Tag Archives: Friends

The Bridge Home

Eleven-year-old Viji and her younger sister Rukku who has intellectual and developmental disabilities have run away into the harsh streets of Chennai to get away from their abusive father.  The girls find shelter and friends on an abandoned bridge.  Two homeless boys, Muthi and Arul, and the girls survive by scavenging the city’s garbage heaps and by selling the bead necklaces that Rukku makes.  The four bond into a family of sorts.  They are often hungry and scared, but they have each other and their dog Kutti. When the rainy season comes, Rukku and Muthi get sick and Viji and Arul have to make decisions about who they can trust to help them.  The courage and strength of the children is an inspiration. mjw
Title: The Bridge Home
Author: Padma Venkatraman
Publisher
: Nancy Paulsen Books
Copyright
: 2019
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-5247-3811-2
Hardcover pages
: 208
Age range
: 10-12
Genre
: Fiction
Book setting
: Chennai, India
Author’s ethnicity
: Born in Chennai, India
Author’s residence
: U.S.
Subjects
: Asia, Domestic violence, Homelessness, Lower caste children, Runaways, Sisters

Mary Poppins

Based on the original 1934 novel by P.L. Travers, this picture book version has beautiful soft pastel and colored pencil illustrations that take readers back to Number Seventeen Cherry Tree Lane in London to meet Mary Poppins and the Banks children.  There is a tea party on the ceiling, a visit to the night zoo, and a trip to the star shop.  This is the perfect introduction to everyone’s favorite nanny. mjw
Title: Mary Poppins
Author: P.L.Travers (1899-196), adapted ny Amy Novesky
Illustrator
: Genevieve Godbout
Publisher
: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Copyright
: 2018
Original Language
: English
Original Copyright
:  1934
ISBN
: 978-1-328-91677-8
Hardcover pages
: 32
Age range
: 4-7
Genre
: Picture Book, Fantasy
Book setting
: London
Author’s ethnicity
: English
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Born and raised in Quebec
Illustrator’s residence
: Montreal
Subjects
: Fantasy; London, England: Magic: Nannies

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