This idea sparked The Great Realization. Sharing the truths we may find hard to tell but also celebrating the things—from simple acts of kindness and finding joy in everyday activities, to the creativity within us all—that have brought us together during lockdown, it gives us hope in this time of global crisis.
After something bad happens, a boy feels sad and gray. Mom and Aunt Cheryl try to talk about it, but he feels like running away. So he picks up a shovel and starts digging a tunnel from his room, deep down and into the backyard. Out there, far from the lights of the house, it’s dark enough that he could disappear. But the quiet distance also gives him the space he needs to see his family’s love and start returning home. As he heads back, the journey upward is different. He notices familiar details and tunes into his senses. The tunnel isn’t so scary this time. The boy emerges into his room just as Mom peeks in. When she notices a twig in his hair, he is ready to talk about the tunnel and finds warmth in her gentle acknowledgment: “You came back.” Love, connection, and slow healing, and are full of details that offer a glimpse into the lives of substantial and relatable characters.
Featured in WOW Review Volume XIV, Issue 4.
As the seasons change, so too does a young Hmong girl’s world. She moves into a new home with her family and encounters both birth and death. As this curious girl explores life inside her house and beyond, she collects bits of the natural world. But who are her treasures for?
A boy whose grandfather is gone wonders why he said nothing to his family and friends, but finds comfort in the familiar smell of the clothing left in his closet and tailor shop.
When a little girl dreams about a bear, her grandfather explains how we connect with the knowledge of our ancestors through dreams. Bear, Hawk, Caribou, and Wolf all have teachings to share to help us live a good life. But when Grampa gets sick and falls into a coma, the little girl must lean on his teachings as she learns to say goodbye.
Danko, Zirka, and Fabian live peacefully in the small town of Rondo, a magical and joyful place where even the flowers sing! Everything is perfect … until the fateful day that War arrives. Having never experienced War, the inhabitants don’t know what to do. They try to talk to it and fight it, but nothing seems to stop the spread of War’s destruction and darkness. Harnessing the power of light, community, and song, Danko, Zirka, and Fabian, along with all their neighbors, must rally together to lead Rondo to victory. Publishing on Armistice Day/Veterans Day, How War Changed Rondo reflects the darkness and pain that conflict bring and the wounds that linger long after it’s over.
As a comet hurtles toward Earth and humanity counts down its last days, the investigation of a mysterious death brings two teens together.
Inspired by the true story of a teen who was killed at a railway crossing, the author weaves the tale of fourteen-year-old Paige, who, taking a shortcut alongside the tracks to avoid the school bullies, is tragically hit by a train and transported to a surreal world where she encounters Kim, who died seven years before. Convinced she is only dreaming, Paige must discover a way to return to her former life.
Abe Sora is going to die, and he’s only seventeen years old. Diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), he’s already lost the use of his legs, which means he can no longer attend school. Seeking a sense of normality, Sora visits teen chat rooms online and finally finds what he’s been longing for: friendship without pity. As much as he loves his new friends, he can’t ignore what’s ahead. He’s beginning to lose the function of his hands, and soon he’ll become even more of a burden to his mother. Inspired by the death poems of the legendary Japanese warriors known as samurai, Sora makes the decision to leave life on his own terms. And he needs his friends to help him.
Join the discussion of The Last Leaves Falling as well as other books centered around relocation on our My Take/Your Take page.
“In 1963, thirteen-year-old Arthur is sentenced to community service helping the neighborhood Junk Man after he throws a brick at the old man’s head in a moment of rage, but the junk he collects might be more important than he suspects. Inspired by the work of American folk artist James Hampton”–
See the review at WOW Review, Volume 8, Issue 2