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Showing posts with label Book Lists. Show all posts

[Book List] 2017 Releases- Caribbean Books for Children & YAs




It's never too late to start reading your world so if you want to discover the special universe of Caribbean children's and YA lit, our round-up of titles releasing this year is a good place to start. In keeping with our usual new year tradition (see our 2016 list here), we've compiled forthcoming titles for the young and young at heart written by Caribbean authors or with Caribbean protagonists.

The coming year will bring new books from Tracey Baptiste, Emma Otheguy, Ruth Behar, John Agard, Adam Silvera, Ismael Cala, Pablo Cartaya, James Edward English and Anansesem alumni Olive Senior, Nadia L. Hohn, Itah Sadu, Margarita Engle and Ibi Zoboi. Some are debut authors (like Haitian-American writer-to-watch Ibi Zoboi whose short story "The Little Golden Stone Man" appeared in our September 2011 issue) and some are seasoned writers who are breaking new ground (like Margarita Engle, who will cross over into the fantasy genre for the first time).

If we missed any books, please let us know in the comments section below. This list will be updated throughout the year as we discover new titles and book covers. These books are all available for pre-order in our bookstore. Happy reading!

*All book synopses from the publisher's website.



Shadowhouse Fall
by Daniel José Older
YA novel. Scholastic. Pub date: September 12, 2017



SHADOWHOUSE RISING

Sierra and her friends love their new lives as shadowshapers, making art and creating change with the spirits of Brooklyn. Then Sierra receives a strange card depicting a white beast called the Hound of Light -- an image from the enigmatic, influential Deck of Worlds. The Deck tracks the players and powers of all the magical houses in the city, and when the real Hound begins to stalk Sierra through the streets, the shadowshapers know their next battle has arrived.

WORLDS IN REVOLUTION

Sierra and Shadowhouse have been thrust into an ancient struggle with enemies old and new -- a struggle they didn't want, but are determined to win. Revolution is brewing in the real world as well, as the shadowshapers join the fight against systems that oppress and incarcerate their community. To protect her family and friends in every sphere, Sierra must take down the Hound and master the Deck of Worlds ... or else she could lose everything that matters most.



The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet!
by Carmen Agra Deedy (Author) and Eugene Yelchin (Illustrator)
Picturebook. Scholastic. Pub date: January 31, 2017



La Paz is a happy, but noisy village. A little peace and quiet would make it just right. So the villagers elect the bossy Don Pepe as their mayor. Before long, singing of any kind is outlawed. Even the teakettle is afraid to whistle!

But there is one noisy rooster who doesn't give two mangos about this mayor's silly rules. Instead, he does what roosters were born to do.

He sings: "Kee-kee-ree-KEE!"

Carmen Deedy's masterfully crafted allegory and Eugene Yelchin's bright, whimsical mixed-media paintings celebrate the spirit of freedom -- and the courage of those who are born to sing at any cost.



All the Way to Havana
by Margarita Engle (Author) and Mike Curato (Illustrator)
Picturebook. Henry Holt & Company. Pub date: August 29, 2017



So we purr, cara cara, and we glide, taka taka, and we zoom, zoom, ZOOM!

A family drives into the city of Havana to celebrate a cousin's first birthday. Before their journey, the boy helps his papa tune up their old car, Cara Cara, which has been in their family for many years. They drive along the sea wall, along the coast, past other colorful old cars. The sounds of the city are rich—the putt putts and honks and bumpety bumps of other cars chorus through the streets. A rich celebration of the culture of the Cuban people, their resourcefulness and innovative spirit, and their joy.



American Street
by Ibi Zoboi
YA novel. HarperCollins. Pub date: March 23, 2017



American Street is an evocative and powerful coming-of-age story perfect for fans of Everything, Everything; Bone Gap; and All American Boys. In this stunning debut novel, Pushcart-nominated author Ibi Zoboi draws on her own experience as a young Haitian immigrant, infusing this lyrical exploration of America with magical realism and vodou culture.

On the corner of American Street and Joy Road, Fabiola Toussaint thought she would finally find une belle vie—a good life. But after they leave Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Fabiola’s mother is detained by U.S. immigration, leaving Fabiola to navigate her loud American cousins, Chantal, Donna, and Princess; the grittiness of Detroit’s west side; a new school; and a surprising romance, all on her own.

Just as she finds her footing in this strange new world, a dangerous proposition presents itself, and Fabiola soon realizes that freedom comes at a cost. Trapped at the crossroads of an impossible choice, will she pay the price for the American dream?



Bravo!: Poems About Amazing Hispanics
by Margarita Engle (Author) and Rafael López (Illustrator)
Picturebook. Henry Holt and Co. Pub date: March 14, 2017



Musician, botanist, baseball player, pilot―the Latinos featured in this collection come from many different countries and from many different backgrounds. Celebrate their accomplishments and their contributions to a collective history and a community that continues to evolve and thrive today!

Biographical poems include: Aida de Acosta, Arnold Rojas, Baruj Benacerraf, César Chávez, Fabiola Cabeza de Baca, Félix Varela, George Meléndez, José Martí, Juan de Miralles, Juana Briones, Julia de Burgos, Louis Agassiz Fuertes, Paulina Pedroso, Pura Belpré, Roberto Clemente, Tito Puente, Ynes Mexia, Tomás Rivera



Lucky Broken Girl
by Ruth Behar
Middle grade novel. Nancy Paulsen Books. Pub date: April 11, 2017



In this unforgettable multicultural coming-of-age narrative—based on the author’s childhood in the 1960s—a young Cuban-Jewish immigrant girl is adjusting to her new life in New York City when her American dream is suddenly derailed. Ruthie’s plight will intrigue readers, and her powerful story of strength and resilience, full of color, light, and poignancy, will stay with them for a long time.

