- Millions of American children were placed in orphanages. Some didn’t make it out alive.
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- 70 books to make you feel hopeful: An end-of-year reading list
- 70 Books to Make You Feel Hopeful: An End-of-Year Reading List |
Tom can just make out Coffee standing on the other side of the fence ready to take Tom to safety and get help for the other children. Appears in: readmeastoryink. Miz Mephitis. When Rooster ducks into the barn to get out of the afternoon rain storm he is surprised to have his sneeze answered by a polite "God bless you, young man.
But his fear is replaced by curiosity when a right friendly discussion ensues and Rooster learns there is a lot more to skunks than he had imagined. Appears in: Culp, Robert D.. Darlene and the Ice Storm. When Darlene, Rooster's pregnant heifer, wanders off during an ice storm, Rooster and Cotton must find her before she gives birth.
Unfortunately they are too late and have to figure out how to get the newborn to safety, especially when Darlene won't let them near her young calf. A Kindness. Rooster is wondering how to untangle his lucky bobber when the thieving, pig-murdering Old Man Bockenweiler comes strolling down the path. Rooster hides and to his surprise, his dreaded enemy stops, untangles the bobber, neatly rolls the line and leaves Rooster's fishing pole by his can of worms showing Rooster a different and surprisingly kind side of the Old Man. The Turkey Hunt. When they sight a turkey, Rooster grabs hold of Bogus' collar so he won't scare the bird but when the shot rings out, Bogus takes off after the fallen gobbler over bushes and ledge with Rooster in tow.
Musical introduction by Hannah Seng Grades: 3, 4, 5 5 Stars. A Place of Haunts. Come Halloween Cotton and his best friend Rooster decide to scare old man Garvey thinking he had stolen honey from a tree that was rightfully theirs. Despite a well-planned ghostly ambush, it is Cotton and Rooster that get the real fright, bested once again by old man Garvey. Me and Samuel P. McGillicuddy, a massive rattle snake who turns out to be not only friendly but quite talkative. The Night of the Wolves. Tom's mom said there hadn't been a wolf around their Colorado ranch for ten years.
But was the worst winter on record and the howls near their pasture would indicate that the wolves had returned. With their dad away on business, it was up to brothers Tom and Rob to save their newborn calves. Grades: 4, 5 5 Stars. Appears in: Topp, Robert.
The Coldest Night of the Year. One night in Carroll county it was so cold that Papa Alonzo's words just froze in mid air. But little Lulie who was as sharp as an icicle and as quick as an avalanche gathered them up and stored them in canning jars so come spring when anyone wanted one of Papa Alonzo's stories, all they had to do was take down a jar and open the lid. Musical introduction by Hannah Seng Grades: 3, 4 , 5 4 Stars. Appears in: Davol, Marguerite. Summer Soup. One July afternoon in Carroll county the sun got stuck at two o'clock. It got so hot that fish jumped out of the river into the frying pan already fried and the hens laid hard-boiled eggs.
Percy Ray's Trick Boat. Percy Ray builds a real beauty of a boat except for one minor flaw. Everytime someone tries to sail her, she lays over and throws them overboard. When Derek's kid brother finds bunches of mistletoe on the ground in an orchard, he decides to sell them to earn money to buy Derek a much needed guitar case. Little does he know that Derek is the one cutting the mistletoe trying to earn enough money to buy him the wooden recorder he has yearned for. Nicely reminiscent of O. Henry's "The Gift of the Magi. There Are Witches on This Planet.
Vas and her father are helping to terraform a distant planet from earth but the seedlings brought from earth are failing. While her father is away seeking council, Vas gets a little advice of her own from an old woman Baba Yaga? Oh, there are witches on this planet.
Grades: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 5 Stars. Dulce Domum excerpted from The Wind in the Willows. A lovely excerpt from The Wind in the Willows. When Ratty and Mole are returning to Toad Hall, Mole smells his own home and is overcome with nostalgia. When Ratty agrees to go with Mole, despite the coming snow, they find all the coziness, warmth and cheer that should fill everyone's Christmas.
