Tag Archives: Friends

Sophie Johnson, Unicorn Expert

Sophie Johnson is a self-confessed unicorn expert.  She has seventeen unicorns that are really all her toys and pets that she has dressed up with unique unicorn horns. But Sophie doesn’t see the real unicorn hiding in plain sight.  Magical illustrations capture the unicorns, rainbows, and fun in Sophie’s world. mjw
Title: Sophie Johnson, Unicorn Expert
Author: Morag Hood
Illustrator
: Ella Okstad
Publisher
: Aladdin, New York
Copyright
: 2018
Original Language
: English
Original Publisher
: Simon and Schuster UK Ltd.
Original Copyright
: 2018
ISBN
: 978-1-534431614
Hardcover pages
: 32
Age range
: 5-8
Genre
: Picture Book, Fantasy
Author’s ethnicity
: Scotland
Author’s residence
: Edinburgh
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Norway
Illustrator’s residence
: Trondheim 
Subjects
: Make believe, Pets, Toys, Unicorns

When Morning Comes

It is Johannesburg, South Africa, in 1976, and there is a secret movement of students plotting against the apartheid government.  This compelling account is written from the points of view of four young people in Soweto, the black township.  Zanele is the black female student organizer.  She works as a nightclub singer.  Meena is a South Asian girl who works in her father’s shop.  Jack is an affluent white student, who is about to go to Oxford and Thabo is a teen gang member.  The Soweto Uprising was the beginning of the end of apartheid.  A historical note and a glossary are very helpful. mjw
Title: When Morning Comes
Author: Arushi Raina
Publisher
: Tradewind Books, Vancouver
Copyright
: 2017
Original Language
: English 
Original Publisher
: Tradewind Books
Original Copyright
: 2016
ISBN
: 978-1-926890-14-2
Paperback pages
: 232
Age range
: 14 up
Genre
: Historical Fiction
Book setting
: Soweto, Johannesburg, South Africa
Author’s ethnicity
: Grew up in Johannesburg
Author’s residence
: Canada
Awards
: 2018 Children’s Africana Book Award for Older Readers
Subjects
: Ant-apartheid movements, High school students, Race relations, Resistance to government

The Stars At Oktober Bend

Alice is fifteen, but to everyone else, she is forever twelve.  She has acquired brain injury.  She can speak, but her words don’t come out right and her electrics don’t work.  She writes poetry – beautifully and anonymously.  Her first person narration has no capital letters and is very fragile. Manny is a boy who discovers her poetry. He was a boy soldier in Sierra Leone. He suffers from PTSD.  This is an incredible love story of two teens and their pains. mjw
Title: The Stars At October Bend
Author: Glenda Millard
Publisher
: Candlewick
Copyright
: 2018
Original Language
: English
Original Copyright
: 2016
ISBN
: 978-0-7636-9272-8
Hardcover pages
: 288
Age range
: 12 up
Genre
: Fiction
Book setting
: Australia
Author’s ethnicity
: Australian
Author’s residence
: Australia
Subjects: Child soldiers, Mute persons, Orphans, People with mental disabilities, Sexual abuse, Sierra Leone, Teenage refugees, Violence, Wounds and injuries

40 Things I Want To Tell You

Amy (a.k.a. Bird) writes an online advice column full of top tips for teens.  She has trouble taking her own advice.  She seems to have the perfect boyfriend, best friend, parents, and future at Oxford University.  But after one mistake, everything falls apart and her life changes forever. The book is beautifully written and hard to put down. mjw
Title: 40 Things I Want To Tell You
Author: Alice Kuipers
Publisher
: Harper Trophy, Canada
Copyright
: 2017
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-44340-588-1
Paperback pages
: 304
Age range
: 14 up
Genre
: Fiction
Book setting
: London, England
Author’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Author’s residence
: Saskatoon
Awards
: Saskatchewan Book Award for Young Adult Literature 
Subjects
: Blogs, Teenagers, Teen pregnancy

Get On Your Bike

William and Bobby are having an argument and William shouts, “Go on!  Just get on your bike and leave!”  So Bobby, a panda, gets on his bike and leaves.  He rides all through the busy town and country paying close attention to all the stop lights.  As he rides he cools down and sees how needless the argument was.  The prominent multimedia artwork really makes the book. Each double page spread is loaded with things to look at and Bobby, in his red and white hoodie, is not always easy to find. mjw
Title: Get On Your Bike
Author: Joukje Akveld
Illustrator
: Philip Hopman
Publisher
: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers.  Grand Rapids, MI
Copyright
: 2018
Original Language
: Dutch
Translator
: Laura Watkinson
Original Title
: Ga Toch Fietsen!
Original Publisher
: Em. Querido’s Kinderboeken Uitgervij
Original Copyright
: 2014
ISBN
: 978- 0-8028-5489-6
Hardcover pages
: 32
Age range
: 4-8
Genre
: Picture Book
Book setting
: Netherlands
Author’s ethnicity
: Dutch
Author’s residence
: Netherlands
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Dutch
Illustrator’s residence
: Netherlands
Subjects
: Bicycles, Conflict resolution, Emotions, Feelings, Pandas

Island Born

Lola goes to a school where all the students are from faraway places.  Lola is from the Dominican Republic.  Her teacher wants the class to draw pictures of where their families immigrated from, but Lola can’t remember.  She was just a baby when she came here.  With the help of family and friends and their memories, she draws a lively picture of La Isla.  She also discovers a lot about her culture and heritage.  The digitally created illustrations are vibrant and bold. There is a Spanish edition called Lolamjw
Title: Island Born
Author: Junot Diaz
Illustrator
: Leo Espinosa
Publisher
: Dial Books for Young Readers, NY
Copyright
: 2018
Original Language
: English
Spanish Title
: Lola
ISBN
: 978-0735-2298-60
Hardcover pages
: 48 
Age range
: 5-8
Genre
: Picture Book
Author’s ethnicity
: Born in the Dominican Republic
Author’s residence
: U.S.
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Bogota, Colombia
Illustrator’s residence
: U.S.
Awards
: Author has won a Pulitzer Prize
Subjects
: Central and South America, Hispanic and Latino, Multigenerational, School

The Truth Commission

Normandy Pale is a high school junior at the Green Pastures Academy of Art and Applied Design.  This is the year she is supposed to come into her own and come out from under the shadow of her brilliant older sister Keira, who as a teen became a best-selling graphic novelist.  Normandy turns to her writing, her needlework, and the “truth commission.”  Her friends have started the project because they believe the theory that the truth can heal.  So they begin asking people truths about things that other people already suspect. Things go well until it leads straight back to Keira and her dysfunctional family.  The book is Normandy’s “narrative nonfiction” project at school, complete with footnotes, drawings, and notes to her creative writing teacher.  The characters are real and the language is witty. mjw
Title: The Truth Commission
Author: Susan Juby
Illustrator
: Trevor Cooper
Publisher
: Penguin Teen, Canada Books, Inc.
Copyright
: 2017
Original Language
: English
Original Publisher
: Razorbill.  Toronto, Canada
Original Copyright
: 2105
ISBN
: 978-0-14-318916-9
Paperback pages
: 320
Age range
: 14 up
Genre
: Narrative Nonfiction
Book setting
: Vancouver Island
Author’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Author’s residence
: Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Illustrator’s residence
: Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada
Awards
: Sheila A. Egoff Award for Children’s Literature, Amy Mothers Teen Book Award
Subjects
: Art students, High school, Humor, Siblings, Values and virtues, Writing