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Archive for December, 2013

December 04, 2013

December: Human Rights

by Pat Scales

Reacting to the atrocities of the Holocaust during World War II, the General Assembly of the United Nations issued the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on December 10, 1948. Eleanor Roosevelt, the widow of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, was the architect of the document. In 1950, the United Nations declared December 10 as Human Rights Day, and asked the member countries to use this day to educate their citizens about “the rights and dignity of all people” as outlined in the document.

- Commemorate this day by encouraging young adults to read The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. Some may wish to see the movie and make comparisons to the book. Then have them discuss why the leaders of the United Nations felt the Declaration of Human Rights so necessary.

- Display in the school and public library the Declaration of Human Rights. Lead a discussion about each of the 30 Articles. The document may be found here.

- Display a world map and use pushpins to indicate the countries that belong to the United Nations.
Ask students to watch the national news for a week and take notes on stories that relate to human rights.

- Suggest books that support the need for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Titles from Random House include:

Alia’s Mission: Saving the Books of Iraq (picture book) by Mark Alan Stamaty
Child of the Civil Rights Movement (picture book) by paula Young Shelton & illustrated by Raul Colon
Faith, Hope and Ivy June (middle grade) by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Flesh and Blood So Cheap (middle grade) by Al marrin
Laugh with the Moon (middle grade) by Shana Burg
Sylvia and Aki (middle grade) by Winifred Conkling
Shattered (middle grade) by Jennifer Armstrong
Goodbye, Vietnam (middle grade) by Gloria Whelan
Under the Blood-Red Sun (middle grade) by Graham Salisbury
Before We Were Free (young adult) by Julia Alvarez
Farewell to Manzanar (young adult) by Jeanne Houston
Chinese Cinderella (young adult) by Adeline Yen Mah
Diamonds in the Shadow (young adult) by Caroline B. Cooney
Enrique’s Journey (young adult) by Sonia Nazario
Eyes of the Emperor (young adult) by Graham Salisbury
Forgotten Fire (young adult) by Adam Bagdasarian
Shabanu; Haveli; The House of Djinn (young adult) Suzanne Fisher Staples
Mountains Beyond Mountains (young adult) by Tracy Kiddar, adapted for young people by Michael French
The Power of One (young adult) by Bryce Courtenay
The Red Umbrella (young adult) by Christina Diaz Gonzalez
The Queen of Water (young adult) by Laura Resau and Maria Virgina Farinango
Slumgirl Dreaming (young adult) by Rubina All in collaboration with Anne Berthod and Divya Dugar
Ties that Bind, Ties That Break (young adult) by Lensey namioka
You Against Me (young adult) by Jenny Downham


December 04, 2013

Our 2013 All Stars!

 

Congratulations to the below titles–they were the recipients of more than one starred review and we’re thrilled and proud to have published them.

Picture Books:

 The Christmas Wish
Ages 3-7 • 978-0449-81681-3
GLB: 978-0-375-97173-0
EL: 978-0-375-98156-2
★ Kirkus Reviews
★ Publishers Weekly

Daisy Gets Lost
Ages 3-7 • 978-0-449-81741-4
GLB: 978-0-449-81742-1
EL: 978-0-449-81743-8
★ Publishers Weekly
★ School Library Journal

Snowflakes Fall
Ages 3-7 • 978-0-385-37693-8
GLB: 978-0-375-97328-4
EL: 978-0-375-98219-4
★ Booklist
★ School Library Journal

Toys in Space
Ages 5-8 • 978-0-307-97812-7
GLB: 978-0-307-97815-8
EL: 978-0-307-97847-9
★ Publishers Weekly
★ School Library Journal

Bluebird
Ages 4-8 • 978-0-375-87037-8
GLB: 978-0-375-97038-2
EL: 978-0-375-98904-9
★ Booklist
★ Kirkus Reviews
★ Publishers Weekly

The Mighty Lalouche
Ages 4-8 • 978-0-375-86225-0
GLB: 978-0-375-96225-7
EL: 978-0-375-98742-7
★ Booklist
★ Publishers Weekly
★ School Library Journal

Water in the Park
Ages 3-7 • 978-0-375-87002-6
GLB: 978-0-375-97002-3
EL: 978-0-375-98718-2
★ Booklist
★ The Bulletin
★ Kirkus Reviews

Brush of the Gods
Ages 4-8 • 978-0-375-87001-9
GLB: 978-0-375-97001-6
EL: 978-0-375-98719-9
★ Booklist
★ Kirkus Reviews
★ Publishers Weekly
★ School Library Journal