Grades: 3, 4, 5, 6 4 Stars. Appears in: McFerran, Ann. The Reluctant Dragon. When a young boy stumbles upon a poetry reciting dragon, he must find a way to prevent St. George from killing the dragon which he does with the aid of St. George himself. Appears in: Lurie, Alison. Solomon John Goes for Apples and Cider.
Solomon John can't seem to mount his horse right so rides backwards to get apples, which he loses and cider, which he forgets. Musical introduction by Hannah Seng Grades: 2, 3, 4, 5 4 Stars. Appears in: Hale, Lucretia P.. The Peterkins Celebrate the Fourth of July. The Fourth of July celebrations get under way too early for Mr.
Peterkin and the day only gets worse as Solomon John tries to make his own fireworks. The Send-and-Fotch Book. Set in rural Kentucky, Nancy Davis and her family are so poor she can only dream of owning a beautiful dress from a mail order catalogue. When some money finally comes from the sale of their hog, Nancy decides her brothers and sisters need things more than her but her generosity is rewarded in a way she couldn't have imagined.
Grades: 5 5 Stars. Appears in: Robinson, Mabel L.. New Day Dawning. On the day of their emancipation, field hands on George Thomas' plantation threaten to leave unless he builds a school to educate their children. Young Sarah, the Mistress' personal slave, is conflicted between taking her freedom and dedication to her Mistress but decides to stay on awhile if she can go to the school and study to become a teacher.
Musical introduction by Hannah Seng Grades: 4, 5, 6, 7. Appears in: Asher, Sandy. Sweet Hour of Prayer. Cracke Road in Charleston, South Carolina was on land that used to be a plantation and it was rumored that when you sang "Sweet Hour of Prayer" you could see the ghosts of slaves that tried to run away. No one believed it until a young girl said a ghost was going to help her reunite with her mother in New York, and sure enough, two weeks after disappearing a letter arrived from New York saying that she was safe and with her mother.
Musical introduction by Amanda Ply. Spiritual by Sydnie Rubaine Grades: 5 5 Stars. Appears in: Gale, David. The New Man. A young man who volunteers at a veteran's shelter is discouraged as Christmas approaches because his family can't afford presents, or even a tree and there's no Christmas spirit at the shelter. That is, until a mysterious, very disheveled "New Man" arrives who teaches everyone, by example, the true meaning of Christmas. Bird Legs Nelson. Big Reggie is not only the widest kid at Queensbridge Middle School, but he could have just as easily been nicknamed, The Tormentor.
No one thinks up better insults than Big Reggie. But when Reggie turns his unique skills on seventh grader, Nelson, he picks on the wrong kid, setting in motion a series of events that leads to his own comeuppance. A Safe Space. After-school writer's club proves a fertile ground for an unlikely three-way friendship. Lamont - "fat boy" to his classmates- a closet braniac; Deidre, who hides behind her smile and Tommy, the only white student in ninth grade, all struggle to fit in.
But with the support of their friendship and the sharing of their writing, each learns to accept who they are and what makes them special. Grades: 6, 7, 8, 9 5 Stars. Brer Rabbit He's a Good Fisherman. When Brer Rabbit accidentally falls down a well, he convinces Brer Fox that he is just fishin' and that he should come on down and try it. A fierce pirate hates the moon because it is the one thing he can't capture. After many attempts, he finally comes up with a plan to capture the moon but in the end it is the moon that captures his heart.
The Cave of Snores. A young boy's father's snore have been so amplified since his visit to the Cave of Snores that they keep the sheep and the shepherds awake, drown out the sound of the sheep bandit and alert the wolves to where the sheep are - that is until the shepherds hire a magician to take away his snores. But the solution proves more harmful than the problem leaving the boy to find the Cave of Snores where he finds his own voice - er, snores.
Appears in: Haseley, Dennis. Kite Flier. When the Kite Flier's wife dies in childbirth, the Kite Flier stops making kites until he realizes the joy they would bring his infant son. From that day forth kites are what father and son share. Even when the son is grown and moved away, the first windy day of each year they both put a kite up and let is fly away as a symbol of their love for each other.
