The Librarian of Basra and Alia’s Mission

The Librarian of Basra: A True Story From Iraq by Jeanette Winter Harcourt, 2005 32 pages Alia's Mission: Saving the Books of Iraq by Mark Alan Stamaty Alfred A. Knopf, 2004 32 pages When the United States, Britain, and George W. Bush's "coalition of the willing" invaded Iraq in 2003, the human toll of the … Continue reading The Librarian of Basra and Alia’s Mission

Flora and Ulysses

Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo; ill. by K.G. Campbell Candlewick Press, 2013 233 pages Finding inspiration in the sublime or the exceptional is fairly easy: the girl who bravely battles the wilderness, cancer, or a super-villain is an obvious candidate to inspire the next generation of women. The problem is, most … Continue reading Flora and Ulysses

Super Secondaries: The Women of Bone

Bone by Jeff Smith Graphix/Cartoon Books 11 volumes If ever there was a graphic-novel epic, Bone is it. This fantasy saga spans nine main volumes, plus two prequels. It's a true Tolkienesque fantasy, complete with a fully realized universe, gripping action, and a nail-biting quest for truth and victory over cataclysmic evil. Bone is primarily … Continue reading Super Secondaries: The Women of Bone

Precocious Princesses: Rapunzel

This is the fourth post in my "Precocious Princesses" series, reviews of inspiring alternatives to traditional princess fairy tales. Rapunzel's Revenge by Shannon and Dean Hale, ill. by Nathan Hale Bloomsbury, 2008 144 pages For a princess story, the tale of Rapunzel is fairly subversive. To begin with, she's not actually a princess, or even … Continue reading Precocious Princesses: Rapunzel