Once a Shepherd

Here is the tale of Tom Shepherd, tending his lambs and shearing their fleece and wooing his sweetheart, who weaves the sheep’s wool to make him a coat. But then the Great War comes, and Tom must leave his beloved wife and his unborn child and go off to fight.

Featured in WOW Review Volume X, Issue 2.

Hope is a Girl Selling Fruit

On a train journey to a large city, a young woman notices a very poor girl. Who is she? Where is she going? What does her future hold? Hope Is a Girl Selling Fruit is a gentle, reflective account of a young woman’s thoughts and feelings as she comes into contact with the larger world. The rich imagery takes the story into another realm, inviting the reader to interpret it at many levels. Young Indian artist Amrita Das pushes the boundaries of her traditional art to radical new ends as she muses on women’s mobility, class, and choices.

See the review at WOW Review, Volume 8, Issue 3

Mr. Frank

On his last day before retirement, Mr. Frank is sewing the most wonderful outfit of his long career. In all his years working as a tailor, Mr. Frank has made all kinds of clothes. From the practical uniforms of the 1940s to the wild and weird designs of the 1960s and 1970s, he has seen (and sewn) just about everything. But today’s project is especially close to Mr. Frank’s heart.

Graffiti Knight

After a childhood cut short by war and the harsh strictures of Nazi Germany, sixteen-year-old Wilm is finally tasting freedom. In spite of the scars World War Two has left on his hometown, Leipzig, and in spite of the oppressive new Soviet regime, Wilm is finding his own voice. It’s dangerous, of course, to be sneaking out at night to leave messages on police buildings. But it’s exciting, too, and Wilm feels justified, considering his family’s suffering. Until one mission goes too far, and Wilm finds he’s endangered the very people he most wants to protect.

See the review at WOW Review, Volume VII, Issue 3

The Surrender Tree: Poems Of Cuba’s Struggle For Freedom

Who could have guessed that after all these years, the boy I called Lieutenant Death when we were both children would still be out here, in the forest, chasing me, now, hunting me, haunting me. It is 1896. Cuba has fought three wars for independence and still is not free. People have been rounded up in concentration camps with too little food and too much illness. Rosa is a nurse, but with a price on her head for helping the rebels, she dares not go to the camps. Instead, she turns hidden caves into hospitals for those who know how to find her. Black, white, Cuban, Spanish–Rosa does her best for everyone.

Read more about The Surrender Tree: Poems of Cuba’s Struggle for Freedom in WOW Review.

Playing For The Commandant

“Look after each other and get home safe. And when you do, tell everyone what you saw and what they did to us.” These are Hanna’s father’s parting words to her and her sister when their family is separated at the gates of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. Her father’s words–and a black C-sharp piano key hidden away in the folds of her dress–are all that she has left to remind her of life before. Before, Hanna was going to be a famous concert pianist. She was going to wear her yellow dress to a dance. And she was going to dance with a boy. But then the Nazis came. Now it is up to Hanna to do all she can to keep her mother and sister alive, even if that means playing piano for the commandant and his guests. Staying alive isn’t supposed to include falling in love with the commandant’s son. But Karl Jager is beautiful, and his aloofness belies a secret. And war makes you do dangerous things.

See the review at WOW Review, Volume VII, Issue 3

My Cousin’s Keeper

When the odd new kid at school turns out to be his cousin, Kieran feels embarrassed and resentful. But how far will he let the bullying go? Eleven-year-old Kieran wants to be part of the “in” group at school. He wants to be on the soccer team. He wants to fit in. But then his weird cousin Bon turns up, both at school and at home. Bon knows nothing about fitting in, with his long blond braid, babyish hand-knit hat, and funny, precise voice. Bon doesn’t play sports, and he likes to draw imaginary maps with stories about “Bon the Crusader” and “Kieran the Brave.” He’s an easy target for teasing, and Kieran has little patience for him. Even more irritating, Bon’s only friend is the other new kid, a cool girl named Julia who wears cowboy boots and has a confidence that fascinates Kieran. What could she and Bon possibly have in common? With unflinching honesty, My Cousin’s Keeper takes on childhood jealousy, family secrets, and unexpected kindness.

Join the discussion of My Cousin’s Keeper as well as other books centered around relocation on our My Take/Your Take page.

See the review at WOW Review, Volume VII, Issue 3

If

Some things are so huge or so old that it’s hard to wrap your mind around them. But what if we took these big, hard-to-imagine objects and events and compared them to things we can see, feel and touch? Instantly, we’d see our world in a whole new way. So begins this endlessly intriguing guide to better understanding all those really big ideas and numbers children come across on a regular basis.