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    Books From Across the Pond

    By Skye Deiter and Carolyn Angus
     | Jul 16, 2019

    In this week’s column, we review U.S. editions of books that originated in Great Britain and Ireland. Included are books by authors and illustrators who continue to receive national and international recognition and are popular with readers on both sides of “the pond.” 

    Ages 4–8 

    The Baby Beast. Chris Judge. 2019. Andersen USA.

    The Baby BeastWhen Beast discovers a surprise, an egg, at his door, disaster unfolds as he attempts to look after it (almost losing the egg, dropping it in the bath, and chasing it down a hill). Fortunately, Dr. Yoko helps Beast by giving care instructions. “It all seemed clear except for one thing: ‘What am I waiting for?’ wondered the Beast.” He eagerly purchases necessary items and follows the doctor’s advice—just in time for Baby Beast’s arrival. A combination of colorful spreads and panels depict the ups and downs of parenting as Beast takes care of his precious egg—and soon after, Baby Beast. This sweet, humorous story concludes with one last comical surprise on the Beast family’s doorstep. Chris Judge lives in Ireland.
    —SD

    The Great Gran Plan. Elli Woollard. Ill. Steven Lenton. 2019. Godwin/Henry Holt/Macmillan.

    The Great Gran PlanWhen one of the three little pigs discovers the wolf’s next intended victim, he sets out for town to acquire a Superpig cape, spy binoculars, and rope. “Pig to the rescue—SAVE THAT GRAN!” Having to settle for substitutes: a shawl, a pair of big glasses on a pearl chain, and a basket of yarn, he soon finds himself mistaken for Red Riding Hood’s granny and pursued by the hungry wolf. Now it’s Gran to the rescue as she ensnares the wolf in a net, and together they take the wolf to Fairy Tale Jail. As children enjoy repeated readings of this rhyming fractured fairy tale, they can also search for characters from fairy tales and nursery rhymes in the colorful, richly detailed illustration. Elli Woollard and Steven Lenton live in England.
    —CA

    The Grumpy Duck. Joyce Dunbar. Ill. Petr Horáček. 2019. Candlewick.

    Grumpy DuckPetr Horáček’s brightly colored, textured illustrations combined with Joyce Dunbar’s lively text, rich with onomatopoeia, will dazzle young readers as they enjoy this story in which animals learn lessons about feelings and friendship. Duck, whose grumpiness about the dry pond causes a little gray cloud to appear above her, encounters animal friends including Dog, who suggests digging together, and Rabbit, who proposes a jumping contest. As Duck finds fault in each new invitation to play, the cloud grows BIGGER. Her negativity eventually produces a large, dark Grumpy Duck cloud, which, in turn, makes the other animals moody, until it bursts. “Suddenly there were . . . MILLIONS OF BIG SHINY WET SPLASHY RAINDROPS!” Duck “splished and splashed and sploshed” and wasn’t grumpy anymore, and the other animals happily joined her. Joyce Dunbar lives in England; Petr Horáček was born in Czechoslovakia and now lives in England.
    —SD

    The Little Rabbit. Nicola Killen. 2019. Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster.

    The Little RabbitAfter waiting for the rain to stop, Ollie (dressed in a gray bunny suit) is ready to splash in the puddles with her toy bunny. “Ollie spotted the perfect puddle right away, but before she could jump in…Whooooosh! A sudden breeze whistled past, bringing a cloud of blossoms with it.” One of the blossom petals (illustrated with gold foil embellishments) lands on Bunny’s nose. He comes to life and hops off. Ollie chases after Bunny, and with Ollie’s bravery— and a little help from the magical breeze—the two are reunited and find their way back home. Nicola Killen’s text placement, die-cut pages, and illustrations in limited colors (gray with pops of yellow and green) capture the playful spirit of Ollie and Bunny’s adventure. Nicola Killen lives in England.
    —SD

    What Does an Anteater Eat? Ross Collins. 2019. Nosy Crow/Candlewick.

