Oneota Reading Journal:

An E-Journal from Decorah Public Library and Luther College

  Fall 2007 Issue
Significant Others II:  Multiple Voices

Justine Allen, Vada Bebber, Kate Berry, Kelly Butler, Nina Catterall, Denise Cook, Meg Craft, Amanda Dahlberg, Annie Daly, Anna Fergesen, Megan Finholt, Dana Franzen, Stephanie Gabriel, Zach Gardner, Ashley Geesaman, Brent Gerike, Kaycee Green, Katie Harrold, Lydia Haug, Brianna Helland, Maggie Hibbs, Jennifer Holst, Jamie Huibregtse, Darren Jankord, Megan Kailhofer, Bridget May Keane, Whitney Kinzler, S. Kirstein, Anna Knaeble, Meah Knight, Meghan L. Matheson, Rachel Mehlhaff, Courtney Meriwether, Ellie Meyer, Elise Moorhead, Eda Morsch, Whittney Nordmeyer, Melissa O’Brien, Chantel Olufsen ,Ehler Orngard, Jenna Pulkowski, Laura Remme, Megan Reutlinger, K. Rodger, Katie Roos, Christina Root, Melissa Schmidt, Renee Schneider, Kyle Schroeder, Eric Schultz, Gina Sexe, Katie Shaw, Julian Stanke, Amy L. Stockseth, Dawndra Thompson, Sarah Vail, Emily Walker, Sara Walters, Erin Wilkinson, Kelly Wood, Leann Woods


Uncle Peter’s amazing Chinese wedding. Look, Lenore. Simon & Schuster (Antheneum Books), 2006., (800-233-2336), 32 pp. $16.95, ISBN 0-689-84458-1. Illustrated by Yumi Heo.

Protagonist Jenny is upset on the day of her favorite uncle’s wedding, as she feels she is losing him to his wife.  In the midst of all the excitement, Jenny finds herself in tears wishing that Peter would not get married.  In the end, Peter’s new wife invites Jenny to do a very important task which then calms her nerves and makes her feel better.  Woven into this basic plot, the reader learns some details about Chinese weddings.  Jenny explains what would have been done 200 years ago, 100 years ago and now according to the changing of their traditions.  These details are subtle and do not make the story feel like a lesson on Chinese tradition, and in fact the faces of the characters in the illustrations look slightly Americanized.  Despite this one flaw, the illustrations are full of bright colors and exciting action that enhances the storyline.  As a whole, the story provides a fun way to learn about another culture without even realizing it, as well as presenting the universal fear of being replaced. (JH) 

Back to Top

Unexplained: An encyclopedia of curious phenomena. Allen, Judy. Houghton Mufflin Co. (Kingfisher Publications), 2006., (800-225-3362). 144pp. $19.95. ISBN 0-7534-5950-7. 

This encyclopedia questions the unexplained in our world including phenomena, superstitions, and mysteries. Unexplained covers a wide array of topics that will not only interest children but will also urge them to examine the possible reasonings for such mysterious events. Judy Allen does a fine job of introducing a number of possible rationales for each phenomenon; however, her intentions aren’t to persuade the reader but to invite him/her to search for a possible explanation for himself/herself. The illustrations and photographs add to the fascinating stories, inviting readers to ponder the unexplained mysteries of our universe. (KW) 

Back to Top

Up before daybreak: Cotton and people in America. Hopkinson, Deborah. Scholastic Press (Scholastic Nonfiction), 2006., (800-242-7737). 120pp. $18.99. ISBN 0-439-63901-8.

            This informational book captures cotton production throughout the history of the United States. For each era of America’s history, cotton production is explored through its effects on the lives of humans of different cultures, the power of individuals involved with cotton production, and the economic status of the United States as a whole within each era. This book also connects the history of cotton with its current use in today’s world, including the jobs it provides for people across America. The pictures used throughout this book are real photographs or illustrations from each era, which capture the feelings and hardships that humans have endured in association with the production of cotton. Hopkinson provides the reader with personal accounts of families who have been involved with cotton production throughout each era, helping the readers connect with the culture and hardships. This book does a great job of creating an emotional connection between the reader and the people who have been and are involved in the production of cotton in the United States. This emotional connection creates a deeper learning experience for the reader, promoting greater retention of the information in the future. (BCH)

Back to Top