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Children's Books

Children's Books

Award winners for young readers

When a blizzard hits the city, leaving trucks snowbound, a mild-mannered, bespectacled garbage truck transforms into Supertruck! He digs out the city and frees other trucks, allowing them to return to their duties before he returns to his. A 2016 (Theodor Seuss) Geisel Honor Book, Supertruck will satisfy children who love trucks and superheroes. The book’s crisp, child-friendly illustrations offer a unique view of a wintry day in the metropolis. The book honors a humble servant willing to brave any cleanup job, whether ordinary or extraordinary. (Ages 2-6)

A Pig, a Fox, and a Box

Similar to Mo Willems’ Elephant and Piggie tales, this easy reader includes humorous characters in three clever stories. The first tale begins with Fox hiding in a box and attempting to outsmart his friend Pig. Instead, Fox winds up flattened and bruised. By the third story, Fox has learned his lesson, but readers will enjoy seeing how the trickster gets fooled and characters reconcile. The simple language here is perfect for beginning readers, and black outlines give the pastel illustrations plenty of pop. A 2016 Geisel Honor Book. (Ages 4-7)

Emmanuel’s Dream: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah

Born with only one complete leg—a potential death sentence in Ghana—Emmanuel defied the odds: He went to school, played soccer on crutches, and even learned to ride a bicycle. The book traces his 400-mile ride across Ghana, an inspiring tale of human perseverance against great odds that draws attention to his abilities despite his disability. Sean Qualls’ modern illustrations, reminiscent of Ezra Jack Keats’ The Snowy Day, add interest to the story and help young children glimpse a different culture. Emmanuel’s Dream won the 2016 Schneider Family Book Award for the artistic expression of a disability. (Ages 3-8)

Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music 

Lively text and colorful, swirling illustrations by Rafael López combine to great effect in this 2016 Pura Belpré Award winner (for illustration). A girl named Millo dreams of playing drums in a culture that frowns on female drummers. “Conga drums, bongo drums, sticks, and timbales: the drum dream girl dreams ‘drumbeat dreams.’” Alliteration, repetition, and rhythm will have young readers tapping along. Cheery illustrations move and dance to the rhythm as well, depicting the girl’s dreams mixed with her frustrations. Based on the true story of Millo Castro Zaldarriaga, Drum Dream Girl celebrates the pursuit of dreams and shows the importance of family support. (Ages 3-8)

Spotlight

This January, the 2016 Newbery Medal went to Last Stop on Market Street, written by Matt de la Peña and illustrated by Christian Robinson (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2015). The selection garnered more attention than usual because de la Peña is the first Hispanic author to win the award. The book also won a 2016 Caldecott honor, a double distinction that has only occurred once before.

Happily, the book lives up to the hype. The picture book (for ages 3-6) opens with a young boy named CJ and his Nana leaving church on Sunday morning to board a city bus. Along the way, CJ asks questions about those around them: Why are his friends riding in a car instead of a bus? Why doesn’t he have earbuds like the teenagers nearby? While lack of money sometimes makes their lives more difficult, Nana answers each question with grace, helping CJ to see the world around him with thankful eyes. —Megan Saben

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  • Handout

    Handout

Children's Books

Children's Books

Award winners for young readers

When a blizzard hits the city, leaving trucks snowbound, a mild-mannered, bespectacled garbage truck transforms into Supertruck! He digs out the city and frees other trucks, allowing them to return to their duties before he returns to his. A 2016 (Theodor Seuss) Geisel Honor Book, Supertruck will satisfy children who love trucks and superheroes. The book’s crisp, child-friendly illustrations offer a unique view of a wintry day in the metropolis. The book honors a humble servant willing to brave any cleanup job, whether ordinary or extraordinary. (Ages 2-6)

A Pig, a Fox, and a Box

Similar to Mo Willems’ Elephant and Piggie tales, this easy reader includes humorous characters in three clever stories. The first tale begins with Fox hiding in a box and attempting to outsmart his friend Pig. Instead, Fox winds up flattened and bruised. By the third story, Fox has learned his lesson, but readers will enjoy seeing how the trickster gets fooled and characters reconcile. The simple language here is perfect for beginning readers, and black outlines give the pastel illustrations plenty of pop. A 2016 Geisel Honor Book. (Ages 4-7)