Ruthie Mizrahi and her family recently emigrated from Castro’s Cuba to New York City. Just when she’s finally beginning to gain confidence in her mastery of English—and enjoying her reign as her neighborhood’s hopscotch queen—a horrific car accident leaves her in a body cast and confined her to her bed for a long recovery. As Ruthie’s world shrinks because of her inability to move, her powers of observation and her heart grow larger and she comes to understand how fragile life is, how vulnerable we all are as human beings, and how friends, neighbors, and the power of the arts can sweeten even the worst of times.



The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora
by Pablo Cartaya
Middle grade novel. Viking Books for Young Readers. Pub date: May 16, 2017



Save the restaurant. Save the town. Get the girl. Make Abuela proud. Can thirteen-year-old Arturo Zamora do it all or is he in for a BIG, EPIC FAIL?

For Arturo, summetime in Miami means playing basketball until dark, sipping mango smoothies, and keeping cool under banyan trees. And maybe a few shifts as junior lunchtime dishwasher at Abuela’s restaurant. Maybe. But this summer also includes Carmen, a cute girl who moves into Arturo’s apartment complex and turns his stomach into a deep fryer. He almost doesn’t notice the smarmy land developer who rolls into town and threatens to change it. Arturo refuses to let his family and community go down without a fight, and as he schemes with Carmen, Arturo discovers the power of poetry and protest through untold family stories and the work of José Martí.

Funny and poignant, The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora is the vibrant story of a family, a striking portrait of a town, and one boy’s quest to save both, perfect for fans of Rita Williams-Garcia.



The Education of Margot Sanchez
by Lilliam Rivera
YA novel. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. Pub date: February 21, 2017



Pretty in Pink comes to the South Bronx in this bold and romantic coming-of-age novel about dysfunctional families, good and bad choices, and finding the courage to question everything you ever thought you wanted—from debut author Lilliam Rivera.

Things/People Margot Hates:
Mami, for destroying her social life
Papi, for allowing Junior to become a Neanderthal
Junior, for becoming a Neanderthal
The supermarket
Everyone else

After “borrowing” her father’s credit card to finance a more stylish wardrobe, Margot Sanchez suddenly finds herself grounded. And by grounded, she means working as an indentured servant in her family’s struggling grocery store to pay off her debts.

With each order of deli meat she slices, Margot can feel her carefully cultivated prep school reputation slipping through her fingers, and she’s willing to do anything to get out of this punishment. Lie, cheat, and maybe even steal…

Margot’s invitation to the ultimate beach party is within reach and she has no intention of letting her family’s drama or Moises—the admittedly good looking but outspoken boy from the neighborhood—keep her from her goal.



The Magic Piñata/La Piñata Mágica
by Ismael Cala (Author) and Yunior Suárez (Illustrator)
Picturebook. HarperCollins Español. Pub date: January 24, 2017



After his successful children's book, Ser Como el Bambu/Be Like The Bamboo, the bestselling author Ismael Cala has once again reached young audiences with The Magic Piñata/La Piñata Mágica.

The story -- which is bilingual and illustrated -- tells the story of Alex, a boy who is about to celebrate his birthday, but has to learn an important lesson about selfishness.

Through its pages, illustrated in full color by Yunior Suárez, The Magic Piñata/La Piñata Mágica draws its young readers into the world of its protagonist, whose parents are preparing a wonderful birthday party with a great big piñata, inviting children from the little town of Tepoztlán where Alex lives, to attend.

During the party, Alex discovers that he must share whatever tumbles out of the piñata with others, and this bothers him. From now on, he decides, he will ask his parents to celebrate his birthday a little differently: with two piñatas, one for his friends and one for him alone.



They Both Die at the End
by Adam Silvera
YA novel. HarperCollins. Pub date: September 5, 2017



When Mateo receives the dreaded call from Death-Cast, informing him that today will be his last, he doesn't know where to begin. Quiet and shy, Mateo is devastated at the thought of leaving behind his hospitalised father, and his best friend and her baby girl. But he knows that he has to make the most of this day, it's his last chance to get out there and make an impression.

Rufus is busy beating up his ex-girlfriend's new boyfriend when he gets the call. Having lost his entire family, Rufus is no stranger to Death-Cast. Not that it makes it any easier. With bridges to mend, the police searching for him and the angry new boyfriend on his tail, it's time to run. Isolated and scared, the boys reach out to each other, and what follows is a day of living life to the full. Though neither of them had expected that this would involve falling in love...Another beautiful, heartbreaking and life-affirming book from the brilliant Adam Silvera, author of More Happy Than Not and History Is All You Left Me.



The Rise of the Jumbies
by Tracey Baptiste
Middle grade novel. Algonquin Young Readers. Pub date: September 19, 2017



Corinne LaMer defeated the wicked jumbie Severine months ago, but things haven't exactly gone back to normal in her Caribbean island home. Everyone knows Corinne is half-jumbie, and many of her neighbors treat her with mistrust. When local children begin to go missing, snatched from the beach and vanishing into wells, suspicious eyes turn to Corinne.

To rescue the missing children and clear her own name, Corinne goes deep into the ocean to find Mama D Leau, the dangerous jumbie who rules the sea. But Mama D Leau s help comes with a price. Corinne and her friends Dru, Bouki, and Malik must travel with mermaids across the ocean to the shores of Ghana to fetch a powerful object for Mama D Leau. The only thing more perilous than Corinne s adventures across the sea is the foe that waits for her back home.

