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      Henry and Bea

      by Jessixa Bagley

      Apr 2020

      Character Building Elementary

      Henry and Bea have always been inseparable…until one day Henry suddenly stops talking to Bea. He won't chat with her in class, and he won't sit with her at lunch. Bea can tell something's going on, and she's determined to find out what it is.

      Then their teacher announces that the class is taking a field trip to a farm, and Bea hopes that this might be her chance to reconnect with Henry. When Henry finds an old cat collar at the farm and starts to cry, he finally reveals his secret to Bea: his cat Buddy died last week. And even though it's hard for both of them, Bea knows that she'll be there for Henry, as his best friend, no matter what.

      The Proudest Blue: A Story of Hijab and Family

      by Ibtihaj Muhammad

      Mar 2020

      Character Building Elementary

      With her new backpack and light-up shoes, Faizah knows the first day of school is going to be special. It's the start of a brand new year and, best of all, it's her older sister Asiya's first day of hijab—a hijab of beautiful blue fabric, like the ocean waving to the sky. But not everyone sees hijab as beautiful, and in the face of hurtful, confusing words, Faizah will find new ways to be strong.

      Paired with Hatem Aly's beautiful, whimsical art, Olympic medalist Ibtihaj Muhammad and Morris Award finalist S.K. Ali bring readers an uplifting, universal story of new experiences, the unbreakable bond between siblings, and of being proud of who you are.

      Authors’ notes. Full-color illustrations were rendered digitally; the textures were done with ink washes and pencil.

      Little Libraries, Big Heroes

      by Miranda Paul

      Feb 2020

      Character Building Elementary

      Todd and his friends love heroes. But in school, Todd doesn’t feel heroic. Reading is hard for him, and he gets scolded for asking too many questions. How will he ever become the kind of hero he admires?

      Featuring stunning illustrations that celebrate the diversity of the Little Free Library movement, here is the story of how its founder, Todd Bol, became a literacy superhero. Thanks to Todd and thousands of volunteers—many of whom are kids—millions of books have been enjoyed around the world. This creative movement inspires a love of reading, strengthens communities, and provides meeting places where new friendships, ideas—and heroes!—spring to life.

      Author’s note. Suggestions for further information. Full-color illustrations done in acrylic paint.

      A Voice for the Spirit Bears: How One Boy Inspired Millions to Save a Rare Animal

      by Carmen Oliver

      Sep 2019

      Character Building Elementary

      As a child, Simon Jackson found navigating the world of the school playground difficult. He felt most at home in the woodlands, learning about and photographing wildlife. As a teenager, he became fascinated with spirit bears, a rare subspecies of black bear with creamy white fur. These elusive creatures were losing their habitat to deforestation, and Simon knew he had to do something to protect them. He decided he would become the voice for the spirit bears. But first, he would have to find his own. Carmen Oliver's inspiring true story is based on the early life of Simon Jackson, who founded the Spirit Bear Youth Coalition. On his remarkable journey to protect the spirit bears, he met Dr. Jane Goodall and eventually hiked the Great Bear Rainforest --- the home of these elusive animals. Katy Dockrill's captivating art adds depth and beauty to the story. Photos and additional details about Simon Jackson's life and about spirit bears are included in the end matter. Part of the CitizenKid collection, this book demonstrates how one child can be a voice for change. Simon's story is an excellent example of growth mindset at work, highlighting personal growth and overcoming obstacles through activism. This book can also be used to lead discussions about character education as it relates to courage, resilience and perseverance. In addition, it has strong science curriculum links to the environment, animal habitats and the effects of clear-cutting.

      Information about Simon Jackson. Information about spirit bears. Full-color illustrations rendered with brush and ink, brushpen, and pencil, and colored digitally.

      Magic Ramen: The Story of Momofuku Ando

      by Andrea Wang

      Jun 2019

      Character Building Elementary

      Every day, Momofuku Ando would retire to his lab--a little shed in his backyard. For years, he'd dreamed about making a new kind of ramen noodle soup that was quick, convenient, and tasty for the hungry people he'd seen in line for a bowl on the black market following World War II. Peace follows from a full stomach, he believed. Day after day, Ando experimented. Night after night, he failed. But Ando kept experimenting. With persistence, creativity, and a little inspiration, Ando succeeded. This is the true story behind one of the world's most popular foods.

      Afterword. Full-color illustrations.
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