Tag Archives: social issues

Knock Knock: My Dad’s Dream for Me

Knock Knock by Daniel Beaty and illustrated by Bryan Collier is both beautiful and sad. A young boy plays a daily game of Knock Knock, Who’s There? with his father until the day his father is gone. The rest of the book … Continue reading

Posted in Books with social studies links, Love that art, Love that prose, Picture books, Poetry | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Shy Spaghetti and Excited Eggs

It’s got a cool title and cute illustrations, yet Shy Spaghetti and Excited Eggs:  A Kid’s Menu of Feelings is a nonfiction picture book. It clearly identifies feelings such as shy and worried in terms kids can understand.  “Annoyed is being mini-mad,” … Continue reading

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The House of the Scorpion

Nancy Farmer‘s multi-medaled book about human clones, The House of the Scorpion, is celebrating its tenth anniversary and there isn’t a better time to read this teen dystopian about the perils of power. Matt is the human clone of El Patrón, … Continue reading

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The One and Only Ivan

Living at Big Top Mall, Ivan, the gorilla, knows only the world he can see through a thick glass wall and hear about from Bob, the stray dog who visits via the small broken piece in the cage. Wise Stella, … Continue reading

Posted in Children's novels, social issues, strong characters, Voice | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Silence of Our Friends: The Civil Rights Struggle Was Never Black and White

Two families in Houston, Texas, 1968, struggle through civil rights issues that permeate their communities. Larry and his family are black, and suffer false accusations, a targeted hit-and-run-accident and humiliations of segregation. Jack and his family struggle through changing perceptions … Continue reading

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Beneath a Meth Moon: An Elegy

elegy n. 1. mournful poem  2. poem in elegiac couplets or stanzas 3. music, musical or lament for dead person Written in prose, Jacqueline Woodson‘s Beneath a Meth Moon reads as smoothly as a poem and manages to work in Hurricane Katrina, loss … Continue reading

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Starters

The first impression of Lissa Price‘s Starters is the cover: A surreal, almost glowing teen girl waits with an unwavering gaze and pristine skin. This perfection is a scheme. Wealthy Enders (the elderly) laser away the flaws of teenagers and then rent their … Continue reading

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The Cruisers

While set in the present day, Walter Dean Myers‘ The Cruisers takes us back to the mindset of the Civil War era through eighth grade students. Zander and his friends, the Cruisers, have to prove their potential at Da Vinci Academy, a … Continue reading

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Small As An Elephant

Jack and his mom are camping in Acadia National Park–at least that’s what he thought they were doing. Except when he wakes up the next day, she’s gone. She doesn’t answer her cell phone and the local bartender says he … Continue reading

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Firegirl

When my eleven-year-old daughter (soon to be twelve) handed me this book, I read it as soon as I could.  She has good taste in books. Firegirl by Tony Abbott explores disfigurement and friendship through the eyes of wallflower narrator … Continue reading

Posted in Children's novels, disabilities, social issues, strong characters, Voice | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments