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You Are Never Alone by Elin Kelsey

You Are Never Alone by Elin Kelsey

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This book was not what I was expecting it to be, in the best way. It wonderfully and beautifully explained how the Earth is always with you in various ways. From the oxygen plants give, to the coral reefs that protect us, to our lovable pets. Each aspect of the Earth and all its tiny creatures are with us, helping us grow and thrive. Soyeon Kim’s illustrations were breathtaking, creative, and unique. The author brought so much into perspective without losing the magical feel of it. Easily one of my favorite books.

I would highly recommend this for anyone to read, not just children. This book spectacularly described how the Earth takes care of us everyday, in so many small and big ways. We may not be able to see or notice how the Earth provides for us, like the coral reefs protecting us from storms, or microorganisms protecting our bodies, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t protected. This book put so much into perspective for me, and I’m an adult, I can’t imagine what it would do for children. As I mentioned earlier, what with current topics surrounding the planet nowadays, this book is perfect for anyone to read who wants to care for the Earth the same way it cares for us. I can’t recommend this book enough.

Wolf In The Snow by Matthew Cordell

Wolf in the Snow: Cordell, Matthew: 9781250076366: Amazon.com: Books

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This book is told without words and with only illustrations. It follows a girl on her journey home and a small wolf pup, during a terrible snow storm. Both became lost/separated. They find each other and seemed to reach an unspoken agreement to comfort each other. The girl travels far out of her way to bring the wolf pup home. Once the pup was returned safely, the girl tries to find her own way home, only to collapse from the cold. The wolves come and help her, signaling to her family where she is. Both the girl and pup found their way home, with the help of each other.

I would highly recommend this book for anyone, not just children. Books that opt out of telling a story with words can easily flop. This book was not one of those. It told such a beautiful, deep, meaningful story with simple and beautiful illustrations. It reminded me a bit of the story Pax, which is about a boy and his pet fox, and they become separated. Seeing the initial interaction between the child and wolf pup, and the unspoken trust they put in each other was stunning.

Who Was Queen Victoria by Jim Gigliotti

Who Was Queen Victoria? (Who Was?) - Kindle edition by Gigliotti, Jim, Who  HQ, Hergenrother, Max. Children Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.

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Queen Victoria’s life was a hard one, from the time she was born. Her father died suddenly when she was quite young, and though her mother never remarried, she befriended a man to help take care of the house. He and Victoria’s mother were power hungry, and did everything they could to make Victoria feel like an outcast. They hoped that one day Victoria would be queen, and would be so dependent on the two of them that they could rule through her. By the time she was eleven she realized how close to the throne she was, and grew an independent will and took her education seriously. When she was eighteen she became queen, and was up for the challenge, She moved her mother and friend to the far side of Buckingham palace so she could focus on her reign. She eventually fell in love and married her cousin, and they had nine children together. Her mother eventually died, followed by her husband. Her husband’s death took the worst toll on her, and she withdrew from the public eye. As time passed and her children grew, Victoria continued to fulfill her duties, but never stopped mourning. When she was about to die, she planned her funeral asking to be buried in white, as she was finally going to stop mourning and be reunited with her husband. She soon died afterwards.

I would recommend this book again mostly for adults, but also older children. History, though boring to most children, is important, and history of other countries is crucial as we get so little of it in our education. I never knew much about Queen Victoria, but she lived an amazing life! It was interesting to read about her upbringing, her triumphs and tribulations, and her determination to reign as a good and just queen. I felt the story was told as simply and cleanly as possible, leaving out little and yet not being too overwhelming. The illustrations were beautiful as well, and really made me feel like I was a part of the story. Overall a wonderfully informative book.

