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Monday, February 27, 2017

Celebrate Black History Month All Year Long With These Books!


As February and Black History Month come to a close, I have a great list of books readers of all ages can use to keep the celebration of black history going all year long!

PICTURE BOOKS
By Kitty Kelley, Photographer: Stanley Tretick
Atheneum Books for Young Readers | January 3, 2017 | Ages: 5 and up
Bestselling author and journalist Kitty Kelley combines her elegant storytelling with Stanley Tretick’s iconic photographs to transport readers to the 1963 March on Washington, bringing that historic day vividly to life for a new generation.
Martin Luther King Jr. was nervous.
Standing at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial, he was about to address 250,000 people with what would become known as his “I Have a Dream Speech”—the most famous speech of his life.
This day—August 28, 1963—was a momentous day in the Civil Rights Movement. It was the culmination of years spent leading marches, sit-ins, and boycotts across the South to bring attention to the plight of African Americans. Years spent demanding equality for all. Years spent dreaming of the day that black people would have the same rights as white people, and would be treated with the same dignity and respect. It was time for Martin to share his dream.
By Cynthia Levinson, Illustrated by: Vanessa Brantley Newton
Atheneum Books for Young Readers | January 17, 2017 | Ages: 5 - 10
Meet the youngest known child to be arrested for a civil rights protest in Birmingham, Alabama, 1963, in this moving picture book that proves you’re never too little to make a difference.
Nine-year-old Audrey Faye Hendricks intended to go places and do things like anybody else.
So when she heard grown-ups talk about wiping out Birmingham’s segregation laws, she spoke up. As she listened to the preacher’s words, smooth as glass, she sat up tall. And when she heard the plan—picket those white stores! March to protest those unfair laws! Fill the jails!—she stepped right up and said, I’ll do it! She was going to j-a-a-il!
Audrey Faye Hendricks was confident and bold and brave as can be, and hers is the remarkable and inspiring story of one child’s role in the Civil Rights Movement.
by Carole Boston Weatherford, Illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon
Atheneum Books for Young Readers | January 24, 2017 | Ages: 4 – 8
Celebrate the life of Lena Horne, the pioneering African American actress and civil rights activist, with this inspiring and powerful picture book from award-winning author Carole Boston Weatherford.
You have to be taught to be second class; you’re not born that way.
Lena Horne was born into the freedom struggle, to a family of teachers and activists. Her mother dreamed of being an actress, so Lena followed in her footsteps as she chased small parts in vaudeville, living out of a suitcase until MGM offered Lena something more—the first ever studio contract for a black actress.
But the roles she was considered for were maids and mammies, stereotypes that Lena refused to play. Still, she never gave up. “Stormy Weather” became her theme song, and when she sang “This Little Light of Mine” at a civil rights rally, she found not only her voice, but her calling.
MIDDLE GRADE
By Jeannine Atkins
Atheneum Books for Young Readers | January 10, 2017 | Ages: 12 up
From critically acclaimed author Jeannine Atkins comes a gorgeous, haunting biographical novel in verse about a half Native American, half African American sculptor working in the years following the Civil War.
A sculptor of historical figures starts with givens but creates her own vision. Edmonia Lewis was just such a sculptor, but she never spoke or wrote much about her past, and the stories that have come down through time are often vague or contradictory. Some facts are known: Edmonia was the daughter of an Ojibwe woman and an African-Haitian man. She had the rare opportunity to study art at Oberlin, one of the first schools to admit women and people of color, but lost her place after being accused of poisoning and theft, despite being acquitted of both. She moved to Boston and eventually Italy, where she became a successful sculptor.
But the historical record is very thin. The open questions about Edmonia’s life seem ideally suited to verse, a form that is comfortable with mysteries. Inspired by both the facts and the gaps in history, author Jeannine Atkins imagines her way into a vision of what might have been.
By Misty Copeland
Aladdin | December 06, 2016 | Ages: 8 - 12
Determination meets dance in this middle grade adaptation of the New York Times bestselling memoir by the first African-American principal dancer in American Ballet Theatre history, Misty Copeland.
As the first African-American principal dancer at the American Ballet Theatre, Misty Copeland has been breaking down all kinds of barriers in the world of dance. But when she first started dancing—at the late age of thirteen—no one would have guessed the shy, underprivileged girl would one day make history in her field.
Her road to excellence was not easy—a chaotic home life, with several siblings and a single mother, was a stark contrast to the control and comfort she found on stage. And when her home life and incredible dance promise begin to clash, Misty had to learn to stand up for herself and navigate a complex relationship with her mother, while pursuing her ballet dreams.
Life in Motion is a story for all the kids who dare to be different, dream bigger, and want to break stereotypes in whatever they do.
By Jason Reynolds
Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books | August 30, 2016 | Ages: 10 and up
Ghost wants to be the fastest sprinter on his elite middle school track team, but his past is slowing him down in this first electrifying novel of a brand-new series from Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award–winning author Jason Reynolds.

