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Books for children - Dec. 16

Kendal Rautzhan

Publication: The Day

Published December 16. 2012 4:00AM

"Elijah's Angel: A Story for Chanukah and Christmas" by Michael Rosen, illustrated by Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson, Harcourt, 32 pages

Michael is a 9-year-old Jewish boy. His friend is Elijah, is a barber, woodcarver and Christian man in his 80s. Unlikely as the pair may seem, they are friends and enjoy spending time together. Their differences are of no consequence to either, until the day Elijah gives Michael a carved angel for Christmas. It isn't that Michael doesn't like the angel, but Michael is afraid to bring the angel into his home, fearful that he is disobeying God with a "graven image."

Through Michael's courage and the warm support of his parents, Michael comes to realize that Elijah's angel is an angel of friendship.

LIBRARIAN'S CHOICE

Library: Ledyard Public Libraries, 718 Colonel Ledyard Hwy., Ledyard

Library Director: Gale Bradbury

Children's Librarian: Nancy Brewer

Choices this week: "Akimbo and the Lions" by Alexander McCall Smith; "A City in Winter" by Mark Helprin; "The Dance" by Richard Paul Evans

AT THE BOOKSTORE

"A Birthday for Bear" by Bonny Becker, illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton, Candlewick, 2012, 48 pages, $16.99 hardcover

Read aloud: age 3 to 5

Read yourself: age 7

The curmudgeon Bear has decided he doesn't like anything about birthdays. His friend Mouse, on the other hand, is exuberant about everything, so on Bear's birthday, Mouse prepares several lovely surprises for Bear. In his usual fashion, Bear tries to avoid Mouse, the surprises and his birthday. But the persistent Mouse is finally able to get through to Bear with a chocolate cake and a full-blown party ensues.

"Child of the Mountains" by Marilyn Sue Shank, Delacorte Press, 2012, 255 pages, $16.99 hardcover

Read aloud: age 10 and older

Read yourself: age 11, 12 and older

Lydia doesn't mind growing up poor in 1953 in the mountains of West Virginia. As far as Lydia is concerned she has everything anyone could want: her widowed Mama is loving and strong, her brother BJ, despite his cystic fibrosis, is loads of fun and super-smart, and her Gran is kind and wise.

But all of that changes when Gram and BJ die, and Mama is unjustly accused of killing BJ. Sent to live with aunt and uncle, Lydia struggles with loneliness and is determined to clear her mother's name, but during that process a difficult truth about Lydia rises to the surface, creating another question in Lydia's mind about family, love and forgiveness.

www.greatestbooksforkids.com

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