Monday, December 29, 2008

Little Rock Nine(Turning Points Series)

Little Rock Nine(Turning Points Series) by Marshall Poe, Ellen Lindner (Illustrator)
Sixteen-year-old William McNally and fifteen-year-old Thomas Johnson both live in Little Rock, Arkansas, in the summer of 1957. They both love baseball and teasing their little sisters. There's just one big difference -- William is white, and Thomas, the son of William's family's maid, is black. After the Supreme Court rules in favor of desegregating public schools, Little Rock Central High School prepares to enroll its first nine African-American students, and William and Thomas are caught in the center of a storm.

Up Close: Thurgood Marshall

Up Close: Thurgood Marshall by Chris Crowe
Thurgood Marshall became the first African American appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court, but it's his life leading up to that point--from school troublemaker to passionate lawyer--that makes him both accessibly real and a role model to Americans of every color. Check out this webpage at American Public Media for a good look at this man's life.NAACP lawyer Thurgood Marshall accompanies Autherine Lucy, a student, to support her attempt to enroll at the University of Alabama in 1956, two years after Marshall’s monumental victory before a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court, striking down “separate but equal” accomodations in public schools.

Moomin Book Three: The Complete Tove Jansson Comic Strip

Moomin Book Three: The Complete Tove Jansson Comic Strip by Tove Jansson
Moomin has been swiftly making its way into the hearts of North Americans ever since Drawn & Quarterly began collecting the strip in 2006. It debuted in the London Evening News in 1954. Fifty years ago, Jansson's observations of everyday life—whimsical but with biting undertones—easily caught the attention of an international audience and still resonate today. This third volume returns to Moominvalley, where its beloved inhabitants get tangled up in five new stories.

Anthem of a Reluctant Prophet

Anthem of a Reluctant Prophet by Joanne Proulx
When seventeen-year-old Luke Hunter foretells the death of his friend with freakish accuracy, his life gets complicated. Everyone in Stokum, Michigan, his rank little pinprick of a hometown, knows about the premonition and wants to know more. But Luke holds everyone-the local news crew, his parents, his buddy Fang-at arm's length, telling no one that the death premonitions keep happening. Terrified, he lurches through a personal minefield studded with previously unconsidered existential ponderings, Christian fundamentalists, and a dream girl who his dead friend left behind. Anthem of a Reluctant Prophet is a darkly comic coming-of-age novel that nails contemporary youth culture. Read it then enrich the linger with this website and suggested music.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Jars of Glass

Jars of Glass by Brad Barkley, Heather Hepler
Two sisters, aged fourteen and fifteen, offer their views of events that occur during the year after their mother is diagnosed with schizophrenia and their family, including a recently adopted Russian orphan, begins to disintegrate.

The Sea Is so Wide and My Boat Is so Small: A Letter to My Grandchildren

The Sea is so Wide and My Boat Is so Small: Charting a Course for the Next Generation by Marian Wright Edelman
An inspiring call to end the physical and spiritual poverty afflicting our children, from the celebrated founder and president of the Children’s Defense Fund.

Save the Day

Save the Day Kate Campbell (CD)
A quote from Frederick Buechner - "It is no wonder that just the touch of another human being at a dark time can be enough to save the day" - shapes the 12 songs on this CD. Campbell sings about the
desire for faith and the struggles of doubt, culminating in "Sorrowfree," where the "golden bells will ring/there all will be forgiven." John Prine, Nanci Griffith and others add backup vocals. /Sojourners/CultureWatch

Her Story: A Timeline of the Women Who Changed America

Her Story: A Timeline of the Women Who Changed America by Charlotte S. Waisman, Jill S. Tietjen, Madeleine Albright (Foreword by)
Her Story is a vivid documentation of the breadth and diversity of American women's achievements throughout U.S. history. This one-of-a-kind illustrated timeline highlights the awesome, varied, and often unrecognized contributions of American women since the 1500s.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Lazy Little Loafers

Lazy Little Loafers by Susan Orlean, G. Brian Karas (Illustrator)
While walking to school, lugging a heavy backpack through New York City one morning, a disgruntled child questions why babies are so lazy, spending their days on useless activities such as napping and babbling rather than getting jobs. Susan Orlean says "Of all my books, Lazy Little Loafers has had the most interesting backstory. I originally wrote the text as a humor piece for the New Yorker under the title "Shiftless Little Loafers" (Shouts & Murmurs, July 22, 2006)."

