Books for and about the Vision-Impaired

Some people read with their eyes, but other people read with their hands. The SSHEL S-Collection has books for all types of readers. These books are great for anyone who likes to read—or would like to learn to read—in braille. There are also plenty of information books about the experience of being blind or vision impaired as well as biographies of famous blind individuals. Children with visual disabilities can find themselves in their pages, and visually-typical children can learn about someone who lives life a little differently than they do. Books in braille and books about blindness are perfect for classroom lessons about disabilities or for anyone eager to learn.

When searching for books in braille, try keywords “books in braille” or “braille books.”
When searching for print books about blind individuals or blindness in general, try a subject search of “juvenile literature” combined with keywords “vision impaired,”, “blind,” or “visual disability.”

Books in Braille

Andreae, Giles.
Giraffes Can’t Dance. 2013.
Gerald the giraffe just wants to dance—but his body won’t cooperate! His legs are too long and gangly, and he just feels silly until he finds the perfect music.

Armstrong, Nancy M.
Navajo Long Walk. 2014.
This is the story of a Navajo boy named Kee who must travel a long distance with his family and livestock to an internment camp, where he and his family are forced to live for four years before they can return to their reservation.

Carmi, Rebecca.
Amazing Magnetism: Magic School Bus #12. 2013.
Miss Frizzle’s class challenges another second grade class to a science contest. Miss Frizzle’s class was falling behind, but when your school bus is magic, anything can happen!
[SSHEL S COLLECTION Q. S. 538 C21a2013

Cowley, Joy.
Gracias, the Thanksgiving Turkey. 2015.
Miguel becomes friends with the turkey his Papa sends home for Thanksgiving Dinner and names him Gracias. But Gracias isn’t a pet–he’s supposed to be a meal! With a little help from his family, will Miguel be able to keep Gracias off the menu?

Cunningham, Ann.
Sadie Can Count: A Multisensory Book. 2006.
This book has both large print and braille for readers of all ability; similarly, it contains full-color illustrations along with other, more tactile details to be enjoyed by all.

Gidwitz, Adam.
A Tale Dark and Grimm. 2015.
Hansel and Gretel find their way into a few other stories and meet the characters living there as they try to learn to live happily ever after.

Keene, Carolyn.
The Pumpkin Patch Puzzle: Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew #33. 2015.
Nancy and her Clue Crew have an autumn mystery to solve—someone has smashed all the pumpkins for the big pumpkin decorating contest!

Koster, Gloria.
The Peanut-Free Café. 2006.
What will a peanut-butter-loving school do when a new student with a nut allergy enrolls? Should the food be banned? How could an entire school ever give up peanut butter? Simon has a clever idea—a Peanut-Free Café!

Osborne, Mary Pope.
Ghost Town at Sundown. 2014.
Jack and Annie are at it again in their Magic Tree House—this time, they are sent back to the Old West to solve a mystery and meet cowboys and ghosts along the way.

Penn, Audrey.
The Kissing Hand. 2005.
Chester the raccoon feels a little apprehensive about starting Kindergarten, so his mother shows him a special trick to help him bring her love with him wherever he goes.

Rylant, Cynthia.
Henry and Mudge and Annie’s Perfect Pet: The Twentieth Book of their Adventures. 2013.
Henry’s cousin Annie likes Mudge the dog, but wants to decide what kind of pet would be just right for her. A bird? A kitty? Or something else?

Yousafzai, Malala.
I am Malala: The Girl Who Stood up for Education and was Shot by the Taliban. 2015.
Malala Yousafzai tells the story of her courage when she demanded her right for education and was shot by the Taliban at age 15. She survived and became one of the most inspiring figures of the decade.

Books about Braille, Blindness, and Blind Individuals

Non-fiction Books and Biographies for Beginning Readers

Alexander, Sally Hobart.
Do You Remember the Color Blue? 2000.
The author, who lost her sight at age 27, recounts the questions children have asked her, including, “How can you read?” and “Is it scary?”
[CCB and SSHEL S COLLECTION S. 305.908161 Al 27d]

Edwards, Nicola.
My Friend is Blind. 2005.
This book is an introduction to blindness for children who may have never encountered an individual with the disability. It includes color pictures and a glossary for additional learning.
[SSHEL S COLLECTION S. 617.7 Ed976m]

Moore, Eva.
Buddy, the First Seeing Eye Dog. 1996.
Readers follow Buddy the German shepherd as he trains to become America’s first seeing eye dog.
[SSHEL S COLLECTION S. 362.4183 M782b]

O’Connor, Barbara.
The World at His Fingertips: A Story about Louis Braille. 1997.
A short biography of Louis Braille, who invented the reading system of the same name after he was blinded as a child.

Rappaport, Doreen.
Helen Keller’s Big World. 2012.
Easily accessible for young readers, this biography of Helen Keller introduces children to her unique life.

Troupe, Quincy.
Little Stevie Wonder. 2005.
Learn all about blind musician Stevie Wonder’s life from his birth in Detroit to his worldwide success as a recording artist. This book includes a CD for additional sensory fun.

Non-fiction Books and Biographies for Intermediate to Advanced Readers

Alexander, Sally Hobart.
She Touched the World: Laura Bridgman, Deaf-Blind Pioneer. 2008.
Many people know of Helen Keller, but not as many are familiar with Laura Bridgman. Bridgman lost her sight, hearing, and some of her smell and taste as a child. She went on to study at the first school for the blind and later became a beloved teacher.

Dash, Joan.
The World at Her Fingertips: The Story of Helen Keller. 2001.
This in-depth biography of the famous Helen Keller provides curious readers with more details than ever before, including her college years and eventual involvement in the political world.

Jeffrey, Laura.
All about Braille: Reading by Touch. 2004.
An introduction to the braille system with a full explanation of its history and invention by Louis Braille.

Kent, Deborah.
Extraordinary People with Disabilities. 1996.
This book profiles famous individuals with disabilities—some visual—and emphasizes the continuing struggle for equal rights for the differently abled.
[SSHEL S COLLECTION S. 363.40922 K414e]

A New Free Resource
The U.S. government offers free, video-on-demand children’s television programming for thousands of students who are blind, visually impaired, deaf or hard of hearing. For more information, see the news release and link.

The Reading Dead: Zombie Fun for All Ages

Zombies are a Halloween staple. However, the living undead aren’t exactly child-friendly, what with the clamoring for brains and terrorizing of cities — not to mention all that rotting flesh. But do zombies have to be scary? Of course not! Below are books that range from funny to frightening. These are for kids of all ages — and all those zombie-loving kids at heart. To find books about zombies, try a subject search of “juvenile literature” combined with a keyword search of “zombie,” “undead,” or other scary words.

Picture Books

Crow, Kristyn.
Zombelina. 2013.
Zombelina loves to dance—but she gives her dance class, full of “real” girls, the spooks. Will Zombelina battle stage fright and make her ghoulish family proud at the big recital?

Harris, Monica A.
Wake the Dead. 2004.
Henry has been warned: if he makes too much noise, he will wake the dead. He didn’t listen—now he has to find a way to put them back to sleep!

