2017-07-12
Now that summer is coming to an end, autumn brings promises of last-minute camping trips and newly sharpened #2 pencils. In-between buying new clothes and school supplies, give your child a taste of books that will provide wisdom and inspiration during recess and after school.

Dear God
Illus. Sophie Allsopp
Little Simon Inspirations
Age: 4-8

Fans of "The Jolly Postman" by Janet and Allan Ahlberg will adore this book of "little letter prayers for little people." Children will learn to praise God’s blessings through selected psalms and Christian prayers. Mini-envelopes filled with simple 'Dear God' prayers will captivate young readers, as will Allsopp’s gentle watercolor scenes in twilight colors. The last page includes a bigger envelope and note card for personal prayers.
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Mr. & Mrs. God in Creation Kitchen
By Nancy Wood; Illus. Timothy Basil Ering
Candlewick Press
Age: 4-8

In this deliciously inventive book, creation is given an unusual twist. As they rummage through the ingredients in their kitchen, Mr. and Mrs. God delightfully stir, mold, and bake magnificent creatures to populate Earth. Ering, who illustrated Kate DiCamillo’s award-winning "The Tale of Despereaux," pairs the tale with charming, quirky drawings awash in blue-gray tones. Children will enjoy this well-seasoned and well-baked masterpiece.
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Little Stone Buddha
By K.T. Hao; Illus. Giuliano Ferri
Purple Bear Books
Age: 4-8

One day, a stonemason carves a statue out of a large rock from Nine Tall Mountains. Thus is born Little Stone Buddha, who enters the world with a “long oooommmm.” When Little Stone Buddha rescues a fox from hunters, he earns faithful guardians and unwavering devotion. Children will love this simple story filled with lessons of gratitude, friendship, and loyalty and enjoy Ferri’s playful, autumn-colored drawings.
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A World of Prayers
Selected by Jeremy Brooks; Illus. Elena Gomez
Eerdmans Books for Young Readers
Age: 4-8

Guide children of all ages through this lush book of prayers from many cultures. From a Native American prayer on tolerance to a funny Scottish mealtime prayer (“Doon head, / Up paws, / Thank God / We’ve jaws.”), children will discover the ease and fun of talking to God. Gomez’s vibrant palette is a Technicolor daydream—a big green bed transforms into a meadow of red tulips while a boy's blue trousers transform into long waves.
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Grace for an Island Meal
By Rachel Field; Illus. by Cynthia Jabar
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Age: 4-8

Even though summer may be over, you can still bring this delightful book on family vacations. Using couplets, Field helps young readers discover unique treasures on an island: chanterelle mushrooms, bright berries, a picnic by the shore. Teach children how to appreciate the everyday joys in life and help them find nature’s blessings on the next vacation.
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Incredible You!
By Dr. Wayne W. Dyer with Kristina Tracy;
Illus. Melanie Siegel

Hay House
Age: 4-8

As a companion to his best-selling adult book "10 Secrets for Success and Inner Peace," inspirational author Wayne Dyer creates an exuberant 10-step book for children. With sing-song stanzas of rhyme, children will learn how to appreciate themselves and others: “Think of something you love to do. / That is your passion, so let it shine through. / Never let fear hold you back. / Do what you love—you’re on the right track.” Siegel’s eye-popping drawings illustrate scenarios of children turning negative incidents into positive experiences.
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Jerusalem Sky
By Mark Podwal

Doubleday Books for Young Readers
Age: 5-10

Under a blue canopy, Jewish sages, Jesus, and Muhammad meet: "Atop these majestic monuments to miracles, / synagogue stars, / church crosses, / mosque moons / meet under the Jerusalem sky and merge their shadows." Using poetic free verse and paintings with strong colors, Podwal interweaves the legends of three major religions, showing children the interconnectedness of faith in a place where religions are often in conflict.
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To Everything There Is a Season
By Jude Daly
Eerdmans Books for Young Readers
Age: 5-10

