Peace

Lennon, John and Jean Jullien. Imagine. Boston: Clarion Books, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017.

“Did I offer peace today? Did I bring a smile to someone’s face? Did I say words of healing? Did I let go of my anger and resentment? Did I forgive? Did I love? These are the real questions. I must trust that the little bit of love that I sow now will bear many fruits, here in this world and the life to come.” Henry Nouwen

Stories of peace

Biographies of musicians

Stories about music and musicians

“I see the world being slowly transformed into a wilderness; I hear the approaching thunder that, one day, will destroy us too. I feel the suffering of millions. And yet, when I look up at the sky, I somehow feel that everything will change for the better, that this cruelty too shall end, that peace and tranquility will return once more.” Anne Frank

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A Chinese childhood…

Liu, Na and Andrés Vera Martínez. Little White Duck: a Childhood in China. Minneapolis: Graphic Universe, 2012.
Da Qin and her younger sister live with their parents in the city of Wuhan, China. This thought-provoking graphic novel – composed of 8 short stories – describes the author’s childhood in the 1970s. Emotive illustrations by the author’s husband – Andrés Vera Martínez – help to create a powerful portrait of life for two little girls in a changing world. Recommended for competent readers 9 years old and up.

More picture book memoirs

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More stories set in Asia

More stories of poverty

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What is out there?

Edge, Christopher. The Many Worlds of Albie Bright. New York: Delacorte Press, 2017.
What happens when people die? Could they be living in a parallel universe? Grief stricken Albie, the son of two astrophysicists, embarks on a hunt to find his mother after she dies of cancer.  With the help of a laptop computer, a box and a banana, he starts travelling the universe. Silly but also heartwarming, humorous but also thought-provoking, this British novel is highly recommended for readers 10 years old and up who enjoy science and speculating about the universe. 

More stories about space and time

More stories of grief

More stories set in Europe

 

“If a coin comes down heads, that means that the possibility of its coming down tails has collapsed. Until that moment the two possibilities were equal. But on another world, it does come down tails. And when that happens, the two worlds split apart.”  – Philip Pullman, The Golden Compass

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Living in New York City

Raschka, Chris. The Doorman’s Repose. New York: New York Review Books, 2017.

What goes on in a New York City apartment building? What secrets are hiding behind all the doors? What goes on in the lives of little creatures – such as mice? How do the machines that keep the building running feel? This collection of 10 interconnected short stories – by an astonishingly talented storyteller –  will amaze and amuse readers 10 years old and up. 

More stories told from different points of view

More humorous stories

More stories set in the U.S.A.

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The comfort of trees…

Applegate, Katherine. Wishtree. New York: Feiwel and Friends, 2017.
Red is an oak tree who has seen a lot of changes. Provided a home for countless little creatures. And comforted many children. But now someone wants to get rid of Red. What will happen to this venerable neighbourhood tree?
A wonderful read-aloud novel for children 7 to 9 years old. A wonderful story for imaginative readers who enjoy seeing life from a wider perspective.

P.S. Any book published by Fiewel and Friends is worth picking up. The quality is invariably superb.

More stories celebrating the wonders of nature

More novels for young readers

“Friendship is a sheltering tree.” – Samuel Taylor Coleridge

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The great achievement…

Almond, David. Harry Miller’s Run. Somerville, Mass.: Candlewick, 2017, c2008.
Eleven-year-old Liam wants to get outside and start training for the big race coming up. But his mother wants him to help an elderly neighbour move into a nursing home. What starts out as a frustrating day turns into an amazing adventure as Liam listens to Harry tell about the great race he ran from Newcastle to South Shields when he was a young lad himself.
This joyous novella – by a multiple award winning author – reads like a true story. I kept checking the flyleaf to find out more about the background. There was nothing.  But this heart-warming story by a masterful writer will live in readers’ memories as if it really happened to someone we ourselves must have met somewhere. Whimsical illustrations by Salvatore Rubbino – creator of picture books about London and Paris – add to the charm of this unpaged book highly recommended for readers 9 years old and up.  

A serious David Almond novel about refugees

A humorous David Almond novel about a runaway

Stories of summer

P.S. Always check out the books published by Candlewick. They’re reliably beautiful. 

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“Life is simple.”

MacLachlan, Patricia. Just Dance. New York: Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2017.
Ten-year-old Sylvie and eight-year-old Nate live on a farm in Wyoming with their father – a cowboy with a love of poetry- and their mother – a former opera singer who now sings in the shower. Sylvie worries. Does her mother miss her glamorous life travelling the world? Might she leave them all and return to life on the stage?  Sylvie worries and thinks about love and writes poems about local events. And finally realizes that what seems ordinary is precious. An easy-to-read reflective novel that will encourage conversation. Highly recommended for readers 7 years old and up.

More stories about country life

More novels for younger readers

More stories about music and musicians

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