Saving Marty by Paul Griffin (2017, Dial Books; 208 pages)
This is a delightfully tender and heartbreaking story about a pig who thinks he's a dog and a boy who needs a friend. The boy is eleven-year-old Lorenzo Ventura. He actually goes by “Renzo” instead of Lorenzo. He would never describe himself as a hero, because a hero is someone rare like his father, who died in the war, or his friend Paloma Lee, who fearlessly pursues her dream of being a famous musician. But one day, Renzo decides to adopt Marty, a runt piglet, and suddenly he understands that heroes come in every size and shape.
Marty the piglet thinks he is a dog and acts like one too. Renzo and Marty become one. But Marty, of course, is a pig, and pigs grow. One day he is almost 350 pounds, and Renzo's family starts worrying, especially after Marty causes an unfortunate, dangerous and expensive accident. Renzo worries too, but for different reasons. He understands that his friend's time at home may be up and he knows he'd do anything and everything to keep him alive. The question is, will everything be enough to save him?
This book arrived as an advance copy, and it is a jewel. Animal lovers will melt in it, with it, for it. Beautifully written by Paul Griffin, Saving Marty manages to embrace a heartrending story with a hopeful one in this tale about the power of friendship and the unsung heroes all around us. Recommended for kids 10 years old and up, and adults with a deep love for animals.
Find this title in our catalog: Saving Marty
Recommended by: Maite
Nightlights by Lorena Alvarez (2017, Nobrow Press; 56 pages)
Born and raised in Bogotá, Colombia, Lorena Alvarez´s work is influenced by the vibrancy and color of her hometown, as well as the experiences and atmosphere of the Catholic school she attended as a child. Those memories and those colors are vitally present in Nightlights, a beautiful story about fear, insecurity, and creativity.
In graphic novel format, the book tells the story of Sandy, a girl with an extraordinary imagination and a vivid sense of her sourroundings. When tiny lights appear out of the darkness in her bedroom, she opts for catching them to create wonderful creatures to play with until she falls asleep. In the morning, she brings them back to life in her whimsical drawings. One day, a mysterious new girl named Morfie appears at her school. The school is run by strict nuns. The mysterious new girl will give attention to the drawings that nobody else has cared for before. The problems start when Morfie´s fascination turn into something far more dark and sinister.
With great suspense, gorgeous art, and interesting characters, this book would be perfect for children 10 years old and up in search of stories that explore different dimensions.
Find this title in our catalog: Nightlights
Recommended by: Maite
FREEDOM OVER ME: ELEVEN SLAVES, THEIR LIVES AND DREAMS BROUGHT TO LIFE --a moving and powerful picture book that uses real documents from an 1828 estate appraisal to bring to life 11 people who were named and priced as property
Freedom Over Me: Eleven Slaves, Their Lives and Dreams Brought to Life by Ashley Bryan (2016, Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books; 56 pages)
This is a book about pieces of property and dreamers of freedom. It is also a jewel born from the tenacity and poetry of Ashley Bryan who discovered a real document about real people who were treated as pieces of property on a real plantation. This is a monumental and incredibly powerful tribute to the strength of the human spirit and the power of hope. It is a tribute formed by words and art. Through poems and through paintings, Ashley has imagined eleven lives beyond their simple descriptions, beyond their prices, “for dreams and hopes and loves can never be chained and can never be sold.”
Peggy, age 48, was sold for $150. Imagined and empowered by the author, she tells the reader about herself: “I am the Fairchilds' cook. I work in the Big House, day in, day out, making special meals for the Fairchilds, plain foods for the slaves. Like a field hand, I work hard - all profit to the estate ...”
The title of this book comes from the spiritual “Oh Freedom!,” which likely came into being, tells the author, soon after the end of slavery. Ashley also shares with the reader that she was inspired by the spare information about the slaves. They were listed for sale with the cows, hogs, and cotton, and only their names and prices were noted in the document that she found dated from the 1820s to the 1860s. The goal was to humanize them.
The art in the book is spectacular and gorgeous. It wakes up the soul, and brings the human beings to life. She created painted portraits of each of the eleven slaves, studied each one and listened to each voice. Reading the creation process the author went through is absolutely inspiring and a delight.
A must read for all, every age. Indispensable.
Find this title in our catalog: Freedom Over Me
Recommended by: Maite