With its action-packed storytelling, diverse characters, and inventive twists on Caribbean and West African mythology and fairy tales, The Rise of the Jumbies will appeal to readers of A Snicker of Magic, Crenshaw, and The Girl Who Drank the Moon.



Forest World
by Margarita Engle
Middle grade verse novel. Atheneum Books for Young Readers. Pub date: August 2017



From award-winning author Margarita Engle comes a lively middle grade novel in verse that tells the story of a Cuban-American boy who visits his family’s village in Cuba for the first time— and meets a sister he didn’t know he had.

Edver isn’t happy about being shipped off to Cuba to visit the father he barely knows. The island is a place that no one in Miami ever mentions without a sigh, but travel laws have suddenly changed, and now it’s a lot easier for divided families to be reunited. Technology in Cuba hasn’t caught up with the times, though, and Edver is expecting a long, boring summer.

He was NOT expecting to meet a sister he didn’t know he had. Luza is a year older and excited to see her little brother, until she realizes what a spoiled American he is. Looking for something—anything—they might have in common, the siblings sneak onto the Internet, despite it being forbidden in Cuba, and make up a fake butterfly. Maybe now their cryptozoologist mother will come to visit. But their message is intercepted by a dangerous poacher, and suddenly much more than their family is at stake. Edver and Luza have to find a way to overcome their differences to save the Cuban jungle that they both have grown to love.



Rooting for Rafael Rosales
by Kurtis Scaletta
Middle grade novel. Albert Whitman & Company. Pub date: April 25, 2017



Rafael has dreams. Every chance he gets he plays in the street games trying to build his skills, get noticed by scouts, and—someday—play Major League Baseball. Maya has worries. The bees are dying all over the world, and the company her father works for is responsible, making products that harm the environment. Follow Rafael and Maya in a story that shifts back and forth in time and place, from Rafael’s neighborhood in the Dominican Republic to present-day Minnesota, where Maya and her sister are following Rafael’s first year in the minor leagues. In their own ways, Maya and Rafael search for hope, face difficult choices, and learn a secret—the same secret—that forever changes how they see the world.



Who Was Fidel Castro?
by Sarah Fabiny (Author) and Ted Hammond (Illustrator)
Middle grade biography. Grosset & Dunlap. Pub date: August 22, 2017



When Fidel Castro died on November 25, 2016, many people around the world responded with mixed emotions. Learn all about the man who shaped Cuba for more than half a decade.

After overthrowing Fulgencia Batista in 1959, Fidel Castro became the leader of an island country only ninety miles away from Florida. While in power, Castro outlasted ten US presidents and turned the small nation into a one-party state with influence over the entire world. Called a leader by some and a dictator by others, Castro defined not one but several eras in world politics.



Who Was Bob Marley?
by Katie Ellison (Author) and Gregory Copeland (Illustrator)
Middle grade biography. Grosset & Dunlap. Pub date: June 6, 2017



Get Up, Stand Up! for the king of reggae music!

Bob Marley was a reggae superstar who is considered to be one of the most influential musicians of all time. Born in rural Jamaica, this musician and songwriter began his career with his band, The Wailing Wailers, in 1963. The Wailers went on to spread the gospel of reggae music around the globe. Bob's distinctive style and dedication to his Rastafari beliefs became a rallying cry for the poor and disenfranchised the world over and led to a hugely successful solo career. After his death in 1981, Bob Marley became a symbol of Jamaican culture and identity. His greatest-hits album, Legend, remains the best-selling reggae album of all time. Who Was Bob Marley? tells the story of how a man with humble roots became an international icon.

This title in the New York Times best-selling series contains eighty illustrations that help bring the story to life.



Handimals: Animals in Art and Nature
by Silvia Lopez (Author) and Guido Daniele (Illustrator)
Nonfiction picturebook. Christy Ottaviano Books/HenryHolt. Pub date: 2017



Synopsis coming soon.



Tales from the Caribbean
by Trish Cooke (Author)
Middle grade anthology. Puffin Classics. Pub date: 03 August, 2017



A collection of favourite tales gathered from the many different islands of the Caribbean, one of the world's richest sources of traditional storytelling. From the very first Kingfisher to Anansi the Spider Man, these lively retellings full of humour and pathos, are beautifully retold by Trish Cooke.

The book includes endnotes with a glossary, additional information as well as ideas for activities that children can do to explore the stories further.



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Boonoonoonous Hair
by Olive Senior (Author) and Laura James (Illustrator)
Picturebook. Tradewinds Books. Pub date: February 15, 2017



In this beautifully illustrated picture book written by Commonwealth Prize-winning author Olive Senior and illustrated by the much-acclaimed artist of Anna Carries Water a little girl learns to love her difficult-to-manage curly hair.



Greetings, Leroy
by Itah Sadu (Author) and Alix Delinois (Illustrator)
Picturebook. Groundwood Books. Pub date: May 1, 2017



The first day at a new school is nerve-wracking enough, never mind when it’s in a new country! In this lively picture book from award-winning storyteller Itah Sadu, Roy realizes he may come to love his new home in Canada as much as he loves his old home in Jamaica.

Written as an email to a friend back home, this picture book tells the story of Roy, whose family has just moved to Canada from Jamaica. His new home is different from his old home – in Canada, even the sun feels cold! His nerves ease, though, as welcome reminders of home follow him through his day. His neighbor gives him a button as a gift for his first day of school. The principal tells him about the soccer team and his new class makes him feel welcome.

