Category Archives: Staff Picks

Staff Pick: Never Forgotten

Staff Pick: Never Forgotten

Never Forgotten

In eighteenth-century West Africa, a boy raised by his blacksmith father and the Mother Elements–Wind, Fire, Water, and Earth–is captured and taken to America as a slave.

“Loved ones are never forgotten
When we continue to tell their stories.” (from back cover of the book)

Before reading this story/poem, learn a new word “griot” – meaning a West African storyteller, praise singer, poet, and musician.  The griot relates the story of Dinga, the blacksmith, and his son Musafa, who becomes one of “the Taken”.  Dinga calls to the four elements – earth, fire, water, wind – to find his son.  Each element tells about its search, and wind, becoming a hurricane to cross the ocean, finds Musafa – a slave apprenticed to a blacksmith. The drawing by Leo and Diane Dillon enliven the story, making it a work of art.

Recommended by Cindy Childers, Garfield Park Branch Library

More Staff Picks

Print This Post Print This Post

Staff Pick: One Handed Catch

Staff Pick: One Handed Catch

One Handed Catch

After losing his hand in an accident in his father’s butcher shop in 1946, sixth-grader Norman uses hard work and humor to learn to live with his disability and to succeed at baseball, art, and other activities.

“Growing up just after the end of World War II promises to be a time of peace and hope.  All of this ends for Norman when he is severely injured and finds himself permanently disabled.  Yet Norm faces the future not in terms of what cannot be accomplished but instead, how much can be achieved with the love and supports of family and friends. While not a true story, it is loosely based on the life of the husband of author M.J. Auch.  This is a great read for families.”

Recommended by Roberta Ash, Children’s Librarian – Eagle Branch

More Staff Picks

More books that feature kids playing baseball while living lives that are unpredictable and sometimes scary…just like real life:
The Girl Who Threw Butterflies My 13th Season Out at Second The Aurora County All-Stars

 

Print This Post Print This Post

Staff Pick: My Side of the Mountain

Staff Pick: My Side of the Mountain

My Side of the Mountain

A young boy relates his adventures during the year he spends living alone in the Catskill Mountains including his struggle for survival, his dependence on nature, his animal friends, and his ultimate realization that he needs human companionship.

“I picked MY SIDE OF THE MOUNTAIN in honor of the author, Jean Craighead George, who passed away recently at the age of 92. This is the story of Sam Gribley, one of eleven children, who is tired of living with his large family. He decides to live on his own in the Catskill Mountains of Upstate New York for a year. He finds a hollowed out tree and makes it his home. His only company is a falcon and a weasel. It is a great story of Sam’s courage and his struggle to survive. This is the first in a trilogy that includes On the Far Side of the Mountain and Frightful’s Mountain.”

Recommended by Karen Perry, Franklin Road Library

Print This Post Print This Post

Staff Pick: Circle of Cranes

Staff Pick: Circle of Cranes

Circle of Cranes

Taken from her small, impoverished Chinese village and forced to sew in a New York City sweatshop, thirteen-year-old Suyin is visited by the cranes with which she has a strange connection and learns she is the daughter of the Crane Queen, who needs her help.
Circle of Cranes by Annette Lebox

“A traditional Asian tale of “The Crane Wife” set in modern times, “Circle of Cranes” chronicles the captivating tale of Suyin, a young teenager who is sent to work as a seamstress in New York in the hopes she will garner riches for her impoverished Chinese village.  Quickly disillusioned when she instead finds herself working for pennies in a sweatshop, Suyon receives unexpected help from a flock of cranes that hold the key in discovering her heritage and her destiny.  With vivid prose and a moving plot, Lebox crafts a compelling read that brilliantly weaves the past with the present and creates a world that still finds hope and magic even in the bleakest of times.”

Recommended by Emily Chandler, Lawrence Library

Print This Post Print This Post

Staff Pick: Snow in Summer

Staff Pick: Snow in Summer

Snow in Summer

Recasts the tale of Snow White, setting it in West Virginia in the 1940s with a stepmother who is a snake-handler.

“Are you looking for a different version of Snow White than Disney? Snow in Summer: Fairest of Them All is set in the 1940`s in West Virginia. Snow in Summer is a young girl who has lost her mother. Her father is in the pits of despair until he falls under the spell of an evil woman. When they are wed the stepmother controls Snow and subdues her father so he is completely catatonic and cannot protect her. Yolen`s tale is an accurate depiction of the landscape of Appalachia and has well developed characters.”

Recommended by Lindsay Haddix, Nora Library

 

Print This Post Print This Post
1 11 12 13 14 15 17