Tag Archives: Families

Everest: The Remarkable Story Of Edmund Hilary And Tenzing Norgay

After a brief introduction, a section called Why Climb Everest? describes why Hillary and Tenzing’s achievement was so remarkable. Two very different, yet equally determined, men battled frost-biting temperatures, icefalls, snow, wind, and death-defying crevasses to climb to the top of the world’s highest mountain, Everest. The narrative is captivating and the digitally created, breathtaking illustrations are very detailed and loaded with fascinating information. A Table of Contents lists the four parts of the book: The Story of Two Very Different Childhoods, The Race for Everest, Hillary and Tenzing Climb Everest, and Their Stories Continue after Everest. The book is exciting and engaging. mjw
Title: Everest: The Remarkable Story Of Edmund Hilary And Tenzing Norgay
Author: Alexandra Stewart
Illustrator
: Joe Todd-Stanton
Publisher
: Bloomsbury Children’s Books. New York
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: English
Original Publisher
: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc. Great Britain
Original Copyright
: 2019
ISBN
: 978-1-5476-0159-2
Hardcover pages
: 64
Age range
: 8-12
Genre
: Information book, Nonfiction, Picture book, Biography
Book setting
: New Zealand, Tibet, Nepal
Author’s ethnicity
: British
Author’s residence
: London
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: British
Illustrator’s residence
: England
Subjects
: Asian history, Mountain climbing, Sherpas, Yaks, Yetis

Under My Tree

When Susanne, who lives in the city, visits her grandmother, she discovers a special tree in the forest. She observes unique things about her tree, such as a family of owls, the rough bark of the tree, the fruit growing on the tree, hundreds of insects, and more. She brings her friend Max to visit her tree. She won’t see her tree much in the winter, but she knows that her tree hibernates and that it will be there when she visits next year.  Integrated into the text are facts about trees and activities that will encourage readers to learn more about trees. The warm illustrations will teach children to appreciate and respect nature. mjw
Title: Under My Tree
Author: Muriel Tallandier
Illustrator
: Mizuho Fujisawa
Publisher
: Blue Dot Kids Press, San Francisco, CA
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: French
Translator
: Sarah Klinger
Original Title
: Sous Mon Arbre
Original Publisher
: Editions Grund
Original Copyright
: 2018
ISBN
: 978-1-7331212-3-1
Hardcover pages
: 32
Age range
: 3-8
Genre
: Picture Book, Information book
Author’s ethnicity
: French
Author’s residence
: France
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Japanese
Illustrator’s residence
: France
Subjects
: Biodiversity, Country life, Environment, Forests, Multigenerational, Trees

Brother’s Keeper

Twelve-year-old Sora and her family live in Communist North Korea in 1950. War is coming and they need to escape.  The family plans to walk the 300 miles from their village to the South Korean city of Busan.  There is a bombing and Sora and her eight-year-old brother Youngsoo are left to get there on their own. It’s winter, and they have to face enemy soldiers, starvation, frostbite, deprivation, and other hardships as they struggle to complete their journey.  This highly engrossing story is loosely based on the author’s mother’s experiences. An author’s note, photographs of the author’s family, a glossary of Korean words, a timeline of the Korean War, and a map of Sora’s journey are included. mjw
Title: Brother’s Keeper
Author: Julie Lee
Publisher
: Holiday House. New York
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-0823444946
Hardcover pages
: 320
Age range
: 8-12
Genre
: Historical Fiction
Book setting
: Korea
Author’s ethnicity
: Korean
Author’s residence
: U.S.
Subjects
: Asia, Communism, History, Korean War, Military action, North Korea, Refugees,  Siblings, South Korea, War zone, Winter