Everything is looking up until Roy goes to show his classmates his new button and he can’t find it! He rushes back to the principal’s office where they look up and down and all around for the button. Thanks to his powers of observation, Roy finds it in an unexpected place and is able to show it to his new friends. The friendly people he meets, and their shared love of Bob Marley, make for a good start at his new school. By the end of the day, Roy is happy to find a piece of his old home in his new home.

Sadu captures the voice of a young boy in a new country in this story about finding a new home while still staying proud of where you’re from. Harlem-based artist Alix Delinois shows the joy of making new friends with his vibrant, layered paintings.



Miguel's Brave Knight: Young Cervantes and his Dream of Don Quixote
by Margarita Engle (Author) and Raúl Colón (Illustrator)
Picturebook. Peachtree Publishers. Pub date: October 2017



Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra finds refuge from his difficult childhood by imagining the adventures of a brave but clumsy knight.

This fictionalized first-person biography in verse of Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra follows the early years of the child who grows up to pen Don Quixote, the first modern novel. The son of a gambling, vagabond barber-surgeon, Miguel looks to his own imagination for an escape from his family's troubles and finds comfort in his colorful daydreams. At a time when access to books is limited and imaginative books are considered evil, Miguel is inspired by storytellers and wandering actors who perform during festivals. He longs to tell stories of his own. When Miguel is nineteen, four of his poems are published, launching the career of one of the greatest writers in the Spanish language.

Award-winning author Margarita Engle's distinctive picture book depiction of the childhood of the father of the modern novel, told in a series of free verse poems, is enhanced by Raúl Colón's stunning illustrations. Backmatter includes a note from both the author and illustrator as well as additional information on Cervantes and his novel Don Quixote.



Martí's Song for Freedom/Martí y Sus Versos Por La Independencia
by Emma Otheguy (Author) and Beatriz Vidal (Illustrator)
Picturebook. Lee and Low Books. Pub date: April 1, 2017



A bilingual biography of José Martí, who dedicated his life to the promotion of liberty, the abolishment of slavery, political independence for Cuba, and intellectual independence from colonialism for all Latinos. Written in verse with excerpts from Mart's seminal work, Versos Sencillos.



Morning Star Horse / El Caballo Lucero
by Margarita Engle (Author), Alexis Romay (Translator) and Josiah Muster (Illustrator)
Middle grade verse novel. HBE Publishing . Pub date: January 30, 2017




"When Mamacita chose to call me Estrellita, / it was her way of imagining a little bit / of starlight, deep down in that cavern / where only rare streaks of day or night / could reach--now, Lucero and I will be / Morning Star and Little Star, / a lit-from-within racing team!"

A young girl stricken with rickets and her mother face the aftermath of the Spanish-American War, the challenges of a new century and innovative teachers. Dreams realized and dreams crushed exploring the freedoms only a magical horse can offer. Award winning author Margarita Engle brings a tale of history mixed with a touch of fantasy.



Malaika's Winter Carnival
by Nadia L. Hohn (Author) and Irene Luxbacher (Illustrator)
Picturebook. Groundwood Books. Pub date: September 5, 2017.




This follow-up to Malaika's Costume is an uplifting story about immigration, family and community.

An introduction to winter celebrations, and how children can maintain their own traditions while embracing new ones.

Curriculum tie-ins: social studies (family and community traditions).



Galia's Dad Is in a Wheelchair
by James Edward English (Author) and Teddy Keser Mombrun (Illustrator)
Picturebook. Texas Christian University Press. Pub date: January 31, 2017.




Galia is a young girl from Port-au-Prince, Haiti, who likes to ride her bike, dance, and spend time with her father, Gérald, who has muscular dystrophy and has been in a wheelchair since he was a young boy. Despite his disability, Gérald received a master’s degree from Harvard University, served as President Michel Martelly’s Secretary of State with the disability portfolio, and enjoys many of the same activities with his daughter as other dads.

During his five years in public office, Secretary Gérald Oriol Jr. recognized his country’s critical shortage of children’s literature, particularly related to disability, and encouraged his friend and adviser James English to create a children’s book for Haiti, which has an estimated one million persons with disabilities, a number that increased significantly following the 2010 earthquake.

Galia’s Dad Is in a Wheelchair aims to counter negative stereotypes and stigmas surrounding disability and is believed to be the only children’s book on the subject in Haiti available in Creole, French, and English. The book’s positive messages, which promote disability awareness and close parent-child relations, are universal and extend to general readers beyond the small Caribbean island nation.

Teddy Keser Mombrun, a political cartoonist for Haiti’s largest newspaper, Le Nouvelliste, used Haiti’s unique color palette and landscapes to create illustrations for the book.



Starring Carmen!
by Anika Denise (Author) and Lorena Alvarez (Illustrator)
Picturebook. Abrams. Pub date: 01 September, 2017



Synopsis coming soon.



Let's Explore Cuba
by Walt K. Moon (Author)
Nonfiction Picturebook. Lerner Publications. Pub date: 01 January, 2017



There are lots of different places to visit in the world! Have you ever been on an island? What would it be like to live on one? Take a trip to tropical Cuba and learn about the history and culture of this Caribbean country. Full-color photographs and carefully leveled text bring Cuba to life, while age-appropriate critical thinking questions introduce readers to nonfiction. It's almost like being on the beach yourself!



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About the Author

Summer Edward is the Managing Editor and Kids Editor here at Anansesem. Her writing and art have been published in various literary magazines and anthologies. Her home on the web is www.summeredward.com.



