Spring 2007 Books (click on covers to view section)
Under the Persimmon Tree by Suzanne Fisher Staples
Intertwined portraits of courage and hope in Afghanistan and Pakistan
Najmah, a young Afghan girl whose name means â€śstar,â€? suddenly finds herself alone when her father and older brother are conscripted by the Taliban and her mother and newborn brother are killed in an air raid. An American woman, Elaine, whose Islamic name is Nusrat, is also on her own. She waits out the war in Peshawar, Pakistan, teaching refugee children under the persimmon tree in her garden while her Afghan doctor husband runs a clinic in Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan.
Najmahâ€™s father had always assured her that the stars would take care of her, just as Nusratâ€™s husband had promised that they would tell Nusrat where he was and that he was safe. As the two look to the skies for answers, their fates entwine. Najmah, seeking refuge and hoping to find her father and brother, begins the perilous journey through the mountains to cross the border into Pakistan. And Nusratâ€™s persimmon-tree school awaits Najmahâ€™s arrival. Together, they both seek their way home.
Known for her award-winning fiction set in South Asia, Suzanne Fisher Staples revisits that part of the world in this beautifully written, heartrending novel.
Begging for Change by Sharon Flake
Fourteen-year-old Raspberry Hill is still struggling to find security in her life. More than anything, she wants a father who will love and protect her, like Zora's dad. When her mother is attacked, Raspberry does the unthinkable: she steals money from Zora, her best friend. It's only when her thieving, drug-addicted father returns that Raspberry begins to wonder whether betraying Zora will cost her more than she can ever repay. Is Raspberry destined to follow in her father's footsteps? Raspberry is certain something has got to change.
Sharon G. Flake won the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Award for her first novel The Skin I'm In and is a two-time Coretta Scott King Author Honor Book winner. Beloved by children and adults, critics and booksellers, librarians and teachers, she is the author of six books for young adults that have sold more than half a million copies. The mother of a college-age daughter, Flake writes full time from her home in Pittsburgh.
The Body Eclectic: An Anthology of Poems by Patrice Vecchione
The first poetry anthology for teens to address one of their foremost concerns-the body.Experienced anthologist and teacher Patrice Vecchione has put together an immensely powerful group of poems, all of which address a unifying theme of major interest to teens-the body. Drawing on poems both serious and silly and poets from Shakespeare to Lucille Clifton, The Body Eclectic looks at what our bodies are, what they are not, how we love them and taunt them, what they give us, and what they take away. A wonderful collection of poems on a hot topic for teens, and a perfect gift and companion in one of the most universal struggles of adolescence.
Patrice Vecchione is the editor of Revenge and Forgiveness, Truth and Lies, and The Body Eclectic, anthologies of poems for teenagers, as well as several adult anthologies. She is also a poet and teaches poetry to children and adults in schools, libraries, and community centers. Patrice lives in Del Rey Oaks, California.
Pedro and Me by Judd Winick (Spring 2007)
"You are eighteen years old. You get up in front of a thousand people--your classmates, your friends, basically the people who make up your entire existence--and announce, 'I'm HIV positive.'"
Told entirely in sequential art, here is the story of the life-changing friendship between the author, a cartoonist from Long Island, and Pedro Zamora, an HIV-positive AIDS activist, which was filmed day by day on MTV's Real World San Francisco.
As a speaker and educator, a guest on many talk shows (including Oprah), and when his tragic death received front-page coverage in the press, Pedro taught a generation that AIDS was not a punishment for moral defects or a mere killer that reduced humans to wraiths. Rather, he showed how those afflicted with the disease could live and love nobly with intelligence, humor and great humanity. Judd Winick's compelling memoir allows each of us to experience the vitally important message Pedro brought us.
Inspiring, moving, informative, and instantly accessible, Pedro and Me could become one of the books that defines a generation.
Criss Cross by Lynne Rae Perkins
something would happen.
Looking at the bright, fuzzy picture in the
magazine, she thought, Something like that.
Checking her wish
she found one.
Hoping it wasn't
too late, she thought
the word soon.
Keesha's House by Helen Frost
Keesha has found a safe place to live, and other kids gravitate to her house when they just canâ€™t make it on their own. They are Stephie â€“ pregnant, trying to make the right decisions for herself and those she cares about; Jason â€“ Stephieâ€™s boyfriend, torn between his responsibility to Stephie and the baby and the promise of a college basketball career; Dontay â€“ in foster care while his parents are in prison, feeling unwanted both inside and outside the system; Carmen â€“ arrested on a DUI charge, waiting in a juvenile detention center for a judge to hear her case; Harris â€“ disowned by his father after disclosing that heâ€™s gay, living in his car, and taking care of himself; Katie â€“ angry at her motherâ€™s loyalty to an abusive stepfather, losing herself in long hours of work and school.
Stretching the boundaries of traditional poetic forms â€“ sestinas and sonnets â€“ Helen Frostâ€™s extraordinary debut novel for young adults weaves together the stories of these seven teenagers as they courageously struggle to hold their lives together and overcome their difficulties.
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-ExupĂ©ry
Few stories are as widely read and as universally cherished by children and adults alike as The Little Prince. Richard Howard's new translation of the beloved classic-published to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Antoine de Saint-ExupĂ©ry's birth-beautifully reflects Saint-ExupĂ©ry's unique and gifted style. Howard, an acclaimed poet and one of the preeminent translators of our time, has excelled in bringing the English text as close as possible to the French, in language, style, and most important, spirit. The artwork in this new edition has been restored to match in detail and in color Saint-ExupĂ©ry's original artwork. By combining the new translation with restored original art, Harcourt is proud to introduce the definitive English-language edition of an aviator whose plane is forced down in the Sahara Desert encounters a little man from a small planet who describes his adventures in the universe seeking the secret of what is really important in life.
A Wreath for Emmett Till by Marilyn Nelson and Philippe Lardy
In 1955, people all over the United States knew that Emmett Louis Till was a fourteen-year-old African American boy lynched for supposedly whistling at a white woman in Mississippi. The brutality of his murder, the open-casket funeral, and the acquittal of the men tried for the crime drew wide media attention. Award-winning poet Marilyn Nelson reminds us of the boy whose fate helped spark the civil rights movement. This martyr's wreath, woven from a little-known but sophisticated form of poetry, challenges us to speak out against modern-day injustices, to "speak what we see."