Being the new kid is hard, a child in the school playground tells us. I can think of better things to ask than if I’m a boy or a girl. Another child comes along and says she gets asked why she always has her nose in a book. Someone else gets asked where they come from.
To prevent the Mayan gods from battling each other and destroying the world, thirteen-year-old Zane must unravel an ancient prophecy, stop an evil god, and discover how the physical disability that makes him reliant on a cane also connects him to his father and his ancestry.
Laureth Peak’s father has taught her to look for recurring events, patterns, and numbers–a skill at which she’s remarkably talented. Her secret: She is blind. But when her father goes missing, Laureth and her 7-year-old brother Benjamin are thrust into a mystery that takes them to New York City where surviving will take all her skill at spotting the amazing, shocking, and sometimes dangerous connections in a world full of darkness.
Even though he has only one leg, Niya Moto is studying to be a samurai, and his five fellow-students are similarly burdened, but sensei Ki-Yaga, an ancient but legendary warrior, teaches them not only physical skills but mental and spiritual ones as well, so that they are well-equipped to face their most formidable opponents at the annual Samurai Games.
See the review at WOW Review Volume 5, Issue 4
Just down the road from their families, Deo and his friends play soccer in the dusty fields of Zimbabwe, cheered on by Deo’s older brother, Innocent. It is a day like any other . . . until the soldiers arrive and Deo and Innocent are forced to run for their lives, fleeing the wreckage of their village for the distant promise of safe haven. Along the way, they face the prejudice and poverty that await refugees everywhere, and must rely on the kindness of people they meet to make it through. But when tragedy strikes, Deo’s love of soccer is all he has left. Can he use that gift to find hope once more? Relevant, timely, and accesibly written, Now Is the Time For Running is a staggering story of survival that follows Deo and his mentally handicapped older brother on a transformative journey that will stick with readers long after the last page.
See the review at WOW Review, Volume IV, Issue 4
Fefa struggles with words. She has word blindness, or dyslexia, and the doctor says she will never read or write. Every time she tries, the letters jumble and spill off the page, leaping and hopping away like bullfrogs. How will she ever understand them? But her mother has an idea. She gives Fefa a blank book filled with clean white pages. “Think of it as a garden,” she says. Soon Fefa starts to sprinkle words across the pages of her wild book. She lets her words sprout like seedlings, shaky at first, then growing stronger and surer with each new day. And when her family is threatened, it is what Fefa has learned from her wild book that saves them.
See the review at WOW Review, Volume 4, Issue 3
The unlikely heroes of the Cockroach Ryu face their greatest danger yet — a warrior seeking revenge against his former teacher, Sensei Ki-Yaga. The White Tiger Temple is under threat. To help the Shaolin monks, Sensei KiYaga and the whole gang of samurai kids—from Niya Moto, the boy with one leg to Taji, the boy who is blind—embark on a perilous journey across the Sea of Japan to China. But soon they discover that getting there is only half the battle. A great danger awaits them: a former student of Sensei named Qing-Shen, China’s Warrior, now the most skilled soldier in the Middle Kingdom. But Qing-Shen is also a man with a vendetta against his onetime teacher. Could there be anyone more dangerous? The samurai kids must train in the ways of the Shaolin monks before facing him. But will they be able to protect the temple and their beloved Sensei?
In Victorian London, impoverished fifteen-year-old orphan Grace takes care of her older but mentally unfit sister Lily, and after enduring many harsh and painful experiences, the two become the victims of a fraud perpetrated by the wealthy owners of several funeral businesses.
Maud Lewis was born into a loving Nova Scotia family who accepted her physical limitations. When her parents died and she was forced to find her own way in the world, she married and set up a modest household in a small cabin. Despite the hardships she faced, she was able to find joy in her life, a joy that she expressed through her art. She painted canvases of animals, children, and her surroundings. Her art spilled over into everything from dust pans to the walls of her house. Maud Lewis died in 1970, but her wonderful, life-affirming art lives on and is treasured by people who understand and appreciate folk art all over the world.
Sensei Ki-yaga leads Niya and the other students of the Cockroach Ryu on a journey to beg the feudal Emperor to stop war from breaking out between the mountain ryus, putting to the test the firm friendship and unusual skills of these physically-disabled samurai-in-training.