Words Set Me Free

Words are powerful, but the gift of reading can be taken for granted in a country with a high literacy rate. It wasn't always that way. Children who grew up in the South, as slaves, did not have the opportunity to learn to read. In Words Set Me Free by Lesa Cline-Ransome, the author tells... Continue Reading →

14 Cows for America

In the aftermath of September 11, 2001, people around the world mourned with America and the terrorist attack which claimed so many lives. However, one tribe in Kenya did more than mourn.  When one of their own returned home for a visit from America, the tribe decided to give 14 of their cows to America.... Continue Reading →

Queen of the Track

In 1948, London hosted the first Olympics held after World War II. Londoners, and the Olympic athletes, faced many problems. But none faced the challenges that Alice Coachman faced. Queen of the Track by Heather Lang tells Coachman's story - her journey from a poor black family in Georgia in the middle of segregation to... Continue Reading →

Worst of Friends

Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, founders of the United States of America, were best friends.  They were quite opposite, in size, shape and temperament, but they really liked each other. They worked together to create the United States of America.  They worked together to find a solution to paying the bills of their new country. ... Continue Reading →

Soldier Bear

Private Voytek of the transport company of the 2nd Polish Corps of the British Army in World War II turned lots of heads, and made many other soldiers scream in fright. Why? He was a bear.  Yes, a Syrian brown bear.  A few Polish soldiers who had escaped Russia into Iran picked him up somewhere... Continue Reading →

Snow Treasure

Norway in winter seems insulated against the forces at work on the European mainland in 1940. But then, Nazi paratroopers parachuted into the villages of Norway, and Peter Lundstrom and his friends are called into action. Not to fight the Nazis, but to fool them. Peter and his friends work together with Peter's uncle to... Continue Reading →

Winter in Wartime

In Nazi-occupied Holland, the business of surviving took so much time that many children were left to their own devices.  Fifteen-year-old Michiel would rather be in school, but it was too dangerous to cross the river, between the Nazi soldiers looking for strong men and boys to send back to Germany to work in the... Continue Reading →

Chicken Sunday

I mentioned Chicken Sunday by Patricia Polacco in an earlier post about Polacco's books. But I enjoy this book so much, it deserves it's own recognition. Chicken Sunday is a personal story from Polacco's childhood in southern California. She and two brothers from her neighborhood are siblings, "by a solemn ceremony [they] had performed in... Continue Reading →

A Letter to Mrs. Roosevelt

Margo Bandini has always felt secure.  She had Papa, Mama, and her little brother Charlie - although he had given the family quite a scare several years earlier. But it is now 1933, and Margo's world seems to be falling apart.  The sheriff sale sign in on the front door of her home.  Her best... Continue Reading →

Born and Bred in the Great Depression

Author John Winter remembers his father's stories of growing up during the Great Depression in Born and Bred in the Great Depression. He recounts how his father grew up in a small house outside a small town in Texas. He describes the hardships, and the joys, of being a child during those difficult years. The... Continue Reading →

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