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Archive for April, 2010

Stuve-Bodeen, S. (2005). The best worst brother. Bethesda: Woodbine House, Inc.
Emma’s younger brother, Isaac, is the best worst brother.  His toddler tantrums frustrate Emma, but she experiences pride in her brother when he starts talking.

My grade: A
The inclusion of a question and answer section in the back is a great addition.  It contains good information.

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Richardson, J. & Parnell, P. (2005). And tango makes three. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster.
Roy and Silo are chinstrap penguins that live in the Central Park Zoo when they become a couple.  They watch as the other penguin couples raise babies until a zookeeper gives them an egg of their own.

My grade: A+
I had to read this book since it is so often challenged.  I wanted to see for myself what all the fuss is about.  It was such a sweet story and I felt like cheering when the zookeeper gave them an egg to raise.

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Polacco, P. (2009). In our mothers’ house. New York, NY: Penguin Group.
Polacco has created a diverse family that shows how a family should be – full of love.  A lesbian couple raises three beautiful, adopted children.  The battle the hatred of one of their neighbors, but don’t let it hurt them.

My grade:  A+
Not only does this book address GLBT and mixed families (one child is African American, one White and one Asian American) in a wonderfully positive way, it also touches on aging parents.  If you read it, I think you might be blinking back a tear or two by the end.

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Yolen, J. (1988). The devil’s arithmetic. New York, NY: Penguin Group.
Hannah dreads Passover at her grandparent’s house.  She’s tired of remembering and observing all the Jewish traditions.  When she opens the door to Elijah, she’s transported to Nazi Europe where she experiences the Holocaust for herself.

My grade:  A
I am partial to fantasy, so I enjoyed that aspect of this story.  I also like how Hannah gained a new perspective on her Grandfather’s behavior.

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Conover, S. & Crane, F. (Eds.). (2004). Ayat jamilah: Beautiful signs. Spokane: Eastern Washington University Press.
Editors Sarah Conover and Freda Crane have assembled an extensive collections of stories from all over the Muslim world.  Most stories include a moral.

My grade: A
This collection of stories is extensive and includes some really great ones.  I was surprised to see some stories I had heard before.  There are few illustrations, but the book is still lovely because some of the pages are decorated.

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Demi. (2003). Muhammad. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster.
Demi’s beautifully illustrated book gives the life history of Muhammad from his birth through death, including the writing of the Koran.

My grade: A+
Amazingly, I was not familiar with all the details of Muhammad’s life.  I found this book to be educational and also extremely pretty to look at.  It would be a great introduction to Islam for children.

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Mobin-Uddin, A. (2005). My name is Bilal. Honesdale: Boyds Mill Press, Inc.
Bilal and his sister, Ayesha, are nervous about starting anew at a different school after moving from Chicago.  They experience bullying and Bilal is worried that they are the only Muslim children.  However, he soon finds the beginning of acceptance.

My grade: B+
The story hopped around and felt a little disjointed.  I also wonder if the storyline would make a Muslim child worry that s/he will be bullied, if s/he lives in an area with few Muslims.  However, the book does have a positive ending.

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