My Name Is Parvana

On a military base in post-Taliban Afghanistan, American authorities have just imprisoned a teenaged girl found in a bombed-out school. The army major thinks she may be a terrorist working with the Taliban. The girl does not respond to questions in any language and remains silent, even when she is threatened, harassed and mistreated over several days. The only clue to her identity is a tattered shoulder bag containing papers that refer to people named Shauzia, Nooria, Leila, Asif, Hassan — and Parvana. In this long-awaited sequel to The Breadwinner Trilogy, Parvana is now fifteen years old. As she waits for foreign military forces to determine her fate, she remembers the past four years of her life. Reunited with her mother and sisters, she has been living in a village where her mother has finally managed to open a school for girls. But even though the Taliban has been driven from the government, the country is still at war, and many continue to view the education and freedom of girls and women with suspicion and fear.

Floating on Mama’s Song

A seven-year-old girl is amazed when her mother’s singing suddenly begins to make her listeners float, but Grandma says she must stop, making Mama terribly sad until her daughter makes her smile again.

See the review at WOW Review, Volume 5, Issue 3

Jasper John Dooley: Left Behind

Jasper John Dooley’s beloved Nan is leaving on a cruise for a whole week! He feels so pththth. All he can think about is Nan missing out on their Wednesday card game, and whether it’s raining where she is, too, and if she will ever come back. But each day something happens, from a stapling mishap to a hamster escape, and Jasper realizes that waiting for someone to return from an adventure takes forever ? unless you’re having an adventure, too. Jasper John Dooley: Left Behind is the second in a series of chapter books featuring a charismatic and funny central character. An only child with active, loving parents (and a most impressive lint collection), Jasper John Dooley is a true original.

Talking Tails

From our earliest beginnings, we have shared our lives with animals. Explore the ties that people and their pets have formed from prehistoric times to present day.  With fun and fascinating facts, learn whether you are a Dog Person or a Cat Person, how to pick and care for your pet, and which animals are most closely linked to their wild roots. Discover purebreds and hybrids, rare and unusual pets, horses, birds, fish, guinea pigs, reptiles, and rodents. Part social history, part owner manual, Ann Love and Jane Drake present irresistible and heartwarming stories of pets through the ages, complemented by the captivating pen-and-inkwith- watercolor illustrations of artist Bill Slavin.

Omer’s Favorite Place

Omer likes playing outside in the garden, in the kitchen, in the sitting room or in his bedroom – in fact he likes playing all around the house. But there are always other things going on in these places and he’s often interrupted by his brothers and sisters, or his mum and dad. However, there’s one special place Omer can go and play – somewhere where no one else goes. And this is Omer’s favorite place of all . . .

Maggie’s Chopsticks

Maggie comes from a family of unique individuals, all with their own opinions and style, each one of them willing to give advice on how the child should hold her new chopsticks. Maggie listens to all of them in turn, weighing her options. Grandmother suggests using chopsticks in a rather forthright way, while Sister suggests a more graceful approach. As Maggie begins to worry that she may never find her own style, her father suggests that she be herself. Because of his encouragement, she is able to find just what works for her. Maggie comes from a traditional Chinese family, and she clearly wants to make them proud. Woo writes in a way that transforms a story about holding utensils into a poetic journey. Not only is Maggie learning the mechanics of chopsticks, but she is also learning to be herself. Language such as “click-clack-clicketing” and, as she circles her chopsticks above her fish tank, “the fish flee/from the wooden fingers/reaching through their sky of blue” makes children want to turn the page and find out what else Maggie will experience. In Malenfant’s vibrant illustrations, deep reds and shimmering oranges leap from the pages. All children are fascinated with holding utensils, whether a fork, a spoon, or chopsticks, and are anxious to please adults while staking out their own individuality, making this a great choice for kids of all ethnic backgrounds.

Flock

Katla’s hopes of dodging unfinished business during her senior year are dashed by the arrival of two “Icelandic exchange students,” Marik and Jinky, who have come to collect Katla’s frail baby sister and take her to the water queen.

The Storyteller

Anna and Abel couldn’t be more different. They are both seventeen and in their last year of school, but while Anna lives in a nice old town house and comes from a well-to-do family, Abel, the school drug dealer, lives in a big, prisonlike tower block at the edge of town. Anna is afraid of him until she realizes that he is caring for his six-year-old sister on his own. Fascinated, Anna follows the two and listens as Abel tells little Micha the story of a tiny queen assailed by dark forces. It’s a beautiful fairy tale that Anna comes to see has a basis in reality. Abel is in real danger of losing Micha to their abusive father and to his own inability to make ends meet. Anna gradually falls in love with Abel, but when his “enemies” begin to turn up dead, she fears she has fallen for a murderer. Award-winning author Antonia Michaelis moves in a bold new direction with her latest novel: a dark, haunting, contemporary story that is part mystery, part romance, and part melodrama.

Beneath A Meth Moon

Laurel Daneau has moved on to a new life, in a new town, but inside she’s still reeling from the loss of her beloved mother and grandmother after Hurricane Katrina washed away their home. Laurel’s new life is going well, with a new best friend, a place on the cheerleading squad and T-Boom, co-captain of the basketball team, for a boyfriend. Yet Laurel is haunted by voices and memories from her past.

When T-Boom introduces Laurel to meth, she immediately falls under its spell, loving the way it erases, even if only briefly, her past. But as she becomes alienated from her friends and family, she becomes a shell of her former self, and longs to be whole again. With help from an artist named Moses and her friend Kaylee, she’s able to begin to rewrite her story and start to move on from her addiction.

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

Graffiti Moon

Senior year is over, and Lucy has the perfect way to celebrate: tonight, she’s going to find Shadow, the mysterious graffiti artist whose work appears all over the city. He’s out there somewhere—spraying color, spraying birds and blue sky on the night—and Lucy knows a guy who paints like Shadow is someone she could fall for. Instead, Lucy’s stuck at a party with Ed, the guy she’s managed to avoid since the most awkward date of her life. But when Ed tells her he knows where to find Shadow, they’re suddenly on an all-night search around the city. And what Lucy can’t see is the one thing that’s right before her eyes.