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Skateboard Sonar
Skateboard Sonar
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Reviewed Titles Accelerated Reader
Sports Illustrated Kids Graphic Novel

Skateboard Sonar

Matty Lyons is a top-notch skateboarder who can do all the coolest tricks. His moves are even more impressive since he's blind. But not everyone is a fan of the talented grinder. During the state's biggest skating competition, former champion Bing Hawtin mocks Matty, saying that a blind kid has no chance to win. But Matty knows something Bing doesn't . . . seeing isn't everything.

GenreSports Fiction
Reading LevelGrades 2-3
Interest LevelGrades 3-8
Lexile LevelGN550L
ATOS Level2.5
AR Points0.5
AR Quiz #135059
PublisherStone Arch Books
BrandSports Illustrated Kids Graphic Novel
Page Dimensions5 1/4" x 7 1/2"
Page Count56
BindingReinforced Library Binding
List Price: $27.32 School/Library Price



Book Legion - Matt MacNabb

"Ok, let me start out by announcing that I am NOT a sports fan. I'm not into sports...not a sports person whatsoever. You may have guessed this by the fact that I run a network of nerdy websites. I mean, I review books....what'd you seriously expect, right? Here is the thing with these releases from Capstone Kids [Stone Arch Books]....they rock, plain and simple. Why? Read on.... I gave this stack of books from Capstone and Sports Illustrated Kids to my own children and they went nuts! They too aren't into sports, but these aren't books for jocks. These are extreme sports and the focus is really on the characters and story. The sports hobbies are really just a backdrop. They're fun and interesting and not at all geared just towards jocky kids. We wanted to feature this series and bring them to your attention, whether you're a librarian, teacher or a parent, these titles should be in your possession! They can be purchased in hardback library binding or softcover." - Book Legion

February 1, 2010

School Library Journal - Travis Jonker, Dorr Elementary School, MI

"While the content and design will make these titles hard to resist, the stories themselves don’t stand out. In Paintball, opposite-in-personality identical twins Peter and Noah are pitted against one another to make the team. Their competition-obsessed father encourages his sons to battle it out. When the tryout begins, the brothers quickly realize that they’d much rather work together. In Skateboard Sonar, Matty is blind but an excellent skateboarder nonetheless, with the confidence to match. When he and his friend Ty enter the local skating competition, Matty is bullied for his disability. This conflict reaches its climax at the competition, where the protagonist beats his tormentors. In both books, the dialogue comes across as inauthentic at times. Designed as though readers were watching sports on television, the books begin with ESPN-like graphics introducing the characters, depicted in stylized, manga-inspired artwork. There’s even a “ticker” across the bottom, foreshadowing the story to come. Sure to fly off shelves, but more for style than for memorable storytelling." - School Library Journal

May 1, 2010

Graphic Classroom Blog

"Everyone experiences barriers to success –– hurdles we must address in order to achieve our goals. Those barriers increase exponentially for persons with disabilities. Sometimes the individual causes the problems, but in most cases the barriers are institutional or societal and are based on stereotypes. Despite working in the disability field for nearly a decade, I still battle my own disability-related stereotypes. Case in point, Sport’s Illustrated Kids’ SKATEBOARD SONAR graphic novel published by Stone Arch Books. I was into the book 16 pages when I stopped and thought can blind people really skateboard? The minute I thought it, I knew I was headed into a stereotype thought process. I put the comic down and contacted Director of the Missouri State University Disability Resource Center Katheryne Staeger-Wilson. I knew I needed a paradigm shift. If I needed it, I was willing to bet other teachers did too. Within minutes she pulled up two You Tube videos of Cameron, a local blind skateboarding college student. “People with disabilities face many myths, stereotypes and assumptions,” said Staeger-Wilson. “These barriers are built-in to society and can be very detrimental to the success of those with disabilities.” She then related a story about a former blind student of hers (we will call her Amelia) who took a journalism class. The professor assigned the students to write an article on their favorite hobby, their passion. The professor then turned to the blind student and said, “Don’t worry, Amelia. You can just do yours on blindness.” The assumption, Staeger-Wilson explained, was that the person with a disability had no hobbies, interests or passion beyond disability. Staeger-Wilson explained that the student was offended and hurt, but spent her time trying to figure out how best to prove her validity as a human being to the professor. “Disability is just different,” said Staeger-Wilson. “It is nothing bad. People with disabilities do the same things others do, they just might do it differently.” Staeger-Wilson offered the following chart for establishing a disability-related paradigm shift. STORY SUMMARY Matty and Tyson are 13-year-old skateboarders and best friends. They decide to enter the local skateboarding contest. Some people don’t think Matty should enter the contest because he is blind and everyone knows blind people cannot skate. The local bullies are the worst. They pick on Matty and Ty and try to intimidate them by making fun of Matty and his blindness. Matty proves his worth on the half-pipe without anyone’s help, busting up many of the major stereotypes about people with disabilities along the way. THE LESSON PLAN Diversity is often –– mistakenly –– thought of exclusively in terms of race, oftentimes the definition being race-specific. However, diversity includes race, ethnicity, culture and even sub-culture. Disability is an often overlooked, but much larger, population than any given racial group because disability occurs across all races and ethnicities. It behooves us to infuse disability culture understanding within the classroom to meet the needs of 21st century learners and to reflect national and state requirements. From the SKATEBOARD SONAR website, a teacher can select his or her home state to find which standards correlate to this title. Missouri has 13 social studies and communication arts standards connected to this title. Following is an outline of the lesson plan I am considering for grades 3-4: 1. Sit around the Smart Board. 2. Use a document camera to complete a Picture Walk. 3. In cooperative groups discuss: “Can a blind person skateboard? Why or why not?” 4. Give time for discussion. 5. Each group shares their thoughts with whole class. 6. Watch Cameron’s You Tube video (above). 7. In cooperative groups discuss: 1. “Would you like to change your answer? Why” 8. Read the story aloud using the document camera. 9. Stop periodically and discuss the myths and" - Graphic Classroom Blog

August 1, 2010

Eric Stevens

Eric Stevens

Eric Stevens lives in St. Paul, Minnesota. He is studying to become a middle-school English teacher. Some of his favorite things include pizza, playing video games, watching cooking shows on TV, riding his bike, and trying new restaurants. Some of his least favorite things include olives and shoveling snow.

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