Sunday, January 13, 2019

LIBBA: THE MAGNIFICENT MUSICAL LIFE OF ELIZABETH COTTEN by Laura Viers. 
Illus. by Tatyana Fazlalizadeh. San Francisco, CA: Chronicle Books, 2018.
ISBN: 978-1-4521-4857-1 hc. $17.99   Gr. 1-3   JUV NF 921

Elizabeth Cotten was one of America's gifted folk musicians, but her 
story followed an unconventional and sometimes bumpy road. Learning to 
play guitar at a young age, self taught on a backwards and upside-down
guitar, Libba (short for Elizabeth) also learned the banjo and wrote her 
most famous song, Freight Train, at age 11. She was not truly discovered 
until later in life when she came to work for the famous musical Seeger 
family. This story follows the life of an African American woman through  
the early 1900's and the challenges they faced because of their darker 
skin color. Though there were few opportunities for a young black female 
musician in her early years, Elizabeth put down the guitar until her 40's
when she was finally able to spend the next forty years writing, touring  
and sharing her joy of music with the world.   
Charlotte Dugas, Retired Director, Munising School Public Library

Monday, January 7, 2019

BRILLIANT DEEP: REBUILDING THE WORLD'S CORAL REEF by Kate Messner.
Illus. by Matthew Forsythe. San Francisco, CA: Chronicle Books, 2018.
ISBN: 978-1-4521-3350-8 hb. $17.99  Gr. 1-3  JUV 921

The story follows Ken Nedimyer's curiosity and love for the ocean.
After watching his beloved coral reefs slow death in the Florida 
Keys, his determination spawned an idea for their rebirth. He now 
travels the world to help other countries rebuild their dying reefs. 
One good idea can spark and encourage another and then another... 
There is information on more books to read on the oceans and coral
reefs, how kids can help, and where inquisitive readers can explore 
online. A vocabulary page is also included to help children 
understand some of the scientific language used.
Charlotte Dugas, Retired Director, Munising School Public Library

Tuesday, January 1, 2019


THE SECRETS OF NINJA SCHOOL by Deb Pilutti. Henry Holt and Company, 2018.  32p.  ISBN 978-1-62779-649-1 hc. $17.99    Gr. 1-2   E PIC

Ruby looked forward to attending Master Willow's School for Ninjas to discover her own secret skill, as well as ninja jumps, kicks, patience, and stealth.  She practiced the ways of the ninja and tried to be patient while the other students found their secret skills.  Ruby did not find hers...until one night when everyone confided that they were all homesick. Ruby wanted to help the other students feel better, so she made them all a stuffed dragon to sleep with and told them stories - just her father did for her when she couldn't sleep. She found that her skills were there the whole time. The author shares Ruby's Dragon Softie pattern with readers who also want to develop a new skill.
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI