In 1692 Salem, a doctor claims that someone has bewitched two girls in convulsions, and the community accuses and tries people for witchcraft. Even though not everyone agrees with the verdict, fear and superstition permeate the town with Jessica Almasy’s narration revealing the malevolent mob mood (10-14).
Birds say everything from “Pick Me!” to “We’re under attack!” via calls, songs, dances, struts. and booms. Beautiful pencil and watercolor illustrations on a white background show the birds clearly communicating their desires with backmatter providing additional information.
A farmer alights from a lonely red truck at a desert crevice and frees yellow, red, pink, blue-patterned birds from its back doors. One tiny black bird remains to offer the farmer a magical experience. Blocks of color with spare text emphasize how much small things matter.
Benedict Arnold’s name represents treachery and deceit, but few seem to know the actual story behind his treason. Both the text and Mark Bramhall’s lively narration recreate the drama and suspense with its underlying touch of sarcasm in revealing Arnold’s story. (10-14)
In a futuristic adaptation of the Cinderella story, cyborg Cinder has a talent for fixing things including robots and machines. Both her second-class status and her step-mother thwart her, but she unceasingly pursues a better life—and a better robotic foot.
The robot vehicles, Spirit and Opportunity, left for Mars in 2003 to explore, gather information, and take photographs for three months. They lasted six years, and in this account, scientists’ anecdotes about their intense work to create these marvelous machines reveal the wonder of scientific research and exploration.
Kidnapped by a pair of rascals and taken from Minnesota to Plains country in 1866, 8-year-old Chickadee works his way back to his grieving Ojibwe family. Like others in the Birchbark House series, Erdrich’s pencil drawings enliven this adventure.