Indies Introduce Winter/Spring 2019

Ten children’s books have been selected by a panel of booksellers as the best debuts of the Winter/Spring season. Here are the titles:

MIDDLE GRADE

Caterpillar Summer Mostly the Honest Truth

Caterpillar Summer by Gillian McDunn

Mostly the Honest Truth by Jody J. Little

Nikki on the Line

Nikki on the Line by Barbara Roberts

 

YOUNG ADULT

The Devouring Gray Izzy + Tristan

The Devouring Gray by Christine Lynn Herman

Izzy + Tristan by Shannon Dunlap

Kings, Queens, and In-Betweens Nocturna

Kings, Queens, and In-Betweens by Tanya Boteju

Nocturna by Maya Motayne

Opposite of Always White Rose

Opposite of Always by Justin A. Reynolds

White Rose by Kip Wilson

XL

XL by Scott Brown

 

Review: So Tall Within: Sojourner Truth’s Long Walk Toward Freedom by Gary D. Schmidt

So Tall Within Sojourner Truth's Long Walk Toward Freedom by Gary D. Schmidt

So Tall Within: Sojourner Truth’s Long Walk Toward Freedom by Gary D. Schmidt, illustrated by Daniel Minter (9781626728721)

Isabella grew up in slavery, sold away from her mother when she was nine. She did hard labor for years, sometimes with no shoes in the winter and other times with no sleep at night because of the work expected of her. One year after she had been forced to marry a man and had five children, she was promised her freedom. But freedom didn’t come and so she escaped with her baby. She arrived at the home of two kind people, who stood by her in her escape and paid for the freedom of Isabella and her baby. When her son was sold away by her old master, Isabella went to court to have him returned to her. As time went by, she took the name Sojourner Truth and started to speak publicly against slavery. She fought many battles for equality, standing tall and speaking the truth.

This book aches with pain, loss, and grief. The book is broken into sections, each starting with an evocative phrase about slavery, that shows what is ahead. These poetic phrases add so much to Sojourner Truth’s biography, pulling readers directly into the right place in their hearts to hear her story. Schmidt’s writing doesn’t flinch from the damage of slavery and its evil. He instead makes sure that every reader understands the impact of slavery on those who lived and died under it.

Minter’s art is so powerful. He has created tender moments of connection, impactful images of slavery, and also inspiring moments of standing up for what is right. The images that accompany Schmidt’s poetic phrases are particularly special, each one staring right at the reader and asking them to connect.

A riveting biography of one of the most amazing Americans in our history. Appropriate for ages 7-10.

Reviewed from copy provided by Roaring Brook Press.