Millions of American children were placed in orphanages. Some didn’t make it out alive.
The Soap Bandit. Jesse just can't help but get dirty which is a problem when he goes to visit his aunt who lives in a town where EVERYONE is clean and tidy, that is until the soap bandit steals all of the soap. As everything and everyone gets dirtier and dirtier, attitudes begin to change, until the whole town understands how much fun it is to do things that might just get you a little dirty.
The Invisible Moose. He was a shy young moose and he was in love with her. The Cat-King of Abol.
After 10 years in prison a man unjustly seeks revenge against a mountain hermit surrounded by scores of cats. He doesn't reckon on the ability of the old man to summon his cats to swarm. Appears in: Greenberg, Martin. A long-standing feud between two best friends comes to an end when one friend helps save the other's barn from burning. Grades: 3, 4, 5, 6 5 Stars. The Wild Dog of Caucomgomoc. When an old trapper dies, his faithful bloodhound turns wild and fearsome tales grow around his mournful bark, that is, until he saves a child from the swamp after which he is welcomed back by the people of the town.
Grades: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 4 Stars. The Last Hunt. In his excitement after treeing a coon, an old hound dog goes through the thin ice on the river which only leads to a worse situation when Old Man Ballin goes to save him and ends up in the river himself. Star to Heaven. When a young slave's mother is sold, she decides that she must take her little brother and head north to freedom.
Her mother said that she would see them in Heaven, but Anna knew that was the slave word for Canada and freedom. The Gift of the Magi. The classic tale of poor young newlyweds trying to make Christmas a time of giving. He sells his grandfather's pocket watch to buy her a comb for her beautiful long hair.
She sells her hair to a wig-maker to buy him a silver watch-chain for his grandfather's watch. The Rat-Catcher's Daughter. A greedy father sells his beautiful daughter to a gnome but gets his come-upins. Appears in: Housman, Laurence. Gammelyn, The Dressmaker. Gammelyn the dressmaker must make two impossible dresses for a spoiled princess. But when she asks for a third dress made from butterflies wings, Gammelyn thinks that cruel and finds a way to not make the dress and deliver the princess her comeuppance and the same time.
A Chinese Fairy Tale. Tiki-pu enters a painting to learn from the great artist himself. The Finest Sukkah in the World. When Rachel's marriage was arranged by her Uncle Jacob and Aunt Esther, Rachel had to do something to show them what a selfish and cruel man her betrothed was. Remembering her father's lesson on how to tell a gem from a worthless piece of glass, she came up with a clever plan to show Mr.
Bloom in his true light. The Monkey's Paw. A mummified monkey's paw from India holds three wishes for three men, but to their horror the wishes never seem to produce what they expect. Grades: 5, 6, 7, 8 4 Stars.
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Appears in: Asimov, Isaac. An Empty Purse. A young woman brings warmth to her neighbors at Christmastime with small gifts and kind acts. Grades: 4, 5, 6 3 Stars. Eva and the Hopeless Prince. Eva and her trusty dog, Gladdo, Live alone in a house far out on the plain, until one day a hopeless prince chances by while on his quest to become less hopeless. The prince falls hopelessly in love with Eva, who is anything but hopeless, and is most certainly not a princess, and that is against the rules.
It takes Gladdo and a dragon who is a stickler for rules, to convince the prince to break the rules and ask for Eva's hand in marriage - who by this, has fallen hopelessly in love with Prince Hopeless. The Cat That Walked by Himself. All the animals were wild-as-wild-as-wild-could be-and they walked in the Wet Wild Wood by their wild lones.
But the wildest of all the wild animals was the Cat. Appears in: Adams, Richard. The Enchanted Tree. Some say Coral was a runaway slave, others say she was a Chippewa girl running from the French. Whoever she was, legend told of the tree that hid her, then engulfed her. Since that time, many people have gone to talk to Coral, and to each, as needed, the enchanted tree has listened and healed. The Hero and the Weaver. A son disowned by his father years before, asks a weaver of magic cloth to make him and invisible cloak so that he may see his ailing father one more time.
