Cover image for Construction people
Title:
Construction people
ISBN:
9781684373611
Edition:
First edition.
Physical Description:
31 pages : color illustrations ; 29 cm
Summary:
Publisher Annotation: Fourteen poems compiled by award-winning poet and anthologist Lee Bennett Hopkins introduce readers to the various construction people who collaborate to create a high-rise hotel building, from architect to crane operator to glaziers and more.
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Summary

Summary

Fourteen poems compiled by award-winning poet and anthologist Lee Bennett Hopkins introduce readers to the various construction people who collaborate to create a high-rise hotel building, from architect to crane operator to glaziers and more.

How does an empty lot transform into a new hotel? This anthology begins with a busy construction site, and an architect's (and her daughter's) dreams drawn on blueprint paper. Next, workers with huge machines--backhoes, dump trucks, cement mixers, etc.--roll in. Poems full of noise and action describe every step of the construction process. From welders and carpenters building the skeleton of the building to plumbers and electricians making its insides work, this book celebrates people and equipment working together to build something magnificent.


Author Notes

Lee Bennett Hopkins was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania on April 13, 1938. Hopkins' education was rather sporadic, since he often had to care for his younger sister while his mother worked to support the family. As a child, Hopkins read little other than comic books and movie magazines until a teacher inspired in him a love of the theatre and, subsequently, of reading. Though Hopkins did well in his high school English courses, he did not enjoy other subjects and his grades in those were poor. Still, he had decided on an eventual career as a teacher and after graduating high school he began classes at the Newark State Teachers College, working several jobs in order to afford his tuition.

After receiving his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1960, Hopkins began teaching sixth grade at a public school in Fair Lawn, New Jersey. In his third year at Westmoreland School in Fair Lawn he became the school's resource teacher. Through the principal at his own school, Hopkins obtained a scholarship to pursue a master's degree at the Bank Street College of Education in New York City. While working toward this degree, which he received in 1964, Hopkins continued as Resource Teacher at Westmoreland. In 1966 he took a position as senior consultant for Bank Street College's new Learning Resource Center in the Harlem area of New York City. Hopkins also began writing articles on children's literature and the use of poetry in the classroom, which were published in journals such as Horn Book and Language Arts. With colleague Annette F. Shapiro he wrote Creative Activities for Gifted Children, his first book. In 1967 Hopkins received a Professional Diploma in Educational Supervision and Administration from Hunter College of the City University of New York.

Racial tension following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in 1968 forced Hopkins and others to reluctantly leave Harlem. He then secured another position as a curriculum and editorial specialist at Scholastic, Inc. Hopkins' career as a writer progressed; more than two dozen of his books were published during his eight-years at Scholastic. In 1976 Hopkins quit his job at Scholastic in order to become a full- time writer and poetry anthologist. He has written or compiled more than seventy-five books for children and young adults, in addition to his professional texts and his numerous contributions to education and children's literature journals.

Apart from his many poetry anthologies and professional texts, Hopkins has also written young adult novels, children's stories, and non-fiction books for children. He hosted the fifteen-part children's educational television series Zebra Wings, and has also served as a literature consultant for Harper and Row's Text Division. Hopkins has won numerous honors and awards, including an honorary doctor of laws degree from Kean College in 1980 and the University of Southern Mississippi's Silver Medallion in 1989. His poetry autobiography, Been to Yesterdays, received both the Christopher Medal and a Golden Kite Honor. He has also received awards from Booklist, School Library Journal, The New York Times, The American Library Association and the American Booksellers Association. Hopkins founded the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award presented annually since 1993, and the Lee Bennett Hopkins/International Reading Association Promising Poet Award presented every three years since 1995. Lee Bennett Hopkins passsed away on August 8, 2019, at the age of 81.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 4--This compilation of 14 poems, assembled by the late Hopkins, is an ode to the diverse types of people that are needed to erect a building. Fittingly, the poems feature many different poets' voices. Rebecca Kai Dotlich's opening and closing poems bookend the reading experience ("What Will I Become?" and "What I Am"). The work opens with the building thinking about its future, knowing only that it "will rise." A close-up view of the plans for Hopkins Towers accompanies the text. Readers then move through the stages of construction, from the architect's musings to the backhoe operator that digs the foundation, to the glaziers that add the windows. Most of the poems focus on the "construction people," their thoughts, feelings, and specialized knowledge as they conduct their jobs. Dotlich's poems do not fit this narrative theme: they take on the voice of the building. Similarly, Ralph Fletcher's "Cement Speaks" provides the cement's perspective on the construction process. Shi's design and artwork employ a muted color scheme (browns and blues) to capture the dirt and sky. Pops of color (a red bucket, a welder's orange uniform) encourage the eye to dance across the page as the skyscraper grows. The depictions of the workers include a variety of genders and races, which makes the book feel warm and inclusive. VERDICT This is the prolific Hopkins's last collection of poetry and a high-interest topic for young people. It will surely attract attention. Recommended.--Shannon O'Connor, Unami Middle School, Chalfont, PA


Kirkus Review

Fourteen poems capture a skyscraper's construction, from beginning to completion, in vivid detail. In the first verse, by Rebecca Kai Dotlich, the nascent high-rise, narrating from an empty lot, excitedly contemplates its future: the workers and materials its construction will entail and how it will eventually ascend to lofty heights; in the last, also by Dotlich, the finished structure proudly announces its presence on the "spectacular skyline." The remaining robust poems, each by a different contributor and presented on double-page spreads, describe the various skilled jobs and professionals involved in a skyscraper's planning and building and also--take note, vehicle mavens--the trucks required at a construction site. Apart from enjoying jaunty rhymes that scan well and include numerous delightful turns of phrase, readers gain insight into the many workers who collaborate on a new building's successful, safe skyward climb. Additionally, children will build their vocabularies with nifty words like "glaziers" and "welders." Onomatopoeia is used to good, dramatic effect where applicable. Lively, appealing artwork grounds this collection: Many of its action-filled illustrations also highlight verticals and horizontals. Women are well represented throughout as skilled, busy professionals in various nonstereotypical or supervisory positions. Workers are depicted with varied skin tones, hairstyles, and racial presentations, including the female Asian architect and her daughter, recurring characters. Endpapers are rich ocher, the color of soil. A lovely foundation for forays into poetry and for building a love of buildings. (Picture book/poetry. 4-8) Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Booklist Review

This anthology from the late Hopkins collects 14 verses from a range of poets that celebrate and educate on the many roles, tools, and processes vital to the construction of a building--in this case, a skyscraper. Entries track the process in order, beginning with the architect's blueprints and going on to cover backhoes, dump trucks, cement (from its own point of view), crane operators, welders, carpenters, plumbers, project managers, glaziers, elevator installers, and electricians. It's a wonderfully comprehensive bunch, with Shi's illustrations capturing each step of the collaboration. Smiling workers labor beneath sweeping blue skies, with the same architect and her daughter serving as a visual touchstone as they watch their plans unfold. Each spread bears a single poem, often making use of rhythm, rhyme, and onomatopoeia--though the verses eschew silliness in favor of wonder, respect, and information. This poetry collection works as a literacy tool for early elementary groups, a natural launchpad for writing prompts, or a more involved introduction to the world of construction.