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[Book List] Summer & Fall 2016 Releases- Caribbean Books for Children & YAs




The year 2016 has already been an interesting year for Caribbean children's and young adult books. The spring release cycle brought us breakout books like Malaika's Costume by Jamaican-Canadian writer Nadia L. Hohn with illustrations by Irene Luxbacher and the YA novel A Fierce and Subtle Poison by Samantha Mabry. Another YA debut, Gone to Drift by Diana McCaulay, marks the Jamaican's author's first crossover into writing for younger audiences.

There have also been some noteworthy new works from veteran authors, of which Eric Velasquez's picturebook Looking for Bongo and Full Moon Night in Silk Cotton Village: A Collection of Caribbean Folk Tales by John Agard and Grace Nichols with illustrations by Rosie Woods stand out particularly. In February, Agard's typically quirky chapter book Going Batty was also released. Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina already looks to be another triumph for the award-winning Cuban-American author.

With Puerto Rican-American author Daniel Jose Older's YA novel Shadowshaper recently named a New York Times bestseller and Trinidadian John Lyon's children's poetry collection Dancing in the Rain shortlisted for the 2016 CLPE Children's Poetry Award (CLiPPA) last month, there is much to be excited about in regional children's and YA literature right now. Check out our seasonal listing of highly-touted new titles to be released later this year.

*All book synopses from the publisher's website.



The Great Wave of Tamarind
by Nadia Aguiar
YA novel. Puffin. Pub date: June 2, 2016



For Penny, the beautiful island of Tamarind is no more than a half-remembered story from years ago. But one mysterious night, with only a loyal green parrot for company, Penny is flung headfirst into adventure on its magical shores...

Penny finds herself in unfamiliar Kana, in the midst of preparations for a magnificent competition - the Bloom Festival. But behind the excitement, something menacing lurks. The idyllic landscape of Tamarind is pocked with strange whorls, and an unnerving presence strikes fear into the hearts of Kana's bravest. From deepest water to darkest jungle, the trials of the Bloom Festival will test strength, courage, and friendships, and sacrifices will have to be made...

Can Penny and her new friends beat all the odds and save Kana from ruin?



Lion Island: Cuba's Warrior of Words
by Margarita Engle
YA novel. Pub date: August 2016



In a haunting yet hopeful novel in verse, award-winning author Margarita Engle tells the story of Antonio Chuffat, a young man of African, Chinese, and Cuban descent who became a champion of civil rights.

Asia, Africa, Europe—Antonio Chuffat’s ancestors clashed and blended on the beautiful island of Cuba. Yet for most Cubans in the nineteenth century, life is anything but beautiful. The country is fighting for freedom from Spain. Enslaved Africans and nearly-enslaved Chinese indentured servants are forced to work long, backbreaking hours in the fields.

So Antonio feels lucky to have found a good job as a messenger, where his richly blended cultural background is an asset. Through his work he meets Wing, a young Chinese fruit seller who barely escaped the anti-Asian riots in San Francisco, and his sister Fan, a talented singer. With injustice all around them, the three friends are determined that violence will not be the only way to gain liberty.



Where Do They Go?
by Julia Alvarez (Author) and Sabra Field (Illustrator)
Picturebook. Pub date: September 2016



Bestselling novelist (How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents) and children's (The Tia Lola Stories) author Julia Alvarez's new picture book is a beautifully crafted poem for children that gently addresses the emotional side of death. The book asks, "When somebody dies, where do they go? / Do they go where the wind goes when it blows? ... Do they wink back at me when I wish on a star? Do they whisper, 'You're perfect, just as you are'? ..." Illustrated by Vermont woodcut artist, Sabra Field, Where Do They Go? is a beautiful and comforting meditation on death, asking questions young readers might have about what happens to those they love after they die.



The Sun is Also a Star
by Nicola Yoon
YA novel. Pub date: November 2016



Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?



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Usain Bolt (Big Buddy Olympic Biographies)
by Katie Lajiness
Picturebook biography. Big Buddy Books. Pub date: December 15, 2016



Meet Olympic sprinterUsain Bolt! Bolt's life story is examined from his childhood in Jamaica where he began sprinting in high school, to gold medal at the World Junior Championships. Learn about Bolt's Olympic career in the Athens, Beijing, London, and Rio de Janeiro games throughout which he won nine gold medals. Aligned to Common Core Standards and correlated to state standards. Big Buddy Books is an imprint of Abdo Publishing, a division of ABDO.



Children of the Spider
by Imam Baksh
YA novel. Pub date: July 2016



Mayali is a girl on the run. Driven by desperation and the search for her father, Mayali leaves behind everything she has ever known on her home world of Zolpash, a land of sulphur and harsh weather, and journeys to Guyana. There she meets Joseph, a boy without the gift of speech but with much to say. Together they go on a daring, cross-country adventure to save earth from the invading Spider gods and their armies. Will their warning come too late? Will anyone even believe them? And will Mayali be able to find her father?

Children of the Spider is a fast-paced adventure. The story moves from the lush hinterlands of Guyana through to the bustling city of Georgetown where the colonial past continues to rub shoulders with the gritty, contemporary world. It is a refreshing take on Caribbean myth and mythology from an interesting new voice.

Children of the Spider won first place in the 2015 Burt Award for Caribbean Literature.



