Archives

J is THE JOCKEY AND HER HORSE – yes, a Black girl should ride in races! by Sarah Maslin Nir & Raymond White Jr. (MG book review)

Book cover of The Jockey and Her Horse, by Sarah Maslin Nir & Raymond White Jr. Published by Cameron Kids/ Abrams

To understand without words,
to work as a team of two,
horse and rider, running together with one mind!

Was the horse barn was Cheryl’s favorite place in the world, or the pasture where the queen mare ran with their herd? Only riding in races on Jetolara, the first thoroughbred she ever loved, could ever be better than growing up on their Ohio racehorse farm.

Dreaming of a better future for their children, her White mother and Black father married well before the 1964 Civil Rights Act allowed it nationwide.

Cheryl’s great-grandfather was a Black horse trainer who refused to let prejudice force him out of racing. Her father continues the business with pride and knowledge. He is sure that little brother Drew will be a winning jockey, when it’s really Cheryl who has the desire and skill.

A whiz at school, she accepts her mother’s challenge for 1971- if Cheryl aces her senior year classes, she’ll get to race on powerful filly Ace Regard to earn her jockey license!

Studying for academic quiz show tryouts and the jockey license exam, riding Jetolara and Ace in training runs, preparing to race nearby and travel far away to Senegal – can Cheryl do it all?

Listen in on the thoughts of Jetolara and Ace as they find their places in the herd and in Cheryl’s life, too.

This fictionalized story of Cheryl White, the first Black female professional jockey and winner of 750 races, was co-written by Cheryl’s little brother who held almost every job in horse racing – except jockey, because he grew too tall!

What’s your dream job and what will you do to get there?
**kmm

Book info: The Jockey and Her Horse (Once Upon a Horse, book 2) / Sarah Maslin Nir & Raymond White Jr., art by Laylie Frazier. Cameron Kids/Cameron + Company, 2023. [co-author interview] [artist page] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

G is for GODDESS: 50 Goddesses, Spirits, Saints…by Dr. Janina Ramirez & Sarah Walsh (MG nonfiction book review) #A2Z

book cover of Goddess: 50 Goddesses, Spirits, Saints, and Other Female Figures Who Have Shaped Belief / written by Dr. Janina Ramirez, illustrated by Sarah Walsh. Published by Nosy Crow

We’re familiar with Greek and Roman goddesses like Athena and Diana, but many others around the world have escaped our notice and regard.

This large-format book, published in collaboration with the British Museum, introduces and expands our knowledge of female deities and spiritual beings, ten exemplars in each of five categories: Ruling and Guiding, New Life, War and Death, Love and Wisdom, and Animals and Nature.

Meet rulers and guides like Mami Wati, African water spirit and bringer of riches, and Rhiannon, Welsh queen of horses and courage.

Honored as bringers and protectors of new life are Pattini, Sri Lankan goddess of purity and fighter against injustice, and Mokosh, mother of the earth and Slavic goddess of spinning and fate.

Presiding over war and death, we find Sekhmet, Egyptian lioness and bringer of destruction, and Anat, Middle Eastern goddess of war and peace.

Revered for their gifts of love and wisdom are Tara, Buddhist mother of compassion and wisdom, and Pte San Win, sacred prophet of the Lakota people.

Related to animals and nature are Papatuanuku, Maori earth goddess, and Sedna, Inuit mother of the sea and all its creatures.

You’ll find female saints and goddesses who hold power over contrasting ideas (Izanami, Japanese goddess of death and new life) and those who concentrate their attention on just one thing (Chang’e, Chinese goddess of the Moon).

Browse through this compendium of fifty faith figures or read it straight through, as you appreciate vibrant painted illustrations by Sarah Walsh, photos of items from the Museum’s collections, and a useful glossary.

Which goddess would you like to encounter?
**kmm

Book info: Goddess: 50 Goddesses, Spirits, Saints, and Other Female Figures Who Have Shaped Belief / written by Dr. Janina Ramirez, illustrated by Sarah Walsh. Nosy Crow, 2023. [author site] [illustrator site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

E is for ENLIGHTENED: A Fictionalized Tale of the Buddha, by Sachi Ediriweera (Graphic Novel review) #A2Z

book cover of Enlightened: A Fictionalized Tale / words and art by Sachi Ediriweera. Published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers | recommended on BooksYALove.com

Locked safely in the palace after his mother’s death, lively Prince Siddhartha has never known suffering, never seen an old person – how can he be a good king in the future when he knows so little about real life?

Even when he marries, the King insists he and the princess stay inside the palace for safety. Their son is born, and yet the young family must remain there, suffering despite having the best of everything.

Enough! Siddharta leaves behind his wife and child, traveling into the countryside to meet his people, to try to understand the truths about suffering – however long it takes.

