Outstanding-March 2016

Every month, we post an annotated bibliography of books that were rated ‘Outstanding’ and nominated for our Distinguished List at our previous month’s meeting. Members can see full reviews of these books and many more in the March edition of BayViews.



Swap! written and illustrated by Light, Steve; Candlewick 2016

Gorgeous hand-drawn illustrations depict a set of trades, starting with a coat button and two teacups, to gather materials to refurbish a rundown ship. Great fun is seeing how new owners use the traded objects: Oars are used to hang flags, a flag is used as a smock, anchors are used to hold spools of thread, etc. (PS-2)


Land of Forgotten Girls written by Kelly, Erin Entrada; Greenwillow 2016

Sol and her sister must live with an abusive stepmother after their mother dies and their father never returns from a trip back home to the Philippines. Intriguing side characters and allusions to fairy tales give Sol, and the reader, a sense of hope in a seemingly hopeless situation. (4-7)


Paper Wishes written by Sepahban, Lois; Farrar, Straus and Giroux 2016

When Japanese American Manami and her family are “evacuated” to the Manzanar internment camp at the start of WWII, Manami goes mute after having to give up her dog.
With short sentences, some repeated phrasings, and lyrical language, Sepahban’s debut novel often reads like gorgeous verse. (4-7)


Sex is a Funny Word: A Book about Bodies, Feelings, and YOU written by Silverberg, Cory and illustrated by Smyth, Fiona; Triangle Square 2015 

Featuring attractive, jewel-toned, comic-style art and empowering language that affirms the value of ALL kids’ knowledge and experiences, this dynamic, truly inclusive
exploration of bodies, gender, feelings, and relationships helps demystify sex for young readers. (2-5)


No Better Friend: A Man, A dog, and their Incredible True Story of Friendship and
Survival in World War II written by Weintraub, Robert; Little, Brown and Company 2015

Judy, an English Pointer, was one of the most celebrated heroes of WW II in postwar England. As a puppy she survived by her wits in the streets of Shanghai. During the Sino-Japanese War 66 March, 2016 and WW II, she was looked after by a series of English naval men and took great risks to protect them again and again when their ships were bombed and sunk. Just before the fall of Singapore to the Japanese, a shy 22 year old sailor, Frank Williams, took over Judy’s care. The two bonded with such force that together they survived near-fatal scrapes with prison guards; starvation; illness; and exhaustion in a POW camp in the Sumatran jungle. The author includes sidebars of historical wartime events and back matter with a timeline and bibliography. No Better Friend brings the Pacific Theater of WW II to life through the moving true story of a wily and big hearted  dog. Review based on an ARC. (5-Adult)



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