Eye Spy: Wild Ways Animals See The World

Ever wonder what your cat is watching through the window? Or how having eyes on the sides of its head changes the world for a horse? And what would life be like seeing in 5 colors instead of only 3? After a whirlwind tour of how eyes work, children will lift the flaps to find out how animals as different as dogs, owls, and chameleons see the same scene.

Too Young To Escape: A Vietnamese Girl Waits To Be Reuited With Her Family

After the end of the Vietnam War, Van wakes up one morning to find that her mother, sisters, and brother are gone. They have escaped the new communist regime that has taken over Ho Chi Minh City for freedom in the West. Van is too young–and her grandmother too old–for such a dangerous journey by boat, so the two have been left behind. Once settled in North America, her parents will be able to sponser them, and Van and her grandmother will fly away to safety. But in the meantime, Van is forced ot work hard to satisfy her aunt and uncle, who treat her like an unwelcome guest. And at school she must learn that calling attention to herself is a mistake, especially when the bully who has been tormenting her turns out to be the son of a military policeman.

Missing Mike

Cara and her family have been packed for days, ready to take everything they can’t live without and flee when the wildfire reaches their home. But when the evacuation order comes, all that preparation was not enough. Because what Cara can’t live without most is her dog Mike, and he is nowhere to be found.

Night Shift

In Night Shift, Debi Gliori has used her own personal experience with depression to create moving pieces of art that really capture how depression can feel, the way it isolates you from the world and makes even simple everyday tasks seem impossible. But, more importantly, she also shows that the feelings don’t last forever and that you can come out on the other side.

Featured in WOW Review Volume XI, Issue 2.

There There

As we learn the reasons that each person is attending the Big Oakland Powwow—some generous, some fearful, some joyful, some violent—momentum builds toward a shocking yet inevitable conclusion that changes everything. Jacquie Red Feather is newly sober and trying to make it back to the family she left behind in shame. Dene Oxendene is pulling his life back together after his uncle’s death and has come to work at the powwow to honor his uncle’s memory. Opal Viola Victoria Bear Shield has come to watch her nephew Orvil, who has taught himself traditional Indian dance through YouTube videos and will to perform in public for the very first time. There will be glorious communion, and a spectacle of sacred tradition and pageantry. And there will be sacrifice, and heroism, and loss. There There is a wondrous and shattering portrait of an America few of us have ever seen.

The Day War Came

A powerful and necessary picture book – the journey of a child forced to become a refugee when war destroys everything she has ever known. Imagine if, on an ordinary day, war came. Imagine it turned your town to rubble. Imagine going on a long and difficult journey – all alone. Imagine finding no welcome at the end of it. Then imagine a child who gives you something small but very, very precious … When the government refused to allow 3000 child refugees to enter this country in 2016, Nicola Davies was so angry she wrote a poem. It started a campaign for which artists contributed drawings of chairs, symbolising a seat in a classroom, education, kindness, the hope of a future. The poem has become this book, movingly illustrated by Rebecca Cobb, which should prove a powerful aid for explaining the ongoing refugee crisis to younger readers.

Featured in WOW Review Volume XII, Issue 2 and Volume XI, Issue 2.

Buried Beneath The Baobab Tree

A new pair of shoes, a university degree, a husband — these are the things that a girl dreams of in a Nigerian village. And with a government scholarship right around the corner, everyone can see that these dreams aren’t too far out of reach. But the girl’s dreams turn to nightmares when her village is attacked by Boko Haram, a terrorist group, in the middle of the night. Kidnapped, she is taken with other girls and women into the forest where she is forced to follow her captors’ radical beliefs and watch as her best friend slowly accepts everything she’s been told. Still, the girl defends her existence. As impossible as escape may seem, her life and her future is hers to fight for.

Featured in WOW Review Volume XI, Issue 2.

The Stars at Oktober Bend

Alice is 15, with hair as red as fire and skin as pale as bone. Something inside Alice is broken: she remembers words but struggles to speak them. Still, Alice knows words are for sharing, so she pins them to posters in tucked-away places: railway waiting rooms, fish-and-chip shops, quiet corners. Manny is 16, with a scar from shoulder to elbow. Something inside Manny is broken: he was once a child soldier, forced to do terrible, violent things. But in a new land with new people who will care for him, he spends time exploring on foot. And in his pocket, he carries a poem he scooped up. And he knows the words by heart. When Manny and Alice meet, their relationship brings the beginning of love and healing.

WOW Recommends: Book of the Month for September 2018.

Reviewed in WOW Review: Reading Across Cultures, Volume XI, Issue 2.