    What Does an Anteater Eat 02Unable to remember what an anteater eats, hungry Anteater queries various animals—from a lazy sloth too busy resting to reply to a cheetah, who doesn’t know but says he looks very tasty. Coming upon a colony of ants busily carrying bits of banana back to their anthill under a banana tree, his “Excuse me, I don’t suppose you happen to know what an—” is met with “Run!” Now Anteater knows what an anteater eats, or does he? The surprising answer he comes up with is revealed on the final double-page spread: “BANANAS!” Ross Collins’ silly story, illustrated with bold cartoon artwork done in watercolor and charcoal and told entirely in dialogue, is perfect for reading aloud. Ross Collins lives in Scotland.
    —CA

    What the Ladybug Heard at the Zoo. Julia Donaldson. Ill. Lydia Monks. 2019. Henry Holt/Macmillan.

    What the Ladybug Heard at the ZooOn a visit to the zoo, the ladybug sees Lanky Len and Hefty Hugh. “And she heard them chuckle, “Ho ho ho! / We’re going to kidnap Monkey Joe.” They’re planning to have Joe break into the Queen’s bedroom and steal her crown. The ladybug, however, has a clever plan, which she whispers to Joe before she flies to the palace to enlist the cooperation of the Queen’s corgis, Willow and Holly. “And both the dogs agreed to do / Just what the ladybug told them to.” The thieves end up with a bag full of bones instead of the crown and find themselves pursued by every dog in town. Extend the enjoyment of this Ladybug adventure, presented in playful rhyming couplets and colorful collage illustrations, by reading What the Ladybug Heard (2010) and What the Ladybug Heard Next (2018). Julia Donaldson divides her time between England and Wales; Lydia Monks lives in England.
    —CA

    Ages 9–11

    Good Dog, McTavish. Meg Rosoff. Ill. Grace Eaton. 2019. Candlewick.

    Good Dog, McTavishChildren will be delighted to read this short, illustrated novel about a disheveled family, who, after Ma Peachey has chosen to resign from her motherly duties, agrees to adopt a rescue dog, a Scottish terrier mix named McTavish. In an ironic twist, McTavish perceives his new family as a rescue family in need of training. “When you took on a rescue family, it often took some weeks for them to settle, but he was glad he’d decided to adopt the Peacheys.” A limited omniscient narrator relays not only McTavish’s thoughts but also those of 8-year-old Betty, the youngest (and most stable, aside from Ma Peachey) member of the family. Together, McTavish and Betty work towards a common goal of making the Peachey family functional again. Meg Rosoff lives in England; Grace Eaton lives in the U.S.
    —SD

    Ocean Emporium: A Compilation of Creatures. Susie Brooks. Ill. Dawn Cooper. 2019. Charlesbridge.

    Ocean EmporiumAn introductory “Welcome to the Emporium” invites readers to explore the diversity of life in our planet’s oceans, home to more than a million species. Each double-page spread includes an introductory paragraph, text boxes of related information, and full-color realistic images of representative marine animals, labeled with their common and scientific names. Some spreads focus on the variety of one group of animals such as sea urchins, sea turtles, sharks, whales, and penguins; other spreads examine different habitats (coral reefs and “the deep”) or ocean rivalries (orcas vs. great white sharks or swordfish vs. mackerel). A table of contents makes it easy to find information, and the back matter contains a glossary and an index. Susie Brooks lives in Scotland; Dawn Cooper lives in England.
    —SD

    Ages 12–14

    The Afterwards. A. F. Harrold. Ill. Emily Gravett. 2019. Bloomsbury.

    The AfterwardsEmber’s best friend and neighbor, Ness, has died after a fall from a swing in the park. Uncle Graham, who’s grieving over the death of his beloved dog, Betty, takes his niece Ember for a walk that ends at a gate opening into a black-and-white world, the place where the recently dead reside for as long as it takes for them to forget that they ever were alive. He’s made a deal to swap her for Betty. Ember finds Ness and wants to take her home from this afterworld. But as the mysterious talking cat that Ember keeps meeting explains, rules about life and death have been broken and that can’t happen. In the end, it will take a sacrifice on the part of the cat to restore the balance between the worlds of the living and the dead needed to get Ember back home. Emily Gravett’s soft watercolor and pencil artwork beautifully complement A. F. Harrold’s eerily disturbing, yet lovely, story of letting go and accepting the death of a loved one. A. F. Harrold and Emily Gravett live in England.
    —CA

    The Book of Unwyse Magic. Claire Fayers. 2019. Henry Holt/Macmillan.