The Flaca Files 2: The Case of the Three Kings
by Alidis Vicente
Chapter book. Pub date: May 2016



Flaca, or Detective Flaca as she prefers to be called, is pleased with her Christmas gifts. Finally, she has the tools needed to do her job: a fingerprint-taking kit, a police-quality mini flashlight, and most exciting of all, police tape to block off crime scenes! However, she is not at all pleased with the airline tickets to Puerto Rico she and her sister La Bruja are given. She has case deadlines to meet! La Bruja isn’t very happy either since their grandmother’s house doesn’t have air conditioning, cable TV or Wi-Fi.

Their parents are sure the girls will enjoy celebrating Three Kings Day, a huge holiday in Latin America that takes place on January 6 and involves putting grass in a box under the bed for the wise men’s camels. Three men on flying camels sounds very suspicious to Detective Flaca, who once again is faced with a case begging to be solved. Where do the Three Kings get the gifts to put in the boxes? Do they steal presents from Santa Claus? Or do they take them from under Christmas trees around the world?

The skinny second grader first introduced in The Case of the Missing Chancleta and Other Top-Secret Cases / La chancleta perdida y otros casos secretos is back on the case in the second installment of the bilingual series, The Flaca Files / Los expedientes de Flaca. Narrated by Detective Flaca in hard-boiled detective style, this short, bilingual novel for intermediate readers will appeal to seasoned and reluctant readers alike.



Dancing in the Rain
by Lynn Joseph
YA novel. Pub date: July 2016




Twelve year-old Elizabeth is no normal girl. With an imagination that makes room for mermaids and magic in everyday life, she lives every moment to the fullest. Yet her joyful world crumbles around her when two planes bring down the Twin Towers and tear her family apart. Thousands of miles away, yet still touched by this tragedy, Elizabeth is swimming in a sea of loss. She finally finds hope when she meets her kindred spirit in 8 year-old Brandt and his 13 year-old brother, Jared.

Brandt and Jared, two boys as different as Oreo and milk and just as inseparable, arrive on the island to escape the mushroom of sorrow that bloomed above their lives in the wake of the tragedy. Elizabeth shows them a new way to look at the world and they help her to laugh again. But can Elizabeth and Brandt help their families see that when life brings showers of sadness, it’s okay to dance in the rain?

Set against the dazzling beauty of the Dominican Republic, Dancing in the Rain explores the impact of the tragic fall of the Twin Towers on two Caribbean families. It is a lyrical, well-crafted tale about finding joy in the face of loss.

Dancing in the Rain won a Burt Award for Caribbean Literature (2015) prize.



Caribella
by Phillis Gershator
YA novel. Pub date: Summer, 2016.




Is this a Cinderella story? Caribel’s stepmother treats her cruelly. But in Caribel’s story, there are also people who care for her: an uncle, who is now her pen pal, a spritely old lady who lives hidden away in the bush, and a devoted school teacher. Caribel hopes that someday she’ll become a real, “inside” member of her family, if only she can be good enough. She tries her best. She does her chores. She wins the school spelling bee.

But what does good enough mean? Can she be good and keep secrets, too? Or speak her mind? Or break a promise? Or, when the time comes, save her own life?



Broo 'Nansi and the Tar Baby
Collected and written by Dr. Lois Hassell-Habtes. Story as told by Ector Roebuck
Picture storybook. Pub date: Summer, 2016.




This Broo ‘Nansi story is the first in a new book series by Little Bell Caribbean appropriately titled Under the Big Tree: Traditional Tales of the Caribbean and Beyond. Our goal is to help preserve and continue the storytelling tradition for many generations to come.

Broo Tukuma knows better, but as the good brother that he is, he can’t watch his nephews starve. So, much against his better judgment, he takes Broo ‘Nansi (that good for nothing fellow) to get food from his secret garden. The trip turns into a disaster when Broo ‘Nansi disobeys his brother’s strict orders.

Another great Broo ‘Nansi story filled with the humor and wisdom that only this ancient little spider can impart. A must-read for all Virgin Islanders, and for anyone who loves a good tale.



Brown Pelicans
by Mario Picayo
Picturebook. Pub date: Summer 2016.



The first book in a new series of books about Caribbean nature.

Whether it flies, runs, crawls, swims, or just sways in the wind, Close to Nature will bring you a book about it. We dedicate our first volume to the brown pelican, a bird that most of us know by sight, but probably have learned little about. Did you know that pelicans have the longest bill of any bird in the world, and that it is one of the few land animals that can drink salt water?

Fully illustrated with stunning photographs taken in the Virgin Islands, Brown Pelicans will educate and delight readers of all ages.



We are Pirates / Somos Pirates
by Adrián Guerra (Author) and Angel Velazoo (Illustrator)
Picturebook. Pub date: Summer 2016



Two young readers decide to imitate their favorite book and follow the ways of the pirates by wearing handkerchiefs on their head, patches over one eye, and even making scary faces. But when it comes to having a parrot on their shoulder, things get a little tricky. The only parrot they know belongs to the neighbor. Can they be pirates without a parrot? Or will they have to become real pirates and steal the parrot? A very different children’s pirate book with a funny, surprising, and happy ending.



El Torneo de Trabalenguas / The Tonge Twister Tournament
by Nicolás Kanellos (Author) and Anne Vega (Illustrator)
Picturebook. Pub date: October 2016



“Ladies and gentlemen, girls and boys, doggies, kitties and mousies: Welcome to the grand Tongue Twister Tournament!” And so begins this championship in which the best tongue torturer will win the tongue twister trophy.

