Thanks to a smart-alecky student who sat in the back row of her classroom, Sharon M. Draper went from teacher to award-winning writer. Of course, there were other factors: a lifelong love of reading, plus years of hard work and outstanding scholarship, for starters.
Christmas really is the most wonderful time of the year—especially for book lovers! We’ve selected a stack of seasonal goodies that the little angels and elves on your gift list will love.
In this ode to the natural world, the talented George Ella Lyon documents in lyrical free verse the wonders of a forest as the Earth travels through space around the sun and goes from cold to warm and back to cold again.
Rural North Carolina in the 1920s is modernizing at its own pace. Arie Mae loves her hometown and family, but dearly wants a friend to call her own. When Tom comes from the city to study the old ways of living, she’s sure she has found him, but nothing is ever that easy. Anybody Shining illuminates friendship, family, faith and all the things that can be left behind for the sake of progress.
Jaden is sure that his parents aren’t satisfied with him. And why would they be? They adopted a kid who lights things on fire, hides food in his closet, steals tip money from restaurants, and has to be sent from one therapist to another. In Half a World Away, written by Newbery Award-winner Cynthia Kadohata, Jaden knows that his mother in Romania didn’t want him, and now his parents in America, Penni and Steve, are trying to replace him. That’s right; he’s so disappointing that his adoptive parents are going to adopt another child.
It’s never too early to start teaching kids about the importance of friendship. Offering lessons to live by, three delightful new picture books demonstrate the rewards of team effort and the power of partnership. As these clever tales prove, pitching in to help a pal—whether it’s with a stroke-of-genius idea or a simple word of cheer—can make a world of difference. That’s what friends are for!
BookPage Teen Top Pick, April 2014
When 16-year-old Travis Coates, dying from acute lymphoblastic leukemia, donated his head (the only part of his body not ravaged by cancer) to be cryogenically stored at the Saranson Center for Life Preservation, he imagined being reinstated in 100 years, alongside jet packs and other futuristic gadgets.
In Aaron Meshon’s Tools Rule!, the tools in a very messy yard need to get organized, but how? By building a tool shed, of course! From the obscure awl to the ubiquitous drill, all the tools pitch in and, in turn, teach the reader about what they do.
No part of Malcolm X’s life was free from conflict and contradiction, including his childhood. Raised in a spiritual and pacifist home, Malcolm grew up to espouse a more violent philosophy in pursuit of social justice and died violently himself. Malcolm Little tells the story of his early years as part of a large, loving family whose lives were torn apart by racial aggression. This lovely, inspiring book reveals how young Malcolm was able to draw on inner resources to find himself.