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 →

The Story About Ping

Ping is a duck who lives with his family on the Yangtze River in China.  The Story About Ping by Marjorie Flack tells of his adventures - or rather misadventures. One night, in order to avoid a spanking for being the last duck home, he stays on shore rather than board the wise-eyed boat which... Continue Reading →

A Single Shard

An orphan boy and a crippled man live together under the bridge of a small Korean village in the twelfth-century.  Crane-man and Tree-ear scrounge for food in the village's rubbish heaps by day.  In the evenings, they discuss philosophies encountered throughout their day.  For as Crane-man says, Scholars read the great words of the world. ... Continue Reading →

A Grain of Rice

This short, little story will delight both you and your children.  In A Grain of Rice by Helena Clare Pittman, the peasant Pong Lo asks the Emporer of China for his daughter's hand in marriage. The Emperor, along with all his court, is scandalized by his request.  How on earth could a poor farmer ask... Continue Reading →

Daughter of the Mountains

Momo is a little girl who lives high in the mountains of Tibet.  One day, at a festival at the Buddhist monastery, she spots a beautiful Lhasa terrier the head monk owns.  That Lhasa terrier is the most beautiful dog she has ever seen and she wants one oh-so-badly.  She prays to the Blessed One,... Continue Reading →

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