Friday, May 13, 2011

SPL Shelf Life [kids]

These reviews appeared in the Stratford Gazette on May 12, 2011 
Written by Sally Hengeveld, Librarian


Lights! Curtains! COWS! by Karin Adams, 132 pages.
@ SPL:  J FIC Adams
Best friends Greg, Mike and Becky can’t believe their ears. The town’s play, The Legend of Cow Valley – a proud annual tradition of Ellis, Saskatchewan for over thirty years - is to be cancelled forever! Why? And why this year, when at last, it would have been Greg, Mike and Becky’s turns to act in the production – in the key roles, no less?
As far as the three friends are concerned, the play is perfect. It depicts a significant and exciting episode in the town’s history, people of all ages from the community work enthusiastically together on the production, and it brings visitors to town. However, they discover that the play will be replaced by a heritage museum funded by the federal government.
Convinced that the play is an irreplaceable and vital part of Ellis’ heritage and community, the three friends are simply determined to save it – and that is just what they do, in a series of misadventures, which, although hilarious, bring home some important truths to the young teens. The importance of determination, of traditions and history, and the role that young people can play in preserving history – as well as the dangers of prejudging people – are just some of the messages conveyed in this engaging story.
The Legend of Cow Valley is one title in the Streetlights series - a Canadian collection of short chapter books that would be enjoyed by both enthusiastic and reluctant readers. Two other recently-published books in this excellent series are The Next Step and No TV? No Fair!
** Recommended for ages 9 to 14 years.

Lacey and the African Grandmothers, by Sue Farrell Holler, 164 pages.
@ SPL:  J FIC Holle
Lacey and the African Grandmothers is another story in which the determination and perseverance of a young person makes a significant difference in their own, or another, community’s, life.
Young Lacey Little Bird lives on a Siksika Blackfoot in Alberta. Life isn’t easy for her or her family but she knows that she is lucky to have a loving, supportive family, which includes her grandmother, who patiently teaches her traditional crafts of beadwork and sewing.
When Lacey hears about African Grandmothers, an organization aimed at helping grandmothers in Africa who are raising grandchildren orphaned by the cruel disease of AIDS, she’s determined to help in some way. She decides that she can use her new sewing and beadwork skills to make and sell handmade bags and purses. It will involve much time and hard work, but Lacey is determined to help those less fortunate than herself.
Sue Holler’s story is based on real people, real events, and on the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s Grandmothers to Grandmothers campaign. (Today, there are more than 220 groups in Canada supporting African Grandmothers.)
Lacey and the African Grandmothers is one of the Kids’ Power Book series of books which are inspired by real stories of young people who have taken action to make the world a better place.
** Recommended for ages 8 to 12 years.

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