People Who Made a Difference

by Nancy Bo Flood on May 20, 2012

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 by Louise Borden. (Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 2012)

This book for older readers presents the true account of how Raoul Wallenberg from Sweden, educated in the US and working in Hungary when World War II broke out, repeatedly risked his own life to save thousands of Jews. Free verse is combined with clear strong narration, quite the combination of emotion and information for describing Wallenberg’s deeds.  The appendix is full of information, including a multimedia bibliography.

Louise Borden has authored many award-winning picture books including, THE JOURNEY THAT SAVED CURIOUS GEORGE: THE TRUE WARTIME ESCAPE OF MARGRET & H.A.REY. Each turn of the page is filled with surprising information and historical photos, a gem for any child or parent who has enjoyed the Curious George books. Both books by Louise Borden give the reader a sense of the people who responded to the harsh demands of life and war.  Both books provide a rich experience to be shared with parents, teachers, and children.

PAIUTE PRINCESS: THE STORY OF SARAH WINNEMUCA, written and illustrated by Deborah Kogan Ray. (Foster/Farrar, 2012)

Sometimes Sarah dressed as an Indian Princess so people would pay attention to what she had to say. Sarah was articulate, fluent in English and well-educated.  She used her skills and talents to fight for the welfare and rights of her people.  Praise from the publisher includes the following: “Few native women are recognized for their roles in our country’s history. Among them, Sarah is unique. Sarah Winnemucca faced a white world where the fate of the native people was in the hands of the new rulers of the land.   This book has many levels of information and is an important document, as both an autobiography and a history of events seen through eyes of a native woman.”  The story of Sarah Winnemuca offers a new perspective rich with questions as well as information.  

BLACK ELK’S VISION, A LAKOTA STORY by S.D.Nelson, a member of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe of the Dakotas (Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2010)

A vision of peace, a vision of hope, those were the dreams of Black Elk.  He worked to have all people see through new eyes and see that we are all connected.  No one group of people carry the privilege of domination or control.  No one is above or separate from the world. Awareness of the interconnectedness of life will offer hope and harmony. S.D. Nelson has created a stunning book of illustrations, images, photographs and words.  They invite the reader to open the book, turn the pages, explore the words.

“A vision comes as a thunderstorm in summer.  Its gift is like rain upon a thirsty little tree.” S.D. Nelson

“If you look with your heart, you will see the thirsty little tree before you.  In your hands is the power to help it grow.”  Black Elk

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