To the son's surprise, his father recognizes him and expresses his sorrow at their estranged years leading to a final and happy reunion. The Magic Kerchief. A grumpy and friendless old woman begrudgingly gives a weary traveler a bed for the night. In exchange the traveler gives the old woman a magic kerchief. Upon the her next encounter at market, the old woman's curt and hateful words come out compliments as warm as sunshine, bringing with it the riches of new found friends.
Skivvy and Cuttle. Musical intro by Caleb Summeril Grades: 2, 3, 4 4 Stars. Appears in: Carus, Marianne. In Search of In children's literature, where speculative fiction is dominated by fantasy, this is a welcome and refreshing return to good-old science fiction. On a watery world, the far descendants of a failed human exploring expedition have adapted to life in the sea. Fifteen year-old Tay longs for something different and finds herself outside of the safety zone and caught in a net heading for the surface Plantagenet and the Primordial Pondweed.
A vertically challenged junior wizard named Short and his familiar Plantagenet must rid the town of Dull-on-Purpose of a rather ill-mannered dragon. With a little primordial pondweed and a skeleton from the natural history museum, their task is as good as done. Piers and the Begonia. Piers, the Keeper of the Threshold Beast at Castle Camphor, was embarrassed because all of the other castle beast keepers had real beasts; wolves, griffins and boars, but Piers had only a potted begonia.
Out of the Shadows. Kerry Om, an apprentice Weather Witch, goes on her first solo assignment to Terra to start the water cycle that will help transform Terra from a desert wasteland to habitable planet. But when she arrives, she finds the crew nervous and talking of ghosts. As a Christmas present, she decides to create a short snow storm only to discover that water is poisonous to the shadowy undiscovered inhabitants of the planet.
Appears in: Cotterill, Jo. Robin Hood and the Rather Rude Martian. It's just another day of taking from the rich and giving to the poor for Robin and his brightly colored band of outlaws, when they are beseeched by a Martian to help retrieve her flying saucer from a tree. In return for their kindness the Martian, Gorgeous Fair Maiden, gifts Robin and his men enough green cloth to make them blend in, not stand out in Sherwood Forest. Grades: 3, 4 5 Stars.
Appears in: Readmeastoryink. I Want to Go to Kurachek. When Fedor is taking his grapes to market one day he is passed by a man on his way to the miraculous city of Kurachek. Fedor becomes obsessed with going to Kurachek but in preparing to go, he discovers that there is no place like home. Musical introduction by Caleb Summeril Grades: 5 Stars.
All the Cats in the World. Old Mikila fed the wild cats at the base of the light house, all the while ignoring the teasing of the light house keeper. But when she fell sick, it was the very same keeper who fed her beloved cats thus starting a friendship that brought warmth to their aged lives. Musical introduction by Caleb Summeril Grades: 2, 3, 4, 5 5 Stars. The Fisherman and the Bird. Rico has lived and fished alone since being jilted in his youth. But one day, Rico discovers that a pair of beautiful birds have built a nest at the top of his mast. He is ready to destroy the nest so that he can sail, but the local school teacher convinces Rico of the rarity of the birds and the importance of letting them nest.
Begrudgingly, Rico lets the birds nest and is meanwhile transformed by their beauty and the friendship of the villagers. Appears in: Levitin, Sonia. Boom Town.
70 books to make you feel hopeful: An end-of-year reading list
Amanda and her family have come to California to join her father in the mining camp but they find nothing but a few broken down log cabins. Soon Amanda is baking pies that her Pa sells to the miners and she is suggesting to traveling peddlers and wandering artisans they they settle down and open shops. Soon enough their cabin is smack dab in the middle of a Boom Town.
Nobody Stole the Pie. The town of Little Digby had at its heart a beautiful lollyberry tree and each fall the town bakers would pick the berries and make an immense pie for the whole village to share. But overnight, as it was cooling in preparation for the next day's celebration, birds, animals and people would take just a crumb, or a single berry thinking their bite was too insignificant to matter. However, come morning, when the wise mayor went to distribute the pie it was all but gone. Who stole the pie? Grades: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 5 Stars.
