Monday, September 04, 2017

This Is How We Do It

This Is How We Do It. Matt LaMothe. 2017. Chronicle. 52 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: This is me. Italy. My name is Romeo, and I'm called "Meo." I'm eight years old. Japan. My name is Kei, and I'm called "Kei-chan." I'm nine years old. Uganda. My name is Daphine, and I'm called "Abwooli." I'm seven years old. Russia. My name is Oleg, and I'm called "Olezhka." I'm eight years old. Peru. My name is Ribaldo, and I'm called "Pirineo." I'm eleven years old. India. My name is Ananya, and I'm called "Anu." I'm eight years old. Iran. My name is Kian. I'm seven years old.

Premise/plot: This Is How We Do It is a nonfiction picture book for older readers. The subtitle sums up the premise well: "One Day in the Lives of Seven Kids From Around the World." Simple sentences are fleshed out with detail by seven narrators.

For example, "This is how we learn."
India. We study general awareness and value education as well as subjects like math, Hindi, and English.
Japan. We all wear white indoor slippers and are in charge of cleaning our classroom every day. We study ethics as well as math, science, and Japanese.
Peru. Our school is very small, so the fourteen kids in the fifth and sixth grades study in the same room. We have different subjects each day, and our school ends at one o'clock.
Russia. I study three languages: Russian, English, and Bashkir. I'm in a class with the same kids and the same teacher from first through fourth grades.
Uganda. I study at a private school far from home, so I stay with my grandma, who has a house nearby. There are 69 boys and girls in my class, and we study math, reading, writing, and religion.
Iran. I go to an all-boys school. We study reading and writing in Farsi, math, science, and the Quran.
Italy. We do many activities outside the classroom, like visit parks and forests, go to museums in other cities, and put on a musical at the end of the year. We have school from eight o'clock to four o'clock.
My thoughts: I loved this one. I found it fascinating. And I really loved, loved, loved the ending.
This is my night sky.
LaMothe keeps it simple and yet profound. This one also includes back matter. I loved, loved, loved the opportunity to see photographs of the families. The photographs help you realize that the book is truly nonfiction. These seven narrators aren't composite representations of hundreds of different kids from an outsider perspective. These are real kids from real families who have shared facts and details from their lives. The book also includes a glossary and an author's note.
With the help of friends (and friends of friends of friends) and family, I found seven children who agreed to share their day for this book. I put together a guide with detailed instructions about the photos and information I needed to fill each section of the book. Some of the families didn't speak English, so I enlisted help to translate the instructions into different languages. The families took pictures of their real breakfasts, homes, classrooms, and families. We communicated mostly through email, and sometimes messaging apps. I then used the photos as references to create all the illustrations you see in this book.
See. Fascinating. From cover to cover this one kept me excited!!!

Text: 5 out of 5
Illustrations 4 out of 5
Total: 9 out of 10


© 2017 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

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  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
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I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

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