Recipient of the 2019 Eureka! Honors Award Winner -Best of 2019 Kids Books - Most Inspiring Category As a boy, Jadav Payeng was distressed by the destruction deforestation and erosion was causing on his island home in India's Brahmaputra River. So he began planting trees. What began as a small thicket of bamboo, grew over the years into 1,300 acre forest filled with native plants and animals. The Boy Who Grew a Forest tells the inspiring true story of Payeng--and reminds us all of the difference a single person with a big idea can make.
Adam and his family spend an exciting day at the colorful and bustling Eastern Market. But when Adam gets briefly separated from Mom and Dad, he mistakes a friendly, diverse cast of characters for his parents in their traditional Muslim clothing--and shows that we all have more in common than you might think. This nearly-wordless picture book celebrates diversity and community in vibrant, dynamic art.
Gordy and his family live in Detroit, Michigan, the heart of the United States automobile industry. Every night after coming home from work at one of the plants, Gordy's father teaches him how to box. Their hero is the famous American boxer Joe Louis, who grew up in Detroit. But the Great Depression has come down hard on the economy. Detroit's auto industry is affected and thousands of people lose their jobs, including Gordy's father. When his mother takes on work with a Jewish tailor, Gordy becomes friends with Ira, the tailor's son, bonding over their shared interest in boxing and Joe Louis. As the boys' friendship grows, Gordy feels protective of Ira, wanting to help the new boy fit in. At the same time, America is gearing up for the rematch between Joe Louis and the German boxer, Max Schmeling. For many Americans this fight is about good versus evil (US against Nazi Germany). Against the backdrop of the 1938 Fight of the Century, a young boy learns what it means to make a stand for a friend.
The story of Anne Frank and her diary is one of the world's most important and well-known, but less is known about the woman who sheltered Anne and her family for years and, ultimately, rescued Anne's diary from Nazi clutches. Miep Gies was a woman who rose to bravery when humanity needed it and risked everything for her neighbors. It is because of Miep we know Anne Frank--and now, this is Miep's story.
When she was seven years old, Geraldine (Jerrie) Mock took her first airplane ride. She decided then and there to be a pilot. Growing up, she was inspired by radio broadcasts detailing the travels of aviatrix Amelia Earhart. Joan Merriam was 15 when she took her first plane ride in 1952. She got her pilot's license before she could even drive a car. And like Jerrie, Joan too was inspired by Earhart and wanted to circle the globe, following Earhart's exact route. Years later, when both women begin to plan their dream flights, they are completely unaware of each other, and coincidentally pick the same time to depart. But when the media gets word of their plans, the stage is set for the race of a lifetime. This picture book retells the extraordinary story of the 1964 air race between Americans Geraldine Mock and Joan Merriam Smith, the first two women to fly around the world.
The art and writing of Gwen Frostic are well known in her home state of Michigan and around the world, but this picture book biography tells the story behind Gwen's famous work. After a debilitating illness as a child, Gwen sought solace in art and nature. She learned to be persistent and independent--never taking no for an answer or letting her disabilities define her. After creating artwork for famous Detroiters and for display at the World's Fair and helping to build WWII bombers, Gwen moved her printmaking business to northern Michigan. She dedicated her work and her life to reminding people of the wonder and beauty in nature.
2019 Green Earth Book Awards - Short List Sylvia Samantha White is very good at finding--she just doesn't know exactly what all her "junk" is good for, not yet at least. But when completely ridiculous disaster strikes, she springs into action and uses her junk to create solutions to the town's troubles. A charming ode to collecting, creating, and following your bliss--even when you're not entirely sure where it will lead you.
Bully the bullfrog lives in a pond full of lilies. The flowers are beautiful, fragrant, and enjoyed by the many other creatures that also inhabit the pond. The pond is a very pleasant place to live. Or it should be. Instead, Bully decides that only he should be able to enjoy the beautiful lilies. He demands that the other inhabitants of the pond leave. And once Bully has the flowers to himself, his selfish behavior almost destroys them. Can anyone stop Bully and his bullying ways? As it turns out, the answer is YES!
