Tag Archives: Travel

Different: A Story Of The Spanish Civil War

DifferentSiblings, seven-year-old Socorro and nine-year-old Paco tell their story of Spain during the turbulent Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939. Fascist dictator Francisco Franco persecuted everyone who opposed him, and consequently, the children’s father had to flee Spain because of his political beliefs. The children and their mother remain in Spain and have to keep their secret. A letter arrives from their father in Venezuela that results in the family being reunited in Caracas, where they are still different but safe. Oil-pastel illustrations portray the worlds of the family. Based on the author’s family history, this middle-grade novel is supplemented with more information about Spain and the war, wartime refugees, a new life beyond Spain, and the lives of refugees today. A glossary of Spanish words and resources for children, young adults, and older readers are also included. mjw
Title: Different: A Story Of The Spanish Civil War
Author: Monica Montanes
Illustrator
: Evan Sanchez Gomez
Publisher
: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers
Copyright
: 2022
Original Language
: Spanish
Translator
: Lawrence Schimel
Original Title
: Los distintos
Original Publisher
: Ediciones Ekare. Barcelona, Spain
Original Copyright
: 2020
ISBN
: 978-0-8028-5598-5
Hardcover pages
: 88
Age range
: 9-14
Genre
: Historical fiction
Book setting
: Spain, Venezuela
Author’s ethnicity
: Venezuelan
Author’s residence
: Madrid
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Spanish
Illustrator’s residence
: Spain
Awards
: 2021 White Raven, 2023 Batchelder Award
Subjects
: Brothers and sisters, Caribbean and Latin America, Emigration and immigration, Military and wars, Refugees, Spain Civil War 1936-1939, Survival, Venezuela

Girl On The Run

Girl on the runIt’s 1933 in Berlin, and thirteen-year-old Amelie is beginning to feel the effects of Hitler’s rise to power. At school, she is picked on by her teacher for being Jewish, and her friends snub her for not joining the Aryan Youth Group. Her father remarries, and her new cruel stepmother plans to expose Amelie’s Jewish heritage to the Nazis. Amelie is a strong heroine who is also bright, courageous, and quick thinking. The novel is a real page-turner. A sequel, The Doktor’s Daughter (2022), brings Amelie back to Berlin after four years in Paris when questions arise about her father. This is another engaging read.  mjw
Title: Girl On The Run
Author: Nancy McDonald
Publisher
: Iguana Books. Toronto
Copyright
: 2021
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-77180-517-9
Paperback pages
: 174
Age range
: 10 up
Genre
: Historical fiction, Novel
Book setting
: Berlin, Paris
Author’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Author’s residence
: Stratford, Ontario
Subjects
: Coming of age, Germany, Holocaust, Jewish persecution, Nazis, Stepmothers, World War II

Lands Of Belonging: A History of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Britain

Lands of BelongingPublished for the 75th anniversary of the Partition of India, this engaging book is an exploration of the history, achievements, and culture of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Britain. “This book aims to piece together how South Asian and British history are connected. You might find it interesting, surprising, and sometimes very sad – but for the people of South Asia, and for South Asians in Britain, the future is full of hope and excitement.” The book not only provides historical details but it also spotlights Indian cuisine, traditions, festivals, dances, sports, famous people, language, and more. Included are a table of contents, a calendar of celebrations, a timeline of events, a glossary, and an index. Glorious artwork brings each page to life in this beautiful information book. mjw
Title: Lands Of Belonging: A History Of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Britain
Author: Donna and Vikesh Amey Bhatt
Illustrator
: Salini Perera
Publisher
: Nosy Crow, London
Copyright
: 2022
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-83994-468-0
Hardcover pages
: 64
Age range
: 7-12
Genre
: Nonfiction, Information Book
Book setting
: India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Britain
Author’s ethnicity
: East African (Vikesh)
Author’s residence
: London
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Born in Sri Lanka
Illustrator’s residence
: Toronto
Subjects
: Ancient empires, East India Company, Festivals, Food, Games, Holidays, Independence, Partition, World War I, World War II

Our Own Little Paradise

Our Own Little Paradise

On the last day of sixth grade, all of Nora’s classmates tell about their exciting summer plans – Italy, Croatia, Florida, Denmark, Paris, Portugal, and Spain. Nora lies and tells the class that she is going to the tropics. She keeps the lie growing through social media. The problem is that a new boy, Wilmer, has moved into the neighborhood and finds out that she has not gone to the tropics. Nora and Wilmer secretly build their own “tropics” in an abandoned apartment. By the end of summer, her whole class finds out that she lied, but the resolution is satisfyingly happy. This wonderful middle age story, with short chapters, addresses the struggles of trying to fit in, finding true friends, and different social classes. mjw

