The great-great-great-grandkids of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson must work together to solve the murder of a boarding school classmate – before they are considered the prime suspects! (first in a trilogy)
What other novels of conflict would you recommend?
B is for battles fought honorably,
for being merciful to wounded enemies,
for being human in wartime.
Borrowman’s research reveals the true stories of men and women who saw past the label of “enemy” to behave with honor during the American Revolution, Civil War, World War I and onward to Vietnam and Iraq.
A British rifle inventor refuses to shoot George Washington in the back during the Revolutionary War.
Rudi, an ordinary German boy who defied Hitler’s SS recruiters, was saved by a Nazi prison guard.
What other true stories of compassion to enemies do you know?
Book info: Compassionate Soldier: Remarkable True Stories of Mercy, Heroism, and Honor From the Battlefield / Jerry Borrowman. Shadow Mountain Publishing, 2017. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
Songs for freedom,
words as power –
freedom from Spain, from slavery?
Did you know about Chinese immigrants who fled to Cuba, escaping racist attacks in America? They struggled for freedom from unfair indenture alongside enslaved Africans during the days when Cuba sought its independence from Spain – so many stories forgotten, lost, found, retold.
Could you leave your homeland for safety, then leave again?
Book info: Lion Island: Cuba’s Warrior of Words / Margarita Engle. Atheneum Books for Young Readers, hardcover 2016, paperback 2017. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
My book talk: At the confluence of Cuban, Chinese, and African cultures, poetic voices of three young people tell the stories of arrival and broken promises, despair and hope, love and the future during their island home’s early years as a nation.
To learn the proper Spanish that his Chinese mother never knew, Antonio’s African father sends him to school in La Habana city.
As he runs errands within the Chinese community for wealthy men displaced from California by anti-Asian prejudice in the post-Gold Rush years, the 12 year old meets twin sister and brother Fan and Wing.
Antonio hears stories of unfairness and change, falls in love with words, wonders if they have true power.
Fan runs away from the sugarcane fields, from forced marriage – to sing and write songs and sing true.
Wing remembers being forced from their California home, wants to help the rebels in Cuba’s mountains.
Months roll into years as the three young people help hide escaped slaves, read letters of protest sent to China and Madrid, long for power over their own lives.
Lyrically, poetically, alternating voices relate the struggles of indentured Chinese workers and enslaved African people fighting for their freedom in the 1870s as Cuba strives for independence from Spain.
Want to become an illustrator?
Ready to step up your drawing style?
Elise says “let out all the ideas” in your sketchbook!
Monsters and microbes and funny mushrooms are some of the “complete nonsense” that this Quebecoise author/illustrator allows herself to draw in her plain black notebook, only later revising them or adding funny stories or spinning them off into her many books for kids.
Her top advice for illustrators-in-training? “Draw all the time!”
Book info: If Found, Please Return to Elise Gravel / Elise Gravel, translated by Shira Adriance. Drawn & Quarterly, 2017. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
My book talk: Creatures large, small, and all whimsical fill this notebook by Canadian illustrator and children’s author Elise Gravel, as inspiration for us to draw, draw, draw!
Draw in spare moments, like Elise does – practice and more practice is the way to improve, as you find your own drawing style.
You can imitate illustrations for practice or create crazy ideas and doodles. Some may inspire a story, so write it.
Look at her Floofs and foxes, bunnies dressed in punk rock t-shirts, and “the Incredible Hulk presents his favourite recipes for a romantic dinner” – mashing up ideas can make really funny pictures!
To become a better illustrator, just grab your notebook (any color, says Elise) and keep on drawing!
Sugar doesn’t want to be fat or take care of her housebound morbidly obese mom in their run-down trailer. When a new guy at the 17 year old’s New Hampshire high school actually listens to her instead of mocking – what now?
Perhaps it’s not the exactly carbs and fat we eat that are ruining our health, but the man-made flavors added to them that make us eat more and more. Fascinating research on chemical food flavors may be interfering with our bodies’ ability to choose nutritious foods.
What food has your own research led you to avoid?
Click the link following the title to download either or both these complete audiobooks before Wednesday night (5 July 2017), then listen to them whenever you like, as long as you keep them on your computer or electronic device.
Download either or both of these complete audiobooks from Thursday through Wednesday (6/22-28/2017) by clicking on the link following title, then you have free use of them as long as you keep them on your computer or electronic device.
Time to download this week’s soulful audiobooks from SYNC so you can read with your ears – at no cost!
Remember that although these complete audiobooks are only available from Thursday through Wednesday (June 15-21, 2017), you have free use of them as long as you keep them on your computer or electronic device
Following the Civil War and Emancipation, African-Americans were systematically denied their rights, as Du Bois chronicled in this 1903 work which rings true today, as progress has been uneven, at best.
Abruptly moved to prairieland Nebraska from tropical Cuba when Castro’s control grows tighter in 1963, teen Lucia must cope with new language and new worries – will she and her little brother ever see their parents again?
Displacement, change, and loss – can you relate?
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