Books by Mary O’Keefe Young

IT'S RAMADAN, CURIOUS GEORGE by Hena Khan
CHILDREN'S
Released: May 3, 2016

"A rudimentary introduction, with licensed characters that are just along for the ride. (Board book. 2-4)"
For one special month, George accompanies a young friend through fasts, feasts, and good works at the mosque. Read full book review >
ANIMALS
Released: Oct. 9, 2006

Hapka and Young offer a new Curious George story, written and illustrated in a style similar to that of the misbehaving monkey's creators, Margret and H.A. Rey. In this Christmastime adventure, the man with the yellow hat takes George for a visit to a Christmas tree farm. Of course, George has to swing from tree to tree like the monkey he is, eventually climbing the tallest tree on the farm. The tree is cut down and transported by truck to a children's hospital with Curious George hanging from the treetop. At the hospital, George gets into his typical sort of mischief, including decorating the tree with items stolen from patients' rooms, but because George makes the children laugh, he's allowed to stay for the hospital's holiday party. He helps redecorate the tree in a more traditional manner and is asked by Santa to place the star on top of the tree. Children who love Curious George will like this latest adventure, and the story is shorter and more accessible than some of the longer original entries in the series. (Picture book. 3-7)Read full book review >
THE DARING ESCAPE OF ELLEN CRAFT by Cathy Moore
BIOGRAPHY
Released: Feb. 1, 2001

In clear, straightforward prose, Moore tells the amazing story of William and Ellen Craft and their escape from slavery. This tale is a familiar one to those who study African-American history and the many fascinating stories of slave resistance. But many children will be hearing it for the first time. Ellen and William longed for freedom. Ellen wishes to start a family with William but cannot bear the thought of having a child sold away the way she was taken from her own mother. The two of them come up with a daring plan for escape: light-skinned Ellen will pretend to be a slaveowner and William will be her slave. Together they travel the miles to Philadelphia and eventually to their freedom. New readers will appreciate the fast-paced adventure, simple language, large typeface with plenty of space for detailed illustrations, and a relatively obscure story set in a familiar historical time. Though this series is written for new readers, Moore manages to include some difficult and important angles to the adventure. She allows the young reader to see clearly the differences between the way William has to live as he travels as a slave and how Ellen, posing as a white man, lives. At the climax of the story, Ellen and William are nearly stopped by a railroad officer who demands that Ellen show proof of ownership. Ellen "did something a slave could never do. She stood up for her rights." Young readers will be inspired by this tale of personal courage in the face of prejudice. The author's afterword, timeline, and bibliography add historical insight. (Biography. 6-10)Read full book review >
REVOLUTIONARY POET by Maryann Weidt
BIOGRAPHY
Released: Nov. 8, 1997

Subtitled 'A Story About Phillis Wheatley,' this is a clear, straightforward account of the poet's life. Weidt (Daddy Played Music for the Cows, 1995, etc.) makes plain the facts: In September 1773, at the age of 20, Phillis Wheatley became the second American woman to publish a book—and the first African- American of either gender to do so. She had arrived in Boston 13 years earlier on the slave ship Phillis, a frail, sickly child who spoke no English. Wealthy Bostonian Susannah Wheatley bought her for her household, where, as Weidt explains, Phillis was better treated that most slaves of the time. While a few more examples of the poet's work would have been welcome, this biography gives middle-graders a solid introduction. Young's black-and-white illustrations enhance the text, showing many telling details of colonial life. (bibliography, index) (Biography. 8-12) Read full book review >
THE SNOW WALKER by Margaret K. Wetterer
CHILDREN'S
Released: Feb. 10, 1996

Notes running before and after this true story inform beginning readers of the facts about the Blizzard of 1888, a three- day storm that ravaged the northeastern US. Milton Daub, 12, leaves his home in the South Bronx to buy milk, wearing the snowshoes he and his father have patched together from odds and ends around the house, with a picture from a geography book as a guide. As neighbors in need shout requests for groceries and medications to Milton from their snow-banked, second-story windows, the boy's mission grows. At day's end, he is not only able to turn his unasked-for profits over to his mother but has also saved a life. Wetterer (Kate Shelley and the Midnight Express) and her co-author craft a satisfying volume in the On My Own series, building suspense as the snowshoes disintegrate; Young's illustrations wonderfully evoke old New York City and the storm of a century. (Fiction. 5-8) Read full book review >
SOMETHING MAGIC by Maggie S. Davis
CHILDREN'S
Released: June 26, 1991

During an idyllic visit with grandmother in what looks like coastal Maine, a little girl wonders how she resembles Gammy, as everyone says she does (it's the smile, she decides). The two also share confidences: the child misses the kitten that disappeared last summer; Gammy still misses Grandpa. With neither the artistry nor the energy of Anderson's Stina's Visit (p. 734)- -but the story is sweet without being saccharine, while Young's watercolors nicely evoke the lovely setting and warm relationship. (Picture book. 4-8) Read full book review >