    The Book of Unwyse MagicThis fantasy/mystery hybrid centers around “The Book,” an enchanted book responsible fora magical covenant between the Human World and Unworld, in which pairs of magic mirrors form doorways between the two worlds so the requests of humans for magical goods can be supplied by Fair Folk. One day, 12-year-olds Ava (from Wyse in the Human World) and Howell (from Unwyse in the Unworld) accidentally restore an inactive mirror’s magic. Connected in a magical way they don’t understand at first, Ava and Howell form a friendship over their suspicions of Lord Skinner and Mr. Bones, respective “rulers” of their cities. Now, the determined pair must travel between worlds to protect “The Book” as its guardians, or—as the “The Book” alludes to in witty epigraphs—both worlds will be doomed. Claire Fayers lives in Wales.
    —SD

    Ages 15+

    Goodbye, Perfect. Sara Barnard. 2019. Simon Pulse/Simon & Schuster.

    Goodbye, PerfectOn Saturday just before their GCSEs begin, Eden receives a text from her best friend, Bonnie, that she’s run away with Jack, her secret boyfriend, and has Eden swear that she’ll tell no one that they have been in contact. When the police arrive at her home, she’s surprised to learn that Jack is Mr. Cohn, the music teacher at Kett Academy. As Bonnie continues to keep Eden apprised of their whereabouts, it becomes harder for Eden to continue to keep silent. Continually lying to everyone while faced with Bonnie’s seeming disregard for the feelings of other causes Eden to wonder about everything she thought she knew about her ever-so-perfect friend, her own decidedly not-so-perfect self, and their relationship. What should she do? This compelling novel, told from Eden’s point of view, including “Conversations That Took on a New Meaning after Bonnie Disappeared” sections, is a thought-provoking exploration of issues of perfection, love, family, and friendship. Sarah Barnard lives in England.
    —CA

    Skye Deiter is an elementary classroom teacher in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and a recent graduate from Pennsylvania State Harrisburg’s Masters in Literacy Education Program. Carolyn Angus is former director of the George G. Stone Center for Children's Books, Claremont Graduate University, in Claremont, California.

    These reviews are submitted by members of the International Literacy Association's Children's Literature and Reading Special Interest Group (CL/R SIG) and are published weekly on Literacy Daily. 

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    Extending Text-Based Strategies to Digital Environments

    By Amber White
     | Jul 12, 2019

    Extending Text-Based Strategies to Digital EnvironmentsTake a moment to reflect on your daily digital reading habits. How do you start your day? Perhaps you begin the morning by reviewing your Google Calendar to see what the day ahead entails, then catch up on the latest news from AllSides, next you read the latest education news curated from Troy Hick’s Nuzzel newsletter, and then spend a few minutes scrolling through your Twitter feed and notice an article highlighted by Nell Duke that you like and will read later. Within the first hour of waking, many of us have immersed ourselves in a significant amount of online reading, most of which is informational in nature.

    Regardless of our online reading habits, the “internet of things”  doesn’t sleep and will continue to soar in the variety of information being generated through the datafication of online clicks, likes, shares, postings, streamings, and more. The diverse reading that we—and our students—will have to traverse online requires that we have skills and strategies to navigate and comprehend the various multimedia elements in genre-bending spaces.

    It’s clear informational reading plays a significant role in our readerly lives yet early learners often have limited access and exposure to informational text in school. What can we do to help prepare our students to comprehend informational text in a digital environment?

    Adapting and extending research

    Bridget Dalton and C. Patrick Proctor’s research suggests that text-based pedagogical strategies, such as reciprocal teaching, can help support students’ thinking when extended to a digital literacy environment. Moving reciprocal teaching into an online environment involves supported instruction around the adapted use of four comprehension strategies—predict, question, clarify, summarize—and has text-based research for improving reading comprehension.

