September 2011
August 31, 2011

Check it out: Journey Into Mohawk Country

Source: NYSUT United
Bookcover: Journey Into Mohawk Country By George O'Connor

Journey Into Mohawk Country
By George O'Connor

Journey Into Mohawk Country

By George O'Connor

Recommended by: Rocco Staino, Retiree Council 15, North Salem Teachers Association

Suitable for: Middle grades and up

Why I chose this book: The National Book Festival takes place Sept. 24-25 in Washington D.C. As part of this event, each state's Center for the Book is asked to select a children's or teen book that has a connection to their state. New York selected Journey into Mohawk Country by George O'Connor.

What I like best: O'Connor, a Brooklyn resident, decided to illustrate the 1634 diary of the Dutch trader, Harmen Meyndertsz van den Bogaert. Through his expressive artwork and research, he brings to life a long-forgotten episode in New York state history.

How teachers can use this book: Social studies teachers will find that this book offers the perfect opportunity to illustrate how an author used a primary source document (the original diary is in the collection of the New York state archives) as a basis for a story.

English teachers and their students can examine the story for possible artistic liberties between fact and fiction. This book uses the graphic novel art form, which will show art students how to use their talents in the world of literature. No matter how an educator makes use of this book, it will be a fun way to learn about a period in New York state history.

"Check it Out" features books recommended to teachers and parents by school librarians.