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I am Lucille Ball (Ordinary People Change the World) Hardcover – July 14, 2015
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About the Author
Brad Meltzer is the New York Times bestselling author of The Inner Circle, The Fifth Assassin, Heroes for My Son, and Heroes for My Daughter, and he is the host of the History Channel television shows Brad Meltzer's Decoded and Lost History. He lives in Florida with his wife and their three children.
Christopher Eliopoulos began his illustration career as a letterer for Marvel, and has worked on thousands of comics, including Franklin Richards: Son of a Genius, Pet Avengers, and Cow Boy, all of which he wrote and illustrated. He lives in New Jersey with his wfie and their identical twin sons.
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With I AM LUCILLE BALL we are able to see that just by her being comfortable in her own skin Lucy was able to become greatness not just on television but in life. It doesn't mean she was accepted everywhere she went, but she was able to not allow that to stop her---and neither should we.
One of the great lessons that Lucy learned is that you have to trust that everything will be ok. She learned that when her dad used to throw her in the air, and she learned it when she trusted her gut and believed in her abilities. She also shows why it is so important for us not to compare ourselves to others. We have to love ourselves, and when we do we will be able to become exactly what is meant for us to become.
Another job well done by Brad Meltzer. I AM LUCILLE BALL gives us the tools necessary to remember that regardless what our age we have to never give up on ourselves.
Almost every page contains speech bubbles that engage readers into reading every portion and even reading aloud the onomatopoeias. “BOOM!” and “SPLAT!” grabs readers’ attention and fits the excitement in Lucille Ball and as she entertained her classmates while growing up to auditions and plays. The author perfectly ties in the famous entertainer interacting with each person she encounters with the elements of the design in the illustrations. The continuous font of the text that is more informational are brought to live with the lines and shapes of the dialogue details in the characters’ facial expressions. Bugged out eye balls give off the element of surprise and laughter that Lucille brought out of from her audiences and acquaintances.
The composition of the story line text, speech bubble dialogue, and sound terms are constructed well with the vivid illustrations of the characters and different background settings. The format of dialogue and speech bubbles are in a zig zag array that gives the readers more insight in the characteristics of the Lucile Ball. There is even a black and white portion of the book that doubles as a comic book style illustration and a reference the chocolate factory scene in one of the “I Love Lucy” episodes, the show she was best known for. Lucile was a ray of sunshine filled with a talent to make people laugh and understand different personalities. The book does a good job of discussing differences and being unique in times of doubt. The author shares Lucile’s struggle with being different than other children while growing up. She was put for being joyous and extravagant in sense of humor. “They didn’t like the way I looked, or the way I talked, or even the way I as always clowning around.” (Meltzer 32)
Throughout the book the author highlights the famous comedians’ highs and lows. This approach is a good start for young readers to understand the value of hard work and determination. No matter how many times Lucille was told she was too different or did not get the job, she used no excuse but just herself to bring get back up and keep trying. “Go look in the mirror. When someone puts you down, that’s who’ll pick you back up. When you get sad, that’s who’ll help you laugh it off.” (Meltzer 32) The theme of the book is being your own hero and a pushing through by working hard and never giving up. Lucile Ball’s life reflects passion and determination in pursing your dreams through consistency. She kept on perusing her dreams and knew she had what it takes to become the person she was. Her legacy lives on in the films she produced, the TV shows, and music she was in.
Another form the illustrator uses, allows young readers to have confidence and strength by the way he illustrated all the main characters throughout the book. From the beginning, Lucille is illustrated as a normal looking young child. As she grows up, the illustrator brings out the comic aspect and draws her head slightly larger than the body while still have the body a small sized. Lucille is viewed as a “little big kid” even though readers know that she is a grown up towards the end of the book. This element allows children to relate to the main character, and see themselves in that certain situation and picture themselves overcoming adversity by becoming successful in the good choices they make. “No matter what your dream is, if you want it, you have to work for it.” (Meltzer 14) This book is the most comical and empowering children’s book that is an introduction biography for children.
“Ordinary People Change the World” are a series of children’s books by Brad Meltzer that consists of I am Lucille Ball. He uses Lucille Ball’s humorous legacy to bring out the sense of joy and relief in being true to who you are and being proud of your unique talents. So many lesson plans can be drawn from this book and start classroom discussions that will get students to understand biographies as well as contemporary realistic fiction. Children need these types of genres to relate and reflect on their everyday life and endeavors. A positive outlook in times of disparity is the message across the board in this book. “We all need laughter-every single one of us. And for the best comedy, people have to believe in you. But for that to happen, you have to believe in yourself.” (Meltzer 36)
Meltzer, Brad. I am Lucille Ball. New York: Dial for Young Readers, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, 2015.
Kiefer, Barbara Zulandt, Cynthia A. Tyson, and Charlotte S. Huck. Charlotte Huck’s children’s literature: a brief guide. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2014.
I am reading one book out of this series each month for my 3rd graders class. The kids have LOVE this book series! It is funny and it gets their attention. The illustrations are eye catching and the comic book style woven in gives it a different look. And the comic book parts are the kids favorite for me to read aloud. When the classroom event is over these books do not sit on the shelf very long. My 3rd grader is constantly reading them to her little sister. It has combined the informational side of non fiction with the conversational side of a novel. This is hard to do, especially in a children's book. Each book in the series leaves the child with a message of not giving up, being them self, working hard, and being creative. Probably one of the best all around children's book series in a long time.