    In an adapted version of reciprocal teaching, an upper elementary student from Michigan created several short metacognitive screencasts to demonstrate the strategic reading of online informational text in a digital learning environment.

    Reciprocal teaching screencasts 

    Note that other digital tools, such as InsertLearning or DocHub, could be used to make digital annotations viewed in the screencast clips above.

    Although this tailored version of reciprocal teaching took place in a static digital space, it still beautifully captures how online tools can be leveraged to better navigate and comprehend online information. After receiving explicit, direct instruction, this student demonstrates how using the strategies—making predictions, clarifying thinking while reading, and using questioning to set authentic purposes for reading—can strengthen comprehension. In addition, the digital think-aloud clips of the strategy itself amplify the student’s learning within the digital environment.

    Implications for text-based strategies

    We can move students from effortful strategy use to a more automatic skill by intentionally introducing them to a repertoire of impactful strategies that will help them monitor their understanding of online informational text. As the information at our fingertips continues to soar, increased action research and scholarship exploring the successes and/or failures of proven text-based strategies in digital environments will be highly beneficial for classroom teachers and their students.

    Amber White is a reading specialist, a teacher consultant for the Saginaw Bay Writing Project, and the Director of Curriculum and Instruction for North Branch Area Schools. You can reach her on Twitter @AWhite100.

    This article is part of a series from the International Literacy Association Technology in Literacy Education Special Interest Group (TILE-SIG).

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    Sharing Successes in the Keystone State: Inspiring Literacy Initiatives Across Pennsylvania

    By Aileen Hower
     | Jul 11, 2019
    collaborative-pl-2

    The Keystone State Literacy Association (KSLA), the Pennsylvania affiliate of
    the International Literacy Association (ILA), is celebrating 50 years of literacy
    leadership across our state this year. At our fall statewide leadership meeting, we
    took the time to share about the wide variety of chapter projects and initiatives
    currently being implemented. There was a great deal of positive energy around
    widespread sharing of ideas.

    After a gallery walk, chapters were able to elaborate on some of the most
    innovative ideas. Chapter leaders enjoyed hearing about similar and new ideas
    for how to serve our members and communities. It was an awe-inspiring time of
    collaboration and connection.

    A few commonalities emerged from the ideas shared. Most ideas fell into the
    following categories: professional learning, advocacy, and engaging with families
    and communities.

    Professional learning

    • Throughout the state, KSLA chapters hold "Teachers as Readers" events to
      talk about and promote the reading of current children's, middle grade, and
      young adult books. Many councils invite the coordinators of the Keystone to
      Reading Book Awards to present on the current books that students can read
      and vote for. The Keystone to Reading Book Awards is a yearly recognition
      of a current picture, poetry, or chapter book, awarded annually at our state
      conference. The awards are chosen entirely by Pennsylvania students.
    • Across the state, especially in chapters such as Central Western, online and
      in-person professional book clubs are being held with members, other local
      teachers, and teachers from other parts of the state.
    • At times, such as with the Brandywine Valley Forge and Delaware Valley
      chapters, miniconferences are held to engage with teachers in specific areas
      and at times outside of our annual conference. This year, topics include
      "Building Community With Social Justice Poetry," "How to Talk About Race
      in Your Classroom," and "Raising Social Awareness Through Conversations
      and Mentor Texts."
    Advocacy

    • A few chapters, such as Franklin County, share literacy information and
      establish partnerships with local doctors' offices, as well as provide books to
      children during wellness checks.
    • Franklin County was also recognized by Pennsylvania’s deputy secretary of education for their work in collaborating with the local intermediate unit to service students who attend a migrant education summer program in their area.
    • We continue to host department of education representatives at our annual conference as well as invite a “standing” member, who focuses her work on language arts, to attend our biannual leadership/statewide meetings.
    • Various chapter leaders attend department of education meetings to share the latest research about literacy with various divisions and statewide initiatives.
    Engaging with families and communities

