"It didn't matter where you were, if you were in a room full of books you were at least halfway home."
-Lev Grossman, The Magician's Land

Friday, September 25, 2015

Come Meet a Brave and Memorable Girl in Stella By Starlight

Draper, Sharon M. 2015. Stella by Starlight. New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers. ISBN 978-1-4424-9497-8

Eleven year old Stella lives in Bumblebee, North Carolina with her parents and her younger brother, Jojo.  The year is 1932, and African Americans, including Stella and her family, are not welcome in many places.  Stella and her brother attend a separate school and a separate church for "colored people."  Her family and friends in Bumblebee are all very close and hardworking, but they are not respected or valued by many white members of the community.

After sneaking out one night, Stella and Jojo witness members of the Ku Klux Klan burning a cross.  This group has not been active in her town for a long time, but their reappearance marks the beginning of many changes for her community.  Stella's father and his friends are tired of feeling like second class citizens.  Choices are made, and for some there are devastating repercussions.  Throughout the turmoil her community is experiencing, Stella's bravery, strength, and resilience shine through.  Her story is raw and honest, and it will leave its mark on your heart long after you've finished the last chapter.

Sharon M. Draper is a brilliant writer.  This is obvious to anyone who has read her NY Times Best Seller Out of My Mind, or any of her five books that won the Coretta Scott King Award.  Stella by Starlight is another example of how prolific she is.  This story, which was inspired both by Draper's grandmother and father, is a realistic portrayal of what life was like in the South in 1932 for African Americans.  She doesn't sugar coat it, which may make some scenes difficult to read.  She does, however, bring an authenticity to the experience of so many African Americans during this time.

Her characters speak with a dialect that is true to that time and place.  Stella's father and the other men of their community have strong work ethics, but racism is rampant, so their job opportunities are severely limited.  Dr. Hawkins is the exception, however, he was treated very poorly while in medical school, and the white residents of Bumblebee would never go see him, regardless of how sick they were.  The white children of the town wear shoes, and they go to a large school with brand new books and a beautiful track.  Stella and her friends attend a small school with one room for grades 1-11, and the only books they have access to are the old, worn, and outdated ones the white school doesn't want anymore.  They certainly don't have shoes to wear.  

Draper is extremely honest when describing how many white people treated the African Americans in their town.  From the way Stella's father and his friends were treated when they registered to vote, to the senseless violence Tony experienced, to the hateful reaction of Dr. Packard when Stella approached him, Draper picks up the readers and places them down right in North Carolina in the early twentieth century.  

Though the times are harsh and unjust, Stella and her family are happy.  They have a very tight bond, and truly love and respect one another.  The members of their community would do anything to help each other, and they come together swiftly in both good times and bad.  Stella herself is quite a remarkable character.  She believes she is a terrible writer and average, at best, in all other areas.  Her actions throughout the book, however, prove that she is anything but ordinary.  Her quiet strength and bravery during difficult situations and her beautiful way with words make her one of my new favorite literary heroines.  Readers will surely appreciate the kind of person Stella is and will likely aspire to have her courage.

From KIRKUS REVIEWS - "When a young girl gains confidence from her failures and strength from what her community dreads most, life delivers magic and hope...Draper expertly creates a character filled with hope, dreams and ambition in a time when such traits were dangerous for a girl of color. While the use of language honors the time period, the author is careful to avoid the phonetic quagmire that ensnares lesser writers of the period, allowing the colorful idioms to shine."

From PUBLISHERS WEEKLY - "This compelling story brims with courage, compassion, creativity, and resilience."

From SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL - "This is an engrossing historical fiction novel with an amiable and humble heroine who does not recognize her own bravery or the power of her words. She provides inspiration not only to her fellow characters but also to readers who will relate to her and her situation. Storytelling at its finest."

Have your students choose another book by Sharon M. Draper to read.  To view her catalog of work, click on this link.

Ask your students to put themselves in Stella's shoes.  Have them write a journal entry from her perspective.  They can choose which event from the story they would like to write about.

Share the following video of the author discussing Stella by Starlight with your students.

Talk with your students about racism.  Share examples from the book.  Then, ask your students if they think racism still exists today and discuss their thoughts.  

