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Friday, January 18 , 2019, 2:27 am | Fair 54º


Rae Largura: Books with Meaning for All Ages

Good books to help guide our children are always treasures. Fairy tales to reimagine. Coming-of-age stories to ponder. Curiosity of others to contemplate. Historical fiction for culture. Diverse characters and universal themes will resonate with all children at all levels of reading.

Here is a list of a few, by grade levels, that I can recommend.

Grades 1-3

» Call Me Tree / Llámame Arbol by Maya Christina Gonzalez

This story depicts the parallel journeys of a child growing up and a seed sprouting into a tree. It inspires young readers to be unique and respect their dreams.

» Juna’s Jar by Jane Bahk

Juna goes on an adventure to find her friend who moved away and she misses dearly. She finds herself making new friends along the way.

» Little Melba and Her Big Trombone by Kathryn Russell-BrownLittle

Melba must overcome racial and gender bias through her hard work and talent as a trombone player.

» Mama Panya’s Pancakes: A Village Tale From Kenya by Mary Chamberlin and Rich Chamberlin

This sweet story teaches the importance of sharing, even if there isn’t much to share. It also includes a recipe for special pancakes.

» If Kids Ran the World by Leo and Diane Dillon

Children from around the world come together to tackle and solve the problems of hunger, stress and world peace.

Grades 4-6

» Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin

Themes from Chinese folklore fuel this beautiful adventure through magical journeys and colorful characters to find answers to life questions.

» Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu

One day 11-year-old Jack disappears into the forest with a woman made of ice, and the journey begins with Hazel’s quest to rescue him.

» The Crossover by Kwame Alexander

Great for sporty kids. It's a story about sports, school, race and a loving family.

» This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki

Pre-teens spend a summer on the lake. This story touches on the sometimes awkward transitions of childhood to young adult.

Grades 7-8

» Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

A poetic memoir and historical perspective of what it’s like to grow up during the civil rights era as the author sat at the back of the bus, learned about the death of Martin Luther King Jr., and watched the Black Panthers on television.

» The Great Greene Heist by Varian Johnson

The main character assembles a team to make sure that the school bully doesn’t win the election for student council president. It is clever and heroic.

Grades 9-12

» Gabi, a Girl in Pieces by Isabel Quintero

This high school senior experiences romance, religion, politics, feeling like an outsider, and a host of other real world issues in a whirlwind story.

» How It Went Down by Kekla Magoon

A story to portray and give understanding to racial issues that plaque American neighborhoods everywhere.

» I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

The beauty of twins and the loss that happens when they struggle with coming-of-age and growing apart.

» Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass by Meg Medina

A Latino teen character had to move to a new school and was faced with stereotyping and bullying. Because of it, she grew stronger and more secure.

Any subject, any grade: What is your question for a tutor? Email [email protected].

— Rae Largura is president of Leading Edge Tutors. The opinions expressed are her own.

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