WOW Recommends: Book of the Month

WOW Recommends: Ada’s Violin

Ada's Violin The Story of the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay by Susan Hood and illustrated by Sally Wern Comport
Book of the Month, April 2017
Ada’s Violin: The Story of the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay by Susan Hood and illustrated by Sally Comport

Ada lives next to a landfill where people comb the trash looking for items to sell for recycling. There is little hope or stimulation in her life until a teacher offers music lessons. Inspiration flows from this true story of how children in a orchestra with instruments made from the trash becomes a international sensation. -Recommended by Marilyn Carpenter

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WOW Recommends: Book of the Month

WOW Recommends: Sachiko

Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor's Story by Caren Stelson
Book of the Month, March 2017
Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor’s Story by Caren Stelson

Sachiko, was 6 years old when the bomb was dropped on her city. This book tells how she survived when her four siblings did not. The story is heart rendering and is based on five interviews the author did with Sachiko. Maps, photographs, sidebars about the period give more information. Sachiko is a finalist for the National Book Award. -Recommended by Marilyn Carpenter
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WOW Recommends: Book of the Month

WOW Recommends: Animals by the Numbers

Animals by the Numbers: A Book of Animal Infographics by Steve Jenkins
Book of the Month, January 2017
Animals by the Numbers: A Book of Animal Infographics by Steve Jenkins

The author/illustrator illuminates fascinating zoological information with infographics that compare and contrast scientific research. For example, one infographic shows that the biomass of all insects on the planet is more than the biomass of any other category of creatures. This book melds, art, science and math to demonstrate how to integrate the curriculum. -Recommended by Marilyn Carpenter
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WOW Recommends: Book of the Month

WOW Recommends: Luis Paints the World

Luis Paints the World by Terry Farish
Book of the Month, December 2016
Luis Paints the World by Terry Farish with illustrations by Oliver Dominguez

Nico, Luis’ older brother is off to join the army and see the world. While Nico is gone, Luis decides to paint the world on an alleyway wall in their Latino neighborhood and is joined by his family and neighbors to create a colorful mural. Spanish words and descriptions of Dominican foods are sprinkled throughout the text contributing to the warm sense of community. -Recommended by Marilyn Carpenter
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WOW Recommends: Book of the Month

WOW Recommends: Shepherd’s Crown

Shepherds Crown by Terry Pratchett
Book of the Month, November 2016
The Shepherd’s Crown: A Tiffany Aching Adventure by Terry Pratchett

The is the fifth and last fantasy tale about Tiffany, who has grown into a young woman and becomes a powerful and caring Head Witch. The Wee Free Men, 6-inch-tall blue men, zesty characters from the previous four books, join Tiffany to battle an invasion of the evil Fairies. Pratchett’s last book is a testimony to his belief that each person must make a difference in her world by helping others. -Recommended by Marilyn Carpenter
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WOW Recommends: Book of the Month

WOW Recommends: Irena’s Children

Irena's Children: A True Story of Courage by Tilar J. Mazzeo
Book of the Month, October 2016
Irena’s Children: A True Story of Courage, Young Reader’s Edition by Tilar J. Mazzeo, adapted by Mary Cronk Farrell

This book focuses on Irena Sendler, a courageous young woman who, with a network of trusted colleagues, saved about 2500 children from the Warsaw Ghetto during World War II. With tremendous bravery and personal sacrifice, Irena and her network toiled throughout the war to find safe hiding places for Jewish children from the ghetto who otherwise would have been murdered. The account of Irena’s courage in the midst of terrible inhumanity is an inspiration. -Recommended by Marilyn Carpenter
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WOW Recommends: Book of the Month

WOW Recommends: Worm Loves Worm

Worm Loves Worm by J.J. Austrian
Book of the Month, August 2016
Worm Loves Worm by J.J. Austrian with illustrations by Mike Curato

Worm Loves Worm is a delightful romp of a picture book that explores traditional gender roles in the marriage ceremony. The story demonstrates the silliness of requiring traditional cultural observances for any wedding. The humor in the text doesn’t make fun, but it demonstrates how a wedding can be a celebration that matches the needs and desires of the couple uniting in love. -Recommended by Marilyn Carpenter
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WOW Recommends: Book of the Month

WOW Recommends: Salt to the Sea

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
Book of the Month, May 2016
Salt to the Sea by Ryta Sepetys

Four teens tell of their journey during World War II as the Russian Army pushed Germans troops and refugees away from Baltic countries to the shores of the Baltic Sea where they were herded aboard ships to take them to Germany. When Russian subs sunk their ships, 25,000 of those people were killed. The characters are courageous and become dear as we discover their stories and the result of their ordeal. -Recommended by Marilyn Carpenter

WOW Recommends: Book of the Month

WOW Recommends: Pax

Pax by by Sara Pennypacker and illustrated by Jon Klassen
Book of the Month, April 2016
Pax by Sara Pennypacker and illustrated by Jon Klassen

Pax, a pet fox, and 12-year-old Peter have been together for 5 years from the time Pax was a 2-week-old kit. When they are cruelly separated each goes on an odyssey to find each other. This beautiful, magical and heart-touching story of a strong bond between a boy and his pet demonstrates how love and determination can overcome overwhelming challenges. -Recommended by Marilyn Carpenter
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Childern's Books & Diverse Cultures in an Undergraduate Course

by Marilyn Carpenter, Eastern Washington University

One of the benefits of attending the IBBY conference was discovering new friends. It was a special delight to meet authors from other countries. The conversations we had during breaks, at lunch, at evening receptions and at dinner offered enriching ideas to take back to share with my students and colleagues. Devika Rangachari is an author from India who became a new friend. Attending her session and learning about her research regarding the role of women in Indian history was informative. She gave me one of her books, Harsha Vardhana.
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