Tag Archives: Schools

One Half From The East

Ten-year-old Obayda’s father lost one of his legs in a bomb explosion and the family is in need of some good fortune. They move from Kabul to s small village. Obayda is dressed as a boy, a bacha posh. This is a longstanding tradition in Afghanistan. Families without a son designate a preteen daughter to fill the void with a simple physical transformation involving swapping clothes and cutting hair. Before she reaches puberty, she is changed back and resumes life as a girl, a gender that enjoys far less freedom and privilege. Obayda becomes Obayd and everything changes. She meets Rashim, another bacha posh. They become friends, explore the village, and play sports, but there is no forever as a bacha posh. This heart-stirring and enlightening coming-of-age story includes an author’s note. mjw
Title: One Half From The East
Author: Nadia Hashimi
Publisher
: Harper Collins Publishers
Copyright
: 2016
Original Language
: English 
ISBN
: 978-0-06-242190-6
Hardcover pages
: 272
Age range
: 8-12
Genre
: Fiction
Book setting
: Afghanistan
Author’s ethnicity
: Afghan
Author’s residence
: U.S.
Awards
: 2017 South Asia Book Award Highly Commended
Subjects
: Bacha posh, Child marriage, Gender, Prejudice and racism, Self-esteem and self-reliance

What Elephants Know

Young Nandu was abandoned in the Nepalese Borderlands and raised by a pack of dhole, Asiatic wild dogs, much like Mowgli in The Jungle Book, until he was brought to the king’s elephant stable. There, Subba-sahib, the stable head, and Devi Kali, a protective female elephant become his new “parents.” Nandu wants to be a mahout, an elephant driver. He goes to boarding school where his teacher, Father Autry, becomes his mentor. When the elephant stable is to be closed, Nandu works to save it. This beautiful coming-of-age story includes rich detail about the culture of Nepal and a wealth of knowledge about the natural world. A glossary helps with the Nepalese words and common elephant commands. Maps adorn the endpapers. The book “dedicated to elephant lovers everywhere” was written by a world-class scientist specializing in the ecology of the Himalayan region. mjw
Title: What Elephants Know
Author: Eric Dinerstein
Publisher
: Disney Hyperion
Copyright
: 2016
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1484728543
Hardcover pages
: 288
Age range
: 9-12
Genre
: Fiction
Book setting
: Nepal
Author’s ethnicity
: U.S.
Author’s residence
: U.S.
Awards
: 2017 South Asia Book Award
Subjects
: Elephants, India, Jungles, Nepal history 20th century, Orphans

In A Cloud Of Dust

in-a-cloud-of-dustAnna lives in a Tanzanian village, where she has a long walk to the schoolhouse. She has a hard time doing homework because it is dark when she gets home from school. One day, she misses the visit of the bicycle library truck. In her village, bicycles are expensive and many families cannot afford them. At a bicycle library, a child can sign out a bike just like we sign out books at our libraries. Anna hides her disappointment of not getting a bike by helping her classmates steer and balance their bikes. A friend gives Anna a bicycle when he gets to his house because she has farther to go. Anna then rides home and kicks up her own cloud of dust. Glowing oil painting in golds and oranges spotlight the simple, uplifting story about sharing. An author’s note highlights more information about bicycle libraries and organizations that distribute bikes to Africa and other developing countries. mjw
Title:  In A Cloud Of Dust
Author: Alma Fullerton
Illustrator
: Brian Deines
Publisher
: Pajama Press.  Toronto
Copyright
: 2016
Original Language
: English
Original Copyright
: 2015
ISBN
: 1-978-1-927485-62-0
Paperback pages
: 32
Age range
: 4-8
Genre
: Picture Book
Book setting
: Tanzania
Author’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Author’s residence
: Ontario
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Illustrator’s residence
: Toronto
Subjects
: Bicycles, Friendship, Libraries, School children, Tanzania

