Where are we going?

Skrypuch, Marsha Forchuk with Tuan Ho. Adrift At Sea: A Vietnamese Boy’s Story of Survival. Toronto: Pajama Press, 2016.
In 1981, six-year-old Tuan escaped with his mother and two of his sisters. In the middle of the night, they got on a boat which took them far out to sea where they were rescued by sailors on an American aircraft carrier. Illustrated by award-winning Brian Deines, this powerful picture book tells the true story of one child’s journey as a refugee from Vietnam to Canada. Accompanied by historical and biographical information, as well as numerous photographs, this informative and inspiring story is recommended for readers 8 years old and up.

More books by Canadian authors HERE

More books about refugees HERE

More picture book memoirs HERE

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In the beginning,…

Rylant, Cynthia. Creation. New York: Beach Lane Books, 2016.
“In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth.” And so starts this picture book adapted from the book of Genesis and illustrated in a simple style with acrylic paints. Highly recommended for all ages.

(Actually, anything by Cynthia Rylant is recommended, although the intended audience varies. And any picture book by Beach Lane Books is sure to be outstanding.)

More books about faith HERE

More creation stories HERE  

More great publishers HERE


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Canadian, eh?

Patterson, Heather. I Am Canada: A Celebration.Toronto: North Winds Press, 2017.
What does it mean to be a Canadian? This book joyously answers the question in simple language suitable for young children. The illustrations take the book to a whole new level: Marie-Louise Gay, Jon Klassen, Barbara Reid and other Canadian artists depict Canada, each in their own unique style. A wonderful book for art students and a great book as a read-aloud for children up to 8 years of age.

More books by Canadian authors HERE

Stories set in Canada HERE

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Thank you!

Hopkinson, Deborah. A Letter to My Teacher. New York: Schwartz & Wade Books, 2017.
A young adult writes a letter to her second-grade teacher, recounting her memories and expressing her appreciation for all she learned during that inspiring year. The story is fun: flowing smoothly with conversation to enliven the narration. The pictures by Nancy Carpenter are lively: full of expression and a sense of spontaneity. Unfortunately, the style of the font and the layout of the text do not match the mood of the story. Despite that distraction, this picture book is still recommended for readers 8 years old and up. 

Find stories for Thanksgiving HERE

Find ideas for showing gratitude HERE

Find tips on critiquing stories HERE

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What does it have to do with me?

Heos, Bridget. It’s Getting Hot in Here: The Past, Present, and Future of Climate Change. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015.
Climate change is in the news every day. But is the earth really getting warmer? How do we know? And why is it happening? How will it affect us? Should we try and do something about it? Can we make a difference?
This 15-chapter, 231-page book – full of photographs, graphs, and drawings – is highly recommended for adults both young and old. You won’t want to just read it once and return it to your library. There is so much information that you’ll want to buy a copy for yourself so you can read it slowly, small sections at a time. Then you’ll be ready to answer when someone says, “Global warming? I don’t believe it.”

More books to expand your general knowledge HERE.

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Why get involved?

Keenan, Edward. The Art of the Possible: an Everyday Guide to Politics. Toronto: Owlkids Books, 2015.

Governments make a difference. They can provide protection. They can help settle conflicts and mike life fairer for everyone. They can also help people reach goals that are only possible with group effort.

Who does government involve politics? Why do politicians argue? What makes a good argument? What are the advantages and disadvantages of conflict? How can governments prevent a democracy from turning into a platform for bullying? And who are some young people who have made a positive difference in politics?

All these questions and more are answered in this highly recommended 63-page introduction to politics for readers 11 years old and up.

More books on expanding your general knowledge HERE.


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Pearl’s Dream

Parry, Rosanne. Written in Stone. New York: Random House, 2013.
A grandmother recalls her youth in the 1920s. Her tribe, the Makah on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State, struggles to survive after Pearl’s father dies and outsiders threaten her people’s way of life. This engrossing 175-page story – told from the first person point of view – is accompanied by a map, a glossary, an extensive author’s note explaining historical details, and a list of resources. The relatively large font makes the book inviting for competent readers as young as 10 years old. The quality of the writing and depth of historical information make this a compelling novel for readers of any age. Highly recommended!

More stories of indigenous people HERE.

More historical fiction stories HERE.

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