Category Archives: Staff Picks

March: Indiana Disability Awareness Month

March: Indiana Disability Awareness Month

March is Indiana Disability Awareness Month organized by the Governor’s Council for People with Disabilities. The Indiana Disability Awareness website has a lot of information including a free awareness kit and a recommended reading list for children.

Listed below are some selections from your own IndyPL Children’s Librarians of their favorite titles that feature characters with disabilities.

Websites

Wonder Ten-year-old Auggie Pullman, who was born with extreme facial abnormalities and was not expected to survive, goes from being home-schooled to entering fifth grade at a private middle school in Manhattan, which entails enduring the taunting and fear of his classmates as he struggles to be seen as just another student.Wonder by RJ Palacio~Barb Obergfell, Outreach Services
Cool Midnight Nine-year-old Lila, born with xeroderma pigmentosum, a skin disease that make her sensitive to sunlight, makes secret plans to feel the sun’s rays on her tenth birthday. And so, she plays at night with her friends – who might or might not be real.Cool Moonlight by Angela JohnsonBarb Obergfell, Outreach Services
Spider Sparrow Spider, a baby abandoned on an English farm, grows up to be mentally slower than other children but manifests a remarkable talent for communicating with animals as he comes of age during World War II, a slower child whose quiet, calm, kind nature is a gift to everyone.Spider Sparrow by Dick King-Smith~Barb Obergfell, Outreach Services
Wonderstruck Wonderful! Having lost his mother and his hearing in a short time, twelve-year-old Ben leaves his Minnesota home in 1977 to seek the father he never knew in New York City, and meets there Rose, who is also longing for something missing from her life. Ben’s story is told in words; Rose’s in pictures.Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick~Erin Moehring, Southport Branch Library and Janet Spaulding, Selection Services
A Dog Called Homeless Fifth-grader Cally Louise Fisher stops talking, partly because her father and brother never speak of her mother who died a year earlier, but visions of her mother, friendships with a homeless man and a disabled boy, and a huge dog ensure that she still communicates.A Dog Called Homeless by Sarah Lean~Janet Spaulding, Selection Services
For the older boys and girls I highly recommend Sharon Draper’s Out Of My Mind( jFIC). It’s also a Young Hoosier Book – very well written and thought provoking. It’s about a young girl who’s body is deformed (wheelchair bound), she can’t speak and her body spasms uncontrollably at the most inopportune times. She is very bright and knows the answers to the questions teachers ask, but has no way to express her knowledge. Everyone, except her family thinks she is retarded or dumb. How frustrating that must be. Finally with the help of a special computer she is able to communicate. I couldn’t wait to read what happened next!Out of My Mind by Sharon DraperConsidered by many to be mentally disabled, a brilliant, impatient fifth-grader with cerebral palsy discovers a technological device that will allow her to speak for the first time. Young Hoosier Book Award, 2012-2013, 6-8 Nominee.~Linda Tegmeyer, Brightwood Branch Library
I recommend:The Kaleidoscope Kid by Elaine LarsonPresents a collection of poems pointing out the variety of intellectual strengths and personality traits possessed by children with Asperger syndrome and high-functioning autism.~Joseph Fox, Wayne Branch Library
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Staff Pick: enormous SMALLNESS

Staff Pick: enormous SMALLNESS

Enormous Smallness

Enormous Smallness is a nonfiction picture book about the poet E. E. Cummings. Here E.E.’s life is presented in a way that will make children curious about him and will lead them to play with words and ask plenty of questions as well. Lively and informative, the book also presents some of Cummings’s most wonderful poems, integrating them seamlessly into the story to give the reader the music of his voice and a spirited, sensitive introduction to his poetry.

“This book proves that the old saying “Good things come in small packages” is true. Edward Estlin Cummings became one of the great poets of our country by writing small, short poems which celebrate the everyday pleasures in life – birds, snowflakes, and even grasshoppers. His ability to write poetry showed at an early age as his mother wrote down his first poem when he was only three! Later he chose to use only small letters when writing poetry and signing his name. Even if you aren’t a reader of biographies, you will find this small biography enjoyable, fascinating, and candy for the eyes. Nonfiction with ZING!”

Recommended by: Cindy Childers – Garfield Park Branch Library

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Staff Pick: A Time To Be Brave

Staff Pick: A Time To Be Brave

A Time To Be Brave

David and his family live in Denmark during the Nazi occupation, until September 1943 when their neighbors help smuggle them to Sweden to escape Hitler’s orders to send the Danish Jews to concentration camps. Includes honey cake recipe, World War II timeline, and “the story behind the story.”

“History’s lessons are often dark. How do we introduce children to them sensitively? Books like A Time to Be Brave come to the rescue. Young David is a baker’s son in Copenhagen in 1943. As blackout drapes replace his curtains and chicory replaces coffee, David learns that the goose-stepping soldiers occupying his town are to be feared. David witnesses bravery and strength in everyone from King Christian X to his sister, his teacher and ultimately, himself.”

Recommended by: Daniell Wilkins, College Avenue Library

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Staff Pick: Hi, Koo!: a Year of Seasons

Staff Pick: Hi, Koo!: a Year of Seasons

Hi, Koo!: a Year of Seasons

Jon J Muth–and his delightful little panda bear, Koo–challenge readers to stretch their minds and imaginations with twenty-six haikus about the four seasons.

“Poetry is fun, especially with it isn’t so full of words that you can’t understand what the poet is talking about. These poems are all very short and a great way to get you to think about your favorite parts of every season. All you have to do is open up this book and read the one on that page and you will be hooked.”

Recommended by: Cathy Scheib, Wayne Branch Library

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Staff Pick: Fairy Tale Feasts, a Literary Cookbook for Young Readers & Eaters

Staff Pick: Fairy Tale Feasts, a Literary Cookbook for Young Readers & Eaters

Fairy Tale Feasts

Entertaining retellings of favorite fairy tales and a number of recipes for dishes that children can prepare for themselves.

“Did you know that some fairy tales travel across the world? Cinderella’s story has as many as 500 variations in just Europe! Did you know that apples and pears belong in the rose family? This collection of fairy tales includes facts not otherwise found in other retellings; facts about fairytales and food are included in this book! Additionally, there are easy to make recipes following each tale. The Little Mermaid (retold by Yolen) is followed with “Seaweed Stuffed Shells” with spinach as seaweed. With stories grouped by meal type, one can whip up breakfast with The Runaway Pancake, lunch, soups (Stone Soup, of course), dinners, and desserts.”

Recommended by: Mollie Beaumont, Glendale Library

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