Let’s Go See Papa!

The little girl in this story likes Sundays best of all — it’s the day her father calls. She hasn’t seen him for over a year because he works far away across the ocean in the United States. She writes in her notebook every day, keeping a record of everything that happens to share with him when she finally sees him again. And she thinks about the fun they used to have when he was home — taking their dog Kika to the park and buying freshly baked bread together. Then one Sunday her father asks if she and her mother would like to join him, and she’s surprised by her mixed feelings. It means leaving her grandmother, her friends . . . and Kika behind.

This is a powerful story from a young child’s perspective about what it’s like to have an absent parent and to have to leave your home, country and those you love for a new life.

Friends with Boys

A coming-of-age tale with a spooky twist! Maggie McKay hardly knows what to do with herself. After an idyllic childhood of homeschooling with her mother and rough-housing with her older brothers, it’s time for Maggie to face the outside world, all on her own. But that means facing high school first. And it also means solving the mystery of the melancholy ghost who has silently followed Maggie throughout her entire life. Maybe it even means making a new friend—one who isn’t one of her brothers. Funny, surprising, and tender, Friends with Boys is a pitch perfect YA graphic novel full of spooky supernatural fun.

A Proper Place

The fourth in the very successful series about Kevin (a Catholic) and Sadie (a Protestant) who meet (The Twelfth Day of July), grow up and fall in love (Across the Barricades) and leave Belfast to marry and find some peace (Into Exile). A Proper Place finds them still in Liverpool, with a two-room flat and baby Brendan, and coping with Kevin’s sullen seventeen-year-old brother, Gerald;’ but a job and a tied cottage on a Cheshire farm offer a new direction

The Bite of the Mango

The astounding story of one girl’s journey from war victim to UNICEF Special Representative.As a child in a small rural village in Sierra Leone, Mariatu Kamara lived peacefully surrounded by family and friends. Rumors of rebel attacks were no more than a distant worry.But when 12-year-old Mariatu set out for a neighboring village, she never arrived. Heavily armed rebel soldiers, many no older than children themselves, attacked and tortured Mariatu. During this brutal act of senseless violence they cut off both her hands.Stumbling through the countryside, Mariatu miraculously survived. The sweet taste of a mango, her first food after the attack, reaffirmed her desire to live, but the challenge of clutching the fruit in her bloodied arms reinforced the grim new reality that stood before her. With no parents or living adult to support her and living in a refugee camp, she turned to begging in the streets of Freetown.In this gripping and heartbreaking true story, Mariatu shares with readers the details of the brutal attack, its aftermath and her eventual arrival in Toronto. There she began to pull together the pieces of her broken life with courage, astonishing resilience and hope.

See the review at WOW Review, Volume 3, Issue 4

Lost Boy, Lost Girl

One of thousands of children who fled strife in southern Sudan, John Bul Dau survived hunger, exhaustion, and violence. His wife, Martha, endured similar hardships. In this memorable book, the two convey the best of African values while relating searing accounts of famine and war. There’s warmth as well, in their humorous tales of adapting to American life. For its importance as a primary source, for its inclusion of the rarely told female perspective of Sudan’s lost children, for its celebration of human resilience, this is the perfect story to inform and inspire young readers.

See the review at WOW Review, Volume 5, Issue 2

One More River

Lesley lives in Canada and thinks life is just great, she has got friends, she likes school and they are very comfortably off. But then her father makes a fateful decision, the whole family is going to emigrate to Israel and live a more fully Jewish life,Lesley is horrified and very resistant. However, once she gets to her new country and a very different life, she begins to find it stimulating and enjoyable. A strange relationship with Palestinian boy Mustafa, who lives on the other side of the Jordan river, is a big part of the new Lesley.