Friday, January 18, 2013

Recommended Picture Book:

Title: Lucky Beans

Author: Becky Birtha

Illustrator: Nicole Tadgell

Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company; 2010

Suitable for: 8 and up

Topics: African Americans, US History, Depression Era, Family Life, Arithmetic,

Cold wind ripped through Marshal Loman’s old wool Jacket. The snow froze his toes right through his hand-me-down boots.

Book Summary: 
During the Great Depression, Marshall, an African American boy, uses lessons learned in arithmetic class and guidance from his mother to figure out how many beans are in a jar in order to win her a new sewing machine in a contest.

Links to resources:
Math possibilities. This book was about estimation. Math 4 Children have estimation activities and work sheets.
Find fun online estimation games at PBS Kids. 
Lucky Beans coloring pages 
Lesson plans and activities can be found here.
More information about the African American experience during the Great Depression can be found here and here
The Great Depression: An African American Perspective  

Why I like this book:
Anyone who has been hit with hard times will appreciate this story. Lucky Beans is about a young African American boy, Marshall, and how he uses lessons from his math class to help his family, especially his mother, who has had her eyes on a new sewing machine. But times are hard. No work, means no money. No money means little food and definitely no sewing machine for mama. Children are introduced to the Great Depression era and how it affected everyone, especially the African American community. There is a wonderful math lesson included in the story as well. Estimation. Children learn how this important skill helps Marshall and his family through tough economic times.


Unknown said...

This book will make an impact on my preteen. I think this will help him in understanding how important it is to use money wisely.

CindyWindy2003 said...

while the subject is sad, its important, it sounds like the book can introduce poverty and the great depression in a understandable way for a child,thanks for your review, carawling(at)Hotmail(Dot)com

RIN said...

I haven't read this book, but it sounds absolutely fantastic, especially for this reason:

As a substitute teacher, whenever I sub in a math class I almost always have at least one student as why they have to learn math. I'm such a huge fan of math and science, and it's very disheartening when I hear kids say that they think math doesn't affect them. It does! Hopefully this will help get kids in the right mindset early on.

bn100 said...

This sounds inspiring.