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Our intention is to acquire and make available ALL picture books featuring indigenous people and people of color published in the U.S. since 2002, including reprints. Inclusion of a title in the collection DOES NOT EQUAL recommendation. See our related readings page for suggested links for evaluating books.

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        The elephant keeper

        2017

        by Margriet, Ruurs, Covo and Pedro

        "In 14-year-old Aaron's village in Zambia, poaching for ivory is common practice, and elephants are feared because of the danger they pose to humans and the damage they often cause to crops so important to the villagers' livelihoods. But when Aaron encounters a newborn elephant in distress, his instinct is not to run away, but to jump to its rescue. This is the beginning of a beautiful bond of friendship and a meaningful vocation. This moving story, written by Margriet Ruurs and stunningly illustrated by Pedro Covo, is inspired by the true story of Aaron and Zambezi-a teenage Zambian boy and an orphaned baby elephant that was rescued from a swimming pool at a holiday lodge. Aaron had been a casual laborer, just trying to make enough money to support his family, but when gamekeepers noticed his natural ability to care for animals, he was offered a job as an elephant keeper at the Lilayi Elephant Nursery, where his still works to this day. Zambezi was only one month old when he was found nearly drowning in a holiday lodge swimming pool. His mother had been killed by poachers and he'd been separated from his herd. Severely dehydrated, he'd tried to drink from the pool and had fallen in. Now Zambezi is nearly 6 years old and is doing very well. This unique informational picture book for middle-graders includes three non-fiction spreads, which provide intervals in the story and opportunities for classroom discussions. These spreads feature photos as well as information about elephants, poaching and the amazing work that is done at an elephant orphanage. At the end of the book there are suggestions for ways readers can help the cause"-- |cProvided by publisher

        Beautiful Life Biography

        Maya

        2016

        by Mahak Jain and Elly MacKay

        "The electricity in Maya's house has gone out again. Worse, she is afraid of the dark--and her fear has been even worse since her father died. Now it feels as if the darkness will never go away. Maya's mother distracts her with a legend about the banyan tree, which saved the world from the first monsoon by drinking up the floodwaters, and growing tall and strong. Later that night, unsettled by the noises around her, Maya revisits the story in her imagination. She ventures deep into the banyan tree, where she discovers not darkness but life: snakes slither, monkeys laugh, and elephants dance. Maya pushes her imagination even further to call up memories of her father, helping to soothe her fear and grief"--Front jacket flap

        Beautiful Life

        Danza!

        2017

        by Duncan Tonatiuh

        "Award-winning author and illustrator Duncan Tonatiuh tells the story of Amalia Hernandez, dancer and founder of El Ballet Folklorico de Mexico. Published in time for the 100th anniversary of Hernandez's birth, Danza! is the first picture book about the famous dancer and choreographer. Danza! is a celebration of Hernandez's life and of the rich history of dance in Mexico. As a child, Amalia always thought she would grow up to be a teacher, until she saw a performance of dancers in her town square. She was fascinated by the way the dancers twirled and swayed, and she knew that someday she would be a dancer, too. She began to study many different types of dance, including ballet and modern, under some of the best teachers in the world. Hernandez traveled throughout Mexico studying and learning regional dances. Soon she founded her own dance company, El Ballet Folklorico de Mexico, where she integrated her knowledge of ballet and modern dance with folkloric dances. The group began to perform all over the country and soon all over the world, becoming an international sensation that still tours today. Duncan Tonatiuh's picture books have been honored with many awards and accolades, including the Pura Belpre Award, the Robert F. Sibert Award, and the New York Times Best Illustrated Book Award. With Tonatiuh's distinctive Mixtec-inspired artwork and colorful drawings that seem to leap off the page, Danza! will enthrall and inspire young readers with the fascinating story of this important dancer and choreographer"--|cProvided by publisher

        Beautiful Life Biography

        Lucía the luchadora

        2017

        by Cynthia Leonor Garza and Alyssa Bermudez

        Lucía zips through the playground in her cape just like the boys, but when they tell her "Girls can't be superheroes" suddenly she doesn't feel so mighty. That's when her beloved abuela reveals a dazzling secret: Lucia comes from a family of luchadoras, the bold and valiant women of the Mexican lucha libre tradition. But when she's confronted with a case of injustice, Lucía must decide if she can stay true to the ways of the luchadora and fight for what is right, even if it means breaking the sacred rule of never revealing the identity behind her mask

        Beautiful Life

        The quilts of Gee’s Bend

        2017

        by Susan Goldman Rubin

        "In the rural community of Gee's Bend, Alabama, African American women have been making quilts for generations. Taught by their mothers, grandmothers, and aunts, these women use scraps of old overalls, aprons, bleached cornmeal sacks--anything they can find. The mere scraps are then transformed into spectacular works of art, each one displaying a unique pattern with vibrant colors and complex geometric composition. Over the years, the women made quilts to keep their families warm and comfortable, never imagining that someday their work would hang on museum walls. Much to their surprise, many of the quilts were featured in an exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, in 2002, which then traveled to the Whitney Museum in New York City. Soon enough, the whole world became acquainted with the quilts and the amazing women who created them. In this look at the close-knit community of Gee's Bend, award-winning author Susan Goldman Rubin explores the history of an extraordinary group of women and their unique art"--Dust jacket

        Beautiful Life Informational

        Many of the cover images on this site are from Google Books.