Young readers may be surprised to see that everyday life can be entirely engaging.

READ REVIEW

SKY BLUE WATER

GREAT STORIES FOR YOUNG READERS

A book of short stories from Minnesota aims to deliver good, old-fashioned storytelling.

In a time when literature for kids and teens is flooded with vampires, wizards, superheroes, and barbaric dystopian worlds (that are sometimes violently liberated by teens), it is refreshing to find a book of short stories that take young readers back to the ordinary, day-to-day life of a young person, days that contain drama, humor, and sometimes a little magic. This mother lode of short stories by talented Minnesota writers offers vivid glimpses into the cultural life of the state through the eyes of its youth. From the cities to the Boundary Waters, the stories, and a handful of short poems, celebrate the diversity of its landscape and inhabitants. In each story, friendships and family moments possess an authenticity that transcends race, culture, and state borders, making it accessible to readers across the country. Contributors include Swati Avasthi, Joyce Sidman, Shannon Gibney, Pete Hautman, Kristin Cronn-Mills, and Anika Fajardo, among others. The authors get into the heads of their young characters through their spot-on use of dialogue and genuine senses of innocence and wonder. This is a particularly valuable tool for educators, as the book includes author interviews as well as classroom prompts and creative-writing activities.

Young readers may be surprised to see that everyday life can be entirely engaging.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-8166-9876-9

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Univ. of Minnesota

Review Posted Online: July 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2016

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CINDERELLA

This companion piece to the other fairy tales Marcia Brown has interpreted (see Puss In Boots, 1952, p. 548 and others) has the smoothness of a good translation and a unique charm to her feathery light pictures. The pictures have been done in sunset colors and the spreads on each page as they illustrate the story have the cumulative effect of soft cloud banks. Gentle.

Pub Date: June 15, 1954

ISBN: 0684126761

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1954

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THE LORAX

The greening of Dr. Seuss, in an ecology fable with an obvious message but a savingly silly style. In the desolate land of the Lifted Lorax, an aged creature called the Once-ler tells a young visitor how he arrived long ago in the then glorious country and began manufacturing anomalous objects called Thneeds from "the bright-colored tufts of the Truffula Trees." Despite protests from the Lorax, a native "who speaks for the trees," he continues to chop down Truffulas until he drives away the Brown Bar-ba-loots who had fed on the Tuffula fruit, the Swomee-Swans who can't sing a note for the smogulous smoke, and the Humming-Fish who had hummed in the pond now glumped up with Gluppity-Glupp. As for the Once-let, "1 went right on biggering, selling more Thneeds./ And I biggered my money, which everyone needs" — until the last Truffula falls. But one seed is left, and the Once-let hands it to his listener, with a message from the Lorax: "UNLESS someone like you/ cares a whole awful lot,/ nothing is going to get better./ It's not." The spontaneous madness of the old Dr. Seuss is absent here, but so is the boredom he often induced (in parents, anyway) with one ridiculous invention after another. And if the Once-let doesn't match the Grinch for sheer irresistible cussedness, he is stealing a lot more than Christmas and his story just might induce a generation of six-year-olds to care a whole lot.

Pub Date: Aug. 12, 1971

ISBN: 0394823370

Page Count: 72

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Oct. 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1971

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