This short but fact-filled book tells the complete history of the island of New Zealand through illustrations and one or two page descriptions of important events.
It starts with the arrival of the first Polynesians peoples around 800 BC and the volcanic eruptions that shaped the island and moves forward to more modern times of British and European settlers. It describes the culture clash between the old and the new, with a special emphasis on Maori history.
Written and illustrated by a graphic designer from NZ TV, this is an amazingly complete cultural history of New Zealand. My only complaint is that there are not similar books for other countries all over the globe – this book is a great mini-lesson in world history!
What if you lived on a beautiful island before the time that Europeans came to the New World? This book is set in just that time and place.
Morning Girl and her brother, Star Boy, live in a close-knit family and clan on an idyllic island. But they are as different as night and day. Set in Taino culture, the story follows both children as they discover who they are and how they belong to their family and their world.
Michael Dorris; the author, is a member of the Modoc tribe and an exceptional writer as well as a trained anthropologist. His portrayal of life in this early Native American setting is both accurate and unforgettable. This is a beautifully written and memorable book with an interesting historical twist at the end.
Written by Deborah Hopkinson, Illustrated By James Ransome
What if you were a child during the terrible time period of slavery? How would you endure the hardship and challenges?
This book is a realistic portrayal of a young girl named “Sweet Clara”. At the age of 12, she’s taken from her mother to work on another plantation as a field hand. But her kind “aunt” Rachel has a plan to get her away from that difficult and back-breaking work. She teaches young Clara how to sew.
As a young seamstress in the big house, Clara hears about many things in larger world around her, such as the Underground Railroad and the prospect of freedom in Canada. But how can a young girl without a plan or a map hope to make it to freedom?
Clara finds a way to combine her sewing skills with both courage and patience and the chance to make a break toward freedom appears. Can her quilt guide her and the ones she loves to a place of safety and peace? Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt is an unforgettable story sure to inspire readers of any age or background.
2013 marks the 20th anniversary of Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt!
As a seamstress in the Big House, Clara dreams of a reunion with her Momma, who lives on another plantation--and even of running away to freedom. Then she overhears two slaves talking about the Underground Railroad. In a flash of inspiration, Clara sees how she can use the cloth in her scrap bag to make a map of the land--a freedom quilt--that no master will ever suspect.
Written By Valerie Tripp. Illustrated by Jean-Paul Tibbles
It’s going to be a difficult Christmas for Josefina and her three sisters who live on a rancho (ranch) in rural New Mexico. Her mother passed away before the last Christmas and although her lovely Tia (Aunt) Dolores is there for them, all the girls wonder if the celebration will ever be happy again. And then there’s Niña – the doll that was supposed to be gifted to Josefina last year by her mom. No one knows where she is so it seems that one more happy memory will be gone for Josefina this year.
Despite all that, the family becomes busy with Christmas preparations and the book shares the beautiful Las Posadas tradition (see explanation below) as well as details of wonderful traditional foods and crafts (like “colcha” embroidery) that are part of this season’s activities. Will Josefina be able to play Mary in Las Posadas? Will Niña ever come back? Will Christmas be happy again? Check out this beautiful book to see how so many little Christmas miracles can help bring the happiness and wonder back to the season for Josefina.
Las Posadas – Originally a Spanish custom, this tradition of reenacting Joseph and Mary’s search for an inn (posada) before the birth of Jesus is celebrated in Mexico and also in the US Southwest, with slight variations.
Suggested Reading Level – Ages 8 and Up
Josefina hopes her family will have a happy Christmas, although she knows they will miss Mamá. When she and her sisters discover that the Christmas altar cloth Mamá embroidered has been damaged, they are heartbroken. But T'a Dolores finds a way to help the sisters' hearts begin to mend. As the villagers gather to celebrate the Christmas tradition called Las Posadas, Josefina finds that memories can bring comfort and courage. Christmas Eve is filled with surprises that make Josefina's heart sing.
Appalachian culture is rich in folklore that is just plain fun. Rhymes, Riddles and nonsense verse are presented in this wonderfully and whimsically illustrated book collected by a West Virginia farmer and folklorist.
Folk rhymes provide the quickest route to our past: we may not remember our first day of school, but we can remember the chants we repeated endlessly throughout our childhood: Granny will your dog bite, your hen peck, your rooster fight ...
You might be surprised to hear that some of the heroes of the Holocoust were teenagers. This book tells the story of six brave young people who risked tremendous harm to take a stand for others. A great book for discussing concepts such as “what difference one person can make” and what people choose to do when faced with injustice. Although recommended for preteens and teens, this book is a compelling story for all ages of readers.
book gives detailed accounts by Holocaust survivors
Written by Elvira Woodruff
Without parents, Dominic Cantori does not know where his family came from. When his class attended a trip to Ellis Island, he falls asleep and is mysteriously transported to find his roots in Italy. A “time travel” novel that points to the value of knowing and understanding a family’s roots and why this history is so meaningful.
Reading level: Ages 9-12
During a school trip to Ellis Island, Dominick Avaro, a ten-year-old foster child, travels back in time to 1908 Italy and accompanies two young emigrants to America.
Written by Cynthia Rylant
After Summer’s mother dies, she didn’t fit in anywhere – until she came to live with her older Aunt May and Uncle Ob in their mountain community. Six years later, Summer is twelve and her Aunt May passes away leaving everyone feeling an incredible sense of loss. How do they discover that May will always be a part of their lives and transform their world? This moving story is beautifully written and a gem for anyone who has experienced loss and found a way to overcome it while never forgetting the person that they treasured.
Suggested Reading Level: Ages 9 – 12
This critically acclaimed winner of the Newbery Medal and the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award joins Scholastic's paperback line.
When May dies suddenly while gardening, Summer assumes she'll never see her beloved aunt again. But then Summer's Uncle Ob claims that May is on her way back--she has sent a sign from the spirit world.
Summer isn't sure she believes in the spirit world, but her quirky classmate Cletus Underwood--who befriends Ob during his time of mourning--does. So at Cletus' suggestion, Ob and Summer (with Cletus in tow) set off in search of Miriam B. Young, Small Medium at Large, whom they hope will explain May's departure and confirm her possible return.