Bat Citizens, Defending the Ninjas of the Night
According to the book, there are 18 species of bats in Canada, including two species that were recorded only once. The book offers bat facts as well as stories about members of the Bat Squad, kids who are doing their part to help bats. I think those stories were one of my favourite parts of this book. I like the fact it shows kids doing their parts to ensure bats survive.
There is also information about the variety of threats bats face, including white-nose syndrome, and humans (of course) as well as suggestions on what we can do to help our winged friends.
Mr. Mergler, Beethoven and Me
Mr. Mergler, Beethoven and Me by David Gutnick ($18.95, Second Story Press) is inspired by the life of Daniel Mergler, a man who found joy in teaching children how to play the piano. In this book, Mergler sees the talent of a young girl who just immigrated to Canada from China. Mr. Mergler offers to teach the young girl how to play as he sees in her a talent that will turn into something magical. (Note: when looking up a link for Daniel Mergler, I came across this epilogue, which reads much like the reviewed book.)
The book is a beautiful story about the generosity and kindness of a man I didn’t know existed until I read this book.
Ten Cents a Pound
Ten Cents a Pound by Nhung N. Tran-Davies ($18.95, Second Story Press) shares the story of a woman who works in the fields for 10 cents a pound despite her scratched hands, blistered feet and sore back. The mother does all this so that her daughter can go to school and break the cycle of poverty.
Ten Cents a Pound is a beautiful story about parents’ love and hope for a better life.
Trash Revolution, Breaking the Waste Cycle
There is so much information in this book. I particularly liked the stories that shows humans making a positive impact on Earth. For example, in Lima, Peru, there is not enough water for the 10 million people who live there. The region gets almost zero rain fall, but the moisture in the air is 98 per cent. Engineers installed a billboard to capture the humidity, with water droplets going through a reverse-osmosis system, which filtres the water into tanks below, supplying water for hundreds of families. Amazing.
There is information, infographs and lots of pictures that provides the information in easy-to-read pieces.
The Promise by Pnina Bat Zvi and Margie Wolfe ($18.95, Second Story Press) is based on the true story of sisters Rachel and Toby who we meet while prisoners at Auschwitz concentration camp. Before the girls are separated from their parents, and sent to the concentration camp, their mother and father give them three gold coins and make them promise that, no matter, what they stay together. They are successful until Rachel becomes sick and is taken way.
The story itself is horrifying, but also hopeful as all stories that come out of that terrible time in history seem to be. What I really disliked about this book are the illustrations, which I found creepy.
Walking the City With Jane, A Story of Jane Jacobs
I know a fair bit about the late urban planner Jane Jacobs (Walking the City With Jane, A Story of Jane Jacobs by Susan Hughes, $19.99, Kids Can Press) because when I worked at a Toronto community newspaper, we often did stories about Jane’s Walks, yearly events where you walked various neighbours in Toronto to learn more about it. This book gave me a bit more information about Jacobs’ past and her desire to ensure our cities remain walkable and livable.
A copy of these books were provided by Kids Can Press, Pajama Press and Second Story Press and for an honest review. The opinions are my own.