Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Book Recommendations Ages 9-12+ by Sister Freda Shamma

Hiaasen, Carl. Flush. Noah’s dad is passionate about the environment, but reacts without thinking and ends up in jail. Noah and his younger sister, Abbey, have to get proof of the polluting gambling casino. The parents are portrayed as multi-dimensional characters with virtues and flaws, and everyone has an important role in the family.

Spinelli, Jerry. The Library Card. Four humorous and tender stories about how a library card can change lives. Parents are shown as positive, and supporting. Amazon.com says, “Street kid Mongoose must decide whether to follow a friend clearly on his way to trouble or seek his own path. April, just moved from New York to an isolated farm, needs a friend. Deprived of television for a week, young Brenda must learn to handle her restlessness and figure out whom, besides those goofballs on television, lives inside her head. A grieving Sonseray, barely realizing he’s in need, finds comfort and a reassuring connection to his dead mother.”

Nicholson, William. The Wind Singer, Book 1 in the Wind on Fire Trilogy. One of the twins is all action, and the other is all feeling, including feeling whatever another person is feeling. Together they are forced to leave their loving family and go into the unknown world to find the key that will make the wind singer tower sing, which will free them from the sinister Morah.   Although they are afraid of the different groups of people they encounter, they learn that most of them are basically kind people.

Helwani, Najiyah Diana. Sophia’s Journal: Time Warp 1857. A modern Muslim American hijab-wearing girl hits her head and wakes up in Kansas, in 1857. She learns to deal with the facts that she is the only Muslim in the area, and there are no modern conveniences; and to trust that Allah has a reason for putting her there. This is an excellent historical novel, with excellent character development of a strong Muslim teen that has to deal with important issues such as slavery, and marriage with no Muslim males in sight.

Stewart, Trenton Lee. The Mysterious Benedict Society. Four brilliant children with different kinds of intelligence work together to thwart an evil plan. Three of them are eleven years old, and the fourth seems to be an uncooperative midget. One has a photographic memory and is a speed-reader. The second is a logical thinker, and the third has the intelligence and skill to solve problems in a physical way (rope climbing, etc.). The ‘midget’ turns out to be a very precocious two year old, with the clear mind and absolute stubbornness of her age. They all seem to be orphans, but at the end are reunited with their families or adopted by loving people.

Crossposted from Muslim Family Life

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