Priya Dreams Of Marigolds And Masala

Young Priya and her family live in a house in a small city in the United States. It’s the only house on the street with an Indian family. As Priya’s Ba (grandmother) is cooking dinner, Priya asks, “What is India like?” Ba, in her colorful sari, describes special spices, beautiful fabrics, architecture, monsoons, strings of marigolds, and more. At school the next day, Priya tells about India and makes paper marigolds. Her classmates join her and make a long garland of marigolds for Priya’s Ba. “Sharing India with others is the best way to carry it with you.” The vibrant illustrations give readers a look into Indian life. Back matter includes information on meanings, definitions, and pronunciations. An author’s note provides even more information. mjw
Title: Priya Dreams Of Marigolds And Masala
Author: Meenal Patel
Illustrator
: Meenal Patel
Publisher
: Beaver’s Pond Press, Inc. Edina, MN. USA
Copyright
: 2019
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-64343-955-6
Hardcover pages
: 36
Age range
: 4-8
Genre
: Picture Book
Book setting
: U.S.
Author’s ethnicity
: Born in the U.S.. Family from Gujarat, India
Author’s residence
: U.S.
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Born in the U.S.. Family from Gujarat, India
Illustrator’s residence
: U.S.
Awards
: 2020 South Asia Book Award. Grade K-2
Subjects
: Asia, Flowers, Grandmothers, Multigenerational family life, Tradition

Forward Me Back To You

Katina King is a biracial teen with a White single mom. She attends an elite private high school in northern California and is a jiu-jitsu champion. After a sexual assault at her school that she is traumatized by, her mom sends her to Boston to heal with her Grandma Vee. Robin Thorton is eighteen. He was adopted by a wealthy White family in Boston, from an orphanage in India. Kat and Robin meet at the church both Robin and Grandma Vee attend. Both teens are dealing with heavy inner turmoil. They sign up for a summer service trip to Kolkata to work with survivors of human trafficking. A dual narrative depicts Kat’s and Robin’s individual points of view in this timely, unique novel with diverse characters about cross-cultural service. mjw
Title: Forward Me Back To You
Author: Mitali Perkins
Publisher
: Farra Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers. New York
Copyright
: 2019
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-0-374304928
Hardcover pages
: 432
Age range
: 14 up
Genre
: Fiction
Book setting
: Kolkata, India and Boston, MA
Author’s ethnicity
: Born in Kolkata, India
Author’s residence
: California
Awards
: 2020 South Asian Book Award Grade 9 up
Subjects
: Activism, Adoption, Christian fiction, Global awareness, Jiu-jitsu, Human trafficking, Physical and emotional abuse, Religion, Service, Sexual assault, Social justice, Violence, Volunteerism

Hans Christian Andersen: The Journey Of His Life

Through a magical conversation with a young girl in a horse-drawn carriage, Hans Christian Andersen tells his life story. “The most wonderful fairytale is life itself.” He was a cobbler’s son who left his town in Denmark, with thirteen coins in his pocket, to go to Copenhagen to seek his fortune. He wanted to be an actor or a dancer, but things did not work out for him. What he really enjoyed was writing. A sheet of paper became his stage. He wrote poems, stories, fairytales, and plays. He traveled around the country meeting people who loved the theatre – people like himself. Hans goes on to tell the girl some of his stories, such as The Flying Trunk, Thumbelina, The Princess and the Pea, The Ugly Duckling, Clumsy Hans, The Emperor’s New Clothes, and The Snow Queen. The sumptuous illustrations use graphic novel elements to tell the story. In the illustrations, there are references to well-known authors of children’s books and some famous children’s book characters, like The Little Prince, Pinocchio, and more. An author’s note tells more about Hans Christian Andersen’s life. mjw
Title: Hans Christian Andersen: The Journey Of His Life
Author: Heinz Janisch
Illustrator
: Maja Kastelic
Publisher
: NorthSouth Books, Inc., New York
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: German
Translator
: David Henry Wilson
Original Title
: Hans Christian Andersen: Die Reise seines Lebens
Original Publisher
: NordSud Verlag AG> Zurich, Switzerland
Original Copyright
: 2020
ISBN
: 978-0-7358-4388-2
Hardcover pages
: 56
Age range
: 4-8
Genre
: Picture Book Biography
Book setting
: Denmark
Author’s ethnicity
: Austrian
Author’s residence
: Vienna
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Born in Slovenia
Awards
: White Ravens Award – Illustrator
Subjects
: Biography, Denmark, European history, Fairytales, Literary biography