    • Our Lancaster-Lebanon chapter gives their Celebrate Literacy Award to local literacy initiatives such as "Police, Read to Me."
    • Susquehanna Valley holds “Read to Me Please” summer reading programs for preschool students at a local playground.
    • Many of our chapters participate in laundromat library projects. Books are collected throughout the year at chapter events and baskets are placed in local laundromats so children have something to read while their family is there. In some chapters, books are also donated to women’s shelters or in places where children wait while their parents attend a court hearing.
    • A number of chapters, such as Schuylkill, have established Story Walks through local parks.
    • Across the state, chapters are partnering with other community organizations such as Kiwanis, Salvation Army, the United Way, and local libraries.
    The ideas shared at our meeting were as diverse and unique as each of our local chapters. Most recently, chapters have been holding casual get-togethers for networking and have even been offering painting, massage, and relaxing coloring events to boost teacher morale.

    Those chapters that serve regions that are large in square footage work to host regional or online events. Chapters that represent more diverse populations or urban centers stay committed to serving those communities, ensuring children receive books and families and caregivers learn helpful ideas for promoting literacy in the home. Especially in a time when teachers find attending large conferences difficult, but still desire to keep their literacy teaching skills sharp, all chapters serve their members by hosting authors and professional development speakers, and studying the latest in literacy research.

    We are so proud of all of our members and thankful for our local leaders for their tireless love of and commitment to promoting literacy throughout a lifetime.

    Aileen Hower, an ILA member since 2008, is president of the Keystone State Literacy Association.

    This article originally appeared in the July/August 2019 issue of Literacy Today, ILA’s member magazine.
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    #ILAchat: What Research Says About Phonics

    By Colleen Patrice Clark
     | Jul 09, 2019
    july-ilachatOur latest literacy leadership brief, Meeting the Challenges of Early Literacy Phonics Instruction, states that phonics is an essential component of early reading and writing instruction and becoming a fluent reader. Phonics has been at the top of many conversations lately, and we’ll dive in during our next #ILAchat on Thursday, July 11, at 8:00 p.m. ET, which focuses on the topic: What Research Says About Phonics.

    Guests for this Thursday’s chat include

    • Darl Kiernan, the pre-K–3 regional literacy facilitator with Nevada’s Northwest Regional Professional Development Program. Over her 24 years in education, she has served as a teacher, coach, and leader in professional learning. Her research interests include word study and vocabulary development. 
    • Jasmine Lane, an early-career high school teacher in Minnesota. Through ResearchED, a growing, grassroots, and teacher-led movement, she advocates for evidence-informed instructional approaches and strategies in the classroom. This November, she will be on a panel about reading instruction at the ResearchEd Philadelphia 2019 event moderated by Emily Hanford. She blogs at jasmineteaches.wordpress.com.
    • Karen Vaites, a K–12 education entrepreneur passionate about education research and bridging research to practice. Vaites most recently served as chief evangelist, community development officer, and chief strategy officer for Open Up Resources, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting instructional equity. She blogs at eduvaites.org.

    Follow #ILAchat and @ILAToday this Thursday to join the conversation with Kiernan, Lane, Vaites, and ILA about phonics instruction and what role it should play in early literacy education.

    Colleen Patrice Clark is the editor of Literacy Today, ILA’s member magazine.

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    Stories From the Past (Continued)

    By Sandip Wilson and Carolyn Angus
     | Jul 08, 2019

    In this second column of Stories from the Past, we review additional recently published books, some fiction and some nonfiction, that will engage and inform readers of all ages with stories of historical events that are as exciting and suspenseful as they are moving and heartfelt.

    Ages 4–8

    The Cat Who Lived with Anne Frank. David Lee Miller & Steven Jay Rubin. Ill. Elizabeth Baddeley. 2019. Philomel/Penguin.

    The Cat Who Lived With Anne FrankMouschi, the cat of Peter, whose family hid with the Franks in the Secret Annex over a spice factory in Amsterdam during the Holocaust, tells how he too is in hiding because Jews are forbidden to own pets. Mouschi, along with the eight people living in the annex, must stay silent during the day to avoid detection. Unlike them, however, he is free to explore the streets crowded with “Black Spiders” (Nazi soldiers) and witnesses and reports on what is happening to “Yellow Stars” (Jewish people) in the city. Narration from the point of view of Mouschi and incorporation of hand-lettered excerpts from Anne Frank’s diary in expressive mixed-media illustrations make this picture book an accessible introduction to the Anne Frank story. Back matter includes biographical information about Anne Frank, a note on the characters and places in the story, and sources.
    —CA

    Girls with Guts!: The Road to Breaking Barriers and Bashing Records. Debbi Gonzales. Ill. Rebeca Gibbon. 2019. Charlesbridge.

