Ebo is alone. His brother, Kwame, has disappeared, and Ebo knows it can only be to attempt the hazardous journey to Europe, and a better life, the same journey their sister set out on months ago. But Ebo refuses to be left behind in Ghana. He sets out after Kwame and joins him on the quest to reach Europe. Ebo’s epic journey takes him across the Sahara Desert to the dangerous streets of Tripoli, and finally out to the merciless sea. But with every step he holds on to his hope for a new life, and a reunion with his family.
As the author notes although Illegal is a work of fiction all of the different portions of it are true, and events similar to what happen to Ebo happen to children, teens, and adults each day. This graphic novel is a compassionate look at the plight of refugees and immigrants. Readers will gain empathy for Ebo as the novel does not shy away from the terrible events that happen to him but his positive outlook lessens the overwhelming nature of the tragedies. The graphic novel would be an excellent teaching tool- to combine with history lessons or current events. Readers who enjoy graphic novel memoirs or graphic novel nonfiction such as Spinning by Walden or March by Lewis should check out this book.
You can find Illegal by Eoin Colfer in the Juvenile Graphic Novel section at J GRAPHIC COLFER.
Left alone on a beautiful but isolated island, a young Indian girl spends eighteen years, not only merely surviving through her enormous courage and self-reliance, but also finding a measure of happiness in her solitary life.
Originally published in 1960, this classic novel was awarded the Newbery Medal in 1961. This book has also been a part of the Battle of the Books program at the Bartlett Public Library. This story of survival and resiliency is great for late elementary school readers who enjoyed books such as Hatchet by Gary Paulsen or Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George.
You can find this book in the Juvenile Fiction section at J ODELL.
A family of porcelain dolls that has lived in the same house for one hundred years is taken aback when a new family of plastic dolls arrives and doesn’t follow The Doll Code of Honor.
The final list for 2018-2019 Battle of the Books has been released and I am excited to start highlighting some of the fantastic books on this list. The Doll People was published in 2002, and is a fantastic tale for anyone who has wondered what toys would do if they were alive. The drawings in the book by Brain Selznick really bring the doll families to life. It is also a heartwarming story about learning to accept people’s differences and to be true to yourself (the two doll families have very different ideas of what is acceptable when it comes to moving around and risking being seen by the humans). I think anyone who enjoyed The Borrowers or who enjoys Ann M. Martin’s other books would love this book.
You can find this book on the Battle of the Books shelf for the 2018-2019 season, and in the Juvenile Fiction section at J MARTIN.
Today I recommend: The Witch Boy by Molly Ostertag.
In thirteen-year-old Aster’s family, all the girls are raised to be witches, while boys grow up to be shapeshifters. Anyone who dares cross those lines is exiled. Unfortunately for Aster, he still hasn’t shifted . . . and he’s still fascinated by witchery, no matter how forbidden it might be. When a mysterious danger threatens the other boys, Aster knows he can help — as a witch.
This graphic novel has a diverse cast of characters who inhabit a world where magic is divided between shapeshifting for the men and witchcraft for the women. Aster’s attempts to overcome the gender barriers blocking him from practicing the witchcraft that he is talented in are all about being true to yourself. Aster is a strong protagonist who never gives up and it is heartwarming to see him triumph and to see his family grow to accept him. This graphic novel is for fans of fantasy and those looking for titles for kids that address gender norms.
You can find this graphic novel in the Juvenile Graphic Novel section at J Graphic OSTERTAG.
Today I recommend: Brave Like My Brother by Marc Tyler Nobleman.
When Charlie’s older brother Joe is called up in 1942, Charlie learns about the tedium and dangers of war through Joe’s letters–and his brother’s bravery in dealing with a spy as D-Day approaches, finally gives Charlie the strength to stand up to the local bully.
This is a really nice historical fiction book that focuses less on the war and more on the relationship between the two brothers. Most of the book is written in the form of letters from Joe to Charlie, and the format makes for an interesting but not too intense tale. Older readers may be more interested in The War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley but this is an excellent story for younger readers. This book can be found in the Juvenile Fiction section at J NOBLEMAN.