A book review by Madeline Soucie
This story is based on the life of Clara Lemlick, a Russian Jewish immigrant who grew up in Russia and then moved with her family to America on the East Side of New York in the early 1900s. Clara worked in a cloth factory in horrible conditions for little pay to help support her family. Her working conditions inspired her to fight for improvement of work conditions for women and never gave up despite the challenges she faced.
Though this is historical fiction, it is based on true events and gives a little bit of an insight of how immigrants worked and lived when they first entered the country in the old days.
Find it in APL TEEN Fiction YA FIC Crowder, M.
Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate
Jackson and his family are homeless again and may be forced to live in their mini-van. Crenshaw is an imaginary friend who helps Jackson deal with the troubles he and his family are facing. Applegate’s treatment of homelessness and its effect on families is sensitive and compassionate. This book will shed light on a serious problem facing many families. While serious, the book manages to find the humor and joy in life and in friendships both real and imaginary. Grades 4 through 6.
Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: the Sword of Summer
by Rick Riordan
Rick Riordan is back with another series sure to delight his young fans. The Sword of Summer is the first book in a new trilogy by this perennial favorite author among middle grade readers. Magnus Chase, orphaned and alone lives on the streets of Boston. When a distant uncle tracks him down to tell him he is the son of a Norse God his adventure begins. Filled with humor, trolls, giants, monsters, villains and heroes this book will have readers wanting more. Grades 4 through 6.
Voice of Freedom Fannie Lou Hammer by Carole Boston Weatherford
Fannie Lou Hammer was the youngest of 20 children born to sharecroppers in Mississippi. She became a champion of the Civil Rights movement and the Freedom Summer of 1964. She even spoke at the Democratic National Convention. This richly illustrated picture book introduces readers to an amazing and unforgettable woman and celebrates the spirit of the Civil Rights movement. All ages.
Finders Keepers by Keiko Kasza
When a squirrel finds an acorn in the woods he claims it for himself calling out “‘Finder Keepers!” He marks the spot with his red hat. When the wind blows the hat away where will it land? Each page in this delightful picture book shows a new woodland animal with the red hat. And the hat has many uses. Will the squirrel find his acorn again? And his hat? With a twist at the end, this book is sure to become a favorite. Ages 2-6
Faraway Friends by Russ Cox
What do you do when your best friend moves far away? In this charming picture book, Maine author and illustrator Russ Cox shows readers how to channel sadness and boredom into something out of this world. Sheldon and his dog Jet decide to build a rocket ship. Young readers will delight in their adventures. A fun read-aloud best for children ages 4-8.
A huge explosion in New London in 1937 opens this story, which then flashes back to Naomi, a Mexican, and Wash, a Negro, who have fallen in love in a time of deep segregation. No one in this town can cross the racial barriers. This work of historical fiction is “A powerful, layered tale of forbidden love in times of unrelenting racism.” (author’s note taken from Kirkus Reviews)
This book revisits Hurricane Katrina in graphic novel format. Its style will appeal to all audiences – children, teens and adults. The excellent writing and high quality artwork captures both the devastation caused by this disaster and the human responsibility necessary for recovery. Additionally, the book also captures the triumph of New Orleans through its cleanup and rebuilding.
Each fall, Cara’s family enters the accident season – a time when they all become terribly accident-prone . The rest of the year, her family is just like any other family. Some years are worse than others, and this year may be the worst one yet. But Cara, Sam (her ex-step brother), and her best friend Bea are going to try to solve the mystery of the accident season for once and for all.
Tyler has everything going for him – he’s popular, a football star with a hot girlfriend, headed to a good college – until his mother commits suicide the summer before his senior year. After that, he lets everything go and shuts himself off. When his childhood friend, Jordyn, comes back into his life she offers him some solace and her love. Can Tyler open himself up to her and find happiness again? This is a very raw, and – at times difficult – read and deals with issues of abuse which can be graphic and unrelenting. That being said, it is also powerful and unforgettable.