Wangari’s Trees of Peace: A True Story from Africa

As a young girl growing up in Kenya, Wangari was surrounded by trees. But years later when she returns home, she is shocked to see whole forests being cut down, and she knows that soon all the trees will be destroyed. So Wangari decides to do something – and starts by planting nine seedlings in her own backyard. And as they grow, so do her plans.

 

This true story of Wangari Maathai, environmentalist and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, is a shining example of how one woman’s passion, vision, and determination inspired great change.

Before There Was Mozart: The Story of Joseph Boulogne, Chevalier De Saint-George

The musical superstar of 18th-century France was Joseph Boulogne—a black man. This inspiring story tells how Joseph, the only child of a black slave and her white master, becomes “the most accomplished man in Europe.” After traveling from his native West Indies to study music in Paris, young Joseph is taunted about his skin color. Despite his classmates’ cruel words, he continues to devote himself to his violin, eventually becoming conductor of a whole orchestra. Joseph begins composing his own operas, which everyone acknowledges to be magnifique. But will he ever reach his dream of performing for the king and queen of France? This lushly illustrated book by Lesa Cline-Ransome and James E. Ransome introduces us to a talented musician and an overlooked figure in black history.

Edward And The Eureka Lucky Wish Company

Edward wishes he could fly. But no matter how much he adjusts and re-adjusts the splurchler and turbo-twirler on his Skyhopper 2000, he can’t get off the ground. Imagine Edward’s thrill when he gets a coupon for not just one, but three wishes. Edward makes a wish that his Skyhopper could fly. And there it goes – Boing! Sproing! Z-z-ooom! – without him. Things really start to lurch out of control when his mother tells him to clean his room. Edward wishes that he didn’t have to! After a monster gobbles up the contents of his room until there’s nothing left to clean, Edward is determined to be more careful with his last wish. Wishes, like flying, should not be taken lightly. Will Edward ever figure out what he really wants to wish for?

The Giant-Slayer

A girl’s imagination transports polio-afflicted kids into a fantastic world.The spring of 1955 tests Laurie Valentine’s gifts as a storyteller. After her friend Dickie contracts polio and finds himself confined to an iron lung, Laurie visits him in the hospital. There she meets Carolyn and Chip, two other kids trapped inside the breathing machines. Laurie’s first impulse is to flee, but Dickie begs her to tell them a story. And so Laurie begins her tale of Collosso, a rampaging giant, and Jimmy, a tiny boy whose destiny is to become a slayer of giants.As Laurie embellishes her tale with gnomes, unicorns, gryphons, and other fanciful creatures, Dickie comes to believe that he is a character in her story. Little by little Carolyn, Chip, and other kids who come to listen, recognize counterparts as well. Laurie’s tale is so powerful that when she’s prevented from continuing it, Dickie, Carolyn, and Chip take turns as narrators. Each helps bring the story of Collosso and Jimmy to an end—changing the lives of those in the polio ward in startling ways.

The Samurai’s Daughter

A Japanese folk tale about the brave daughter of a samurai warrior and her journey to be reunited with her exiled father. When Tokoyo’s father, a samurai nobleman, is sent into exile on a lonely island in a distant sea, his young daughter is determined to join him. Despite her noble birth, Tokoyo has spent much time with the amas, the agile women divers of Japan who harvest shellfish from the sea, and she is strong and brave as any samurai herself. Setting out on her journey to join her father, Tokoyo encounters many terrors and trials, including bandits in the mountains, a ghost ship on the high seas, and finally a monstrous sea serpent. Finally, she reunite with her beloved father.

Robert San Souci retold a medieval Japanese legend.