Gandhi: A March to the Sea by Alice B. McGinty (J B GANDHI)

This is a great picture book about Gandhi 24 day march to the sea to gather salt. This was a pivotal step in India’s quest to becoming independent from almost 200 years of British rule. This peaceful protest of the laws and taxes that Great Britain imposed oGandhin salt was part of Gandhi’s Satyagraha movement. Thomas Gonzalez’s powerful and beautiful illustrations in Gandhi: A March to the sea adds to the re-telling of this fascinating pieced of India’s history.

Review submitted by Uma

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Unstoppable by Tim Green (J GREEN)

unstoppable I am always recommending books to our young members. It is very special when children tell me they liked a book and that I should read it. That is how I decided to read Unstoppable. Once I started reading about Harrison who is a foster kid and living in a cruel home, I was unable to put the book down. Harrison knows his dream of playing for NFL or even football may never come true. Then his luck changes and he is brought to a new home with loving parents. At first Harrison finds it unbelievable that things could change for good for him. He gets to play football in his high school team, but something happens to alter things drastically.
(Recommended for ages 9 and up)

Review submitted by Uma

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Park Scientists: Gila Monsters, Geysers, and Grizzly Bears in America’s Own Backyard by Mary Kay Carson (J 333.78 CAR)

America’s National Parks were created to preserve wilderness and wildlife. To succeed in this mission, they have also become places of scientific inquiry, much of it being cparkonducted by park scientists. Author Mary Kay Carson and photographer Tom Uhlman traveled to three of the country’s national parks to meet “Scientists in the Field” and learn about their important work. They report in Park Scientists: Gila Monsters, Geysers, and Grizzly Bears in America’s Own Backyard.

Their first reports focus on Yellowstone National Park, which stretches across a mighty volcanic caldera in Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana. Carson and Uhlman followed geologists who monitor the ever-changing eruptions of geysers on the western side of the park. Then they joined biologists who study the park’s population of grizzly bears.

Saguaro National Park in Arizona was their second stop. Here they worked alongside the scientists who study large lizards called Gila monsters before joining scientists and local students conducting a census of the park’s saguaro, who may live up to 200 years.

Then they crossed the country to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which straddles Tennessee and North Carolina. After spending days with biologist Amy Luxbacher finding endangered salamanders in the park, they turned their attention to nighttime research of Photinus carolinus, a rare type of firefly that blinks in sync with others of its kind, putting on amazing light shows.

Being a big kid who has been to two of the parks, I enjoyed learning more about the habitats, the wildlife, and the people who work there. If I were a kid, I might be inspired to become a nature scientist. In any case, I would understand and learn to care about the conservation of the great places.

Review submitted by Rick

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The Secret of Saying Thanks by Douglas Wood (E WOOD)

Secretof saying thanksIt is so easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of our lives. We have to make a conscious effort to notice things around us and be thankful. You will enjoy reading The Secret of Saying Thanks with your child. This would be a good choice when discussing with your children what are some things they are thankful for.
Douglas Wood’s inspirational text combined with Greg Shed’s illustrations makes this a beautiful book,
Review submitted by: Uma

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Written in Bone: Buried Lives of Jamestown and Colonial Maryland by Sally M. Walker (J 614 WAL)

Laura in the Youth Services Department at Thomas Ford Memorial Library grew up in Maryland. When I mentioned that I took a trip to St. Mary’s County in Maryland to do some family history research, she suggested that I read Written in Bone: Buried Lives of Jamestown and Colonial Maryland by Sally M. Walker. A day or two later in the lunch room, Uma, head of the Youth Services Department, saw that I was reading a Sally M. Walker book. She said that Walker is a well-known author of nonfiction for youth and that our library usually buys her books. A lot of hands touched the book before it landed in my hands, for which I am grateful.

Reading Writtewrittenn in Bone is much like watching an episode of Nova on our local PBS station. Walker shows in pictures and explains through text the work and findings of forensic archaeologists uncovering burial sites in two of our country’s original English colonies. Her reporting is on the spot down in the dirt. You can almost feel the Chesapeake humidity and heat as the archaeologists brush the soil from the bones of individuals who died in the 17th and early 18th centuries. Better yet, you get to witness how they examine evidence to learn how the early settlers lived and died.

Looking at our library’s catalog of books, I see that Walker has written books at various grade levels. I am attracted to two similar to Written in Bone. Frozen Secrets recounts Antarctic exploration, and Secrets of a Civil War Submarine uncovers another bit of American history. I am glad to be a big kid set loose in the children’s book collection.

Review submitted by Rick

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The Boy on the Wooden Box by Leon Leyson (J 940.53 LEY)

Many Americans grew up with fathers who never talked about their World War II experiences until late in their lives. Leon Leyson was like them, but instead of being a soldier, he was a Jewish boy in Poland in and out of work camps run by the Nazis throughout the war. In post-war America, he wanted to live in the present and raise his children as average citizens of no particular origin. Only with the release of Stephen Spielberg’s epic movie Schindler’s List did Leyson begin tboyo tell his incredible story, one bound to interest readers, for it included his working for Oskar Schindler, who saved his family from certain death. He told the story in his posthumously published book for young readers, The Boy on the Wooden Box: How the Impossible Became Possible … on Schindler’s List: A Memoir.

Throughout World War II, Leyson was malnourished and small, not a good candidate for factory work. In the camps he had to endure through heavy manual labor, showing no sign of failing to keep from being executed, as so many children and older adults were. Luckily for Leyson, his father was a skill worker who was able to get the sympathetic Schindler to employ Leon. When Nazi inspectors came through Schindler’s factory, he would stand on a box behind equipment to appear larger and capable of the work.

There have been many Holocaust stories written in the last half century, and The Boy on the Wooden Box fares well among them. Leyson told a compelling story with a great cast of characters about one of the most dramatic periods in our recent history. My interest never wavered.

Review submitted by Rick

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Mick Harte was Here by Barbara Park (J PARK)

Thirteen-year-old Phoebe’s life changes suddenly when her brother is killed while riding his bicycle. As if this wasn’t tragic enough, Phoebe struggles over the fact that on the last morning of Mick’s life, they’d fought over a pirate tattoo in a cereal box.mick He’d also asked her that day at lunch if she could ride his bicycle home for him after school. She said she couldn’t, and that was the afternoon Mick died.

Mick Harte was Here is the story of how Phoebe starts to heal after her brother’s sudden death. Her family has come undone, and Phoebe has never experienced this before. She must learn to let her friends and family help her as they help each other.

In this story there is also the poignant message that life can change at any moment for any person. Something as simple as wearing a bicycle helmet could have saved Mick’s life. This book would appeal to children who like realistic fiction with a touch of sadness.

Review submitted by Dana

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