Rose Kent writes Kimchi and Calamari with a clear eye and a loving heart much like the hero in her story. She is an expert on this topic of overseas adoption from Asia as she herself has four children of Korean descent, two of which are adopted.
This novel plays on theme of the stereotypical Asian geek/genius and Lisa Yee captures the voice of the Millicent Min, Girl Genius so perfectly that you cringe for her as much as you root for her.
Introducing…Sasha Abramowitz by Sue Halpern is such a great book on so many levels. The plot is tightly written with memorable characters that somehow all get interwoven into the final chapter. Sasha is also such a engaging and realistic character that you can’t help but sympathize with her point of view but also gain insight as she does as she starts to see her brother from other people’s point of view. I highly recommend this book for grades 4-6th.
Hoot by Carl Hiaasen won an insane amout of awards including A Newbery Honor Award and it’s not hard to see why once you read it. It’s a mystery and an adventure with multiple happy endings including the school bully getting what he deserves.
We saw the The Lightening Thief movie and it has sparked a renewed interest in mythology in my 4th grader so I wanted to suggest two other great books on mythology by THE classicist, Edith Hamilton.
This series is about Sam Gribley living unhappily in New York City who runs away to some forgotten family land in the Catskill Mountains. He learns to live off the land with the help of a kindly librarian, a falcon baby, a flint and steele, penknife, and a ball of cord. He is joined by his sister in book two, and book three chronicles Frightful’s migration journal south.
Everything on a Waffle by Polly Horvath is Pippi Longstocking meets Anne of Green Gables combined with a Newbery Honor Award. For grades 3-5.
In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson by Bette Bao Lord is the story of Shirley Temple Wong as she immigrates to America at age 8 and discovers that American is the land of opportunity by learning about baseball, the Brooklyn Dodgers and the great Jackie Robinson. Four other immigrant stories are listed and all books are approrpriate for grades 3-5.
Grace Lin is the Amy Tan of Children’s Literature. Her latest book, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, is her best yet. Perfect for 2nd-5th graders or even older. She weaves Chinese folk tales into a tapestry of stories where the whole is much greater than the sum of its parts.