This northwestern-Austinite does not venture downtown often, but when a famous local author announces an important book launch, I'm making my way there!
Of course I got lost along the way and was fashionably late, but caught most of Bethany Hegedus' speech as she talked about surviving the events of September 11, 2001 in New York City. A chance meeting shortly afterwards with Arun Gandhi inspired her to ask if he was interested in co-writing a picture book of his experience with his grandfather, Mahatma Gandhi--and he agreed.
We were fortunate to host Bethany Hegedus and Arun Gandhi at our school a couple of years ago, when they shared their first book, Grandfather Gandhi, illustrated by Evan Turk.
The lesson in Grandfather Gandhi is how to channel one's anger in a productive manner. I appreciate the way Gandhi doesn't negate the feeling of anger; instead, he uses it as fuel for positive change in the world.
The book launched today is the sequel, Be the Change.
Be the Change teaches us that waste can lead to violence--a connection I never thought of before reading this book. The saying "Live simply, so others may simply live"--another quote of Gandhi's--is the underlying message that I heard while reading the beautifully illustrated collage pages. I will be revisiting my shopping habits, and paying more attention to the food we throw away.
There is a lot of talk about emotional intelligence and social skills in educational circles; these Grandfather Gandhi stories are a good start to discussions with students at all levels.
It's Monday! What did you read this past weekend?