Kutner, Merrily.
The Zombie Nite Café. 2007.
A boy and his dog take a rhyming excursion and encounter funny monsters—and their favorite delicacies—at the Zombie Nite Café.

San Souci, Robert D.
The Faithful Friend. 1995.
In this classic tale from Martinique, two friends encounter love, zombies, and danger.

Beginner and Intermediate Books

Bolger, Kevin.
Zombiekins. 2008.
Stanley Nudelman buys a weird stuffed animal at the yard sale of a woman rumored to be a witch, and now he and his friend Miranda have to save their classmates from becoming zombies.

Doyle, Bill
The Zombie at the Finish Line. 2013.
Patsy the Zombie can’t seem to keep her head on her shoulders for a whole track-and-field day, but her team helps her realize that everyone has their own special skills.

Holt, K. A.
Brains for Lunch: A Zombie Novel in Haiku?! 2010.
Zombie Loeb likes haikus—and his living classmate, Siobhan. The story of his middle school cafeteria, filled with mythical monsters, is a funny tale told in verse.

Moskowitz, Hannah.
Zombie Tag. 2011.
Wil is desperate for his older brother to return from the dead. The thing is, zombies don’t make the best siblings.

Nickel, Scott.
Invasion of the Gym Class Zombies. 2008.
Trevor has some experience fighting zombies—but he thought those days were over. Now he has to rescue his whole gym class from the evil Mr. Brawnium, who wants all his students to be zombified jocks.
[SSHEL S COLLECTION S. 741.5973. N532i]

Savage, J. Scott.
Zombie Kid. 2013.
Both funny and scary, when an amulet turns Nick into a zombie, it sets him on a quest to defeat the zombie king.

Whitehouse, Howard.
Zombie Elementary: The Real Story. 2014.
Larry Mullet is an average fourth-grade boy. He is also a zombie hunter. Larry lays down the truth about what happened at his elementary school after a classmate tries to take a bite out of him. “Fun facts” and tips are included.

Intermediate and Teen Books

Ford, Michael Thomas.
Z. 2010.
In the year 2032, after a virus that turned people into zombies has been eradicated, Josh joins an underground gamer society where the goal is to hunt zombies.

Garner, Em.
Contaminated. 2013.
Velvet fights for her family’s survival after a trendy diet drink turns many people—including her mother—into violent, zombie-like creatures.

Harris, Carrie.
Bad Taste in Boys. 2011.
Future doctor Kate must find an antidote to the zombie steroids the football coach is giving to his players.

Hart, Jeff.
Eat, Brains, Love. 2013.
Teen zombies Jake and Amanda are on the run from Cass, a psychic working with the government to hide the existence of the undead.

Higson, Charlie.
The Fear. 2012.
After a worldwide sickness turns everyone over the age of sixteen into zombies, Dognut and his crew embark on a deadly mission to find missing friends and avoid the bloodthirsty adults.

Lackey, Mercedes.
Dead Reckoning. 2012.
In 1867 Texas, Jett, a girl passing as a boy, seeks her long-lost twin brother and investigates a zombie army that is terrorizing the West.

McKay, Kirsty.
Undead. 2012.
On a school trip to snowy Scotland, several students become infected with a zombie virus while the remaining survivors take refuge in a school bus.

Perez, Marlene.
Dead is a Battlefield. 2012.
Poor Jessica Walsh is just trying to survive Nightshade High—but what to do when she finds out that one of her classmates is turning girls into love sick zombies?

Summers, Courtney.
This is Not a Test. 2012.
Sloane doesn’t want to survive the zombie attacks—but she’s trapped at school with five people who do. As time passes, the group becomes more unpredictable and violent in their fight for life.

Unsworth, Tania.
The One Safe Place. 2014.
Devin lives in a futuristic world of greed. He is relieved when he earns a coveted spot in a home for children, where there is always enough food and he is promised a new family, but when he starts investigating the zombie-like sickness afflicting the children, the terror begins.

Waters, Daniel.
Generation Dead. 2008.
When dead teens don’t stay dead, they have to go to school. When living Phoebe starts dating “living impaired” Tommy, they face prejudice and fear.

Immigrant School Stories

Summer is over — it’s officially September, and the K-12 school year is starting up again to the chagrin of the children and the relief of the parents. But what about when school doesn’t just mean the end of summer, but a new, sometimes scary, beginning? Being the new kid in class can be hard on anyone, but the following books focus on the experiences of immigrant children and adolescents from around the world as they begin their education in a new country…with all the challenges and triumphs that entails. Encourage the young readers in your life to try a new kind of school story this September — one that might change the way they think about the new kid in their class.

To find school stories like those below, try keyword search terms like “immigrant” and “school” combined with a subject search of “juvenile fiction.”

Picture Books

Marianthe’s Story One: Painted Words / Marianthe’s Story Two: Spoken Memories. 1998.
Two separate stories in one book: the first telling of Mari’s starting school in a new land, and the second describing village life in her country before she and her family left in search of a better life.
[Center for Children’s Books and SSHEL S-Collection Q. S.Al44m]

Colato Laínez, René.
René has Two Last Names / René Tiene Dos Apellidos. 2009.
In this story based on the author’s childhood, a young Salvadoran immigrant is teased for having two last names until he presents his family tree project celebrating his heritage.
[SSHEL S-Collection Q. SE. C673r]

Cox, Judy.
Carmen Learns English. 2010.
Newly-arrived in the United States from Mexico, Carmen is apprehensive about going to school and learning English.
[SSHEL S-Collection SE. C839c]

Nobisso, Josephine.
In English, of Course. 2002.
Josephine tries to tell her new American class about her life in Naples, Italy, but her teacher misunderstands what she is saying and thinks she grew up on a farm.
[SSHEL S-Collection Q. SE. N6641i]

Recorvits, Helen.
My Name is Yoon. 2003.
Yoon’s name means “shining wisdom” in Korean, but in an American school, she wants to try out English names, including ‘Cat,’ ‘‘Bird,’ and ‘Cupcake.’ Will Yoon find a way to be herself in a new place?
[Center for Children’s Books and SSHEL S-Collection SE. R2453m]

Intermediate to Advanced Readers

Applegate, Katherine.
Home of the Brave. 2008.
Kek, a young refugee from Sudan, finds himself alone in foreign, snowy Minnesota. There he begins school, where he struggles to fit in in his ESL class. Along the way he befriends a cow, learns to navigate the grocery store, and discovers that he can find family in any country.
[Center for Children’s Books and SSHEL S-Collection S. Ap52h]

Castellanos, Jane
Tomasito and the Golden Llamas. 1968.
In order to get a better education, a young Peruvian boy leaves his homeland to live in California with his sister and brother-in-law, but finds the adjustment to school and a new way of life extremely difficult.
[SSHEL Oak Street; Choose pick up: SSHEL]

Himelblau, Linda.
The Trouble Begins. 2005.
Vietnamese Du Nguyen has lived in the Philippines with his grandmother his whole life. Now it’s time to join the rest of his family in California…and the trouble begins. How will Du survive in an American school where the other kids call him “Doo-Doo Head?” Can Du find his inner strength?
[SSHEL S-Collection S. H571t]

Lombard, Jenny.
Drita, My Homegirl. 2006.
When ten-year-old Drita and her family, refugees from Kosovo, move to New York, Drita is teased about not speaking English well, but after a popular student named Maxie is forced to learn about Kosovo as a punishment for teasing Drita, the two girls soon bond.
[SSHEL S-Collection S. L838d]

Tolliver, Ruby C.
Sarita, Be Brave. 1999.
When political unrest in Honduras forces twelve-year-old Sara to flee with her family and make the dangerous journey north to Texas, she faces the challenges of starting a new school and a new life.
[SSHEL Oak Street [Choose pick-up: SSHEL] S. T579s]

Please Read My Diary!

