By Cynthia Kadohata
Ages 10 and Up
Published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers (December 2006)
Publisher’s Synopsis: kira-kira (kee ra kee ra): glittering; shining Glittering. That’s how Katie Takeshima’s sister, Lynn, makes everything seem. The sky is kira-kira because its color is deep but see-through at the same time. The sea is kira-kira for the same reason. And so are people’s eyes. When Katie and her family move from a Japanese community in Iowa to the Deep South of Georgia, it’s Lynn who explains to her why people stop on the street to stare. And it’s Lynn who, with her special way of viewing the world, teaches Katie to look beyond tomorrow. But when Lynn becomes desperately ill, and the whole family begins to fall apart, it is up to Katie to find a way to remind them all that there is always something glittering — kira-kira — in the future.
My Father’s Dragon
By Ruth Stiles Gannett
Ages 4 – 8
Published by Random House Books for Young Readers (Yearling 2005)
Publisher’s Synopsis: When Elmer Elevator hears about the plight of an overworked and underappreciated baby flying dragon, he stows away on a ship and travels to Wild Island to rescue the dragon. RUTH STILES GANNETT wrote My Father’s Dragon just a few years after her graduation from Vassar College in 1944. It was an immediate success, becoming a Newbery Honor Book, and was soon followed by two sequels, Elmer and the Dragon and The Dragons of Blueland. All three dragon stories have been continuously in print in the more than 40 years since their publication. The author’s other books include Katie and the Sad Noise and The Wonderful House-Boat- Train. She is married to the artist and calligrapher Peter Kahn. They have seven daughters and seven grandchildren.
Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book
By Johanna Basford
Ages 8 and Up
Published by Laurence King Publishing (March 2013)
Publisher’s Synopsis: Tumble down the rabbit hole and find yourself in an inky black-and-white wonderland. This interactive activity book takes you on a ramble through a secret garden created in beautifully detailed pen-and-ink illustrations—all waiting to be brought to life through coloring, but each also sheltering all kinds of tiny creatures just waiting to be found. And there are also bits of the garden that still need to be completed by you. Appealing to all ages, the intricately-realized world of the Secret Garden is both beautiful and inspirational.
A Birthday for Bear
By Bonny Becker, Illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton
Ages 3 and Up
Published by Candlewick (September 2009)
Publisher’s Synopsis: Celebrate curmudgeonly Bear and the irrepressible Mouse in this laugh-out-loud companion to the best-selling A Visitor for Bear, now in picture-book format.
Bear does not like birthdays. He doesn’t like parties or balloons, cards or candles. In fact, Bear does not like anything to do with birthdays at all. He would much rather spend his birthday alone cleaning his house, but Mouse, small and gray and bright-eyed, has other ideas. With a perfectly paced story by Bonny Becker paired with Kady MacDonald Denton’s slapstick visual comedy, A Birthday for Bear — previously published as a first reader — welcomes young listeners to the party in a new picture-book format, with all new artwork, ideal for sharing.
A Long Walk To Water
By Linda Sue Park
Ages 10 and Up
Published by HMH Books for Young Readers (October 2011)
Publisher’s Synopsis: The New York Times bestseller A Long Walk to Water begins as two stories, told in alternating sections, about two eleven-year-olds in Sudan, a girl in 2008 and a boy in 1985. The girl, Nya, is fetching water from a pond that is two hours’ walk from her home: she makes two trips to the pond every day. The boy, Salva, becomes one of the “lost boys” of Sudan, refugees who cover the African continent on foot as they search for their families and for a safe place to stay. Enduring every hardship from loneliness to attack by armed rebels to contact with killer lions and crocodiles, Salva is a survivor, and his story goes on to intersect with Nya’s in an astonishing and moving way.