Nelson Mandela International Day poem by J. Patrick Lewis

When Thunder Comes: Poems for Civil Rights Leaders
by J. Patrick Lewis (Author), Jim Burke (Illustrator), R. Gregory Christie (Illustrator), Tonya Engel (Illustrator), John Parra (Illustrator), and Meilo So (Illustrator)

Booktalk: Children’s Poet Laureate J. Patrick Lewis gave new voices to seventeen heroes of civil rights: King, Harvey Milk, Mohandas Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Sylvia Mendez, Aung San Suu Kyi, Mamie Carthan Till, Helen Zia, Josh Gibson, Dennis James Banks, Mitsuye Endo, Ellison Onizuka, Jackie Robinson, Muhammad Yunus, James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner in this 2013 volume. After the book came out, Nelson Mandela died, so Lewis updated the poem. He asked me to share it with you today on Nelson Mandela International Day.

Nelson Mandela International Day

July 18

It was as if he’d landed on the moon
Five years before the actual event.
At Robben Island prison, his descent
Into a nightmare world, an outcast dune,
Began at forty-six, his fate derailed.
There were no clocks, his life defined by bell
And whistle, sisal mats (no beds), his cell
Seven feet square. But destiny prevailed,
So that for twenty-seven squalid years,
He kept his keepers, not the other way around:
The wages of nobility unbound.
Respect had overcome a freight of fears.
Madiba, as Mandela’s widely known—
The gentleman who calmed the combat zone.

J. Patrick Lewis

This week’s Poetry Friday Round-up is hosted by The Opposite of Indifference.

Copyright © 2014 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.

1,2,3… by the Sea

1,2,3… by the Sea
by Dianne Moritz (Author) and Hazel Mitchell (Illustrator)

Booktalk: Will a day by the sea be filled with numerous fun things to eat, play, watch and do? You can count on it!

Jellyfish float in the sea …
swishy, squishy.

We find THREE.

This week’s Poetry Friday Round-up is hosted by Write Time.

Copyright © 2014 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.


by Patricia H. Aust (Author)

Booktalk: Miguel’s dad is at it again—physically abusing his mom and sister and terrorizing Miguel for no good reason. But when Miguel’s mom and sister, who have been whispering to one another for some time, decide to stand up to the abuse and decide to move to a women’s shelter, Miguel’s life begins to take turns he never expected. After the family moves out, it isn’t long before Miguel’s dad promises to change his ways before once again becoming abusive; leaving Miguel to summon the courage to stand up to the man he thought he loved.

Snippet: In one way, it’s good we won’t be home for a few days. It’s always hard for me when Dad hurts Mom and she has to hide her injuries. Lie to her boss and friends.

But this is worse. One look at her face and Ellie’s leg and anyone would know something’s wrong. They’ll pity us, think we’re freaks. Maybe even call the cops or the State.

What was Dad thinking?

Mom pulls into a paved driveway. “Is this the shelter?” Ellie asks.

Copyright © 2014 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.