Books by Theme
Being brave is hard. But it's also empowering! The imaginative, encouraging, and sometimes humorous stories in this book list can help young children learn to acknowledge and conquer their fears. These books are great for reading together and talking about.
Harley is loner who just can't seem to getalong with the other llamas. But a shepherd who needs to protect his flock from coyotes sees something else inHarley. Harley not only befriends the sheep, he becomes a loveable animal hero in this short but informative and captivating book.
How Ben Franklin Stole the Lightning
Benjamin Franklin was amazing. He was a musician, aprinter, a cartoonist, a shopkeeper, an inventor andmore. He figured out how to solve many problems – including how to steal lightening from the sky toprevent it from starting fires in Colonial towns. Conversational text and lighthearted illustrationsintroduce this early American hero to a new generation.
Jabari is definitely ready to jump off the diving board. He’s finished his swimming lessons and passed his swim test, and he’s a great jumper, so he’s not scared at all. “Looks easy,” says Jabari, watching the other kids take their turns. But when his dad squeezes his hand, Jabari squeezes back. This simple tale about overcoming your fears captures a moment between a patient and encouraging father and a determined little boy.
The son of superhero parents, Max is frustrated when even his cape and encouragement from his parents aren't enough to help him learn to fly. But everything changes on the day he saves ababy bird and discovers that he, too, is a hero. Gently lined and colored illustrations depict slightlyfrumpy, appealing, characters in this engaging andencouraging tale.
Minnie and Moo and the Musk of Zorro
Bovine buddies Minnie and Moo are inspired afterreading about Zorro. Moo decides that there are justnot enough heroes and so she and her friend don disguises to become Juanita del Zorro del Moo andDelores del Zorro del Minnie. The heroic team set off to save thechickens and the farmer, providing lots of laughsalong the way. Young readers will enjoythis installment of the humorous series about twoloveable, laughable, and valiant cows.
New York's Bravest
When others ran from trouble, eight foot tall Mose Humphreys ran toward it as an extraordinary New York City firefighter. This larger-than-life story is actually a tall tale, an urban legend based on a real firefighter who lived in the 1840s. Text and illustration combine to create a fast-paced celebration of heroism and the man who earned the gratitude of an entire city.
Orphaned at birth, Lanesha has second sight, giving her the ability to see her mother’s ghost. She also senses an impending storm which will devastate New Orleans and that her grandmother won’t survive. How Lanesha stays alive and the people she meets and helps along the way — plus a bit of magic realism — create a compelling read. See the two other two books in the Louisiana Girls Trilogy, Bayou Magic and Sugar.
The “chubby champion” of the title is brightly colored, larger than life and very heroic! In fact,“If Mount Fuji blows its stack, If a monster should attack, Don't just hide inside your house! Give a call for Sumo Mouse!" Illustrations of cutout paper, placed in an almost comic book format, move this humorous parody along.
Talkin' About Bessie: The Story of Aviator Elizabeth Coleman
After aviator Elizabeth "Bessie" Coleman is lost in a plane crash, those who knew her celebrate her life. Different voices come alive in small portraits and beautifully crafted full-page scenes as individuals tell stories in free verse to present Bessie's unusual and heroic story. A biographical note extends the introduction to this early aviator.
Tasty Baby Belly Buttons
Uriko is small but brave, determined, and smart. In fact, she saves the town’s children when they are kidnapped by hungry oni, the ogres of Japanese lore whose favorite food is baby belly buttons. This lively retelling of a traditional Japanese folktale reads aloud well and is complemented by the illustrations, which call to mind the tale's Asian origin.
The Adventures of Sparrowboy
Mild-mannered paperboy Henry collides with a sparrow and turns into Sparrowboy just like his hero, Falconman – a superhero who not only delivers the paper but also helps out the neighborhood. When Henry returns from his comic-strip fantasy, things seem just a bit better than before.
They Called Her Molly Pitcher
When her husband followed George Washington into battle during the war for independence, Mary "Molly" Hays followed her husband, gaining the name Molly Pitcher by carrying water to the thirsty men on the battlefield. When she took up her wounded husband's position firing the cannon, a legend was born. The illustrations depict sturdy figures and fierce battles in this dramatic account.
In 1925, dogsled teams braved a blizzard to carry much-needed diphtheria serum from Anchorage to a besieged Nome, Alaska. One remarkable husky, Togo, covered 350 of the 400 mile journey: this page-turning account dramatizes the exploits of this courageous canine.
Zane and the Hurricane: A Story of Katrina
Soon after 13-year old Zane travels from New Hampshire to visit his great-grandmother, Miss Trissy, in New Orleans, disaster strikes. He and Bandy, his dog, confront the storm and the natural and human disastrous aftermath when they are separated from Miss Trissy and make their way back to Zane’s family. This thought-provoking novel is taut and fast-paced.
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