The relationship between grandparents and their grandchildren is very special. I love watching my children spend time with their grandparents and create new memories with them.
Full-color Illustrations Throughout
Year after year, Eli watches the solemn lighting of seven candles at his family’s celebration of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. On such a happy occasion, his parents and grandparents always seem sad, and Eli can’t understand why.
Then one year Eli travels to Eastern Europe to learn more about his family history. There, he learns how the candles represent his family’s connection to the Holocaust in Lithuania, and how remembering his ancestors can help heal years of grief and shame.
This powerful story, illuminated by Bill Farnsworth’s sensitive brush strokes and muted palette, can be used as an introduction to World War II and the Holocaust, and will also remind young readers how they can make a difference in the lives of their families.
Other Editions: HardcoverWith my old-people lunches in wrinkled plastic bags, I was basically a freak of nature at Parker Junior High. Like, “Come see the kid with seven heads” or, “Come see the kid who’s alive in a jar.” Everything I did — opening my locker, turning in homework, drinking from the water fountain — was so freakish the whole school had to stare. I didn’t even have to do anything stupid like trip or spill food. Just by being myself, I was the most ridiculous person alive. After getting suspended from school, Ethan Oppenheimer is uprooted from his comfortable suburban life in Pennsylvania and sent to live in Washington, D.C., with grandparents he hardly knows. At Parker Junior High, he stands out as the only white student. Making friends there is difficult; fitting in, impossible. It doesn’t help that his overprotective grandparents expect him to live their old-fashioned, frugal lifestyle.
As he tries to find his way in this new world, Ethan also struggles with issues from the world he left behind — guilt about the events surrounding his suspension, anxiety about his parents’ separation, loneliness for the company of his family and friends.
Slowly, Ethan adjusts. He makes a few friends; he joins the jazz band and learns a new instrument; he even gets used to dried-out dinners at 4:30 pm. Along the way he learns a lot about prejudice and acceptance — and about himself and his changing family situation.
Read a review of the book by our own Rachel Bomberger on EerdWord.
I’m Right Here
Ages 4 to 8
An accessible book about a difficult topic
“Are you ever afraid?” William asks his grandmother. But her answer isn’t what he expects. His grandma isn’t afraid of big dogs or thunder and lightning like William is. Instead, she’s afraid that she won’t see the flowers bloom next spring. She’s afraid that she’ll miss the magpie building its nest. Most of all, she’s afraid of losing the things she loves — especially William. But then it’s William’s turn to surprise her with his response.
With soft, inviting artwork, this reassuring story contains a stirring message about the power and constancy of love.
Mikis and the Donkey
Ages 8 to 12
Another moving animal tale from the award-winning author of Soldier Bear
One day, Mikis’s grandfather has a surprise for him: a new donkey waiting! Mikis falls in love with the creature, but his grandparents tell him that the donkey is a working animal, not a pet. However, they still let Mikis choose her name — Tsaki — and allow the two of them to spend their Sundays together. Mikis and Tsaki soon become fast friends, and together the two have some grand adventures. Eventually, both Mikis and his grandfather learn a bit more about what exactly it means to care for another creature.
Brought to life by drawings from Philip Hopman, Bibi Dumon Tak’s gentle, humorous story is perfect for any readers who may have their own soft spot for animals.
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