Welcome To Nowhere

Twelve-year-old Omar lives in Bosra, Syria with his family.  He dreams of being a businessman and his sister wants to be a teacher. Their hopes are shattered when  war breaks out. The family is forced to flee Syria by foot to get to Jordan. This is a moving and sensitive novel with lovable characters. A Letter from the Author provides more information about the war in Syria. Also included is a section What Can You DoTo Help? that tells about the Hope School in Jordan. mjw
Title: Welcome To Nowhere
Author: Elizabeth Laird
Illustrator
: Lucy Eldridge
Publisher
: Macmillan Children’s Books
Copyright
: 22017
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-5098-44047-2
Paperback pages
: 329
Age range
: 9-11
Genre
: Fiction
Book setting
: Syria, Jordan
Author’s ethnicity
: Born in new Zealand of Scottish parents
Author’s residence
: Britain
Awards
: Winner of the UKLA Book Award
Subjects
: Cerebral Palsy, Homelessness, Middle East, Poverty, Refugees, Syria

We Kiss Them With Rain

Fourteen-year-old, pregnant by rape, Mvelo lives with abuse, poverty, and disease in South Africa, and her mother has died of HIV/AIDS. She finds resources and hope in unlikely benefactors. Wonderful characters make Mvelo’s story a joy to read. An Afterword tells of the inspiration for the novel. A Q&A with the author section offers more insight and a list of Discussion Questions would make this a thought-provoking read for high school students. mjw
Title: We Kiss Them With Rain
Author: Futhi Ntshingila
Publisher
: Catalyst Press. Livermore, California
Copyright
: 2018
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-946395-04-7
Paperback pages
: 160
Age range
: 14 up
Genre
: Fiction
Book setting
: Durban, South Africa
Author’s ethnicity
: Born in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
Author’s residence
: Pretoria, South Africa
Subjects
: Africa, AIDS, Coming of age, Generations, Poverty, Sexual abuse, Women’s sagas

Brown

Three bullies – Anton, Ruben, and the minister’s son – destroy the fort that young Rusty and his friend Jack have constructed from scrap.  Dressed in a brown cape and mask, Rusty, as super hero “Brown”, sneaks out at night to paint Ruben’s bicycle brown. Jack becomes “Black” who paints Anton’s bike black. Another friend Lou, as “Blue” joins them, only to discover that most of their stash of blue paint has disappeared. They still manage to paint all three bikes blue. Rusty feels guilty, but does not get into trouble because the three bullies have written rude words in blue on the church’s spire. This is the first book to be translated from the award-winning trilogy My Alter Ego Is A Superhero series from Norway.  It has been translated into more than thirty languages. Fine-lined ink drawings with washes of color add humor to this fun story. mjw
Title: Brown
Author: Hakon Ovreas
Illustrator
: Oyvind Torseter
Publisher
: Enchanted Lion Books, New York
Copyright
: 2019
Original Language
: Norwegian
Translator
: Kari Dickson
Original Title
: Brune
Original Publisher
: Gyldendal Norsk Forlag AS
Original Copyright
: 2013
ISBN
: 978-1-59270-212-1
Hardcover pages
: 136
Age range
: 6-10
Genre
: Fiction
Author’s ethnicity
: Norwegian
Author’s residence
: Norway
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Norwegian
Illustrator’s residence
: Norway
Awards
: 2020 ALA Mildred Batchelder Award, Norwegian Ministry of Culture’s Literature Prize
Subjects
: Grandfathers, Superheroes

