Tag Archives: Schools

The Distance Between Me And The Cherry Tree

Ten-year-old Mafalda has Stargardt Disease, which causes progressive vision loss and eventual blindness. She has six months of sight left and she hides this fact from her family and friends. She keeps a list of all the things she cares about, like climbing the cherry tree near her school and counting stars. She makes a plan for when she can’t see and runs away to live in her favorite cherry tree.  This is a powerful, thought-provoking story of a young girl’s fears. mjw
Title: The Distance Between Me And The Cherry Tree
Author: Paola Peretti
Illustrator
: Carolina Rabei
Publisher
: Hot Key Books, London
Copyright
: 2018
Original Language
: Italian
Translator
: Denise Muir
Original Publisher
: Rizzoli
Original Copyright
: 2018
ISBN
: 978-1-4714-0755-0
Paperback pages
: 195
Age range
: 8-12
Genre
: Fiction
Book setting
: Italy
Author’s ethnicity
: Italian
Author’s residence
: Verona, Italy
Translator’s residence
: Edinburgh and Abruzzo, Italy
Awards
: 2020 ALA Mildred Batchelder Honor Award
Subjects
: Blindness, Cats, Emotions and feelings, Sight, Special needs, Stargardt disease, Trees

Captain Rosalie

Five-year-old Rosalie lives with her mother in a French village during World War I.  Her father is away at the front.  She keeps a secret notebook and is on a mission. She is Captain Rosalie, spying on the enemy.  Her mother reads aloud Father’s letters and they all look forward to the war’s end and Father’s return home.  One day, a letter arrives that Rosalie’s mother does not read.  Watercolor, pen, and ink illustrations in muted grays with soft spots of orange, pink, and blue contribute to this quiet, emotional story of hope and courage. mjw
Title: Captain Rosalie
Author: Timothee De Fombelle
Illustrator
: Isabelle Arsenault
Publisher
: Candlewick Press
Copyright
: 2019
Original Language
: French
Translator
: Sam Gordon
Original Publisher
: Walker Books Ltd.
Original Copyright
: 2014
ISBN
: 978-1-5362-0520-6
Hardcover pages
: 64 
Age range
: 8-12
Genre
: Historical Fiction, Novella
Book setting
: France
Author’s ethnicity
: French
Author’s residence
: Paris, France
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Illustrator’s residence
: Quebec
Subjects
: Fathers and daughters, Letters, Loss, Military fiction, Reading, School issues, World War I

Planting Stories: The Life Of Librarian And Storyteller Pura Belpre

Pura Belpre came to America from Puerto Rico in 1921.  She carried her cuentos folkloricos with her and became the first Puerto Rican to work at the New York Public Library. She hosted storytelling and puppetry sessions and shared her native folklore with children.  She also published many of her stories.  The Pura Belpre Award, which is given by the American Library Association, and which recognizes outstanding children’s books depicting the Latino cultural experience in the United States, is named in her honor.  An author’s note, a selected bibliography, a list of articles and films, and stories by Pura Belpre mentioned in the book are included as back matter.  The delightful digitally produced illustrations complement the fascinating story of this extraordinary woman who championed bilingual literature. mjw
Title: Planting Stories: The Life Of Librarian And Storyteller Pura Belpre
Author: Anika Aldamuy Denise
Illustrator
: Paola Escobar
Publisher
: Harper Collins Children’s Books
Copyright
: 2019
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-0-06-274868-3
Hardcover pages
: 40
Age range
: 4-8
Genre
: Picture Book Biography
Book setting
: New York City
Author’s ethnicity
: Puerto Rican-Italian
Author’s residence
: Rhode Island, U.S.
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Colombian
Illustrator’s residence
: Bogota, Colombia
Awards: 2020 ALA Pura Belpre Author Honor Book
Subjects
: Biographies, Folktales, Hispanic and Latino books, Libraries, Multicultural, Puppets, Stories

A Place To Belong

World War II is over and Hanako and her family – her father, her mother, and little brother Akira – are moving to Japan.  They have been in an internment camp for Japanese-Americans in America.  They have renounced their citizenship so they can leave the camp and return to Japan to live with Hanako’s grandparents on a tenant farm outside of Hiroshima.  They barely survive.  Hanako struggles to fit in as an outsider in her new home.  This is a moving book interspersed with black and white drawings. mjw
Title: A Place To Belong
Author: Cynthia Kadohata
Illustrator
: Julia Kuo
Publisher
: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Copyright
: 2019
Original Language
: English 
ISBN
: 978-1-481446648
Hardcover pages
: 416
Age range
: 10-14
Genre
: Historical Fiction
Book setting
: Hiroshima, Japan
Author’s ethnicity
: Japanese
Author’s residence
: California, U.S.
Subjects
: Emigration and immigration, Hiroshima, Multigenerational family life, Japan, Japan history 1945

