links image map Newbery BooksCaldecott BooksC.S. King BooksAges 9 Up  TweensYoung AdultBaby / Pre KPicture BooksSpecial Collection / PoetryFairy TalesBully BooksHistory / Social StudiesBlack HistoryWomen in HistoryNative AmericanScience and MathNatureNature LinksEducational / HomeworkLanguage ArtsArt and GamesMusic and DanceETC Outreach NewsI Want to ContributeETC NewsletterHome PageSearch SiteEmail ETCWelcome to Embracing the Child
Book of the Week Archive for 2013 and 2014
2013 and 2014 Archive

Words with Wings by Nikki Grimes
Ages 8-12

Gabby’s world is filled with daydreams. However, what began as an escape from her parents’ arguments has now taken over her life. But with the help of a new teacher, Gabby the dreamer might just become Gabby the writer, and words that carried her away might allow her to soar. Written in vivid, accessible poems, this remarkable verse novel is a celebration of imagination, of friendship, of one girl’s indomitable spirit, and of a teacher’s ability to reach out and change a life.
--Wordsong 2013

Lola: Last But Not Least
by Christine Pakkala
Chapter/Early Reader Ages 7-9

Lola Zuckerman is always last—ding-dong, Z-for-Zuckerman last. What this means, of course, is that Lola has to win first place in her class’s “Going Green” contest. And she’ll need to beat Amanda Anderson—always first, and more importantly, her ex-best-friend! In this laugh-out-loud story with unforgettable characters—the first in an ongoing series about Lola’s travails—Lola’s out to prove that while she may be last, she is certainly not least!
Boyds Mills Press 2013
by Aleksandra and Mizielinska
Ages 7-10)

This book of maps is a visual feast for readers of all ages, with lavishly drawn illustrations from the incomparable Mizielinskis. It features not only borders, cities, rivers, and peaks, but also places of historical and cultural interest, eminent personalities, iconic animals and plants, cultural events, and many more fascinating facts associated with every region of our planet.

Mesmerizing Math
by Jonathan Litton
Thomas Flintham, Illustrator
Ages 7-10

Incredible ideas + interactive flaps and tabs = math made easy!

An interactive, engaging and exciting exploration of math, from the invention of zero to the geometry of a donut! Clear, humorous text, bright illustrations, and interactive novelties help explain such topics as numbers, geometry, probability, transformations, and statistics. The focus is on making math accessible and exciting, so each topic has an investigation for young numbersmiths to try at home.
--Templar Press, August 2013

by Alex Smith
Ages 7-9

Claude and Sir Bobblysock's adventures continue in the second title in this adorable series. When Mr. and Mrs. Shinyshoes leave for the day, our two heroes take a walk in the park. They get caught up among a group of joggers, have an ice cream, and take a nap in the flowerbed. But when a woman calls for help, they find themselves rescuing a runaway baby buggy - with the baby still inside! After their daring success, they are invited by The Amazing Alan to come see his circus. When the performers struggle with their acts, Claude and Sir Bobblysock must save the show.
Peachtree Publishers 2013

Howard B. Wigglebottom on Yes or No:
A Fable About Trust

by Howard Binkow
Ages 4-8

This picture book, through gentle humor introduces to young children, ages 4-8, the concepts that trust is earned and that it¹s OK to say no. Educator and Counselor approved. Tips and lessons are included.
Learn more at

The Mystery of Darwin's Frog
by Marty Crump
Illustrated by Steve Jenkins and Edel Rodriguez
Ages 7-11

The Mystery of Darwin's Frog (Ages 7-11) - A frog full of tadpoles? Impossible! Here, for the first time, is the strange but true story of Darwin’s frog. After Charles Darwin discovered the frog in 1834, other researchers found that one of his specimens was packed full of tadpoles. Was the frog a cannibal, or perhaps a rare species that gave birth to live young instead of laying eggs? No. He was a male, holding the tadpoles safe in his vocal sac while they morphed into froglets.
--Boyds Mill Press 2013

Scaredy Squirrel Goes Camping
by Melanie Watt
Ages 4-8

Scaredy Squirrel is not too comfortable with the idea of camping ? unless it's on his couch! There will be no mosquitoes, skunks or zippers to worry about when he watches a show about the joys of camping on his brand-new TV. But first Scaredy must find an electrical outlet, and that means going into the woods! Will the nutty worrywart's plans prepare him for the great outdoors, or will his adventure end up as a scary story told around the campfire?

Good to have you back, Sacredy Squirrel.
--Kids Can Press 2013

by Stephen Pastis
Ages 8-11

Meet "detective" Timmy Failure, star of the kids’ comedy of the year. Created by New York Times best-selling cartoonist Stephan Pastis.