Paulette Packard is a very interesting character.  Ask your students to write about whether they think her life was better or worse than Stella's.  Make sure they support their writing with examples from the book.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The Patchwork Quilt - A Story of Love and Family

Flournoy, Valerie. 1985. The Patchwork Quilt. Ill. by Jerry Pinkney. New York: Dial Books for Young Readers. ISBN 0-8037-0097-0

Tanya and her grandmother decide to make a quilt together that will tell the story of their family.  They use scraps of material from old, worn out clothes and leftover pieces from clothes that have just been made.  They begin working on the quilt in the spring, but Grandma warns Tanya that it could take up to a year before the quilt is finished.  As the months pass, the two work diligently on this beautiful quilt.  Tanya's mother even helps with the sewing.  But after Christmas, Grandma becomes ill and is unable to get out of bed, much less work on their precious quilt.  January comes and goes, and still Grandma is bedridden.  Will the special quilt ever be completed?  And will Grandma's health ever improve?   

 The Patchwork Quilt examines the bonds of a family and what is truly important.  Her depiction of Tanya's multigenerational family is culturally authentic, in that many African Americans have extended family members living in their households.  Tanya and her brothers feel the same sense of belonging with Grandma that they do with their parents.  Tanya's determination to finish the quilt for her grandmother shows just how strong their relationship is.  However, any child who has an important bond with a grandparent will be able to relate to this story.  The themes of love, family, and togetherness are applicable to children from any culture.   

Although it is an inanimate object, the quilt plays an important role in this story.  Initially, only Grandma and Tanya see the value in making their own quilt rather than purchasing a new one at a store.  As the story progresses, however, and pieces of material from each family member become a part of the quilt, its worth greatly increases.  The quilt may remind readers of an object of great significance that they own.

Jerry Pinkney's warm full page illustrations complement the text beautifully.  He took care to create each family member as an individual, from the nuances of their skin tone, to their own personal hair and clothing styles.  It would be obvious to anyone who looked at these pictures, even if they never read the words, that this is a portrait of a family that loves each other.

When I read this book to my children, my daughter was quick to point out that Tanya's quilt is just like our yellow patchwork quilt.  Our quilt was actually mine when I was young, and it is now a favorite blanket for our family to use when we are watching movies or reading together.  It has a long history with my family, just as Tanya's quilt tells the story of her family.

Flournoy and Pinkney have created a truly memorable book that is still enjoyed by children and families 30 years after its original publishing.

1986 Coretta Scott King Award for Illustrators

1986 Ezra Jack Keats Book Award

From SCHOLASTIC - "This gentle picture book presents a contemporary family whose continuation of a time-honored tradition becomes a meaningful expression of love. Acclaimed artist Jerry Pinkney, whose Caldecott Honor Books include his adaptation of The Ugly Duckling, brings the emotion and heart of the story to life in soft, realistic watercolors."

From SCHOOL LIBARY JOURNAL - "This story will leave children moved and satisfied."

From BOOKLIST - "Pinkney interprets the story with warm family scenes that glow."

For students who enjoyed reading about Tanya and her family, share the 1995 sequel with them.
  • Flournoy, Valerie. Tanya's Reunion. ISBN 978-0803716049

Share some other books by Valerie Flournoy with your students.
  • Flournoy, Valerie. Celie and the Harvest Fiddler. ISBN  978-0688114572
  • Flournoy, Valerie. The Best Time of Day. ISBN 978-0394837864

Jerry Pinkney has written and/or illustrated numerous picture books, including traditional stories, fables, and biographies.  Here are a few of those titles that your students may be interested in.
  • Schroeder, Alan. Minty: A Story of Young Harriet Tubman. ISBN 978-0140561968
  • Lester, Julius. Black Cowboy, Wild Horses. ISBN 978-0803717879
  • Pinkney, Jerry. The Lion and the Mouse. ISBN 978-0316013567

Have your class create their own "patchwork quilt."  Give each student a square piece of oaktag paper and have them draw something special about themselves on it.  Then, display all of the squares together as a patchwork quilt that tells the story of your class.

