Spirits of the High Mesa

In this moving coming-of-age novel set in rural New Mexico, the young protagonist, Flavio, is torn between the seductiveness of progress and new technology and his loyalty to village traditions so steadfastly preserved by his grandfather, El Grande.

Catcall

JOSH’S FAMILY IS used to changes—but now they are hurtling into even more. Although Josh has always had an affinity with animals, it’s his younger brother Jamie who falls under the all-pervading wild cat spell.“Leo” seems to have taken over Jamie’s life. He eats when and what he wants, speaks only when he needs to. Soon it becomes impossible for the family to cope with his frightening, unpredictable behavior. Only Josh understands his brother’s moods, but is he brave enough to break through Jamie’s unhappy mask, and save them all?

City Boy

Set in contemporary Malawi, a poignant account of an orphaned boy’s transition from city life to village life. Sam’s widowed mother has died from “the Disease,” and Sam is claimed by his aunt Mercy, who lives in the small African village where Sam’s mother was born and raised. The gap between Sam’s life in the city, where he had his own room, attended private school, and used a computer, and his new life in the dirt-floored one-room hut, which he is to share with his aunt and cousins, is vast beyond imagining. Grief, loneliness, and the absence of everything familiar make for a rocky transition to a traditional culture where possessions count for little and everyone is expected to do his or her share.

See the review at WOW Review, Volume 5, Issue 2

Cute

Everyone says Toby is cute. But Toby is tired of being cute. He wants to change his image. He starts with a pair of cool shades but they don’t seem to do the trick. He will have to find other ways to look tough. When he nearly crashes his motorcycle right into the Zebra crossing, Toby is struck by love at first sight.

Little Leap Forward: A Boy In Beijing

A sensitively written, real-life sory about a boy called Litle Leap Forward, growing up in he hutongs of Beijing in the 1960’s, at the time of the Cultural Revolution. Little Leap offers children an intimate and immediate account of a child’s experiences as Mao Tse Tung’s Great Leap Forward policy tightens its grip on China.

Oranges In No Man’s Land

Oranges in No Man’s Land tells the riveting story of ten-year-old Ayesha’s terrifying journey across no man’s land to reach a doctor in hostile territory in search of medicine for her dying grandmother.Set in Lebanon during the civil war, this story is told by award-winning author Elizabeth Laird and is based on personal, real-life events. Elizabeth stayed on the green line in Beirut in 1977 in a war-damaged flat with her husband and six-month-old son. Memories of her son sleeping in a suitcase on the floor, taking his first steps on the bullet-riddled balcony, playing with the soldiers on the checkpoint, and her husband racing through no man’s land in the buildup to a battle have all inspired this gripping and moving story.Elizabeth Laird says, “When I wrote Oranges in No Man’s Land, I didn’t know that Lebanon would be plunged back so soon into a nightmare. Caught up in that nightmare are children like Ayesha and Samar, whose lives political leaders so easily throw away.”Elizabeth Laird has been nominated four times for the Carnegie Medal and has won both the Nestlé Smarties Book Prize and the Children’s Book Award (UK). Her numerous books, including A Little Piece of Ground (Haymarket Books, 2006), have been published around the world.

Being Bee

Bee can’t understand what her father sees in Jazzi. Ever since Bee’s mom died, she, her dad, and her two guinea pigs, Fifi and Lulu, have been getting along just fine. Now Bee is supposed to welcome Jazzi, with her bangled skirts and her rock-hard scones and her new way of looking at everything. Imagine how Bee feels when her dad invites Jazzi to move in! Life certainly gets more complicated, especially after Bee discovers that there is something big that Jazzi has not told Dad. Yet knowing the secret makes Bee see another side of Jazzi, one that oddly enough makes Bee more comfortable.

Nutmeg

Everything is always the same for Nutmeg, her Uncle Nicodemus, and her Cousin Nesbit. They eat the same thing for breakfast, lunch, and supper everyday, and nothing new ever happens. Until the day Nutmeg decides to take a walk. And that’s when everything starts to happen: a mysterious genie gives her a mysterious spoon that whips up a feast for supper—and they have something different to eat! But the spoon keeps on whipping, and soon it’s whipped up the house and everything in it, and the whole house sets sail. To where, they don’t know, but the promise of something different for breakfast and lunch helps them realize that different isn’t always bad.In this wholly original story about coping with changes, David Lucas has created a kindred spirit to his debut picture-book character, Halibut Jackson.

Little Tad Grows Up

Little Tadpole is going through some big changes in his early life. For one thing, he’s sad when he learns he is losing his tail. Instead, he’s growing four strange, long legs that he doesn’t know what to do with. The older frogs tell him to be patient, but it’s hard when everything’s changing around you. Then one day he finds himself face-to-face with a water snake’s big fangs, and he learns just how useful his new legs can be. In the process, he discovers a beautiful new world outside the water. This is a funny, endearing look at what it means to grow up.