The Stonewall Riots

Coming out in the Streets

by Gayle E Pittman



The Stonewall Riots is a very powerful book. This non fiction doesn’t hold back any punches. The author does an amazing job at placing the reader right in the center of the riots that happened in the late 60’s. Riots hold a key place in history through out the years but the 60’s were probably some of the most prominent years for riots. The Stonewall Riots were about fighting for LGBT rights. This middle grade non fiction tells the full story and includes artifacts: newspaper articles – pictures – arrest sheets and so much more. I had not heard of these riots till I read the book and I’m so glad Gayle Pitman wrote this book. So many people will now know about a time in history that you won’t learn about in school , or at least I hadn’t. I think this is an excellent addition to any school or home library.

About the book: This book is about the Stonewall Riots, a series of spontaneous, often violent demonstrations by members of the gay (LGBTQ+) community in reaction to a police raid that took place in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City. The Riots are attributed as the spark that ignited the LGBTQ+ movement. The author describes American gay history leading up to the Riots, the Riots themselves, and the aftermath, and includes her interviews of people involved or witnesses, including a woman who was ten at the time. Profusely illustrated, the book includes contemporary photos, newspaper clippings, and other period objects. A timely and necessary read, The Stonewall Riots helps readers to understand the history and legacy of the LGBTQ+ movement

Thank you Netgalley and Abrams Books for Young Readers, I learned so much! All thoughts and opinions are mine and not influenced by the free book.


Strong Inside: The True Story of How Perry Wallace Broke College Basketball’s Color Line

Young Reader’s Edition

by Andrew Maraniss


So many times it’s hard to get non fiction books into the hands of young readers. I know many love non fiction – my middle grade reader really only likes non fiction. So many though don’t, but that is changing thanks to Young Reader’s Edition books. They take a popular adult non fiction and give a detailed but condensed version of the book with younger reader’s in mind. My middle grader reader and I have read many Young Reader’s Editions and have enjoyed them so much we’ve seeked out the adult book as well .

Strong Inside The True Story of How Perry Wallace Broke College Basketball’s Color Line follows Perry Wallace through out his young school days through his college years. This book is a sport biography but also a historical biography as well. He grew up in an era that was full of racism and people who didn’t want to see him succeed. He didn’t let them hold him back. He had a dream, the talent and the strength and character that took all the way! There is some tough language in here. The author has a note in the beginning saying to whitewash the language would be a disservice and I agree. We need to read about this time in history, we can not forget or go back to that era. If generations going up know don’t know about it history repeats itself. Perry Wallace is one I hope many kids will read about and look up to. He would be an excellent role model that I used his good heart, brains and talent and made something of himself. It wasn’t handed to him on a silver platter. He had to work 10 times harder than most high school and college players but he didn’t let that stop him.  He was not only talent on the basket ball court but he was also very well-known in the courthouse as well. He became a trial attorney and worked with environmental law. He was appointed Environmental Policy Advisory Council by the EPA but also a professor at American University Washington College of Law. I enjoyed this book very much and was quite surprised I’m not a sports gal but he was such an inspiring man! If you have a sports minded boy reader, reluctant reader or a non fiction book-worm hand them a copy of Strong Inside. Don’t be surprised if this one doesn’t stay on your bookshelves much. I have a filling this will be a very popular book choice for upper elementary, middle grade and high school readers.

About the book: The inspirational true story of the first African-American to play college basketball in the deeply segregated Southeastern Conference–a powerful moment in Black history.

Perry Wallace was born at a historic crossroads in U.S. history. He entered kindergarten the year that the Brown v. Board of Education decision led to integrated schools, allowing blacks and whites to learn side by side. A week after Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, Wallace enrolled in high school and his sensational jumping, dunking, and rebounding abilities quickly earned him the attention of college basketball recruiters from top schools across the nation. In his senior year his Pearl High School basketball team won Tennessee’s first racially integrated state tournament.

The world seemed to be opening up at just the right time, and when Vanderbilt University recruited Wallace to play basketball, he courageously accepted the assignment to desegregate the Southeastern Conference. The hateful experiences he would endure on campus and in the hostile gymnasiums of the Deep South turned out to be the stuff of nightmares. Yet Wallace persisted, endured, and met this unthinkable challenge head on. This insightful biography digs deep beneath the surface to reveal a complicated, profound, and inspiring story of an athlete turned civil rights trailblazer.

Thank you Puffin books for sending me a copy of Strong Inside. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.

Dolphins Voices in the Ocean

by Susan Casey


Dolphins Voices in the Ocean is a young readers edition to her adult non fiction book Voices in the Ocean A Journey into the Wild and Haunting World of Dolphins. I love dolphins so much, when I lived in Florida it was so neat to see them swimming in the ocean. Dolphins are fierce animals that are gentle to humans. Well I’ve never heard of a dolphin attack so I’m going with the are gentle to humans. They are highly intelligent and while it’s not scientific study results I would say most people who want to be marine biologist it is for their love of Dolphins.

Susan Casey hadn’t really thought much of dolphins till she had an encounter with a pod that changed it in so many ways. She decided to research and really get to know these amazing ocean mammals. The reader will learn all about how dolphins are treated around the world. Some stuff they will read are going to be upsetting but some are so inspiring. She talks to not only marine biologist but locals who live day to day with dolphins. For me I liked that she also talked to activist trying to save dolphins and bring to light the fisherman and towns that kill them for sport!  I learned a lot about dolphins and their treatment that I didn’t know. I felt this book was a fast enough read that readers that are not into non fiction would still enjoy this book. I know I’m not a non fiction reader – this year I’m trying hard and will be reading more.  This book is for older elementary through middle grade, really I think even a high school and adult reader would enjoy this book. It doesn’t go to deep into information, just enough to hold a non fiction reader and the not so non fiction reader alike. Overall I really enjoyed it and it has me looking for more books like this. My middle grade reader read it in one setting, she loves non fiction. She loved it so much she has asked me to get a copy of the book it is based on from the library so she can get  more in-depth information about dolphins.

