Picture Book Sunday: The Queen’s Shadow by Cybele Young

The Queen’s Shadow by Cybele Young (Kids Can Press, March 2015) is a most unusual picture book for older readers about how animals see. It is difficult to identify as a fiction or a nonfiction, simply because it has elements of both!

In The Queen’s Shadow, a motley gathering of animal friends have gathered at the queen’s home for a party. After a lightning flash, the queen has found that her shadow is missing! Using clues about how the various animals at the party see, the detective is able to eliminate the animals that certainly could not have seen what has happened.Continue Reading

Breaking Stalin’s Nose by Eugene Velchin

Breaking Stalin’s Nose by Eugene Velchin is a lighthearted look at a serious time in Russian history. From the other books I reviewed this week about Pakistan child slavery and the Sudanese civil war, I have had a heavy week for reviewing difficult subjects. Breaking Stalin’s Nose, on the other hand, is a completely fictional story, but it still rings true.Continue Reading

A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park

A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park is a fictionalized version of two related stories in the recent history of Sudan. It tells two parallel stories, one in the 1980s and the other just a few years ago.

In the early story, a young boy caught in the crossfires of the Southern Sudan Civil War.The other story parallel story told in alternating chapters is about a young Sudanese girl in 2009 whose job is to walk from her village to the water at the somewhat nearby pond and walk home again, twice each day. With an interesting twist, the two stories are able to come together.Continue Reading

Iqbal by Francesco D’Adamo

Iqbal by Francesco D’Adamo (translated by Ann Leonori) is a young adult novel based on the true story about a boy who, as a child slave in Pakistan, changed the outlook for the hopeless children who work at the rug making factory he has been transferred to. As told from the fictionalized perspective of a young girl who has also been in slavery in the rug making factory for years, the story is an emotional and heart-breaking roller coaster for the young reader.

The book is realistic harsh chapter book care for children able to handle the concepts presented therein, such as child slavery. I read this book a few months ago, and I believe I may have been in a very emotional part of my pregnancy because I cried from the very beginning to the end of the book! Continue Reading