We recently listened to an amazing audiobook that surprised me by its depth and language. Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin is a Newbery Honor book for good reason. By weaving Chinese traditional folktale into a modern story about a girl living in poverty, Ms Lin creates a fairy tale odyssey that stands tall as a modern classic. Her own illustrations add further character to the richness of the tale. A dragon, a mysterious “old man of the moon,” beautiful mountain villages, and riddles she does not understand give Min Li an adventure that most children will delight in.Continue Reading
Trapped Behind Nazi Lines by Eric Brown is a middle grade nonfiction book about a company of medics and nurses that, while flying to Italy during World War II, got lost in the clouds and ended up crash landing in Nazi-occupied Albania.
The story tells how upon crash landing their airplane, they were able to find a way to villages and walk from where they landed to the coast, avoiding the Nazis and the Nazi sympathizers that would have killed them upon discovery. Their story was truly amazing. More than 20 people were trapped in Albania in this crash, and yet none of them died and none of them were captured by Nazis. It took a long time to sneak to the coast safely, but all of them were able to return to Italy during the war.Continue Reading
Tru and Nelle by G. Neri is a book about a young Harper Lee and a young Truman Capote. In this book, however, Harper Lee is known as Nelle and young Truman is Tru. I often heard that the book To Kill a Mockingbird and the characters in that book were based on the childhood friendship of Harper Lee and Truman Capote; this is a children’s book that fictionalizes their friendship.Continue Reading
I really loved reading the juvenile nonfiction book Ten Rivers that Shaped the World when I reviewed it earlier this year. It seemed to be a history of the world as captured through the rivers of the world! So I was excited to see Ten Ships that Rocked the World by Gillian Richardson (Annick Press, August 2015) added to the “Ten” series as well.
I did not love this one quite as much but I still really enjoyed it. Ten Ships has a different feel to it, partly because, as the title indicated, it focuses on a different “ten” from the history of the world, it is written by a different author, and it about things that influenced the world, not necessarily shaped it. The ships that were highlighted were almost all foreign to me, so by reading the book I felt I was learning much that I had been unfamiliar with: ships and eras and countries that made a difference even though I did not know about them. Continue Reading