Title: Our Own Little Paradise
Author: Marianne Kaurin
Publisher
: Arctis Books. Stamford, CT, USA
Copyright
: 2022
Original Language
: Norwegian
Translator
: Olivia Lasky
Original Title
: Syden
Original Publisher
: H. Aschehoug and Co. (W. Nygaard) AS
Original Copyright
: 2018
ISBN
: 978-1-64690-018-3
Hardcover pages
: 300
Age range
: 8-12
Genre
: Fiction, Novel
Book setting
: Norway
Author’s ethnicity
: Norwegian
Author’s residence
: Oslo. Norway
Translator’s ethnicity
: US
Translator’s residence
: Oslo, Norway
Awards
: 2021 German Youth Literature Prize
Subjects
: First love, Holidays, Lies, Peer pressure, Relationships, Social media, Summer, Vacations

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

Bandoola: The Great Elephant Rescue

Bandoola

The colored pencil drawings are stunningly beautiful in this incredible true story about war veteran James Howard Williams; Bandoola, a working elephant; and Po Toke, the elephant’s keeper. They work together on a teak plantation in Myanmar (Burma), a country in Southeast Asia that was a colony of the British Empire. When World War II forces them to evacuate their home in the jungle, they lead a group of over 200 refugees and over 50 elephants across mountainous terrain to safety in Assam, India. A table of contents, a map, a wonderfully illustrated glossary, suggestions for further reading, and an author’s note add to this highly educational masterpiece. mjw

Title: Bandoola: The Great Elephant Rescue
Author: William Grill
Illustrator
: William Grill
Publisher
: Flying Eye Books, an imprint of Nobrow Ltd. London
Copyright
: 2021
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-83874-123-8
Hardcover pages
: 88
Age range
: 8-14
Genre
: Picture Book, Information Book, Nonfiction
Book setting
: Myanmar and India
Author’s ethnicity
: English
Author’s residence
: London
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: English
Illustrator’s residence
: London
Awards
: Author /Illustrator has won the 2015 Kate Greenaway Medal
Subjects
: Asian history, Burma, Deforestation, Elephants, Green living, Jungle, Logging industry, Monsoons, Mountains, Rainforests, Timber, Timber elephants, World War II

Last Witnesses (Adapted for Young Adults)

Last witnesses

A very helpful Historical Context sets the scene for 65 short personal narratives told by those who were Russian children during World War II and survived terrifying war-time experiences. Nobel Prize-winning Svetlana Alexievich discloses the traumatic memories of children who were separated from their parents, most of them never to be reunited. This is the young adult adaptation of her masterpiece, Last Witness: An Oral History of the Children of WWII. The Russian perspective stories are fascinating as they portray terror, survival, and hope. The book also features a useful glossary. mjw

Title: Last Witnesses (Adapted for Young Adults)
Author: Svetlana Alexievich
Publisher
: Penguin Random House LLC
Copyright
: 2021
Original Language
: Russian
Translator
: Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky
Original Title
: Last Witnesses: An Oral History Of The Children Of WWII
Original Publisher
: Molodaya Gvardiya, Moscow
Original Copyright
: 1985
ISBN
: 978-0-593-30853-0
Hardcover pages
: 288
Age range
: 12-17
Genre
: Information book, Nonfiction, Oral history
Book setting
: Russia
Author’s ethnicity
: Ukrainian
Author’s residence
: Soviet Union, Belarus, Western Europe
Awards
: Author has won the 2015 Nobel Prize for Literature. 2022 NCSS Notable Books
Subjects
: Childhood, Death, Historical biographies, Hope, Military history, Oral history, Resilience, Survival, Terror, WWII, Young adult

189 Canaries

189 CanariesYellow canaries sing melodies to the silver miners in the Harz Mountains in Germany. Today, a bird dealer has come to put the canaries into individual wooden cages and take them on a voyage by train and then by steamship across the Atlantic Ocean to bustling New York City. Beautiful mixed media illustrations enhance this fascinating story about the little-known history of the canaries and their lovely melodies. Back matter includes notes on the history of canaries and the ways they were used and transported by humans in the 1800s. In the year 1882 alone, 120,000 canaries were shipped to New York City. A map of their journey is featured on the book’s endpapers. mjw
Title: 189 Canaries
Author: Dieter Boge
Illustrator
: Elsa Klever
Publisher
: Eerdmans Book for Young Readers. Grand Rapids, Michigan
Copyright
: 2021
Original Language
: German
Translator
: Laura Watkinson
Original Title
: 189
Original Publisher
: Aladin Verlag, an imprint of Thienemann-Esslinger. Stuttgart
Original Copyright
: 2020
ISBN
: 978-0-8028-5574-9
Hardcover pages
: 48
Age range
: 6-10
Genre
: Picture Book
Book setting
: Germany and United States
Author’s ethnicity
: German
Author’s residence
: Germany
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: German
Illustrator’s residence
: Germany
Awards
: 2022 USBBY Outstanding International Books List. Author has won the German Youth Literature Prize and has been included in the White Ravens Catalog
Subjects
: Birds, Canaries, Harz Mountains, Home, Miners, Voyages

Red Stars: The Case Of Viktor And Nadya’s Notebooks

Red Stars- The Case...