Deep in the Sahara
Ages 4-8 • 978-0-375-87034-7
GLB: 978-0-375-97034-4
EL: 978-0-375-98893-6
★ Booklist
★ Kirkus Reviews
★ Publishers Weekly
★ School Library Journal

Everyone Can Learn to Ride a Bicycle
Ages 4-8 • 978-0-375-87007-1
GLB: 978-0-375-97007-8
EL: 978-0-375-98732-8
Booklist
Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly
School Library Journal

Sophie’s Squash
Ages 3-7 • 978-0-307-97896-7
GLB: 978-0-307-97897-4
EL: 978-0-307-97898-1
Booklist
Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly
School Library Journal

A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin
Ages 5-8 • 978-0-375-86712-5
GLB: 978-0-375-96712-2
EL: 978-0-449-81014-9
Booklist
Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly
School Library Journal

You Never Heard of Willie Mays?!
Ages 4-8 • 978-0-375-86844-3
GLB: 978-0-375-96844-0
EL: 978-0-375-98782-3
Booklist
The Bulletin
Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly

 

Middle Grade:

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library
Ages 8-12 • 978-0-375-87089-7
GLB: 978-0-375-97089-4
EL: 978-0-307-97496-9
Booklist
Kirkus Reviews

The Great Trouble
Ages 10 and up • 978-0-375-84818-6
GLB: 978-0-375-94818-3
EL: 978-0-449-81819-0
Publishers Weekly
School Library Journal

Hokey Pokey
Ages 10 and up • 978-0-375-83198-0
GLB: 978-0-375-93198-7
EL: 978-0-307-97570-6
Kirkus Reviews
School Library Journal

Lara’s Gift
Ages 10 and up • 978-0-307-93174-0
GLB: 978-0-375-97105-1
EL: 978-0-307-97548-5
Kirkus Reviews
School Library Journal

Listening for Lucca
Ages 9-12 • 978-0-385-74299-3
GLB: 978-0-375-99088-5
EL: 978-0-307-98031-1
Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly

Paperboy
Ages 10 and up • 978-0-385-74244-3
GLB: 978-0-375-99058-8
EL: 978-0-307-97505-8
Booklist
Publishers Weekly

Peanut
Ages 10 and up • 978-0-375-86590-9
GLB: 978-0-375-96890-6
EL: 978-0-307-97909-4
Publishers Weekly
School Library Journal

Navigating Early
Ages 10 and up • 978-0-385-74209-2
GLB: 978-0-375-99040-3
EL: 978-0-307-97412-9
Booklist
Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly
School Library Journal

One Came Home
Ages 9-12 • 978-0-375-86925-9
GLB: 978-0-375-96925-6
EL: 978-0-375-98934-6
The Bulletin
The Horn Book
Kirkus Reviews
School Library Journal

 

Young Adult:

Foul Trouble
Ages 12 and up • 978-0-375-86964-8
GLB: 978-0-375-98246-0
EL: 978-0-375-98454-9
Booklist
Kirkus Reviews

The Midnight Dress
Ages 14 and up • 978-0-375-85645-7
GLB: 978-0-375-95645-4
EL: 978-0-449-81821-3
Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly

Out of Nowhere
Ages 12 and up • 978-0-375-86580-0
HLB: 978-0-375-96580-7
EL: 978-0-375-89610-1
The Bulletin
School Library Journal

Spirit and Dust
Ages 12 and up • 978-0-385-74080-7
GLB: 978-0-375-98970-4
EL: 978-0-375-98271-2
The Bulletin
School Library Journal

Two Boys Kissing
Ages 14 and up • 978-0-307-93190-0
GLB: 978-0-375-97112-9
EL: 978-0-307-97564-5
The Bulletin
Publisher’s Weekly

Yellowcake
Ages 14 and up • 978-0-375-86920-4
GLB: 978-0-375-96920-1
EL: 978-0-375-98931-5
Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly

Chasing Shadows
Ages 14 and up • 978-0-375-86342-4
GLB: 978-0-375-96341-1
EL: 978-0-375-89527-2
Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly
School Library Journal

The Waking Dark
Ages 14 and up • 978-0-375-86877-1
GLB: 978-0-375-96877-8
EL: 978-375-89962-1
Booklist
The Bulletin
Publishers Weekly
School Library Journal

Far Far Away
Ages 12 and up • 978-0-375-84972-5
GLB: 978-0-375-94972-2
EL: 978-0-375-89698-9
Booklist
The Bulletin
The Horn Book
Publishers Weekly
School Library Journal


FOUR stars for DEEP IN THE SAHARA!
December 03, 2013

FOUR stars for DEEP IN THE SAHARA!

