Category Archives: Staff Picks

Staff Pick: Viola Desmond Won’t Be Budged

Staff Pick: Viola Desmond Won’t Be Budged

Viola Desmond Won't Be Judged

With sympathy and historical accuracy, relates the story of how, in 1946 Nova Scotia, Black Canadian Viola Desmond was jailed because she refused to move from a main floor seat to the balcony of the Roseland Movie Theatre.

Long before Claudette Colvin and Rosa Parks took a stand by sitting down, Viola Desmond refused to accept that black people should be segregated from white people.  She lived in Canada, and in 1946 she went to jail for refusing to give up her main floor seat to sit up in the balcony of a movie theater.  She took her case all the way to the Nova Scotia Supreme Court.  Her story, told in this book with powerful words and bold pictures, inspired many Canadians to fight against the injustice of racism.  This story shows not only that racism exists in many places, but that people all over the world fight against it.

Recommended by: Emilie Lynn, East 38th

 

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Staff Pick: Jane the Fox and Me

Staff Pick: Jane the Fox and Me

Jane the Fox and Me

Hélène is an outcast in her grade. Her only consolation is reading Jane Eyre. Even seeing a lovely foxdoesn’t make her feel better, but maybe a new friendship will.

Fanny Britt’s Jane, the Fox and Me is a lonely, lovely story, complemented by Isabelle Arsenault’s beautiful illustrations. Hélène, abandoned by her friends and now the punch line to their jokes, finds escape in books, especially Jane Eyre. A school camping trip and an unlikely encounter help Hélène change the way she sees herself, and rediscover what friendship looks like. Jane, the Fox and Me is a beautiful gem of a graphic novel-storybook, translated in perfect pitch and drawn tenderly to the touch with erased-out grayscale illustrations, paired with pops of meaningful color: a thoughtful friendship of prose and pictures.

Recommended by:  Leigh Thomas, Learning Curve @ Central Library

 

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Staff Pick: How the Meteorite Got to the Museum

Staff Pick: How the Meteorite Got to the Museum

How the Meteorite Got to the Museum

This nonfiction book for elementary-school-age children details the steps that brought a meteor from outer space, across the eastern US, to the roof of a car in Peekskill, New York, and thereafter to be verified, tested, and exhibited at the American Museum of Natural History. Hartland breaks down complex actions and processes in kid-friendly terms and includes pages of fascinating meteor details.

Ever wonder what happens when a rock survives a fall from outer space and lands on Earth or even in your backyard? Usually this doesn’t happen but it did on October 9, 1992 in a town called Peekskill, New York. This particular meteorite entered the Earth’s atmosphere over the state of Kentucky. Virginians saw its fiery trail in the sky, Pennsylvanian’s watch it fly above their football game and one teenage in Peekskill heard the crash as it hit the trunk of her car. Once the police investigated and the firemen cooled the rock, it started its journey to the American Museum of Natural History—at least one piece of it did. The teenage whose car it hit became the owner of the meteorite. The next time you decide to do star gazing on a clear, dark night, chances are you might just see at least one meteor streak across the sky. And maybe even land in your backyard!

Recommended by:  Joan Emmert, InfoZone

 

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Staff Pick: Dark Water Rising

Staff Pick: Dark Water Rising

Dark Water Rising

While salvaging and rebuilding in the aftermath of the Galveston flood of 1900, sixteen-year-old Seth proves himself in a way that his previous efforts never could, but he still must face his father man-to-man. Young Hoosier Book Award, 2009-2010, 6-8 Nominee.

News ripped from the headlines: a devastating super hurricane killed over 6000 people and reduced a thriving seaport city of 37,000 to a pile of rubble. Actually, this is an event that happened over one hundred years ago, the 1900 Galveston Storm. This fictional story, told in vivid detail, was inspired by personal accounts of those who survived. The hero of our story is Sixteen year old Seth, who recently moved to prosperous Galveston Texas with his family. Seth wants to be a carpenter, but father is adamant that he become a doctor. Seth survives the storm but is haunted by the sights, sounds and smells that are left in its wake as he searches for family and friends. Seth applies his carpenter skills to rebuilding his family’s home and helping others. Will his father be impressed?

Recommended by:  Linda Tegmeyer, Brightwood Branch Library

 

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Staff Pick: Light in the Darkness

Staff Pick: Light in the Darkness

Light in the Darkness

Risking a whipping if they are discovered, Rosa and her mama sneak away from their slave quarters during the night to a hidden location in a field where they learn to read and write in a pit school.

Rosa wants to learn her letters so she can read, but it is dangerous. If Master catches her, it is a whipping for sure- one lash for each letter. So her Mama takes her at night to pit school, a hole dug deep in the ground and covered with branches. There, a slave who knew how to read and write taught Rosa and her Mama. This is an interesting story about how slaves learned in secret.

Recommended by:  Karen Perry, Franklin Road Branch Library

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