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.

Rivers of the World

September 24th is World Rivers Day!

Peters, Merilee. Ten Rivers That Shaped the World. Toronto: Annick Press, 2015.

The Nile. The Amazon. the Mississippi. The Tigris and Euphrates. The Thames and Rhine in Europe. The Yangtze and Ganges in Asia. The Zambezi and Awash in Africa. These 10 rivers have changed the course of history. And they still affect life today. 10 Rivers That Shaped the World, an easy-to-read book full of anecdotes, coloured photographs, maps, and drawings, is highly recommended for all readers – 11 years old and up – who enjoy expanding their general knowledge.

Did you know?

3,000 species of freshwater fish have been discovered in the Amazon.

Ancient Egyptians were the first people in the world to pay taxes, which were based on the height of the Nile floods: higher floods meant greater harvests which led to higher taxes.

The nursery rhyme of London Bridge falling down may recall the Viking invasion of 1014.

Musicians on riverboats helped spread jazz and blues north along the Mississippi in the early 20th century.

Find more books about rivers HERE

Adventure and courage

Kelly, Jacqueline. The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2015.
Twelve-year-old Callie continues her investigations into the natural world in this sequel to the Newbery Honor Book The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate. When a veterinarian comes to town, Callie expands her knowledge of animal care but secretly, as only her grandfather encourages her dreams and hopes for the future.  Observant readers will notice that each chapter begins with a quotation from The Voyage of the Beagle by Charles Darwin, the English naturalist whose own father disapproved of his unconventional life but whose maternal grandfather encouraged him. This 312-page novel is highly recommended for readers 10 years old and up.  

Find more historical novels HERE  

Find biographies of Charles Darwin HERE 

How can I live?

Jeffers, Oliver. The Heart and the Bottle. London: HarperCollins Children’s, 2010.
A poignant story in which a young girl puts her heart away so that it will be safe. The pictures reveal the loss of her father. The words tell how her struggle to live with joy again. A profound story by a master storyteller. Recommended for all ages.

More stories of grief HERE.

When I am famous…

Steptoe, Javaka. Radiant Child: the Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2016.
Brilliant double-page illustrations help tell the true story of a collage-style New York artist who died of a drug overdose in 1988 at the age of 27. The colour, energy, and detail in Steptoe’s paintings are astonishing.  An afterward tells more about both Basquiat and Steptoe and could be used to start all sorts of discussions about the effects of childhood experiences and the nature of creativity. This sophisticated picture book – winner of the Caldecott Medal – is highly recommended for artists of all ages.

More stories of people of African heritage HERE

More biographies HERE

A Wild Pet

Kelly, Jacqueline. Skunked! New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2016.
Eleven-year-old Travis adopts two baby skunks in this historical novel for young readers. Set in a small Texan town in 1901, this easy-to-read story focuses on the younger brother of Callie, the main character in two previous novels for older readers: The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate and The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate. While this new novel still features Callie as narrator, the action centres on Travis and his escapades with two wild creatures. A great story for readers 7 to 11 years old. [Country life; historical fiction; naturalists; pets; skunks; Texas]

Find more novels for young readers HERE.

Find more stories from all over the U.S.A. HERE.

Find more historical novels HERE.

 

 

Where in the world?

Mizielinska, Aleksandra and Daniel Mizielinska. Maps. Somerville, Mass.: Big Picture Press, 2013.
Expand your general knowledge with this creative book of maps. All of the continents and many countries are depicted in hand-drawn illustrated maps showing not only geographical features but also famous people, foods, sports, plants and animals, and tourist sites. In fact, everything that you might want to include in your own general knowledge of the world as well as coloured drawings of 83 national flags. First published in Poland, this English translation is highly recommended for readers 8 to 80 years old.

Click HERE for lists of places to know.

Click HERE to practise your knowledge of world geography.