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111 Trees

2020

by Rina Singh and Marianne Ferrer

"In a small village in India, a boy grows up to make a huge difference in his community by planting trees to celebrate the birth of every girl. Based on a true story, this book celebrates environmental sustainability, community activism and ecofeminism. This is the story of Sundar Paliwal, who is from a small Indian village ruled by ancient customs. As he grows to be a man, Sundar suffers much heartbreak and decides it is time for change to come to his village. Sundar is determined to live in a place where girls are valued as much as boys and where the land is not devastated by irresponsible mining. Sundar's plan? To celebrate the birth of every girl with the planting of 111 trees. Though many villagers resist at first, Sundar slowly gains their support. And today, there are over a quarter of a million trees in his village, providing food, water and opportunities for women to earn a living. His efforts have turned a once barren and deforested landscape into a fertile and prosperous one where girls can thrive. Based on true events in the life of Sundar Paliwal, and written in collaboration with him, Rina Singh's uplifting story shows how one person can make a difference in a community. Beautiful illustrations by Marianne Ferrer sensitively bring the evolution of the village to life. With strong links to the science curriculum, this book offers lessons on environmental awareness, sustainability and stewardship, as well as the concept of ecofeminism. It also explores ideas of social development, community and culture, and the character education traits of responsibility and cooperation. A thoroughly researched author's note with photographs and more information about the village of Piplantri is included." -- publisher

Biography Informational Oppression & Resilience

A Bowl Full of Peace

2020

by Caren Stelson and Akira Kusaka

"In this deeply moving nonfiction picture book, award-winning author Caren Stelson brings Sachiko Yasui's story of surviving the atomic bombing of Nagasaki and her message of peace to a young audience. Sachiko's family home was about half a mile from where the atomic bomb fell on August 9, 1945. Her family experienced devastating loss. When they returned to the rubble where their home once stood, her father miraculously found their serving bowl fully intact. This delicate, green, leaf-shaped bowl—which once held their daily meals—now holds memories of the past and serves as a vessel of hope, peace, and new traditions for Sachiko and the surviving members of her family." -- publisher

Biography Informational Oppression & Resilience

As Big as the Sky

2020

by Carolyn Rose and Elizabeth Zunon

"What happens when a brother and sister who share a love as big as the sky must separate? This heartwarming story set in an African village shows that with a little generosity, there’s always a way to come together. In a small African village in Malawi, Prisca and her brother Caleb work together and play together, chasing each other as fast as they can. But when Caleb has to leave home to attend a good school, Prisca misses him terribly. Hoping to earn enough money to visit him, Prisca begs a local peddler to sell her crafts—but no one buys what she’s made. However, thanks to Prisca’s kindness and compassion, her dreams of reuniting with Caleb just may come true." -- publisher

Any Child

Be Amazing

2020

by Desmond Napoles and Dylan Glynn

"This uplifting illustrated nonfiction picture book from twelve year-old social justice advocate Desmond is Amazing is an introduction to the history of the fight for LGBTQ rights, as well as a call to action on embracing your own uniqueness. Desmond is Amazing is a drag-kid, model, fashion icon, and social justice activist. When he isn’t slaying on the catwalk or performing drag, he’s an outspoken anti-bullying and LGBTQ advocate. In this uplifting picture book about being yourself, Desmond shows how he can be amazing thanks to courageous people like Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera, and RuPaul who paved the way for a safer, more inclusive society for LGBTQ individuals. A kid-friendly primer to LGBTQ history that covers everything from the Stonewall Riots to RuPaul's Drag Race, Be Amazing shows young readers why we should celebrate the fight for LGBTQ rights." -- publisher

Biography Incidental Informational

Flying Paintings: The Zhou Brothers: A Story of Revolution and Art

2020

by Amy Alznauer, DaHuang Zhou and ShanZuo Zhou

"The epic story of two Chinese brothers who became art-world legends, illustrated with stunning paintings by the artists themselves First there was one Zhou brother, and then there were two. They lived in a bookstore with their grandmother, Po Po, whose stories of paintings that flew through the air and landed on mountain cliffs inspired them to create their own art. Amid the turbulence of China’s Cultural Revolution in the 1970s, the Zhou Brothers began painting together on the same canvas. Today, ShanZuo and DaHuang Zhou are icons in the art world, renowned for working side by side on all their paintings and sculptures. In this extraordinary biography, author Amy Alznauer joins with the Zhou Brothers to tell the story of their unique and often difficult childhood and their pursuit of a wild, impossible dream. The lyrical writing blends elements of legend, while the brothers’ dramatic illustrations soar with vibrant colors and surreal imagery from ancient Chinese cliff paintings. An inspiration for young artists and dreamers of all kinds, this deeply felt collaboration explores how art can bring people together, as well as set them free." -- publisher

Biography

Jesse Owens

2020

by Blake Hoena and David Shephard

"In 1936, Adolf Hitler attempted to make the Olympic Games in Berlin, Germany, a showcase of Nazi superiority with a new stadium and the first television broadcast of the Games. He didn't account for African-American sprinter and long jumper James Cleveland "Jesse" Owens, who smashed records throughout his track and field career. Owens turned Hitler's Olympic vision on its head by winning four gold medals in the 100m, 200m, 4x100m relay and long jump. Along the way, he broke or equaled nine Olympic records and set three world records. In graphic nonfiction style, this biography takes readers from Owens's early life to his historic athletic triumphs." -- publisher

Biography Cross Group

Lulu and the Hunger Monster

2020

by Erik Talkin and Sheryl Murray

"When Lulu’s mother’s van breaks down, money for food becomes tight and the Hunger Monster comes into their lives. Only visible to Lulu, Hunger Monster is a troublemaker who makes it hard for her to concentrate in school. How will Lulu help her mom and defeat the Monster when Lulu has promised never to speak the monster’s name to anyone? This realistic—and hopeful—story of food insecurity builds awareness of the issue of childhood hunger, increases empathy for people who are food insecure, and demonstrates how anyone can help end hunger. Lulu and the Hunger Monster™ empowers children to destigmatize the issue of hunger before the feeling turns into shame. The author combines years of experience fighting hunger as a food bank CEO with an MFA in writing for young children to craft an honest story of how poverty and food insecurity can affect adults and their children. Lulu’s story addresses the effects of hunger on learning and can be used in group settings to address social justice issues in an accessible and encouraging way." -- publisher

Any Child Cross Group

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