Speaking Our Truth

Gray Smith, Monique. Speaking Our Truth: A Journey of Reconciliation. Victoria, BC: Orca, 2017.
A Canadian book about reconciliation with chapters focusing on honesty, love, kindness, and reciprocity. Stories of indigenous people, explanations of current political negotiations, and historical information combine to create a highly readable life-affirming book recommended for all ages. Supplemented by a glossary, online and print bibliography, list of residential schools in Canada, and an index. If you can purchase only one book, buy this one! 

More books about indigenous people of North America

 

Some Kind of Courage

Gemeinhart, Dan. Some Kind of Courage. New York: Scholastic Press, 2016.
Joseph is alone in the world. His mother and sister have died of illness. His father has been killed in an accident. And the man who is supposed to take care of him has sold his beloved horse. So Joseph sets out – on his own – to find Sarah and buy her back again.  On the way, he teams up with a Chinese boy who speaks no English and receives help from a tribe of indigenous people. This heart-warming novel – set in 1890 in the state of Washington – will appeal to readers 11 to 15 years old who enjoy past-paced stories of adventure. 

More historical novels

More stories of runaways

 

Wonder

Wonder by R.J. Palacio (Alfred A. Knopf, 2012) is the story of August, a boy born with extreme facial abnormalities who was not expected to survive infancy. Life changes for 11-year-old Auggie when his parents stop homeschooling him and put him into a public school where he endures taunting and bullying. Now he must figure out how to be accepted. Will the bullying ever stop? Will he ever be accepted? Read this inspiring novel to find out! (by Rabia in grade 6)

More stories about bullying

More stories of individuality

Amazing animals

Flying Frogs and Walking Fish by Steven Jenkins (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016) describes animals that move in unexpected ways. Did you know that a red kangaroo cannot walk on its hind legs without the help of its tail? Did you know that a snake in India and other parts of southern Asia can fly? Did you know that some goats can climb trees, coconut crabs can climb palm trees, and black rat snakes can also climb trees? That’s a lot of climbing! I could go on for hours telling you amazing facts from this book, but I think you should read it for yourself! (Prabhdeep in grade 6)

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Building Beauty…

Harshman, Marc and Anna Egan Smucker. Fallingwater: The Building of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Masterpiece. New York: Roaring Brook Press, 2017.
I like picture book biographies. They expand my general knowledge of history in little snippets that stay in my memory, unlike longer books that give me far more details than I will ever remember. And picture books are generally beautifully written with illustrations that bring history to life.
Fallingwater is no exception. It is written – using present tense – in an elegantly simple style and enhanced by LeUyn Pham’s sophisticated illustrations. The author’s and artist’s notes at the end of the story will be of interest to readers who want to learn more about the famous house designed by American architect Frank Lloyd Wright. 

Learn more about Fallingwater

More picture book biographies

“Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.” Frank Lloyd Wright

World Rivers Day

“My favourite places on earth are the wild waterways where the forest opens its arms and a silver curve of river folds the traveller into its embrace.” – Rory MacLean, historian & writer

“I think the kind of landscape that you grew up in, it lives with you. I don’t think it’s true of people who’ve grown up in cities so much; you may love a building, but I don’t think that you can love it in the way that you love a tree or a river or the colour of the earth; it’s a different kind of love.” – Arundhati Roy, writer

Books about Rivers