The best science teachers bring their subjects to life. They intrigue and entrance their students, often by explaining how everyday events they have observed, such as swirling a dollop of milk in a cup of tea or coffee, are really quite similar to what happens elsewhere in the Universe on both a much larger and much smaller scale. By hooking their students’ interest in a relatable way, a great teacher can inspire them to see their world differently, to open their minds, and to understand the underpinnings of our daily lives.
Sherri L. Smith’s Flygirl is an extremely moving historical novel about friendship, freedom, love, and loyalty.
Ida Mae Jones dreamed of doing something to help U.S. troops defeat the Nazis in World War II. She was young, smart, and knew how to fly an airplane. But that wasn’t enough, not even when they started accepting women to fly non-combat missions. Because Ida Mae was black, and only white women were allowed to join the flying service. So there was no way she could help win the war and bring her brother home all the sooner. Unless she broke the rules.
There is a witch in the woods. The people of the Protectorate know it. Each year, they are forced to leave a baby as a sacrifice to the witch, lest she destroy the whole city.
But just who is the witch in Kelly Barnhill’s Newbery Award-winning book, The Girl Who Drank the Moon? Maybe it’s Xan, who can’t figure out why the people of the Protectorate keep abandoning their children, but protects the babies with her magic until she can find them adopted homes in the Free Cities. Or, perhaps it’s Xan’s adopted granddaughter Luna, who became enmagicked and now spends her days with Fyrian, the Perfectly Tiny Dragon who thinks he’s a Simply Enormous Dragon, or Glerk, the poetry-obsessed monster who lives in the Bog. It’s certainly not Antain, a young man from the Protectorate who is becoming more and more determined to stop the yearly sacrifice.
Dublin Murder Squad detectives Antoinette Conway and Stephen Moran catch the case of an attractive young woman found dead with her head bashed in. Since neither has extensive experience, a seasoned detective is assigned to assist. Initially the case looks like a slam dunk—rejected boyfriend loses his head and, in a rage, kills the woman of his dreams.
But certain facts just don’t add up. The person committing the murder used great force, and the boyfriend has a slight build and no history of violent behavior. Also baffling is that the best friend of the victim suggested there was a clandestine relationship with another man. But the most intriguing question is, why would the third detective push so hard to arrest the boyfriend when absolutely zero hard evidence exists?
For women caught in war zones, there are choices to be made. Try to get by as best you can, protecting your family if you have one, or throw in with the men defending your country, risking your own life. The 15 women whose stories are told in Women Heroes of World War II, the Pacific Theater all made difficult choices. Even so, as much as they were able, they resisted the invaders who overran their countries.
Do you love the magic, romance, and wisdom of the traditional tale of Beauty and the Beast? Are you ready for something more than a Disney retelling? Award-winning fantasy author Robin McKinley’s Rose Daughter will grant your wish.
Cannibalism. All species, from tadpoles to chimps, eat their own kind. Humans also do it under extreme duress or for darker reasons. Here are a few stories of what was considered the last taboo.
If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.
—Marcus Tullius Cicero
As life leaves its marks on us—physical, as well as emotional and spiritual—it might seem harder to set up a garden, but, if gardening gives you joy, it’s probably more important now than ever.
“Healthy Recipes & Culinary Skills for the New Cook in the Kitchen”
There is no reason older kids can’t cook many dishes on the same level as most adults. If you can handle cooking without supervision, you can really develop your palate and your skills to create dishes you and grown-ups will truly enjoy. There are no cute presentations in Melina Hammer’s Kid Chef. This is a book about taste and freshness. Of course, there are kid favorites, such as Crispy Fish Sticks, but these are from scratch, with panko, lemon zest, freshly ground pepper and other delightful flavors.
In traditional biographies of the Washingtons, the subject of slavery rarely comes up, or, if it does, it is given a paragraph or perhaps a chapter to explain the “peculiar institution” as it related to the first First Family. There is nothing like a personal story—a slave’s personal and true story—to get a deeper perspective. In Erica Armstrong Dunbar’s Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave Ona Judge, that is exactly what we have.