Coming in February: Midnight Teacher by Janet Halfmann

Halfmann tells the powerful story of Lily Ann Granderson, an enslaved woman who “believed the path to freedom was through education.” Ladd’s rich, naturalistic acrylic-and-pencil images depict Granderson’s upbringing in Kentucky, where she learned to read and write in secret, then shared her knowledge with other children. As an enslaved adult in Mississippi, Granderson risked punishment by holding night classes in an empty cabin: “Landowners feared that if the enslaved could read, they would discover that some northerners wanted slavery abolished.” After the school is discovered, Granderson is shocked to learn that she won’t be punished (Halfmann speculates about why she might have escaped punishment in an afterword) and reopens her school, teaching as a free woman for many more years. The painful but uplifting narrative may spark readers’ curiosity about other enslaved individuals whose stories have not yet been told.

Age Range: 7 – 11 years
Grade Level: 3 – 4
Hardcover: 40 pages
Publisher: Lee & Low Books; Illustrated edition (February 6, 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1620141639
ISBN-13: 978-1620141632

Pre-order from Amazon or other online retailers.

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I Give You My Heart by Pimm van Hest


I Give You My Heart by Pimm van Hest is a beautifully told story that will touch the heart of everyone who reads it.

Yuto is given an unusual wooden box by an old man in a store. The man tells him, “Everything you need is in this box.” But no matter how hard Yuto tries, he can’t open the wooden box. On the eve of his seventh birthday, the box opens to reveal a seed, which Yuto plants. Eventually the seed becomes a tree and is so big he plants it in a special place and, throughout his long life, Yuto and the tree share a special bond.

In many ways, this story reminds me of The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein, which is a book I shared with all my children. This poetic fairy tale is enhanced by the stunning artwork of Sassafras De Bryun and the intricate cutouts throughout the book. While I Give You My Heart is a children’s book, the older you are the more meaningful it becomes. I think it would make the perfect coffee table book.

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Age Range: 6 and up
Grade Level: 1 and up
Lexile Measure: 540 (What’s this?)
Hardcover: 56 pages
Publisher: Clavis (November 15, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1605373567
ISBN-13: 978-1605373560

I received a copy of this book from the publisher. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

Too Big by Judy Dearborn Nill

You’ll find the topics of bullying, peer pressure, friendship and learning to accept who you are wrapped up in a fabulously engaging story with Too Big by Judy Dearborn Nill.

Shelby Bradshaw considers skipping the fifth grade and going right to middle school. Academically that won’t be a problem, but it’s really to escape all the teasing she has endured since her growth spurt. She’ll miss being with her best friend Zoe, but maybe it will all be worth it.

Though there are many teaching points and topics for discussion, the young reader will also discover a great plot and interesting characters. They might know a Shelby or a Zoe or a Marissa or a Deke or a Kenny. They might have experienced some of what these characters have. Misunderstandings happen. People aren’t always who you think they are. Sometimes actions have bad consequences. Maybe a good idea ends up not being so good later.

Too Big tackles real issues that kids are dealing with and handles them without trivializing them or the real feelings young people must cope with. Too Big is an awesome book. I’m so glad the author asked me to review it. I’ll be looking for more of her work in the future.

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Age Range: 8 – 12 years
Grade Level: 3 – 6
Paperback
Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing; Large type / large print edition edition (October 22, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1616338075
ISBN-13: 978-1616338077

I received a copy of this book from the author. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

The Runaway Dandelion by Jill Regensburg

This is an adorable and educational story about one dandelion’s flight to a new home and the happy family she finds.

In The Runaway Dandelion, a beautiful meadow is bulldozed to make room for new construction. Harsh chemicals are brought in to kill all the dandelions in the new lawn, but one little dandelion survives. When her petals turn to white fluff she drifts a long way until she settles in a perfect new home and watches the daily life of the people who live there.

I must applaud the author’s desire to bring such an important message to young people. Her passion is evident on each page. As sustainable lifestyles become more prevalent, books such as these will encourage children from an early age. The one challenge I have with the story line is that the dandelion appears to see every inch of the family’s farm from where she is planted in the ground and seems to know the kids aren’t watching TV because they are so busy working on the farm. It’s a little niggle, but it was there for me.

