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Books for children - Feb. 2

Kendal Rautzhan

Publication: The Day

Published February 02. 2014 4:00AM

Courage and bravery come in different measures for all of us. Often we develop greater amounts of courage out of necessity. When faced with adversity, some choose to overcome the obstacle. Others crumble under its weight.

Today we review books that fit into this category of people doing brave things, overcoming adversity, and displaying courage. While books play an important role in teaching us countless things, you are your child's first and most influential teacher.


"Thank You, Mr. Falker" written and illustrated by Patricia Polacco, Philomel, 40 pages

Read aloud: age 5 and older

Read yourself: age 7, 8 and older

Based on Patricia Polacco's own childhood, this beautiful story shares the pain of having a learning disability and the joy of overcoming it.

At first, Trisha loves school, but when she realizes she has great difficulty reading, she begins to feel dumb. Letters and numbers look like wiggling shapes, and her classmates make fun of her. Trisha not only feels stupid, but her self-image is very poor. It isn't until fifth grade that help arrives. With gentle guidance, her teacher works with Trisha and helps her to overcome her problem and, in turn, helps her realize that she isn't at all dumb.

An outstanding story of courage, this is Patricia Polacco's heartfelt thanks to the teacher who made her life whole.


Library: Salem Free Public Library, 264 Hartford Rd., Salem

Library Director: Jackie Hemond

Children's & Teen Services: Pat Aldrich

Choices this week: "Dear Mrs. LaRue: letters from obedience school" by Mark Teague; "Three Good Deeds" by Vivian Vande Velde; "Spiderwick Chronicles" series by Tony DiTerlizzi


"I Survived: The Japanese Tsunami, 2011" by Lauren Tarshis, illustrated by Scott Dawson, Scholastic, 2013, 106 pages, $4.99 paperback

Read aloud: age 7, 8 and older

Read yourself: age 9 and older

Through careful research and engaging writing, author Lauren Tarshis once again brings another exciting novel in her "I Survived" series.

Ben has recently lost his father, and he and his mother and brother are visiting his dad's hometown in Japan. Still reeling from his father's death, Ben can't imagine anything worse until he and his family are embroiled in a massive earthquake followed by a horribly destructive tsunami. Will Ben have to courage to endure and survive?

Fast-paced and thought-provoking, readers will devour this novel based on true events.


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