The competitors include a variety of quirky characters, including Lengua de Lagarto, or Lizard Tongue, whose tongue is tied “just so.” There’s Grumpy Granny, who raps about a raggedy cat, and El Chupacabras, who loves to eat critters, “even insects are for me / cows and cats and doggies too / chupa chupa chupa cabras, BOO!”

Many of the tongue twisters included in this picture book will be familiar to Spanish-speaking children—and their parents too! But the book also includes tried-and-true tongue twisters familiar to English speakers, like “Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.” With colorful illustrations depicting the unique contestants, this bilingual collection of phrases that are difficult to say quickly will challenge children to excel in both English and Spanish.




Where Did the Baby Go?
by David Gershator (Author) and Phillis Gershator (Illustrator)
Picturebook. Pub date: Summer 2016



Oh, no! Is the baby missing? Or hiding in plain sight? The noisy rooster knows where the baby is. Do you?

A dreamy mystery that the reader solves, visually, from the first page. The end of the book includes an added counting element with the sea and shore creatures pictured in the beautiful, vibrant illustrations.




Calling the Water Drum
by LaTisha Redding (Author) and Aaron Boyd (Illustrator)
Picturebook. Pub date: October 2016



Henri and his parents leave their homeland, Haiti, after they receive an invitation from an uncle to come to New York City. Only able to afford a small, rickety boat, the family sets out in the middle of the night in search of a better life. Out at sea Henri dreams of what life will be like across the great waters. Then the small boat overturns, and Henri is placed on top of the boat as his parents drift further out at sea. Overcome with grief, Henri retreats into himself and is no longer able to speak once he reaches land.

Encouraged by his uncle and neighbor, Henri takes a bucket and plays on it like a drum. The drumming becomes a link to his past and a conduit for his emotions. Slowly, through his drumming and the kindness of his uncle and friend, Henri learns to navigate this new and foreign world without his parents. Calling the Water Drum is a tender and timely tribute to the bravery of immigrants and refugees, and the resiliency of the human spirit.




A Surprise for Teresita / Una sorpresa para Teresita
by Virginia Sánchez-Korrol (Author) and Carolyn Dee Flores (Illustrator)
Picturebook. Pub date: November 2016



When Teresita opens her eyes that morning, she knows it’s a special day. It’s her birthday, and now she’s a big girl. She’s seven! And her Tío Ramón has promised her a surprise. She can’t wait to find out what it is!

“Is it time for Tío Ramón to come to our block?” she asks her mamá excitedly as she sits down for breakfast. But it’s too early. Her uncle has to take his snow cone cart to the other blocks before he comes to theirs. All day, Teresita watches for the green and white cart. She listens for Tío Ramón calling, “Snow cones, cold snow cones. ¡Piraguas! ¡Piraguas frías!”

While she waits for her uncle, she jumps rope, plays games with her friends and watches the goings-on in her neighborhood. Mothers hold their young children’s hands as they walk to the corner bodega to buy groceries. Boys and girls ride bikes and play stickball. Older people sit at their windows and enjoy the sights and sounds of their community. And coming from far up the block where water sprays from an open fire hydrant, Teresita finally hears the sound of her uncle’s voice. What will her surprise be?!?

Set in a Puerto Rican neighborhood in New York City, this bilingual picture book for children ages 4 – 8 captures both the daily life of an urban community and a child’s excitement about her birthday surprise. Children will be inspired to look at—and maybe even write about—their own neighborhoods with new eyes.



With Grace
by Joanne C. Hillhouse (Author) and Cherise Harris (Illustrator)
Picturebook. Campanita Books. Pub date: December 2016



Grace, of Grace’s Peak, loves her home above the village, above the whole island. All her trees are lush and full of ripe fruits, except for the one at the far end of her land. She hates that tree. So when the smiling, barefoot girl from the village asks Grace if she can pick fruits to sell at the market, it is from that sad, bare tree that Grace “generously” allows her to pick.

Little does Grace know that the young girl’s kind, loving heart and her sweet special song will make the impossible happen, and change life at Grace’s Peak forever.



Pirates in the Library
by Nadia Ali (Author) and Jake Tebbit (Illustrator)
Picturebook. Star Bright Books. Pub date: October 2016



Prepare to set sail for the adventure of a lifetime as the fierce Captain Jake discovers a treasure map that leads him and his pirate crew (and parrot, too) right to the…library. Ms. Benitez, the librarian, welcomes the pirates to the library-as long as they behave!-and the search is on for the treasure promised to be hidden within the library. It’s not too long before all the pirates (and the parrot, too) are captivated by the jewels they find on the bookshelves. Now the dilemma is how to get all the newfound treasure back to the pirate ship?

Readers will be eager to set course for their own libraries after following Captain Jake through his library adventure. The map of the Dread Pirate Dewey decorates the end papers, leading library users through the Dewey Decimal system, making this book a valuable learning tool for parents, teachers, and librarians.



French Toast
by Kari-Lynn Winters (Author) and François Thisdale (Illustrator)
Picturebook. Pajama Press. Pub date: November 1, 2016



Phoebe—half Jamaican, half French-Canadian—hates her school nickname of “French Toast.” So she is mortified when, out on a walk with her Jamaican grandmother, she hears a classmate shout it out at her. To make things worse, Nan-Ma, who is blind, wants an explanation of the name. How can Phoebe describe the color of her skin to someone who has never seen it? “Like tea, after you’ve added the milk,” she says. And her father? “Like warm banana bread.” And Nan-Ma herself? She is like maple syrup poured over...well...

In French Toast, Kari-Lynn Winters uses descriptions of favorite foods from both of Phoebe’s cultures to celebrate the varied skin tones of her family. François Thisdale’s imaginative illustrations fill the landscape with whimsy and mouthwatering delight as Phoebe realizes her own resilience and takes ownership of her nickname proudly.



