Dodger Boy

In 1970 Vancouver, thirteen-year-old Charlotte and her best friend, Dawn, are keen to avoid the pitfalls of adolescence. Couldn’t they just skip teenhood altogether, along with its annoying behaviors – showing off just because you have a boyfriend, obsessing about marriage and a ring and matching dining-room furniture? Couldn’t one just learn about life from Jane Austen and spend the days eating breakfast at noon, watching “People in Conflict,” and thrift-store shopping for cool castoffs to tie-dye for the upcoming outdoor hippie music festival? But life becomes more complicated when the girls meet a Texan draft dodger who comes to live with Charlotte’s Quaker family. Tom Ed expands Charlotte’s horizons as they discuss everything from war to civil disobedience to women’s liberation. Grappling with exhilarating and disturbing new ideas, faced with a censorship challenge to her beloved English teacher and trying to decode the charismatic draft dodger himself, Charlotte finds it harder and harder to stick to her unteen philosophy, and to see eye to eye with Dawn.

Confucius

His sayings are repeated throughout the world. His teachings set the course of Chinese society for 2,500 years. But Confucius remains merely a name to many readers, rather than the central figure of world history that he deserves to be. Now award-winning author-illustrator Demi illuminates his life and influence in this elegant biography that will appeal to readers of all ages. Confucius loved books and learning, but he grew up during a time of great suffering and warfare in China. Troubled by the chaos he saw all around him, he devoted his life to reforming his society and government, with ideas about education and leadership that still resonate today. He encouraged everyone — especially rulers — to live moral lives, emphasizing the value of tradition and compassion. And five hundred years before Jesus set forth his Golden Rule, Confucius declared his Golden Mean: Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself.

Endless Path

The jataka tales—stories of the Buddha’s past lives (in both human and animal form)—were first said to have been told by the Buddha himself 2,500 years ago. In print since the 5th century BCE, 550 jataka tales comprise part of the oldest Buddhist text, the Pali Canon. From this wealth of folklore, award-winning author and storyteller Rafe Martin has chosen ten tales that illustrate the ideals of the Buddhist paramitas, or “perfections” of character: giving, morality, forbearance, vitality, focused meditation, wisdom, compassionate skillful means, resolve, strength, and knowledge.Endless Path presents these ancient stories, usually reduced to children’s tales in the West, for adults, reconnecting modern seekers with the more imaginative roots of Buddhism. The jatakas help readers see their own lives, their failures and renewed efforts, in the same light as the challenges the Buddha faced—not as obstacles but as opportunities for developing character and self-understanding. Endless Path demonstrates the relevance of these tales to Buddhist lay practitioners today, as well as to those more broadly interested in Buddhist teaching and the ancient art of storytelling.

Confucius: The Golden Rule

Born in China in 551 B.C., Confucius rose from poverty to the heights of his country’s ruling class. But then he quit his high post for the life of an itinerant philosopher. “The Analects” collects his teachings on education and government, the definition of nobility, the equality of man and the right way and purpose of living, ideas that eventually spread to the West and influenced the great thinkers of the Enlightenment. And five centuries before Christ, Confucius set forth his own Golden Rule: “Do not impose on others what you do not wish for yourself.”

Wise Guy: The Life and Philosophy of Socrates

A biography of Socrates, a philosopher and teacher in ancient Greece who held that wisdom comes from questioning ideas and values rather than simply accepting what is passed on by parents and teachers.

Diogenes

Most dogs in this world are content with their doggy lives, playing dead and burying bones, but Diogenes was a dog of a different sort – he wanted to become his own master. So he buried his collar and leash, left his cozy doghouse, and ran off to the great city of Athens, Greece. There he took upon himself the role of “watchdog” to those around him, warning of life’s moral pitfalls and showing by his own surprising example the path to an enlightened way of being.