Girl Of The Southern Sea

Fourteen-year-old Nia lives in the slums of Jakarta, Java, with her father and her little brother. She dreams of attending high school and becoming a writer, but school is too expensive.  Her father runs a banana fritter cart near the railway station, but the money he makes usually just supports his drinking habit.  He is an unhappy and weak man who disappears for days, so Nia has to raise her little brother.  A series of unfortunate events leads to Nia’s father’s plan to marry Nia off to a much older man.  Nia overcomes all the obstacles and determines her own future.  A map of Indonesia and a glossary are included. mjw
Title: Girl Of The Southern Sea
Author: Michelle Kadarusman
Publisher
: Pajama Press, Toronto
Copyright
: 2019
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-77278-081-9
Hardcover pages
: 224
Age range
: 9-12
Genre
: Fiction
Book setting
: Jakarta, Java, Indonesia
Author’s ethnicity
: Grew up in Melbourne, has lived in Indonesia
Author’s residence
: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Awards: 2020 USBBY Outstanding International Book List
Subjects
: Asian literature, Authors, Fantasy, Homelessness, Mythology, Poverty, Self-esteem and self-reliance, Slums, Teenage marriage

My Sweet Orange Tree

Zeze, a precocious five-year-old born to a poor family in the slums of Rio de Janeiro, taught himself to read at a very young age and wants to grow up to be “a poet with a bow tie.” Zeze is a naughty child with a heart of gold.  He plays clever pranks on his neighbors and is punished severely for them by his parents. Imaginative Zeze adopts a small orange tree that grows in his yard as his magical friend.  Inspired by the author’s childhood, the book is a Brazilian classic, adopted by schools and adapted for cinema, television, and the stage. It has been translated into nineteen languages. mjw
Title: My Sweet Orange Tree
Author: Jose Mauro De Vasconcelos (1920-1984)
Publisher
: Candlewick Press
Copyright
: 2019
Original Language
: Portuguese
Translator
: Alison Entrekin
Original Title
: Meu pe de laranja lima
Original Publisher
: Editora melhoramentos Ltda, Brazil
Original Copyright
: 1968
ISBN
: 978-1-5362-0328-8
Hardcover pages
: 272
Age range
: 14-17
Genre
: Autobiographical novel
Book setting
: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Author’s ethnicity
: Brazilian
Subjects
: Abuse, Imagination, Magic, Orange trees, Poverty

Bounce Back: Zayd Saleem, Chasing The Dream

This is the third in a series about Pakistani-American fourth-grade basketball player Zayd Saleem. An ankle injury leaves him on the sidelines just as he is about to become team captain of the Gold Team. He is on the bench for several weeks and worries about how he can help his team win the championship.  Meanwhile, at home, his family is preparing Pakistani wedding festivities for his uncle. Specific cultural information is smoothly integrated into this universal story.  Black and white drawings enhance the text. mjw
Title: Bounce Back: Zayd Saleem, Chasing The Dream
Author: Hena Khan
Illustrator
: Sally Wern Comport
Publisher
: Salaam Reads, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division
Copyright
: 2018
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-534412057
Hardcover pages
: 144
Age range
: 7-11
Genre
: Fiction
Author’s ethnicity
: Pakistani-American
Author’s residence
: Rockville, Maryland. U.S.
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: U.S.
Illustrator’s residence
: U.S.
Subjects
: Basketball, Family life,Leadership, Middle schools, Muslims, Urdu, Weddings

No Ballet Shoes In Syria

Eleven-year-old Aya has just arrived in Manchester, England, from Syria, with her Mumma and her baby brother.  She is an “asylum seeker, a would–be refugee, a poor little girl from Syria, a fatherless child from a war zone.” Her passion is dance.  One day she comes across a ballet class and the teacher recognizes her talent and thinks she might earn a position at the prestigious Northern Ballet School.  Aya is a powerful, brave character.  Her story engages in a series of flashbacks about her life in Syria.  There is a parallel story about her ballet teacher who had to flee the holocaust.  This incredibly moving, well-written story shows how dance transcends borders.  A map of Aya’s journey from Syria is included. mjw
Title: No Ballet Shoes In Syria
Author: Catherine Bruton
Publisher: Nosy Crow Ltd. U.K.
Copyright
: 2019
Original Language
: English 
ISBN
: 978-1-78800-4-503
Paperback pages
: 272
Age range
: 8-12
Genre
: Fiction
Book setting
: Syria, Turkey, Greece, England
Author’s ethnicity
: English
Author’s residence
: England
Subjects
: Aleppo, Asylum seekers, Ballet, Dance, Prejudice and racism, Refugees