★ Lalla, a little Mauritanian girl, gets her heart’s desire when she shows her mother that her faith is important to her.

Lalla sees her mother, her big sister, Selma, her cousin Aisha, her grandmother and all the other women in her West African town all wrapped in malafa, the colorful veils that wrap from head to toe. She wants to look beautiful and grown-up too, but each female family member tells her that wearing the malafa is more important than beauty, mystery, being a mature woman and even tradition. When Lalla figures out for herself that the malafa is central to the religious practice of Muslim women in her region, then her mother joyously wraps her in “a malafa / as blue as the Sahara sky / as blue as the ink in the Koran / as blue as a stranger’s eye.” The author notes that she changed her opinion regarding the wearing of veils for religious reasons when she lived in Mauritania and wrote this book to share the joy she observed. The collage illustrations done by an Iranian artist show the colorful cloths of “lime and mango,” the beautiful women wearing the veils in different ways and the details of the houses.

Poetic language, attractive illustrations and a positive message about Islam, without any didacticism: a wonderful combination. - Kirkus Reviews

 

★ Cunnane (Chirchir Is Singing) introduces a Mauritanian girl who’s fascinated with the malafa, the veil the women in her family wear. The second-person narration (“you watch Mama’s malafa flutter as she prays”) presents the veil as desirable rather than confining and describes the girl’s wish to wear it so she can be beautiful, like her mother, or mysterious, like her sister. Her relatives reject these superficial reasons. It’s not until the girl shows she understands the malafa as a sign of Muslim belief (“Mama… more than all the dates in an oasis, I want a malafa so I can pray like you do”) that Mama gives the girl one of her own. The warm, affirming portrait of Islam (“A malafa is for faith”) makes this a valuable resource for both Muslim audiences and a broader readership interested in potentially unfamiliar customs and observances of faith. In Iranian artist Hodadi’s U.S. debut, her round-faced characters and affectionate scenes of Mauritanian family life (drinking tea on cushions, carrying trays of goods to market) keep the atmosphere friendly and lighthearted throughout. – Publishers Weekly

 

★ ”In a pale pink house the shape of a tall cake,/you watch Mama’s malafa/flutter as she prays./More than all the stars in a desert sky,/you want a malafa so you can be beautiful too.” Mama cautions Lalla that a malafa is for more than beauty. The pattern continues as Lalla envies her sister’s sense of mystery, the market ladies’ femininity, and her grandmother’s air of ancient tradition until she gets a malafa of her own, “as blue as the ink in the Koran” so she can take her place beside her mother for the evening prayer. Cunnane has a strong connection to Africa, having lived in both Kenya and Mauritania, the setting of this lovely original story. Like For You Are a Kenyan Child (S & S, 2006), this book incorporates authentic cultural details in both the poetic text and the evocative illustrations. Local Hassaniya words, for example, appear naturally in the text, and are helpfully defined in a glossary. Cut-paper collage illustrations feature boys in turbans, men hurrying to prayers, and women dressed in brightly colored swaths of cloth, enlivening the browns, greens, and adobe brick of the desert background. An author’s note acknowledges that she’d believed the wearing of the veil was repressive to women until she understood it was a “relaxed and colorful expression of…faith and culture.” Perhaps this upbeat picture book about a mother welcoming her daughter into their community of faith will engender a more positive attitude toward women who choose traditional dress in the modern world.– School Library Journal

 

★ Lalla lives in Mauritania where the sun burns, the sands shift, and all answer the call to prayer. It is her wish to wear, like the women around her, a malafa, or airy, colorful cloth worn over clothes and covering the head. Lalla wants to wear the malafa for its beauty, but her mother explains that the cloth’s purpose is “for more than beauty.” She tells her sister, Selma, that she wants to wear it to be mysterious; Selma laughs and says that isn’t a good enough reason. Neither is Lalla’s desire to transition from a girl to a woman. Only when she tells her mother that “I want a malafa so I can pray like you do” does she receive her coveted cloth. Cunnane explains in an author’s note that when she first lived in Mauritania, she believed wearing the veil was repressive, but the people’s “relaxed and colorful expression of their faith and culture” changed her mind. She will certainly make readers think about their preconceived notions thanks to a text that is as thoughtful as it is charming. Hadadi, who is Iranian, creates paper collages with a whimsical beauty that workwell with the story’s  sense of longing. The women, all individualized, exude true warmth, and readers will feel a quiet satisfaction when Lalla joins them. A special offering. – Booklist