The King's River Party. Henry, a wonderful flute player and Alexis, a beautiful dancer are twins. But they're poor and work for pennies a day for the royal baker. When the king announces a river party, they each secretly accept usury terms from the baker to send their sibling to the party. But when the king discovers their talent, he frees them of their bond to the baker and the baker gets his comeuppance.
Note: Sonia Levitin initially wrote this as a multi-media play for childrens theatre. For more information and licensing rights, please contact the author, sonialevitin gmail. Who Owns the Moon? Farmers Abel, Nagel and Zeke could argue about anything, and did. But when they started to argue about which of them owned the moon, their wives said enough was enough and demanded they go into town and talk to the Teacher who settled their argument in a very clever fashion.
Appears in: Levetin, Sonia. A Single Speckled Egg. Farmers Abel, Nagel and Zeke loved to worry, always threatening that they would have to sell their farms. Weary of their husband's complaints, the wives went to the village Teacher, the wisest man in the village, to find a solution. While his solution wasn't at all what they expected, it worked like a charm. Banat er Rih: Daughter of the Wind. Sahloul, Sheik Najjar's youngest son, hoped the mare he helped raise would win the honor of Banat er Rih, Daughter of the Wind. But even if she won, he stood little chance of being named her master.
That honor was likely to go to one of his older brothers. Luckily his father had seen his love for the mare and both of his dreams came true. Rattlesnake Rain. Based on true reports of Pueblo Snake Clans around the turn of the 19th century, this is a wonderful story about young Amulon who has been called by his father to join in his first Snake Run. Snakes were gathered yearly for a grand celebration then released to take the message of rain back to the underworld of the Rain Gods.
The Mummy Tent. Young Imarus, son of Nebhotep the Chief Embalmer, works long, hot days in the mummy tent carrying linens and learning the art of embalming. But when a young girl is injured by a horse, Imarus uses his knowledge of the human body to cleanse and bandage her wound. His young patient turns out to be the daughter of Fahlwa, priest of the inner court of the temple.
Imarus is rewarded with an invitation from the Pharaoh himself to enter the palace temple and study with the court physicians as a healer. The Sounding of the Call. The only thing that keeps Buck from heeding the call and joining a wolf pack in the frozen north, is his love for one man, John Thornton. Grades: 4, 5 3 Stars. Clara's "Foolish Pursuit". A nicely written short biography of Clara Foltz, the women who in brought the Woman Lawyer's Bill before the California legislature and went on to become the first woman attorney on the west coast. Don't Sell the Farm.
- Big Sky Summer (Mills & Boon M&B);
- THE LETTER (Kellie Conley Mysteries Book 1).
Felix Delage is saddened to see all the farms around his being sold for development and is about to give in to the inevitable when his grandchildren ask to have it saved for them. Appears in: Kingston, E. The Clever Thief. When a young boy is captured by robbers and forced to do their bidding, he foils their attempts to steal by taking their instructions literally.
Cry Wolf. Randall is fascinated by wolves and never tires of telling people that his name means "wolf's shield. Appears in: Matthews, Penny. The Old Woman and the Imp. In a variation on the tale of Rumpelstiltskin, an old woman lands a job as a cook in the local inn. Unfortunately, while she is an expert spinner, she doesn't know the first thing about cooking. With the help of an imp who offers his services, she will appear to be a master cook for one year, but at the end of the year she must offer up at least one riddle that the imp can't answer, lest she become his slave forever.
The Magic Carpet. In the spirit of the Arabian Nights, a young boy, Hamid, is bound as a servent to a couple he believes to be his Aunt and Uncle, until one day a beautiful but ghostly figure hands him an old carpet. Both the woman and the carpet seem remotely familiar and indeed they lead to being reunited with his father, the king while the abusive couple get their comeuppance. Sky-Blue Boots. Young Caitlin loves to dance but has danced her shoes down to nothing. Though she and her mother are poor, her mother sends her to town with enough money for a modest pair of new shoes. Then the fairy tale begins, when upon the road she is generous to a man who gives her magic shoes which take her to an elegant shoe shop where she is befriended by a young princess, Caitlin gets the sky-blue boots of her desire and the mean proprietor gets his comeuppance.
