In Progress List 2014
If the secret to your father's identity was written in the margins of a poetry book...would you do anything to track down that book? Eleven year old Emily Elizabeth Davis answers with a hearty "YES!" Her mother named her Emily after the famed poet Dickinson and believes it is her destiny to be a poet. Emily has her own plans. The sadness of a missing father is compensated by the antics of a hilarious little brother, and the quirkiness of Emily's brainiac best friend. With enough twists and turns to keep it exciting, this novel opens young reader's eyes to how one small decision can unexpectedly change your destiny. Ten to Fourteen. Anne Womack
After Penny finds a marble in Mrs. Goodwin's yard while walking her doll Rose and takes it, she must decide if she will keep it or return it to its owner. Vibrant colors complement the facial expressions of the characters. Up to Seven. Lynda Adamson
An intriguing window to how historical research about a "Great Man" can shed light on those upon who he trod. This book tells about George Washington's slaves, cleverly combining primary sources, photographs of Mount Vernon's historical interpreters, and rich descriptions of how the researchers used evidence to draw their conclusions. Ten to Fourteen. Rhona Campbell
When a little girl visits her great-grandfather's house for the first time, he invites her to choose something from the room and he will tell her its story. She finds a cigar box filled with matchboxes. Her great-grandfather explains that before he was able to read or write, he collected his memories in these matchboxes. Each matchbox contains an object attached to a memory; a journey from Italy to the United States, and the challenges and joys that he and his family experienced. Each matchbox connects the great-grandfather and great-daughter more and the idea and importance literacy and preservation. The book is beautifully written and illustrated. The text is moving and warm. It is easy for any immigrant or descendant of immigrants to identify with the great-father's experience. The reader can appreciate small details on each artifact, such as a a warp on a bottle cap or edges on a broken tooth. Similar to Sharon Bell Mathis' "Hundred Penny Box," or Allen Say's "Grandfather's Journey," "The Matchbox Diary" is another beautiful addition to these journeys through a family's history. Seven to Ten. Ariana Hussain
Told in a matter of fact tone by Roy Samuelson with just the right breaths to keep you riveted to the story we learn what it took to invent the world's most destructive weapon. We learn how the team of geniuses who came up and carried out the concept of annihilation were assembled and a little bit about their private lives. This book, a winner of multiple awards, will interest not just the young people interested in science but adults as well. Ages 10+ Maria Gentle
If you want to see a whale….. you need certain things like a window and an ocean. You also need to know what not to look at…. like pink roses and pelicans. And you need patience. Imagination is floated on poetic language in this quiet story. Beautiful illustrations in sea greens and blues are a delight. Up to Seven. Ruth Anne Champion
Not just a counting book, this story draws reader's attention to the necessity of keeping our oceans clean. The text explains the water cycle, oxygen creation, and how polluted ocean water effects humans. Back matter reinforces how oceans need to be clean if we want breathable air and includes a bibliography and web lins. Told from the perspective of an elementary school class on a field trip to the beach, young readers will relate to the characters and hopefully be inspired to clean up their local beach! Up to Seven. Anne Womack
In a fictionalized, yet clearly somewhat accurate slice of family life, Say presents the story of a Japanese American daughter who is the source of confusion and teasing when her classmates see her in a kimono in her baby picture. Her blond hair is at odds with their understanding. How she comes to terms with her heritage--and the photograph of Say's lovely teen daughter at the conclusion (in a kimono)--makes for sensitive addition to the collection of picture books about being "different." Up to Seven. Wendy Lukehart. (This title will appear on the June agenda.)
Smart, clean design and a text built around unpunctuated phrases allows room to ponder and discuss ideas and images that will hold great appeal to children. Colorful, decorative scenes on predominantly while backgrounds show how to: make a sandwich (with children and pillows), see the wind, make new friends,disappear. Inventive and quietly joyful. Up to Seven. Wendy Lukehart.
Almond's powerful text and McKean's other-wordly caricatures create a magic that is all-absorbing in this original creation myth set "long ago and far away, in a world rather like this one." The gods have grown lazy, yet there "places that are filled with emptiness." When three bored children take matters into their own hands, well, let's just say Pandora could relate. Seven to Ten. Wendy Lukehart.