Author Archives: saraeasterly

Aunt Fanny’s Star

In the midst of grieving a death in our family, I was touched to have discovered the picture book Aunt Fanny’s Star (Minedition, 2017), written by Austrian writer Brigitte Weninger and illustrated by Turkey’s prominent Feridun Oral. In the story, … Continue reading

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Roundup: Fabulous Books About Immigrants and Refugees – Picture Books

Yesterday I shared some wonderful middle-grade books about refugees and immigrants. Today, I continue the theme by posting some of my favorite picture books that offer children and their adult caregivers insight into the immigrant’s experience: My Grandfather’s Coat by … Continue reading

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Roundup: Fabulous Books About Immigrants and Refugees – MG Novels

Tomorrow marks the one-year anniversary of America’s first Refugee Travel Ban. According to World Relief Seattle: “Over the course of the first year of the Trump Administration, just 29,725 refugees have been admitted to the U.S., compared to 99,183 the … Continue reading

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The Hate U Give

It’s largely Starr’s wide circle of caring adults in her family and community, I believe, that create in the story such a beautiful tone of hope and love, even in the midst of some very dire situations. While Starr’s mostly black urban neighborhood of Garden Heights is painted as poor and gang-ridden, Thomas portrays Starr’s community as rich in heart, abundant with people who care, nurture, and unconditionally love their young. Continue reading

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Where I Live

I was delighted to have recently discovered Eileen Spinelli’s Where I Live (Dial Books for Young Readers, 2007) while at a children’s literature conference a couple of weeks ago. While chatting with illustrator Matt Phelan at his signing table, he … Continue reading

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Waiting for Unicorns

Middle-grade novel (ages 10 and up) – Twelve-year-old Talia’s mother has recently died of cancer, and so for the first time, Talia accompanies her father on his annual summer trip to study beluga whales in the small Arctic town of … Continue reading

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Inside Out: A Film Review

Reading up on the latest Pixar movie Inside Out before taking my daughters to see it would have saved me many anxious moments throughout the first act of the film, when the screenwriters seemed driven by the “Happy” agenda that … Continue reading

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