Tag Archives: Families

A Place To Belong

World War II is over and Hanako and her family – her father, her mother, and little brother Akira – are moving to Japan.  They have been in an internment camp for Japanese-Americans in America.  They have renounced their citizenship so they can leave the camp and return to Japan to live with Hanako’s grandparents on a tenant farm outside of Hiroshima.  They barely survive.  Hanako struggles to fit in as an outsider in her new home.  This is a moving book interspersed with black and white drawings. mjw
Title: A Place To Belong
Author: Cynthia Kadohata
Illustrator
: Julia Kuo
Publisher
: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Copyright
: 2019
Original Language
: English 
ISBN
: 978-1-481446648
Hardcover pages
: 416
Age range
: 10-14
Genre
: Historical Fiction
Book setting
: Hiroshima, Japan
Author’s ethnicity
: Japanese
Author’s residence
: California, U.S.
Subjects
: Emigration and immigration, Hiroshima, Multigenerational family life, Japan, Japan history 1945

The Color Of The Sun

This story takes place in one day of Davie’s life in Tyneside, his small town home.  He takes off on a journey after what appears to be the murder of a boy he knows.  Half real and half imagined, he meets characters from his town, which has rival gangs,. Davie thinks he knows who the murderer is.  As the story progresses, it gets harder to fathom what is real.  The ending is brilliant and leaves readers feeling positive and hopeful.  The book is beautifully written. mjw
Title: The Color Of The Sun
Author: David Almond
Publisher
: Candlewick Press
Copyright
: 2019
Original Language
: English
Original Publisher
: Hachette Children’s Group. U.K.
Original Copyright
: 2018
ISBN
: 978-1-5362-0785-9
Hardcover pages
: 224
Age range
: 12 up
Genre
: Fiction, Fantasy
Book setting
: England
Author’s ethnicity
: English
Author’s residence
: Newcastle upon Tyne, U.K.
Awards
: Hans Christian Andersen Medal, Carnegie Medal
Subjects
: Adventure, Coming of Age, Death and dying, Violence, Young adult boys

Old Man Of The Sea

A young boy narrates this adventure tale about his grandpa’s travels all over the world – the story of his life.  He first tells about Europe with fairy tale castles and groves of olive trees.  The ocean calls and grandpa sails to Africa where he dances to the rhythm of drums.  He feels the pull of the ocean and ends up in Asia where he eats spices and visits ancient temples.  He returns to the sea and Oceania and finally ends up in America where he marries, works hard, has children, and makes a family.  For the first time in his life, he forgets to go back to the sea.  The digitally rendered watercolor paintings include maps of the continents. mjw
Title: Old Man Of The Sea
Author: Stella Elia
Illustrator
: Weberson Santiago
Publisher
: Lantana Publishing. London
Copyright
: 2019
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-91137-354-4
Hardcover pages
: 40
Age range
: 5-8
Genre
: Picture Book
Book setting
: Europe, Africa, Asia, Oceania, America
Author’s ethnicity
: Brazilian
Author’s residence
: Brazil
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Brazilian
Illustrator’s residence
: Brazil
Awards
: Illustrator has won the 2009 Trofeu HQ Mix Award for Best Illustrator in Brazil
Subjects
: Adventure, Boats, Continents, Maps, Multigenerational, Sailing, Sailors, Ships, Storytelling

Vanishing Colors

In this haunting story, a young girl and her mother take shelter in their roofless house to sleep. The mother tells the story of a large bird that flies from the mountains to protect them.  Dark illustrations show that the city is ravaged by war.  The bird reminds the girl of happy memories and colors that were there before.  The girl and her mother can leave when the girl sees all the colors in the rainbow, which makes a bridge across the sky.  The book ends with the mother and child walking on, holding hands, under a rainbow. They will stay together and help each other. mjw
Title: Vanishing Colors
Author: Constance Orbeck-Nilssen
Illustrator
: Akin Duzakin
Publisher
: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers
Copyright
: 2019
Original Language
: Norwegian
Translator
: Kari Dickson
Original Title
: Fargene som forsvant
Original Publisher
: Vigmostad & Bjorke
Original Copyright
: 2017
ISBN
: 978-0-8028-5518-3
Hardcover pages
: 40
Age range
: 5-9
Genre
: Picture Book
Book setting
: Eastern Europe
Author’s ethnicity
: Norwegian
Author’s residence
: Norway
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Turkish-Norwegian
Illustrator’s residence
: Norway
Subjects
: Destruction, Emigration and Immigration, Homelessness and poverty, Migration, Parents, Refugees, Social issues

