The following books are available at the Portales Public Library:
The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain
By Peter Sis.
Peter Sis was born in Brno, Czechoslovakia at the beginning of the Cold War. An acclaimed illustrator of children’s books, Sis uses the medium of pen and ink to tell the story of his childhood on the “Red side of the Iron Curtain.” The black and white illustrations perfectly reflect the oppression of the communistic regime. Occasional bursts of color represent Sis’ resistance to the constant indoctrination and his desire to express his own creativity. The brief text cuts to the heart of the story of a child growing up in a “dark place full of fear, suspicion, and lies.” Snippets from Sis’ own diary give the reader a vivid picture of everyday life. Readers of all ages will come away from this book with a deeper understanding of life behind the Wall.
Yum! ¡MmMm! ¡Qué Rico! America’s Sproutings Haiku
By Pat Mora, Pictures by Rafael López
This book by New Mexico author Pat Mora, is a celebration of delicious foods enjoyed by people of the Americas since before Columbus. Mouth-watering haikus describe 14 different foods, from blueberries to vanilla. A side note accompanies each food, filled with interesting tidbits about its origins and ancient and modern uses. López’s acrylic on wood panel illustrations explode with color, and brilliantly demonstrate the richness of variety found in both the foods and people of the Americas. A feast for the eyes and ears, Mora’s book is a scrumptious companion to this Thanksgiving season.
The Wednesday Wars
By Gary D. Schmidt
It is 1967, and the United States is entrenched in the Vietnam War. But seventh-grader Holling Hoodhood has problems of his own. On Wednesday afternoons half of his English class leaves early to go to Hebrew school at Temple Beth-El, and the other half leaves for Catechism class at St. Adelbert’s. Holling, the sole Presbyterian in the class, is left behind with Mrs. Baker who, Holling is convinced, hates his guts. So begins a roller coaster ride of a year with escaped rats, cream puffs, Shakespeare, baseball, and costumes with yellow tights and feathers. Schmidt’s novel is a hilarious look at the sixties in the suburbs. Without once slipping into sentimental nostalgia, this book will have you laughing out loud and wiping away the tears, sometimes on the same page. Full of unforgettable characters and plenty of heart, this is one book you don’t want to miss.