This Women’s History month we want to feature a few juvenile books that feature strong female characters. The new shelf in Youth Services at the Peter White Public Library is teeming with great reads about girls facing dragons, migration cruelty, finding their voice, positive change, fighting for their education and more. Check one out today.
In Land of the Cranes by Aida Salazar, the writer draws picture poems for her father. First, she draws pictures of the stories he tells of their ancestors – cranes – flying away from predators destroying their nests – much like how they left Mexico when cartels threatened their family.
Then, she draws picture poems when her father is detained by Immigration Officials and later deported. Finally, she draws picture poems for her father when asked by an immigration attorney to document harsh, inhumane living conditions when she and her pregnant mother are placed in a family detention camp without beds, adequate food or medical care. Told in verse, this story is not to be missed.
In Prairie Lotus by Linda Sue Park, 14-year old Hanna moves with her father from California to the Dakota Territories. She deeply hopes she will finally be able to attend school. It’s been impossible in other frontier towns when people see that she is half-Chinese. When she’s met with unfriendliness Hanna determines she will work to help people see past what they think they know about her and get to know all of her before casting judgement. Hanna’s love of dress design and frontier spirit is relatable to all readers making their own way into adulthood and life.
Newberry Medalist Sharon Creech introduces readers to a lovely dreamer – Gina Filomena in One Time. Gina has never met anyone who can match her active imagination. When Antonio moves in next door, she feels emboldened by his willingness to share his imagination with the class, the neighborhood, the world. It’s a step Gina wants to take to find out who she is and how she fits in. Their teacher, Miss Lightstone, is champion for creativity and helps the pair and the peers direct their creativity into beauty.
In The Dragon Thief, Kavita has stolen her brother’s friend, Jaxon’s dragon, and is trying to figure out how to return it to the realm of magic. Jaxon has been tasked with returning the dragon to stabilize the imbalance of magic in the other realm before it’s too late. But when a magical trickster kidnaps the group and tells them a different version of what they’ve been told of the realm, they will have to listen to their hearts to make a choice. Set in Brooklyn, this urban fantasy features a diverse cast of likeable characters that use teamwork to reach their goal.
In Zoey Sassafras:Caterflies and Ice, by Asia Citro, Zoey uses science experiments and animal research to help magic animals who come to her barn for help. When caterflies ask for help protecting their eggs during a spring freeze, Zoey comes up with a solution that might have done more harm than good. She’ll need to come up with an experiment of another kind to save the eggs and their food source before it’s too late.
In Stella Endicott and the Anything-Is-Possible Poem by Kate Dicamillo, Stella is tasked with writing a poem with a metaphor by her second grade teacher. While she struggles at first, Stella is able to finish the homework for school the next day. But when she shows the poem to her annoying classmate, Horace, they get sent to the Principal’s office for getting into a loud argument. The pair soon find themselves locked in a dark janitor’s closet, talking about metaphors, friendship and the poem called life. This quick read is funny, relatable and pure Kate DiCamillo.