The Pencil

Based on the author’s childhood memories of growing up in an iglu, this story is about being responsible for belongings and community.  Susan, her sister Rebecca, and brother Peter are home with their father in their iglu. Mother has gone to help a neighbor.  The children get tired of playing games. Father brings out a pencil from the box where they keep special things. All of the children begin drawing and drawing until they start to worry about what Mother will say when she gets home. They are supposed to use things wisely. Mother just reminds them that they shouldn’t waste things because they are hard to get. They only have one pencil. But she is glad that drawing brought them such joy. The illustrations have a sketch-like quality and are done in pencil. mjw
Title: The Pencil
Author: Susan Avingaq and Maren Vsetula
Illustrator
: Charlene Chua
Publisher
: Inhabit Media Inc. Iqaluit, Nunavut
Copyright
: 2018
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-77227-216-1
Hardcover pages
: 36
Age range
: 5-7
Genre
: Picture Book
Book setting
: Nunavut, Canada
Author’s ethnicity
: Avinngaq born in Nunavut
Author’s residence
: Both authors – Nunavut
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Illustrator’s residence
: Hamilton, Ontario
Subjects
: Canada, Community, Drawing, Iglu, Inaktitut, Polar regions, Thrift, Writing

When Spring Comes To The DMZ

The beautiful paintings in this book show the changing seasons and the variety of wildlife that live peacefully in the Demilitarized Zone of Korea. Readers can also see the ever-present fences and soldiers. Salmon swim bravely upstream and mountain goats jump after their mother.  Grandfather goes to the DMZ every season and dreams of flinging the gates wide open and walking inside and looking up into the blue sky. The book is part of the Peace Picture Book Project by illustrators from Korea, China, and Japan. A map of Korea and historical facts are included as back matter and the endpapers provide a world map. mjw
Title: When Spring Comes To The DMZ
Author: Uk-Bae Lee
Illustrator
: Uk-Bae Lee
Publisher
: Plough Publishing House. New York
Copyright
: 2019
Original Language
: Korean
Translator
: Aileen Won
Original Title
: Bimujang chidae e bom i omyon
Original Publisher
: Sakyejul Publishing Ltd. Paju, Korea
Original Copyright
: 2010
ISBN
: 978-0-87486-972-9
Hardcover pages
: 40
Age range
: 5-8
Genre
: Picture Book, Historical Fiction
Book setting
: Korea
Author’s ethnicity
: Korean
Author’s residence
: Korea
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Korean
Illustrator’s residence
: Korea
Awards
: 2020 ALA Mildred Batchelder Honor Award
Subjects
: Grandfathers, Korean Demilitarized Zone, Seasons, Soldiers

The Distance Between Me And The Cherry Tree

Ten-year-old Mafalda has Stargardt Disease, which causes progressive vision loss and eventual blindness. She has six months of sight left and she hides this fact from her family and friends. She keeps a list of all the things she cares about, like climbing the cherry tree near her school and counting stars. She makes a plan for when she can’t see and runs away to live in her favorite cherry tree.  This is a powerful, thought-provoking story of a young girl’s fears. mjw
Title: The Distance Between Me And The Cherry Tree
Author: Paola Peretti
Illustrator
: Carolina Rabei
Publisher
: Hot Key Books, London
Copyright
: 2018
Original Language
: Italian
Translator
: Denise Muir
Original Publisher
: Rizzoli
Original Copyright
: 2018
ISBN
: 978-1-4714-0755-0
Paperback pages
: 195
Age range
: 8-12
Genre
: Fiction
Book setting
: Italy
Author’s ethnicity
: Italian
Author’s residence
: Verona, Italy
Translator’s residence
: Edinburgh and Abruzzo, Italy
Awards
: 2020 ALA Mildred Batchelder Honor Award, 2020 IBBY Honor List
Subjects
: Blindness, Cats, Emotions and feelings, Sight, Special needs, Stargardt disease, Trees