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Spirit of the Cheetah

2021

by Khadra Mohammed, Karen Lynn. Williams and Julia Cairns

"Young Roblay runs through his Somali village practicing for the big race, where only the fastest runners will be declared men. He turns for advice to his grandfather, who tells Roblay of the mighty Shabelle River, which is strong and swift like a cheetah. Roblay must capture that spirit if he is to finish among the winners of the race and become a man. Inspired by her father’s storytelling, Khadra Mohammed joins Karen Lynn Williams in retelling this Somali coming-of-age tale, beautifully illustrated by artist Julia Cairns. The story of a proud people who once lived together peacefully and drew wisdom from the animals, it is sure to generate enthusiastic discussion in the classroom. An appendix provides further information on the cheetah—the fastest land animal on earth and now an endangered species." -- publisher

Beautiful Life

A Place Inside of Me

2020

by Zetta Elliott and Noa Denmon

"From award-winning author Zetta Elliott and rising star illustrator Noa Denmon comes a beautiful #OwnVoices poetic picture book about a brown child discovering and accepting their emotional landscape. In this powerful, affirming poem by award-winning author Zetta Elliott, a Black child explores his shifting emotions throughout the year. Summertime is filled with joy—skateboarding and playing basketball—until his community is deeply wounded by a police shooting. As fall turns to winter and then spring, fear grows into anger, then pride and peace. In her stunning debut, illustrator Noa Denmon articulates the depth and nuances of a child’s experiences following a police shooting—through grief and protests, healing and community—with washes of color as vibrant as his words. Here is a groundbreaking narrative that can help all readers—children and adults alike—talk about the feelings hiding deep inside each of us." -- publisher

Beautiful Life Oppression & Resilience

A Sweet Meeting on Mimouna Night

2020

by Allison Ofanansky and Rotem Teplow

"A story about a young girl celebrating the Moroccan Jewish holiday of Mimouna with a new Muslim friend. It’s Mimouna — the Moroccan Jewish holiday that marks the end of Passover, and when blessings are given for a year of prosperity and good luck. Miriam wants to help her mother make the sweet moufleta pancakes they always eat at their Mimouna party, but after not eating doughy treats for the week of Passover, they don’t have any flour in the house! So, Miriam’s mother takes her to visit their Muslim neighbors, who share their flour. The women drink tea together, and Miriam makes friends with a young girl named Jasmine. Miriam almost drops the bag of flour when she and Jasmine go to fetch it from the storeroom — but luckily Jasmine is there to catch it! Jasmine and her family then join Miriam’s family and friends to celebrate Mimouna. This sweet story of friendship and shared customs will introduce North American readers to the Mimouna holiday. The book concludes with an author’s note and a recipe for making moufleta, the sweet, paper-thin pancakes featured in the story, so that readers can enjoy, too." -- publisher

Beautiful Life Cross Group

All Dressed Up

2020

by Joseline J. Hardrick and Ambadi Kumar

"Sunday morning was the only time I was able to dress up, wear perfume, jewelry, and my favorite blue dress to go to church with my mom. As a kid, I was always so excited to get all dressed up in my “Sunday best.” The most important accessory is always a smile and a grateful heart." -- publisher

Beautiful Life

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