Tag Archives: Bullying

No Ballet Shoes In Syria

Eleven-year-old Aya has just arrived in Manchester, England, from Syria, with her Mumma and her baby brother.  She is an “asylum seeker, a would–be refugee, a poor little girl from Syria, a fatherless child from a war zone.” Her passion is dance.  One day she comes across a ballet class and the teacher recognizes her talent and thinks she might earn a position at the prestigious Northern Ballet School.  Aya is a powerful, brave character.  Her story engages in a series of flashbacks about her life in Syria.  There is a parallel story about her ballet teacher who had to flee the holocaust.  This incredibly moving, well-written story shows how dance transcends borders.  A map of Aya’s journey from Syria is included. mjw
Title: No Ballet Shoes In Syria
Author: Catherine Bruton
Publisher: Nosy Crow Ltd. U.K.
Copyright
: 2019
Original Language
: English 
ISBN
: 978-1-78800-4-503
Paperback pages
: 272
Age range
: 8-12
Genre
: Fiction
Book setting
: Syria, Turkey, Greece, England
Author’s ethnicity
: English
Author’s residence
: England
Subjects
: Aleppo, Asylum seekers, Ballet, Dance, Prejudice and racism, Refugees

Rasha: Little Girl Big Heart

Feisty fourteen-year-old Rasha is abandoned by her mother in a village far from their cosmopolitan Dhaka home, where she is forced to live with her aged and probably mad grandmother. The village has no electricity, heavy rains, and nosy neighbors. Rasha has to attend a primitive school with a bullying teacher.  She rises against her circumstances and exposes the teacher, stops a child marriage from happening, builds a boat so that she can get to school, and teaches her new school friends how to use a computer.  She even wins a science Olympiad. mjw
Title: Rasha: Little Girl Big Heart
Author: Muhanned Zafar Iqbal
Publisher
: Puffin Books.  Penguin Random House India
Copyright
: 2016
Original Language
: Bengali
Translator
: Arunava Sinha
Original Title
: Rashed Amar Bondhu
Original Publisher
: Tamralipi, Dhaka
Original Copyright
: 2010
ISBN
: 978-780143434887
Paperback pages
: 240
Age range
: 12-15
Genre
: Fiction
Book setting
: Bangladesh
Author’s ethnicity
: Bangladeshi
Author’s residence
: Bangladesh
Translator’s ethnicity
: Bangladeshi
Translator’s residence
: Bangladesh
Awards
: Translator has won the Crossword Prize for Translated Books.  The book is on the 2019 Global Literature in Libraries Initiative Award Shortlist
Subjects
: Bangladesh liberation war, Dhaka, East Pakistan, Freedom, Freedom fighters, Intergenerational

Borka: The Adventure Of A Goose With No Feathers

Borka is the youngest of six geese born to Mr. and Mrs. Plumpster.  She has no feathers, so Mrs. Plumpster knits a gray woolen sweater for her. The other geese tease her.  She is left behind when the family migrates south for the winter because she cannot fly.  She makes friends with a dog named Fowler and a boat skipper named Captain McAllister, who takes Borka on his boat.  He brings her to Kew Gardens in London where she fits in nicely because there are so many kinds of strange birds there.  She meets Ferdinand and he and Borka live there happily.  The bold, richly textured illustrations complement this beautiful classic.  This is the 55thanniversary edition, back by popular demand. mjw
Title: Borka: The Adventure Of A Goose With No Feathers
Author: John Burningham
Illustrator
: John Burningham
Publisher
: Candlewick Press. Somerville, MA
Copyright
: 2018
Original Language
: English
Original Publisher
: Jonathan Cape, U.K.
Original Copyright
: 1963
ISBN
: 978-1-5362-0040-9
Hardcover pages
: 32
Age range
: 5-7
Genre
: Picture Book
Book setting
: England
Author’s ethnicity
: English
Author’s residence
: North London, England
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: English
Illustrator’s residence
: North London, England
Awards
: 1964 Kate Greenaway Medal
Subjects
: Birds, Dogs, Geese, Knitting

