Robert Smalls was born a slave in South Carolina in 1839. Robert’s owner sent him to Charleston work. He waited tables, made deliveries, loaded and unloaded the cargo from ships – and all of the money he earned went to his master. What Robert could keep, was what he learned working on the docks. He eventually became a wheelman – the person who steers a boat. One night, Robert and his crew – all of them slaves – sneak their families aboard the ship Planter, stealing the ship and sailing North towards freedom. This is the story of an extraordinary man, a man who eventually bought his master’s plantation and was elected to the United States Congress in 1875! Author: Janet Halfmann Illustrator: Duane Smith
This reads more like a story than like a timeline of George Washington Carver’s Life. I liked the way the author told about what was going on around Mr. Carver at the times he made important decisions about himself. He did some really interesting things, but the road to how he got there is even MORE interesting. In this book you hear about his family, friends and co-workers, other African-Americans scientists and educators whose presence and thoughts influenced him. These people are characters in his life story, because to understand him, it’s good to understand everything and everone around him. I would read this one for fun – not just for homework. Author & Illustrator: Cheryl Harness
Book four in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series is just as fast paced, exciting and funny as the first three. Percy, our favorite half human, half Greek God hero can’t seem to stay away from trouble, trouble always finds him. This time it’s evil demon cheerleaders. To stop them, Percy destroys yet another school. Will this kid ever graduate?
After the explosion, Percy flees to Camp Half-Blood in hopes of getting a grip on what the deal is with demon cheerleaders. He finds out that the Titan Lord Kronos is assembling an army of monsters, demons and other nasties to overthrow the Gods. Kronos’s plan is to attack Camp Half-Blood by entering through a giant underground maze that has an exit inside Camp Half-Blood.
Percy and his friends enter the maze in a crazy attempt to stop the invasion. This maze is no ordinary maze. Hidden entrances and exits exist all over the US…if you know where to find them. And to top it off, the maze itself is alive! The passages in the maze move and change so that finding his way back out again is as much of a challenge to Percy as the monsters and demons inside it trying to kill him! He’s got his friends along; Annabeth, Grover & Tyson as well as Rachel, a mortal with monster vision, to help him find the way. Author: Rick Riordan
I told you about this book a few months ago already, but since it just won the Coretta Scott King Award, I thought I would show it to you again. It is great words and great pictures together -the perfect book!
I’m not really into baseball very much and I loved this book! It is the story of Negro League baseball. Did you know that there was a league in the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s for African-American players because they were not allowed to play in the Major Leagues? This book is the story of those players and the league they made great that only came to an end when Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in Major League baseball. The story is told like you are listening to an old player remember. The narrator tells about how the league was formed, who the owners, managers and players were…but more. The narrator doesn’t just list the facts. There are many sad, surprising, horrifying, funny & interesting stories about the players and what they endured to play baseball. On top of that, the pictures in the book are astounding! The author/artist, Kadir Nelson, did a lot of reasearch to get the ballparks and players, uniforms and other details just right. It is like looking at painted photos from someone who was actually there. This is a good one. Don’t miss it. Author: Kadir Nelson
Negro League Baseball: theIndianapolis Clowns (And who played for them? None other than Hank Aaron…who writes a great foreword to this book. Aaron says, “I know that I wouldn’t have made it in baseball had these legends not paved the way for me.”
When Coraline moves into a new house she’s lonely and bored. Her parents are busy and she hasn’t made any friends yet. One day she finds a hidden door. When she goes through the door she enters a world that is a dream come true, a world like her world…only better! Her house is there, only better. Her bedroom has in it what she’s always wanted. Her parents are there, only better. They have time for her and are even fun. And suddenly, her mom can cook delicious meals!
But Coraline’s mom and dad are also different, their eyes are nothing but empty…black…buttons. They want her to sew buttons over her own eyes and stay with them forever. Horrified, Coraline runs back through the hidden door to her own world only to find that her real parents are missing – taken by the “other” mother and trapped in the “other” world. To get them back, Coraline has to return and confront the “other” mother.
Talk about creepy! Monsters and vampires and other things can be scary but you know that really they can’t be real. But what if the scary thing is disguised as something familiar, like your mother? This “other” mother reveals herself to be a very spooky woman! She eats black beetles with her long spindly fingers and tells Coraline that her parents don’t really love her anymore. Coraline’s “real” family might not be perfect, but she wishes them back more than anything, more than glitzy toys and good food and getting her every wish. It takes all of Coraline’s wits and bravery to outsmart the “other” mother and bring her family home. Author: Neil Gaiman
You can read this one two ways, as a regular book or a graphic novel, and you can also go see the movie, it opens Feb. 6th. The author also wrote The Graveyard Book – don’t miss that one either!