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A Sari for Ammi

2021

by Mamta Nainy and Sandhya Prabhat

"Ammi weaves the most beautiful saris but never gets to wear any of them. Her two little daughters decide to do something about it—break their piggy bank! But when there isn’t enough money to buy Ammi a sari, the two girls must work together to find a solution. Will they be able to buy Ammi the gift she so deserves? With a text full of heart, and bright, cheerful artwork, this story brings readers into the home of a weaver’s family in Kaithoon, India, where the creation of saris is an art form. The book includes a glossary of Indian terms and a note about the saris made in this region." -- publisher

Beautiful Life

A Sky-Blue Bench

2021

by Bahram Rahman and Peggy Collins

"A young Afghani amputee matter-of-factly removes her own barrier to education, building a bench from discarded wood so that she and her “helper-leg” can sit through school in comfort. It's Afghani schoolgirl Aria's first day back at school since her accident. She's excited, but she's also worried about sitting on the hard floor all day with her new prosthetic "helper-leg." Just as Aria feared, sitting on the floor is so uncomfortable that she can't think about learning at all. She knows that before the war changed many things in Afghanistan, schools like hers had benches for students to sit at. If she had a bench, her leg would not hurt so much. The answer is obvious: she will gather materials, talk to Kaka Najar, the carpenter in the old city, and learn to build a bench for herself. In A Sky-Blue Bench, Bahram Rahman, author of The Library Bus, returns again to the setting of his homeland, Afghanistan, to reveal the resilience and resolve of young children—especially young girls—who face barriers to education. Illustrator Peggy Collins imbues Aria with an infectious spunkiness and grit that make her relatable even to readers with a very different school experience. An author's note gently introduces an age-appropriate discussion of landmines and their impact on the lives of children in many nations, especially Afghanistan, which has the highest concentration of landmines of any country in the world." -- publisher

Oppression & Resilience

Ashoka the Fierce

2021

by Carolyn Kanjuro and Sonali Zohra

"How an unruly and angry young prince transformed into a beacon of benevolence and peace. As the son of an emperor, Ashoka was destined for a life of greatness. But as a boy, Ashoka felt like he was living in the shadow of his brother, growing to become arrogant, impatient, and above all, angry. Wanting nothing more than to be king, Ashoka learned to be cunning, and when he finally managed to ascend to the throne, he was eager for war. After a brutal battle for the kingdom of Kalinga, Ashoka went to survey his new lands. On his ride through the battlefield, Ashoka was haunted by the great destruction that he had caused. This moment marked a change of heart for Ashoka. Upon returning home, his closest friend and wife, Asandamitra, encouraged him to study the wisdom of the Buddha, the dharma, and to learn meditation as a way forward from his destructive past. When Ashoka finally met the wise Buddhist monk Upagupta, it transformed the way he saw the role of a king. He became compassionate toward animals, people, and the environment that encompassed his kingdom as the first emperor of India. Ashoka's life is a real, foundational story in Indian history, and the pillars erected during his reign over two thousand years ago have become the emblem of the national flag. Ashoka's journey is a story of profound transformation, demonstrating the power of reflection, compassion, and wisdom. This is a modern telling of how Ashoka the Fierce became known as Ashoka the Great."-- publisher

Beautiful Life Biography

Guru Nanak

2021

by Demi

"Guru Nanak (1469-1539), the founder of the Sikh religion, is the first in a line of ten enlightened gurus, or teachers, whose writings form the sacred scripture of Sikhism. Born into a humble Hindu family, Nanak was an extraordinary child who from a young age questioned the rituals of religion and the ways of the world around him. At the age of twenty-seven, he embarked on an inspired mission that took him from the sacred Himalayas in India, Nepal, and Tibet to the holy city of Mecca in Arabia. Throughout his twenty-five-year travels, Guru Nanak preached a message of one God, sincere worship, and of peace and equality for all. Today the Sikh religion numbers as many as 25 million followers worldwide and Guru Nanak is revered by Hindus and Muslims alike. Award-winning author, Demi, recounts his spiritual journey, showing how the essential teachings of Sikhism are expressed through Guru Nanak’s remarkable life and in his poetry." -- publisher