The king of a nearby realm leads Siddhartha to a monastery, where the prince will live and work and meditate as a monk, learning from a wise teacher.

After a year, Siddhartha has found inner peace, but not the answers for his deepest questions, and so he travels onward. Will fasting provide insight? More meditation?

Time passes as he journeys, and he suffers because he desires to see his family as much as he desires to know the truth about suffering. Clarity comes at last – suffering and desire are a never-ending cycle!

He refines his realizations into Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path that can end the pain of our cyclical existence: right view, right intention, right speech, right conduct, right livelihood, right endeavor, right mindfulness, right concentration.

As the Awakened One, he teaches to all who will listen as he travels back toward his homeland and the family he left behind, never again to be a prince, moving ever onward to establish monasteries for men and women in India and beyond.

Experience the Buddha’s life and journey toward enlightenment in this compelling graphic novel. Sri Lankan artist and author Ediriweera skillfully uses soft blue, umber, and orange tones to accentuate both the stillness and the action of its storyline.

What are your experiences with Buddhism?
**kmm

Book info: Enlightened: A Fictionalized Tale / words and art by Sachi Ediriweera. Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2023. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

B is for BORN READING: 20 Stories of Women Reading Their Way Into History, by Kathleen Krull & Virginia Loh-Hagan (MG book review) #A2Z

book cover of Born Reading: 20 Stories of Women Reading Their Way Into History, byKathleen Krull & Virginia Loh-Hagan; illustrated by Aura Lewis. Paula Wiseman Books | recommended on BooksYALove.com

The skill of reading hasn’t always been taught to girls or encouraged for women, but that didn’t stop those determined to learn!

Meet Wu Zeitan, the first and only woman emperor of China, who promoted reading and education, published books on farming and government, wrote poetry, and created new Chinese written characters.

Get to know E. Pauline Johnson, an Indigenous Canadian poet and performer who was able to lecture and write about her Mohawk and White heritage in the late 1800s when few Indigenous or native voices reached such wide audiences.

Patsy Takemoto Mink didn’t let prejudice against Japanese Americans after World War II stop her from continuing her education, becoming a lawyer, then going into politics to change policies that discriminated against women and people of color. In Congress, she championed Title IX to end gender discrimination in higher education.

You’ll discover more about the reading lives of historical figures Cleopatra, Queen Elizabeth I, Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, Phillis Wheatley Pierce, Chien-Shiung Wu, Indira Gandhi, Shirley Chisholm, and Audre Lorde in this book.

Contemporary women readers chronicled include Temple Grandin, Sally Ride, Oprah Winfrey, Sonia Sotomayor, Serena Williams, Taylor Swift, Mala Yousafzai, Amanda Gorman, and Marley Diaz.

The 20 profiles are followed by sections on Feminist Fun Facts, more Girls with Books, activities to keep you reading, how to access free books, organizations that help girls and children read, and an extensive resource list.

Prolific author Kathleen Krull died in 2021, leaving behind a handful of profiles in the manuscript for this book which was further researched and completed by author and long-time friend Dr. Virginia Loh-Hagan.

Kathleen said “Once books change their brains, girls change history.” (page 1)
How will you read your way into history?
**kmm

Book info: Born Reading: 20 Stories of Women Reading Their Way Into History / written by Kathleen Krull & Virginia Loh-Hagan; illustrated by Aura Lewis. Paula Wiseman Books/ Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2023. [Loh-Hagan interview] [illustrator site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

ASTONISHING & EXTINCT PROFESSIONS: 89 JOBS YOU WILL NEVER DO, by Marcus Rottman & Michael Meister (MG non-fiction review)

book cover of Astonishing and Extinct Professions: 89 Jobs You Will Never Do,  by Markus Rottmann; illustrated by Michael Meister; translated by Ashley Curtis & Sonia Curtis. Published by Helvetiq

Who… cried on demand?
…could not afford to stumble?
…could hold their breath the longest?

This intriguing, large-format book highlights 89 long-gone jobs, some that we’ve heard of – executioner, court jester, explorer – and others that sound entirely strange to our ears – whalebone ripper, candle trimmer, ice harvesters.

From gladiators and royal tasters to switchboard operators and computing rocket women, professions have arisen to fill a need and then fade away if a better (or faster or cheaper) way is found. Wet nurses gave way to baby formula powder, and airplane detectors’ sensitive ears were replaced by the invention of radar.

You’ll be thankful for modern indoor plumbing when you learn about the jobs of fullones (collected urine to wash clothes in), nightmen (who shoveled out pit toilets), and Abtrittanbieter (walking toilets with a bucket and big cloak)!

Discover the origin of “whipping boy” and “mad as a hatter,” as well as how the Bow Street Runners led to modern police work.

