Tiny Tortilla

Juan Carlos is dreaming of a hot, tasty tortilla. But the old tortilla maker in the plaza has sold them all—except for a tiny piece of masa (corn dough) that she gives him with instructions.This tiny piece is magical—it becomes a hat to shade him from the hot sun, a boat to carry him through a flood, and an enormous feather that floats him home. And then it becomes a delicious tortilla for his well-earned supper. Featuring inventive art with Southwestern folk accents, this is a rich and satisfying book about finding magic in ordinary places.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

In his first book for young adults, bestselling author Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot. Heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which is based on the author’s own experiences, coupled with poignant drawings by acclaimed artist Ellen Forney, that reflect the character’s art, chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he was destined to live.

The Whole Sky Full of Stars

Barry can punch anyone hard enough to make them see a whole sky full of stars, though that’s not really his style. Barry and Alby have been friends since the first grade. They’ve always protected one another. When Barry’s pop dies, times are tough and the only thing Barry has of value is his dad’s 1964 Ford Galaxie. Meanwhile Alby’s got himself into big trouble with a cardshark. So he hatches a plan to make money. To help out Barry, but also to help himself. The problem is, Barry could get hurt, and it just might cost Alby their friendship. How much can you ask of a friend?

The Year Of The Ranch (Viking Kestrel Picture Books)

In 1919, Alice McLerran’s grandfather and his family spent a year on a homestead outside of Yuma, Arizona, trying to turn a desert mesa into farmland–and a shack into a home. Funny, moving and filled with fascinating period detail, this is an affectionate account of that year. Full color.

Waynetta and the Cornstalk: A Texas Fairy Tale

Times sure are tough on the ranch, and Waynetta and her ma can use all the luck they can get. But when Waynetta trades their last longhorn for a handful of so-called magic corn, Ma is none too pleased. “The only magic this corn’s got is the disappearin’ kind,” she says, and tosses it out the window. But come the next morning, there’s a giant cornstalk growing up to the sky, and Waynetta climbs it to find her own luck… Helen Ketteman’s Texas-style retelling of “Jack and the Beanstalk” is full of cowgirl sass. Diane Greenseid’s paintings bring rollicking new life to a familiar tale. The author lives in Florida; the illustrator lives in California.