As always this author's love of traditional tales comes shining through. The Neptune Clock. A lovely modernization of the classic selkie myth. Jessie always thought the face of Neptune on her grandfather's clock looked just like her grandfather, with kindly spiderweb creases.
But when her grandfather disappeared and the same kindly creases showed up on one of two dolphins playing in the waves, Jessie knew that her grandfather had returned to the sea to be with her departed grandmother. Grades: 4, 5, 6 5 Stars. Appears in: Collins, Paul. The Doll's First Christmas. Two dolls, a snow queen and a sun queen, sit idle and unsold as other dolls leave the shop on the day before Christmas.
But at the last minute And now they must put aside their jealousies to thaw the heart of a spoiled little girl. With the help of a bearded stranger in a red suit, and a bit of Christmas magic, all's well that ends well. Appears in: Knight, Linsay. Barney Brown and the Christmas Cake. A bear is awoken early from his winter repose by an irresistible smell which he discovers is coming from Christmas cakes made by the Christmas Elf.
One for free, but then only the magic recipe which leads to an unlikely coalition of forest creatures and a Christmas filled with warmth and new friends. Appears in: Alvarez, Beattie. The Story of Ida B. A moving short biography of Ida B. Wells, a woman born into a slave family who became a journalist and devoted her life to raising the conscience of the nation about crimes against black people, especially lynchings. It wasn't for decades after her death in that lynchings finally stopped. When John Muir sets out one morning in to explore the glacier above Taylor Bay, Alaska, he is followed by the small but intrepid camp dog, Stickeen.
Stickeen had never developed an attachment to anyone until their harrowing day on the glacier when he and John Muir became inseparable companions after an unimaginable close call. Grades: 4, 5, Adult 5 Stars. Appears in: Peterson, Florence. Liam McLafferty's Choice.
No young lad in Ireland made worse choices than Liam McLafferty or so it would seem. It took the Fairy Queen to show Liam that his choices were the best because they came from his heart. The Sign in Mendel's Window. Mendel rents out half his shop to Mr. Tinker, a kindly man who turns out to be a thief and accuses Mendel of stealing his money.
But Mr. Tinker should have chosen his victim more carefully because everyone in Kosnov knows that Mendel is the most honest man in town. A beautiful recounting of the marriage of King Arthur and Lady Guinevere. Grades: 4, 5, 6 4 Stars. The Water of Life. The only way that the fairest Princess will marry the King is if he brings her a cup of the water of life to revive her beloved raven. But the King sends off his servant in his stead and in the end gets his comeuppance.
Appears in: Pyle, Howard. Tinker Bell Read-Along Storybook. Disney Book Group. Geoff Rodkey. The Adventures Of Tom and Sally. Elysia Bronson. Abigail and Her Pet Zombie. Marie F Crow. Abigail and Her Pet Zombie: Spring. Milly, Molly and Beefy.
70 Books to Make You Feel Hopeful: An End-of-Year Reading List |
Gil Pittar. Milly, Molly and the Secret Scarves. Our New Baby. Dorothy Stott. Cinderella Sarah. Karen Cossey. Oscar Rabbit. Charlotte Victoria Rees. Clorinda Plays Baseball! Robert Kinerk. Read Aloud Version. Victoria Ryan O'Toole. Balaclava Boy. Jenny Robson. I Am Fartacus. Mark Maciejewski. Kitten's Summer. Eugenie Fernandes. African Safari. Lisa Kurkov. How to write a great review. The review must be at least 50 characters long. The title should be at least 4 characters long. Your display name should be at least 2 characters long. At Kobo, we try to ensure that published reviews do not contain rude or profane language, spoilers, or any of our reviewer's personal information.
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