Ghost. Lu. Patina. Sunny. Four kids from wildly different backgrounds with personalities that are explosive when they clash. But they are also four kids chosen for an elite middle school track team—a team that could qualify them for the Junior Olympics if they can get their acts together. They all have a lot to lose, but they also have a lot to prove, not only to each other, but to themselves.

Ghost has a crazy natural talent, but no formal training. If he can stay on track, literally and figuratively, he could be the best sprinter in the city. But Ghost has been running for the wrong reasons—it all starting with running away from his father, who, when Ghost was a very little boy, chased him and his mother through their apartment, then down the street, with a loaded gun, aiming to kill. Since then, Ghost has been the one causing problems—and running away from them—until he meets Coach, an ex-Olympic Medalist who blew his own shot at success by using drugs, and who is determined to keep other kids from blowing their shots at life.
YOUNG ADULT
Shackles from the Deep: Tracing the Path of a Sunken Slave Ship, a Bitter Past, and a Rich Legacy (January 2017, ages 10+) by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Michael Cottman, delivers a tale that is “part mystery, part history, part self-discovery” (Booklist starred review) in this unique true story of the Henrietta Marie, a slave ship that was wrecked off the coast of Florida at the turn of the 18th century.  Cottman retraces the ship’s route around the world: from England to West Africa, from the Henrietta Marie’s departing port in Senegal to the Jamaican plantation where the slaves it carried were sent to work. Cottman draws from his own experience as a diver and an African American, sharing his emotional journey of walking the steps of his ancestors and reliving the traumatic, treacherous and heartbreaking ordeal of these enslaved men, women – and children – who died on its final journey.  


The March Against Fear: The Last Great Walk of the Civil Rights Movement and the Emergence of the Black Power (January 2017, 12+) by Sibert-honor winning author Ann Bausum, delivers a timely tale of what has been called the final march of the civil rights era. The story powerfully parallels the modern fight for social justice and is hailed by Kirkus in a starred review as “an exceptionally well-written and  researched chronicle of a crucial civil rights turning point.”  On June 5, 1966, James Meredith set out to confront racial fears and to peacefully protest for voter registration for African Americans, but was shot in an assassination attempt the very next day. His cause was taken up by two leaders of the era, Martin Luther King Jr. and Stokely Carmichael – swelling one man’s walk into a historic march of more than 15,000 people, resulting in 4,000 black voter registrations in Mississippi. The different approaches of King and Carmichael caused tension that ultimately drove a wedge between their organizations and fueled the Black Power movement, which was derided by the media and resented by many others at the time – a haunting echo of contemporary tension with the Black Lives Matter movement.  Bausum met Meredith in the course of her research and his first-hand account, combined with historical photographs and quotes from key figures on both sides, brings to life a significant moment in history that will resonate with modern readers as the fight for equal rights continues today. In addition to the starred review from Kirkus, March has also received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and School Library Journal.


Friday, February 24, 2017

Honey Girl: the Hawaiian Monk Seal Blog Tour


The Honey Girl: The Hawaiian Monk Seal Blog Tour is hosted by The Children's Book Review and sponsored by author Jeanne Walker Harvey...


Honey Girl: the Hawaiian Monk Seal
Illustrated by Shennen Bersani
Hawaiian locals and visitors always enjoy spotting endangered Hawaiian monk seals, but Honey Girl is an extra special case. She has raised seven pups, and scientists call her Super Mom. After Honey Girl is injured by a fishhook, she gets very sick. Scientists and veterinarians work to save Honey Girl until she can be released back to her beach. This true story will have readers captivated to learn more about this endangered species.
Ages 5-8 | Publisher: Arbordale Publishing | February 10, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-1628559224
Available Here:





Jeanne Walker Harvey's non-fiction picture book, Honey Girl: The Hawaiian Monk Seal, is a sweet and heartwarming tale about one special monk seal that will intrigue and inspire young readers. Through straight forward and child friendly text, Jeanne Walker Harvey tells Honey Girl's unforgettable story.

Combining interesting facts about monk seals with Honey Girl's harrowing and remarkable journey, and information about conservation and the world of caring for endangered species, this book not only entertains, but really educates. After hearing Honey Girl's tale, young readers will be encouraged to explore more about endangered species and conservation.

Shennen Bersani's illustrations are gorgeously bright, bursting with all the wonderful colors of Hawaii. Bersani really brings Honey Girl and her world to life!

I really enjoyed Honey Girl: The Hawaiian Monk Seal and will never forget all it taught me. 



Jeanne Walker Harvey is the author of several award-winning books, including Astro: The Steller Sea Lion and My Hands Sing the Blues: Romare Bearden’s Childhood Journey. She’s been a language arts teacher and currently gives school tours at a local museum. Jeanne lives near the Golden Gate Bridge in California and walks by the bay every day looking for sea lions. She writes with her gray tabby cat sitting on the desk next to her.