2019 Sydney Taylor Notable Book for Younger Readers 2018 Eureka! California Reading Association Honor Book Award 2020 New York State Reading Association Charlotte Award Master List Escaping persecution for being Jewish, the Baline family fled Russia and arrived by ship in New York City harbor in September 1893. Little Israel Isidore Baline is only five years old. After arriving at Ellis Island, the first stop for all immigrants, Israel and his family are ready to begin a new life in America. His family settles in the Lower East Side and soon Israel (now nicknamed Izzy) starts school. And while he learns English, he is not a very good student. According to his teachers he daydreams and sings in class. But while these may not be traits that are helpful in the classroom, these are wonderful tools for a budding singer and composer. And by the time that Izzy (now known as Irving) is a young man, he is well on his way to becoming one of the most well-known composers in America. This vivid picture-book biography examines the life of Irving Berlin, the distinguished artist whose songs, including "God Bless America," continue to be popular today.
For years Jasper, a moon bear, lived a miserable existence, held captive in a cage by bear farmers in rural China. The farmers extracted the bile from Jasper's body and sold it to be used in traditional medicines. It's a horrific practice and conducted on thousands of moon bears each year. But now Jasper has the chance to be free and live a life away from pain and torture. In 2000, Animals Asia, an animal welfare organization, rescued Jasper and other captive moon bears, taking them to its Moon Bear Rescue Centre. Here veterinarians attended to the bears' wounds, hoping to give them some chance of a peaceful existence in the animal sanctuary. But after so many years of abuse Jasper's wounds, both physical and mental, are extensive. Can Jasper mend his body and mind and finally enjoy the life he was meant to live?
Growing up on the Indonesian island of Sumatra with its cooling lakes and refreshing mud holes, Anju loved being an elephant. Loving cared for and proetected by her mother and herd family, there was nowhere else Anju would rather be. That all changed when she was stolen and sold to an American circus. Anju spends decades traveling across the country, entertaining crowds. After the circus, she's then moved to a small zoo for 23 years, their lone elephant. Anju no longer loved being an elephant. She was old and tired. Will Anju ever love being an elephant again?
Eight-year-old Zulviya, her sister and her cousin, her mother and her grandmother... they all belong to the loom. For generations the women of Zulviya's family have earned their living by weaving rugs by hand. The rugs are valuable and the women are proud of their beautiful handiwork. But the work is hard. It takes months to weave a rug; each one contains hundreds of thousands of knots. Before one work day has passed, Zulviya will tie thousands of knots. As she sits at her work, Zulviya weaves not one but two patterns. The pattern on the loom will become a fine rug. She weaves a second pattern in her mind. There she sees the green of the Afghani hills, the bright blue of the nearby lake, and the vivid orange of the setting sun. And Zulviya takes comfort in the landscape in her mind.
Holly's family lives a simple life in northern Michigan, enjoying the bounty of the earth and very much in step with the rhythm of the changing seasons. But times are hard and a cold winter is coming. Without a warm coat, Holly might not be able to start school. Readers will delight in Mama's solution to Holly's predicament.
One student from Mrs. Wallace's second grade class will be chosen to tell a special Christmas story at the school assembly. When Redheaded Robbie's name is pulled from the hat, the class groans. Poor Robbie! Whenever he is excited or nervous, his words come out all twisted and confused. How will he be able to tell his Christmas story at the assembly? Won't everyone laugh? With a little help from some friends, Robbie learns that it is not so much how a person speaks but what is said that matters the most.
Ten-year-old Dandi (affectionately called "Dan" by family and friends) lives and breathes baseball. She may not be a fence buster but she can "hit 'em where they ain't" in the neighborhood pick-up games. The boys know she's a contender. And there's no bigger fan of the 1961 Kansas City A's. So when Charlie Finley, the A's new owner, announces an essay contest to get batboys, there's no doubt Dandi will enter the contest. Dandi not only enters the contest--her essay wins! However, her joy is short-lived when the contest officials enforce the For Boys Only rule. Long before the boundary-breaking ruling of Title IX, young women across the country used grit and determination to prove that barriers of gender have no place on a level playing field.