    Girls with GutsThis engaging informational picture bookis a lively introduction to women athletes who “competed when others said they shouldn’t—or couldn’t” including Gertrude Ederle, who became the first woman to swim the English Channel in 1926; Althea Gibson, who became the first black athlete to win a Grand Slam tennis title in 1956; and Donna de Varona, who won medals as a member of the US Olympic swimming team in 1964. The book also traces the activities of Congresswoman Edith Green, Shirley Chisolm, Patsy Mink, and other activists who advocated for equal academic and athletic opportunities for girls. Their challenges to unfair federal funding eventually led to the passage in 1972 of Title IX, which mandated equal treatment for girls under any educational program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance. Backmatter includes an extensive time line (from 1880–1890 to 2017), author’s note, and a bibliography.
    —CA

    Stubby: A True Story of Friendship. Michael Foreman. 2019. Andersen Press USA.

    StubbyA soldier narrates this true story of a stray dog that entered an Army training camp in Connecticut, in 1917, looking for food, and was befriended by the soldiers, including the narrator who instead of leaving the dog behind, takes Stubby with him on the train and then the ship across the Atlantic. Stubby, who, with his keen hearing warns soldiers of approaching enemy and with his keen sense of smell warns them of gas attacks, becomes a war hero. Realistic illustrations in luminous watercolor and graphite show scenes of war in the trenches and the power of friendship. Back matter includes an archival photograph of Stubby with his medals and more information about Stubby, Corporal Robert Conroy, their experiences on the front lines, and Stubby’s valor and life after the war.
    —SW

    Ages 911

    Last of the Name. Rosanne Parry. 2019. Carolrhoda/Lerner.

    Last of the NameIn early 1863, 12-year-old Daniel O’Carolan and his older sister Kathleen emigrate from Ireland with their grandmother, the last of their family, to New York City. After their grandmother dies at sea, the children arrive with a bundle she left them. Through the Catholic Church, Kathleen and Daniel, disguised as a girl named Mary, find rooms and domestic work in the house of a wealthy family. Daniel charms townspeople with his golden voice and haunting Irish songs but their lives become endangered during five days of draft riots in the summer of 1863 that include many Irish protestors. Kathleen and Daniel discover their family history revealed in their grandmother’s bundle. Front matter contains a map of Lower Manhattan with places, both fictional and real, featured in the book. The back matter includes an author’s note with more information on 19th-century immigration of Europeans to America and changes in the demographics of New York City, books for further reading, and questions for discussion.
    —SW

    The Unsung Hero of Birdsong, USA. Brenda Woods. 2019. Nancy Paulsen/Penguin.

    The Unsung Hero of BirdsongExcited about riding the Schwinn Deluxe he receives on his twelfth birthday, Gabriel Haberlin does not see Mrs. Babcock racing through town in her yellow Roadmaster. Meriwether Hunter, who served in the 761st Tank Battalion, nicknamed “the Black Panthers,” and resettled with his family in Birdsong, South Carolina, pulls Gabriel to safety and fixes his damaged bicycle. When Gabriel extols the town’s events to honor war heroes, Meriwether explains that colored men, who fought side by side with white soldiers, are not part of the parade and must keep their war stories secret because their physical safety, even their lives, are threatened when white people learn of their experiences. Gabriel learns lessons about friendship, racism, resourcefulness, and valor after he asks his father to give Meriwether a job as a mechanic in his auto garage and witnesses the prejudice of the other mechanic rumored to have Ku Klux Klan connections. Acknowledgments in the back detail contributions of men and women of color in the armed forces.
    —SW

    Ages 12–14

    The Good Son: A Story from the First World War Told in Miniature. Pierre-Jacques Ober. Ill. Jules Ober & Felicity Coonan. 2019. Candlewick Studio/Candlewick.