Bilal Cooks Daal

Six-year-old Bilal helps his dad make his favorite food – daal.  The slow cooked dish from South Asia requires many ingredients and patience. Bilal’s diverse friends are excited to try the new dish.  They break naan around the table and share the steamy, garlicky, salty, sweet, creamy daal.  They all agree that it tastes great.  The colorful illustrations were rendered digitally. An author’s note explains that daal is known as lentils in English.  A recipe for chana daal with split chickpeas is also included. mjw
Title: Bilal Cooks Daal
Author: Aisha Saeed
Illustrator
: Anoosha Syed
Publisher
: Salaam Reads, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division
Copyright
: 2019
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-534418103
Hardcover pages
: 40
Age range
: 4-8
Genre
: Picture Book
Author’s ethnicity
: Pakistani-American
Author’s residence
: Atlanta, Georgia. U.S.
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Pakistaani-Canadian
Illustrator’s residence
: Toronto, Canada
Subjects
: Bi-racial, Celebrations, Cooking, Cultural differences, Cultural traditions, Family relationships, Friendship, Lentils, Pakistani, Patience

Girl Of The Southern Sea

Fourteen-year-old Nia lives in the slums of Jakarta, Java, with her father and her little brother. She dreams of attending high school and becoming a writer, but school is too expensive.  Her father runs a banana fritter cart near the railway station, but the money he makes usually just supports his drinking habit.  He is an unhappy and weak man who disappears for days, so Nia has to raise her little brother.  A series of unfortunate events leads to Nia’s father’s plan to marry Nia off to a much older man.  Nia overcomes all the obstacles and determines her own future.  A map of Indonesia and a glossary are included. mjw
Title: Girl Of The Southern Sea
Author: Michelle Kadarusman
Publisher
: Pajama Press, Toronto
Copyright
: 2019
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-77278-081-9
Hardcover pages
: 224
Age range
: 9-12
Genre
: Fiction
Book setting
: Jakarta, Java, Indonesia
Author’s ethnicity
: Grew up in Melbourne, has lived in Indonesia
Author’s residence
: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Subjects
: Asian literature, Authors, Fantasy, Homelessness, Mythology, Poverty, Self-esteem and self-reliance, Slums, Teenage marriage

My Sweet Orange Tree

Zeze, a precocious five-year-old born to a poor family in the slums of Rio de Janeiro, taught himself to read at a very young age and wants to grow up to be “a poet with a bow tie.” Zeze is a naughty child with a heart of gold.  He plays clever pranks on his neighbors and is punished severely for them by his parents. Imaginative Zeze adopts a small orange tree that grows in his yard as his magical friend.  Inspired by the author’s childhood, the book is a Brazilian classic, adopted by schools and adapted for cinema, television, and the stage. It has been translated into nineteen languages. mjw
Title: My Sweet Orange Tree
Author: Jose Mauro De Vasconcelos (1920-1984)
Publisher
: Candlewick Press
Copyright
: 2019
Original Language
: Portuguese
Translator
: Alison Entrekin
Original Title
: Meu pe de laranja lima
Original Publisher
: Editora melhoramentos Ltda, Brazil
Original Copyright
: 1968
ISBN
: 978-1-5362-0328-8
Hardcover pages
: 272
Age range
: 14-17
Genre
: Autobiographical novel
Book setting
: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Author’s ethnicity
: Brazilian
Subjects
: Abuse, Imagination, Magic, Orange trees, Poverty