Archive for August 25, 2017

Dangerous Jane

Written by Suzanne Slade
Illustrated by Alice Ratterree

In this time of great social upheaval, it’s more important than ever to ask “What can I do?” Not everyone can do all the things Jane Addams did, but everyone can take inspiration from her example and do as much as possible.

In this heartfelt and significant biography, Slade shows the life of the social warrior. Jane was born into relative wealth, but that did not mean she had an easy life. Her mother died when Jane was two. Jane suffered from spinal tuberculosis, which left her spine deformed. She felt isolated, which added to her ability to empathize with all the immigrants in Chicago. She traveled the world but never forgot her commitment to the underprivileged. She raised money and bought a building near the immigrant populations of Chicago. She renovated Hull House and welcomed families, taught them English, and provided education. Hull House continued to grow to many buildings. Sad and appalled at the start of World War I, she helped form the Women’s Peach Party from the International Congress of Women. Her peace-driven activities earned her the label “dangerous” from the people who wanted to win the war. But she never stopped. She knew that people with differences needed to learn to listen to each other. In 1931, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, the first female American to receive this honor.

Gorgeous watercolor illustrations give the feel of Jane’s world and her activities over the years.

It’s imperative kids be given the opportunity to follow Jane’s example.

  • Dangerous JaneTitle: Dangerous Jane
  • Author: Suzanne Slade
  • Illustrator: Alice Ratterree
  • Published: Peachtree Publishers, September 1, 2017
  • Reviewer: Sue Poduska
  • Format: Hardcover, 40 pages
  • Grade Level: PreK to 3
  • Genre: Nonfiction, History, Social Justice
  • ISBN: 978-1-56145-913-1
  • Extras: More About Dangerous Jane, Timeline

Charlie Bumpers vs. His Big Blabby Mouth

Written by Bill Harley
Illustrated by Adam Gustavson

Charlie is doing his best to get through fourth grade without any major embarrassments, but that’s easier said than done. Everyone is looking forward to career week and wondering if the parents doing presentations will bring them things – like the parent who’s a baker bringing in cookies. Charlie never asked his parents to present because they have boring jobs. When someone suggests Charlie’s dad is a math genius, the tale of Charlie’s dad quickly turns into super-math prowess. By the time everyone knows his dad might come, he has a private jet and will give new calculators to everyone in the school. Charlie is unable to quash the rumors, and he still hasn’t asked his dad. Meanwhile, he’s managed to become the class messenger (aka, Master Messenger), but he can’t resist running in the hallways. Naturally, that creates another disaster (aka, a disastrophe). Then his dad loses his job. How can any of this turn out okay?

Lively black and white ink drawings accompany many pages and help the reader know the characters.

This and the other books in this series are great for kids to learn that they are not alone in their feelings as they navigate all the coming of age issues. Everything that seems important at the time will likely seem silly in the end.

Order on Amazon

  • Charlie BumpersTitle: Charlie Bumpers vs. His Big Blabby Mouth
  • Author: Bill Harley
  • Illustrator: Adam Gustavson
  • Published: Peachtree Publishers, September 1, 2017
  • Reviewer: Sue Poduska
  • Format: Hardcover, 184 pages
  • Grade Level: 2 to 5
  • Genre: Fiction, Chapter book
  • ISBN: 978-1-56145-940-7

Long- Armed Ludy and the First Women’s Olympics

Written by Jean L.S. Patrick
Illustrated by Adam Gustovson

            Hey, Olympics, here I come! These might have been the thoughts of a tall, skinny, long-armed college girl in 1922. But only after her school and classmates raised enough money for her to travel to the First Women’s Olympics in Paris, France.

           Lucile Godbold was taller than a girl was supposed to be with long arms and a skinny body. This story starts out wondering how she got so tall. Exactly as a young child would wonder. Did her brothers pull on her arms and legs to stretch her out?

            Exquisite humor is sprinkled throughout this stunningly accurate biography. Even the numbers on all the contestants’ shirts are accurate! Teachers, librarians and parents reading aloud will chuckle and grin while explaining nuances to the younger set.

            The vivacious voice and authentic articulation brings the story to life, as well as the realistic gauche illustrations. Teachers and parents can use the illustrations to compare past with current uniforms, sports, transportation, and women’s inclusion in sports.

            If you can only afford one new nonfiction picture book this year, make sure it is this one.

  • Long-Armed LudyTitle:  Long- Armed Ludy
  • Author:  Jean L.S. Patrick
  • Illustrator:  Adam Gustovson
  • Publisher:  Charlesbridge, 2017
  • Reviewer: Elizabeth Swartz
  • Format:  Hardcover, 32 pages
  • ISBN:  978-15809560
  • Genre: Nonfiction picture book
  • Grade level: 1 to 4
  • Extras: Back matter on the First Women’s Olympics as well as on Lucile Godbold.