Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story

Told in lively and powerful verse by debut author Kevin Noble Maillard, Fry Bread is an evocative depiction of a modern Native American family, vibrantly illustrated by Pura Belpré Award winner and Caldecott Honoree Juana Martinez-Neal.

Awards:
Winner of the 2020 Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal
2020 American Indian Youth Literature Picture Book Honor Winner
National Public Radio (NPR) Best Book of 2019
NCTE Notable Poetry Book
2020 NCSS Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People
2020 ALA Notable Children’s Book
2020 ILA Notable Book for a Global Society

A Different Pond

A Different Pond is an unforgettable story about a simple event – a long-ago fishing trip. Graphic novelist Thi Bui and poet Bao Phi deliver a powerful, honest glimpse into a relationship between father and son – and between cultures, old and new. As a young boy, Bao and his father awoke early, hours before his father’s long workday began, to fish on the shores of a small pond in Minneapolis. Unlike many other anglers, Bao and his father fished for food, not recreation. A successful catch meant a fed family. Between hope-filled casts, Bao’s father told him about a different pond in their homeland of Vietnam.

Read two takes on A Different Pond in June 2019’s My Take/Your Take.

The Shepherd’s Granddaughter

Amani longs to be a shepherd like her beloved grandfather Sido, who has tended his flock for generations, grazing sheep on their family’s homestead near Hebron. Amani loves Sido’s many stories, especially one about a secret meadow called the Firdoos. But as outside forces begin to encroach upon this hotly contested land, Amani struggles to find suitable grazing for her family’s now-starving herd. While her father and brother take a more militant stance against the intruding forces, Amani and her new American friend Jonathan accidentally stumble upon the Firdoos and begin to realize there is more to life than fighting over these disputed regions. Amani learns a difficult lesson about just what it will take to live in harmony with those who threaten her family’s way of life.

Take a closer look at The Shepherd’s Granddaughter as examined in WOW Review.

Proud as a Peacock, Brave as a Lion

peacockMuch has been written about war and remembrance, but very little of it has been for young children. As questions come from a young grandchild, his grandpa talks about how, as a very young man, he was as proud as a peacock in uniform, busy as a beaver on his Atlantic crossing, and brave as a lion charging into battle. Soon, the old man’s room is filled with an imaginary menagerie as the child thinks about different aspects of wartime. But as he pins medals on his grandpa’s blazer and receives his own red poppy in return, the mood becomes more somber.

Outside, the crowd gathered for the veterans’ parade grows as quiet as a mouse, while men and women — old and young — march past in the rain. A trumpet plays and Grandpa lays a wreath in memory of his lost friend. Just then, the child imagines an elephant in the mist. “Elephants never forget,” he whispers to his grandpa. “Then let’s be elephants,” says the old man, as he wipes water from his eyes and takes his grandson’s hand.

Proud as a Peacock, Brave as a Lion has relevance to a growing number of families, as new waves of soldiers leave home.

The Killer’s Tears

killertearsOn the afternoon when Angel Allegria arrives at the Poloverdos’ farmhouse, he kills the farmer and his wife. But he spares their child, Paolo, a young boy who will claim this as the day on which he was born. Together the killer and the boy begin a new life on this remote and rugged stretch of land in Chile. Then Luis Secunda, a well-to-do and educated fellow from the city descends upon them. Paolo is caught in the paternal rivalry between the two men. But life resumes its course, until circumstances force the three to leave the farm. In doing so, Angel and Luis confront their pasts as well as their inevitable destinies; destinies that profoundly shape Paolo’s own future.

Cooper’s Lesson

CoopersLessonCooper’s Lesson is an inspiring story about identity and intergenerational friendship, featuring a young biracial boy, written in both English and Korean. Cooper has had about enough of being half and half. And he’s really had enough of Mr. Lee, the owner of his neighborhood grocery store, speaking to him in Korean even though Cooper can’t keep up. Frustrated, he often wonders why things have to be so complicated. Why can’t he just be one race or the other? But one moment in Mr. Lee’s store changes everything. Soon Cooper realizes that the things that make up a person are never simple — whether one talks about them in English or Korean. Richly hued oil paintings and tender vivid prose combine to bring the characters to life.