    The Good SonIn 1914, during the war that was supposed to last only a few months, soldiers continue to march to battle—except for one. Pierre, a young French soldier, who had gone home for two days to spend Christmas with his widowed mother. Upon returning to his regiment, Pierre is imprisoned and sentenced to death for desertion. Told with a minimal text and intriguing photographs of tableaus created with toy soldiers, this thought-provoking story of a good son who wanted to be a good soldier ends with “About one hundred years ago, the whole world went to war. It was supposed to last months. It was supposed to be over by Christmas. It was fought by little soldiers like Pierre. It would be won by little soldiers like Pierre. But not by Christmas. And not by Pierre.” Back matter includes a note from the author or his connection to the story and notes and photographs of the process used in creating the book.
    —CA

    A Slip of a Girl. Patricia Reilly Giff. 2019. Holiday House.

    A Slip of a GirlIn this free-verse novel set during the time of the Irish Land Wars brought about by the rebellion of Irish tenants to eviction by English landlords for failing to pay unreasonable rents, Anna Mallon is determined to honor the promises she made to her dying mother: to keep her baby sister Nuala safe and protect the Mallon’s house and land. When Anna breaks the earl’s window after failing to meet with him about an extension on their rent payment, she and her father are jailed. She escapes and makes the long journey with Nuala to an elderly aunt’s home. They are safe, but with news of the growing unrest of tenant farmers, Anna knows she must go home. “I’ll be strong / to get back what belongs / to us, / what has always belonged: / our house, / our land.” Captioned archival photographs interspersed among the poems help set the scene. Back matter includes a glossary and an author’s note.
    —CA

    Ages 15+

    Someday We Will Fly. Rachel DeWoskin. 2019. Viking/Penguin.

    Someday We Will FlyLillia narrates the story of the journey she takes with her circus performer father and younger sister when they flee 1940 Warsaw, Poland, leaving behind her mother who has disappeared. Escaping by car out of Warsaw, they take a train from Lithuania to Italy and sail to Shanghai, which is occupied by the Japanese Army but is one of few places in the world welcoming Jewish refugees. The family finds shelter in Hongkou, and her father searches for employment as they eke out survival. Always hungry but wanting to hold onto her old self as she discovers a new self, Lillia continues her dance and acrobat practice and attends the Kaadori School, where she befriends, Wei, a Chinese boy who acts as the school’s janitor but wants to be a student, and learns Chinese. As her new self, Lillia ventures into the International Settlement and becomes a dancer at a night club, a job she keeps secret from her family, but their lives change when Japan bombs Pearl Harbor in 1941. Back matter includes an author’s note detailing research in Shanghai and separating fact from fiction and sources consulted.
    —SW   

    Susan B. Anthony (The Making of America #4). Teri Kanefield. 2019. Abrams.

    The Making of AmericaBorn at a time when a woman had no rights to own property, to keep hard-earned income from her labors, or to have custody of her children if she divorced, Susan B. Anthony (18211905), known “as a woman ruled by logic, serenely self-assured, and dignified,” became an outspoken champion of women’s rights involving her in political action nationally, including extensive travel to western states that passed legislation for women’s suffrage. This biography, which includes archival images and photographs, shows Susan B. Anthony as a tireless and outspoken advocate for the rights and freedoms of women and African Americans in face of entrenched opposition, and describes her lifelong friendship and collaboration with Elizabeth Cady Stanton. The final chapter chronicles the changes in rights for women that followed Anthony’s death, including the passage of the 19th amendment to the Constitution of the United States in 1919. Back matter includes source notes; a timeline; excerpts from Anthony’s selected writings; a bibliography that includes primary sources, books, articles, and legal cases; acknowledgments; and an index.
    —SW

    Sandip LeeAnne Wilson is a professor in the School of Education and the English Department of Husson University, Bangor, Maine, and is serving on the Children’s Literature and Reading SIG’s Notable Books for a Global Society Committee. Carolyn Angus is former director of the George G. Stone Center for Children's Books, Claremont Graduate University, in Claremont, California.
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