Looking for good books to gift to your kids or grandkids? Check out this line-up for fun and inspiring reads. Teachers and parents will appreciate them, too. #amreading #biography #magicalrealism #netgalley
Looking for good books to gift to your kids or grandkids? Check out this line-up for fun and inspiring reads.
Looking for good books to gift to your kids or grandkids? Check out this line-up for fun and inspiring reads. Teachers and parents will appreciate them, too. #amreading #biography #magicalrealism #netgalley

The Water Walker/Nibi Emosaawdang

By Joanne Robertson, Second Story Press, 2019, 36 pages.

This charming picture book tells the true story of Nokomis, a woman who loved has a vision that one day we’ll run out of water if we don’t conserve it. She and her friends started walking to raise awareness of water conservation. Nokomis carried a Migizi Staff in one hand and a copper pail full of water in the other. 

This charming bilingual book highlights one woman’s efforts to teach others about respecting the Earth. It shows how one First Nations woman used her knowledge to bring an important message to the entire world. 

Teachers, librarians, conservationists, and parents should read and share this book and its important message with kids of all ages.

Read the story of the Water Walker, a First Nations woman who walked to raise awareness about the value of water. #firstnations #nativeamerican #amreading #conservation @secondstorypress Click To Tweet

Circus Mirandus

by Cassie Beasley, Puffin Books, 2016, 304 pages.

Micah Tuttle lives with his grandfather, a whimsical man filled with tales of a mysterious and magical circus. When his grandfather gets sick, and his Great-Aunt Gertrudis comes to take charge, Micah fears that his life will irrevocably change.

And it does. Aunt Gertrudis won’t let him visit Grandpa Ephraim whenever he wants to. She gets angry at any mention of the magical Circus Mirandus, and she makes horrible tea. With everything on his mind, Micah doesn’t have time to spend doing his part on the history project he’s doing with Jenny Mendoza, the new girl at school.

Fortunately, Jenny has plans and brains and doesn’t act like Aunt Gertrudis. She doesn’t believe in magic, but Micah doesn’t hold it against her. 

As Grandpa Ephraim’s health worsens, he writes a letter to the Lightbender, the best magician of all at Circus Mirandus. The Lightbender owes Grandpa Ephraim a miracle, and he’s ready to collect. Micah has his doubts, after all, flying women, incredible magic, butterflies that turn into fairies, and miracles don’t really exist. Or do they?

Micah goes on a rollicking yet poignant journey to convince the Lightbender to fulfill his promise of a miracle for Grandpa Ephraim. Along the way, he meets an endearing cast of characters from Circus Mirandus and discovers the joy of friendship.

Beasley’s lyrical prose will sweep you into this story from the first page. A beautiful example of magical realism, the author paints word pictures that make me laugh, giggle, and sigh. It’s not often that I feel like underlining things in a middle-grade novel, but I couldn’t resist. Your kids will love the whimsy, you’ll love the words.

You'll fall in love with Micah and Grandpa Ephraim in #CircusMirandus. Maybe you'll let your middle-grader read it, too. Or maybe you'll buy them their own copy. #MGNovel #amreading Click To Tweet

Junko Tabei Masters the Mountains

by Rebel Girls, published by Rebel Girls, February 25, 2020, 128 pages.

The beautiful middle-grade biography chronicles the life of Junko Tabei, the first woman climber to summit Mount Everest. An unlikely climbing hero, Junko failed PE class in middle school. 

Growing up in a rural region of Japan, Junko had no independent female role models in the 60s in Japan. Junko didn’t want to settle down and marry after high school, she wanted to attend college and live an independent life full of adventure.

With the support of her father, she went away to college in Tokyo, where she discovered a deep interest in mountaineering. Climbing mountains helped her feel at peace when life seemed too overwhelming.

Junko overcame her natural shyness, joined a climbing club, and eventually became a master climber. She eventually meets, falls in love with, and marries a not-so-traditional Japanese climber, Masanobu Tabei, who encourages her to follow her dreams.

Why Kids Will Love This Book

Readers who love biographies will love this story of an ordinary girl who grows up to do daring things. The bright illustrations help support the text, and girls of all ages will fall in love with Junko and cheer for her as she overcomes obstacles and hardships.

I receive free electronic advanced reader copies of these books through an arrangement between the publishers and NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion on NetGalley’s website. I only review books on my blog that I really love.

Looking for good books to gift to your kids or grandkids? Check out this line-up for fun and inspiring reads. Teachers and parents will appreciate them, too. #amreading #biography #magicalrealism #netgalley

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Anita Ojeda

Anita Ojeda juggles writing with teaching high school English and history. When she's not lurking in odd places looking for rare birds, you can find her camping with her kids, adventuring with her husband or mountain biking with her students.

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