Forge is book two of an impressive trilogy about the African American experience during the American Revolutionary War. While this is not a subject that is typically well developed in our history lessons, it is meticulously well researched by this author and impressively executed with unforgettable characters. In book one,
Ninth Ward is a perfect choice for both avid readers and reluctant readers. Set in the ill-fated 9th Ward of New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina, this story develops unique and beautiful characters while invoking a regional history of belief in magic and mysticism. Nine year old Lanesha is about to have the fight of her life. Lanesha was born with the gift of “sight”, the ability to communicate with ghosts, but has trouble communicating with her mother, who died during child birth. Mama Ya Ya, the elderly woman who has raised Lanesha, has the ability to see into the future.
Eleven year old Meli Lleshi is living a happy life with her Muslim Albanian family in Kosovo in 1998 when her life is turned upside down by the Kosovo War between the Serbs and the Albanians. The murder of fellow Albanians and the brief but terrifying disappearance of Meli's 13 year old brother, Mehmet, mark the beginning of this story. On the run from ethnic cleansing, Meli's family will abandon their home and business on a journey to escape. This journey will take them to the mountains, Uncle's farm, miles of traveling on foot while pushing Grandma in a wheelbarrow,
Thirteen year old Gen doesn't want to spend her entire summer vacation with her family at an 1890's styled frontier camp. It's her mother's idea to commit the family to this experience in living history and the owners of this camp take their social experiment very seriously. To preserve her sanity, Gen smuggles in a cell phone so that she can text her friends about every painful experience of forced frontier life, including the details of meeting Caleb, a very cute fellow camper, and Nora, the very jealous and bitter daughter of the camp owners. Gen discovers that th
This award winning non-fiction book is part of the Scientists in the Field series. It's full of amazing photographs of a variety of mostly cute frogs. There are a few exceptions. One is a photo of the Sororan Desert Toad held by Dr. Tyrone Hayes who says, "He looks like a cow turd." The Frog Scientist follows Dr.
Minli lives with her mother and father, passing their days trying to eke out a living in rice fields on Fruitless Mountain. At night, her father, a great storyteller, tells Minli adventures and magical folktales. Mother, unhappy with the family's difficult life, does not approve of Father filling Minli's head with such nonsense. After a chance encounter with a goldfish peddler, Minli decides to go on a quest to find The Old Man of the Moon to change their family fortune. Along the way, Minli befriends a dragon, encounters a talking fish and learns about the "tangled
The middle child between two sets of twins, Miri feels overlooked and out of place even in her own family. Not only that, but, unlike most of her friends, she still likes to play pretend games and still wants to believe that magic is real even though nothing magical has ever happened to her. Miri and family have just moved into an old house, and her small bedroom, with its worn and ugly wallpaper, seems strange to her. Sent to her bedroom after hitting her brother, Miri discovers a glasses lens taped to one of the walls.
A story told from the animal's point of view, a female gopher snake is captured by a "filthy, fleshy human child" named Gunnar. The boy calls the snake "Crusher," and puts his new "pet" in a terrarium in his bedroom, next to cages occupied by wild animals that Gunnar has captured but since lost interest in. While looking for her chance to escape, Crusher observes Gunnar and his habits, his family, friends, and his love of video games.