Monday Children’s Book Reviews for February 15

My School in the Rain Forest by Margriet Ruurs

“An engaging look at some of the world’s most unusual schools. At a school that sits on the edge of the Sahara, students are learning to speak English from a teacher who stands in front of a Webcam in North America. These students are learning in a virtual classroom. In another part of the world, kids aren’t waiting to ride the bus to school — they are waiting to hop in a boat that will take them to a school that floats on a river. And some kids don’t mind heights, especially those who attend a school on the slope of a mountain in the Himalayas, in one of the most remote corners of the earth. Margriet Ruurs contacted teachers and volunteers, many of whom took cameras in hand to photograph their schools and students. In this lively photo-essay, readers get to know students — from the arid plains of southern Afghanistan to the rain forests of Guatemala — who are pursuing their dreams of a brighter future.”         [J371 RUURS]

Julie Andrews’ Collection of Poems, Songs and Lullabies

“Julie Andrews and her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton, have hand-selected a wonderful mix of their most cherished poems, songs, and lullabies in this rich and diverse poetry collection. Brought to life with James McMullan’s stunning watercolor paintings, this volume features nearly 150 treasured works, including beloved classics and modern favorites from Robert Frost, Emily Dickinson, Jack Prelutsky, Shel Silverstein, Rodgers & Hammerstein, and more – twenty-one of which are theatrically and playfully read aloud by Andrews and Hamilton on the accompanying CD.”     [J808.81008 JULIE]

Truce: The Day the Soldiers Stopped Fighting by Jim Murphy

“On Christmas Eve, the gunshots and artillery gradually stopped.  The temperature had dropped suddenly the night before, and the mud in the trenches and the ground of No Man’s Land were frozen solid, and covered with a thin layer of Christmas snow. Carols sung by first one side and then the other, floated across No Man’s Land.  Cautiously, men began to emerge from their trenches, and when no shots were fired, walked out toward the enemy lines.  Men who had tried to kill each other, instead shook hands, shared gifts from home, and forgot about the war.  It was late at night when the men turned back to their own lines, calling goodbye and promising not to fight the next day. 

Christmas Day, December 1914, dawned to a thick fog and an eerie silence. Then a voice rang out from the German side, “You no shoot, we no shoot.” It was a Christmas no one in either army would ever forget. A Christmas when men made friends with their enemy, instead of shooting them. A Christmas when the soldiers on the front lines defied their commanders, and said, “I will not fight. I will see no one as my enemy.”

Could it be that the end of war is just this simple? “No, I will not fight.”           [J940.421 MURPHY]

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Filed under Book Reviews, Children, Reading, Uncategorized, Union City Library

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