Crossing the Farak River

I picked up Crossing the Farak River by Michelle Aung Thin at my local library because I noticed the name - and then when I read the description, realized it’s set in Myanmar (or Burma). My dad has travelled there many times, so I’ve developed an interest in the country and its people. Crossing the... 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 →

Little Panda

Little Panda does not believe the story his grandfather is about to tell him.  "Tigers can't fly!  That's silly," he interrupts his grandfather. His grandfather shushes him, and gently scolds him for interrupting - and continues his story. And in the end, a tiger does fly! How? You will have to read the book to... Continue Reading →

Brush of the Gods

Brush of the Gods by Lenore Look and illustrated by Meilo So tells the story of Wu Daozi, one of China's greatest painters. As with all historical great figures, his story has been enlarged and exaggerated, although his artistic ability was not. Look writes a fictional account of Daozi's life, based upon references in Chinese... Continue Reading →

Starry River of the Sky

Rendi has a problem - an attitude problem.  In my childhood, a General Bad Attitude (GBA) was grounds for punishment.  In Starry River of the Sky by Grace Lin, Rendi has run away from home, so his parents aren't around to punish him. Instead, he's forced to work as a chore boy at an inn... Continue Reading →

Seven Daughters and Seven Sons

When I read this book aloud to my children, they were on the edge of their seats, begging me to keep reading. Seven Daughters and Seven Sons by Barbara Cohen and Bahija Lovejoy tells the story of Buran, the daughter of a poor merchant in Baghdad. She has six other sisters, and her family despairs... Continue Reading →

Shadow Spinner

Eastern legends tell the story of Princess Shahrazad, who told the sultan a story every night for a 1,000 nights to prevent the Sultan from killing a new wife every night. What stories did she tell? Where did she find her stories? These questions are explored in Shadow Spinner by Susan Fletcher. Marjan catches Shahrazad's... Continue Reading →

Small Acts of Amazing Courage

Rosalind wonders again and again, "How can kindness get you into so much trouble?" Her father is away at war, and her mother is sick, so Rosalind is left on her own. Well, not exactly her own. There are always plenty of servants around her house in British India. She gets rather tired of hanging... Continue Reading →

Rickshaw Girl

Mitali Perkins takes readers to Bangladesh in her novella Rickshaw Girl. Naima is an artist. She loves to create the traditional designs the girls in her country create for special celebrations. But one day her artistry is thwarted when she sees how hard her father works, and feels sad she can do nothing to help... Continue Reading →

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