Peace Jam: A Billion Simple Acts of Peace

Peace Jam: A Billion Simple Acts of Peace by Ivan Suvanjieff, Dawn Gifford Engle
PeaceJam has issued a Global Call to Action that it hopes will inspire a billion different projects to initiate change for the better. In these pages, we highlight just a small number of the goals that PeaceJam has already accomplished. Both awe inspiring and humbling, this book contains profiles of each of the Nobel Peace Laureates involved in PeaceJam, firsthand accounts of youth and their work with the Laureates, plus tools and resources to inspire others to action.

Phenomena: Secrets of the Senses

Phenomena: Secrets of the Senses by Donna M. Jackson
Learn how to interpret your senses and explore the ways that technology is changing the way we experience the world.

Urchin and the Raven War (Mistmantle Chronicles Book Four)

Urchin and the Raven War (Mistmantle Chronicles Book Four) by M.I. Mcallister, Margaret McAllister
When the swans of Swan Isle are attacked by vicious ravens, Urchin the squirrel and the inhabitants of Mistmantle rush to their aid.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Palace of Mirrors

Palace of Mirrors by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Fourteen-year-old Cecilia has always known she is the true princess of Suala, but when she and her best friend, Harper, decide to speed up her ascendancy to the throne, they find danger and many imposters who challenge her claim. Find out more about this author at her official web site here.

Swiss Mist

Swiss Mist by Randy Powell
Follows Milo from fifth grade, when his mother and philosopher father get divorced, through tenth grade, when his mother has married a wealthy businessman and Milo is still a bit of a loner, looking for the meaning of life.

Ender in Exile

Ender in Exile by Orson Scott Card
At the close of "Ender's Game," Andrew Wiggin--called Ender--is told that he can no longer live on Earth. The 12-year-old chooses to leave his home world and begins the long relativistic journey out to the colonies.

The Smile

The Smile by Donna Jo Napoli
In Renaissance Italy, Elisabetta longs for romance, and when Leonardo da Vinci introduces her to Guiliano de Medici, whose family rules Florence but is about to be deposed, she has no inkling of the romance--and sorrow--that will ensue. Sheila, I think you will like this one.

Iron Jaw and Hummingbird

Iron Jaw and Hummingbird by Chris Roberson
In a far future in which Mars is controlled by the Chinese, teens Gamine and Huang, one the leader of a sham religious movement, the other chief tactician of a gang of bandits, form an unlikely alliance to fight the corrupt government that has determined their lives.

Out of Reach

Out of Reach by V. M. Jones
Pressured by his aggressively competitive father to play soccer, teenaged Pip McLeod secretly pursues a sport that he truly enjoys--indoor rock climbing.

Sister Wife

Sister Wife by Shelley Hrdlitschka
In a remote polygamist community, Celeste struggles to accept her destiny while longing to be free to live her life her way.

The Lab

The Lab by Jack Heath
As the strongest agent in The Deck, sixteen-year-old Agent Six of Hearts has powers like no mortal man in the world, thus when he discovers that he is the product of an illegal experiment by the Lab, Six takes dangerous steps to find out things about himself that powerful men never wanted him to know.

Anila's Journey

Anila's Journey by Mary Finn
In late eighteenth-century Calcutta, half-Indian half-Irish Anila Tandy finds herself alone with nothing but her artistic talent to rely on, searching for her father who is presumed dead.

Into the Dark (Echo Falls Series #3)

Into the Dark (Echo Falls Series #3) by Peter Abrahams
Thirteen-year-old Sherlock Holmes aficionado Ingrid Levin-Hill tries to clear her grandfather's name when he is accused of murdering an environmental activist found dead on his farm.

