7 Stories for April 2023

7 Stories for April 2023

The Prince Of The Skies by Antonio Iturbe

If you ever loved The Little Prince / Le Petit Prince or if you were ever curious about Antoine De Saint-Exupery, the celebrated and mysterious author... Then THIS book is for you! Saint-Exupery was famously fabled to have crashed in the desert sand while flying his military plane. Did that really happen? Is HE the "Prince" in his own story? What became of his life? Find these answers in a well-written and researched book authored by Antonio Iturbe, who also penned The Librarian of Auschwitz

Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice by Phillip Hoose

If not for this book and the power of a teenage Claudette decades ago, Seven Stories might not exist! It was THIS book that inspired our teen founder to continue pushing forward, asking questions, and trying to accomplish what others might have scoffed at. Claudette, you see, was the "Rosa" BEFORE Rosa Parks. Claudette Colvin was a darker skinned, teenage girl though and she had just discovered she was pregnant... this was deemed less than ideal stuff for a national hero. So her story and the stories of so many other girls and women of her era... disappeared. Prior to this book Phillip Hoose wrote about other teen heroes in history, and AFTER this book his friendship and support for Claudette resulted in the 2021 expungement of her juvenile criminal record. Finally! The crime of sitting on a bus. The same busses Rosa would later become world famous for. In OUR humble opinion this book should be required reading for kids in 6th grade thru 8th grade (middle school).

Amy Wu and The Perfect Bao by Kat Zhang and Charlene Chua (Ill.)

Do ever buy a new shirt or a new bottle of nail polish only to get home and see that you ALREADY have that exact color of polish and that exact style of shirt? That's what Seven Stories does with dumpling books. We apparently have a "thing" for them. And this is the best one! It reminds us a little of Fry Bread by Kevin Noble Maillard because it's illustration driven with a family focus and recipes in the back. This book is one that celebrates Chinese traditions in a way that non-Asian children can embrace and we love how hungry it left us!

Tin Man by Justin Madson

Yep. We're from Kansas. We've heard ALL the Wizard of Oz jokes. But you know what? We are NOT, in fact, done with the Wizard spinoffs! This graphic novel twist gives us one part Wizard of Oz, two parts Iron Giant, and a sprinkle of Edward Scissorhands. Appropriate for YA/teen audiences, it's protagonist is a high school student whose grandmother recently passed away. The story examines friendship in a way that even adults can appreciate. Plus, we love that author Justin Madson was a self-taught cartoonist.

Four Treasures Of The Sky by Jenny Tinghui Zhang

This book... Oh, this book. We begin with a kidnapping. Human trafficking from China, eventually arriving in the US and then traveling to various locations. And all throughout the journey we come to discover and rediscover our heroine. We appreciate the basic story laid out here by a Chinese-American author. But we equally appreciate her afterword and we share her desire to elevate Asian contributions and anti-Chinese violence TODAY/NOW, before we conveniently forget and repeat history. 

Matty Matheson: A Cookbook

Do you know Matty Matheson from his cooking program "It's Suppertime!"? EVERYONE in our house loved his recipes, his humor, and his tattoos. And this cookbook (one of just two that he has published) doesn't disappoint. He gives you a little fancy action, a little humble simplicity, and a few familiar things for good measure. This book is an autobiography, chef style. But it also just pleases us to support this unlikely chef celebrity who flew down from Canada, avoided the Guy Fieri-dominated Food Network route, and literally carved out his own path.

The Poetry Remedy: Prescriptions For The Heart, Mind, and Soul by William Sieghart

We believe, as does this book, that there's a poem to fit every moment. We just don't happen to be the sort of people to know off the tops of our collective heads WHICH poem to choose. Thankfully, this book comes to sit patiently on our shelf for each time in our life when we need that answer! William Sieghart gives you poems for the passing of people we loved and people we didn't care much for. He gives us something for breakups and something for jealously. He covers every base in this compact, affordable title.

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