Category Archives: Uncategorized

Where The World Ends

In the summer of 1727, eight boys and three men are marooned on a remote rocky stac at the edge of the Outer Hebrides in Scotland.  They were sent there to harvest birds for food, feathers, and oil.  No one returns to collect them. They survive for nine months through deadly storms, madness, and starvation.  Based on a true story, this is an unsettling and awe-inspiring novel.  The world-building is brilliant.  A map of St. Kilda, an afterword, black-and-white sketches of birds, and a glossary are included.  mjw
Title: Where The World Ends
Author: Geraldine McCaughrean
Publisher
: Usborne Publishing Ltd. London
Copyright
: 2017
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-4749-2114-5
Hardcover pages
: 336
Age range
: 11 up
Genre
: Historical Fiction, based on a true story
Book setting
: Hirta, St. Kilda, Scotland
Author’s ethnicity
: English
Author’s residence
: Berkshire, England 
Awards
: 2018 CILIP Carnegie Medal
Subjects
: Birds, Cultures, Geography, Natural world, Survival, Western Islands (Scotland)

The Chameleon That Saved Noah’s Ark

The Chameleon that SavedNoah and his multi-ethnic family can’t find the right food for the two picky eater chameleons on the ark. Noah’s wife is highlighted, but everyone is involved in trying to find food for the chameleons. The mystery continues until worms threaten the fruit bins and the chameleons solve both problems! Even worms are wonders…”and everything and everyone has a place under the sun.” Folk-art style, textured acrylic paintings are delightful in this extension of the well-known Bible story. mjw
Title: The Chameleon That Saved Noah’s Ark
Author: Yael Molchadsky
Illustrator
: Orit Bergman
Publisher
: Nancy Paulsen Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC, New York
Copyright
: 2016
Original Language
: Hebrew
Translator
: Annette Appel
Original Publisher
: KInneret, Zmora-Bitan, Dvir Publishing House Ltd., Israel
Original Copyright
: 2015
ISBN
: 978-1-101-99676-8
Hardcover pages
: 32
Age range
: 5-8
Genre
: Picture Book
Author’s ethnicity
: Israeli
Author’s residence
: Israel
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Born in Jerusalem
Illustrator’s residence
: Israel
Subjects
: Animals, Boats, Chameleons, Noah’s Ark, Noah (Biblical figure), Transportation

One Fun Day With Lewis Carroll: A Celebration Of Wordplay And A Girl Named Alice

 

This wonderful picture book is part Lewis Carroll biography and part word game. Nonsense words and phrases take readers through Carroll’s fantasy world. Along the way readers learn about Carroll’s life as a mathematician and his friendship with the Liddell family and the real Alice. The frabjous illustrations breathe new life into the famous characters. A glossary explains the words and ideas invented by Carroll and reveals that nearly two hundred of them appear in the Oxford English Dictionary. A closing note gives more information about Carroll. mjw
Title: One Fun Day With Lewis Carroll: A Celebration Of Wordplay And A Girl Named Alice
Author: Kathleen Krull
Illustrator
: Julia Sarda
Publisher
: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Copyright
: 2018
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-0544348233
Hardcover pages
: 32
Age range
: 6-9
Genre
: Picture Book Biography
Book setting
: England
Author’s ethnicity
: U.S.
Author’s residence
: U.S.
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Spanish
Illustrator’s residence
: Spain 
Subjects
: Authors, Books, Charles Dodgson, Language, Literature, Imagination, Wordplay

