Thursday, April 21, 2011
No English by Jacqueline Jules
Author: Jacqueline Jules
Illustrator: Amy Huntington
Copyright: 2007, Mitten Press.
Theme: Friendship, Language Barriers
Synopsis:This story is about a girl named Blanca who is from Argentina and who speaks no English. All Blanca does is draw pictures in class instead of doing classroom, and this does not seem fair to Diane. Diane tries to do the same as Blanca, but Diane only gets in trouble. Their teacher encourages them all to be friends, even though Blanca might not speak the same language as everyone else does. Diane finds a way to communicate with Blanca in the end.
Pre-Reading Activity:Teacher can talk a little bit about the Spanish culture. Maybe bring in some books from other countries too and talk about different cultures. Teacher can have students share what they have to say and also share something about their own cultures.
Students will discuss in small groups what they would do if there was someone in their classroom that speaks no English.
This book reminds me of the time when I first moved to America and spoke no English. I remember some cruel kids who would make fun of me just because I didn't understand what they were saying. for the longest time, kids would come up to me and ask me if someone was my boyfriend and since I knew what "boy" meant and I knew what "friend" meant I always nodded yes. The fact is I never understood what boy and friend meant together. So, I definitely understand what this girl must have been going through, and I think this book should be read to younger kids to make them aware of this. It's hard being from a different country and not understanding the language, and it is important that people around you understand what you are going through. I would recommend this book to all teachers, because all students must be aware of cultural/language barriers.
Jacqueline Jules has always wanted to be a writer. When she was asked what she wanted to be when she grew up in third grade, she wrote "writer". She became a writer because she enjoys playing with words. Ever since she was young she enjoyed reading, and still enjoys a good book. In addition to writing books and poetry, Jacqueline is also a teacher and a librarian.