Beautiful Life Biography

Kalamata’s Kitchen

2021

by Sarah Thomas and Jo Kosmides Edwards

"Dora the Explorer meets No Reservations in this delicious picture book debut! Follow Kalamata and her alligator sidekick on the first of many exciting food adventures in a charming story about facing fears and overcoming back-to-school jitters. Tomorrow is Kalamata’s first day at a new school, and she’s nervous! What if the kids aren’t friendly? Or worse, what if they don’t like alligators!? If only Kalamata and Al Dente could go to back to the Indian spice market they visited this summer, then maybe she’d remember how to feel brave when new experiences seem scary. Luckily for Kalamata, all the magic required for her journey is right in her own kitchen! As Kalamata and her alligator friend, Al Dente, transport themselves to a magical land filled with tasty ingredients, she realizes being brave is exciting! And most importantly, she learns that when we’re nervous about trying new things, food can comfort us and remind us to stay curious, courageous, and compassionate." -- publisher

Beautiful Life

Kamala Harris

2021

by Maria Isabel Sánchez Vegara and Lauren Semmer

"From the best-selling Little People, BIG DREAMS series, Kamala Harris tells the incredible story of the first woman, first Black person, and first South Asian American to be elected vice president of the USA. In this book from the highly acclaimed Little People, BIG DREAMS series, discover the incredible life of Kamala Harris, the first woman, first Black person, and first South Asian American to be elected vice president of the USA. Little Kamala used to accompany her parents to civil rights marches in California, strapped into her stroller so she wouldn’t get lost. From an early age, she dreamed of becoming a lawyer to help people in need. In school, Kamala felt like she could do anything and everything. She earned a law degree to make sure the most vulnerable were protected by justice. Kamala’s life was full of firsts, including becoming the first woman, Black woman, and South Asian American to be elected vice president. As Kamala stated to little girls everywhere in her speech—she may be the first but she won't be the last. This powerful book features stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, including a biographical timeline with historical photos and a detailed profile of the politician’s life." -- publisher

Biography Cross Group

Malala Yousafzai

2021

by Maria Isabel Sánchez Vegara and Manal Mirza

"In this book from the critically acclaimed, multimillion-copy best-selling Little People, BIG DREAMS series, discover the life of Malala Yousafzai, the incredible activist for girls' education and the youngest Nobel Prize laureate?. In this book from the critically acclaimed, multimillion-copy best-selling Little People, BIG DREAMS series, discover the life of Malala Yousafzai, the incredible activist for girls’ education and the youngest Nobel Prize laureate​. When Malala was born in Mingora, Pakistan, her father was determined she would have every opportunity that a boy would have. She loved getting an education, but when a hateful regime came to power, girls were no longer allowed to go to school. Malala spoke out in public about this, which made her a target for violence. She was shot in the left side of her head and woke up in a hospital in England. Finally, after long months and many surgeries, Malala recovered, and resolved to become an activist for girls’ education. Now a recent Oxford graduate, Malala continues to fight for a world where all girls can learn and lead. This powerful book features stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, including a biographical timeline with historical photos and a detailed profile of the activist’s life." -- publisher

Biography Oppression & Resilience

Roots and Wings

2021

by Amy Novesky, Shahzia Sikander and Hanna Barczyk

"Pakistani-American artist Shahzia Sikander recounts how growing up as a tomboy in a multicultural home in Pakistan inspired her to become an artist Growing up in a multigenerational, multicultural home in Lahore, Pakistan, where her family’s Muslim traditions are filled with food and rituals, Shahzia is surrounded by stories of all kinds. At the Catholic school she attends, she studies Western literature, and at home, her father regales her and her siblings with fantastical tales from a Russian storybook on animals. Shahzia’s love for books leads to a fascination with illustrations, like the ones she sees in illuminated manuscripts and South Asian miniature portraits, and she discovers a talent for drawing. Through art, Shahzia is able to create the different worlds she reads about, using her imagination to take her beyond the walls of the home she grows up in. Written by artist Shahzia Sikander with award-winning author Amy Novesky, and featuring artwork, Roots and Wings is a colorful introduction to a multicultural perspective that will inspire young readers to use art and imagination to explore new worlds." -- publisher

Biography

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