People have kept journals for a myriad of reasons: during frightening times of war, as a way to record travels and exploration, or just to lament about school and crushes. Journals and diaries are particularly important during times of trouble because they provide historical evidence for major historic events. But daily journals kept during times of peace also provide information for what life was like for the average person. This list features books written in a notebook or diary format, from the silly to the serious. Some are written as fictional stories and others are copied from actual diaries and memories. Perhaps these honest tales will inspire you to write down your own.

When searching for books in a diary format, try searching the subject phrases “juvenile literature” or “juvenile fiction” with subject phrases like “diaries,” “personal narratives,” and “children’s diaries.”

Picture Books

Cronin, Doreen.
Diary of a Fly. 2007.
A young fly discovers, day by day, that there is a lot to learn about being an insect, including the dangers of flypaper and that heroes come in all shapes and sizes.
[SSHEL S Collection S.E. C881di]

French, Jackie.
Diary of a Baby Wombat. 2010.
Through a week of diary entries, a wombat describes his life of sleeping, playing, and helping his mother look for a bigger hole in which to make their home.
[SSHEL S Collection Q. SE. F888d2010]

Beginner and Intermediate Nonfiction

Columbus, Christopher.
The Log of Christopher Columbus’ First Voyage to America in the Year 1492. 1989.
Presents the log of Christopher Columbus as copied out in brief by his companion, Bartholomew Las Casas, relating the day-to-day drama of a long sea voyage into the unknown.
[SSHEL S Collection SB.C726C1]

Carter, E.J.
The Lewis and Clark Journals. 2003.
Provides a history of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, including excerpts from journals that Lewis and Clark kept during the journey, and describes how historical documents such as these can be restored and preserved.
[SSHEL S Collection S.917.804 C245l]

Li, Judith L.
Ellie’s Log: Exploring the Forest Where the Great Tree Fell. 2013.
With help from her parents, a forest manager and a wildlife biologist, and in the company of new friend Ricky, eleven-year-old Ellie fills a field notebook with sketches and notes about nature in the woods near her home. Includes suggestions on how to keep a field notebook. A teacher’s guide is available online.
[SSHEL S Collection S.577 L6121e]

Middle Grade

Moss, Marissa.
Amelia’s 5th-Grade Notebook. 2003.
Amelia uses her diary to record the great events in her life during the year which she spent in the fifth grade.
[SSHEL S Collection S.M855a5]

Campbell, L.A.
Cartboy Goes to Camp. 2014.
Filled with photos, drawings, and timelines, Hal’s journal chronicles his hilarious adventures at Camp Jamestown — where nothing has changed in 400 years.
[SSHEL S Collection S. C1531ca]

Fanelli, Sara.
Dear Diary. 2000.
Peek between these droll pages for the hand-lettered story of one very strange day in the life of just about everyone and everything in sight. This unusual title is an oddball assortment of diary writers who tell all in a quirky, colorful picture-book collage with a touch of attitude.
[SSHEL S Collection S.F2131d]

Platt, Richard.
Pirate Diary: The Journal of Jake Carpenter. 2001.
The fictional diary of a nine-year-old boy who, in 1716 sets off from North Carolina to become a sailor, but ends up a pirate instead.
[SSHEL S Collection Q. S.P697p]

Teens and Young Adult

Kinney, Jeff.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Greg Heffley’s Journal. 2007.
Greg records his sixth grade experiences in a middle school where he and his best friend, Rowley, undersized weaklings amid boys who need to shave twice daily, hope just to survive, but when Rowley grows more popular, Greg must take drastic measures to save their friendship.
[SSHEL S Collection S. K623di]

Russell, Rachel
Dork Diaries: Tales from a Not-So-Fabulous Life. 2009.
Fourteen-year-old Nikki Maxwell writes in her diary of her struggle to be popular at her exclusive new private school, then of finding her place after she gives up on being part of the elite group.
[SSHEL S Collection S. R917d]

Rennison, Louise.
Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging: Confessions of Georgia Nicolson. 2000.
Presents the humorous journal of a year in the life of a fourteen-year-old British girl who tries to reduce the size of her nose, stop her mad cat from terrorizing the neighborhood animals, and win the love of handsome hunk Robbie.
[SSHEL S Collection S. R2952a2000]

Evans, Zoe.
Revenge of the Titan. 2012.
Preparing for a first competition with the Grizzlies only to learn from mean girl Clementine Prescott that her popularity has tanked, Maddy harbors suspicions that her new secret friend, Katie Parker, may be responsible.
[SSHEL S Collection S. Ev151r]

Nonfiction Teens and Young Adult

Al-Windawi, Thura.
Thura’s Diary: My Life in Wartime Iraq. 2004.
Nineteen-year-old Thura al-Windawi kept a diary during the conflict in Iraq, saying that it was her way of “controlling the chaos.” The diary, which documents the days leading up to the bombings, the war itself, and the lawless aftermath, puts a personal face on life in Baghdad.
[SSHEL S Collection SB. A316t]

Roubickova, Eva.
We’re Alive and Life Goes on: A Theresienstadt Diary. 1998.
Presents the diary entries of a young woman living in the Jewish ghetto of Theresienstadt, a model concentration camp designed by the Nazis to show to the Red Cross and other humanitarian organizations.
[SSHEL S Collection SB. R853w:E]

Greenberg, Judith E.
Journal of a Revolutionary War Woman. 1996.
Entries from the journal of Mary Titus Post written during the American Revolution are presented with background information to help explain their historical context.
[SSHEL S Collection SB.P8572G]

Laugh It Up: Telling Jokes and Playing Pranks

July is home to International Joke day. To help you master your joke telling, we have selected some books that tell the funniest, or perhaps cringe-worthy jokes out there. Humor can come in many forms. Whether you like puns, wit, or riddles, there is something here to tickle anyone’s funny bone. Sometimes though, jokes can go too far and become pranks. Books in this list will explore telling jokes, how others feel when jokes are played on them, and other aspects of humor. When searching for books about jokes, try searching the subject phrases “juvenile literature” or “juvenile fiction” with subject phrases like “practical jokes”, “jokes”, “riddles”, or “wit and humor”.

