Here's what came into my house last week:
War Games by Audrey & Akila Couloumbis, from Random HouseBased on a true story of World War II.
For 12-year-old Petros, World War II feels unreal and far away. What’s real is working in his papa’s garden. Playing marbles with his friends. Fighting with his older brother, Zola. Zola, who must always be first. Who must always be best. But when the Germans invade Greece, the war suddenly comes impossibly close. Overnight, neighbors become enemies. People begin to keep secrets (Petros’s family most of all). And for the first time, Petros has the chance to show Zola that he’s not just a little brother but that he can truly be counted on. Soon what were once just boys’ games become matters of life and death as Petros and Zola each wonder if, like their resistance fighter cousin, they too can make a difference.
The Book of the Maidservant by Rebecca Barnhouse, from Random HouseJohanna is a servant girl to Dame Margery Kempe, a renowned medieval holy woman. Dame Margery feels the suffering the Virgin Mary felt for her son but cares little for the misery she sees every day. When she announces that Johanna will accompany her on a pilgrimage to Rome, the suffering truly begins. After walking all day, Johanna must fetch water, wash clothes, and cook for the entire party of pilgrims. Then arguing breaks out between Dame Margery and the other travelers, and Johanna is caught in the middle. As the fighting escalates, Dame Margery turns her back on the whole group, including Johanna. Abandoned in a foreign land where she doesn’t even speak the language, the young maidservant must find her own way to Rome.
Horse Diaries: Koda by Patricia Hermes, from Random HouseIndependence, Missouri, 1846
Koda is a bay quarter horse with a white blaze. He loves to explore the countryside and run free with his human friend Jasmine nearby. But after Koda sets out with Jasmine’s family on a long and dusty wagon train journey on
Finding Lincoln by Ann Malaspina, from publisher for Cybils judgingLouis needs to write an essay for school about young Abraham Lincoln. But it's 1951 in Alabama, and African Americans cannot use the public library. Mama says one day soon they'll be able to check out books, but Louis isn't going to wait! When he makes a brave journey into the "whites-only" library, something surprising and wonderful happens - he meets a brave young librarian. Ann Malaspina's moving story and Colin Bootman's rich paintings evoke the troubles and triumphs of days not long past. Includes a note on the history of racial segregation in public libraries, a brief history of Abraham Lincoln's life, and an "If You Want to Read More" listing.
Miss Trimble's Trapdoor by Lori Jordan-Rice, from Phenix & Phenix
Tyler Thompson hates that he never knows the answers to any of Miss Trimble's questions in class. But one day, Tyler accidentally unlocks a secret trapdoor beneath his school desk! He discovers a dark, mysterious basement filled with old books guarded by a magical talking dog named Barnabas Bailey. Now, with the help of the books and Barnabas, Tyler can travel to any time in the past to learn about history up close.
Miss Trimble's Trapdoor: The Perseverance of Christopher Columbus by Lori Jordan-Rice, from Phenix & Phenix
Tyler Thompson doesn't know which is worse: trying out for the school basketball team or giving an oral report about Christopher Columbus in front of the whole class! But with the help of the magic trapdoor beneath his school desk and his trusted canine guide, Barnabas Bailey, Tyler travels back in time to visit Columbus himself. When he sees the setbacks even a great explorer can face before reaching his goal, Tyler knows he can't give up.
The Lion Storyteller Bedtime Book by Bob Hartman, from Lion HudsonForty gentle, reassuring folk tales from around the world, both traditional and new, delightfully retold by a master storyteller.