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Inside Out and Back Again

Thanhha Lai (2011), 262 pages
Audience: 4th Grade - 8th Grade
Category: Historical, Multicultural, Poetry, Realistic Fiction
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Sparse free verse intensifies colors, sounds and feelings in this beautiful story based on the author's life. Ha is 10 years old when she escapes Vietnam with her family and they end up in Alabama. She describes the sweetness of papaya and the terror of gunfire in her homeland. Struggling to learn a new language and culture, she tells of her mother's determination to build a new life and her brothers' efforts to do the same. But most vivid are Ha's emotions and feelings - funny, scared, angry, questioning - as this young girl struggles to be accepted.
Similar books: Shooting Kabul, by N.H. Senzai
Awards nominated: 2013 Rebecca Caudill Nominee
Awards won: Newberry Honor Book 2012
Reviewed by: donna
Date read: 5/15/2012
ISBN-13: 9780061962783
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Jumping the Broom

Sonia W. Black (2004), 32 pages
Illustrated by Cornelius Van Wright
Audience: 2nd Grade - 5th Grade
Category: Easy Reader, Fiction, Multicultural
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Erin's older sister is getting married, and everyone is happy except Erin. Erin wants to give her sister a special gift, but she doesn't have enough money. When her grandmother tells her about a family wedding tradition, Erin has a great idea!
Book Series: Just for You!
Reviewed by: emc
Date read: 5/27/2011
ISBN-10: 0439568781
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Keeper of the Grail

Michael Spradlin (2008), 272 pages
Audience: 6th Grade - 8th Grade
Category: Adventure, Fiction, Historical, Multicultural
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Tristan's life as an orphan, raised in the abbey by monks, changed dramatically when he was chosen to be Sir Thomas's squire and to travel to the Holy Land to fight with King Richard the Lionheart. As a member of the Knights Templar, Tristan finds himself fighting in the Crusades and protecting the Holy Grail. In a strange and foreign land filled with chaos, Tristan must find a way to return to England with the sacred relic without anyone knowing. This is the first book in The Youngest Templar series. Look for Trail of Fate.
Book Series: The Youngest Templar
Reviewed by: adf
Date read: 9/4/2009
ISBN-10: 0399247637
ISBN-13: 9780399247637
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Ling & Ting: Not Exactly the Same!

Grace Lin (2010), 48 pages
Audience: 1st Grade - 2nd Grade
Category: Easy Reader, Especially for Girls, Fiction, Multicultural
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Ling and Ting are identical twins. Anyone meeting them tells them, 'You two are exactly the same!' Ling and Ting may look alike, but when it comes to haircuts, dumplings, chopsticks, and stories, they couldn't be more different! (Reading Level: 2.6)
Reviewed by: emc
Date read: 7/1/2011
ISBN-10: 9780316024525
ISBN-13: 9780316024525
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Locomotion

Jacqueline Woodson (2003), 100 pages
Audience: 4th Grade - 7th Grade
Category: Especially for Boys, Fiction, Multicultural, Poetry
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Eleven-year-old Lonnie Collins Motion finds a way to express his feelings when his teacher asks his class to keep a poetry journal. The poems are about the things going on in his life, including his foster mom, his little sister, and the parents he lost in a terrible fire. Life in the inner city is not always easy, but through his writing Lonnie develops a new way of looking at things. The mostly free-form poetry beautifully conveys Lonnie's growth and development.
Awards won: Coretta Scott King Honor Book 2004
Reviewed by: msp
Date read: 7/15/2011
ISBN-10: 0399231153
ISBN-13: 9780399231155
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