Who Was Jane Austen by Sarah Fabiny

Who Was Jane Austen?: Fabiny, Sarah, Who HQ, Hoare, Jerry: 9780448488639:  Amazon.com: Books

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Jane Austen was born in 1775 to a reverend and his wife. Though women of the time were meant to be raised as good wives, Jane’s family valued education, and from a young age she and her older sister Cassandra were allowed to rea. The two of them even went to school for a short time, but it soon ended. Soon after coming home, Jane began writing stories. When family visited or they went on a trip, she brainstormed new ideas for more stories. As time passed, Jane’s family grew up and married, and Jane hoped to be married soon too. She still wrote constantly, and helped out the family through trials and tribulations. When she was finally proposed to though, she declined, stating that becoming published was more important, and she also wanted to marry for love, not wealth. She eventually did publish a book, and that made her more determined to write even more. After her father died, her brother offered to help her mother and her sisters by offering them a home they had inherited. When Jane became ill, she hid it from her family and continued to write. When she died, her nephew published a memoir about her, introducing her work to a larger audience than she had ever known.

I would highly recommend this book, more for adults than children though. Jane Austen’s writing is amazing, but many children don’t read her work. I learned more about Jane Austen from this book than I ever knew about her in my 26 years. This book wonderfully chronicles her life, from the good times to the bad. I feel her writing perfectly depicts how her life was back in the day, and love that most of her characters mirror her relationships she had with her family. The illustrations were also lovely, with not too much detail but enough to get the point across. Overall a very informative, well organized book.

Who Was Florence Nightingale by Kitson Jazynka

DK Life Stories: Florence Nightingale: Jazynka, Kitson, Ager, Charlotte:  9781465478443: Amazon.com: Books

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Florence was born into a well off family in 1820. From a young age she was fascinated with the world, not afraid to ask questions and search for answers. She loved animals from a young age as well, which led to her love of helping the sick and in need. Thanks to her father, Florence received a “gentleman’s education” where she learned everything that women were not aloud to know back in those days. Her family wasn’t as enthused that she enjoyed helping the sick. Though her family disapproved of her dedication to helping the sick, that didn’t stop Florence. As time passed, she became more determined to make a career out of nursing. Though she was old enough to marry, Florence didn’t want to. This caused a huge riff in her family relationships. Eventually they all made up, and Florence became a nurse and found herself in the middle of a war. She helped many soldiers during her time and loved everything about her life. Eventually she became deathly ill herself, and though she recovered, her brush with death wasn’t over, becoming sick multiple times throughout her life. She eventually died at age 90. To this day people know her as the Lady with the Lamp, searching for those who are sick and injured.

I would recommend this book to older children and adults. I used to be in nursing school and while Florence Nightingale was mentioned, we never went into detail about her. I think that’s too bad, because learning about her and her life was amazing! She is such a good role model for children, especially young girls, because she lived her life her way, and didn’t let anyone’s opinion of her change her mind. She knew she wanted to help people and she did. It was so interesting to learn about her upbringing and her family, as well as her struggles of deciding which life to choose. I wish more people read these books, because they’re so informative without being completely overwhelming.

Who Was Amelia Earhart by Kate Boehm Jerome

Who Was Amelia Earhart?: Jerome, Kate Boehm, Who HQ, Cain, David:  9780448428567: Amazon.com: Books

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This book chronicles Amelia Earhart’s life from childhood to her final flight. Beginning in 1897, Amelia was born in her grandmother’s house. Though Amelia’s grandparents were well off financially wise, Amelia’s father had difficulty keeping a job. This led to the family splitting up in Amelia’s teenage years, with her, her mother, and her sister moving to Chicago. Once Amelia was nineteen, she left for Ogontz School in Pennsylvania. She did very well there, but during her time there World War I started. She left for Toronto and became a nurses aid, helping those who were wounded. When she returned home, she began seeing a boy, and he eventually proposed. She declined, stating she couldn’t give her freedom to him. It was then that Amelia sought out flying as a career. After taking lessons and passing her license exam, Amelia flew stunt shows with her friend. Soon her friend married, and at age 28 Amelia was asked again by her previous suitor to marry him. Though it was tempting, she declined, her freedom was more important. By 1929, after becoming the first woman to fly across the ocean (as a passenger), Amelia had made it in life, having given more than 200 speeches and interviews (and being paid for them). Eventually, Amelia’s father passed away and she married her long time friend and manager, George. In the end, Amelia wanted to set a record for flying around the world, and unfortunately crashed and was never found.