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About the Author

Summer Edward is the Managing Editor and Kids Editor here at Anansesem. Her writing and art have been published in various literary magazines and anthologies. Her home on the web is www.summeredward.com.



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[Book List] Caribbean Books for Children to Read on Earth Day



Today is Earth Day! According to the Earth Day website, the Earth Day campaign is "designed to provide people with the opportunity to unite their voices in a call for a sustainable future." These environmentally-conscious children's books are all set in the Caribbean and can be used to help children and adults alike think about what they can do to help protect and preserve the environment.


1. The Promise of the Pawi by Janice Hernandez, illustrated by Leizelle Guinness
(Lonsdale Saatchi & Saatchi)

Published by the Guardian Wildlife Trust in collaboration with the Asa Wright Nature Centre (Trinidad), The Promise of the Pawi highlights the plight of Trinidad’s only endemic bird, the endangered Trinidad Piping Guan or Pawi. The Promise of the Pawi is aimed at children 4 to 11 and serves a dual purpose – to educate young readers and to raise funds to support the work of the Trust.



2. Beba and Little Sister Island/ Beba y la Isla Nena by Rafael Landrón, illustrated by Maria Antonia Ordonez
(Campanita Books, 2010)

Beba is a young manatee who works with her animal friends to end the bombing and destruction of the Puerto Rican island of Vieques. Based on actual events, Beba and Little Sister Island is a fable about how courage, solidarity, and respect for the land and the sea saved a little island for its inhabitants and for generations to come.



3. Bri and Luk: Friends In Times of Changing Climates: Climate Change Adaptation for Caribbean Youth by Nicole Garofano
(Future Centre Trust, 2010)

Bri and Luk: Friends In Times of Changing Climates is the first book in the Future Centre Trust's (Barbados) Climate Change Learning Series designed to help students and their teachers understand the effects of global climate change on Barbados and the region. Here the story of Luk the polar bear unfolds. Luk comes to the Caribbean with his friend Bri the hummingbird to learn from the local animals and children how climate change is beginning to affect them.



4. Jessica by Christine Leo, illlustrated by Kim Harley
(Tamarind Books, 1998)

Jessica is a beautiful mermaid who lives in the Caribbean sea. She surfs the Information Superhighway and the ocean waves with equal ease. She is a traveler, a fighter against pollution and a real friend of the animals of the ocean. With her friends - dolphins, sea horses and other sea creatures - she foils a group of sailors who dump poisonous cargo into the Caribbean sea.





5. The Reggae Band Rescues Mama Edda Leatherback by Jana Bent
(KQC Enterprises, 2011)

Mama Edda, the Leatherback Sea Turtle is struggling to get to land. She has to lay her eggs but she's in distress. Can the Reggae Band come up with a way to rescue Mama Edda? This CD storybook gives children hands-on advice for how they can help protect the environment, respecting their power to do something to make a positive change in the world. It teaches the importance of recycling, reducing and reusing waste, with tasks children can easily do.



6. The Sea, the Storm, and the Mangrove Tangle written and illustrated by Lynne Cherry
(Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2004)

First a seed is jostled from a branch of a mangrove tree and floats far away to a lagoon in the Caribbean Sea. Then it takes root, sprouts leaves, and slowly begins to grow. Over many years, the mangrove will provide a home for numerous creatures of land and sea. This chronicle of the life of one mangrove tree details the abundant wildlife that depends upon its unique and wonderful ecosystem, one that is beneficial to so many, but one that also faces many dangers.


7. My Island and I : The Nature of the Caribbean by Alfonso Silva Lee, illustrated by Alexis Lago
(Pangaea, 2002)

My Island and I is a picturebook about the natural ecology of an island - from fallen trees becoming food for fungi and termites, to the thoughts of lizards and the interaction of fish. How did animals and plants first get to the islands? How do they live together? This enchanting introduction to island biodiversity allows children to visualize relationships between Caribbean creatures and the water and sky—and to see how we, too, are one with each island.


8. Undersea City: A Story of a Caribbean Coral Reef by Dana Meachen, illustrated by Katie Lee
(Soundprints, 1997)

From the beach of Saona Island off the coast of the Dominican Republic, a hermit crab explores the Caribbean coral reef and its creatures. The book and tape introduce the habitat of the coral reef and island beaches to young readers. In addition to the story, there is some background on Saona Island and the Taino people who live there.

9. Ibis Stew? Oh, No! by Joanne Gail Johnson, illustrated by Katie McConnachie
(Macmillan Caribbean, 2005)

This is the story of the evil pirate Captain Bad who sets sail on the Caribbean Sea to hunt down the Scarlet Ibis to make into a stew. However his plans are interrupted when he meets up with Omo and Pete who hatch a plan to try to make him change his ways. Written in the form of a story poem, Ibis Stew serves as a gentle reminder of the importance of conservation of our endangered birds.




10. Shelley written and illustrated by Katherine Orr
(Macmillan Caribbean, 1994)

Shelley tells the life story of the conch shell, Shelley, tracing her life cycle from her beginning as a drifting baby, no bigger than a pinhead, to the time when she produces her own offspring. Fascinating facts about the life of the conch and other marine animals with which it comes into contact show the importance of conserving this beautiful creature. 




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About the Author

Summer Edward is the Managing Editor here at Anansesem. Her stories, poems and art have been published in various journals and anthologies. Her home on the web is www.summeredward.com.

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