Bone Talk

It is 1899. Ten year old Samkad thinks he knows everything about the world. He knows that home is in the mountains. He knows who his friends and his enemies are. And he knows that he will grow up to become a warrior like his dad, with his own shield, spear and axe. His best friend is Little Luki and she too wants to become a warrior – though there’s little chance of that because she is just a girl. Then strangers arrive: a boy with many languages in his throat and weird-looking men called Americans who bring war and death. Set during the U.S. invasion of the Philippines.

York’s Adventures With Lewis And Clark

Relates the adventures of York, a slave and “body servant” to William Clark, who journeyed west with the Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1804-1806.

Buried Beneath The Baobab Tree

A new pair of shoes, a university degree, a husband — these are the things that a girl dreams of in a Nigerian village. And with a government scholarship right around the corner, everyone can see that these dreams aren’t too far out of reach. But the girl’s dreams turn to nightmares when her village is attacked by Boko Haram, a terrorist group, in the middle of the night. Kidnapped, she is taken with other girls and women into the forest where she is forced to follow her captors’ radical beliefs and watch as her best friend slowly accepts everything she’s been told. Still, the girl defends her existence. As impossible as escape may seem, her life and her future is hers to fight for.

The Unwanted

Starting in 2011, refugees flood out of war-torn Syria in Exodus-like proportions. The surprising flood of victims overwhelms neighboring countries, and chaos follows. Resentment in host nations heightens as disruption and the cost of aid grows. By 2017, many want to turn their backs on the victims. The refugees are the unwanted. Don Brown depicts moments of both heartbreaking horror and hope in the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis. Shining a light on the stories of the survivors, The Unwanted is a testament to the courage and resilience of the refugees and a call to action for all those who read.

Across the Tumen: A North Korean Kkotjebi Boy’s Quest

As North Korea undergoes a devastating famine, Yeong-dae loses both his parents and is forced to beg on the streets. Soon, this young boy sets off on a desperate journey to China to find his sister—his last living family member. Captured by the authorities, he is sent back to the North, where he is thrown in jail and tortured.

See the review at WOW Review, Volume VII, Issue 3

Pay It Forward Kids

In Pay It Forward Kids, readers will meet ordinary kids from across North America who have done extraordinary things, all on their own initiatives. They have set out to “pay it forward” to someone else, with astonishing results. The ripple effect of their deeds have inspired others to join their causes, and in some cases, to start missions of their own.

My Name Is Blessing

Based on a true story about a young Kenyan boy whose mother left him but had named him Muthini which meant suffering because he was born with no fingers on his left hand and only two on his right. Many times he was made fun of or avoided which hurt him deeply. He lives with his very elderly grandmother, his Nyanya, along with many cousins whose parents had either died or left them. They are extremely poor and there is never enough money or food, but plenty of love. A difficult choice must be made and Muthini is the youngest child and needs to have a better chance in life, so his Nyanya takes him to an orphanage where he is blessed and his name is changed to Baraka which means blessing for he was a blessing just as his grandmother always knew.

The Island

Poignant and chilling, this allegory is an astonishing, powerful, and timely story about refugees, xenophobia, racism, multiculturalism, social politics, and human rights. When the people of an island find a man sitting on their shore, they immediately reject him because he is different. Fearful to the point of delusional paranoia, the islanders lock him in a goat pen, refuse him work, and feed him scraps they would normally feed a pig. As their fears progress into hatred, they force him into the sea.

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

Waiting For The Rain (Laurel Leaf Books)

Tengo is the 10-year-old son of workers on Oom Koos’s large farm in the Transvaal. He longs to go to school like his friend Frikkie, who visits his uncle’s farm on holidays. But Tengo’s family is too poor to pay for the education that comes free to whites. He finally gets his wish at age 14. Tengo goes to live with his cousin in a squalid township outside Johannesburg and studies furiously. After three years, he is almost ready for college, but a year-long school boycott ruins his chances and he is drawn into the fight against apartheid. When he and Frikkie meet in a violent confrontation, Tengo realizes that he will carry on the struggle for freedom as a scholar, not a soldier. The writing here is powerful, evoking in minute detail daily life and the broad landscapes of the country.