A Slip of a Girl

For Anna, the family farm has always been home… But now, things are changing. Anna’s mother has died, and her older siblings have emigrated, leaving Anna and her father to care for a young sister with special needs. And though their family has worked this land for years, they’re in danger of losing it as poor crop yields leave them without money to pay their rent. When a violent encounter with the Lord’s rent collector results in Anna and her father’s arrest, all seems lost. But Anna sees her chance and bolts from the jailhouse. On the run, Anna must rely on her own inner strength to protect her sister–and try to find a way to save her family. Written in verse, A Slip of a Girl is a poignant story of adversity, resilience, and self-determination by a master of historical fiction, painting a haunting history of the tensions in the Irish countryside of the early 1890s, and the aftermath of the Great Famine.

Child Soldier : When Boys and Girls Are Used in War

Michel Chikwanine was five years old when he was abducted from his schoolyard soccer game in the Democratic Republic of Congo and forced to become a soldier for a brutal rebel militia. Against the odds, Michel managed to escape and find his way back to his family, but he was never the same again. After immigrating to Canada, Michel was encouraged by a teacher to share what happened to him in order to raise awareness about child soldiers around the world, and this book is part of that effort.

Cartwheeling In Thunderstorms

Living half-wild on an African farm with her horse, her monkey, and her best friend, every day is beautiful. But when her home is sold and Will is sent away to boarding school in England, the world becomes impossibly difficult. Lions and hyenas are nothing compared to packs of vicious schoolgirls. Where can a girl run to in London? And will she have the courage to survive?

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

West Of The Moon

In nineteenth-century Norway, fourteen-year-old Astri, whose aunt has sold her to a mean goat-herder, dreams of joining her father in America. After being separated from her sister and sold to a cruel goat farmer, Astri makes a daring escape. She quickly retrieves her little sister, and, armed with a troll treasure, a book of spells and curses, and a possibly magic hairbrush, they set off for America. With a mysterious companion in tow and the malevolent “goatman” in pursuit, the girls head over the Norwegian mountains, through field and forest, and in and out of folktales and dreams as they steadily make their way east of the sun and west of the moon.

Can You See Me Now?

On Amanda’s thirteenth birthday, her father is killed by a drunk driver while on the way to pick up her birthday present. She’s stunned when she overhears her mother blaming her: “If she hadn’t insisted on that stupid watch for her birthday, he would still be alive.” Her mom retreats into extra shifts at work, leaving Mandy with her grandmother and making her feel as if she has lost both parents. To make matters worse, she’s the butt of cruel pranks at school. One day, some girls even glue her skirt to the chair! But things take a turn for the better when she befriends Paloma, an unusual new student at Central Middle School, who introduces her to yoga and meditation. And she reluctantly becomes friends with Rogelio, a fat boy who is bullied even more than she is by their classmates.

The Flute

In this beautiful picturebook written by Governor General’s Award-winning author Rachna Gilmore and illustrated by India’s most renowned illustrator, Pulak Biswas, a little girl nearly drowns when a swollen river overflows its banks. Tragically, her beloved mother and father are swept away in the flood. Raised by a cruel and uncaring aunt and uncle, the little girl finds solace in her mother’s magic flute. The Flute is an enchanting tale of the power of hope and the resilience of the human spirit.

War Brothers

Jacob, the son of a wealthy landowner, attends a Catholic school and expects to go to university. A good boy, he believes that his father and God will keep him safe from harm.

Oteka lost his parents to AIDS and lives in one of the many displacement camps that circle the city of Gulu. Alone in the world, upon the advice of a medicine man, he sets out for an unknown future.

Jacob and Oteka’s lives become entwined as they find themselves in the clutches of the Lord’s Resistance Army, forced to obey the strange and brutal rules of Joseph Kony’s henchmen. Marching endlessly through rough terrain with little food or water, the boys form a plan to make their escape. Will hope, friendship, courage, and resilience be enough to save them?

 

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