Monday, January 8, 2007

Drumbeat... Heartbeat: A Celebration of the Powwow, by Susan Braine.

With skillful use of pictures and words, the author shares her lifelong love of the powwow, the place where she reconnects with family and friends who honor each other and the spirits of their ancestors.

King and King

King and King, by Linda de Haan and Stern Nijland, is a lighthearted tale of love and marriage among non-traditional young lovebirds. Pressured by his mother to get married, the prince rejects her choices and finds another prince who wins his heart.

Thank You, Mr. Falker

Thank You, Mr. Falker, by Patricia Polacco

This painful but hopeful book is the author’s own story of how she learned to read and of her hero, a teacher who “unlocked the door and pulled [her] into the light” and away from the ridicule of her peers.

How Does It Feel to Be Old?

How Does It Feel to Be Old? by Norma Farber.

In this poignant book, illustrated with loving detail, a grandmother speaks to her granddaughter with honesty and humor about growing old. She speaks of the special joys, happy times and those that were not so happy. She speaks of the past and the future, the good things and the not-so-good things about being old.

Breaking Through

Breaking Through, by Francisco Jiménez

Told from a teen’s viewpoint, this is a true tale of Jiménez’ own Mexican-American family. They bring hopes and strong backs to the US where they endure deportation, a return to the States, and daily struggles to work two jobs and go to school. (Spanish version: Senderos Fronterizos)

Nips XI

Nips XI, by Ruth Starke.

Lan wants to be a real Aussie; he thinks the way is through playing cricket. As a joke, and a means to fend off ridicule, he calls his newly constituted cricket team, of all Asian boys, the NIPS XI. They find a tired-out former star player who will coach for free and the fun—and work—begin on the way to breaking cultural barriers and playing cricket.

The Year of the Dog

The Year of the Dog was written by illustrator Grace Lin as the book she wished she had when she was growing up. She finds humor and irony in being too Chinese for her American friends and too American for Chinese friends. The drawings are full of exquisite detail to amplify this story about finding herself.


Firegirl, by Tony Abbott.

Tom, a 7th grader, responds in shock and horror when Jessica, a disfigured burn survivor, joins his class at school. This is the story of Tom’s internal responses to Jessica’s physical appearance and the actions and words of their classmates, whose fear propels them into aggression and exclusion of their new classmate.


Rules, by Cynthia Lord.

Catherine, age 12, just wants to live a normal life, but that’s nearly impossible with a brother who has autism and a family that revolves around his disability. She devises rules for her brother to avoid embarrassment and conflict.

Accidents of Nature

Accidents of Nature, by Harriet McBryde Johnson.

Teenager Jean has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair, but she’s always believed she’s like everyone else. She’s never really known another person with a disability before arriving at Camp Courage. There she meets Sara, who welcomes her to “Crip Camp,” nicknames her Spazzo and turns her world around.


Families by Susan Kuklin

This splendid picture book for all ages is about 15 real families. In color photos, it reflects the kaleidoscopic diversity of American families: mixed-race families and immigrant families, families of gay and lesbian couples, large and small families, religious families, families with adopted children or children with special needs. Kuklin collaborated with the children, using their own words and their ideas about how their families and homes look to them.

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Shades of Black

Shades of Black:
A Celebration of Our Children, by Sandra L. Pinkney, expresses the joy of kids who celebrate “I Am Black; I Am Unique.” Lively photos illustrate the beauty of their skin color and their hair. A small treasure to be enjoyed by all ages.

Monday, January 1, 2007

What a Wonderful World

What a Wonderful World, by George David Weiss and Bob Thiele, uses color, bold illustrations by Ashley Bryan, and the words of a song made famous by Louis Armstrong to celebrate a beautiful, harmonious world for children.