Take Me Back

Take Me Back by DK Publishing
Presents a chronological exploration of the people and events that have shaped societies through time--from Mesopotamia to Mao, the Incas to Iraq, and the Spartans to the space shuttle.

The Bill Martin Jr. Big Book of Poetry

The Bill Martin Jr. Big Book of Poetry by Bill Martin, Jr. (Editor), Michael Sampson (With), Steven Kellogg (Afterword), Eric Carle (Foreword by)
This full-color treasury contains nearly two hundred poems, all of them handpicked by Bill Martin Jr. Traditional children's poems are presented alongside contemporary pieces, and the collection is capped off with tributes by Eric Carle and Steven Kellogg, two of Bill Martin Jr's best-known collaborators.


Tigerheart by Peter David
Growing up in London on his father's fantastical tales of a magical land called the Anyplace, Paul Dear journeys into this enchanted world after tragedy strikes the family, seeking a great hero, the Boy of Legend, only to encounter the greatest challenge of his life, in a witty and poignant tribute to J. M. Barrie's Peter Pan.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Best Story

The Best Story by Eileen Spinelli, Anne Wilsdorf (Illustrator)
When a contest at the local library offers a prize for the best story, a girl tries to write one using her family's suggestions, but her story does not seem right until she listens to her heart.

Heavy Metal Islam: Rock, Resistance, and the Struggle for the Soul of Islam

Heavy Metal Islam: Rock, Resistance, and the Struggle for the Soul of Islam by Mark LeVine
In Heavy Metal Islam, Mark LeVine explores the influence of Western music on the Middle East through interviews with musicians and fans, introducing us young Muslims struggling to reconcile their religion with a passion for music and a desire for change. The result is a revealing tour of contemporary Islamic culture through the evolving music scene in the Middle East and Northern Africa. Heavy Metal Islam is a surprising, wildly entertaining foray into a historically authoritarian region where music just might be the true democratizing force. Check out
Guy's LitWire post on this fascinating book. The author, Mark LeVine, has created a YouTube playlist featuring videos and concert footage from most of the bands he talks about in the book.

Portraits of Jewish-American Heroes

Portraits of Jewish-American Heroes by Malka Drucker, Elizabeth Rosen (Illustrator)
From its beginnings, America, founded on religious freedom, has been a land of opportunity for Jews socially as well as spiritually. Here are profiles of twenty-one individuals who have enriched America and the lives of Americans through their achievements in such areas as science, sports, film making, and civil rights. An inspiring journey through more than two centuries of American Jewish history. Play the "Jewish-American Heroes" game here.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Balls! Round 2

Balls! Round 2 by Michael Rosen, John Margeson (Illustrator)
Looks at the balls used in baseball, softball, bowling, bocce, croquet, shot put, billiards, and lacrosse; explores how they are made and why they look the way they do; and offers facts about their history and the games that use them.

Knitty Kitty

Knitty Kitty by David Elliott, Christopher Denise (Illustrator)
Knitty Kitty is knitting a scarf, a hat, and some mittens for her kittens, but when night falls and the snow comes down, the kittens request a blanket to keep them warm Knitty Kitty has a better idea. Download Knitty Kitty's patterns here.

Washington at Valley Forge

Washington at Valley Forge by Russell Freedman
Washington's army nearly perished during the winter of 1777-78. Camped at Valley Forge, the revolutionaries endured severe hardship. The army's supply system had collapsed and they were without supplies. But when the harsh winter ended, the soldiers had survived, and marched away from Valley Forge more determined than ever.