Invite a quilter in to your classroom.  Have him/her demonstrate the stages in the process of making a quilt.  This will give your students a concrete example of what Tanya and her grandmother were doing.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

The Crossover - Family, Love, Basketball

Alexander, Kwame. 2014. The Crossover. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. ISBN 978-0544107717 

The Crossover tells the story of Josh Bell, a 12 year old basketball phenom.  Together, with his twin brother Jordan (JB), the two are unstoppable on the basketball court.  Off the court, they are as close as brothers can be, and they also have a very special relationship with their father.  Josh's life is in perfect harmony.  As the novel progresses, however, the threads that hold his life together start to unravel.  JB becomes smitten with a new girl in school and begins to pull away from his brother.  Josh learns the real reason for his grandfather's death, hypertension, and is increasingly worried his own father is preordained for that same fate.  And a terrible choice made in anger puts his basketball career on the line.  Will Josh be able to pull his life back together, or is he destined to sit on the bench alone?   

Kwame Alexander is truly a gifted writer.  His novel in verse begins with a poem that sucks the reader in and brings the basketball game to life.  Interspersed throughout the novel, Josh's poems let the reader know exactly how he is feeling in the moment and the depths of his passion for the game.  The deliberate placement of each word and letter in these poems adds to their magic.  Alexander's varied use of poetry styles throughout make this novel a smooth but powerful read.  

While basketball does play an important role in the story, it is not necessary to be a fan of the game in order to enjoy and relate to this book.  The themes of love, family, and brotherhood are universal and are what keep the plot moving forward.  Alexander makes it abundantly clear just how strong the Bell family bond is and the mutual respect each member of the family has for the others.  Readers who have ever argued with their siblings will understand the progression of Josh and JB's relationship.  The tragic climax of the book will affect all readers on a profound emotional level, regardless of age, gender, race, or interest in sports.

Alexander's novel has many examples of cultural authenticity.  Josh's beloved locks are a source of pride for him  They remind him of some of his favorite rappers, as well as an all-start Croatian basketball player featured on ESPN's Best Dunks Ever.  This player's locks looked like wings helping him fly above the basket, and this image has inspired Josh to "fly", as well.  Josh's nickname, Filthy McNasty, comes from the Horace Silver song.  This jazz musician was a favorite of Josh's father, and his son's failure to appreciate the greatness of Silver's songs is what initially earned him the nickname Filthy McNasty.

I especially loved the portrayal of Josh and JB's parents.  Not only are they highly successful in their professional lives (Crystal Bell is a high school assistant principal and Chuck Bell was a professional basketball player), they are loving and supportive parents, as well.  The boys have much admiration and respect for their parents.  As a mother of two young children, I couldn't help but hope this is how my children will view me when they are 12.

The Crossover was a moving read that will stay with me for a long time.  I look forward to exploring more of Kwame Alexander's writing.

2015 Newbery Medal Winner

2015 Coretta Scott King Honor Award Winner

2015 NCTE Charlotte Huck Award Honor for Outstanding Fiction for Children

2015 Penn State/Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award

2015 Paterson Poetry Prize for Young People's Literature

From SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL - "Josh is a likable, funny, and authentic character. Underscoring the sports and the fraternal tension is a portrait of a family that truly loves and supports one another. Alexander has crafted a story that vibrates with energy and heart and begs to be read aloud. A slam dunk."

From BOOKLIST - "An accomplished author and poet, Alexander eloquently mashes up concrete poetry, hip-hop, a love of jazz, and a thriving family bond. The effect is poetry in motion. It is a rare verse novel that is fundamentally poetic rather than using this writing trend as a device. There is also a quirky vocabulary element that adds a fun intellectual note to the narrative. This may be just the right book for those hard-to-match youth who live for sports or music or both."

From PUBLISHERS WEEKLY - "The poems dodge and weave with the speed of a point guard driving for the basket, mixing basketball action with vocabulary-themed poems, newspaper clippings, and Josh’s sincere first-person accounts that swing from moments of swagger-worthy triumph to profound pain. This verse novel delivers a real emotional punch before the final buzzer."

Nicknames are important in this novel.  Most of the characters have one (Filthy McNasty, JB, Miss Sweet Tea, Da Man).  Make a list of the nicknames with your students and discuss the significance of each one.  Ask students to share their own nicknames with the class and how they earned theirs.

The poems Josh creates while playing basketball are pure magic.  Discuss some examples of these poems from the book.  Then, ask students to write a lyrical poem to describe their experiences when they are doing something they enjoy.