Picture Books

Krull, Kathleen.
Lincoln Tells a Joke: How Laughter Saved the President (and the Country). 2010.
A biography of one of America’s greatest presidents, focusing on his use of wit and humor, and his love of language.
[SSHEL S Collection Q. SB. L63k]

Shannon, Molly.
Tilly the Trickster. 2011.
Tilly loves to play pranks on everyone around her, but when her family decides to turn the tables Tilly needs to decide if she should change.
[SSHEL S Collection Q. SE. Sh195t]

Inns, Christopher.
The Jokers. 2005.
Mungo the Elephant and Mr. Thunderpants love playing jokes on each other, but they really love playing jokes on their friends. With bold images and simple text, this engaging book teaches children the appropriateness of practical jokes in an enjoyable way.
[SSHEL S Collection SE. In69j]

Higgins, Nadia.
Blimey, That’s Slimey! 2008.
Slimebeard is proud to have the slimiest beard around! But when Armpit Arnie’s pirat-ical joke dries it up, he finds revenge by sticking Arnie in a ladder. The only way to unstick Arnie is with an apology only a pirate could accept and some of Slimebeard’s secret slime.
[SSHEL S Collection Q. SE. H5356b]

Beginner and Intermediate Nonfiction

Phunny, U.R.
Dinosaur Jokes. 2004.
This title from Buddy Books contains colorful, easy-to-read jokes with imaginative illustrations.
[SSHEL S Collection S.818.602 P568d]

Ziegler, Mark.
Lunchbox Laughs: A Book of Food Jokes. 2005.
Includes a number of jokes about food.
[SSHEL S Collection S.818.602 Z627l]

Lee, Cyl.
More Ridiculous Riddles. 2005.
Contains colorful, easy-to-read jokes with cartoon-like illustrations.
[SSHEL S Collection S.818.602 L5109mo]

Lupton, Hugh.
Riddle Me This! 2003.
A whimsical collection of riddles and riddling stories from all over the world. The playful illustrations offer clues that will help children to solve the riddles.
[SSHEL S Collection Q. S.818 L974r]

Middle Grade

Baratz-Logstead, Lauren.
Jackie’s Jokes. 2009.
April Fools’ Day is long and hard for the third-grade Huit octuplets, but it is nothing compared to the challenges of Tax Day, through which Jackie discovers her special power and gift and learns more about their parents’ mysterious disappearance.
[SSHEL S Collection S.B231j]

Chmielewski, Gary.
The Science Zone: Jokes, Riddles, Tongue Twisters and “Daffynitions”. 2008.
This fully illustrated book is jam-packed with over 100 science-themed jokes, tongue twisters, and Daffynitions. Not only are these jokes entertaining and educational, but the humorous text involves a higher order of thinking skills that can support comprehension.
[SSHEL S Collection S.818.5402 C45s]

Brewer, Paul.
You Must Be Joking, Two! 2007.
Author/illustrator Paul Brewer includes 11-1/2 tips that show future comedians how to prepare and perform their own stand-up routines. In addition to memorizing jokes from books, he encourages young comics to make up their own.
[SSHEL S Collection S.818.5402 B758y]

Teens and Young Adult

Shusterman, Neal.
Shadow Club. 2002.
When a junior high school boy and his friends decide to form a club of “second bests” and play anonymous tricks on each other’s arch rivals, the harmless pranks escalate until they become life-threatening.
[SSHEL S Collection S. Sh932sha 2002]

Gorman, Carol.
Dork on the Run. 2002.
Having reluctantly agreed to run for sixth-grade president, Jerry, who has been trying to change his image as a dork, finds his opponent playing dirty tricks on him.
[SSHEL S Collection S.G68d]

Levy, Elizabeth.
My Life as a Fifth-Grade Comedian. 1997.
Although Bobby’s father thinks that he might be expelled just like his older brother, with the encouragement of a new fifth-grade teacher, Bobby tries to channel his penchant for humor into a learning experience.
[SSHEL S Collection S. L5792my]

Baker, Kimberly.
PICKLE: The (Formerly) Anonymous Prank Club of Fountain Point Middle School. 2012.
Using a bogus name, the League of Picklemakers, sixth-grader Ben and three recruits start a prank-pulling club and receive funding from their middle school’s PTA.
[SSHEL S Collection S.B1711p]

Under the Sea

Vast and full of secrets, the ocean has been a constant place of human exploration. Even though it covers almost three quarters of the Earth’s surface, some people never get the chance to see it. Let these books bring the ocean and its inhabitants to you. From colorful fish to underwater plants, there is something for everyone in the ocean. SSHEL has over six hundred books about the ocean, so we have selected a few to begin your undersea adventure. When searching for general books about the ocean, try searching the subject phrases “juvenile literature” or “juvenile fiction” with subject phrases like “ocean,” “sea,” “marine biology,” or “sea stories.”
Picture Books

Neubecker, Robert.
Wow! Ocean! 2011.
When Izzy and her sister Jo travel from the mountains to the ocean they find a wealth of things to be excited about.
[SSHEL S Collection Q. SE. N391wow]

Rockhill, Dennis. 
Ocean Whisper / Susurro del Oceano. 2005.
A boy’s fish bowl and a whale poster transform into an undersea dream in which he becomes a whale, playing in the ocean and encountering various plants and animals. Story told in English and Spanish.
[SSHEL S Collection Q. SE. R591s]

Zoehfeld, Kathleen Weidner. 
Dolphin’s First Day: the Story of a Bottlenose Dolphin. 1994. 
Describes a baby dolphin’s experiences during his first day in the ocean.
[SSHEL S Collection Q.SE. Z72D]

Freymann, Saxton. 
One Lonely Seahorse. 2000.
One lonely sea horse learns that she has a lot of friends in this counting book — friends she can really “count” on.
[SSHEL S Collection Q. SE. F898o]

Malnor, Carol. 
On Kiki’s Reef. 2014. 
A green sea turtle hatches and grows up in the ocean, then moves to shallower water near a coral reef where she spends most of the rest of her life. Includes supplementary information about turtles, coral reef creatures, maps, and activities. 
[SSHEL S Collection Q. SE. M297o]
Beginner and Intermediate Nonfiction

Smithyman, Kathryn.
The Ocean Biome. 2003.
Examines the four zones of the marine biome, their plants and animals, coral reefs and estuaries, the importance of the oceans to the Earth, and how they are in danger.
[SSHEL S Collection S.577.7 Sm69o]

Mayer, Cassie.
Ocean. 2008.
In Ocean, children view various objects in an ocean and are asked to determine if they are living or nonliving. Stunning photographs show animals, plant life, and other features that are unique to an ocean habitat.
[SSHEL S Collection S.577.7 M4522o]

Hughes, Catherine D.
First Big Book of the Ocean. 2013.
Introduces several of the ocean’s species, provides profiles of creatures, from dolphins and sharks to sea otters and penguins, while sharing facts about their characteristics, diets, and habitats.
[SSHEL S Collection S.551.46 H8741f]

