Ages 5-11

Brothers in Hope: The Story of the Lost Boys of Sudan by Mary Williams

Brothers in Hope is the story of the orphaned boys of Sudan who fled after their villages were destroyed. The story is told from the viewpoint of Garang who was a young boy when his village was attacked and how he and thousands of other boys made it to safety in Ethiopia and Kenya. Since 2000 the U.S. has taken in about 3,000 Lost Boys of Sudan. This is a timely book that speaks to the horrors of the ethnic cleansing in Sudan.

Wordless Wonder - The Flower Man

It's been a while since we've seen much in wordless picture books. The Flower Man is a dandy for studying the details and changes in each picture while develop your own imaginary story. This wordless book may make you want to seek out past favorites like creepy castle, yellow umbrella, or home.

Imagine the Edge!

These are not just for kids. M.T. Anderson has two new books with two different illustrators and they are lovely "share alouds" for elementary school ages! In Me, All Alone, At The End Of The World and A Serpent Came To Gloucester Anderson's melodious prose wrap around dramatic pictures and make these original tales memorable.

Award Bits - Caldecott 2006

The winner of the 2006 Caldecott Award for picture books is The Hello,Goodbye Window. The text is by Norton Juster and the illustrations are by Chris Raschka, who is illustrator for Charlie Parker Played BeBop, Mysterious Thelonius, and more.

My Name is Bilal by Asma Mobin-Uddin

On his first day at a new school Bilal sees a bully pull the scarf on his sister's head. He does nothing. In class he tells the teacher his name is Bill not Bilal. His teacher gives him the biography of Bilal ibn Rabah, one of the companions of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). He reads about the strength and courage of Bilal Ibn Rabah when he faced religious persecution by the Meccan's. Bilal learns through this book that it takes courage and strength to be who you are. This is one of the first books written about the struggles of an American Muslim child.

FolkTale Bits - Arab

Arab children's literature continues to emerge. Notable titles to look for are The Three Princes: A Tale From The Middle East and Goha The Wise Fool, a collection of fourteen tales about the folk hero Nasreddin Hoca, also known as Goha. Goha is a man with a reputation for being able to answer difficult questions in a clever way ... a middle east trickster.
For further links try http://www.ala.org/BookLinks, click on "Web Connections" down the left-side menu, then choose "January 2006" issue. Scroll down to "Arab Children's Literatu

History Bits - 19th Century Libya

At the end of the nineteenth century in Libya, eleven-year-old Malika simultaneously enjoys and feels constricted by the narrow world of women. This slim piece of historical fiction draws a picture of Malika's daily Muslim life, which includes generous and understanding parents, well-drawn family and cultural roles, and a compelling story to keep the pages turning. Shadows Of Ghadames is a timeless glimpse into a traditional Muslim village.

An American Story

National Public Radio's Story Corps seeks oral histories from ordinary folks "as a record of the way we live today--and how we got here." In the case of Blanca Alvarez this is very literally a story of how she got here. In the Story Corps interview with her daughter, Connie, Alvarez describes crossing the border from Mexico to the United States over thirty years ago and the jobs she held to support her family in those difficult early years.

My Nana and Me by Irene Smalls

My Nana and Me is a warm celebration of the grandmother and grandchild relationship. Irene Smalls captures the little moments that are shared between a little girl and her grandmother in this touching picture book.

Liza at the Plaza

On a recent edition of Inside the Actor’s Studio it was revealed that the antics of Eloise, the free-spirited 6-year-old living in New York’s Plaza Hotel, were based on the adventures of Liza Minnelli as a child. Author Kay Thompson was Liza’s godmother and she witnessed the red-ribboned imp whirling around in designer shoes and calling room service for a meal. Julie Andrews plays the “rawther” fabulous and loving Nanny in the film.

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