About the Book: A thrilling journey into the spiritual, scientific and sometimes threatened world of dolphins. Based on Susan Casey’s bestselling adult work Voices in the Ocean: A Journey into the Wild and Haunting World of Dolphins, this young readers adaptation, which includes an 8-page photo insert, explores the extraordinary world of dolphins in an interesting and accessible format that engages as well as entertains. Inspired by an encounter with a pod of spinner dolphins off the coast of Maui, author Susan Casey embarked on a two-year global adventure to study these remarkable beings. Casey details the extraordinary connection between dolphins and humans, including shared characteristics such as capacity for emotion, playfulness, sociability, and intelligence, the sophisticated navigation ability innate in dolphins, and the dangers they face from people who aim to profit by putting them in captivity or far worse.

Thank you Delcorte Books for Young Readers for sending me a copy of Dolphins Voices in the Ocean. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.

Hana’s Suitcase: A True Story

by Karen Levine
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Awards for Hana’s Suitcase:  ALA-ALSC Notable Children’s Book, Sydney Taylor Award,  Special Recognition Award, National Jewish Book Award, Bank Street College Flora Stieglitz Straus Award for Nonfiction, IRA Children’s Book Award for Notable Intermediate Nonfiction, NCSS-CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People, IRA Notable Book for a Global Society, IBBY Honour List, UNICEF/Ungari Award Winner – Best Children’s Book, IRA Teacher’s Choice, Great Lakes Great Books Award Winner, Rebecca Caudill Young Readers’ Book Award Master List, and Yad Vashem Prize for Children’s Holocaust Literature

Hanas Suitcase


Hana’s Suitcase is simply an amazing, inspiring book. I’m so glad I was able to read all about Hana and her life. While it is a book for elementary and middle grade readers I think older readers would get just as much out of it as a younger reader. We all know about Anne Frank but there are so many peoples stories that we have not heard of or had the privilege to read. Hanna was one of them and I have made it my goal for 2016 to seek out more books like Hana’s Suitcase.

This book is full of facts many can scary and sad for the reader or child listener. The author does a great job at presenting the material and story. I love how she jumped back and forth from Hana’s story to Fumiko’s story and how because of the Small Wings club and children of the Holocaust Education Center in Tokyo we all get the honor of known all about this amazing brave little girl.

I’m so glad they were able to locate her brother George and he was able to see the huge impact that their life made on these kids as well as all the visitors of the center. Hana always wanted to teach and I feel that she achieved her dream because she is teaching all those who read and share her story! This book needs to be in all homes, libraries and classrooms.

If I could I’d give this more that 5 stars because this book is that moving. Thank you Random House Kids for sending me a copy of Hana’s Suitcase all thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the free book.

PB&J Hooray

Your Sandwiches Amazing Journey from Farm to Table

by Janet Nolan

illustrated by Julia Patton

PB&J Hooray


This is a cute little picture book that is full of information. It is presented in an easy to follow format for the younger listeners and not to many big words for beginning readers. There is a part of the book that becomes a chant that can be found throughout the book that I can see being a lot of fun for kids to say along with the reader.

PB&J Hooray tells the story of how the PB&J sandwich comes about. From the trip to the grocery store to buy the ingredients to the delivery truck that get’s it from the bakery and factory. It talks about how the peanuts, grapes and wheat grow to become the key ingredients in this yummy sandwich. This book is a great way to get kids thinking about what all it takes to make their favorite dishes. It’s never too early to get kids thinking about healthy choices and the journey from the farm to the table.

summary: From peanut, grape, and wheat seeds to sandwich, PB&J Hooray! is all about how peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are made. The story begins with the kitchen and works backward to the shopping, delivery, production, harvesting, farming, and planting processes! In fun, rhythmic language, readers discover how peanuts become peanut butter, grapes are made into jelly, and wheat turns into bread.

Jars of Hope: How One Woman Helped Save 2,500 Children During the Holocaust

by Jennifer Roy

Capstone Young Readers

Publication Date: August 1st 2015

Jars of Hope

Amid the horrors of World War II, Irena Sendler was an unlikely and unsung hero. While many people lived in fear of the Nazis, Irena defied them, even though it could have meant her life. She kept records of the children she helped smuggle away from the Nazis’ grasp, and when she feared her work might be discovered, she buried her lists in jars, hoping to someday recover them and reunite children with their parents. This gripping true story of a woman who took it upon herself to help save 2,500 children from the Warsaw Ghetto during the Holocaust is not only inspirational; it’s unforgettable.

Jars of Hope is an amazing book and one I am so glad I was able to read. This is a picture book but the content might not be suitable for younger children that most picture books are geared towards. This picture book is more for older children.  Jars of Hope is packed full of hope and how just 1 person can become a beacon of light and hope for so many.  Irena Sendler knew she had to do the right thing even when it meant that getting caught would mean death. Jars of Hope is one book that everyone should read. This picture book tells the story of a true hero and is historical non fiction at it’s best! This book is a great introduction for younger kids who want to read and learn about the holocaust but are not ready for Diary of Anne Frank, Number the Stars or Yellow Star. Jennifer  Roy wrote Yellow Star and I want to say if you haven’t read it yet or have older kids grab a copy while your pick up Jars of Hope both are books that should be read and added to every home library.

thank you netgalley, Capstone Young Readers and Jennifer Roy for allowing me to read and review Jars of Hope. It was an honor and all thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the free book.