To Celebrate The Release Of Honey Girl: The Hawaiian Monk Seal, Enter To Win A 2 Book Autographed Prize Pack From Award-Winning Author Jeanne Walker Harvey, Plus 2 Plush Animals.
One (1) grand prize winner receives:
  • A copy of Honey Girl: The Hawaiian Monk Seal, autographed by Jeanne Walker Harvey
  • A copy of Astro: The Steller Sea Lion, autographed by Jeanne Walker Harvey
  • Two (2) plush toy animals
Age Range: 5-8
Hardcover: 32 pages
Giveaway begins February 22, 2017, at 12:01 A.M. MT and ends March 22, 2017, at 11:59 P.M. MT.
Giveaway open to US addresses only.
Prizes and samples provided by Jeanne Walker Harvey.
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Saturday, February 11, 2017

If You Were Me and Lived On Mars Blog Tour (interview & giveaway)


The If You Were Me and Lived On...Mars Blog Tour is stopping by today with an interview and giveaway! This tour is hosted by The Childrens Book Review and sponsored by author Carole P. Roman...


If You Were Me and Lived On...Mars
By Carole P. Roman
Illustrated by Mateya Arkova
Join Carole P. Roman when she blasts off to colonize the planet Mars, in the newest book of her informative series. Learn about how life would be living on the Red Planet. Travel to Olympus Mons, the largest volcano in the solar system. Look into the sky and watch Phobos and Deimos, Mars’ two moons. Discover what you would wear, and how the seasons change. See Mars through the eyes of an adventurous youngster like you and understand what life is like in a trip of a lifetime. Don’t forget to look at the other books in the series so that you can be an armchair traveler.

Ages 4-8 | CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform | 2017 | 978-1540869722
Available Here:


Q1. What three words best describe your book If You Were Me and Lived on…Mars?
Interesting, surprising, fun.

Q2. Grab a copy of If You Were Me and Lived on…Mars and answer the following:
-Favorite line(s)? If you were me and lived on Mars, you would be living there many years in the future, perhaps in the year 2054.

-Favorite illustration? The illustration of the kids playing basketball on the planet is my favorite. The net is floating.

-Favorite fact you learned about Mars while writing the book? Oh, there are so many. I loved learning about Mars’ moons Phobos and Deimos, whose names mean fear and panic. I enjoyed learning about its longer orbit, the season as well as the sudden dust storms that would torment people living there. The channels were interesting too. Could they be carved by an ancient civilization or are they part of nature?

Q3. Other than Mars, what planet would you love to visit (if you could) and why?
Saturn. I love a nice ring.

Q4. Fill in the blanks:
I’m really awesome at being a grandmother.
I’m really embarrassed to admit I can’t tell my right from left, ever.
The last great children’s book I read was the Harry Potter series

Q5. If you were to create and bake a cupcake inspired by If You Were Me and Lived on…Mars, what would it look and taste like, and what would you call it?
Red velvet with orange flavored icing and a red hot on the top swirl.


Carole P. Roman is the award-winning author of the Captain No Beard series. Both Captain No Beard: An Imaginary Tale of a Pirate’s Life and Captain No Beard and the Aurora Borealis have received the Kirkus Star of Exceptional Merit. The first book in the series was named to Kirkus Reviews Best 2012. Captain No Beard and the Aurora Borealis has been named to Kirkus Reviews Best of 2015. Each book in the series has won numerous awards including the NABE Pinnacle Award, IAN Award, Moonbeam Award 2014, National Indie Excellence Award Finalist, Shelf Media Outstanding Series Award, ForeWord Review Five Star and Finalist in the Book of the Year, and Reader’s Views Children’s Book of the Year 2013. Roman is also the author of the award-winning non-fiction culture series, If You Were Me and Lived in… that explores customs and cultures around the world. She has co-authored a self help book, Navigating Indieworld: A Beginners Guide to Self-Publishing and Marketing. She lives on Long Island with her husband and near her children and grandchildren.




Enter To Win An Autographed Copy Of If You Were Me And Lived On … Mars, By Award-Winning Author Carole P. Roman, And A Stomp Rocket: Ultra LED To Light Up The Night Sky.
One (1) grand prize winner receives:
  • A copy of If You Were Me and Lived On … Mars, autographed by Carole P. Roman
  • A Stomp Rocket: Ultra LED set
  • A bonus autographed picture book selected from one of the 35+ books written by Carole P. Roman
Four (4) winners receive:
  • A copy of If You Were Me and Lived On … Mars, autographed by Carole P. Roman
  • A bonus autographed picture book selected from one of the 35+ books written by Carole P. Roman
Age Range: 4-8
Giveaway begins February 7, 2017, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends March 7, 2017, at 11:59 P.M. PST.
Giveaway open to US and Canadian addresses only.
Prizes and samples provided by Carole P. Roman and The Children’s Book Review.

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