The Lovely Shoes

Can the right pair of shoes make *anyone* feel beautiful? Franny is constantly embarrassed by two things in her life. One is her right foot, which curls in from a birth defect, so she has to wear ugly, heavy orthopedic shoes. And the other is her mother Margaret: beautiful, extravagant, flamboyant — *mortifying*, in their small Ohio town. Franny’s first school dance is a disaster, so Margaret announces her latest crazy plan: They will travel to Italy to meet Salvatore Ferragamo, who will sculpt a pair of slippers especially for Franny. The idea is outrageous. The trip is expensive. And the experience changes Franny’s life forever.

See the review at WOW Review Volume 5, Issue 4

Buffalo Bird Girl: A Hidatsa Story

This fascinating picture book biography tells the childhood story of Buffalo Bird Woman, a Hidatsa Indian born around 1839. Through her true story, readers will learn what it was like to be part of this Native American community that lived along the Missouri River in the Dakotas, a society that depended more on agriculture for food and survival than on hunting. Children will relate to Buffalo Bird Girl’s routine of chores and playing with friends, and they will also be captivated by her lifestyle and the dangers that came with it.
Using as a resource the works of Gilbert L. Wilson, who met Buffalo Bird Woman and transcribed her life’s story in the early 20th century, award-winning author-illustrator S. D. Nelson has captured the spirit of Buffalo Bird Girl and her lost way of life. The book includes a historical timeline.

The White Bicycle

The White Bicycle is the third stand-alone title in the Wild Orchid series about a young woman with Asperger’s Syndrome. This installment chronicles Taylor Jane’s travels to the south of France where she spends a summer babysitting for the Phoenix family. Including flashbacks into Taylor’s earliest memories, along with immediate scenes in Lourmarin, a picturesque village in the Luberon Valley, The White Bicycle results in a journey for independence both personal and universal, told in Taylor’s honest first-person prose.

The Little Yellow Bottle

Marwa and Ahmad live in an unnamed country that could be any one of dozens touched by war. Ahmad is the star goalie of the soccer team, and Marwa is his best friend. While they know that there is a war going on, life in their village goes on largely as normal.

Marwa is the narrator of the story and she describes how one day planes fly over their village “like a cloud of angry wasps.” The children are warned that these planes dropped bombs, but after being frightened for a few days, they forget the danger. Until a day when Marwa and Ahmad are playing and Ahmad finds a small yellow bottle. Out of curiosity, he picks it up. The bomb explodes, injuring them both. Marwa describes the aftermath as she and Ahmad recover from their injuries and slowly regain hope. Written to honor the courage of children everywhere whose lives are touched by war.

Courtship and Curses

In 1815, Lady Sophie Rosier’s first London season is marred not only by her physical and emotional scars, but also by magical attacks on her father and other members of the British War Cabinet, and while Sophie’s magical powers are unreliable, she and her new best friend Parthenope decide to investigate–despite the distraction of Parthenope’s handsome cousin.

Five Flavors Of Dumb

Eighteen-year-old Piper becomes the manager for her classmates’ popular rock band, called Dumb, giving her the chance to prove her capabilities to her parents and others, if only she can get the band members to get along.

See the review at WOW Review, Volume 4, Issue 2

Schneider Family Book Award

The Spaghetti Detectives

Living with his mother in a Berlin apartment house, Rico, a young boy with ADHD, enjoys playing detective games but when his friend Oskar suddenly disappears, possibly taken by a serial kidnapper, Rico determines to use his skills to find his friend.

High Riders, Saints and Death Cars: A Life Saved by Art

Nicholas Herrera started life as a mischievous, dyslexic boy, born into one of the old Spanish families of New Mexico. Bad teachers and poor schooling helped him to lose himself in drugs, drinking, riding motorcycles and driving fast cars. A near-death experience, a wonderful mother and a fascination with making art saved him. Today Nicholas Herrera is one of the most noted Santeros in the US. His work is displayed in folk-art galleries across the country and is collected by the Smithsonian. He is noted for the highly personal, political nature of his work and his innovative treatment of what can sometimes be a rather bland art form designed to sell to tourists. His work is intensely personal and even confessional. A survivor of alcoholism and drug addiction, which almost led to his death in a terrible car crash, Herrera is now sober and remarkably productive. His art is his life and his life is his art. Extraordinarily charismatic, Herrera is the grandson, nephew and son of artists. His young daughter is now following in his footsteps.