I would recommend this book for older children as there is a lot of text involved. The story is told in a simplified and easy to understand manner, and definitely provides enough information to write an essay about. It doesn’t leave out any part of Amelia’s life, including the unhappy parts, such as when her parents split or when her father dies. I loved that the author included that she turned down proposals from men, as it shows little girls that you don’t have to live a certain way to have a happy life. Overall, a wonderfully told biography about an amazing woman.

When Sadness is At Your Door by Eva Eland

When Sadness is at Your Door: Eland, Eva: 9780525707189: Amazon.com: Books

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This book is an amazing introduction to depression and how to handle it. It follows a boy who is visited by the sad emotion, which is illustrated to be a semi-see through blue blob. The book shows how sadness can feel, like being unable to breath or feeling like your emotions take over you, as well as showing how to handle it, like going for a walk or giving it a name and listening to it. In the end, the sadness disappeared, and the boy got ready for a new day.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone, not just children. So many adults nowadays are disconnected with how they feel, that this would be a nice, easy example of how to reconnect with those lost feelings. I loved that it didn’t show children how to “overcome” the sadness with hard work and determination, but rather showed how to be tender to that sad side and let it happen. Work with it instead of against it. I think this book perfectly portrays depression and I love that there is a children’s book about it.

Vampires Don’t Wear Polka Dots by Debbie Dadey

Vampires Don't Wear Polka Dots (The Adventures Of The Bailey School Kids):  Dadey, Debbie, Jones, Marcia T., Jones, Marcia Thornton, Gurney, John  Steven: 9780590434119: Amazon.com: Books

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This book follows a third-grade class. They are infamous for making many teachers quit or resign because of how troublesome they are. When a new teacher starts, Mrs. Jeepers, the students think their usual methods will work against her. However, as the year continues on, they realize Mrs. Jeepers isn’t like the other teachers they’ve dealt with. She seems to have strange powers that she uses against the students! The class bands together to expose Mrs. Jeepers, but eventually give up and believe it was all in their head. But was it?

I would highly recommend this book. It was easy and fun to read, the wording wasn’t too simple or extravagant. The plot was different from most books, and even ended on a bit of a cliffhanger. I’m biased against juvenile mystery books as they are my favorite. This book reminded me of the Goosebump series, and how the paranormal is real! 

Time for Bed Miyuki by Roxana Marie Galliez

Time for Bed, Miyuki: Galliez, Roxane Marie, Ratanavanh, Seng Soun:  9781616897055: Amazon.com: Books

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This is a story about a girl who does not want to go to bed. I think we can all relate to a time in our life when we were kids and did not want to go to bed. However, in this story, Miyuki’s grandfather helps her prepare for bed by assisting her with her tasks. She makes a canopy for a dragonfly queen, waters her vegetables, and covers the cat, among other things. By the time everything is complete, both the grandfather and Miyuki are sleepy. They finish the night by reading a bedtime story, and drift off into dreams.

I would highly recommend this book for many reasons. The illustrations are beautiful, the story is sweet, and the message, I feel, is wonderful. First, the illustrations are beautiful, with luscious colors and creative perspectives. It truly feels like I’m inside the imagination of a child. Second, the story itself is so sweet, as we can all relate to a time when we did not want to go to bed. Finally, I feel the message it sends is wonderful: that we, as adults, should encourage imagination in children and assist them with their tasks. While the tasks may seem meaningless to us, they are everything to children, and validating their experiences is great.