Follow a South African family as they plant, harvest, celebrate, mourn, play, and rest through a year. Daly’s gentle, detailed illustrations accompany the oft-quoted verses from Ecclesiastes, propelling young readers on a journey through all four seasons. Each page is a well-chosen scene that offers children a bird’s-eye view of the ordinary yet intimate activities of a close-knit, loving home.
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The Coconut Monk
By Thich Nhat Hanh;
Illus. Vo-Dihn Mai

Plum Blossom Books
Age: 5-10

Zen Buddhist master Thich Nhat Hanh crafts a story based on the life of the late Vietnamese monk and peace activist, Dao Dua. In the midst of the Vietnam War, Dao Dua, known as the Coconut Monk begins a journey to the presidential palace to end war. When he is thrown in jail, he finds another way to spread the message of peace, a lesson that teaches children how to persevere when trying to make a difference. Mai’s sparse drawings enhance the subtle but meaningful impact of the tale.
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My Name Is Bilal
By Asma Mobin-Uddin; Illus. Barbar Kiwak
Boyds Mills Press
Age: 6-11

On the first day of school, Ayesha’s head scarf attracts jeers from bullies while her younger brother pretends his first name is "Bill" and his middle name is "Al." When Bilal has a dream about his historical namesake, who led Muhammad’s call to prayer, he learns an important lesson of faith. Illustrated with realistic, soft-edged pictures by Kiwak, this book will help Muslim-American children appreciate their identity.
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The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane
By Kate DiCamillo;
Illus. Bagram Ibatoulline

Candlewick Press
Age: 9-12

In a little girl’s house lives a porcelain rabbit, Edward Tulane, who is too proud for love…until he is literally lost at sea. DiCamillo (2004 Newbury Medal Winner for "The Tale of Despereaux") constructs a haunting, lyrical tale that is heartbreaking, joyous, and wise in describing Edward’s discovery of love’s true meaning. Ibatoulline’s beautifully detailed pencil drawings add richness to a story that will remind children how to be humble, and how to find happiness in every circumstance.
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Julia’s Kitchen
By Brenda A. Ferber
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Age: 10-15

On an ordinary day, 11-year-old Cara Segal experiences the tragedy of losing her mother and her younger sister in a house fire. Left with only a father who has retreated into silence, Cara’s faith is challenged as she questions why God spared her life and her father’s. Everything reminds her of loss—from the mezuzahs of her old house to cookie recipes from her mother’s catering business. But the warmth of Friday night Shabbat dinners with homemade challah bread is what she misses most. As Cara deals with her grief and her unhappy father, she discovers a surprising way to move on and restore her faith in God.
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Monkey Town:
The Summer of the Scopes Trial

By Ronald Kidd
Simon & Schuster
Children’s Publishing

Age: 10-15

In this fascinating novel set during the legendary Scopes trial of 1925, 15-year-old Frances Robinson is caught between Johnny Scopes, on trial for teaching evolution and her father, the man who starts the trial. As historical characters Clarence Darrow, William Jennings Bryan, and H.L. Mencken become involved in the trial, the beliefs of everyone across America are challenged. Kidd deftly threads fact and fiction so that children unfamiliar with the evolution vs. creationism debate will find this a great read.
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My 30 Days Under
the Overpass

By Mike Yankoski
Multnomah Books
Age: 15 and older

Want to give your kids an interesting devotional that will help the community? Following up on his personal memoir of being homeless for five months, Yankoski has distilled his story into intriguing snippets for an extraordinary devotional. From self-assessment questions ("gut checks") to prayers to helpful group activities designated for "action day," everyone young and old can pledge to help those living on the streets.
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Can You Keep Your Faith in College?
By Abbie Smith
Multnomah Books
Age: 17 and older

Is it possible to remain a Christian in college? For students who are worried, give them this book. A compilation of personal essays written by young Christians on campuses around the country, a variety of topics are addressed, including going too far in a relationship, having a gay roommate, and encountering racism. This book is full of refreshing reasons to remain a Christian without compromising one’s faith or alienating others.
Buy it



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