Mitton, Tony.
Ocean Odyssey. 2010.
The North Pacific Ocean is vast and dark and deep. It’s home to many creatures that swim and float and creep! Join Rabbit, Mouse, and Bird as they dive beneath the waves of the North Pacific Ocean and meet a host of amazing animals along the way
[SSHEL S Collection S.591.77 M698o]

Smith, Marie. 
W Is for Waves: an Ocean Alphabet. 2008.
An A to Z introduction to our world’s oceans and ocean life. Topics include Atlantis, kelp forests, the Great Barrier Reef, mollusks, Queen Isabella, and many more. 
[SSHEL S Collection Q. S.551.46 Sm622w]
Teens and Young Adult

Ocean, Davy.
Lights! Camera! Hammerhead! 2014. 
When humans show up at Shark Point to film an underwater documentary, Harry Hammer is thrilled. He’s sure he’s meant for the spotlight, but will he end up with the starring role of his dreams, or stay in deep-sea oblivion?
[SSHEL S Collection S. Oc22l]

Kane, Tracy.
Ocean Secrets. 2014.
Exploring the Isles of Shoals, Kate and Luke discover the magic along these rocky shores, including what looks like an underwater fairy castle in a tidal pool. Also, out at sea, pirates, ghosts, and a feisty seal are just the beginning of a secret new world of adventure awaiting them.
[SSHEL S Collection S. K1316o]

Holyoke, Polly. 
The Neptune Project. 2013.
A group of kids who have been genetically altered to survive in the ocean must embark on a dangerous underwater journey to find refuge — and maybe even a way to save the world. 
[SSHEL S Collection S. H748n]

I Want to Ride My Bicycle!

Spring is a great time for being outdoors, and what better way than to be on a bicycle! There are many different ways to enjoy a bicycle ride. You can ride on roads, trails, through the woods, or even on sandy beaches! Riding a bike is an inexpensive and easy way to explore, but you have to make sure you do it safely. The books below highlight various aspects of biking such as different types of bikes, a famous race, learning to ride a bike, being safe, and a couple of adventure novels for young adults that center on bike riding. When searching for books about bicycles, try searching the subject phrases “juvenile literature” or “juvenile fiction” with subject phrases like “bicycles and bicycling,” “cycling,” “bicycles,” “bicycles safety measures,” or “mountain biking.”

Picture Books

Blackford, Andy.
Bill’s Bike. 2011.
Bill has a new bicycle with four wheels, but as he rides and rides he loses wheels one at a time until he finds out just how many he needs to have.
[SSHEL S Collection SE. B5641b]

Bourne, B. B.
Henry on Wheels. 2013
When Mom says Henry may go only around his block on his bike, Henry discovers that there are lots of fascinating things to see close to home — from a hot dog truck to cement mixers.
[SSHEL S Collection SE. B6675h]

Eriksson, Eva.
A Crash Course for Molly. 2005
Using warmly colored and expressive illustrations, Eva Eriksson gives readers an adorable little girl to cheer for as she takes a crash course in bike riding.
[SSHEL S Collection SE. Er46c:E]

Paschka, Chris.
Everyone Can Learn to Ride a Bike. 2013.
A father teaches his daughter all about bicycle riding, from selecting the right bike to trying again after a fall.
[SSHEL S Collection SE. R115e]

Proimos, James and Johanna Wright.
The Best Bike Ride Ever. 2012
Bonnie O’Boy really wants a bicycle, but when she gets one, she forgets to do something that is very important.
[SSHEL S Collection SE. P943b]

Rosenberry, Vera.
Vera Rides a Bike. 2004
Vera is riding her new bicycle in the school yard, when she discovers there’s no one there to help her brake to stop herself.
[SSHEL S Collection Q. SE. R723v]

Beginner and Intermediate Nonfiction

De Medeiros, Michael.
Mountain Biking. 2008
From skills to bike parts, readers will learn the ins and outs of the adventures of mountain biking.
[SSHEL S Collection S.796.63 D393m]

Gilbert, Grant.
Tour de France. 2008.
Explores all aspects of racing in the Tour de France bicycle race including strategy, bikes, athletes and more.
[SSHEL S Collection S. 796.6 G373t]

Pancella, Peggy.
Bicycle Safety. 2005.
With pictures and tips, this book teaches readers how to ride safely from choosing the proper gear to riding on the road.
[SSHEL S Collection S.796.6 P191b]

Middle Grade

Hutchins, Hazel.
The Great Bike Rescue. 2013.
When best friends Levi and Riley both have their bikes stolen, they embark on a journey to find the culprit.
[SSHEL S Collection S. H9707g]

Teens and Young Adult

Cormier, Robert.
I Am the Cheese. 1978.
A young boy desperately tries to unlock his past yet knows he must hide those memories if he is to remain alive. A bicycle trip provides the framework for this grim story.
[SSHEL S Collection S.C8113i 1978]

Lynch, Janet Nichols.
Racing California. 2012.
High school senior Evan is conflicted when he is recruited for the prestigious Amgen Tour of California bicycle race by one of his heroes, and must decide whether to pursue his love of racing or go to college after he graduates from his Arizona high school.
[SSHEL S Collection S. L9914r]

April Showers: Books about the Water Cycle

With April comes spring, and with spring (often) comes lots of rain. This time of year, we become especially aware of the fact that water is all around us, falling from the sky, rushing in streams and rivers, saturating the winter-dry air with humidity. Now is a great time to explore books with children about the powerful natural force that is the water cycle, shaping our planet since it was first formed. When searching for books about the water cycle, try searching the subject phrases “juvenile literature” or “juvenile fiction” with subject phrases like “water (or hydrologic) cycle,’ “hydrology,” “rain and rainfall,” or just “water.”

Picture Books

Base, Graeme.
The Water Hole. 2001.
As ever growing numbers of animals visit a watering hole, introducing the numbers from one to ten, the water dwindles.
[SSHEL S Collection Q. SE. B291w]

Cole, Joanna.
The Magic School Bus at the Waterworks. 1986.
When Ms. Frizzle, the strangest teacher in school, takes her class on a field trip to the waterworks, everyone ends up experiencing the water purification system from the inside.
[SSHEL S Collection SE.C675M]

Frasier, Debra.
The Incredible Water Show. 2004.
Elementary school students present the water cycle as acts in a play where water is the real star.
[SSHEL S Collection Q. SE. F864i]

Glaser, Omri.
Round the Garden. 1999.
Traces the journey of a tear as it falls to the ground, evaporates, reappears as rain, and waters a garden to make an onion grow to produce more tears.
[SSHEL Oak Street SE. G4621r]

Locker, Thomas.
Water Dance. 1997.
Water speaks of its existence in such forms as storm clouds, mist, rainbows, and rivers. Includes factual information on the water cycle.
[SSHEL S Collection Q. S.L7963w]

Reynolds, Paul A.
Full STEAM Ahead! 2014.
Twins Sydney and Simon learn about the water cycle and use science, technology, engineering, arts, and math to solve the problem of their stuck window and thirsty flowers.
[SSHEL S Collection and the Center for Children’s Books S. R3361f]

