The Outlaw

In this spare and powerful story set in the Old West, people in a small town live in constant worry of another visit from the Outlaw. Then the Outlaw suddenly and mysteriously disappears. Time passes, and one day a stranger rides into town. He takes it upon himself to fix everything that is in disrepair — the clapboard schoolhouse, the train station platform. He even builds a horse trough. But when someone recognizes him as the Outlaw, the crowd turns on him. It takes the courage of a small boy to change the course of events. The subtle, beautiful mixed-media art with its nineteenth-century textural references perfectly complements this original story from debut author and illustrator Nancy Vo.

House Of Purple Cedar

“The hour has come to speak of troubled times. It is time we spoke of Skullyville.” Thus begins Rose Goode’s story of her growing up in Indian Territory in pre-statehood Oklahoma. Skullyville, a once-thriving Choctaw community, was destroyed by land-grabbers, culminating in the arson on New Year’s Eve, 1896, of New Hope Academy for Girls. Twenty Choctaw girls died, but Rose escaped. She is blessed by the presence of her grandmother Pokoni and her grandfather Amafo, both respected elders who understand the old ways. Soon after the fire, the white sheriff beats Amafo in front of the town’s people, humiliating him. Instead of asking the Choctaw community to avenge the beating, her grandfather decides to follow the path of forgiveness. And so unwinds this tale of mystery, Indian-style magical realism, and deep wisdom.

Chicken, Pig, Cow’s First Fight

Chicken, Pig, and Cow have always gotten along well—until the day Girl builds a big city out of blocks. Thinking something is missing, Chicken makes a leaf statue. Now the city is perfect. Pig loves zipping and zooming around the city. Chicken warns him to be careful, but Pig is having too much fun to listen. Then the inevitable happens: Pig zooms right into Chicken’s statue, destroying it. Chicken is furious! Pig’s attempts to fix the statue only make matters worse. In the end, he demolishes the entire city. Realizing what a mess he’s made, Pig hides while Chicken, Cow, and Dog rebuild the city. After a nap, Pig feels better and returns to apologize to his friends. They forgive him and invite him to join them in putting the finishing touches on the city. As with all the books in this popular series, Chicken, Pig, Cow’s First Fight offers young children a gentle message about teamwork and cooperation.

The Neighbor’s Son

What if you awakened one day and realized your parents were part of unspeakable evil? Do you turn away from them and therefore yourself? The unique coming of age story of Liesel and her preoccupation with finding her neighbor’s son is extremely eventful and takes the reader from postwar Germany to England, Africa and the United States. It explores interconnectedness between victim and perpetrator and touches on universal themes of family, forgiveness, guilt and justice. This candid account of a family’s history combined with a flawed protagonist’s sexual history will strike deep emotional responses in a thoughtful reader.

Desmond and the Very Mean Word

When Desmond takes his new bicycle out for a ride through his neighborhood, his pride and joy turn to hurt and anger when a group of boys shout a very mean word at him. He first responds by shouting an insult, but soon discovers that fighting back with mean words doesn’t make him feel any better. With the help of kindly Father Trevor, Desmond comes to understand his conflicted feelings and see that all people deserve compassion, whether or not they say they are sorry. Brought to vivid life in A. G. Ford’s energetic illustrations, this heartfelt, relatable story conveys timeless wisdom about how to handle bullying and angry feelings, while seeing the good in everyone.

The Forgiveness Garden

A long time ago and far away–although it could be here, and it could be now–a boy threw a stone and injured a girl. For as long as anyone could remember, their families had been enemies, and their towns as well, so it was no surprise that something bad had happened. Hate had happened. Revenge had happened. And that inspired more hate and more calls for revenge. But this time, a young girl decided to try something different…Inspired by the original Garden of Forgiveness in Beirut, Lebanon, and the movement that has grown up around it, Lauren Thompson has created a timeless parable for all ages that shows readers a better way to resolve conflicts and emphasizes the importance of moving forward together.

The Piper’s Son

The award-winning author of Finnikin of the Rock and Jellicoe Road pens a raw, compelling novel about a family’s hard-won healing on the other side of trauma. Award-winning author Melina Marchetta reopens the story of the group of friends from her acclaimed novel Saving Francesca – but five years have passed, and now it’s Thomas Mackee who needs saving. After his favorite uncle was blown to bits on his way to work in a foreign city, Tom watched his family implode. He quit school and turned his back on his music and everyone that mattered, including the girl he can’t forget. Shooting for oblivion, he’s hit rock bottom, forced to live with his single, pregnant aunt, work at the Union pub with his former friends, and reckon with his grieving, alcoholic father. Tom’s in no shape to mend what’s broken. But what if no one else is either? An unflinching look at family, forgiveness, and the fierce inner workings of love and friendship, The Piper’s Son redefines what it means to go home again.