Strong Female Role Models Star in New Books A slew of brand new children's books highlight inspirational, strong women and girls. "A World of Her Own: 24 Amazing Women Explorers and Adventurers" by Michael Elsohn Ross; Chicago Review Press; 224 pages; $19.95. This thoughtful chronicle of 24 …Read more. Mid-School Year Help With Math, Anagrams and Opposites It's always smart to introduce books that may help clear the cobwebs and help with educational topics. This time of year especially, schoolwork can become monotonous. These books make learning fun. "Ann and Nan Are Anagrams" by Mark Shulman; …Read more. Board Books Prove Earliest Readers Benefit From Fantastic Art and Creative Text Board books don't have to be just classic mommy/baby love stories (not that anything's wrong with those). These new books for babes are vividly colored and imaginatively penned. "Doggy Kisses 123" by Todd Parr; LB Kids; 24 pages; $7.99. Parr is one …Read more. Time for Some Activity-Book Fun It's the time of year when schoolwork gets more serious, thus the need for lighthearted activity books. These are bright and creative, and encourage kids to doodle and make bracelets and dreamy desserts. "PhotoPlay!" by M.J. Bronstein; Chronicle …Read more.more articles
Outstanding Animal Tales for Middle-Grade Readers.
Kids love animals, and reading about animals, especially those with more courage, love and patience than most humans. These books star heroic dogs, awe-inspiring tigers and a hilarious, joking classroom hamster.
"Into That Forest" by Louis Nowra; Skyscape; 153 pages; $16.99.
From Amazon's new line of children's books comes this spellbinding tale of two girls who survive a flood and are rescued by a pair of Tasmanian tigers. Lost in Australia's wild frontier, the girls rely on the tigers to help them survive and eventually learn to hunt and communicate without the use of human language. Melding the lives and personalities of human and animal, playwright and author Nowra weaves an extraordinary survival story that's shocking and hard to put down.
When the girls are rescued and returned to civilization, neither can adapt to being fully human. They bite, go to the bathroom outside and fear hunters, all the while using their animal instincts instead of civilized human behaviors.
A true adventure that's quick to read and hard to abandon until the end, "Into That Forest" is uniquely amazing.
"Mountain Dog" by Margarita Engle; illustrated by Olga and Aleksey Ivanov; Henry Holt and Co. (BYR); 224 pages; $16.99.
Penned by Newbery Honor-winning author Engle, ("The Surrender Tree"), this hopeful tale tells the story of a boy named Tonio who is sent to live with a faraway uncle after his mother is arrested. Though Tonio is afraid to move from Los Angeles to the Sierra Nevada with a park ranger, his new chocolate lab rescue dog is a fast, close friend.
Tonio's transition from only knowing dogs as fighting pit bulls to forming a bond with a compassionate, helpful dog, should resonate with canine lovers of all ages. Full of refreshingly natural, outdoorsy scenes of helping with mountain rescues and woody chores, "Mountain Dog" is a clean, cool tale of a heartwarming boy and his dog .
"Dog Tags #1: Semper Fido" by C.
War stories are always better when some heart and soul is injected. In this case, the heart of the tale is named Loki, and he's a well-trained, bomb-sniffing black lab, sent to Afghanistan with young Gus Dempsey, a new recruit in the U.S. Marine Corps.
A fast-paced tale that's both a love story between young man and dog, but also an ode to Marines' selfless actions during wartime, "Dog Tags #1: Semper Fido" is a must-read for that reluctant middle-grade boy audience. Dog lovers of every ilk, too, will be impressed with this tale of how a human and dog have to learn to work together perfectly.
"Humphrey's Book of Fun Fun Fun" by Betty G. Birney; Puffin; 240 pages; $6.99.
Beloved hamster Humphrey lives in Room 2 of Longfellow School and has plenty of adventures in and out of his cage in several previous books. He's also a pro at solving puzzles and telling jokes, so much so that now there's a whole book full of his favorite games, brain teasers and hilarious jokes.
Told from the truly funny point of view of a classroom hamster, Birney's activity book is chock full of fun.
"Spirit Animals Book 1: Wild Born" by Brandon Mull; Scholastic Inc.; 224 pages; $12.99.
Mull, the popular fantasy author of the "Beyonders" and "Fablehaven" series, created a new series with a story arc, written by different authors and linked to an online game. The first, "Wild Born," penned by Mull, is set in the world of Erdas, where children go through a ritual to determine if they have a "spirit animal."
Each book in the series will unlock expanded gameplay on the Spirit Animals online gaming series, allowing kids to customize their own heroes, choose their spirit animals, and go on quests to help save the world of Erdas.
With a compelling premise, relatable cast of multicultural characters, amazing animals and a vibrant, safe, online game, "Spirit Animals" is groundbreaking in its debut.
To find out more about Lee Littlewood and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
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