Seven, John.
The Ocean Story. 2011.
Relates the story of the oceans that are home to so many creatures, that are part of the water cycle which produces rain, and that can become very messy if we do not take care of them.
[SSHEL S Collection Q. SE. Se824o]

Beginner and Intermediate Nonfiction

Bauer, Marion Dane.
Rain. 2004.
Illustrations and simple text explain what rain is, how it is used by plants, birds, and people, and the importance of clean water.
[SSHEL S Collection S.551.577 B326r]

Branley, Franklyn Mansfield.
Down Comes the Rain. 1997.
Explains how the water cycle leads to different types of weather patterns.
[SSHEL S Collection Q. S.551.577 B734d]

Bundey, Nikki.
Rain and the Earth. 2000.
Examines the role that rain plays on earth, how the cycle of evaporation and condensation works, and the effects of water on all forms of life. Includes related experiments.
[SSHEL S Collection S.551.577 B882r2001]

Hammersmith, Craig.
The Water Cycle. 2012.
Simple text and full-color photos explain the science behind the water cycle.
[SSHEL S Collection Q. S.551.48 H183w]

Harman, Rebecca.
The Water Cycle. 2005.
Follow a drop of water as it moves around the world! From the largest glaciers, to the steam coming out of a kettle, find out how water can change, and how it can alter landscapes.
[SSHEL S Collection S.551.48 H227w]

Hirschmann, Kris.
It’s Wet Out! 2008.
This book introduces how different types of precipitation form and the dangers and benefits they provide. Clear, helpful diagrams, full-color photographs, bold glossary words, and an index support this easy-to-read, engaging text.
[SSHEL S Collection S.551.577 H617i]

Kalman, Bobbie.
The Water Cycle. 2006.
Discusses how water forms, how to keep it clean, and its importance to humans and the ecology.
[SSHEL S Collection S.551.48 K126w]

Kaner, Etta.
Who Likes the Rain? 2007.
Rain — it makes puddles for jumping in, helps birds to clean their feathers and brings out snails and worms. But what is rain? And how does it transform the world around us?
[SSHEL S Collection S.551.57 K131w]

Korb, Rena B.
The Wild Water Cycle. 2008.
The water cycle’s processes of precipitation, evaporation, and water vapor are explained with simple text and matching illustrations. A science activity, fun facts section, glossary, and index aid students in learning about the wild water cycle happening around them.
[SSHEL S Collection S.551.48 K841w]

Lyon, George Ella.
All the Water in the World. 2011.
Introduces young children to the water cycle with simple text and illustrations.
[SSHEL S Collection and the Center for Children’s Books S.551.48 L9942a]

McKinney, Barbara Shaw.
A Drop Around the World. 1998.
Presents the water cycle through the journey of a raindrop around the world, in sky, on land, underground, and in the sea, in its liquid, solid, and vapor forms, as it supports life everywhere.
[SSHEL S Collection Q. S.551.48 M215d]

Morrison, Gordon.
A Drop of Water. 2006.
Author and illustrator Gordon Morrison has captured a single moment in time, revealing the course and influence of water, and inviting readers to pause and consider the world around them in this beautiful and lyrical appreciation of nature and the resource that makes it all possible: a drop of water.
[SSHEL S Collection Q. S.551.48 M834d]

Walker, Sally M.
Water Up, Water Down: The Hydrologic Cycle. 1992.
Describes the hydrologic cycle and its importance to life on Earth.
[SSHEL S Collection S.551.48 W154W]

Wells, Robert E.
Did a Dinosaur Drink This Water? 2006.
In this work about the water cycle, readers discover that the molecules in their glass of water may have once been part of a dinosaur watering hole.
[SSHEL S Collection Q. S.551.48 W462d]

Chicano English Vernacular: Books for Children and Youth

The experiences of Spanish-speaking populations in America have resulted in a dialect some call Chicano English. Spoken especially in the Southwestern United States and California, it is not what happens when native Spanish speakers are attempting to learn English and still speak it brokenly. Rather, it’s a blending of the two languages, much like the experience of all who relocate to a new country or culture; there will always be a balancing act between celebrating the old and welcoming the new. When searching for books about young people who have this experience, or for characters who blend the two languages, you can try searching a specific nationality of Hispanic heritage (Puerto Rican American, Mexican American, Cuban American, etc.) as a subject term along with the subject “juvenile fiction” (for fiction) or “juvenile literature” (for non-fiction). To find bilingual books, search “Spanish language materials Bilingual” as a subject.

Online Resources

Do You Speak American? Spanish and Chicano English.
This website provides educators an extensive list of reading materials, resources, activities, and discussion guides for high school students learning about the development of Spanish-speaking and Chicano English in America.

Celebrating Diverse Latino Cultures, Literature, and Literacy Everyday.
This guide lists helpful suggestions for finding Latino children’s books, other print resources, services and outreach programs for Latino children, and ideas for planning Latino literacy and library programs. There are also guidelines for evaluating children’s books about Latinos, and finally, a list of recommended Latino children’s books.
Bilingual Picture Books

Ada, Alma Flor.
I Love Saturdays y Domingos. 2002.
A young girl enjoys the similarities and the differences between her English-speaking and Spanish-speaking grandparents.
[SSHEL S Collection Q. SE. Ad11i]

Alarcon, Francisco X.
Angels Ride Bikes and Other Fall Poems. 1999.
A bilingual collection of poems in which the renowned Mexican American poet revisits and celebrates his childhood memories of fall in the city and growing up in Los Angeles.
[SSHEL S Collection S.811 Al12a]

Alarcon, Francisco X.
Laughing Tomatoes and Other Spring Poems. 1997.
A bilingual collection of humorous and serious poems about family, nature, and celebrations by a renowned Mexican American poet.
[SSHEL S Collection and the Center for Children’s Books S.811 Al12l]

Montes, Marisa.
Los Gatos Black on Halloween. 2006.
Easy to read, rhyming text about Halloween night incorporates Spanish words, from las brujas riding their broomsticks to los monstruos whose monstrous ball is interrupted by a true horror.
[SSHEL S Collection Q. SE. M764l]

Mora, Pat.
The Rainbow Tulip. 1999.
A Mexican-American first-grader experiences the difficulties and pleasures of being different when she wears a tulip costume with all the colors of the rainbow for the school May Day parade.
[SSHEL S Collection and the Center for Children’s Books SE. M79r]

Mora, Pat.
Water Rolls, Water Rises. 2014.
A series of verses, in English and Spanish, about the movement and moods of water around the world and the ways in which water affects a variety of landscapes and cultures.
[SSHEL S Collection S.553.7 M79w]

Morales, Yuyi.
Just In Case: A Trickster Tale and Spanish Alphabet Book. 2008.
As Señor Calavera prepares for Grandma Beetle’s birthday he finds an alphabetical assortment of unusual presents, but with the help of Zelmiro the Ghost, he finds the best gift of all.
[SSHEL S Collection and the Center for Children’s Books SE. M792ju]

