My Sweet Orange Tree

When Zezé grows up, he wants to be a poet in a bow tie. For now the precocious young boy entertains himself by playing clever pranks on the residents of his Rio de Janeiro neighborhood, stunts for which his parents and siblings punish him severely. Lately, with his father out of work, the beatings have become harsher. Zezé’s only solace comes from his time at school, his hours secretly spent singing with a street musician, and the refuge he finds with his precious magical orange tree. When Zezé finally makes a real friend, his life begins to change, opening him up to human tenderness but also wrenching sorrow. Never out of print in Brazil since it was first published in 1968, My Sweet Orange Tree, inspired by the author’s own childhood, has been translated into many languages and has won the hearts of millions of young readers across the globe.

Shu-Li And Tamara

This contemporary story of the true friendship between two girls is set in Vancouver’s Commercial Drive neighborhood. Shu-Li’s parents run a local Chinese deli and much of the story revolves around food. There is a helpful compendium of recipes at the end of the book for kids to try out. Beautifully illustrated throughout with line drawings.