Woods in the Books Blog

Sundays Are For Reading - The Pinballs

Sundays Are For Reading - The Pinballs

One summer two boys and a girl went to a foster home to live together. With strong character voices and a truckload of pithy one-liners, Newbery Award winner Betsy Byars’ The Pinballs tackles heavy topics including neglect, abuse, and loss with a deft hand and wry humour that will strike a chord with readers. Originally published in 1977 as a contemporary novel, the timelessness of The Pinballs’ themes ring true even today. The strength of The Pinballs begins with its characters. The dialogue alone is zippy and entertaining, and that focus draws attention when characters act contrary to their speech,...

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Sundays Are For Reading - Harbor Me

Sundays Are For Reading - Harbor Me

In Harbor Me, Ms Laverne leads a group of six 12 year-olds into a repurposed art room or the ARTT room — A Room to Talk. Away from the eyes and ears of schoolmates and adults, this class of ‘special’ students make space for one another, learning and growing from the things they talk about. Written by Newbery Honor-winning author Jacqueline Woodson, this lyrical story tackles difficult subjects with a sure and steady hand. At its core, the action in Harbor Me revolves largely around six kids talking to one another. While conversation does at times veer towards superheroes and...

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Sundays Are For Reading - Finding Langston

Sundays Are For Reading - Finding Langston

In Finding Langston, protagonist Langston discovers the power of poetry in his neighbourhood library as he grapples with grief, homesickness, bullying, and loneliness against the backdrop of 1946 Chicago. In this deftly paced novel for ages 9 and up, Lesa Cline-Ransome weaves a story awash with historical detail and filled to the brim with African American cultural heritage. On moving from Alabama after the death of his mother, Langston finds himself struggling to adjust to a new home, school, and neighbours. It’s only when he discovers the library in Bronzeville that life changes, starting with a book written by a...

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Sundays Are For Reading - Little People, BIG DREAMS: Muhammad Ali

Sundays Are For Reading - Little People, BIG DREAMS: Muhammad Ali

Even amongst the wealth of great biographies for younger readers today, the Little People, BIG DREAMS series stands out. The look of these hardcover volumes make them lovely gifts as well as a highly collectible introductory series to notable figures from around the world. This week, we look at the book that celebrates Muhammed Ali, legendary African American boxer and activist. One highlight of the Little People, BIG DREAMS series is that each book features a different illustrator. While the look of the series maintains continuity from book to book, each new illustrator brings new perspectives and the series as...

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