Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Heart of a Shepherd by Roseanne Parry

Brother is a sensitive kid growing up on a ranch in Eastern Oregon with his dad and four older brothers. Their mom lives in Italy, estranged from her husband and kids.

Dad commands an Army reserve unit that is called up for Iraq, taking with it many of the young men in their part of the state. Brother has to "toughen up" to help Grandpa keep the ranch going. He takes his job very seriously, wanting the ranch to remain just as dad left it, in good hands, including his own. But circumstances and people change and Brother learns to go with the flow. He hopes that whatever he does, his hard work will ensure his dad's safe return.
But life rarely goes according to plan and crises arise.

This book will be of interest to middle school young people, particularly boys who are considering what it means to grow up when parents leave for temporary duty in the military.

(Published by Random House, 2009).

The Enemy: A book about peace by Davide Cali and Serge Bloch

There is a battle field. In the battlefield there are two holes. In each hole is a soldier. They are enemies.
This simple, direct, and powerful story makes a statement about the pointlessness of war--and the humanity of individuals on all sides.
The picture book will be most effective with children ages 8-12. (Published by Random House, 2009).

No! by David McPhail

This is a stunning picture book with only one word--No!--repeated three times. Illustrator and author McPhail follows a little boy as he sets out to deliver an important letter and witnesses acts of war on the way. He dramatizes conflict and alternatives to conflict in a "language" accessible to young and old through his paintings. Although the book will appeal to children preschool ages and up, it is appropriate for all ages. (Published by Roaring Book Press, 2009).