Behind The Eyes

behindHector Robles has spent his sixteen years in the projects of El Paso trying to stay unnoticed. His peaceful obscurity is shattered when his impulsive brother challenges the leader of a gang called the Discípulos. Suddenly Hector is drawn into their world of violence and hopelessness. When a marker is placed on his life, Hector tries to escape by going away to a school for students with troubled pasts. But it isn’t easy to function when he’s paralyzed by the fear that they’ll find him, even there. Ultimately, by confronting external threats and the internal pain of his memories and mistakes, Hector begins to understand what manhood really means.

My Little Round House

In this delightful picture book, baby Jilu recounts his first year of life in a nomadic Mongolian community. He remembers being cradled by his singing mother, the delicious smells from the cooking pot, his first meeting with his grandparents, and the family’s wandering life with a camel caravan. They celebrate Tsagaan Sar, the new year, and later revel in the warmth and freedom of summer. Richly illustrated by a young Mongolian author/illustrator, My Little Round House reveals a world very different, and yet surprisingly similar, to that of young readers and their parents.

My Abuelita

Abuelita’s hair is the color of salt. Her face is as crinkled as a dried chile. She booms out words as wild as blossoms blooming. She stuffs her carcacha–her jalopy–with all the things she needs: a plumed snake, a castle, a skeleton, and more. Her grandson knows he has the most amazing grandmother ever–with a very important job. What does Abuelita do? With her booming voice and wonderful props, Abuelita is a storyteller. Next to being a grandmother, that may be the most important job of all. Sprinkled with Spanish and infused with love, My Abuelita is a glorious celebration of family, imagination, and the power of story.

See the review at WOW Review, Volume 4, Issue 1

Running On The Cracks

Leo’s running from her past. Finlay’s running into trouble. Together, they stumble into a crazy new world of secrets, lies, and Chinese food. But someone is on Leo’s trail . . . Eccentric, unforgettable characters and genuine, heart-pounding suspense make for a stunning combination as celebrated author Julia Donaldson expands her talents in her first novel for young adults.

Looking For Miza

In a magical place called the Congo, in the beautiful forests and jungles of Virunga National Park, lives a young female mountain gorilla named Miza. She was just like any other baby gorilla, riding on her mother’s back, playing, taking naps. Then, one day, when Miza and her mother were out searching for food, Miza’s mother disappeared, leaving her baby alone and frightened. Miza’s father, a fierce silverback named Kabirizi and the leader of Virunga’s largest family of mountain gorillas, set out to find Miza. The Congolese rangers, who dedicate their lives to protecting the gorillas, were searching for Miza, too. Everyone was worried about her. Then something amazing happened: Kabirizi found Miza and brought her back to live with her family.

Virunga is home to roughly 380 mountain gorillas, just over half of the planet’s remaining mountain gorilla population. Miza and other mountain gorillas face an especially uncertain future. They are an endangered species, disappearing at an alarming speed. Without our help they could vanish completely.

Filled with lush photographs by award-winning photographer Peter Greste, LOOKING FOR MIZA is a powerful call to action. The fate of these majestic creatures is in our hands. This is Miza’s story. It’s our story, too.

 

The Remembering Stone (Americas Award for Children’s and Young Adult Literature. Commended (Awards))

A surprising journey of self-discoveryIn early fall, the blackbirds creak like rusty wheels behind our apartment . . . “One day I will return like you,” my mother tells the birds. “But for now, you go. Que les vaya bien. Safe journey.”Ana doesn’t understand the pull of this faraway place until one night she puts her favorite thing — a stone spit from the volcanoes of Costa Rica – underneath her pillow. She imagines herself a blackbird flying to this country her mother longs to see again, with “mountains [that] stretch over steamy cedar and ebony forests, noisy with bright birds . . . [her] grandfather and uncles gathering cacao pods from the trees.” And as Ana imagines what she would see, she develops her own emotional link to this place and people, who, while far away, are part of her.This evocative picture book with its striking, bold art celebrates the importance of hope, dreams, and cultural roots — and will have special resonance for all thos who find themselves at the crossroads of two cultures.

Scarlett

After being expelled from yet another school in London, 12-year-old Scarlett is sent by her exasperated mother to live with her father, stepmother and stepsister in Ireland. There, with the help of a mysterious boy, she eventually overcomes her anger and resentment and feels part of a family again.