Tag Archives: Friends

Our Own Little Paradise

Our Own Little Paradise

On the last day of sixth grade, all of Nora’s classmates tell about their exciting summer plans – Italy, Croatia, Florida, Denmark, Paris, Portugal, and Spain. Nora lies and tells the class that she is going to the tropics. She keeps the lie growing through social media. The problem is that a new boy, Wilmer, has moved into the neighborhood and finds out that she has not gone to the tropics. Nora and Wilmer secretly build their own “tropics” in an abandoned apartment. By the end of summer, her whole class finds out that she lied, but the resolution is satisfyingly happy. This wonderful middle age story, with short chapters, addresses the struggles of trying to fit in, finding true friends, and different social classes. mjw

Title: Our Own Little Paradise
Author: Marianne Kaurin
Publisher
: Arctis Books. Stamford, CT, USA
Copyright
: 2022
Original Language
: Norwegian
Translator
: Olivia Lasky
Original Title
: Syden
Original Publisher
: H. Aschehoug and Co. (W. Nygaard) AS
Original Copyright
: 2018
ISBN
: 978-1-64690-018-3
Hardcover pages
: 300
Age range
: 8-12
Genre
: Fiction, Novel
Book setting
: Norway
Author’s ethnicity
: Norwegian
Author’s residence
: Oslo. Norway
Translator’s ethnicity
: US
Translator’s residence
: Oslo, Norway
Awards
: 2021 German Youth Literature Prize
Subjects
: First love, Holidays, Lies, Peer pressure, Relationships, Social media, Summer, Vacations

Fly

FLYFourteen-year-old Felix Landon Yarrow – F.L.Y., or Fly has cerebral palsy and is confined to a wheelchair. He carries around his father’s worn copy of Don Quixote to prove that there is a brain inside his uncooperative body. His first-person narrative in engaging free verse tells of his fascination with knighthood and chivalry. He fears that Carter, the school villain, is a danger to his crush/damsel in distress, Daria. Using his cleverness and invisibility – his superpower – he constructs a plan to save Daria. Fly is a courageous, kind, and funny character on a “quest/ for a noble life.” mjw
Title: Fly
Author: Alison Hughes
Publisher
: Kids Can Press Ltd., Toronto
Copyright
: 2022
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1525-305-832
Hardcover pages
: 197
Age range
: 10-14
Genre
: Fiction, Novel in verse
Author’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Author’s residence
: Edmonton, Alberta
Subjects
: Cerebral palsy, Courage, Don Quixote, Free verse, Poetry, Wheelchairs

Leilong’s Too Long!

LeilongEvery morning, Leilong the brontosaurus shuttles through the city, picking up children for school. But he is longer than a tennis court, and he weighs as much as five elephants. He breaks bridges and knocks over houses. He feels awkward in the city. There are so many complaints that the school is forced to take its brontosaurus bus off the road. The children find a way to help Leilong fit in. He becomes the city’s most popular playground. The imaginative cartoon illustrations are rendered in crayon and watercolor and have a child-like quality. This book follows the bestselling Leilong the Library Bus (2021). mjw
Title: Leilong’s Too Long
Author: Julia Liu
Illustrator
: Bei Lynn
Publisher
: Gecko Press. New Zealand
Copyright
: 2022
Original Language
: Chinese
Translator
: Helen Wang
Original Title
: Riding A Brontosaurus To School
Original Copyright
: 2017
ISBN
: 978-1-77657-433-9
Hardcover pages
: 28
Age range
: 2-5
Genre
: Picture book
Author’s ethnicity
: Taiwanese
Author’s residence
: Taiwan
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Taiwanese
Illustrator’s residence
: Taiwan
Subjects
: Brontosaurus, Bus, Dinosaurs, Imagination, School bus, Transportation