Ada’s Violin: The Story Of The Recycled Orchestra Of Paraguay

Adas ViolinEleven-year-old Ada Rios lives with her family in a landfill in Cateura in Paraguay’s capital city of Asuncion. It is one of the poorest slums in all of South America. Favio Chavez, an environmental engineer sent to Cateura to teach safety practices to the gancheros (recyclers) working in the dangerous heaps of trash, worried about the children and decided to offer them music lessons. Since they could not afford instruments, they created cellos, flutes, guitars, violins, and more out of garbage. In time, Chavez’s music class became the Recycled Orchestra. Now, the orchestra plays around the world, spreading their message of hope and inspiration. They even opened for a Metallica concert. This true story is illustrated with mixed media collages. Spanish words are smoothly integrated into the text. An author’s note; websites, videos, and sources; and a photo of string instruments made from oil drums, paint cans, and pieces of wooden crates are included. The book is also available in a Spanish edition, El Violin de Ada: La historia de la Orquesta de Intrumentos Reciciados del Paraguaymjw
Title: Ada’s Violin: The Story Of The Recycled Orchestra Of Paraguay
Author: Susan Hood
Illustrator
: Sally Wern Comport
Publisher
: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers, New York
Copyright
: 2016
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-4814-3096-8
Hardcover pages
: 40
Age range
: 4-8
Genre
: Picture Book
Book setting
: Paraguay
Author’s ethnicity
: U.S.
Author’s residence
: Connecticut, U.S.
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: U.S.
Illustrator’s residence
: Maryland, U.S.
Subjects
: Classical music, instruments, Music, Musicians, orchestra, Recycling, Spanish

Cloudwish

cloudwishVan Uoc Phan is a shy, quiet Vietnamese teenager living in Australia with her parents who were asylum seekers after the fall of Saigon. She is a scholarship student at a prestigious Melbourne International Baccalaureate school. She plays the oboe, loves photography and Jane Eyre, and is being pushed by her parents to a high-prestige profession. She has a crush on Billy Gardiner. Billy lives in a mansion, is a star on the crew team, and loves pranks. Van Uoc wishes that Billy would notice her and fall in love with her. Miraculously, he does, but Van Uoc questions how this could happen. Fans of Jane Eyre will appreciate the writing style and all the mentions of Jane in this first-love story. mjw
Title: Cloudwish
Author: Fiona Wood
Publisher
: Little Brown and Company, New York
Copyright
: 2016
Original Language
: English
Original Publisher
: Pan Macmillan, Australia PTY, Ltd.
Original Copyright
: 2015
ISBN
: 978-0-316-24212-7
Hardcover pages
: 320
Age range
: 12 up
Genre
: Fiction
Book setting
: Melbourne, Australia
Author’s ethnicity
: Australian
Author’s residence
: Melbourne, Australia
Awards
: 2016 Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year: Older Readers
Subjects
: Australia, Dating, Jane Eyre, Magic, Vietnamese, Wishes

Malala: Activist For Girls’ Education

malala-activistMalala Yousafzai stood up to the Taliban, fought for girls’ education, and received the Nobel Prize in 2014. At age fifteen, the Taliban attempted to kill her, but even this did not stop her activism. Bright, beautiful naïve-style folk illustrations depict Pakistan and Malala’s life. The present tense text will engage and inspire older readers. Back matter includes photos of Malala, the history of the fight for girls’ education, a map of Pakistan, a timeline, information about the Taliban, details about Malala’s heroes, excerpts from her speeches, and a brief biography. mjw
Title: Malala: Activist For Girls’ Education
Author: Raphaele Frier
Illustrator
: Aurelia Fronty
Publisher
: Charlesbridge Publishing, Watertown, MA. USA
Copyright
: 2017
Original Language
: French
Translator
: Julie Cormier
Original Title
: Malala: pur le droit des filles a l’education
Original Publisher
: Editions Rue du Monde
Original Copyright
: 2105
ISBN
: 978-1-58089-785-3
Hardcover pages
: 48
Age range
: 6-9
Genre
: Picture Book Biography
Book setting
: Pakistan and England
Author’s ethnicity
: French
Author’s residence
: France
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: French
Illustrator’s residence
: France
Subjects
: Biography, Education Girls, Pakistan, Political activists, Sex discrimination in education, Women social reformers

Hidden

HiddenAlix, 14, lives on quiet Hayling Island off the coast of England. One day at the beach, she and her friend Samir pull a drowning man out of the incoming tide. He is Mohammed, an asylum seeker, who was tortured by rebels in Iraq for helping the allied forces. Alix and Samir decide to hide Mohammed and, consequently, have to make choices that will determine whether Mohammed will live or die. Alix is a likeable and brave character who has problems of her own – Dad has left, Mom has a broken leg, and Grandfather just died. Samir is an Iraqi refugee who is bullied at their school. This thought-provoking book deals with important themes, like racism, immigration, diversity, and human rights.  mjw
Title: Hidden
Author: Miriam Halahmy
Publisher
: Holiday House
Copyright
: 2016
Original Language
: English
Original Publisher
: Albury Books
Original Copyright
: 2011
ISBN
: 978–0-8234-3694-1
Paperback pages
: 224
Age range
: 12 up
Genre
: Fiction
Book setting
: Hayling Island, England
Author’s residence
: London, England
Awards
: Nominated for the Carnegie Medal
Subjects
: Asylum seekers, Gangs, Human rights, Immigrants-England, Iraqi, Political refugees, Racism, Terrorism