Ana’s Story: A Journey Of Hope

Ana’s story begins the day she is born with HIV, transmitted from her mother, who dies just a few years later. From then on, Ana’s childhood becomes a blur of secrets—about her illness, her family, and the abuse she endures. Shuffled from home to home, Ana rarely finds safety or acceptance. But after she falls in love and becomes pregnant at seventeen, she embarks on a journey that leads her to new beginnings, new sorrows, and new hope. Based on her work with UNICEF and inspired by the framework of one girl’s life, Jenna Bush tells the story of many children around the world who are excluded from basic care, support, and education. Resources at the back of this book share how you can help children like Ana and protect yourself and others.

Skinny

Holly’s older sister, Giselle, is self-destructing. Haunted by her love-deprived relationship with her late father, this once strong role model and medical student is gripped by anorexia. Holly, a track star, struggles to keep her own life in balance while coping with the mental and physical deterioration of her beloved sister. Together, they can feel themselves slipping and are holding on for dear life.  This honest look at the special bond between sisters is told from the perspective of both girls, as they alternate narrating each chapter.  Gritty and often wryly funny, Skinny explores family relationships, love, pain, and the hunger for acceptance that drives all of us.

Angel’s Grace

Grace has always had wild red hair like no one else in her family and a birthmark on her shoulder that her mother told her was the mark of an angel. When Grace is sent from New York to spend the summer with her grandmother in Trinidad, she looks through the family album and discovers a blurred photograph of a stranger with a birthmark — her birthmark — and Grace is full of questions. No one is able to identify the man in the photo, and Grace is left with no choice but to find out who he is and what he might mean to her. What Grace does not know is that her search will lead to a discovery about herself and her family that she never could have imagined. Tracey Baptiste’s first novel is a tender coming-of-age story set on the island of Trinidad. Angel’s Grace explores the meaning of identity and truth, and the unbreakable ties of a family bound by love.

(Paula Wiseman Books)

The Crazy Man

This novel in verse tells the story of a 11-year-old girl struggling to recover after a farm accident leaves her crippled and fatherless.

After Emaline, 11, is crippled by a farm accident with her father’s tractor, Daddy kills her beloved dog, Prince, and walks away from the farm. Mom takes in Angus from the local mental hospital to help with the farm work, but the neighbors complain about the crazy man on the loose. Emaline never denies Angus’ illness, but she sees his kindness and strength, and they help each other with their work and with their grief.

To Go Singing Through the World: The Childhood of Pablo Neruda

Pablo Neruda grew up in the rough and wild frontier town of Temuco, Chile. His father was a railroad man and not inclined to draw out the introspective boy. However, his stepmother, descended from the Mapuche people, was gentle and nurturing and told him stories of Chile’s native people. But in her husband’s presence, she was as silent as Pablo. So the child found refuge in nature and in books. And secretly he wrote down his thoughts. With the encouragement of Gabriela Mistral, an award-winning poet, teacher, and friend, Neruda’s writing grew resonant and powerful. At age sixteen he left Temuco for the university in Santiago and went on to become the “people’s poet” and to win the Nobel Prize in Literature.  Blending her telling of Neruda’s childhood with excerpts from his own poetry and prose, Ms. Ray captures the people and places that inspired him in her rich watercolor illustrations.

Elena’s Serenade

Who ever heard of a girl glassblower? In Mexico, where the sun is called el sol and the moon is called la luna, a little girl called Elena wants to blow into a long pipe… and make bottles appear, like magic. But girls can’t be glassblowers. Or can they? Join Elena on her fantastic journey to Monterrey — home of the great glassblowers! — in an enchanting story filled with magic realism.

Americas Award For Children’s And Young Adult Literature. Commended.