Amadi's Snowman

Amadi's Snowman by Katia Novet Saint-Lot, Dimitria Tokunbo (Illustrator)
As a young Igbo man, Amadi does not understand why his mother insists he learn to read, since he already knows his numbers and will be a businessman one day, but an older boy teaches him the value of learning about the world through books.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Great Peacemakers: True Stories from Around the World

Great Peacemakers: True Stories from Around the World by Ken Beller, Heather Chase, Steve Hansen
This is an excellent introduction to the lives of 20 of the most important people to have lived in our world in the last 200 years. The authors categorize their choices under these headings: Choosing Nonviolence; Living Peace: Honoring Diversity; Valuing All Life; and Caring for the Planet. The peacemakers range chronologically from Henry David Thoreau and Henry Salt to living heroes such as Jane Goodall and Desmond Tutu.(KLIATT)
Enjoy this selection of inspiring online videos, which celebrate many of the amazing people profiled in Great Peacemakers.

Are You Human Or What?: Teen Psychological Evolution

Are You Human or What?: Teen Psychological Evolution by Dale Carlson, Hannah Carlson (Editor), Carol Nicklaus (Illustrator)
We have evolved from reptile to mammal to human. Can we mutate, evolve into humane? Evolution has equipped us, not for happiness, but for survival and reproduction of the species. To survive, we are programmed for fear and pain: every one of us had ancestors who managed to survive, mate, and pass on the best adapted programs for staying alive. Our brain programs, hardware and software, have already conquered every other species: we've won, we can stop fighting. It's time to pay attention to our psychological welfare as well as our technology/Publisher

In Search of the Holey Whale

In Search of the Holey Whale by Mozz
A collection of magical, goofy, rhyming verse. Check out the publisher's website - Goofy Guru Publishing - here. Closest library to my house that has this book is the Rockford Public Library, Rockford, IL 61101, United States. 281 miles.

The American

The American by Allen Justin
When an immigrant boy travels with a group of roughnecks crossing the continent in the hopes of stealing a gold mine in the western wilderness, the trek becomes one of endurance and courage as they face many dangers along the way.

When the Children Marched: The Birmingham Civil Rights Movement

When the Children Marched: The Birmingham Civil Rights Movement by Robert H. Mayer
In Birmingham, African-American youth marched, sang, and spoke out against segregation. Although they faced police dogs and fire hoses, they offered non-violent resistance and did not back down. When the Children Marched explores the civil rights leaders who organized the movement and the brave children and teens at the heart of the fight.

Dragon Wishes

Dragon Wishes by Stacy Nyikos
Eleven-year-old Alex and her younger sister Isa go to live with their Chinese aunt and German uncle, where Alex tries not to think about what happened to their parents and Isa will not speak at all, and an ancient Chinese tale seems to be telling Alex what she needs to do to cope with their difficult new circumstances.


Libertad by Alma Fullerton
With their father gone to America to make money for his family, Libertad, his little brother Julio and their mother scrape a living out of a dump in Guatemala City. Although it is too late for him, Libertad is determined that his little brother should go to school. Taught to play the marimba by his father, Libertad uses his talent as a street musician to raise enough money for his brother's school supplies. But his dreams for their future are destroyed when their mother is killed in a freak accident. Libertad must face the inevitable truth; they cannot survive on the streets of Guatemala City alone. There is only one thing to do. They must set out on the long and lonely journey to the Rio Grande River, where they plan to cross the water and enter the United States to find their father.

Wabi Sabi

Wabi Sabi by Mark Reibstein, Ed Young (Illustrator)
Wabi Sabi, a cat living in the city of Kyoto, learns about the Japanese concept of beauty through simplicity as she asks various animals she meets about the meaning of her name.

Stitchin' and Pullin': A Gee's Bend Quilt

Stitchin' and Pullin': A Gee's Bend Quilt by Patricia C. McKissack, Cozbi A. Cabrera (Illustrator)
For a hundred years, generations of women from Gee’s Bend have quilted together, sharing stories, trading recipes, singing hymns—all the while stitchin’ and pullin’ thread through cloth. Every day Baby Girl listens, watches, and waits, until she’s called to sit at the quilting frame. Piece by piece, she puzzles her quilt together—telling not just her story, but the story of her family, the story of Gee’s Bend, and the story of her ancestors’ struggle for freedom.