CC recommends

December 14, 2009

For 12 and over

Luke, Daylily and Caswell are sad castoffs of the Civil War. Separated from their families, these children learn to live in the woods and to love and trust one another, even though they are of different races and come from different places. Their story gives readers a lesson in history, survival and dependence on God.

For ten and over

It is 1879, and Viney is opposed to the English who are settling in her beloved Cumberland Mountains. Hotels and taverns take the place of trees; wildflowers and herbs are trampled by massive workhorses. Viney’s sister can’t wait to marry one of the newcomers, but Viney wants only to work her loom and keep her freedom.

Wil knows how to plan. When he turns 12, he will take over the newspaper route his family has held for generations. He’s already picked out the laptop he wants. However, the newspaper cancels home delivery. Then the girl who drives him crazy turns out to be the only one who can help him solve a mystery.

Set in the Swiss Alps, this story takes readers to a high tower where a little angel keeps watch over the community. She’s a bit clumsy, but she manages to keep things balanced. Then bossy Zola the American moves in. Her nagging leads to the rescue of eight starving children and to the redemption of an aging village that had lost hope.

Picture books

A circus ship filled with exotic animals encounters rough waters off the coast of Maine. The animals swim to shore and overrun a nearby village. The villagers’ hearts are changed when the tiger performs his greatest act of all.

President Teddy Roosevelt takes the train west in 1903 to explore the Yosemite wilderness. Without secret service agents or newspaper reporters around, he spends four days with John Muir. After hiking among the giant sequoias and sleeping below El Capitan, Roosevelt resolves to preserve this “magical place” for generations to come.

To the Maasai, the cow is life. In this touching narrative, a village in Kenya begs for a story. Kimeli tells of towers that fell one day in America. Moved by the story of suffering, Kimeli’s listeners offer a precious gift because “there is no nation so powerful it cannot be wounded.”

Young Jeremy is a loner. He never plays outside. But he does draw. With a sweep of a brush he creates a greedy monster who is not satisfied with toast or checkers or stunning top hats. Jeremy must do some quick thinking—and even quicker drawing—to get himself out of this mess and out of his room.

More CC recommends:

Theology ~ History and current events ~ Fiction
Poetry ~ Graphic novels ~ Children's books
Television on DVD ~ Popular music ~ Choral music