Diary entries, maps, drawings, and historical photos tell this story of Viktor and Nadya, twelve-year-old twins who were evacuated from Leningrad when Hitler declared war on the Soviet Union. They were separated when they were put on trains that were meant to take them to safety. The story is told in three voices, alternating between Viktor (printed in red), Nadya (printed in dark blue), and an offstage voice of a Soviet Secret Police officer. His handwritten comments are written in the margins. Viktor’s train makes it to Moscow, where he is expected to do hard labor on a kolkhoz (farm). It is rumored that Nadya’s train was bombed with no survivors. Viktor doesn’t believe this and sets off through cold and harsh conditions to find Nadya. They eventually find each other and unravel a mystery of treason and betrayal at the highest level of Soviet leadership. mjw

Title: Red Stars: The Case Of Viktor And Nadya’s Notebooks
Author: Davide Morosinotto
Illustrator
: Simone Tso
Publisher
: Delacorte Press
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: Italian
Translator
: Denise Muir
Original Title
:  La Stolgorante luce di due stelle rosse
Original Publisher
: Mondadori, Milan
Original Copyright
: 2017
ISBN
: 978-1-9848-9332-1
Hardcover pages
: 432
Age range
: 10-12
Genre
: Historical Fiction
Book setting
: Soviet Union
Author’s ethnicity
: Italian
Author’s residence
: Italy
Subjects
: European historical fiction, Evacuation, Germany, Hitler, Leningrad, MIlitary fictioon, Siblings, Trains, World War II

The Crow And The Peacock

The Crow and the PeaockCrow sets off on a journey to find happiness. He first meets a gentle dove. Dove says that he thought he was the happiest bird alive until he heard Nightingale. So Crow goes to hear Nightingale, who says he thought he was happy until he heard Rooster. Crow then visits Rooster and is told that Swan must be the happiest bird alive. Finally he is encouraged to see Peacock, who truly must be the happiest bird in the world. Peacock says that once he was happy, but the emperor put him in a cage and all he wanted then was to be free to fly like a crow. So Crow flies back to the woods knowing that he is happy with his life and that all he wants is to share his happiness. This beautiful fable about happiness is illustrated in glorious, joyful colors. mjw
Title: The Crow And The Peacock
Author: Jo Fernihough
Illustrator
: Jo Fernihough
Publisher
: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers. Grand Rapids, Michigan
Copyright
: 2021
Original Language
: English
Original Publisher:
Oxford University Press. Oxford, England
Original Copyright
: 2020
ISBN
: 978-0-8028-5568-8
Hardcover pages
: 32
Age range
: 4-8
Genre
: Picture Book. Fable
Author’s ethnicity
: British
Author’s residence
: Cambridge, England
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: British
Illustrator’s residence
: Cambridge, England
Subjects
: Birds, Fables, Happiness

Fauja Singh Keeps Going: The True Story Of The Oldest Person To Ever Run A Marathon

This is the true story of Fauja Singh, the first one-hundred-year-old to run a marathon. He was born with legs that didn’t work in a Punjab village.  He could not play with his friends or walk to school, but that did not stop him. He worked on his family’s farm and grew stronger. Throughout his life he made his mind, body, and heart stronger. At age 81, he ran his first marathon. He has broken many records and became the first person over one hundred (centenarian) to complete a marathon. The beautiful and enlivening illustrations were created digitally using hand drawings and collage pieces. A forward written by Fauja Singh introduces the book.  Back matter includes a list of his world records and a photograph of him today. mjw
Title: Fauja Singh Keeps Going: The True Story Of The Oldest Person To Ever Run A MarathonHannah’s Winter
Author: Simran Jeet Singh
Illustrator
: Baljinder Kaur
Publisher
: Kokila, an imprint of Penguin Random House. New York
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-0-525555094
Hardcover pages
: 48
Age range
: 4-8
Genre
: Picture book, Biography
Book setting
: Punjab, India; England; New York City; Toronto
Author’s ethnicity
: Indian
Author’s residence
: New York
Illustrator’s residence
: England
Subjects
: Biography, Centenarians, Marathons, Punjabi, Running, Sikh, Track and field