La Frontera: El Viaje Con Papa, My Journey With Papa

This bilingual book (Spanish and English) follows Alfredo and his father during the 1980s as they leave behind their home in Mexico for Texas.  The story is told through Alfredo’s eyes and is based on one of the author’s own experiences in crossing the border, la frontera.  It tells why they left Mexico, describes their difficult journey, and shows how courage and determination can lead to a better and more productive life. Colorful pictures prepared in graphite, acrylic, and digital collage complement the vivid narrative.  Back matter includes more on Alfredo’s story, information about borders and cultures, a map, notes about immigration, and photographs.  mjw
Title: La Frontera: El Viaje Con Papa, My Journey With Papa
Author: Deborah Mills and Alfredo Alva
Illustrator
: Claudia Navarro
Publisher
: Barefoot Books. Cambridge, MA and London
Copyright
: 2018
Original Language
: English and Spanish
Translator
: Maria A. Perez
ISBN
: 978-1-78285-388-6
Hardcover pages
: 48
Age range
: 4-8
Genre
: Picture Book
Book setting
: Mexico and Texas
Author’s ethnicity
: Mills – U.S.  Alva – Mexican
Author’s residence
: Mills – U.S.  Alva – Texas
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Mexican
Illustrator’s residence
: Mexico
Subjects
: Central America, Emigrants and immigrants, Hispanic and Latino, Mexican Americans, Mexico, United States

The Wooden Camel

Young Etabo dreams of becoming a camel racer and beating his older brother in a camel race.  But the family must sell their camels and find work for his siblings because of the rising cost of water.  Inspired by the Turkana people of northwest Kenya, this story of love and hope is beautifully illustrated with exaggerated animals and dreamy landscapes. mjw
Title: The Wooden Camel
Author: Wanuri Hahiu
Illustrator
: Manuela Adreani
Publisher
: Lantana Publishing Ltd. London
Copyright
: 2017
ISBN
: 978-1-911373-12-4
Hardcover pages
: 32 
Age range
: 4-8
Genre
: Picture Book
Book setting
: Kenya
Author’s ethnicity
: Born in Nairobi, Kenya
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Italian
Illustrator’s residence
: Turin, Italy
Awards
: 2018 Children’s Africana Book Award Honor Book
Subjects
: Africa, Brothers and sisters, Camels, Camel racing, Imagination

Ahimsa

 

In 1940s India, Anjali’s mother joins Gandhi’s freedom movement. Her family has to make many adjustments and use “ahimsa” – non-violent resistance to stand up to the British government. Ten-year-old Anjali learns that even she can contribute to the cause. The caste system, English colonialism, religious strife between Muslim and Hindu groups, and social justice are all important topics in Anjali’s story. The book was inspired by the author’s great grandmother’s experience working with Gandhi. An extensive author’s note about India’s history, suggestions for further reading, and a glossary are included. mjw
Title: Ahimsa
Author: Supriya Kelkar
Publisher
: Lee & Low Books, Inc. New York
Copyright
: 2017
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1620-1435-68
Hardcover pages
: 307
Age range
: 8 up
Genre
: Historical fiction
Book setting
: India
Author’s ethnicity
: Indian
Author’s residence
: U.S.
Subjects
: British occupation, Dalit, Gandhi, Girls and women, India – history, Non-violence, Reformers, Social classes, Untouchables

The Baghdad Clock

This story, narrated by a teenage Iraqi girl in the midst of the first Gulf War mixes dreams with real life and fantasies with reality.  She huddles in an air raid shelter with her friend Nadia and the two imagine a world not torn apart by war.  They share dreams, hopes, desires, and first loves.  As they grow older and the bombs continue to fall, their friends begin to flee the country.  The use of metaphor, dream interpretations, and soothsayers helps build the narrative and the sense of place and time.  mjw
Title: The Baghdad Clock
Author: Shahad Al Rawi
Publisher
: Oneworld Publications, London
Copyright
: 2018
Original Language
: Arabic
Translator
: Luke Leafgren
Original Publisher
: Dar al Hikma
Original Copyright
: 2016
ISBN
: 978-1-78607-324-2
Hardcover pages
: 288
Age range
: 14 up
Genre
: Fiction
Book setting
: Baghdad, Iraq
Author’s ethnicity
: Born in Baghdad
Author’s residence
: Dubai
Awards
: 2018 Shortlisted for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction
Subjects
: Air raid shelters, Biography, Coming of age, Persian Gulf War – 1991, Teenage girls