Striking red, white, and black illustrations mirror the emotions created by an innocuous comment that escalates into bullying within a school community. The students’ choices when confronted with their behavior create a sensitive and hopeful narrative.
Stillwater the giant panda and his friends Leo and Molly teach each other about patience, sharing, and compassion.
After an incident regarding a crossing guard and a bottle of Martini & Rossi (and his friends), 17-year-old worrier Ben Fletcher must develop his sense of social alignment, take up a hobby, and do some community service to avoid any further probation. He takes a knitting class (it was that or his father’s mechanic class) with the impression that it’s taught by the hot teacher all the boys like. Turns out, it’s not. Perfect. Regardless, he sticks with it and comes to discover he’s a natural knitter, maybe even great. It also helps ease his anxiety and worrying.
When a marauding slave ship captures her sister, Melkorka, eight-year-old Brigid is lost at sea but survives, disguised as a boy, and sets out to rescue Melkorka, and as the years pass she becomes a woman, reputed to be fierce enough to conquer a man, but desirous only of reuniting with her family.
Sixteen-year-old Undine, hearing her presumably deceased father calling to her and feeling a strange force growing inside her, travels to the sea to discover the depths of her magical powers.
Twelve-year-old Johnny endures tensions between his parents, watches television coverage of the Gulf War, and plays a computer game called Only You Can Save Mankind, in which he is increasingly drawn into the reality of the alien ScreeWee.
Fifteen-year-old Bec, living with her family in Perth, Australia, decides to stop being sensible and follow her wilder impulses during the summer that her parents are away on a long trip to help her father recover from a breakdown.
A prophecy and a broken cane given to him in his childhood help a simple peasant and his children, who have power over wind, fire, and water, to defeat a wicked emperor who was once the peasant’s friend.
Lon Chaney Rodriguez is a typical thirteen-year-old until his mother, a security guard, is shot and killed and he becomes haunted by the feeling that he is letting her down by getting bad grades, skipping church, lying, and goofing off while worrying that he and his alcoholic, unemployed father will wind up homeless.
As profound as it is simple, this universal picture book celebrates people all around the world as they do the same things in different ways— work and play, laugh and cry, and wonder why.
See the review at WOW Review, Volume 8, Issue 2