The Moccasins

Einarson, Earl. The Moccasins. Penticton, B.C.: Theytus Books, 2004.
An extraordinarily loving story – based on the author’s own experiences – about a little boy whose foster mother gives him a pair of beaded moccasins to wear indoors. Many years later, when he is grown up and has a child of his own, his foster mother brings him a gift: his childhood moccasins that she’d carefully saved for him. Quietly and gently illustrated by Julie Flett, this picture book will be enjoyed by young children and treasured by adults.

P.S. After reading it, think about what it is you treasure and want to safely store for the future.
P.P.S. After reading it, think about what makes you feel “warm and loved.”

More stories about foster children

More stories about indigenous people of Canada

A Secret Shared

MacLachlan, Patricia. A Secret Shared. New York: Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, 2021.
Thanks to the wonders of DNA testing, Norah and Ben stumble upon a secret. Their younger sister, Birdy, is adopted. Should they tell their parents what they’ve discovered? Should they tell Birdy? This 145-page present-tense novel, printed in a relatively large font with widely spaced lines and short paragraphs, is a wonderful story for readers 8 to 12 years old. As with all Patricia MacLachlan stories, the language flows gracefully and the ideas linger in the mind long after the book is closed. Highly recommended, of course.

More novels for younger readers

Dog Stories

My Dog Beerus
by Bhavneek

Beerus was a great and affectionate dog.  He was born on April 16, 2014 and was my brother’s dog but he shared him with me. I loved Beerus.

Beerus – a black and brown German shepherd cross – could do many tricks. Whenever I said, “paw,” he would put his paw in my hand and I’d give him a treat. A dog bone. Whenever I came from school, he jumped high to lick me. Whenever we tried to cut his nails, he always pretended to be dying. 

Beerus did not like having a bath. Whenever we wanted to wash him, he would hide under a bed. He wanted to stay dirty. I felt sorry that he was so afraid of water.

Beerus did not like sharing territory. Whenever we went for a walk together, he would pee on every bush we passed. I always wondered why he had to pee all the time.

Beerus was the best dog in the world. But sadly, we had to put him down. His liver was failing due to old age. He died on October 19, 2020. I still miss him. 

More Dog Stories

“I loved my friend
He went away from me.
There’s nothing more to say.
The poem ends,
Soft as it began-
I loved my friend.” – Langston Hughes

 

 

My Heart

Luyken, Corinna. My Heart. New York : Dial Books for Young Readers, 2019.
Some days are dark and heavy. Some days are full of fear. But a broken heart can mend, and a closed heart can open again. Softly coloured illustrations – in black, white, and yellow – help tell a simple story of quiet hope and respect. A poignant picture book, useful for teaching figures of speech and recommended for readers of all ages who could use a reminder to .

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Remembering…

Giff, Patricia Reilly. Genevieve’s War. New York: Holiday House, 2017.
August of 1939. Summer is over. Time to leave France and go home to America. But thirteen-year-old Genevieve decides – at the last moment – to stay with her grandmother in the small Alsatian village rather than return to New York. Mere months later, Nazi soldiers arrive and life changes.
This story is among the best of Giff’s many novels. Who are your friends? Whom can you trust? For whom will you risk your life? All these questions are quietly and skillfully addressed in a compelling novel for readers 11 years old and up.

More stories of World War 2 HERE.

More stories set in France HERE.

More stories of love HERE.

More stories of courage HERE.

Becoming Real

Zagarenski, Pamela. Henry & Leo. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016.
What makes us real? Lovers of The Velveteen Rabbit will appreciate this gentle story about Henry and his toy lion. Written and illustrated by a two-time Caldecott Honor winner, this picture book is a  wonderful read-aloud for young children and a conversation starter for older readers.

More picture books HERE.

“Real isn’t how you are made,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.’ Margery Williams,  The Velveteen Rabbit