Tag Archives: Schools

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

The Library Bus

The Library Bus

Author Bahram Rahman grew up in Afghanistan during the civil war and Taliban regime of 1996-2001. His story was inspired by the first library bus in Kabul that brought books to girls in remote villages and refugee camps who had no other access to education. Five-year-old Pari is starting her first day as her mother’s helper on the library bus. The girls in the villages and camps are learning English, but Pari cannot even read or write in Farsi yet. She is lucky that she will attend school next year. Her mother had to learn in secret because not long ago, girls were forbidden to read. The captivating watercolor and digital media artwork portrays the girls’ smiling faces, the rich landscape of Afghanistan, and the power of education. Included are notes about refugee camps and the author’s experiences in Kabul. mjw

Title: The Library Bus
Author: Bahram Rahman
Illustrator
: Gabrielle Grimard
Publisher
: Pajama Press. Toronto
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-77278-101-4
Hardcover pages
: 32
Age range
: 5-8
Genre
: Picture book
Book setting
: Kabul, Afghanistan
Author’s ethnicity
: born in Kabul, Afghanistan
Author’s residence
: Ontario, Canada
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: born in Montreal
Illustrator’s residence
: Canada
Awards
: 2021 Governor General’s Literary Award, 2021 Middle East Book Award Winner, 2021 Sout Asian Book Award – Highly recommended book
Subjects
: Books, Education, Libraries, Homelessness, Middle East, Poverty, Reading, Refugees

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

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

Walking For Water: How One Boy Stood Up For Gender Equality

Walking for WaterVictor and his twin sister Linesi have turned eight years old and now Linesi no longer goes to school with Victor. Linesi, like other girls in her village, has to make the five daily walks to the river to collect water so that their mother has more time for farming. Victor has begun learning about equality in school and sees that boys and girls are not treated equally. So Victor comes up with a plan to help. Based on a true story, this important book shows how one person can make a big difference in the lives of others. An Author’s Note tells about water availability in Malawi and provides resources where readers can learn more about water scarcity and gender equality in Malawi and other countries. Also included is a glossary of Chichewa words. Chichewa is one of the many languages spoken in Malawi. The attractive artwork was rendered in Photoshop and Procreate. mjw
Title: Walking For Water: How One Boy Stood Up For Gender Equality
Author: Susan Hughes
Illustrator
: Nicole Miles
Publisher
: Citizen Kid – Kids Can Press. Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Copyright
: 2021
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1525302-497
Hardcover pages
: 32
Age range
: 7-10
Genre
: Picture Book, inspired by a real event
Book setting
: Malawi
Author’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Author’s residence
: Toronto, Ontario
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Originally from the Bahamas
Illustrator’s residence
: West Yorkshire, U.K.
Subjects
: Activism, Africa, Education, Gender equality, Girls and women, Schools, Siblings, Twins, Water scarcity

Kisses And Croissants

Kisses and CroissantsSixteen-year-old Mia Jenrow is a talented ballerina whose dream is to dance with American Ballet Theatre. She has just arrived in Paris for a competitive summer dance program. While in Paris, she searches for the history behind a family legend that states that a distant relative danced for the Paris Opera and was painted by Edgar Degas. She is so passionate for ballet and she trains for a part in Swan Lake and a very important audition. And, she falls for Louis, an endearing and cute French boy who happens to be the son of her strict ballet master. They hop on his Vespa and discover the truth about her family legend. The book provides a beautiful look at Paris – museums, gardens, bakeries, art, love, and much more. mjw
Title: Kisses And Croissants
Author: Anne-Sophie Jouhanneau
Publisher
: Delacorte Press
Copyright
: 2021
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-0-593-17357-2
Hardcover pages
: 320
Age range
: 12 up
Genre
: Fiction, Young Adult
Book setting
: Paris
Author’s ethnicity
: French
Author’s residence
: New York City
Subjects
: Ballet, Ballet dancers, Coming of age, Edgar Degas, Friendship, Paris, Romance

Beyond Me

This novel-in-verse examines the aftershocks of the earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan and damaged a nuclear power plant in March, 2011, through the eyes of eleven-year-old Maya.  Maya and her family were lucky. They didn’t lose their Tokyo home or the lives of family members, but Maya is still terrified. She feels helpless and hopeless. What can she do to help? She chronicles the 24 days after the quake, sometimes minute by minute. Maya and her friend Yuka fold paper cranes and ask for sunflower seeds to plant. She continues writing her journal for 113 days with interesting formatting and timelines. An author’s note tells more about the Great Japan Earthquake and Tsunami of March 11, 2011. mjw

Title: Beyond Me
Author: Annie Donwerth-Chikamatsu
Publisher
: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-48143-789-9
Hardcover pages
: 304
Age range
: 8-12
Genre
: Fiction, Verse
Book setting
: Japan
Author’s ethnicity
: U.S.
Author’s residence
: Tokyo, Japan
Subjects
: Earthquakes, Family life, Japan, Novels in verse, Paper cranes, Sunflowers, Survival, Tsunamis

From My Window

A boy looks out the window and sees in his favela (his district in Rio de Janeiro), patched roofs, rainbows, and people everywhere. He talks to his friends and starts a telephone game. He sees children playing soccer and going to school and he hears Brazilian funk, also called favela funk. He sees his favela and asks, “What do you see from your window?” Colorful, extremely detailed illustrations prepared in acrylics and finished digitally celebrate the boy’s diverse urban community. Back matter explains favelas in Brazil. mjw
Title: From My Window
Author: Otavio Junior
Illustrator
: Vanina Starkoff
Publisher
: Barefoot Books. Cambridge, MA
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: Portuguese
Translator
: Beatriz C. Dias
Original Publisher
: Companhia das Letras. Sao Paulo
Original Copyright
: 2018
ISBN
: 978-1-78285-977-2
Hardcover pages
: 40
Age range
: 4-8
Genre
: Picture Book
Book setting
: Brazil
Author’s ethnicity
: Brazilian
Author’s residence
: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Brazilian
Illustrator’s residence
: Brazil
Subjects
: Brazil, Cities, Favela, Soccer, South America, Urban community living