Born Behind Bars

Born Behind Bars

Nine-year-old, low-caste Kabir was born in jail in Chennai, India, because his mom is serving time for a crime she didn’t commit. He ends up living on the streets when a new warden decides that he is too old to still be living in jail. He meets Rani, a Roma girl, who helps him survive in the harsh, ugly outside world. He eventually finds his grandparents and a helpful lawyer who gets his mother released from jail. This story told through the lens of a young boy is both educating and entertaining. Kabir is brave and optimistic. Like Venkatraman’s other books, A Time To Dance, Climbing The Stairs, and The Bridge Home, this book is unforgettable. mjw

Title: Born Behind Bars
Author: Padma Venkatraman
Publisher
: Nancy Paulsen Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC
Copyright
: 2021
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-0593-11247-2
Hardcover pages
: 273
Age range
: 10 up
Genre
: Fiction, Novel
Book setting
: Chennai, India
Author’s ethnicity
: Indian
Author’s residence
: U.S.
Awards
: 2022 NCSS Notable Books, 2022 South Asia Award Winner
Subjects
: Homelessness, India, Poverty, Prejudice, Prisoners’ families, School, Street children

Bharatanatyam In Ballet Shoes

BharatanatyamParo comes from a dancing family. She dances Bharatanatyam at home with her mother and now she is about to begin ballet lessons. She is worried because the two dance forms are so different. Ballet dances twirl and swirl like fairies and Bharatanatyam dancers move like queens. Paro tries to share the traditional South Asian dance with her new ballet classmates, but they just don’t get it. Paro’s mother comes to class to perform and then everyone loves Bharatanatyam. And Paro learns to dance like a fairy queen. Vibrant illustrations complement this encouraging story about cultural competency. Back matter provides more information about the two dance forms and instructions for making ghungroo, which are both anklets and musical instruments at the same time, an essential part of Bharatanatyam. mjw
Title: Bharatanatyam In Ballet Shoes
Author: Malak Jain
Illustrator
: Anu Chouhan
Publisher
: Annick Press, Toronto
Copyright
: 2022
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1773216164
Hardcover pages
: 36
Age range
: 4-7
Genre
: Picture Book
Author’s ethnicity
: Born in Delhi, India
Author’s residence
: Toronto, Ontario
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Punjabi-Canadian
Illustrator’s residence
: Vancouver, BC
Awards
: Author has won the 2017 South Asia Book Award
Subjects
: Asian, Asian-American, Mother-daughter relationships, Parents, Self-esteem, Self-reliance

Lena, The Sea, And Me

Lena, The Sea, and Me

In this sequel to the OmniLibros post Waffle Hearts (Adventures With Waffles in the U.S.), Trille and Lena are growing up in Mathildewick Cove in Norway, where they have another year of adventures. They hoist Trille’s little sister up a flagpole, sail into a fjord on a flimsy raft, and go caroling during a hurricane. Trille becomes interested in a new girl in town and Lena plays soccer and takes music lessons. There is a smattering of Norwegian culture, which is interesting and lovely. mjw

Title: Lena, The Sea, And Me
Author: Maria Parr
Illustrator
: Lara Paulussen
Publisher
: Candlewick Press. Somerville, Massachusetts
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: Norwegian
Translator
: Guy Puzey
Original Title
: Keeperen og havet
Original Publisher
: Det Norske Samlaget. Oslo, Norway
Original Copyright
: 2017
ISBN
: 978-1-5562-0772-9
Hardcover pages
: 304
Age range
: 7-10
Genre
: Fiction, Novel
Book setting
: Norway
Author’s ethnicity
: Norwegian
Author’s residence
: Norway
Subjects
: Best friends, Family life, Grandparents

