Tag Archives: California

Throwback Thursday: Esperanza Rising

Esperanza Rising.jpgFor this Throwback Thursday I recommend: Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan.

Esperanza and her mother are forced to leave their life of wealth and privilege in Mexico to go work in the labor camps of Southern California, where they must adapt to the harsh circumstances facing Mexican farm workers on the eve of the Great Depression.

While not as old as many of the books that I have recommended for Throwback Thursday (this one was published in 2000) this book has many honors attached to it. Esperanza Rising was named an ALA Notable Children’s book in 2002, a YALSA Best Books for Young Adults in 2001, and the Pura Belpre Award in 2002. This is a great read for middle-grade children who are interested in historical fiction, and particularly those with in interest in the Great Depression.

You can find this book in the Juvenile Fiction section at J RYAN.

~aw

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Book Review: Love, Penelope

love penelope.jpgToday I Recommend Love, Penelope written by Joanne Rocklin and illustrated by Lucy Knisley.

Love, Penelope is an illustrated novel about a basketball loving girl named Penelope who can’t wait to welcome her new baby sister to the world.  Penelope is in fifth grade and lives with her two mothers with happiness. Penelope writes every day in her journal about her life, addressing them all to her soon to be baby sister.  Penelope and her friends face big problems and try to overcome them together, like fabrications (lies), school projects, heritage and family.

I loved this novel so much. Penelope is very lovable with the big words she uses and the jokes she and her friends tell.  One of my favorite things in this novel has to be the fact that one of Penelope’s friend owns a goat. The goat helps calm down the girls by letting the girls pet itself and get milked. This book was very enjoyable and I recommend this book to anyone because it covers a lot of topics that is very diverse.

~Teen blogger, Elizabeth N.

You can find this book in the Juvenile Fiction section at J ROCKLIN.

Book Review: Pashmina

pashmina.jpgToday I recommend: Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani.

Priyanka Das has so many unanswered questions: Why did her mother abandon her home in India years ago? What was it like there? And most importantly, who is her father, and why did her mom leave him behind? But Pri’s mom avoids these questions and the topic of India is permanently closed. For Pri, her mother’s homeland can only exist in her imagination. That is, until she find a mysterious pashmina tucked away in a forgotten suitcase. When she wraps herself in it, she is transported to a place more vivid and colorful than any guidebook or Bollywood film.

This lovely graphic novel follows teenager Priyanka as she deals with her curiosity about her mother’s past in India. The way that Chanani uses color makes for a striking read; the everyday scenes are depicted in sharp black and white with bright colors saved for the fantastical world that only exists when Priyanka puts on the pashmina. Priyanka grows throughout the graphic novel as she discovers more about her mother’s past and about India. This is a good tale of self-discovery.

You can find Pashmina in the Juvenile Graphic Novel section at J GRAPHIC CHANANI.

~aw

Book Review: It Ain’t So Awful, Falafel

With the new school year approaching, I recommend reading It Ain’t So Awful Falafel, by Firoozeh Dumas.

Zomorod Yousefzadeh is the new kid on the block .25897857 . . for the fourth time. California’s Newport Beach is her family’s latest perch, and she’s determined to shuck her brainy loner persona and start afresh with a new Brady Bunch name–Cindy. It’s the late 1970s, and fitting in becomes more difficult as Iran makes U.S. headlines with protests, revolution, and finally the taking of American hostages. Even mood rings and puka shell necklaces can’t distract Cindy from the anti-Iran sentiments that creep way too close to home. 

I picked this book up because I saw that it took place in the 1970’s which I thought would make for a fun setting.  Zomorod, or Cindy’s, family is from Iran but they love living in America.  Even though Cindy is from Iran, she’s just a kid trying to fit in and make friends, like a lot of us.  The historical events, like revolts taking place at that time in Iran, made me want to do a little research on Iran and American relations.  A little bit of humor and a little bit of history make this an appealing read!

Find it in our Juvenile Fiction collection under J DUMAS.

-AM