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The Listeners

Gloria Whelan (author)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781585365968

Ella May lives on a plantation but she doesn't live in the great house. She is a slave. It's dark in the morning when Ella May heads to the fields to pick cotton. And it's sunset when she comes home. But her day isn't done, not yet. Ella May still has important work to do. She's got to listen. Each night Ella May and her friends secretly listen outside the windows of their master's house. The children listen in the hopes of gleaning information about their fates and those of their loved ones. Who will be sold? Who will stay? The lives of slaves depended on the inclinations of their owners. They had no control over their daily lives or futures. But they could dream. And when the promise of freedom appears on the horizon, the children are the first to hear it.

B is for Blue Crab: A Maryland Alphabet

Shirley C. Menendez (author), Laura Stutzman (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781585366378

Located just below the Mason-Dixon line, Maryland is flavored with both northern and southern culture and tradition. Defined by the largest estuary in the United States (The Chesapeake Bay), Maryland's historic sites/sights include capital city Annapolis and the U.S. Naval Academy, Muddy Creek Falls, and the running of the Preakness Stakes in Baltimore. Noteworthy residents include Harriet Tubman and Francis Scott Key.

Pappy's Handkerchief

Devin Scillian (author), Chris Ellison (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781410310033

Young Moses and his family are barely scraping by. He helps his father in their fish stall selling each day's catch to passersby but times are hard in 1889 Baltimore. It's difficult to provide for a family of ten. But when they hear of free farmland out in Oklahoma, it sounds like the answer to their prayers. The family sells all they own and heads west to fulfill a lifelong dream. Their wagon journey, however, is plagued with troubles from ice storms and flooded rivers to diminishing supplies and sickness. Yet Moses and his family persevere. They arrive in time to take a place along the boundary line that marks the staging point for the Oklahoma Land Run. But after making it this far, will even more bad luck prevent them from realizing their dream of owning their own piece of America?

I is for Island: A Prince Edward Island Alphabet

Hugh MacDonald (author), Brenda Jones (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781410310125

Located in the Gulf of St. Lawrence on the east coast of Canada, Prince Edward Island measures only 5,660 sq.km. But what this island province lacks in size, it more than makes up for in abundant natural beauty, as well the scope of its influence on Candian history.

The Last Brother: A Civil War Tale

Trinka Hakes Noble (author), Robert Papp (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781410365767

In July 1863 the bloodiest battle of the Civil War was fought outside the sleepy Pennsylvania town of Gettysburg. In The Last Brother the story of one small boy is told amidst the dramatic events of those early days of July. Though he is only 11 years old, Gabe is a bugler in the Union Army. He takes his responsibility very seriously; after all, there are over 60 different battle calls for buglers to learn. But what is even more important to Gabe is watching over his older brother Davy who, as a foot soldier, is right in the thick of the fighting. Two of Gabe's older brothers have already perished, and he is not willing to lose the only one he has left. During those long days, Gabe meets another young bugler -- one who fights for the other side. Suddenly, what was so definite and clear has become complicated by friendship and compassion. Does one have to choose between service to country, to kin or to a friend? As the cannons fire and the battle rages on, Gabe must do his duty while searching for a way to honor all that he holds dear.

The Scarlet Stockings Spy

Trinka Hakes Noble (author), Robert Papp (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781410365743

Philadelphia 1777 is no place for the faint of heart. The rumble of war with the British grows louder each day, and spies for and against the Patriots are everywhere. No one is above suspicion. Still, everyday life must go on and young Maddy Rose must help her mother, especially since her father's death at the Battle of Princeton and now with her beloved brother Jonathan off with Washington's army. But when childhood games become life-and-death actions, Maddy Rose is drawn ever deeper into events that will explode beyond her imagining. As young America stands on the very brink of its fight for freedom, it becomes clear that even the smallest of citizens can play the largest of parts, and that the role of a patriot has nothing to do with age and everything to do with heart.

The Christmas Tree Ship

Carol Crane (author), Chris Ellison (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781410365750

On November 21, 1912, the schooner Rouse Simmons set sail from a small northern Michigan town across Lake Michigan. Affectionately dubbed the "Christmas Tree Ship," this was an annual trek for the Rouse Simmons. With its cargo of Christmas trees, the ship was bound for Chicago. There Captain Herman Scheunemann would sell the trees for 50 cents or $1.00 and even gave many away to needy families. But the schooner never makes its destination. The Rouse Simmons, with all hands and cargo, disappears into the cold waters. The ship's wreckage is not found until 1971. Drawing from stories told by her grandfather, author Carol Crane weaves a fictional tale based on the true events of the doomed schooner. And she explains how the captain's widow went on to continue his tradition of delivering holiday trees to Chicago.