How War Changed Rondo

How War Chaged Rondo

The Ukrainian husband and wife, author/ illustrator team created this book as a response to their experiences of war in Ukraine. The story is set in the fictional town of Rondo, which is known for its greenhouses of musical flowers. Everyone who lives there speaks to birds and plants, paints pictures, sings, and writes poetry. Rondo is perfect. The three protagonists are Danko who glows like a lantern and has a shining heart, Fabian who resembles a dog-shaped balloon animal, and Zirka who has a bird-like origami body folded from maps and newspaper articles about war. War comes to Rondo bringing its darkness and destruction. Together, the three friends rally their town to devise a plan using light, community, and song to halt war and restore peace. The stunning mixed-media illustrations undergo dramatic shifts in color when war enters and then finally leaves Rondo. mjw

Title: How War Changed Rondo
Author/Illustrator: Romana Romanyshyn and Andriy Lesiv
Publisher
: Enchanted Lion Books. New York
Copyright
: 2021
Original Language
: Ukrainian
Translator
: Oksana Lushchevska
Original Publisher
: Vydavnytstvo Starohoo Leva (The Old Lion Publishing House) Lviv, Ukraine
Original Copyright
: 2015
ISBN
: 978-1-59270-367-8
Hardcover pages
: 40
Age range
: 5-8
Genre
: Picture Book
Author’s ethnicity
: Ukrainian
Author’s residence
: Ukraine
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Ukrainian
Illustrator’s residence
: Ukraine
Awards
: 2022 USBBY Outstanding International Book
Subjects
: Death, Flowers, Nature, Peace, Music, Violence, War

Temple Alley Summer

Temple Alley SummerWhile watching a ghost story on TV one night, fifth-grader Kazuhiro Sada sees a pale figure in a white kimono sneaking out of his house. He sees the same figure in school the next day. She is Akari, a girl his classmates insist he has known since kindergarten. Then he finds out that his house sits on the exact location of an ancient temple called Kimyo. Legend has is that the name Kimyo implies the dead coming back to life. Kazu befriends Akari and they spend the summer trying to make sense of the mystery. This thrilling adventure filled with the living dead, a story-within-a-story, a meddling neighbor, and a black cat is illustrated with manga-like drawings. mjw
Title: Temple Alley Summer
Author: Sachiko Kashiwaba
Illustrator
: Miho Satake
Publisher
: Restless Books, Inc. New York
Copyright
: 2021
Original Language
: Japanese
Translator
: Avery Fischer Udagawa
Original Title
: Kimyoji Yokocho no Natsu
Original Publisher
: Kodansha Ltd. Tokyo
Original Copyright
: 2011
ISBN
: 978-1-6320-6303-8
Hardcover pages
: 240
Age range
: 8-13
Genre
: Fiction, Novel
Book setting
: Japan
Author’s ethnicity
: Japanese
Author’s residence
: Iwate Prefecture, Jan
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Japanese
Illustrator’s residence
: Japan
Awards
: 2022 Mildred L. Batchelder Award
Subjects
: Cats, Fairytales, Fantasy, Ghosts, Magic, Mystery, Paranormal, Supernatural, Suspense, Temple

The Words In My Hands

the words

The art journal of Deaf sixteen-year-old Piper, set in near-future Melbourne, Australia, is part coming of age story and part call to action. Piper is smart, artistic, and rebellious. Deaf since the age of three, she is told by her mother that she needs to conform, compensate and appear normal. She meets Marley, a CODA (child of a deaf parent), and a whole new world opens up for her. This is a time of food scarcity, environmental collapse, and political corruption. Piper is determined to build a sustainable food garden and communicate with her mom, friends, and community like she never has before. Back matter in this amazing book includes information on the Deaf community and various forms of sign language and ideas for journaling. mjw

