Tag Archives: War

How The Squirrel Got His Stripes

Long ago, King Rama was expelled from his father’s kingdom and sent to the forest with his faithful wife, princess Sita, and his loyal brother, Laxmanan. They lived there happily until King Ravana of Lanka tricked Sita. Rama then waged war on Ravana and set off to battle. They traveled until they came to a vast sea. Men and animals worked to complete a bridge. They clever black squirrels helped by covering themselves and their bushy tails with sand and dirt that they shook over the cracks in the bridge to fill the cracks. When the bridge was complete, Rama thanked the squirrels. As he stroked their dusty backs, their black fur beneath the dust was revealed and that is how the squirrels got their stripes. This tale is referred to in the Ramayana of India. The story emphasizes the dignity of labor and that even the smallest contribution is important in some way. The small-format book is enhanced by colorful folk-art illustrations inspired by miniature paintings of medieval Europe. mjw
Title: How The Squirrel Got His Stripes
Author: Sam Perera
Illustrator
: Alex Stewart
Publisher
: Popsicle Books, an imprint of Perera Hussein Publishing House, Sri Lanka
Copyright
: 2015
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-955-0041-08-4
Paperback pages
: 28
Age range
: 4-8
Genre
: Picture Book, Folktale
Book setting
: Sri Lanka and India
Illustrator’s residence
:  U.K. and Sri Lanka
Subjects
: Bridges, Folktales, Ramayana, Squirrels, Monkeys

The Boy In The Striped Pajamas

the-boy-in-the-striped-pajamasNine-year-old Bruno and his family leave Berlin in 1942 to take up residence near a concentration camp, where his father will be commandant. Unhappy and lonely, Bruno disobeys his parents and goes out exploring near his new home. He finds Shmuel, a Jewish boy, behind a barbed-wire fence. They become friends. They do not understand the true nature of the camp. Bruno wants to help Shmuel find his father, who has mysteriously disappeared. He sneaks into the camp, wearing a striped prisoners’’ outfit. The two boys are taken on a march with other inmates. Briuno’s family never sees Bruno again. This tenth anniversary edition of the book, told from Bruno’s point of view, features powerful illustrations. There is also a 2008 award-winning movie adaptation of this international bestseller. mjw
Title: The Boy In The Striped Pajamas
Author: John Boyne
Illustrator
: Oliver Jeffers
Publisher
: Alfred A. Knopf, New York
Copyright
: 2016
Original Language
: English
Original Copyright
: 2006
ISBN
: 978-0-399-55931-0
Hardcover pages
: 352
Age range
: 12 up
Genre
: Historical Fiction
Book setting
: Germany
Author’s ethnicity
: Irish
Author’s residence
: Dublin, Ireland
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Irish
Illustrator’s residence
: New York
Subjects
: Auschwitz, Concentration camp, Holocaust, Jews, Nazis, Poland, World War II

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

My Beautiful Birds

my-beautiful-birdsSami, his family, and his neighbors are escaping the bombs that have destroyed their Syrian home. Sami is heartbroken because he had to leave behind his pet pigeons. Once they reach the refugee camp and safety, everyone settles in as best they can. But Sami is not interested in soccer or painting. His life seems pointless. He cannot forget his birds. When some birds – a canary, a dove, and a rose finch – fly into the camp, Sami feeds them and provides material for their nests. This helps him begin his long healing process. Rich, textured illustrations fashioned from Plasticene, polymer clay, and other mixed media complement this moving story of one young refugee’s experience in the Syrian civil war. An author’s note gives information about refugee camps and the Syrian conflict. mjw
Title: My Beautiful Birds
Author: Suzanne Del Rizzo
Illustrator
: Suzanne Del Rizzo
Publisher
: Pajama Press.  Toronto
Copyright
: 2017
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-77278-010-9
Hardcover pages
: 32
Age range
: 6-10
Genre
: Picture Book
Book setting
: Syria
Author’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Author’s residence
: Canada
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Illustrator’s residence
: Canada
Subjects
: Birds, Homelessness, Illness, Loss, Middle East, Poverty, Refugee camps, Refugees, Syria

Canada Year By Year

CanadaThis amazing history book features one milestone per year of Canada’s 150-year history. Ten chapters are filled with sidebars, biographies, quotations, trivia, and fascinating illustrations. In 1910, the first chocolate bar in North America was developed in New Brunswick as a quick snack for fishermen. In 1922, Joseph-Armand Bombardier attached a car motor and an airplane propeller to a sleigh to create a snowmobile. In 1932, 17-year-old Joe Shuster sketched the first Superman. And in 2009, more than one-fifth of all smartphones used around the world were made by a Canadian company called Blackberry. This is the story of the people, places, and events that have shaped Canada. Back matter includes an index and an illustrated list of great Canadians – artists, athletes, politicians, and more.mjw
Title: Canada Year By Year
Author: Elizabeth MacLeod
Illustrator
: Sydney Smith
Publisher
: Kids Can Press. Toronto, Canada
Copyright
: 22016
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-77138-397-4
Hardcover pages
: 96
Age range
: 9-12
Genre
: Picture book, Information, Nonfiction
Book setting
: Canada
Author’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Author’s residence
: Toronto
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Illustrator’s residence
: Toronto
Subjects
: Canada, History, Reference

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

Ticket To India

ticket-to-indiaAfter their grandmother’s death, twelve-year-old Maya and her older sister Zara set off on a mission from Delhi to their grandmother’s childhood home in Aminpur in northern India. They are looking for valuable heirlooms that are buried in a trunk on the property. The family left them decades earlier when they fled to Pakistan during Partition in 1947. Along the way, Maya is kidnapped, makes some very bad decisions, but ultimately finds the treasure and her inner bravery. Maya’s journal fills readers in on the backstory of India and Pakistan. A Map, a Glossary, an Author’s Note, and a Reading Group Guide are also included in this action novel packed with fascinating information about the history and culture of India and Pakistan. mjw
Title: Ticket To India
Author: N.H. Senzai
Publisher
: Simon and Schuster Books.  New York
Copyright
: 2015
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-4814-2259-8
Paperback pages
: 304
Age range
: 8-12
Genre
: Fiction, Historical Fiction
Book setting
: Pakistan and India
Author’s ethnicity
: Indian
Author’s residence
: U.S.
Subjects
: Asia; Historical, Asia; Multigenerational; Partition, 1947