Step Up To The Plate, Maria Singh

It is 1945, and with World War II going on, fifth-grader Maria Singh wants to play baseball.  When her teacher starts an all-girls team at her school, Maria is thrilled.  However she meets many challenges. Her father from India doesn’t want her wearing shorts.  Her mother form Mexico wants her to stay home to watch her younger brother.  Maria also wants to work to get the city council to approve a baseball field for her neighborhood.  And because her father isn’t a U.S. citizen, he can’t own their farm and the family is in danger of losing it.  As she learns about teamwork and baseball, she also learns about prejudice and racism in her community.  And most importantly, she learns to speak up and make a difference in her world.  This well-written, fascinating book, that covers a lot of social history, has great potential for the classroom.  mjw
Title: Step Up To The Plate, Maria Singh
Author: Uma Krishnaswami
Publisher
: Tu Books, an imprint of Lee and Low Books.  New York
Copyright
: 2017
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-600602-61-0
Hardcover pages
: 288
Age range
: 9-12
Genre
: Historical fiction
Book setting
: California
Author’s ethnicity
: born in New Delhi
Author’s residence
: Victoria, British Columbia
Awards
: 018 South Asia Book Award
Subjects
:East Indian Americans, Farm life, Mexican Americans, Prejudice, Racially mixed people, Racism, Sexism, Softball, World War II

The Fox Girl And The White Gazelle

Twelve-year-old Reema is a Syrian refugee trying to find her place in Glasgow.  She struggles with a new language and culture and misses her older brother who got left behind in Aleppo.  Caylin feels completely alone.  She has to look after her alcoholic mother.  She bullies the other kids and steals from them so that she can eat. Reema and Caylin become friends when they discover an injured fox and her babies. The girls also discover that they both like to run. Told in alternating perspectives, this is a great story of friendship. mjw
Title: The Fox Girl And The White Gazelle
Author: Victoria Williamson
Publisher
: Kelpies, an imprint of Floris Books. Edinburgh, Scotland
Copyright
: 2018
Original Language
: English 
ISBN
: 978-178250-490-0
Paperback pages
: 272
Age range
: 10-12
Genre
: Fiction
Book setting
: Scotland
Author’s ethnicity
: Scottish
Author’s residence
: U.K.
Subjects
: Foxes, Glasgow, Poetry, Prejudice and racism, Refugees, Running, Syria

Outside In

Twelve-year-old Ram, who lives on the streets of Chandigarh in northern India, discovers a hidden garden full of sculptures.  He follows a man on a bicycle who seems to be collecting rocks and cast off materials. The man, Nek Chand, uses scraps of metal, bike tires, broken glass and dishes, old rags – junk according to Ram – to create a secret world of thousands of odd statues.  Ram and Nek become friends and learn how the story of the Ramayana parallels their story.  This heartwarming book was inspired by the true story of the famous Indian artist who was displaced from his home after Partition and illegally built an entire village in Chandigarh.  Today, Nek Chand’s Rock Garden is the second most visited site in India, after the Taj Mahal.  A glossary of Indian terms and an author’s note are included.  mjw
Title: Outside In
Author: Jennifer Bradbury
Publisher
: Atheneum Books for Young Readers.  New York
Copyright
: 2017
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-4424-6827-6
Hardcover pages
: 288
Age range
: 8-12
Genre
: Fiction
Book setting
: Chandigarh, India
Author’s ethnicity
: U.S.
Author’s residence
: U.S., taught in Chandigarh
Awards: 2018 South Asia Book Award
Subjects
: Architecture, Asian, Chandigarh, Fables, Hindu, Homelessness, Legends, Myths, Nek Chand, Orphans, Poverty, Ramayana, Rock gardens, Sculptors

Someone Like Me: How One Undocumented Girl Fought For Her American Dream

National bestselling author Julissa Arce tells of her journey from Taxco, Mexico, to growing up undocumented in Texas.  As a young girl, she, her two sisters, her nanny, and her grandmother were left behind in Taxco for months at a time, while her parents worked in America, hoping to build a home for the family.  At age eleven, her parents brought her to Texas where she secretly lived as an undocumented immigrant.  She worked tirelessly, achieved academic excellence, overcame cultural barriers, and ultimately climbed to a successful career on Wall Street. Eight pages of black and white photographs complement this compelling story. mjw
Title: Someone Like Me: How One Undocumented Girl Fought For Her American Dream
Author: Julissa Arce
Publisher
: Little, Brown and Company
Copyright
: 2018
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-0-316-48174-8
Hardcover pages
: 240
Age range
: 11-14
Genre
: Autobiography
Book setting
: Mexico, Texas
Author’s ethnicity
: Mexican
Author’s residence
: Los Angeles, U.S.
Subjects
: Biography, Illegal aliens, Immigrants, Mexican American women, Social justice, Texas