Title: The Words In My Hands
Author: Asphyxia
Illustrator
: Asphyxia
Publisher
: Annick Press
Copyright
: 2021
Original Language
: English
Original Title
: Future Girl In Australia
Original Publisher
: Allen & Unwin, Australia
Original Copyright
: 2020
ISBN
: 978-1773215280
Hardcover pages
: 388
Age range
: 13-16
Genre
: Fiction, Novel
Book setting
: Australia
Author’s ethnicity
: Australian
Author’s residence
: Australia
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Australian
Illustrator’s residence
: Australia
Awards
: 2022 ALA Schneider Family Book Award for Teens, 2021 Children’s Book Council of Australia Notable Book of the Year for Older Readers 2021 White Raven
Subjects
: Activism, Auslan, Coming of age, Creativity, Deafness, Dystopian, Finger-spelling, Future, Gardens, Problem solving, Sign language, Special needs, Sustainability

A Kind Of Spark

A Kind of SparkEleven-year-old Addie is autistic, headstrong, and smart. She thinks differently from the people around her. She is on a campaign to have a plaque erected in her Scottish hometown in memory of the victims of the witch trials which happened there hundreds of years ago. She understands what it is like to be treated as an outcast for being different. The author is neurodivergent, too, and she insightfully tells about what it is like to be an autistic girl. She believably portrays Addie’s struggles and her beautiful friendship with a girl who is understanding and supportive. mjw
Title: A Kind Of Spark
Author: Elle McNicoll
Publisher
: Crown Books for Young Readers
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-0-593-37425-2
Hardcover pages
: 192
Age range
: 8-12
Genre
: Fiction, Novel
Book setting
: Scotland
Author’s ethnicity
: Scottish
Author’s residence
: London
Awards
: 2022 ALA Schneider Family Book Award – Middle Grade Honor
Subjects
: Autism, Bullies, Disabilities, Neurodivergency, Sharks, Teachers, Witch trials

The Speckled Feather

The speckled FeatherjpegThree birds named Ade, Emem, and Nuru live on the back of an elephant in the savanna. They are friends until one day a beautiful speckled feather blows into their midst. Ade grabs the feather and claims it as his. The birds fight over the feather. The elephant stamps his foot and says, “Enough!” But the birds keep quarreling into the night. Suddenly, a wild dog attacks the birds and the elephant swings his trunk to bang on the dog’s chest and hurls the dog away. The birds thank the elephant and promise, “No more quarreling” and “No more speckled feathers.” The colorful illustrations appear to be hand-drawn and are stunning. mjw
Title: The Speckled Feather
Author: Johanna Ries
Illustrator
: Johanna Ries
Publisher
: NorthSouth Books, Inc. New York
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: German
Translator
: David Henry Wilson
Original Title
: Die Fleckenfeder
Original Publisher
: NordSud Verlag AG, Zurich
Original Copyright
: 2020
ISBN
: 978-0-7358-4447-6
Hardcover pages
: 40
Age range
: 40
Genre
: Picture Book
Book setting
: African savanna
Author’s ethnicity
: German
Author’s residence
: Germany
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: German
Illustrator’s residence
: Germany
Subjects
: Birds, Elephants, Greed, Loyalty, Savanna, Theft, Vanity, Wild dogs

Castle In The Clouds

Castle in the CloudsSeventeen-year-old Sophie Spark works as an intern and babysitter in an old grand hotel known as Castle in the Clouds in the Swiss Mountains. Many interesting international guests arrive for the Christmas holidays. There are missing diamonds, possible kidnappers, spies, a famous author, a bodyguard, and two handsome boys who all liven up Sophie’s life. She plunges into a Nancy Drew type of investigation that makes her stay at the hotel everything, but boring. mjw
Title: Castle In The Clouds
Author: Kerstin Gier
Publisher
: Henry Holt and Company. New York
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: German
Translator
: Romy Fursland
Original Copyright
: 2017
ISBN
: 978-1-250-30019-5
Hardcover pages
: 336
Age range
: 12 up
Genre
: Fiction. Mystery
Book setting
: Switzerland
Author’s ethnicity
: German
Author’s residence
: Germany
Subjects
: Hotels, Kidnapping, Mystery, Resorts, Romance, Theft, Thriller, Young Adult