Share this video with your students of Kwame Alexander discussing The Crossover.

If your students enjoyed Alexander's writing, introduce them to more of his work.
  • Alexander, Kwame. He Said, She Said. ISBN 978-0062118981
  • Alexander, Kwame. Crush: Love Poems for Teenagers. ISBN 978-1499364781

Have your students think about Josh and JB's future.  Will they continue to play basketball?  How will they move past the tragedy at the end of the book?  Discuss their thoughts and envision what their future might look like.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Shadow - A Powerful Read

Morpurgo, Michael. 2010. Shadow. New York: Feiwel and Friends. ISBN 978-0-312-60659-6

Shadow is the powerful tale of one boy's journey from a cave in war-torn Afghanistan to a safer life in England.  Aman is a fourteen year old boy who has grown up in a cave in Afghanistan.  His father was killed by Taliban soldiers many years before, and now he and his mother and grandmother are barely surviving.  When Taliban soldiers come to their cave and kill his grandmother, Aman and his mother realize they can't stay there any longer.  Thus begins their long and perilous journey to England and freedom, where they will meet up with Aman's uncle, who has offered them a place to stay.

Along the way, accompanied by a loyal dog named Shadow, Aman and his mother face danger at every turn.  There are also some surprises.  Shadow turns out to be an army sniffer dog who miraculously saves Aman and some British soldiers when she discovers the location of a bomb.

At long last, Aman and his mother arrive in England.  They begin to believe the horrors of Afghanistan are behind them.  They settle into a "normal" life, where Aman becomes an excellent football player and makes many friends, including his best friend, Matt.  Six years later, however, their world is turned upside down again when they are taken to a detention facility and set to be deported back to Afghanistan.

If Aman and his mother have any hope of remaining in England, they must rely on the help of Matt and his grandfather.  Will that be enough to thwart their rapidly approaching deportation?  And what became of Shadow, the beloved dog Aman has never stopped thinking about?

Told through the voices of Aman, Matt, and his grandfather, Shadow gives the reader a glimpse into life in war-torn Afghanistan.  Morpurgo paints a brutal but honest view of what life is like for children and families in this battle-scarred country.  He has done his research to present this story in the most authentic way.  From army sniffer dogs, to Bamiyan, to Yarl's Wood, Morpurgo has included some actual events to bring this story to life.  

But this is also a story about courage.  Aman has endured more tragedy and devastation in his fourteen years than most people do in a lifetime, yet he is able to keep his hope for a better life alive.  Matt, faced with the prospect of losing his friend forever, summons the courage to take a stand and fight for what he believes in.  This is a message that will no doubt inspire readers.  And the courage demonstrated by Shadow the dog will have readers falling in love with her. 

This is a book that I would recommend for all middle grade readers.  While it does have some heartbreaking moments, Shadow is a great read to bring about awareness of what life is like in other parts of the world.  It will help students to understand others' perspectives and build empathy for peers who are from different cultures.

Shadow was the first book I've read by this British author, but it certainly will not be the last!

2015 Nutmeg Book Award Nominee

2013 USBBY Outstanding International Book

From BOOKLIST - "Morpurgo humanizes the asylum story through one refugee boy’s viewpoint. The heartbreak, brutality, and loss are intensified through the crucial role of a stray dog that comes to Aman in a cave and then never leaves him (hence the name Shadow). He turns out to be a champion army dog that saves the refugees, and the animal story, along with the personal war survival drama, is heartrending."

From KIRKUS REVIEWS - "Morpurgo has long championed the plight of children and animals in wartime and here ably succeeds in dramatizing the far-reaching repercussions of the decades-old war in Afghanistan.  Humanity triumphs over evil and bureaucracy in this heart-rending and heart-affirming story."

From PUBLISHERS WEEKLY - "Morpurgo (War Horse) fuses the devastation of war, anguish of the refugee experience, pain of losing loved ones, healing power of friendship, and redemptive influence of a dog's loyalty in this multifaceted novel, first published in 2010...Despite many sobering plot elements, the novel's subject matter never overwhelms Morpurgo's streamlined storytelling and subtle characterizations." 

Share this video with your students to hear Michael Morpurgo himself explain where the idea for Shadow came from.

