Tag Archives: Families

The Pearl Thief

This pre-war, prequel to Elizabeth Wein’s award- winning Code Name Verity tells the story of fifteen-year-old Julie before she becomes Verity. After her grandfather dies, leaving the family in debt, they are forced to sell the estate. Julie returns home to the estate for a last visit, finds herself with a bump on her head, and a mystery to solve. There is a fascinating cast of characters, including two young Scottish Travellers whose family has been camping on her grandfather’s land. This multi-layered coming of age story does stand alone, though it would be valuable for fans of Verity. A map and an author’s note are included. mjw
Title: The Pearl Thief
Author: Elizabeth Wein
Publisher
: Disney Hyperion
Copyright
: 2017
Original Language
: English 
ISBN
: 978-1484717165
Hardcover pages
: 336
Age range
: 12 up
Genre
: Historical fiction
Book setting
: Scotland
Author’s residence
: Scotland
Subjects
: Investigations, Missing persons, Murder, Mystery, Nomadic people, Prejudices, Scottish Travellers, Scotland – history

Leather Shoe Charlie

leather-choe-charlieCharlie and his family move from the country to Manchester where there is more work. They face many hardships, including pollution from the city’s factories. Charlie’s mother is ill from the lack of sun and clean air and she needs tea that will help her regain her strength. Charlie decides to sell his fine leather shoes that his grandfather made for him so that he has money to buy the tea for his mother. Charlie’s brightly colored shoes stand out against the gray/tan tones of the industrialized city. This moving story concludes with information about the Industrial Revolution in England, key terms and concepts, a map, and a timeline of events. mjw
Title: Leather Shoe Charlie
Author: Gyeong-hwa Kim
Illustrator
: Anna Balbusso and Elena Balbusso
Publisher
: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers. Grand Rapids, Michigan
Copyright
: 2017
Original Language
: Korean
Editor
: Joy Cowley
Original Publisher
: Yeowan Media Co Ltd.
Original Copyright
: 2014
ISBN
: 978-0-8028-5473-5
Paperback pages
: 36
Age range
: 6-10
Genre
: Picture Book, Historical Fiction
Book setting
: Manchester, England
Author’s ethnicity
: Korean
Author’s residence
: South Korea
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Italian
Illustrator’s residence
: Milan, Italy
Subjects
: Careers, Europe, Industrial Revolution, Jobs, Occupations

A Dog Like Sam

a-dog-like-samNine-year-old Kix and his younger sister Emilia discover a big white sheepdog in their front yard and want to adopt him. They name him Sam. The problem is that he belongs to loony Flint, their neighbor who is in a mental hospital following the failure of his farm. All is resolved in a dramatic scene where Kix states that Sam must decide where he wants to live. Lively pen and ink illustrations add to this moving and heartwarming tale. An author’s note gives background for the story. mjw
Title: A Dog Like Sam
Author: Edward van de Vendel
Illustrator
: Philip Hopman
Publisher
: Eerdmans Books for Young People
Copyright
: 2016
Original Language
: Dutch
Translator
: David Colmer
Original Title
: Toen Kwam Sam
Original Publisher
: Em. Queridos Kinderboeken Uitgeverij
Original Copyright
: 2011
ISBN
: 978-0-8028-5484-1
Hardcover pages
: 111
Age range
: 8-11
Genre
: Fiction, illustrated novel
Author’s ethnicity
: Dutch
Author’s residence
: Netherlands
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Dutch
Illustrator’s residence
: Netherlands
Awards
: 2011, 2012 Author was nominated for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award
Subjects
: Dogs, Families, Pets