Morales, Yuyi.
Niño Wrestles the World. 2013.
Lucha Libre champion Niño has no trouble fending off monstrous opponents, but when his little sisters awaken from their naps, he is in for a no-holds-barred wrestling match that will truly test his skills.
[SSHEL S Collection and the Center for Children’s Books SE. M792n]

Perez, Amada Irma.
My Diary from Here to There. 2002.
A young girl describes her feelings when her father decides to leave their home in Mexico to look for work in the United States.
[SSHEL S Collection S.P4152my]

Perez, Amada Irma.
My Very Own Room. 2000.
With the help of her family, a resourceful Mexican-American girl with two parents, five little brothers, and visiting relatives realizes her dream of having a space of her own to read and to think. Based on the author’s own childhood.
[SSHEL Oak Street SE. P4152m]

Soto, Gary.
Chato’s Kitchen.
To get the “ratoncitos,” little mice, who have moved into the barrio to come to his house, Chato the cat prepares all kinds of good food: fajitas, frijoles, salsa, enchiladas, and more.
[SSHEL S Collection SE. So78c]

Young Adult/Intermediate

Alvarez, Julia.
How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents. 1991.
It’s a long way from Santo Domingo to the Bronx, but if anyone can go the distance, it’s the Garcia girls. Four lively Latinas plunged from a pampered life of privilege on an island compound into the big-city chaos of New York, they rebel against Mami and Papi’s old-world discipline and embrace all that America has to offer.
[Main Stacks 813 AL86H and Uni High Fiction Al86h2005]

Anaya, Rudolfo A.
Bless Me, Ultima. 1972.
Antonio Marez is six years old when Ultima comes to stay with his family in New Mexico. She is a curandera, one who cures with herbs and magic. Under her wise wing, Tony will test the bonds that tie him to his people, and discover himself in the pagan past, in his father’s wisdom, and in his mother’s Catholicism. And at each life turn there is Ultima, who delivered Tony into the world-and will nurture the birth of his soul.
[Main Stacks 813 AN18B, Undergraduate Library PS3551.N27 B5 1972, and Uni High Fiction An1881999]

Cisneros, Sandra.
The House on Mango Street. 1991.
The story of a young girl growing up in the Hispanic quarter of Chicago. Capturing her thoughts and emotions in poems and stories, she is able to rise above hopelessness and create a quiet space for herself in the midst of her oppressive surroundings.
[Main Stacks 813 C497h 1991, Undergraduate Library PS3553.I78 H6 1991, and Residence Halls Lincoln Avenue Circulating Collection 813 C497ho]

Cisneros, Sandra.
Caramelo. 2002.
The celebrated author of The House on Mango Street gives us an extraordinary new novel, told in language of blazing originality: a multigenerational story of a Mexican-American family whose voices create a dazzling weave of humor, passion, and poignancy–the very stuff of life.
[Undergraduate Library PS3553.I78 C37 2002, Residence Halls Allen Hall Circulating Collection 813 C497ca, and Uni High Fiction C497c]

Cofer, Judith Ortiz.
Call Me Maria. 2004.
Fifteen-year-old Maria leaves her mother and their Puerto Rican home to live in the barrio of New York with her father, feeling torn between the two cultures in which she has been raised.
[SSHEL S Collection S. Or85c]

Herrera, Juan Felipe.
Downtown Boy. 2005.
From June of 1958 to June of 1959, Juanito tries to stay out of mischief and be good as he, his mother, and his father move around the state of California, never quite feeling at home.
[SSHEL S Collection and the Center for Children’s Books S. H433d]

Jimenez, Francisco.
The Circuit: Stories from the Life of a Migrant Child. 1997.
A collection of stories about the life of a migrant family.
[SSHEL S Collection S.J564c and Main Stacks 813 J5641C]

Santiago, Esmeralda.
Almost a Woman. 1998.
In her new memoir, the acclaimed author of When I Was Puerto Rican continues the riveting chronicle of her emergence from the barrios of Brooklyn to the theaters of Manhattan.
[Main Stacks 974.71004687 Sa59a and Residence Halls Illinois Street Multicultural 974.7 Sa59a 1998]

Soto, Gary.
Baseball in April. 1990.
A collection of eleven short stories focusing on the everyday adventures of Hispanic young people growing up in Fresno, California. The smart, tough, vulnerable kids in these stories are Latino, but their dreams and desires belong to all of us. Glossary of Spanish terms included.
[SSHEL S Collection and the Center for Children’s Books S. So78b]

Soto, Gary.
Living Up the Street. 1985.
The author describes his experiences growing up as a Mexican American in Fresno, California.
[Undergraduate Library F869.F8 S67 1985]

Thomas, Piri.
Down These Mean Streets. 1967.
As he recounts the journey that took him from adolescence in El Barrio to a lock-up in Sing Sing to the freedom that comes of self-acceptance, faith, and inner confidence, Piri Thomas gives us a book that is as exultant as it is harrowing and whose every page bears the irrepressible rhythm of its author’s voice.
[Undergraduate Library F128.9.P8 T5 1967]

Villarreal, Jose Antonio.
Pocho. 1970.
Villarreal illuminates here the world of “pochos,” Americans whose parents come to the United States from Mexico. Set in Depression-era California, the novel focuses on Richard, a young pocho who experiences the intense conflict between loyalty to the traditions of his family’s past and attraction to new ideas.
[SSHEL S Collection S.V713P1970]

The Art of Letter Writing: A Special Way to Share Stories

Though most of us would probably say letter writing is low on our preferred means of communication, the written word is still essential for staying in touch. We email, text, and leave comments for each other on social media. While our means of communication today are much more efficient, there is something very personal and special about receiving a letter from someone we love. When we think of correspondence through letters, we think of history, of times when things were much slower. We might think of grand, romantic declarations of love or top secret war messages being sent this way. When we get the opportunity to read stories that are told through letters sent back and forth between characters, it puts us right in the moment, sharing those experiences with the writers; it puts us in suspense, because we only know what the letters tell us. When looking for children’s and teen’s books about letter writing, or books written in the epistolary format, try searching the subject phrases “juvenile fiction” or “juvenile literature” with terms like “epistolary,” “correspondence,” or “letters.”

