Children’s Fiction

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  • In Leira Clara’s Flowers one little girl, Leira Clara, learns from her grandmother to love gardening and to share the happiness of gardening with others. Grandmother teaches Leira Clara that growing isn’t enough. “Flowers are to share,” Grandmother tells her. Leira Clara takes her advice to heart. When she returns to her flowerless yard at home, Leira Clara discovers that her parents do not garden because they believe they are too busy to grow and care for a garden. Leira Clara decides to take it upon herself to grow her own flowers and to share them with her neighbors and friends.

    One of her neighbors, Mr. Thorney, presents a challenge to her plan. Mr. Thorney lives alone and seems to fiercely dislike children. From his window he often yells at the neighborhood children and their dogs. Only grass and bushes grow behind his picket fence—no flowers. Undaunted, Leira Clara is determined to share her joy with Mr. Thorney. The book demonstrates the ability of a child to understand that loneliness can lead to unhappiness and grumpiness and that gardening and flower-sharing have the power to heal and to open one’s heart to kindness, sharing, and happiness.

    Leira Clara’s Flowers is a lyrical narrative based on positive psychology and choice theory, essentially about making choices that cultivate kindness. Passing down a love of nature from generation to generation also embeds the idea that multi-age levels work well together. Those familiar with the well-loved classic Miss Rumphius will love the similarities. The book combines social-emotional learning skills with a love of nature. In today’s environmentally challenged and increasingly busy world, fewer and fewer children are spending time outdoors. 

    Leira Clara’s Flowers is delightfully illustrated in vibrant watercolors. 

  • New Release!  Silver Medal Winner in the 33rd annual IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award™ program in the following category: Best New Voice: Children's/Young Adult "A rich coming-of-age tale that sheds light on an uncommon Civil War perspective." —Kirkus Reviews "Author Lindsay has thoroughly researched Mennonite history during the Civil War and provides a fascinating and insightful look into how these pacifists risked everything to preserve their beliefs. This novel for young readers is highly recommended." —John Kachuba, Historical Novel Society Fourteen-year-old Manny Weaver, a Mennonite boy living near Harrisonburg, Virginia, in 1861, has a habit of biting off more than he can chew. The Weavers are Unionists and pacifists who do not wish to secede from the Union nor to participate in the fighting. In the past, Manny’s father and uncle have avoided militia service by paying a small fine, but when Virginia secedes from the Union, the payment is no longer accepted. Manny loves his family and would do anything to protect Father and Uncle Davy from being forced to join the Confederate army. That’s when his trouble begins!
    With his world crumbling into chaos, Manny is forced to deal with issues of honesty, justice, loyalty, and judgment. He must find answers to serious questions. Is it really better to "turn the other cheek," as his Mennonite faith tells him? What actions lead to peace? How does a boy grow into a man?
      "Manny and his family, their Mennonite community, and how their values shaped their response to the Civil War in Virginia made for a compelling story. Fourteen-year-old Manny had three men for role models—his father, his uncle and his grandfather. While his grandfather was old enough to escape fighting, his father and uncle were tracked down and forced to fight. Historical fiction is the way to make history come alive—The Peacemakers takes us back to Harrisonburg, Virginia, during President Lincoln’s presidency and the recruitment of soldiers in the south to fight for the confederacy. Slavery, religious beliefs, voting rights and gender roles are among the issues that make this story ripe for young readers and a school classroom studying the evolution of America.” CARRIE COOPER, Dean of University Libraries, William & Mary "[The Peacemakers] reads quickly, drawing the reader into the thickets of dilemmas that Mennonites faced during the worst days of the American Civil War in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Manny Weaver, fourteen, had to watch when both his uncle and father were taken away into the desperate Confederate war efforts. During the war in the Shenandoah Valley, for the peace-minded Mennonites, there were no easy answers of how to respond. They faced excruciating dilemmas of faith and conscience. Manny grew up quickly, growing into a young man in the vortex of war. … The Peacemakers is a book that youth will want to read, to learn from, and to enter into the story of faith and war-time challenges of a terrible war that ripped the country apart in the mid-19th century. I recommend this book for students and adults alike. It's great reading!” ELWOOD E. YODER, History & Bible Teacher at Eastern Mennonite High School, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Editor, Shenandoah Mennonite Historian      
  • Publication Date: July 14, 2020 Limited Number of Hardcover in Stock

    First Prize Winner of the North American Academy of Spanish Language Children and Young Adult Award Premio Campoy-Ada for 2020 in the Category Picture Book of Special Cultural Content Bilingual Edition (English and Spanish) "Haunting, beautiful watercolors and pen and ink drawings highlight the proud traditions of the Central American Nahuas. This emotional narrative beseeches everyone, everywhere, to understand why some things are worth dying for." –Foreword Reviews Precious things are worth a thousand-mile walk, mija Las cosas preciousas valen una caminata de mil millas, mija "Spoken by a mother to her small daughter as they are detained at a border wall, Under the Ocelot Sun is a powerful account of refugees’ plight. The mother speaks of the beauty of their Honduran homeland and of her abuela’s wisdom. She also touches on the violent forces they are fleeing. She wants her little one to know her heritage and why they have taken this perilous journey. Lyrically told (in English and Spanish) and vibrantly illustrated, this is a picture book for our time."  George Ella Lyon Kentucky Poet Laureate 2015–2016 A portion of the net proceeds from the sale of Under the Ocelot Sun will go to support the work of El Futuro of North Carolina, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit outpatient clinic that provides comprehensive mental health services for Latino families in a bilingual environment of healing and hope. Interviews and Blog Posts Foreword Reviews Fanfare InterviewUnder the Ocelot Sun: The Making of an illustrated Book

    Meet the Author: Jeremy Paden and Illustrator Annelisa Hermosilla | Durham County Library, North Carolina: a reading and presentation by award-winning author of "Under The Ocelot Sun/Bajo el sol del Ocelote" Jeremy Paden and illustrator Annelisa Hermosilla.