The artwork by Leticia Plate is lovely. The colors and style are perfect for this story. The book has important terms appearing in green instead of in black, which are listed in a glossary at the end along with definitions. There is also a list of resources and useful links in the final pages. The Runaway Dandelion will open up the minds of young people and get them asking questions.

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Paperback: 48 pages
Publisher: EarthWardProject; 1st edition (May 12, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0998459607
ISBN-13: 978-0998459608

I received a free copy of this book from the author. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

Macaroni and Cheese for Thanksgiving

Ten-year-old Macy is waiting for her grandparents to arrive on Thanksgiving. When the front door swings open, Grandma and Grandpa are covered with hugs and kisses. Crash! Everyone rushes in to find the dog gnawing a meaty turkey leg. Can Macy’s quick thinking save dinner?

Purchase at….

GAP

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

Indiebound

 

New Seasonal Titles from Guardian Angel Publishing

Celebrate Christmas with Dotty the Dalmatian at the local fire station. Life changes for two homeless children when they attend the annual Christmas party and hear the Christmas story for the first time. Children of all ages will love this fun, easy-to-sing Christmas musical.

Nine-year-old Dennis and seven-year-old Sarah love singing Christmas carols. Dennis wants to know where the carols came from and why they are called classics. Mom suggests that the children look up the answer to that question and report on the find in their family worships between then and Christmas. Dennis and Sarah eagerly agree and discover some surprising facts. A preacher who was considered one of the greatest of his time  wrote over 700 hymns and psalms. However, he couldn’t compare with another man who wrote over 6000 hymns! The children’s favorite story is about naughty mice that may well have been the reason for one of the world’s best-loved Christmas hymns.

Grover Groundhog awakes to loud “Fa-la-la-la’s” and strange goings on above ground! Excitedly waking his sister, Gracie, the two cautiously trek up to the window of the home beside their burrow. Both are amazed by what they see! Will they be discovered by the humans? Or will they discover the true meaning of Christmas?

Koyuk, a member of a humble Inuit fishing family, is flown on the wings of an angel to greet the newborn King Jesus. Koyuk learns from the angel that Jesus will become “Fisher of all” and how she can help to spread the Good News of peace and love.

For these and more seasonal titles from Guardian Angel Publishing visit www.guardianangelpublishing.com

New from Guardian Angel Publishing

A special needs boy Andy and volunteers confront challenges while counting and describing wild mustangs. They report the groups and the individual horses and their condition. The Bureau of Land Management uses their information to help track and control the population to prevent overgrazing and ensure they have an adequate water supply.

A mom patiently teaches her son words and phrases that mean zero while she teaches him about life, and what she expects from him. Includes mathematical concepts about the term Zero.

 

Malikia and her twin, Julius, were abandoned by her mother and father. Now they live at Neema House Arusha, a home for abandoned, orphaned, and at risk babies in Tanzania, East Africa. Malikia is blind and has never seen a smile but if you visit Malikia in the orphanage she will have a big smile for you. All proceeds from this book go to Neema House Arusha in Tanzania. Bless you for buying Malikia’s book.

Getting up in the morning makes Kyle grouchy. Doing class work at school makes Kyle crabby. Going to bed at night makes Kyle cranky. He is tired of always feeling grumpy. Find out how Kyle turns himself from grumpy Kyle to smiling Kyle!

Alfred the Great is a rabbit known for his generous heart. When Alfred goes to the zoo hospital to cheer up his injured cousin, Whiskers LaRue, his clowning attracts an audience of children with challenges. Alfred decides to stay with Whiskers, who soon joins him in entertaining their special visitors.

Maria St. George, whose family owns an orchard, becomes the owner of very smart poodles. Mr. Bog, a frog, also lives with them. When a delivery truck crashes during a storm near the orchard, Mr. Bog alerts the poodles and the family, who rescue the driver and hundreds of birds.

To learn more about these and other books from Guardian Angel Publishing, please visit www.guardianangelpublishing.com