A Boy Called Dickens

For years Dickens kept the story of his own childhood a secret. Yet it is a story worth telling. For it helps us remember how much we all might lose when a child’s dreams don’t come true . . . As a child, Dickens was forced to live on his own and work long hours in a rat-infested blacking factory. Readers will be drawn into the winding streets of London, where they will learn how Dickens got the inspiration for many of his characters. The 200th anniversary of Dickens’s birth is February 7, 2012, and this tale of his little-known boyhood is the perfect way to introduce kids to the great author. Here is historical fiction at its ingenious best.

Running the Road To ABC

Six island children are running at daybreak — over the hills, through the fields, across the city square — to school! Never before has the love of learning (and learning together) been such a joyous time. Denise Lauture’s buoyant, poetic text captures the happiness and youth of energetic children on the way to school; Reynold Ruffins perfectly illustrates the rich beauty of Haiti with the bright-colored vibrance of Haitian folk art.