Picture Books

Bellisario, Gina.
The Twelve Days of Christmas in Illinois. 2012.
Mia writes a letter home each of the twelve days she spends exploring the state of Illinois at Christmastime, as her cousin Sam shows her everything from the state capital, Springfield, to historic Route 66. Includes facts about Illinois.
[SSHEL S Collection S. B4173t]

Daywalt, Drew.
The Day the Crayons Quit. 2013.
When Duncan arrives at school one morning, he finds a stack of letters, one from each of his crayons, complaining about how he uses them.
[SSHEL S Collection and the Center for Children’s Books SE. D337d]

Luna, Tom.
Letters Forever / Cartas Para Siempre. 2012.
Missing her grandfather who has moved from Texas back home to Mexico, Lela tries to ride her bike to see him. Since this is unsuccessful, she writes letters to him until she grows up and is able to visit him in person. (Bilingual. Parallel text in English and Spanish.)
[SSHEL S Collection S. L9715l]

Moore, Marian and Kensington, Mary Jane.
Dear Cinderella. 2012.
Cinderella and Snow White exchange letters and become friends as they tell each other about the problems they face with their stepmothers and other events in their lives.
[SSHEL S Collection Q. SE. M7811d]

Orloff, Karen Kaufman.
I Wanna New Room. 2010.
Through a series of brief letters to his parents, Alex presents all the reasons why he should not have to share a room with his younger brother.
[SSHEL S Collection Q. SE. Or55iw]

Stanton, Melissa.
My Pen Pal, Santa. 2013.
When Ava writes a thank you to Santa in January, he writes back and sets off a year’s worth of correspondence where they exchange information about their daily lives and discuss their shared love of Christmas.
[SSHEL S Collection SE. St262m]

Stein, David Ezra.
Love, Mouserella. 2011.
“This is my letter I wrote to Grandmouse because I miss her. She went back to the country and I’m in the city. Mama said why don’t I write her a letter, so I did.”
[SSHEL S Collection and the Center for Children’s Books SE. St341lo]

Stewart, Sarah.
The Gardener. 1997.
A series of letters relating what happens when, after her father loses his job, Lydia Grace goes to live with her Uncle Jim in the city but takes her love for gardening with her.
[SSHEL S Collection and the Center for Children’s Books SE. St495g]

Tonatiuh, Duncan.
Dear Primo: A Letter to My Cousin. 2010.
Two cousins, one in Mexico and one in New York City, write to each other and learn that even though their daily lives differ, at heart the boys are very similar. In English with some Spanish words = En inglés con algunas palabras en español.
[SSHEL S Collection and the Center for Children’s Books Q. SE. T61d]

Intermediate and Young Adult Fiction

Cleary, Beverly.
Dear Mr. Henshaw. 1983.
In his letters to his favorite author, ten-year-old Leigh reveals his problems in coping with his parents’ divorce, being the new boy in school, and generally finding his own place in the world.
[SSHEL S Collection and the Center for Children’s Books S. C58d]

Fleming, David.
The Saturday Boy. 2013.
Every school day seems to bring more trouble to eleven-year-old Derek, whose former best friend bullies him, while at home he deals with the long absence of his father, a Blackhawk helicopter pilot, and his mother’s sudden moodiness. His only source of comfort are the letters from his dad, which he saves in an old lunchbox and reads over and over, wishing that his dad could come home.
[SSHEL S Collection and the Center for Children’s Books S. F631s]

Hest, Amy.
Letters to Leo. 2012.
In a series of letters to her new dog, fourth-grader Annie Rossi relates her daily exploits and remembers her mother.
[SSHEL S Collection S. H469le]

House, Silas and Vaswani, Neela.
Same Sun Here. 2012.
A twelve-year-old Indian immigrant in New York City and a Kentucky coal miner’s son become pen pals, and eventually best friends, through a series of revealing letters exploring such topics as environmental activism, immigration, and racism.
[SSHEL S Collection and the Center for Children’s Books S. H8167s]

Johnson, Maureen.
13 Little Blue Envelopes. 2005.
When seventeen-year-old Ginny receives a packet of mysterious envelopes from her favorite aunt, she leaves New Jersey to criss-cross Europe on a sort of scavenger hunt that transforms her life.
[The Center for Children’s Books S. J635t and Uni High Fiction J635t]
The Last Little Blue Envelope. 2011.
Seventeen-year-old Ginny Blackstone precipitously travels from her home in New Jersey to London when she receives a message from an unknown man telling her he has the letters that were stolen just before she completed a series of mysterious tasks assigned by her now dead aunt, an artist.
[SSHEL S Collection S. J635l and Uni High Fiction J635l]

Klise, Kate.
Dying to Meet You. 2009.
In this story told mostly through letters, children’s book author, I. B. Grumply, gets more than he bargained for when he rents a quiet place to write for the summer.
[The Center for Children’s Books S. K689dy]
Over My Dead Body. 2009.
In this story told mostly through letters, busybody Dick Tater tries to ban Halloween and ghost stories, as well as to break up the popular writing team of I. B. Grumply, ghost Olive C. Spence, and eleven-year-old illustrator Seymour Hope.
[SSHEL S Collection S. K689o]
Till Death Do Us Bark. 2011.
In this story told mostly through letters, Noah Breth’s feuding children come to Ghastly, Illinois, to follow a trail of limericks to their inheritance, while Seymour tries to convince Iggy and Olive to let him keep Mr. Breth’s dog.
[SSHEL S Collection S. K689td]
Hollywood, Dead Ahead. 2013.
When film producer Moe Block Busters offers to make their book into a movie, Iggy, Olive, and Seymour head to Hollywood where Olive, furious at being written out of the script, enlists the help of a famed femme fatale to scare the despicable director half to death.
[SSHEL S Collection S. K689ho]

Mack, Jeff.
Clueless McGee. 2012.
Through a series of letters to his father, a private investigator, fifth-grader PJ “Clueless” McGee tells of his efforts to discover who stole macaroni and cheese from the school cafeteria.
[SSHEL S Collection S. M1905c]
Clueless McGee and the Inflatable Pants. 2013.
Fifth-grader PJ “Clueless” McGee writes a series of letters to his father, a private investigator, telling of his attempt to learn who stole the science fair trophy, thus clearing his own name.
[SSHEL S Collection S. M1905cl]


Bie, Ceciel de.
My Brother, Vincent Van Gogh. 2002.
The story of artist Vincent van Gogh and his art-dealer brother, Theo, who were very close and who wrote long letters to each other after Vincent moved to the countryside to be inspired by and paint nature. Includes drawing and painting activities.
[SSHEL S Collection SB. V253b]

Cumming, David.
Pakistan. 2005.
Letters from a young Pakistani boy describe his country and customs.
[SSHEL S Collection S.954.91 C912p]

Oppenheim, Joanne.
Dear Miss Breed. 2006.
Provides the story of life in a Japanese internment camp during World War II through the correspondence of the children in the camp to their librarian, Miss Clara Breed, who worked on their behalf to show the injustice of their imprisonment.
[SSHEL S Collection S.940.53 Op53d]

Orchard, Andy.
Canada. 2005.
Letters from a young Canadian girl provide an overview about Canada and its customs.
[SSHEL S Collection S.971 Or18c]

Parks, Rosa.
Dear Mrs. Parks. 1996,
Presents correspondence between Rosa Parks and various children in which the “Mother of the Modern Day Civil Rights Movement” answers questions and encourages young people to reach their highest potential.
[SSHEL S Collection SB. P2521p]

Rubin, Susan Goldman.
Searching for Anne Frank: Letters from Amsterdam to Iowa. 2003.
Provides a glimpse of life during World War II in both the Netherlands and the United States through the correspondence of Anne Frank and her Iowa pen pals.
[SSHEL S Collection SB. F828ru]