continue that legacy by sharing their ancestry and heritage in this charming book.
When elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers. This ancient proverb of the Kikuyu people, a tribal group in Kenya, Africa, is as true today as when the words were first spoken, perhaps thousands of years ago. Its essence is simplicity: when the large fight, it is the small who suffer most. And when it comes to war, the smallest, the most vulnerable, are the children. When Elephants Fight presents the stories of five children from five very different and distinct conflicts. Along with these very personal accounts, the book also offers brief analyses of the history and geopolitical issues that are the canvas on which these conflicts are cast. When Elephants Fight is about increasing awareness. For the future to be better than the past, better than the present, we must help equip our children with an awareness and understanding of the world around them and their ability to bring about change. Gandhi stated, "If you are going to change the world, start with the children."
When Renata is chosen to play the lead role in the school musical, students who used to ignore her start saying hello and congratulating her in the hall. She is happy until it becomes evident that Karin, a wealthy girl who expected to get the lead role, will go to great lengths to ruin Renata's reputation.
Sam Campbell's school team, the Laggan Lairds, always loses. When someone suggests that their name be the Laggan Lard Butts, Sam thinks the team should change its name. What is a Laird anyway? The basketball coach agrees, and soon the whole school is involved in an election for a new team name. Sam and his friends nominate the name Lard Butts. When the basketball team starts winning games after a warm-up cheer of "Go Lard Butts!" it seems the Lard Butt campaign might actually win the election.
When Colin accepts the job to clean up the graffiti in an upscale neighborhood he worries that he might be targeted by gangs. But he didn't expect to become a suspect in a series of robberies. Every time he is sent to clean up graffiti, the police are nearby investigating a crime. Colin knows he's done nothing wrong, but even he acknowledges his presence at the crime scenes looks suspicious. The only way he can clear his name is to figure out what is really going on.
Sable wears only black and has always felt that doom is near. Lacey wears pink and seeks beauty everywhere. A sadistic art teacher pairs Sable and Lacey together for their final project. The girls have to get to know one another and select a suitable poem for the back of each other's decorative mirror. Sable is less than thrilled at having to spend time with Lacey, who she believes to be nothing more than a brainless doll. As the project progresses, and Sable gets past her resentment, she learns some surprising truths about who Lacey really is. All of Sable's images begin to change, including the one she holds of herself.