Shadow of a Bull

Manolo has grown up in his father's shadow.  His father, the great bullfighter Juan Olivar, was killed during a fight when Manolo was just a small child.  But Juan is never far from Manolo's thoughts - the old men in his village won't let him forget.  He must always remember his father was the greatest... Continue Reading →

A Dance Like Starlight

All children have dreams, hopes and wishes.  One little girl's wish feels unrealistic - she cannot find a star to wish upon in the bright night sky of New York City. But her mother finds a way to nurture her daughter's dream - reminding her that hope is hard work, and demonstrating that fact by... Continue Reading →

Anna & Solomon

I love to read stories about family history, whether it is mine or someone else's.  Lucky for me, Elaine Snyder tells the story of her grandparents who immigrated from Russia to New York City around the 1900's in Anna & Solomon. This is a sweet story - one with a sad beginning, but a happy... Continue Reading →

The Lion Who Stole My Arm

Pedru lives in the African bush.  He and his friends fish for their families every day, and his village grow crops for food. He and his friends and neighbors also live in fear... of lions. One day, Pedru makes an impulsive, and foolish, decision, which costs him his arm.  He wants to take revenge on... Continue Reading →

The Giver

Jonas' world sounds perfect.  Everyone realizes when they've given offense, and apologizes.  Those who've been offended always accept the apology.  Each evening over dinner, Jonas' family discuss their feelings, and every morning over breakfast, they discuss their dreams. Their lives are regimented.  Controlled.  Everyone does what he or she is supposed to do.  Jonas knows... Continue Reading →

Night of the Twisters

Dan and his friends live the ideal small-town life in Grand Island, Nebraska.  They swim, ride bikes, hang out together. When a severe thunderstorm alert is issued for that evening, Dan doesn't think much of it.  It's a common occurrence in Nebraska. But what happens next is not. Night of the Twisters by Ivy Ruckman... Continue Reading →

Words in the Dust

What is truly amazing about Words in the Dust by Trent Reedy is that this young man could write such a beautiful book from the first-person perspective of a young Afgani girl. Zulaikha (thankfully, there’s pronunciation guide in the back of the book) loves her family, especially her older sister and her father.  They don’t... Continue Reading →

Year of the Jungle

Children dealing with deployed parents can gain comfort from Year of the Jungle by Suzanne Collins (yes, the author of The Hunger Games). Collin's father was deployed to Viet Nam when she was six.  In this picture book, she remembers what life was like with her dad gone, and the questions she asked about his... Continue Reading →

Keeping Score

Maggie Fortini listens to every game her beloved Brooklyn Dodgers play, usually at the firehouse with her father’s former co-workers.  When Jim joins the firehouse, she is shocked to discover he is a huge fan of the Dodgers arch-rivals, the New York Giants.  She determines to never be his friend. But slowly, he wins her... Continue Reading →

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