Have your students take on the perspective of Aman and write a couple of diary entries.  Students can focus on his journey to England, his life in England, or his time in Yarl's Wood.

Shadow is a true hero.  She has saved many lives.  Have your students research another real-life animal that was a hero.  Use a presentation app or program to share the information they've learned. 

Use this novel as a starting off point to discuss 9/11 and the war that followed.

Michael Morpurgo is a prolific author who has written many novels.  Have your students read another one of his works.  Here are just a few suggestions.
  • Morpurgo, Michael. War Horse. ISBN 9781405255431
  • Morpurgo, Michael. Outlaw: The True Story of Robin Hood. ISBN 9780007465927
  • Morpurgo, Michael. A Medal For Leroy. ISBN 9780007339686

Monday, September 7, 2015

Journey to Australia with Hunwick's Egg

Fox, Mem. 2005. Hunwick's Egg. Ill. by Pamela Lofts. New York: Harcourt, Inc. ISBN 0-15-216318-2

This is the story of an adorable bandicoot named Hunwick.  After a terrible storm passes, Hunwick discovers an egg that is all alone.  He asks his friends if they know who the egg belongs to, but nobody seems to know where it came from.  Hunwick decides to take care of the egg himself.  He makes it a cozy bed, keeps it safes, and confides in it.  Hunwick loves the egg, but time goes by, and the egg still hasn't hatched.  Will Hunwick's egg ever hatch?  What will become of them?  The conclusion of this sweet story may surprise you.

Mem Fox has created a heartwarming tale of friendship.  Hunwick proves that it is possible to find friends in the most unlikely of places.  He takes great care of his egg, and while the egg never talks back to him, he loves it anyway.  He is just happy to have something there with him to snuggle and keep him company.  Young children who have a special blanket or stuffed animal will easily relate to Hunwick.  They will understand that, even though the egg doesn't do anything, it is still Hunwick's friend, as this is how they feel about their own treasured blankets/stuffed animals.  

Fox's Australian roots shine through in this story.  The main character is a bilby, also known as a rabbit-eared bandicoot, and is a marsupial native to the Australian desert.  The other animals featured in the story are also indigenous of Australia, including an emu, an echidna, and a cockatoo.  The illustrator, Pamela Lofts, is a native of Australia, as well.  Her illustrations are authentic in depicting the landscape of the country, as well as many plants and insects.  

Lofts's illustrations were done in watercolor pencil and certainly add to the appeal of this book.  She drew all the animals to look cute and friendly, even if that may not be their natural personalities.  The illustrations are colorful but muted, to keep with the sweetness of the animals and the setting.  Many of the pictures are not contained to one page, but often spill over onto the next page.  This design makes it appear as if the animals are moving right off the page and the plants are growing too rapidly to stay on just one page.

I have personally read many of Mem Fox's books.  I can recall countless bedtime readings of Time For Bed when my children were babies.  This was, however, my first read of Hunwick's Egg.  I am excited to seek out more of her books that have an Australian flavor to them.  My children really enjoyed this book, as well.  My five year old son commented right away that the egg was similar to his stuffed monkey.  Neither object talks but both still make good friends.  My seven year old daughter loved the twist at the end.  In her words, she "loved this story because the author tricked her, and that's hard to do!"

2007 Anne Izard Storytellers' Choice Award

From SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL -"This slightly offbeat story with a universal message about the power of friendship is accompanied by glowing watercolor pencil illustrations in orange, pink, and violet tones that showcase the flora and fauna of the Australian landscape, adding an interesting element to this charming title. Young readers will appreciate Hunwick's loyalty and may be curious to learn more about the exotic animals portrayed in the lovely artwork."

From BOOKLIST - "Children will easily be drawn to Lofts' astonishingly expressive animal characters, and Fox's gentle text may resonate with young ones who feel a magical connection or companionship with their own cherished rock, shell, or shred of blanket."

From PUBLISHERS WEEKLY - "Lofts's artwork, appealing and spectacular, fills the pages with fascinating Australian desert flora and fauna."

