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CHILDREN'S BOOKS

How to Heal a Broken Wing
Written and illustrated
by Bob Graham
(Candlewick Press, 2009)
40 pp. $16.99
Young Will notices a bird lying on the ground in the middle of a bustling city. With the help of his mother he wraps it up and takes it home to loving care. The stark drawings and sparse text make this an ideal book for preschool and early grades, while the empathic character and urban fable of possibility encourage action by even the oldest of readers.

Make Way for Dyamonde Daniel
By Nikki Grimes, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie
(Putman, 2009)
74 pp. $10.99
Dyamonde Daniel is the star of a new chapter book series for 8- to 10-year-olds. She loves math, is outgoing, and knows everyone in the neighborhood. In this first book she breaks through the tough exterior of a new kid in the school who has been taking out his frustration on everyone. Because countless beginning chapter book series feature white children, we look forward to the upcoming adventures of this strong African American girl.

My Name is Sangoel
By Karen Lynn Williams and Khadra Mohammed, illustrated by Catherine Stock
(Eerdmans Books, 2009)
32 pp. $17
An identity story of a young boy who flees with his mother to the United States from Sudan after his father is killed in the war. As a refugee, the one thing Sangoel has is his name, yet people mispronounce it and children laugh at it. Sangoel devises a creative way to solve his problem and build friendship with his classmates. A well-illustrated book that sensitizes children about the conditions of refugees and the power of names.

John Brown:
His Fight for Freedom

Written and illustrated
by John Hendrix
(Abrams Books, 2009)
40 pp. $18.95
Published to coincide with the 150th anniversary of John Brown’s raid, this dramatically illustrated book brings Brown to life. The detailed text on each page concisely explains the important events in his life, highlighting not only Brown’s campaign against slavery but also his steadfast stand against racism and for equality. An excellent read-aloud for upper elementary through high school students. It’s also a fine discussion starter on the topics of race, abolitionism, and the role of white people in the struggle against racism.

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