B is for Battle Cry: A Civil War Alphabet

Patricia Bauer (author), David Geister (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781585365944

B is for Battle Cry: A Civil War Alphabet takes readers on a journey into one of the most important chapters of our nation's past. The Civil War was one of the bloodiest, most divisive events to take place in America's history, and most certainly ever on American soil. For four years our young country's sense of self and citizenry was shaken to the core as North and South battled each other. B is for Battle Cry brings to life historic battles (Antietam and Gettysburg), renowned leaders (Abraham Lincoln and Robert E. Lee), inventions (ironclad ship and Gatling gun), and inspiring events and documents (the Gettysburg Address and the Emancipation Proclamation). From the first shot fired at Fort Sumter to Lee's surrender at Appomattox Court House, B is for Battle Cry brings this nation-defining time period to vivid life.

The Lucky Star

Judy Young (author), Chris Ellison (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781410365781

It is 1933 and the Great Depression has ravaged the nation. Millions of people are out of work; thousands of families are struggling to keep a roof overhead and food on the table. But Momma still finds ways to count her blessings (lucky stars) from Ruth's new shoes to Poppa's new job. But where Momma sees the 'bright,' Ruth only sees the dark. Her shoes are hand-me-downs from a neighbor and Poppa's new job keeps him away from home for months. And now their town can't afford to keep the school open. Ruth will not be going to fourth grade even though she's one of the brightest students in her class. How can anyone find the good in that? But when Ruth stops thinking of her own problems and focuses on someone else's, she realizes that being a lucky star is the best way to start seeing your own lucky stars.

Rebekkah's Journey: A World War II Refugee Story

Ann E. Burg (author), Joel Iskowitz (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781410365774

In 1944 a vacant army base in upstate New York became the temporary home of over 900 men, women and children who had fled Europe towards the end of World War II. With little more than the clothing on their backs, Rebekkah and her mother are just two of the many refugees who come to live in the camp. Adjusting to a strange new world and a new language, Rebekkah puts aside her own fears to try and recreate tiny bits of home for her mother. A fictional story based on the real-life experiences of surviving refugees, Rebekkah's Journey shares the illuminating story of one refugee's arrival on America's shores.

The Tsunami Quilt: Grandfather's Story

Anthony D. Fredericks (author), Tammy Yee (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781410308450

April 1, 1946 - an enormous tsunami wave strikes Hilo, Hawai'i, causing death and destruction. Even those islanders who are fortunate to have survived find their lives forever altered. Young Kimo loves his grandfather very much - they go everywhere together, sharing island stories and experiences. But there is one story his grandfather has yet to share and that is the reason behind their yearly pilgrimage to Laupahoehoe Point. Here, in silent remembrance, Grandfather places a flower lei atop a stone monument. It is only after his grandfather's sudden death that Kimo learns the story behind their annual visit and the reason for the sadness that has haunted his grandfather throughout the years. Evocative writing brings this tragic event from Hawaiian history to present-day reality for young readers today.

Riding to Washington

Gwenyth Swain (author), David Geister (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781410308467

Janie is not exactly sure why her daddy is riding a bus from Indianapolis to Washington, D.C. She knows why she has to go-to stay out of her mother's way, especially with the twins now teething. But Daddy wants to hear a man named Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speak and, to keep out of trouble, Janie is sent along. Riding the bus with them is a mishmash of people, black and white, young and old. They seem very different from Janie. As the bus travels across cities and farm fields to its historic destination, Janie sees firsthand the injustices that many others are made to endure. She begins to realize that she's not so different from the other riders and that, as young as she is, her actions can affect change.

Mackinac Bridge: The Story of the Five Mile Poem

Gloria Whelan (author), Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781410308474

Set in the late 1950s, this is the moving story of a young boy whose father operates a ferryboat between Michigan's Upper and Lower peninsulas. As young Mark witnesses the building of the new Mackinac Bridge, he is torn between family loyalty and eager anticipation. He can't help being awestruck by the majesty of the five-mile-long bridge that will connect the two peninsulas and change the lives of so many. But the Mighty Mac will also put Mark's father out of business. As his father struggles with the flow of progress, Mark dreams of future bridges he will build. Details of the complex construction of the bridge will fascinate children as they learn an important part of America's history and come to understand the meaning of change. The Mackinac Bridge Authority provides history notes at the back of the book.