Rasha: Little Girl Big Heart

Feisty fourteen-year-old Rasha is abandoned by her mother in a village far from their cosmopolitan Dhaka home, where she is forced to live with her aged and probably mad grandmother. The village has no electricity, heavy rains, and nosy neighbors. Rasha has to attend a primitive school with a bullying teacher.  She rises against her circumstances and exposes the teacher, stops a child marriage from happening, builds a boat so that she can get to school, and teaches her new school friends how to use a computer.  She even wins a science Olympiad. mjw
Title: Rasha: Little Girl Big Heart
Author: Muhanned Zafar Iqbal
Publisher
: Puffin Books.  Penguin Random House India
Copyright
: 2016
Original Language
: Bengali
Translator
: Arunava Sinha
Original Title
: Rashed Amar Bondhu
Original Publisher
: Tamralipi, Dhaka
Original Copyright
: 2010
ISBN
: 978-780143434887
Paperback pages
: 240
Age range
: 12-15
Genre
: Fiction
Book setting
: Bangladesh
Author’s ethnicity
: Bangladeshi
Author’s residence
: Bangladesh
Translator’s ethnicity
: Bangladeshi
Translator’s residence
: Bangladesh
Awards
: Translator has won the Crossword Prize for Translated Books.  The book is on the 2019 Global Literature in Libraries Initiative Award Shortlist
Subjects
: Bangladesh liberation war, Dhaka, East Pakistan, Freedom, Freedom fighters, Intergenerational

Step Up To The Plate, Maria Singh

It is 1945, and with World War II going on, fifth-grader Maria Singh wants to play baseball.  When her teacher starts an all-girls team at her school, Maria is thrilled.  However she meets many challenges. Her father from India doesn’t want her wearing shorts.  Her mother form Mexico wants her to stay home to watch her younger brother.  Maria also wants to work to get the city council to approve a baseball field for her neighborhood.  And because her father isn’t a U.S. citizen, he can’t own their farm and the family is in danger of losing it.  As she learns about teamwork and baseball, she also learns about prejudice and racism in her community.  And most importantly, she learns to speak up and make a difference in her world.  This well-written, fascinating book, that covers a lot of social history, has great potential for the classroom.  mjw
Title: Step Up To The Plate, Maria Singh
Author: Uma Krishnaswami
Publisher
: Tu Books, an imprint of Lee and Low Books.  New York
Copyright
: 2017
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-600602-61-0
Hardcover pages
: 288
Age range
: 9-12
Genre
: Historical fiction
Book setting
: California
Author’s ethnicity
: born in New Delhi
Author’s residence
: Victoria, British Columbia
Awards
: 018 South Asia Book Award
Subjects
:East Indian Americans, Farm life, Mexican Americans, Prejudice, Racially mixed people, Racism, Sexism, Softball, World War II

This Is Me, Mayil

This is the diary of spirited sixteen-year-old Mayil Ganeshan.  She is curious and intelligent and wants to be a writer.  Also included are her rhymes and doodles.  The diary feels natural and is third in a series. mjw
Title: This Is Me, Mayil
Author: Niveditha Subramaniam and Sowmya Rajendran
Illustrator
: Niveditha Subramaniam
Publisher
: Tulika Publishers.  Chennai, India
Copyright
: 2018
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-93-5046-996-5
Paperback pages
: 124
Age range
: 13 up
Genre
: Fiction
Book setting
: India
Author’s ethnicity
: Indian
Author’s residence
: India
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Indian
Illustrator’s residence
: India
Subjects
: Autobiography, Diary, Humor, Rhyme, Verse, Young adult

The Fox Girl And The White Gazelle

Twelve-year-old Reema is a Syrian refugee trying to find her place in Glasgow.  She struggles with a new language and culture and misses her older brother who got left behind in Aleppo.  Caylin feels completely alone.  She has to look after her alcoholic mother.  She bullies the other kids and steals from them so that she can eat. Reema and Caylin become friends when they discover an injured fox and her babies. The girls also discover that they both like to run. Told in alternating perspectives, this is a great story of friendship. mjw
Title: The Fox Girl And The White Gazelle
Author: Victoria Williamson
Publisher
: Kelpies, an imprint of Floris Books. Edinburgh, Scotland
Copyright
: 2018
Original Language
: English 
ISBN
: 978-178250-490-0
Paperback pages
: 272
Age range
: 10-12
Genre
: Fiction
Book setting
: Scotland
Author’s ethnicity
: Scottish
Author’s residence
: U.K.
Subjects
: Foxes, Glasgow, Poetry, Prejudice and racism, Refugees, Running, Syria