If your students enjoyed this book, read them more of Mem Fox's titles that feature Australian animals.
  • Fox, Mem. Koala Lou. ISBN 978-0152000769
  • Fox, Mem. Possum Magic. ISBN 978-1862910959

To learn more about Mem Fox's inspiration for Hunwick's Egg, click on this link. Mem Fox's Website

Ask your students to write about a favorite toy, blanket, stuffed animal, etc. that they consider to be their friend.

Have a discussion with your class about what might have happened if the egg did hatch.  What kind of animal would have come out?  Would Hunwick have loved the animal as much as he loved the egg?  Why or why not?

Click on this link to show your students a video of some real Australian animals. Australian Animals

Friday, September 4, 2015

Nothing is Something Worth Reading

Teller, Janne. 2010. Nothing (Martin Aitken, Trans.). New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers. ISBN 978-1-4169-8579-2

Nothing is the story of a group of Danish seventh graders' search for meaning in their lives.  When classmate Pierre Anthon declares that nothing matters and life is meaningless, Agnes and her friends begin to wonder if he is right.  Day after day, Pierre sits atop a tree branch and aggressively shouts his message for all to hear.  Agnes and her friends decide something must be done to convince him he is wrong and to convince themselves that they do have purpose and meaning and will one day amount to "something."  Throwing stones at him does not work, so they must come up with a more drastic plan.

The classmates decide they will create a heap of meaning, where each will contribute something that has great significance in their lives.  Surely this will convince Anthon that he is wrong.  Initially, the pile is made up of innocent items such as a beloved fishing rod and a favorite pair of sandals.  However, as the pile starts to grow, the demands of each child become more twisted and both physically and emotionally scarring.  How far will they go to prove to Anthon and themselves that life is meaningful?  One thing is for certain; these seventh graders will never be the same again.

Teller has created a thought-provoking and shocking young adult story of what really matters in life and how quickly a simple idea can spiral out of control.  At the beginning of the book, Agnes and her classmates are typical seventh graders who have just begun another ordinary school year.  Their fear that Pierre Anthon may indeed be right about the meaningless of life prompts them to take action, thereby igniting a chain of events that will turn even the most innocent of children into violent and vengeful human beings.  

Teller's simplistic and matter of fact writing adds to the brilliance of this novel.  Told through the perspective of Agnes, the narrator, the reader is given an account of the events in a very unemotional and detached way.  This makes the sacrifices of the children appear that much more shocking.

While middle grade students may not initially understand the existential crisis these students are going through, they will certainly relate to the feelings of anger over giving up something they value. The heap of meaning will draw the readers in as they imagine what they could potentially be asked to sacrifice.  Fans of William Golding's Lord of the Flies will enjoy this shocking portrayal of the extremes of human nature.  

2011 Michael L. Printz Honor Book

2011 Mildred L. Batchelder Honor Award Book

From BOOKLIST - "Indelible, elusive, and timeless, this uncompromising novel has all the marks of a classic...Teller offers just enough character detail to make the suffering and cruelty palpable. The terse purposefulness of her prose may put off some readers, but that singularity is also what will endure the test of time. Already a multiple award winner overseas, this is an unforgettable treatise on the fleeting and mutable nature of meaning."

From KIRKUS REVIEWS - "Quietly and without fanfare, the students’ adventure develops into one that rivals Lord of the Flies for horror. The matter-of-fact, ruthlessly logical amorality of these teens is chilling. Gorgeously lyrical, as abetted by Aitken’s translation, and dreadfully bleak."

From PUBLISHERS WEEKLY - "A provocative and challenging parable about human instability."

If your students enjoyed this book, have them read Lord of the Flies.  Discuss similarities between the two books.
  • Golding, William. Lord of the Flies. ISBN 978-0399501487 

Share the following book trailer for Nothing with your students.  NOTHING Book Trailer  Teach your students how to use iMovie.  Have them use this application to create their own book trailers for Nothing, including music, narration, images, and/or video clips.

Have your students anonymously write about what they might be asked to contribute to the "heap of meaning."  Share the writing with the class.  Have a discussion about the value people place on certain objects and ideals, and how it could change a person to give something like that up.

The theme of violence is prevalent in Nothing.  Discuss this with your students.  What do they think is the most violent act committed in the book and why?  Would the children have been as capable of the violence they committed had they not been encouraged by the group?  

For students who are interested in learning more about Janne Teller, visit this website. Simon and Schuster - About Janne Teller