Karma

1aawordfestostlere1.jpgFifteen-year-old Maya is traveling with her Sikh father to bring her Hindu mother’s ashes to India. Arriving in 1984 on the eve of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s assassination she is thrust into an India full of fear and chaos. She manages to escape the worst of the riots in Delhi but is separated from her father and must rely on others to help her navigate the dangers of India in 1984. Maya finds a companion in Sandeep a mysterious young man who helps her face an uncertain future. Written in verse, this fast paced historical fiction novel shows the harsh reality of Indian life in the aftermath of Indira Gandhi’s assassination along with the troubles a young woman could have faced being alone in India. Ostlere shows the danger of the time but also honors the vibrancy of India through realistic details such as, warm chai being sold on the street, that will transport the reader directly into Indian culture. amo
Title: Karma
Author: Cathy Ostlere
Publisher
: Razor Bill 
Copyright
: 2011
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-59514-384-6
Paperback pages
: 534
Age range
: 13 and up
Genre
: Historical Fiction
Book setting
: Canada, India
Author’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Author’s residence
: Calgary, Canada
Awards
: R. Ross Annett Children’s Award
Subjects
: Assassination, Family, India, Love, Riots

My Beautiful Birds

my-beautiful-birdsSami, his family, and his neighbors are escaping the bombs that have destroyed their Syrian home. Sami is heartbroken because he had to leave behind his pet pigeons. Once they reach the refugee camp and safety, everyone settles in as best they can. But Sami is not interested in soccer or painting. His life seems pointless. He cannot forget his birds. When some birds – a canary, a dove, and a rose finch – fly into the camp, Sami feeds them and provides material for their nests. This helps him begin his long healing process. Rich, textured illustrations fashioned from Plasticene, polymer clay, and other mixed media complement this moving story of one young refugee’s experience in the Syrian civil war. An author’s note gives information about refugee camps and the Syrian conflict. mjw
Title: My Beautiful Birds
Author: Suzanne Del Rizzo
Illustrator
: Suzanne Del Rizzo
Publisher
: Pajama Press.  Toronto
Copyright
: 2017
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-77278-010-9
Hardcover pages
: 32
Age range
: 6-10
Genre
: Picture Book
Book setting
: Syria
Author’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Author’s residence
: Canada
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Illustrator’s residence
: Canada
Subjects
: Birds, Homelessness, Illness, Loss, Middle East, Poverty, Refugee camps, Refugees, Syria

Cry Heart, But Never Break

cry-heart-but-never-breakFour clever siblings attempt to distract Death to keep him from taking their ailing grandmother away. He inevitably arrives and tells the children a story about how he is natural and necessary. He pairs day with night, grief with delight, and joy with sorrow in this contemplative picture book. His beautiful story helps children realize the value of life and the importance of saying goodbye. Expressive and peaceful pencil and watercolor paintings handle the subject well. mjw
Title: Cry Heart, But Never Break
Author: Glenn Ringtved
Illustrator
: Charlotte Pardi
Publisher
: Enchanted Lion Books.  New York
Copyright
: 2016
Original Language
: Danish
Translator
: Robert Moulthrop
Original Title
: Graed blot hjerte
Original Copyright
: 2001
ISBN
: 978-1-59270-187-2
Hardcover pages
: 32
Age range
: 4-8
Genre
: Picture Book
Author’s ethnicity
: Danish
Author’s residence
: Denmark
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Danish
Illustrator’s residence
: Denmark
Awards
: 2017 Batchelder Award
Subjects
: Children and death, Death and dying, Grief, Multigenerational

As Time Went By

51mcujm-halThrough a beautiful story of renewal, told in three parts, this picture book teaches us to find hope even in the darkest times. Starting with bright painted scenes, readers are introduced to a steamboat that is new and full of fancy, important people. As the story continues the colors become muted until the steamboat is abandoned. Part two follows a family from luxury to homelessness as the pages transition from colorful to bland. Finally, in the dreariest moments the abandoned ship and homeless people are united to rebuild the ship into a community home that is radiant with color. amo
Title: As Time Went By
Author: José Sanabria
Illustrator
: José Sanabria
Publisher
: NorthSouth Books
Copyright
: 2016
Original Language
: French
Original Title
: Wie die Zeit verghet
Original Publisher
: NordSud
Original Copyright
: 2016
ISBN
: 987-0-7358-4248-9 
Paperback pages
: 48
Age range
: 4-8 
Genre
: Picture Book
Author’s ethnicity
: Colombian
Author’s residence
: Argentina
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Colombian
Illustrator’s residence
: Argentina
Subjects
: Boats, Family, Homes