The book’s illustrator even shows himself moving from traditional to digital art methods. Think about which of today’s professions are threatened with extinction as you plot your future career path!

A fascinating import from Switzerland, translated from German to English.

What’s the most unusual past profession you’ve ever heard of?
**kmm

Book info: Astonishing and Extinct Professions: 89 Jobs You Will Never Do / Markus Rottmann; illustrated by Michael Meister; translated by Ashley Curtis & Sonia Curtis. Helvetiq, 2023. [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

Experience our Black History when you read with your ears! (audiobook recommendations)

Our AudioSYNC 2023 summer season ends with two outstanding audiobooks celebrating Black history of recent and earlier times.

You must download either or both audiobooks into your Sora shelf by Wednesday August 2nd! Get all the details here.

Huge thanks to Audiofile magazine and the many audiobook publishers who provided these great selections to us free!

CD cover of Freedom: The Story of the Black Panther Party,by Jetta Grace Martin, Joshua Bloom, Waldo E. Martin Jr. | Read by Dion Graham. Published by Recorded Books

Freedom: The Story of the Black Panther Party (free Sora download 7/27 -8/2/23)
by Jetta Grace Martin, Joshua Bloom, Waldo E. Martin Jr. | Read by Dion Graham
Published by Recorded Books

The history of the Black Panther Party comes to life, from its founders and their stories to its work supporting African American families in crisis to its collapse and next steps of key members.

https://www.audiofilemagazine.com/reviews/read/208263/freedom!-by-jetta-grace-martin-joshua-bloom-waldo-e-martin-jr-read-by-dion-graham/

swirling lines clipart http://www.clipartpanda.com/clipart_images/mondays-throughout-the-day-17164159
CD cover of Not Without Laughter, by Langston Hughes | Read by Jaime Lincoln Smith. Published by Tantor Media

Not Without Laughter (free Sora download 7/27 -8/2/23)
by Langston Hughes | Read by Jaime Lincoln Smith
Published by Tantor Media

A Black family’s struggles and challenges include racially charged encounters as son Sandy grows up in 1930s Kansas.

A classic Harlem Renaissance novel, narrated to perfection.

https://www.audiofilemagazine.com/reviews/read/225993/not-without-laughter-by-langston-hughes-read-by-jaime-lincoln-smith/

What was your favorite AudioSYNC summer audiobook this year?
**kmm

divider clipart http://www.clipartpanda.com/clipart_images/mondays-throughout-the-day-17164159

In the sky, in the air, I AM SMOKE, by Henry Herz and Mercè López (Picturebook review)

book cover of I Am Smoke, by Henry Herz; illustrated by Mercè López. Tilbury House Publishers | recommended on BooksYALove.com

Rising from flames,
Controlled or untamed –
we see and smell smoke.

This picturebook ably shows the many ways that people use smoke: to preserve foods, to banish pests, in religious ceremonies, for healing.

Interestingly, smoke narrates its own story, saying “I lack a mouth, but I can speak” as it reminds us that smoke signals were used in China as well as by Native Americans of the Plains and Southwest.

Smoke explains that it is part of a cycle – it adds its water vapor to rain, its carbon dioxide nourishes leaves that can transform smoke into wood, which someday may again become smoke.

For the earth-toned artwork, the artist held paper over smoky candles, then added details with watercolors and digital enhancements – another way to use smoke!

Fascinating back notes tell more about each page-spread’s short, lyrical text.

What is your happiest memory of smoke?
**kmm

Book info: I Am Smoke / Henry Herz; illustrated by Merce Lopez. Tilbury House Publishers, 2021. [author site] [illustrator site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

Lady Liberty is A LIGHT FOR ALL! by Margarita Engle & Raul Colon (Picturebook recommendation)

book cover of Light For All, by Margarita Engle; illustrated by Raul Colon. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Light, hope, freedom!

The Statue of Liberty‘s welcoming presence weaves throughout this uplifting and reflective picturebook.

Children’s hopes, dreams, and memories of their birth-lands fill these pages showing the many reasons that people come to the United States.

The text also acknowledges the Native Americans who lived here first and the Africans forcibly brought here in slavery, as well as recent immigrants’ struggles to be accepted by those whose families also arrived as immigrants in past generations.

By the author of many novels in verse that carry forward the voices of non-dominant cultures, several recommended on BooksYALove here.

The illustrator uses varied color palettes to portray disaster and turmoil, community and reunion, friendship and hope.

Also available in Spanish : Luz Para Todos.

Have you visited the Statue of Liberty?
**kmm

Book info: Light For All / Margarita Engle; illustrated by Raul Colon. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2021. [author site] [illustrator interview] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

Let’s hear it for inventors! (audiobook recommendations)

How clever! This week, AudioSYNC brings us stories of extremely sharp folks and their amazingly inventive minds.