Minnow and Rose: An Oregon Trail Story

Judy Young (author), Bill Farnsworth (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781410308481

In the mid-1800s thousands of pioneers crossed the western plains of the United States using the 2,000-mile pathway called the Oregon Trail. Minnow and her family live in one of the many native villages scattered across the plains. She has a lively sense of adventure and her favorite pastime is swimming in the nearby river where she rightly earns her nickname. Rose and her family are traveling in one of the many wagon trains making their way west. It's been a tedious journey with little excitement. Rose can't wait for something thrilling to happen. And one day it does. On the banks of a rushing river that divides one way of life from another, two very different cultures come face-to-face, with life-changing results.

Let Them Play

Margot Theis Raven (author), Chris Ellison (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781410308153

Segregated Charleston, SC, 1955: There are 62 official Little League programs in South Carolina -- all but one of the leagues is composed entirely of white players. The Cannon Street YMCA All-Stars, an all-black team, is formed in the hopes of playing in the state's annual Little League Tournament. What should have been a time of enjoyment, however, turns sour when all of the other leagues refuse to play against them and even pull out of the program. As the only remaining Little League team in the state, Cannon Street was named state winner by default, giving the boys a legitimate spot in the Little League Baseball World Series held in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. While the Cannon Street team is invited to the game as guests, they are not allowed to participate since they have not officially "played" and won their state's tournament. Let Them Play takes its name from the chant shouted by the spectators who attended the World Series final.

A Book for Black-Eyed Susan

Judy Young (author), Doris Ettlinger (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781410307538

When ten-year-old Cora and her family leave their home in Missouri, their hearts are filled with the hopes and dreams of a bright future gleaming with promise and opportunity. But the journey west by wagon train is harsh, and tragedy strikes swiftly and unexpectedly. Now Cora and her father must steel themselves for a different future from what they had carefully planned. How can they move forward when their hearts are broken? But move on they must, and Cora takes comfort in her new baby sister (named Susan after the black-eyed flowers). When Cora learns she and Susan are to be separated at the end of their journey, she looks to the past to help craft a link to their new lives. Judy Young is an award-winning author of children's fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Her other books in the Tales of Young Americans series are Minnow and Rose (2010 Storytelling World Resource Award) and The Lucky Star (2009 Storytelling World Honor Award). Judy lives near Springfield, Missouri. Doris Ettlinger graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design and has numerous picture books to her credit, including the award-winning The Orange Shoes. Doris lives and teaches in an old grist mill on the banks of the Musconetcong River in western New Jersey.

T is for Taj Mahal: An India Alphabet

Varsha Bajaj (author), Robert Crawford (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781410307675

From the quiet grandeur of the Himalaya Mountains to the urban city of Calcutta, T is for Taj Mahal: An India Alphabet showcases India's exotic treasures. Visit the haunting Taj Mahal, a tribute from an emperor to his dead wife. Traverse the bustling streets of Mumbai, the second most populated city in the world. Sample a traditional meal fragrant with garam masala spices, or attend a cricket match where some games have lasted up to five days! Varsha Bajaj was born in Mumbai, India. Her book, How Many Kisses Do You Want Tonight?, was named to the 2005 Texas Library Association 2X2 Reading List. Varsha lives in Houston, Texas. Robert Crawford's paintings have appeared on the cover of major magazines such as The Atlantic and U.S. News and World Report, as well as books. He also illustrated Sleeping Bear Press's The Legend of the Old Man of the Mountain. Robert lives in Woodbury, Connecticut.

P is for Prairie Dog: A Prairie Alphabet

Anthony D. Fredericks (author), Doug Bowles (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781410307729

Fact: At one time prairies covered about 40% of the United States but today only about 1% of North American prairies exist. P is for Prairie Dog: A Prairie Alphabet explores North American prairies as it explains their important role and showcases their wonders. Science writer Anthony Fredericks gives an A-Z tour of the many facets and fascinating facts of the prairie ecosystem. Inhabitants including the bison, the quail, and, of course, the prairie dog are highlighted along with descriptions of insect and plant life. Former schoolteacher Tony Fredericks is an award-winning author of many nature and animal books for children. A frequent presenter at schools and conferences across the country, Tony teaches education courses at York College in York, Pennsylvania. Doug Bowles has been a freelance illustrator for more than twenty years. His books for Sleeping Bear include One Kansas Farmer: A Kansas Number Book and S is for Sunflower: A Kansas Alphabet. Doug lives in Leawood, Kansas.

Lipman Pike: America's First Home Run King

Richard Michelson (author), Zachary Pullen (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781410307736

In the mid 1800s the sport of baseball was working its way across the United States. Amateur teams were springing up and in 1858 the National Association of Base Ball Players was formed. Young men were eager to show their prowess on the field and in the batter's box. Lipman Pike's father, a Dutch immigrant, runs a small haberdashery in Brooklyn, New York, though Lip is more interested in watching the ball players than working behind the counter. His mother doesn't approve -- Jewish boys should be paying attention to more sensible matters. But when Lip is barely a teenager, he's invited to join the Nationals Junior Club and play first base. When he hits his first pitch over the right fielder's head, Lip knows baseball is the sport for him. Award-winning author Richard Michelson chronicles the meteoric rise of one of baseball's earliest (and unsung) champions.