Emmanuel’s Dream: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah

Born with only one complete leg—a potential death sentence in Ghana—Emmanuel defied the odds: He went to school, played soccer on crutches, and even learned to ride a bicycle. The book traces his 400-mile ride across Ghana, an inspiring tale of human perseverance against great odds that draws attention to his abilities despite his disability. Sean Qualls’ modern illustrations, reminiscent of Ezra Jack Keats’ The Snowy Day, add interest to the story and help young children glimpse a different culture. Emmanuel’s Dream won the 2016 Schneider Family Book Award for the artistic expression of a disability. (Ages 3-8)

Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music 

Lively text and colorful, swirling illustrations by Rafael López combine to great effect in this 2016 Pura Belpré Award winner (for illustration). A girl named Millo dreams of playing drums in a culture that frowns on female drummers. “Conga drums, bongo drums, sticks, and timbales: the drum dream girl dreams ‘drumbeat dreams.’” Alliteration, repetition, and rhythm will have young readers tapping along. Cheery illustrations move and dance to the rhythm as well, depicting the girl’s dreams mixed with her frustrations. Based on the true story of Millo Castro Zaldarriaga, Drum Dream Girl celebrates the pursuit of dreams and shows the importance of family support. (Ages 3-8)

Spotlight

This January, the 2016 Newbery Medal went to Last Stop on Market Street, written by Matt de la Peña and illustrated by Christian Robinson (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2015). The selection garnered more attention than usual because de la Peña is the first Hispanic author to win the award. The book also won a 2016 Caldecott honor, a double distinction that has only occurred once before.

Happily, the book lives up to the hype. The picture book (for ages 3-6) opens with a young boy named CJ and his Nana leaving church on Sunday morning to board a city bus. Along the way, CJ asks questions about those around them: Why are his friends riding in a car instead of a bus? Why doesn’t he have earbuds like the teenagers nearby? While lack of money sometimes makes their lives more difficult, Nana answers each question with grace, helping CJ to see the world around him with thankful eyes. —Megan Saben

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Children's Books

Children's Books

Recent audiobooks for teens 

After 12-year-old Jayson’s mother dies, he manages to survive on his own for a while. But when he steals sneakers for the upcoming basketball season, authorities send him to live with a foster family. Jayson (who is white) must adjust to living with a black family on the rich side of town. He also has to overcome his anger if he’s to earn his teammates’ respect and lead them to the state finals. Lupica’s narrative moves quickly, with enough description to create memorable characters in an uplifting tale that shows the rewards of perseverance. Boys and sports lovers take note.

Winter

Fans of the Lunar Chronicles will find this fourth and last volume a satisfying conclusion. In this sci-fi version of Snow White, Princess Winter is the beautiful, mentally fragile stepdaughter of evil Queen Levana, who of course jealously threatens Winter’s life. Others are also in danger, with war potentially consuming the earth. A rebellion intervenes, with Winter joining it alongside Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, characters from previous novels in the series. Cautions for younger listeners: fantasy violence and teenage romance. This audiobook is a significant investment of time—23 hours.

Game Over

In this final book of The MindWar Trilogy, Rick Dial again faces Kurodar, creator of a virtual Realm that threatens American security. Entering the Realm through the MindWar project, Rick previously took on Kurodar’s minions. Now, he must destroy the Realm itself before Kurodar turns his horrific dream world into reality. Action-packed scenes keep listeners engaged while Rick displays spiritual truths. Although the story doesn’t mention Jesus, it does reference the Bible, and Rick realizes he must trust a power greater than himself. Fantasy violence and zombielike creatures make this story suitable for mature teens only.

The Story of God’s Love for You

Critically acclaimed author Sally Lloyd-Jones here adapts her best-selling The Jesus Storybook Bible for teens. In the audiobook version, narrator David Suchet’s rich tones embody a wide range of voices. Insightful vignettes with characters like Adam and Eve and King David cover the scope of the Bible, highlighting the story of God’s redemption of His people from sin. Chapters include poetic, contemporary language to help teens see the big picture. The content is similar to that of Storybook Bible, and the repackaging will likely make the well-loved stories even more appealing to teen and adult readers.

Spotlight

As Pride and Prejudice and Zombies hits theaters this February, Christian families may appreciate a kinder, more authentic take on the classic tale by Jane Austen. An excellent choice toward that end is Audible’s recent version read by Rosamund Pike, who played Jane Bennet in the 2005 film version of Pride and Prejudice, starring Keira Knightley. Pike offers delightful voicings of the numerous female characters, each distinguished through inflection and rhythm, and narrates in a feminine yet authoritative voice with a delightful British accent. As listeners follow the budding romance of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy, Pike’s narration fully captures the scope of Austen’s writing: zombie-free listening at its best. —E.W.

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