Dear Martin

Author – Nic Stone24974996

Age – 14+

Justyce is 17. He is the top of his class, an excellent debater and is aiming for Yale. All is good in his life until one night when he is helping his drunk ex get into her car. The police arrive, see a young black male with a drunk girl and assume the worst. He is immediately put in cuffs and read his rights.

Although released (hours later), Justyce has now experienced the racial profiling he’s heard and read about. He’s shocked when he realises he could have easily been just another police shooting accident involving a young African American man.

Justyce has been working on a personal project, studying the speeches and teachings of Martin Luther King. He has been writing letters to him in a journal – trying to work out the world around him.

His new awareness of the racial profiling around him makes him angry. Even his friends and classmates’ comments are getting under his skin. But it’s cruising around with his best friend one morning when the unthinkable happens. Bang! Bang! Bang!

This is a powerful story about prejudice, blatant racism in schools, courts, businesses and homes, and a young man trying to come to terms with it all. Gritty and gripping.

(School, Racism, Prejudice, Friendship, Family, Grief, Crime, Gang)

Advertisements

Bigfoot and Little Foot (1)

Author – Ellen Potter
Illustrator – Felicita Sala

Age – 6+

Hugo is a young Sasquatch eager for adventure and maybe to even become a sailor! But his big sister Gigi says he could never become a sailor because it would break their most important rule – never be seen by a human.

One day while out on a school trip practising their sneaking and camouflage, that very thing happens. A small human wanders into the same area and Hugo is so surprised by him that he bursts out with a laugh. The boy sees him and his teacher rushes them to safety. Hugo is in serious trouble. But his curious nature has been fuelled even further. The human didn’t look dangerous at all.

When an opportunity to explore presents itself, Hugo grabs his chance…

A fun story about friendship and feet, told from a young bigfoot’s point of view.

(Bigfoot, Friendship, Multiple POV, Curiosity, Bravery, Series)

The Red Ribbon

Author – Lucy Adlington35681404

Age – 12+

Ella is a designer. She loves clothes and fashion, after being taught everything she knows by her no-nonsense but loving grandmother. She is hurrying to the nearby Upper Tailoring Studio who are looking for a new seamstress.

But this is no normal sewing shop. There is no pay, no breaks, and an armed guard by the door who can shoot you at any disturbance. This is Birchwood – better known as Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Ella makes a friend at the Studio in funny, book-loving Rose whose mother is a Countess. Together the girls bond over their sewing skills as they work for the camp commandant’s wife and female guards. They learn to barter, steal, and fight to keep themselves alive while Rose tells stories and they both dream of opening a dress shop together – the hope helping to keep them going.

A hidden red ribbon, although causing a vicious beating, helps keep that dream alive, even when they’re separated.

When a human has hope, it can keep them alive, filling their thoughts with wonderful things as they are starved, beaten, humiliated, terrified and shocked to their core. The Upper Tailoring Studio was real at Auschwitz and this story shares another side of this terrible time in history.

Rabbit & Bear (3) – Attack of the Snack

Author – Julian Gough38192711

Illustrator – Jim Field

Age – 6+

Rabbit & Bear are swimming in a lake, enjoying the summer, when a THING whizzes past their heads. It screams, hits a tree and lands in the water.

What is it, they wonder as Bear plucks it from the lake. It’s unconscious. It’s small. Its face is flat. It has bird feet. Suddenly Rabbit recognises it. It’s a creature that he’s always been told to avoid. They are 6 ft tall and will terrorise you! They eat you alive and burp up your bones!

I don’t think so, says Bear having a closer look at the small, still, fuzzy bundle.

As always, Rabbit gets himself all worked up in a tizz, while Bear looks on figuring things out properly. Slowly but surely they work out the truth as the thing awakes, and Rabbit learns that he actually may have something (embarrasing) in common with it.

Just as good as the first two stories – Funny, thoughtful, and endearing, as these two friends learn about acceptance, no matter what they’ve always believed.

(Animals, Humour, Funny, Series, Acceptance, Prejudice)

Sing, Unburied, Sing

Author – Jesmyn WardSing Unburied Sing

Age – 15+

Jojo is 13 and lives with his grandparents, his drug addicted mother and his toddler sister, Kayla. Jojo’s father Michael is in prison for ‘cooking’ drug offences, so as Jojo’s grown, he has looked up to his steady, dependable, hardworking Pop on how to be a man.

Life is hard in their Deep South household, with Mam (Jojo’s grandmother) dying of cancer, his mother Leonie not being the mothering kind, and little Kayla dependent on him. Leonie is black, his father is white, and his father’s parents have never had anything to do with them.

When Leonie gets news that Jojo’s father has finished his sentence, she packs the kids in the car with her equally drug addicted friend Misty and they head to Parchment Farm – the state prison, to pick him up.

Jojo has heard tales of Parchment from his Pop. Tales of violence, death, working drudgery and a 12 year old boy called Richie. But Pop never finishes Richie’s story. It’s not until after their stressful, hot, uncomfortable journey to Parchment and back that Jojo learns the truth.

This is a teen/adult crossover, and winner of the US National Book Award 2017. The language is lyrical, almost literary, but it’s a gripping read about a black family in the deep south, set just after Hurricane Katrina. Prejudice and racism are still ruling and ruining lives, as families do their best to survive.

(Mississippi, Award Winner, Prejudice, Racism, Family, Neglect, Road Trip)

Letter from the Lighthouse

Author – Emma Carroll32721821

Age – 9+

Olive and her little brother Cliff are evacuated from London after a close call with a bomb. The same night of the bomb, her older sister Sukie went missing. There has been no sign of her and Olive is still trying to figure out what she saw. Sukie was meeting a man. This man gave her something and then held her hand. Was it a secret boyfriend?

They are sent to a small seaside town where Sukie had a penpal. But the supposed penpal doesn’t seem to know a thing about Sukie. Olive has noticed other strange things and behaviour in town and also a coded note in the lining of the coat Sukie was wearing on the night she disappeared. It was all she had left of Sukie from the rubble of the bomb.

With a mystery to solve, friendships to make and suddenly many lives at stake, Olive and Cliff are caught up in a plot of courage and determination. But where is Sukie?

Another great story from Emma Carroll with a twisting and turning plot to keep readers engaged in a young girl’s quest for answers. Along the way she builds her own courage amongst prejudice, distrust and broken hearts from a war that never seems to end.

(Historical, WWII, War, Family, Jews, Courage, Mystery, Evacuee, Siblings, Refugee)

Four Perfect Pebbles

Authors – Lila Perl & Marion Blumenthal Lazan28259146

Age – 10+

Marion’s story is another testament to the bravery, courage and determination to live, by a family persecuted for nothing but their religion. This book also explains Hitler’s rise to power in simplistic terms and can be read by anyone 10+

(Holocaust, War, WWII, Jew, Courage, Determination, Prejudice)