The Town that Fooled the British: A War of 1812 Story

Lisa Papp (author), Lisa Papp (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781410307880

St. Michaels, Maryland, is a town of shipbuilders whose reputation for crafting powerful schooners carries far beyond the shores of young America. And once the War of 1812 starts, that's not necessarily a good thing. For the British have targeted the town as part of their campaign to defeat America in its fight to maintain its independence. And now, in August of 1813 the British fleet is sailing up the Chesapeake River to St. Michaels. The town's militia is assembled but no one expects they can win the fight against the powerful British cannons. Citizens are being evacuated and the town is in turmoil. All young Henry Middle wants to do is find his father amid the chaos of the coming attack. The lanterns he carries will be of use to the militia. As Henry works to conquer his rising fear, he realizes he may hold the answer to outsmarting the British in his very hands.

F is for Friendship: A Quilt Alphabet

Helen L. Wilbur (author), Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781410307798

Quilting has existed for thousands of years, spanning the globe, practiced by women as well as men, and bringing together communities and generations. F is for Friendship: A Quilt Alphabet examines the subject of quilting, as an art form as well as an item of utility, tracing its early history from a cave in Mongolia to patchwork bedcoverings transported in overland wagon trains to present-day exhibits at renowned museums. Topics include patterns, inventions, and fabric choices, as well as quilts as vehicles of American history.

T is for Titanic: A Titanic Alphabet

Debbie Shoulders, Michael Shoulders (author), Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781410307903

In T is for Titanic, husband-and-wife writing team Michael and Debbie Shoulders sift through the stories, documents, and artifacts surronding the famous ship, giving a you-are-there view to one of the greatest disaster stories.

Megan's Year: An Irish Traveler's Story

Gloria Whelan (author), Beth Peck (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781410307927

Through the voice of a young girl, the life of the people known as Irish Travelers is explored. Megan spends her summers traveling around the Irish countryside with her family. They move from place to place, hauling their camper behind their old car. But they aren't on vacation. This is their way of life. Megan and her family are Travelers. As part of their summer life, Megan's father works odd jobs, from fieldwork to roofing houses. Despite the rough living, Megan loves her life and the freedom that comes from traveling the open road. But at summer's end, when there's no more work to be had, the family moves to the city of Dublin. The camper is parked and they move into a cramped house. Megan and her siblings attend the local school as their parents struggle to make ends meet. And as the seasons pass, Megan counts down the days until she can return to her summer life.

N is for Natural State: An Arkansas Alphabet

Michael Shoulders (author), Rick Anderson (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781585367580

Discover the unspoiled beauty of Arkansas in N is for Natural State: An Arkansas Alphabet. Acansa is the Sioux Indian name for the state we know today as Arkansas and this begins our alphabet journey. Next you'll find Blanchard Springs Cavern with its 80,000 bats and then to D is for Diamonds, and learn the Natural State is the only state that mines them. Illustrator Rick Anderson's rich and colorful images bring the beautiful vision of Arkansas to all readers.

M is for Mount Rushmore: A South Dakota Alphabet

William Anderson (author), Cheryl Harness (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781585367610

South Dakota is home to an endless supply of American history and Americana. Did you know the world's largest drug store calls Wall, SD home? Or how about the triceratops was one of the state's earliest settlers? What about the prairie the Ingalls family called home? De Smet. Also in South Dakota! The answers to all of these and many more are is the latest Sleeping Bear Press A to Z state exploration - M is for Mount Rushmore: A South Dakota Alphabet. The state's charm and significance in American folklore goes beyond those four presidents' wonderful mugs and it's all captured here in poem and expository text for citizens and tourists of all ages. M is for Mount Rushmore: A South Dakota Alphabet is a welcome addition to the Sleeping Bear Press library and is sure to find a special place in homes, schools and libraries throughout the nation. Written and illustrated by the first time pairing of children book pros, author Bill Anderson and artist Cheryl Harness, M is for Mount Rushmore is the tribute to South Dakota readers will love. Well known in South Dakota circles and the country for his Little House work, Bill brings his poignant pen to M is for Mount Rushmore and the verse and text flow with feeling and pride. And breathing life into Mr. Anderson's prose is incredible images of Cheryl Harness. Bringing years of experience and an eye for extraordinary, Cheryl's images capture the grace and wonderment that is South Dakota.