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Hallelujah Flight

Phil Bildner (2010), 32 pages
Illustrated by John Holyfield
Audience: Preschool - 2nd Grade
Category: Adventure, Fiction, Historical, Multicultural, Picture Books
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'The Hallelujah Flight' by Phil Bildner is an exciting picture book telling about the heroic transcontinental flight of the African-American pilot, James Banning. Overcoming many obstacles; a beat-up 0XX6 Eagle Rock plane, a severe shortage of supplies, and racial prejudice, James Banning and his copilot Thomas Allen, captured the hearts of the American people when they flew over New York Harbor on October 9, 1932 completing their historic flight. Called the 'Flying Hoboes' because of their plane's condition and their shortage of supplies, James and Thomas became an inspiration to many Americans that all things are possible.
Similar authors: Reeve Lindberg; Wanda Langley; James Haskins:
Similar books: Black Eagles: African Americans in aviation by James Haskins; Flying Free: America's first black aviators by Philip Hart; Women of the Wind; early women aviators by Wanda Langley; Nobody Owns The Sky:the story of 'brave Bessie' Coleman by Reeve Lindberg
Reviewed by: mb
Date read: 7/21/2010
ISBN-10: 0399247890
ISBN-13: 9780399247897
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Home of the Brave

Katherine Applegate (2007), 253 pages
Audience: 5th Grade - 8th Grade
Category: Fiction, Multicultural
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Kek arrives in America on the 'flying boat.' The helping man, Dave, meets him at the airport to take him to live with his aunt and cousin. Kek's father and brother, as well as his uncle, were killed in the war in Sudan. Kek and his mother made it to a refugee camp only to be separated when it too was attacked. Now Kek has to get used to a whole new life. We see his confusion with air so cold it hurts, trees that just 'pretend' to be dead, and the miracle of washing machines, which he learns the hard way are for clothes not dishes. He makes new friends, including an old cow that helps when he misses the cattle he used to tend back home. We also feel Kek's pain as he shares memories of his family and the horrors of war and the refugee camp. Kek's aunt says that, 'Kek finds sun when the sky is dark.' Can he continue to do so as he struggles to maintain hope that his mother will be found and they will be reunited; or will he believe his cousin when he says, 'A man knows when he is defeated.'?
Reviewed by: cal
Date read: 5/19/2009
ISBN-10: 0312535635
ISBN-13: 9780312535636
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4 out of 5 books4 out of 5 books4 out of 5 books4 out of 5 books4 out of 5 booksLife in the Cold, Dark Country
Commenter: St. Charles Reader, grade 0
A boy comes to to Minnesota from an African refugee camp. Slowly he learns about this new world. His mom is missing in Africa and he is trying to find her.
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Hot, Sour, Salty, Sweet

Sherri Smith (2008), 167 pages
Audience: 6th Grade - 8th Grade
Category: Especially for Girls, Fiction, Humor, Multicultural, Realistic Fiction
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Ana Shen, half chinese and half black, cringes when people say that she has a marvelously biracial, multicultural family. At her graduation ceremony from junior high, just as she is about to give her salutatorian address, the water main of the school bursts filling the football field with water. And if that isn't bad enough, the principal has to cancel the dance scheduled for later that evening. Ana is devastated. She's dreamed of dancing with her crush, Jamie for such a long time. When Ana sees Jamie after the ceremony, she impulsivly invites Jamie and his dad over to dinner with her family. Ana can't believe she actually asked both her grandmothers to cook. They've only cooked a meal together a few times, all with disasterous results. So it's off to a Chinese grocery store with her mom and grandma to get ingredients for her grandma's Chinese food. Her dad takes her other grandma to a store for her gumbo ingredients. Being in the house and helping both grandmas cook is beyond stressful for Ana! Her grandmas collide with their different bags of rice leaving Ana to pick it up off the floor so they don't waste good rice. The food ends up turning out well but Ana is shocked when she sees an uninvited guest at her door, Amanda, her classmate who also likes Jamie. However will Ana deal with a whole dinner of Amanda making her moves on Jamie? And what embarrassing things will her grandparents say? This book successfully portrays a biracial family with just the right combination of humor and matter-of-factness.
Reviewed by: jb
Date read: 8/7/2012
ISBN-13: 9780385734172
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How the Ostrich Got Its Long Neck: A Tale from the Akamba of Kenya

Verna Aardema (1995), 28 pages
Illustrated by Marcia Brown
Audience: Preschool - 2nd Grade
Category: Animal, Fiction, Folklore, Multicultural
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Never trust a hungry crocodile is the moral of this delightful read, 'How the Ostrich Got Its Long Neck' by Verna Aardema. Tender hearted Ostrich couldn't help but come to the aid of Crocodile who had a bad toothache. Against his better judgment, Ostrich stuck his head in Crocodile's mouth in an effort to pull the tooth and end his suffering. Discover what happens next. The title of this book really says it all!
Similar authors: John Kilaka; Julius Lester; Melinda Lilly
Similar books: The Man Who Knew Too Much: A Moral Tale from the Baila of Zambia by Julius Lester; Wanyana And Matchmaker Frog: A Bagandan Tale by Melinda Lilly; The Amazing Tree by John Kilaka
Reviewed by: mb
Date read: 8/7/2012
ISBN-10: 0590483676
ISBN-13: 9780590483674
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How the Stars Fell into the Sky: A Navajo Legend

Jerrie Oughton (1992), 32 pages
Illustrated by Lisa Desimini
Audience: Preschool - 3rd Grade
Category: Animal, Easy Reader, Fiction, Folklore, Multicultural
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How the Stars Fell into the Sky by Jerrie Oughton is a retelling of a Navajo Legend that attempts to explain the randomness of the stars' appearance in the night sky. Legend has it that on the 'First Day', First Woman began to place the stars carefully and orderly into the sky. These stars represented the laws that would guide future generations of people into leading lives based on peace and order. To accomplish this monumental task, First Woman, accepts the help of Coyote. Soon Coyote becomes impatient with this arduous chore and decides to take matters into his own hands with disastrous results. This book's striking illustrations by Lisa Desimini gives this Native American story an ancient and sacred feel. This is a beautiful story which brings meaning and reverence to the night sky.
Similar authors: Michael J. Rosen; Paul Goble; Pat Sherman; Gerald Hausman; Kristina Rodanas
Similar books: The Sun's Daughter by Pat Sherman; Dragonfly's Tale by Kristina Rodanas; How Chipmunk Got Tiny Feet: Native American Animal Origin Stories retold by Gerald Hausman; The Dog Who Walked with God by Michael J. Rosen
Reviewed by: mb
Date read: 7/27/2012
ISBN-10: 0395587980
ISBN-13: 9780395587980
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