Tag Archives: Schools

The Breadwinner

 

Eleven-year-old Parvana lives with her family in one room of a bombed out apartment building in Kabul, Afghanistan.  Her father is a history teacher.  He is arrested by the Taliban for having a foreign education and put in prison. This leaves the family without anyone who can earn money and buy food, since according to Taliban rules, women cannot go out on their own.  Parvana cuts her hair and wears boys’ clothes so that she can become the family’s breadwinner.  This is the fifteenth anniversary edition of the four-volume story. It includes a new forward by the author, a new map, and a glossary.  There is also an animated, award-winning movie and a graphic novel based on this inspiring novel. mjw
Title: The Breadwinner
Author: Deborah Ellis
Publisher
: Groundwood Books, House of Anansi Press. Toronto
Copyright
: 2015
Original Language
: English
Original Publisher
: Groundwood Books
Original Copyright
: 2000
ISBN
: 978-1-55498-767-8
Paperback pages
: 176
Age range
: 10-14
Genre
: Fiction
Book setting
: Afghanistan
Author’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Author’s residence
: Ontario
Awards: Middle East Book Award
Subjects
: Afghanistan, Girls and women, Taliban. Refugees

Mister Doctor: Janusz Korczak And The Orphans Of The Warsaw Ghetto

mister-doctorPolish educator, writer, and doctor, Janusz Korczak (Mister Doctor) founded an orphanage for children in Warsaw. His remarkable story is told from the perspective of one of the orphans. In November of 1940, one hundred and sixty Jewish children, led by their beloved Mister Doctor, were forced by the Nazis to leave their famous orphanage on Krochmalna Street and walk to the other side – the ghetto. Their new home on Chlodna was nothing like their orphanage, but they would cling to their hope and celebrate their Jewish identity. Their final march on August 5, 1942, took them to trains bound for Treblinka camp, north of Warsaw. This is depicted in a powerful foldout of the children and Mister Doctor. Gray and sepia mood-setting drawings portray the horror and hope beautifully. An afterword, “About Janusz Korczak” offers details of his life. Further Reading and Resources are included. mjw
Title: Mister Doctor:  Janusz Korczak And The Orphans Of The Warsaw Ghetto
Author: Irene Cohen-Janca
Illustrator
: Maurizio A.C. Quarello
Publisher
: Annick Press, Canada
Copyright
: 2016
Original Language
: French
Translator
: Paula Ayer
Original Title
: Le dernier voyage
Original Publisher
: Les Editions des Elephants
Original Copyright
: 2015
ISBN
: 978-1-55451-861-6
Paperback pages
: 68
Age range
: 11 up
Genre
: Historical Fiction, Biography
Book setting
: Poland
Author’s ethnicity
: French
Author’s residence
: France
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Italian
Illustrator’s residence
: Italy
Awards
: 2016 Sydney Taylor Book Award, Notable Book.  2016 USBBY Honor List of Outstanding International Books
Subjects
: Ant-Semitism, History, Holocaust, Jewish children, Orphans, Orphanage, Poland, Warsaw, World War II

Macy McMillan And The Rainbow Goddess

 

Sixth grader Macy McMillan, who is deaf, is facing big changes. Her house is for sale and her mother is about to remarry, adding a stepfather and six-year-old twin stepsisters. Macy’s mother has Macy go next door to help 86-year–old Iris Gillan pack, as Iris is moving into an assisted living facility. Iris doesn’t know sign language, but through notes, books, and cookies, Macy and Iris, the rainbow goddess, develop a beautiful friendship. This heartwarming story is written in free verse. There are many book references throughout, like The Tale of Despereaux, El Deafo, and Anne of Green Gables. mjw
Title: Macy McMillan And The Rainbow Goddess
Author: Shari Green
Publisher
: Pajama Press
Copyright
: 2017
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-77278-017-8
Paperback pages
: 240
Age range
: 8-12
Genre
: Fiction, Verse
Author’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Author’s residence
: British Columbia, Canada
Awards: 2018 Schneider Family Book Award
Subjects
: Deaf children, Intergenerational, Special needs, Step families, Stories in verse

The Librarian Of Auschwitz

 

Fourteen-year-old Dita is imprisoned by the Nazis at Auschwitz and selected to be the librarian of the eight smuggled books that the school possesses. There are also six “living books” that are stories remembered and told by other detainees at the Family Camp, Block 31. The school is a secret school, as teaching the children to read is forbidden. Spanish author Iturbe describes the horrors of the death camp in straightforward prose. This sophisticated novel with mature themes is based on the experiences of real life Auschwitz prisoner Dita Kraus. mjw
Title: The Librarian Of Auschwitz
Author: Antonio Iturbe
Publisher
: Godwin Books, Henry Holt and Company
Copyright
: 2017
Original Language
: Spanish
Translator
: Lilit Thwaites
Original Title
: La Bibliotecaria de Auschwitz
Original Publisher
: Editorial Planeta
Original Copyright
: 2012
ISBN
: 978-1627796187
Hardcover pages
: 432
Age range
: 12 up
Genre
: Historical Fiction
Book setting
: Poland
Author’s ethnicity
: Spanish
Author’s residence
: Spain
Subjects
: Books and reading, Concentration camps, Germany, Holocaust, Jews, Libraries

The Day I Became A Bird

The Day I Became a BirdA young boy narrates the story about how, on the first day of school, he fell in love with Sylvia. Sylvia is a bird lover. She observes them, cares for them, and even wears bird barrettes in her hair. Her voice sounds like a birdsong to the boy. To get her attention, he creates a bird costume, which he wears to school, even though climbing trees and playing soccer are difficult for him in the costume. When he and Sylvia finally meet face to face, she puts her arms around him and the boy feels like he is flying. Black line drawings tenderly illustrate this love story. mjw
Title: The Day I Became A Bird
Author: Ingrid Chabbert
Illustrator
: Guridi (Raul Nieto Guridi)
Publisher
: Kids Can Press
Copyright
: 2016
Original Language
: Spanish
Original Title
: El dia en que me converti en un pajaro
Original Publisher
: Editiones TTT
Original Copyright
: 2015
ISBN
: 978-1-77138-621-0
Hardcover pages
: 40
Age range
: 4-7
Genre
: Picture Book
Author’s ethnicity
: French
Author’s residence
: France
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Spanish
Illustrator’s residence
: Spain
Subjects
: Birds, Costumes, Friendship, Love

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