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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In 1850 the Detroit River was a major track along the Underground Railroad -- the last step to freedom. The journey across the river was dangerous, especially in winter and especially for a 12-year-old boy. When Louis's father left him in charge of the farm he offered his son this advice, "If you don't know what to do, just do what you think I would have done." Louis relies upon his father's words of wisdom when a runaway slave and her two children come looking for safe passage.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Bursting with history like no other city in the world, Washington DC is a tribute to the United States, its people and even the world. Monuments spot the landscape, tourists spot the monuments and their legends are learned. The story of DC doesn't stop there. Look beyond the monuments. That's exactly the Washington DC readers will discover with N is for our Nation's Capital: A Washington DC Alphabet. From Abigail Adams to the National Zoo and all the cherry blossoms, flags, houses and presidents in between, N is for Our Nation's Capital is like a field trip in a binding. Rhymes capture readers' interest and expository text expands on those points and others with little-known but fascinating facts. Did you know the cherry blossom trees that are an integral part of DC's scenery were gifts from Japan? Or that Mrs. Taft planted the first two? Readers will eagerly turn the pages to learn more true facts like these. Wonderfully written in engaging rhymes for young readers backed with expository text that reveals even more for the more inquisitive reader make N is for our Nation's Capital the perfect keepsake and tribute to Washington DC. Authored by the husband and wife team of Roland and Marie Smith and backed by Barbara Gibson's stylish illustrations, N is for our Nation's Capital is a perfect fit on any bookshelf. This great exploration into our country's nerve center will have teachers and parents excited and help introduce one of the world's most important cities to children from sea to shining sea.
As one of the 13 original colonies, the state of Connecticut has played a pivotal role in our nation's history -- from its Revolutionary War figures such as Nathan Hale to its captains of industry and invention. N is for Nutmeg entertains as it informs readers on the history and geography, facts and folklore of Connecticut -- learn why Groton is the submarine capital of the world and how Samuel Clemens got his pen name.
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.
Our continuing alphabet journey takes us to North Dakota, the home to such wide-eyed wonders as bison, mosasaurs and the Red River. Every letter in the alphabet is another chapter of a land rich in history, people and nature. Look to the skies for a bald eagle or to the horizon for a Wild Prairie Rose, the state flower. But no matter where children look in P is for Peace Garden, they're sure to find beauty and state pride on every page. This homespun tour of the Roughrider State uses folksy rhymes and in-depth text to share North Dakota's heritage with everyone. One just needs to open its pages to be taken on tour that will take them to Fargo, Bismarck and beyond. Paying special attention to the flora and fauna as well as the folklore that makes North Dakota a shining jewel in our nation's crown makes this book as important to its people as readers everywhere. Roxane Salonen uses her North Dakota roots to focus on the aspects of the state others rarely hear about. Share in North Dakota's glory and landscape through her glowing prose and illustrator Joanna Yardley's exquisite renderings of a vision rarely seen. P is for Peace Garden: A North Dakota Alphabet is sure to inspire and impress generations of reader for years to come.
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.
Ross & Judy Young's combined belief that children comprehend intricate ideas at a very young age made it possible for them to seamlessly create "S is for Show Me: A Missouri Alphabet." The husband and wife team elegantly synthesize text and illustration to provide a rich texture of the Show Me State. The alphabet book employs a two-tiered approach that reaches Pre-K through 6th grade students. A rhyme for each letter of the alphabet catches the attention of younger readers, while older elementary students grasp a richer understanding of the topic by reading expository information on the same page.
From the Appalachian Mountains to the Outer Banks, readers will be delighted to discover the beautiful state of North Carolina in "T is for Tarheel". Explore the Biltmore mansion, with its 255 rooms, which took nineteenth century millionaire George Washington Vanderbilt six years to have built. Learn about the history and lore of NASCAR racing under "Z is for Zoom!"