May 6, 2013
by Martha Bogart
Fred McKissack died last Sunday, and the world just isn’t the same place without him. Fred was one of those men that you always hear about on the news when they die—he was so nice, so friendly, such a good heart, etc. etc., except—Fred was the genuine article. I don’t think I have ever met a better human being than Fred. He and his wife, Pat, helped us here at CSD to create the New Links to New Learning videoconferencing program from scratch. This was at a time, back in 1998, when if you asked someone to do a videoconference, the response was, “A what?” But, CSD had received a grant from Southwestern Bell and Ruth Block’s task was to get schools interested and participating in videoconferences with students. She approached Pat and explained what she wanted to do—provide students with videoconferences from children’s authors—and Pat and Fred were immediately in. They didn’t know what it was, exactly, but if it helped kids, they were going to do it….
To read more of this post, visit The Connected Classroom.
March 28, 2012
Reading level: Ages 8 and up
Hardcover: 160 pages
Publisher: Scholastic Press (February 1, 2012)
Fans of science fiction should definitely pick this one up! “The McKissacks blend a futuristic world with events from world history to create a gripping sci-fi adventure.”
June 14, 2011
originally posted March 3, 2009
We’re going to start featuring assorted books from the Fred and Patricia McKissack collection; the first one we’re showcasing is Black Hands, White Sails: The Story of African-American Whalers and is a 2000 Coretta Scott King Honor Book.
In an article with Scholastic, Pat shared, “We’ve written extensively about slavery in America, but I never realized how important free black sailors were to the Underground Railroad and to the abolitionist movement. They’ve helped in more ways than we can imagine.”
From Kirkus Reviews (on Amazon.com):
…a well-written, historical account of African-Americans who sailed on whaling ships off the East Coast between 1730 and 1880. The whaling industry provided great opportunities for free black seaman (and runaway slaves), many of whom could not find jobs elsewhere. The McKissacks note that during the “golden age” of whaling in the early 19th century, African-Americans comprised one-quarter of the crews; after the Civil War, their ranks swelled to half of all whalers… Another thread of this fascinating history is the story of the abolitionist movement and the Underground Railroad for the Nantucket and New Bedford whalers.
- Reading level: Ages 4-8
- Hardcover: 192 pages
- Publisher: Scholastic Press (October 1, 1999)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0590483137
- ISBN-13: 978-0590483131
May 26, 2011
originally posted September 12, 2008
According to Barnes&Noble.com, these are their 10 top selling books authored by Patricia C. McKissack:
1. Black Diamond: The Story of the Negro Baseball Leagues
2. Abby Takes a Stand (Scraps of Time Series (#1)
3. A Friendship For Today
4. Sojourner Truth: Ain’t I a Woman?
5. Goin’ Someplace Special
6. Mirandy and Brother Wind
7. Amistad: The Story of a Slave Ship
8. Honest-to-Goodness Truth
9. Dark-Thirty: Southern Tales of the Supernatural
10. Color Me Dark: The Diary of Nellie Lee Love, the Great Migration North, Chicago, Illinois, 1919 (Dear America Series)
What is your favorite on the list?
May 26, 2011
originally posted December 6, 2007
The goal of the project is to introduce students to the process that authors use to write & illustrate a book, as well as engage them in writing activities themselves that mirror this process.
At the end of the videoconference series students will be able to:
- Use brainstorming and invention techniques to come up with ideas for writing.
- Use a journal to record their observations of places, people, and lists of facts from which they draw to write stories.
- Discriminate between different types of audiences.
- Create a story line.
- Understand character development and create their own characters.
- Understand descriptive techniques in writing and write descriptive paragraphs.
- Create multiple drafts of their work and share them through peer editing.
- Analyze their writing and that of other students.
- Share their work through email with the authors and with each other.
- Evaluate the writing of others and give constructive feedback.
- Revise their writing to conform to the correct standards of English.
From the Riverfront Times blog: “Here’s your weekly St. Louis bestseller list for the week ending May 1, as compiled by the St. Louis Independent Booksellers Alliance and based on sales at Left Bank Books, Main Street Books, Pudd’nhead Books, Subterranean Books and Sue’s News. This week’s St. Louis bestseller list is packed with books by actual St. Louisans.”
1. You Are My Little Cupcake by Amy E. Sklansky
2. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
3. The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens
4. Oh, The Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss
5. Who is Coming? by Patricia McKissack
6. My Daddy and Me by Amy E. Sklansky
7. Of Thee I Sing by Barack Obama
8. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
9. Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
10. Ana’s Story by Jenna Bush
March 8, 2011
The next addition of Patricia McKissack’s Clone Codes was released in February 2011! In the first book of the trilogy that came out last year, “cyborgs and clones are treated no better than slaves, and an underground abolitionist movement is fighting for freedom.”
Clone Codes, The #2: Cyborg tells the story of Houston, a cyborg in the year 2130, and how he is considered less than human. Co-written with her husband Fred and her son John, “The Clone Codes sci-fi adventure trilogy continues with this [second] book that blends a futuristic society with pivotal moments in world history.”
Both Clone Codes books will be discussed in Pat’s upcoming Science Fiction-Creative Writing three-part videoconference series. (See previous posts). To register for any of Patricia McKissack’s interactive K-12 videoconferences, contact Cooperating School Districts.
If you think your students could be intimidated by talking with an award-winning published author, take a look at this collage of photos taken from several videoconferences with Patricia McKissack…
… maybe not so much, right? If you want to read more about Mrs. McKissack’s interactive, engaging distance learning programs, click here.