To nine-year-old Willie Powell, there was no prettier sight than the smooth grass lawns of Edgewater Golf Cource. He had been so eager to see them that he'd run seven miles to where the course was situated outside of town. But his elation didn't last. When he asked two golfers if they'd teach him the game, one man responded by saying, 'Son, didn't anyone ever tell you that your kind is not welcome here?' In the 1920's there was no place for Willie, or any black person, on a golf cource. It was a game for white people only, at least in America. But his enthusiasm for golf and his belief in what he knew to be right drove Willie Powell to change that, and to change minds.
In 1932, Akron, Ohio was no better off than other parts of the country. Since Black Tuesday in '29, companies are closed, men all over the state are out of work, and families are running out of hope. Thirteen-year-old Rudy wants to help but doesn't know where to turn. His father, sullen and withdrawn, spends his time sulking on their front porch. His mother is desperate, not knowing how she will feed and care for her family. When Rudy learns of other boys leaving town and heading west to seek their fortunes, he hops a train figuring at least there will be one less mouth to feed at home. As Rudy lives the hobo life while he "rides the rails" to California, young readers are given a snapshot view and testament of Depression-era America.
Delly Porter has a happy life. She needs new shoes, but doesn't really mind because she loves the soft, silky feel of the dirt road beneath her bare feet. She's a good artist, too, even if she has to make her own art supplies. And she loves her schoolteacher, Miss Violet, who lets her help in the classroom. Life only looks brighter when Miss Violet announces the school will have a Shoebox Social to help raise funds for new art materials. But when what should be a festive occasion is threatened by prejudice and cruelty, Delly finds out that one must stay true to oneself to successfully navigate life's joys and sorrows.
Yatandou lives in a Mali village with her family and neighbors. And though she is only eight years old and would much rather play with her pet goat, she must sit with the women and pound millet kernels. To grind enough millet for one day's food, the women must pound the kernels with their pounding sticks for three hours. It is hard work, especially when one is eight years old. But as they work, the women dream of a machine that can grind the millet and free them from their pounding sticks. But the machine will only come when the women have raised enough money to buy it. Yatandou must help raise the money, even if it means parting with something she holds dear.
A True Story of the Berlin Airlift and the Candy that Dropped from the Sky. Life was grim in 1948 West Berlin, Germany. Josef Stalin blockaded all ground routes coming in and out of Berlin to cut off West Berliners from all food and essential supplies. Without outside help, over 2.2 million people would die. Thus began the Berlin Airlift, a humanitarian rescue mission that utilized British and American airplanes and pilots to fly in needed supplies. As one of the American pilots participating in the Airlift mission, Lt. Gail S. Halvorsen helped to provide not only nourishment to the children but also gave them a reason to hope for a better world. From one thoughtful, generous act came a lifelong relationship between Lt. Gail and the children of Berlin. This is the true story of a seven-year-old girl named Mercedes who lived in West Berlin during the Airlift and of the American who came to be known as the Chocolate Pilot.
During World War II thousands of American servicemen were stationed overseas in various countries. It is in England that American GI Jack Ricker meets and marries an English widow with a nine-year-old son, Thomas. Thomas likes his new stepfather and he's hopeful about their future. But now with the war over, Jack is back in America. Thomas and his mother make plans to leave England and join him. Thomas is apprehensive about moving. He won't know anyone, apart from Jack. In America, they play baseball and not cricket. Will he fit in? Thomas and his mother find themselves on a trans-Atlantic voyage on the Queen Mary, sailing to America and a new life. They're not alone; hundreds of other "Brides and Babies" are on board, making the same trip with the same dreams. When Thomas helps another passenger handle feelings of homesickness, he realizes he is prepared to start his new American life.
In 1926, 12-year-old Fu Lee lives with his grandparents in a small village in China. He lives with his grandparents because his parents are dead. It is a difficult life but made easier by the love Lee shares with his grandparents. But now Lee must leave all that he knows. Before his parents died, they spent all of their money buying a "paper son slot" for Lee to go to America. Being a "paper son" means pretending to be the son of a family already in America. If he goes, he will have the chance for a better life. But first he must pass the test at Angel Island Immigration Station in San Francisco. Only then will he be allowed to live with his new family. If Lee makes even a single mistake, he could be sent back to China. Lee knows his grandparents want a better life for him. He can't let them down.
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.
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?
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.