You have until Wednesday 5 July 2023 to download either or both of these professionally produced audiobooks into your Sora shelf. Get all the details here.

Did you miss earlier weeks’ free audiobooks? Check with your local public library or favorite independent bookstore.

Get ready to read with your ears!

CD cover of Bump, by Chiara Atik | Read by Ana Ortiz, Herbert Siguenza, Alma Martinez, and a Full Cast. Published by LA Theatre Works

Bump (free Sora download 6/29-7/5/23)
by Chiara Atik | Read by Ana Ortiz, Herbert Siguenza, Alma Martinez, and a Full Cast
Published by L.A. Theatre Works

The humorous story of Claudia’s plan to deliver her baby at home (using an amateur-built birthing machine!) is bookended by those of a midwife and first-time mother in 1790 and an online bulletin board for December moms.

Includes an interview with the author and a gynecologist.

https://www.audiofilemagazine.com/reviews/read/226065/bump-by-chiara-atik-read-by-ana-ortiz-herbert-siguenza/

swirling lines clipart http://www.clipartpanda.com/clipart_images/mondays-throughout-the-day-17164159
CD cover of The Woman Who Split the Atom: the Life of Lise Meitner, by Marissa Moss | Read by Sandy Rustin. Published by Recorded Books

The Woman Who Split the Atom: the Life of Lise Meitner (free Sora download 6/29-7/5/23)
by Marissa Moss | Read by Sandy Rustin
Published by Recorded Books

It was Lise Meitner’s groundbreaking research into the behavior of atoms in the 1930s that led to understanding nuclear fission and its later use in atomic weapons, much to her sorrow.

As a Jewish woman in pre-World War II Germany, brilliant Meitner was given substandard lab facilities, saw her work attributed solely to men, was forced into exile by the Nazi regime, and never received the Nobel Prize honors awarded to her male co-researchers.

On BooksYALove here, you’ll find my recommendation of Hidden Powers: Lise Meitner’s Call to Science, by Jeannine Atkins – a biography of Meitner in verse.

https://www.audiofilemagazine.com/reviews/read/229657/the-woman-who-split-the-atom-by-marissa-moss-read-by-sandy-rustin/

Which invention has most improved your own life?
**kmm

divider clipart http://www.clipartpanda.com/clipart_images/mondays-throughout-the-day-17164159

Celebrate the rainbow spectrum – read with your ears! (audiobook recommendations)

For Pride Month, AudioSYNC brings us real-life and fictional accounts of teens across the rainbow of gender and sexuality.

You have until Wednesday 28 June 2023 to download either or both of these professionally produced audiobooks into your Sora shelf. Get all the details here.

The Audiofile review page for each audiobook include a link to their podcast discussion of the book!

Get ready to read with your ears!

CD cover of Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out, by Susan Kuklin | Read by Tanya Eby, Nick Podehl, Todd Haberkorn, Roxanne Hernandez, Janina Edwards, Nancy Wu, Marisol Ramirez. Published by Brilliance Audio/Candlewick

Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out (free Sora download 6/22-6/28/23)
by Susan Kuklin | Read by Tanya Eby, Nick Podehl, Todd Haberkorn, Roxanne Hernandez, Janina Edwards, Nancy Wu, Marisol Ramirez
Published by Brilliance Audio/Candlewick

Two trans feminine, two trans masculine, and two nonbinary young people spoke candidly with Susan Kuklin about their struggles to be accepted.

These real interview transcripts of gender non-conforming teens also include some family members; all narrated by professional voice actors with emotion and empathy.

https://www.audiofilemagazine.com/reviews/read/225998/beyond-magenta-by-susan-kuklin-read-by-tanya-eby-nick-podehl/

swirling lines clipart http://www.clipartpanda.com/clipart_images/mondays-throughout-the-day-17164159
CD cover of Loveless, by Alice Oseman | Read by Billie Fulford-Brown, Elizabeth Schenk, Imogen Church. Published by Scholastic Audiobooks

Loveless (free Sora download 6/22-6/28/23)
by Alice Oseman | Read by Billie Fulford-Brown, Elizabeth Schenk, Imogen Church
Published by Scholastic Audiobooks

Surely her first year of college will be when Georgia finally has a crush, gets kissed, falls in love…right?

New friends and old help the British teen find her true self and claim her identity as asexual/aromantic.

I recommended Loveless here on BooksYALove.

https://www.audiofilemagazine.com/reviews/read/206271/loveless-by-alice-oseman-read-by-billie-fulford-brown-elizabeth-schenk/

What’s your favorite story with gender-nonconforming characters?
**kmm

divider clipart http://www.clipartpanda.com/clipart_images/mondays-throughout-the-day-17164159