My fifth grader came home from school to tell me about an amazing book her teacher was reading. It was based on real situations (from around the world) and was about a person who lived in a busy city and didn’t have any running water. My daughter was awed that this girl went into a

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The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe (adapted by Slava Rubio, translated by Lilit Zekulin Thwaites, illustrated by Loreto Aroca) is a graphic novel about Dita Adler, a Jewish teenager in Czechoslovakia during World War II. She ultimately survived the WWII concentration camp Auschwitz with her love of books, stories, and imagination as a strength

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Chloe in India by Kate Darnton is about an American preteen trying to find her place while living in a foreign country. Chloe is a preteen American girl who has moved to India, but she dislikes living there because she is the outsider. She has blonde hair, she doesn’t know Hindi, and she doesn’t quite

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A Rock is Lively by Dianna Hutts Aston and illustrated by Sylvia Long (Chronicle Books, 2012) is a lovely illustrated book about rocks. I never thought of rocks as alive or lively and yet, Ms Aston has a good argument for it. In an elegant cursive font, the text tells us that rocks “bubble” (with

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The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child by Donalyn Miller is a helpful book for educators and parents to gain ideas on how to help children embrace and love free reading time. The emphasis is on letting children choose their books while providing guidance as experts in children’s literature. Our goal is

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A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park (Clarion Books, 2011) 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 is caught in the crossfires of the Southern

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I Am Malala by Malala Yousafsai (Little, Brown and Company, 2013) is a powerful story of a girl’s courage to stand up against wrong and demand an education in the Taliban-controlled regions of Pakistan. The work done by Malala, who still is a teenager, is so remarkable that she became the youngest receipt of the Nobel Peace

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The Giant Book of Creativity for Kids by Bobbi Conner (Roost Books, March 2015) is just packed full of creative ideas for engaging our kids of all ages in fun and educational activities. In more than 400 pages, Ms Connor shares insights for incorporating crafts, music, movement, drawing, pretending, building, and more into the daily

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School Days Around the World by Margriet Ruur and illustrated by Alice Feagan (Kids Can Press, 2015) captures Malala’s vision in the epigram at the beginning: “I don’t mind if I have to sit on the floor at school. All I want is education.” In the cut-paper collage illustrations, the stories of real children around the

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Born Reading by Jason Boog (Touchstone, September 2014) is the best go-to book for figuring out how to teach your child to love reading. I’ve read books before about encouraging your child’s literacy, and they have been great. But what Born Reading does is address the issue for the now generation: the generation of ipads

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