We Kiss Them With Rain

Life wasn’t always this hard for 14-year-old Mvelo. There were good times living with her mother and her mother’s boyfriend. Now her mother is dying of AIDS and what happened to Mvelo is the elephant in the room, despite its growing presence in their small shack. In this Shakespeare-style comedy, the things that seem to be are only a façade and the things that are revealed hand Mvelo a golden opportunity to change her fate. We Kiss Them With Rain explores both humor and tragedy in this modern-day fairy tale set in a squatter camp outside of Durban, South Africa.

I Am Not A Number

When Irene is removed from her First Nations family to live in a residential school, she is confused, frightened and terribly homesick. She tries to remember who she is and where she came from despite being told to do otherwise. When she goes home for summer holidays, her parents decide never to send her away again.

When The Slave Esperança Garcia Wrote A Letter

In 1770, the slave Esperança Garcia bravely penned a letter to the governor of Piauí state, in Brazil, describing how she and her children were being mistreated and requesting permission to return to the farm where the rest of her family was living. Before she wrote her letter, Esperança Garcia lived on a cotton farm run by Jesuit priests, where she learned to read and write — a rare opportunity for a woman, especially a slave. But one day, she was separated from her husband and older children and taken with her two little ones to be a cook in the home of Captain Antonio Vieira de Couto, where she and the other slaves were beaten.

Cat Found

A heartwarming tale about the importance of caring for strays. In Billy’s small town, stray cats are running wild, and there’s growing pressure to get rid of them. The school bullies don’t even hesitate to throw rocks at the poor creatures! So when Billy finds a wounded, starving kitten and sneaks her home, he has to be extra-careful to keep her hidden while he nurses her back to health. However precious little Conga is to him, he knows his dad would take her away if he discovered her, safe and warm in Billy’s bedroom. Can Billy and his friends confront the cat abusers, convince the town of the importance of caring for abandoned animals, and find a safe haven for strays?

Long Story Short

From Ireland’s first laureate for children’s literature comes a story of abuse and neglect told with sincerity, heart, and a healthy dose of humor.  Jono has always been able to cope with his mother’s drinking, but when she hits his little sister Julie, he decides it’s time for them to run away. Told in Jono’s funny, self-conscious voice, the layers of his past and the events of his escape are gradually revealed.

The Dreamer

A fictionalized biography of the Nobel Prize-winning Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, who grew up a painfully shy child, ridiculed by his overbearing father, but who became one of the most widely-read poets in the world.

My Name Is Number 4: A True Story from the Cultural Revolution

Here is the real-life story about the fourth child in a family torn apart by China’s Cultural Revolution. After the death of both of her parents, Ting-xing and her siblings endure brutal Red Guard attacks on their schools and even in their home.  At the age of sixteen, Ting-xing is sent to a prison farm far from the world she knows, where she survives for six years. Eventually, people leave the countryside, and Ting-xing passes the entrance exam for Beijing University, the only person in the prison camp to do so.

Alive In The Killing Fields: Surviving the Khmer Rouge Genocide

Alive in the Killing Fields is the real-life memoir of Nawuth Keat, a man who survived the horrors of war-torn Cambodia. He has now broken a longtime silence in the hope that telling the truth about what happened to his people and his country will spare future generations from similar tragedy. In this memoir, a young Nawuth defies the odds and survives the invasion of his homeland by the Khmer Rouge. Under the brutal reign of the dictator Pol Pot, he loses his parents, young sister and other members of his family. After his hometown of Salatrave was overrun, Nawuth and his remaining relatives are eventually captured and enslaved by Khmer Rouge fighters. They endure physical abuse, hunger and inhumane living conditions. But through it all, their sense of family holds them together, giving them the strength to persevere through a time when any assertion of identity is punishable by death. Nawuth’s story of survival and escape from the Killing Fields of Cambodia is also a message of hope; an inspiration to children whose worlds have been darkened by hardship and separation from loved ones. This story provides a timeless lesson in the value of human dignity and freedom for readers of all ages.

Cookie

Cookie is plain and shy, not the confident, popular girl her father wanted when he named her Beauty Cookson. Her mother helps her cook up a clever scheme to change her image–but, as usual, Dad doesn’t approve, and this time his anger reaches frightening new heights. Will Cookie find the strength to stand up for herself? Honest and emotionally resonant, COOKIE faces tough issues with the unflinching directness and unflagging tenderness that make Jacqueline Wilson one of today’s most admired-and popular-authors for young people.