Beneath a Meth Moon by Jacqueline Woodson

This book will make you cry. First Hurricane Katrina, then death of her grandmother and mother. Then falls in love, falls hard for T-Boom, a meth addict. Who leaves her when she gets hooked. It is a downward spiral for Laurel, but her daddy loves her, she has a little baby brother Jesse Jr., a best friend Kaylee, and Moses, a friend that doesn’t try to come on to her as she sits begging for money, homeless.  The grip that meth has on people rises mysteriously to the surface in this poetic tale of struggle, of continually being pulled back to an addiction, and the people like Moses that don’t judge and don’t give up.

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Teaching resources for children and teens on Hurricane Sandy and disaster recovery

Back to school after a long, media-saturated week. How do we help kids make meaning of   the suffering and the fear of what might be a trend of annual superstorms?

There is a lot to discuss and analyze. New York Times Learning Network put together some great teaching resources and ideas. I especially like the social media lessons that ask kids to separate real photos from fakes, and facts from rumors.

Colorado State University published an annotated resource list, “Children and Disasters,” which gives educators a comprehensive list of websites for kids and adults, research findings on the effect of disasters on children, and well as a book list.

Focusing on what was done right–volunteerism, helping neighbors, donating, and creating safety plans for future disasters–will help children build resilience. It is also a teaching moment for media literacy since now the news is partly generated by the public via Twitter and other social media tools.