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IN THE SPIRIT OF A DREAM

13 STORIES OF AMERICAN IMMIGRANTS OF COLOR

A lyrical look at challenges faced by immigrants of color and how they’ve flourished.

These poems celebrating immigrants of color are “created, written and illustrated by first- and second-generation immigrants of color.”

The biographies are of people from different parts of the world who have come to the United States and made significant contributions in their various fields, raising awareness of their many challenges and the wide range of immigration stories. They include the well known, like Somali American Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota) and world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma, who’s Chinese American, as well as ones whose achievements are far less recognized, like Paralympic medalist Alejandro Albor, a Mexican American; Korean American comics artist Jim Lee; and the Latinx poet/activist group, the Undocupoets. The inspirational, free-verse poems, all penned by Salazar, briefly share each immigrant’s journey to the United States and beyond. One double-page spread is allotted to each, each illustrated by a different artist; the art is diverse in style, uniformly well crafted, and appropriately kid focused for each subject. Tracy Guiteau’s portrait of a young Edwidge Danticat, for instance, places her with a giant pencil and a blank book against the bright buildings of Port-au-Prince. Backmatter includes brief extended bios of all the people featured along with contributor bios and notes from Chau, who conceived the book, and Salazar. Though a natural choice during immigration and poetry units, it’s more an inspiration and introduction than a research tool in itself.

A lyrical look at challenges faced by immigrants of color and how they’ve flourished. (Picture book/poetry. 8-12)

Pub Date: Nov. 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-338-55287-4

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Orchard/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Sept. 28, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2021

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CHARLOTTE'S WEB

The three way chats, in which they are joined by other animals, about web spinning, themselves, other humans—are as often...

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A successful juvenile by the beloved New Yorker writer portrays a farm episode with an imaginative twist that makes a poignant, humorous story of a pig, a spider and a little girl.

Young Fern Arable pleads for the life of runt piglet Wilbur and gets her father to sell him to a neighbor, Mr. Zuckerman. Daily, Fern visits the Zuckermans to sit and muse with Wilbur and with the clever pen spider Charlotte, who befriends him when he is lonely and downcast. At the news of Wilbur's forthcoming slaughter, campaigning Charlotte, to the astonishment of people for miles around, spins words in her web. "Some Pig" comes first. Then "Terrific"—then "Radiant". The last word, when Wilbur is about to win a show prize and Charlotte is about to die from building her egg sac, is "Humble". And as the wonderful Charlotte does die, the sadness is tempered by the promise of more spiders next spring.

The three way chats, in which they are joined by other animals, about web spinning, themselves, other humans—are as often informative as amusing, and the whole tenor of appealing wit and pathos will make fine entertainment for reading aloud, too.

Pub Date: Oct. 15, 1952

ISBN: 978-0-06-026385-0

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 14, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1952

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FAKER

Glitzy glimpses of life on the make, lightened by a focus on alternatives rather than consequences.

A con man’s son yearns for a different way of life.

Having helped his single dad fleece wealthy marks since kindergarten, Trey is adept at spotting their rich offspring in each new school he attends and cultivating them until the time comes for a quick getaway. Now that he’s 12, though, the urge to make real friends and put down some roots has become insistent—particularly since he’s drawn to Kaylee, a new classmate in his latest middle school. How can he convince his dad, who’s in the midst of luring local investors into a fantastically lucrative scheme involving a fictive electric car, that it’s time to bag the family profession and settle down? Korman goes more for ironic humor than the physical or stand-up sort in this book, as shown by Trey’s enrollment in an ethics class that forces him into some decidedly hypocritical stances. Much like Trey himself, instant new bestie Logan and his parents turn out to be not at all who they seem. And though there are no bullies or real baddies in the cast on the way to the story’s rosy but implausible resolution, Trey’s malign, high-strung, and wildly reckless huckster of a little sister from hell definitely adds both conflict and suspense to this provocative outing. Main characters read white.

Glitzy glimpses of life on the make, lightened by a focus on alternatives rather than consequences. (Fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: July 2, 2024

ISBN: 9781338826753

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: April 5, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2024

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