Take Timmy Failure — the clueless, comically self-confident CEO of the best detective agency in town, perhaps even the nation. Add his impressively lazy business partner, a very large polar bear named Total. Throw in the Failuremobile — Timmy’s mom’s Segway — and what you have is Total Failure, Inc., a global enterprise destined to make Timmy so rich his mother won’t have to stress out about the bills anymore. Of course, Timmy’s plan does not include the four-foot-tall female whose name shall not be uttered. And it doesn’t include Rollo Tookus, who is so obsessed with getting into "Stanfurd" that he can’t carry out a no-brainer spy mission. From the offbeat creator of Pearls Before Swine comes an endearingly bumbling hero in a caper whose peerless hilarity is accompanied by a whodunit twist.
--Candlewick Press 2013

Mr. Flux
by Kyo Maclear
Matte Stephens, Illustrator
Ages 4-8 (and adults who fear change)

Martin and his neighbors eschew change until eccentric Mr. Flux moves in and shows them that change can be big or little or even fit inside a box, and not at all scary. A tongue-in-cheek tale loosely inspired by the 1960s art movement known as Fluxus.

From the Author's Note: "The character of Mr. Flux is very loosely based on a man named George Maciunas. He was a Fluxus artist. In fact, he came up with the name 'Fluxus,' which is really just a fancy word for change."

Fluxus was an art movement that started in the early 1960s. It brought together artists, filmkakers and musicians from all over the world who shared a love of humor and playfulness and change."
--Kids Can Press 2013

It's Monday, Mrs. Jolly Bones!
by Warren Hanson
Tricia Tusa, Illustrator
Ages 2-6

Great Mother's Day Gift

The weekly routine of Mrs. Jolly Bones is far from typical—but tons of fun!

It’s Monday, Mrs. Jolly Bones, there’s laundry to be done.

So gather up the dirty clothes and sort them one by one.

Wash them, dry them, iron them, and fold them nice and neat—

Then fling them out the window so they brighten up the street!

Mrs. Jolly Bones has a very busy week ahead of her—and a very unique style of doing her chores. Each day of the week brings a new thing to do. But with the help of her animal roommates, she’ll grocery shop, clean house, and garden, getting everything done just in time for a wrestling match with her best gal pals!
--Beach Lane Books 2013

Mary Wrightly, So Politely
by Shirin Yim Bridges
Maria Monescillo, Illustrator
Ages 4-7

Mary Wrightly is the best-behaved little girl around. She always politely says please and thank you and even “I’m sorry” when something isn’t her fault. But when a shopper comes between Mary and the blue elephant toy she wants to buy for her beloved baby brother, will Mary just let the woman walk away with it? Speak up, Mary! Monescillo’s charming illustrations capture the spirit of this gentle look at how asserting oneself is not rude, and even occasionally out-and-out necessary.
--Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2013

A Little Book of Sloth
by Lucy Cooke
Ages 6 and up

Cozy up with the laziest and cutest baby sloths in this irresistible photographic picture book.

Hang around just like a sloth and get to know the delightful residents of the Avarios Sloth Sanctuary in Costa Rica, the world’s largest sloth orphanage. You’ll fall in love with bad-boy Mateo, ooh and ahh over baby Biscuit, and want to wrap your arms around champion cuddle buddy Ubu!
--Margaret K. McElderry Books 2013

by Wendy Anderson Halperin
Ages All

This lavish and lyrical picture book based on the Tao Te Ching ponders the eternal question: How can we bring peace to the world?

Radiating tenderness and reflecting the influence of eastern philosophies, a compilation of exquisite illustrations and wisely chosen words reveals the heart of where peace truly must originate: within ourselves. The beautifully intricate artwork, with tiny, precisely rendered details of life across the globe, complements the spare and powerful text that includes quotations from famous peacemakers. And with each reading, you’ll find something else to notice—such as the visual storylines that subtly play out across the pages.

Poetic and soothing, Peace is a masterful exploration of the true path to world peace and serves as a perfect springboard to discussions about bullying, conflict resolution, and right actions.

--Atheneum Books for Young Readers 2013

Stronger Than Steel:
Spider Silk DNA and the Quest for Better Bulletproof Vests, Sutures,
and Parachute Rope

by Bridget Heos
Photographs by Andy Comins
Ages 10 and Up

In Stronger Than Steel, readers enter Randy Lewis' lab where they come face to face with golden orb weaver spiders, and transgenic alfalfa, silkworm silk, and goats, whose milk contains the proteins to spin spider silk--and to weave a nearly indestructible fiber.

Learn how this amazing material might someday be used to repair or replace human ligaments and bones, improve body armor, strengthen parachute rope, and even tether an airplane to an aircraft carrier!

Readers explore rapid advancements in the application of genetic medicine and their potential to save and improve lives while considering the crucial ethical concerns of genetic research.

Amazing book!
--Houghton Mifflin Books for Children 2013

The Tooth Mouse
by Susan Hood
Janice Nadeau, Illustrator
Ages 3 up

This finely rendered fable introduces readers to the Tooth Mouse, France's version of the tooth fairy, and to Sophie, a sweet young mouse who must prove she is brave, honest and wise enough to take over this important job.
--Kids Can Press, Ltd. 2012

The Raven Boys
Book One Raven Cycle)
by Maggie Stiefvater
Young Adult

"There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark's Eve," Neeve said. "Either you're his true love . . . or you killed him."

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them-not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can't entirely explain. He has it all-family money, good looks, devoted friends-but he's looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarsip student who resents the privilege around him; Ronan, the fiere soul whose emotions range from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She doesn't believe in true love and never thought this would be a problem. But as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she's not so sure anymore.
--Scholastic, Inc. 2012

Lester's Dreadful Sweaters
by K. G. Campbell
Ages 4-8

A fastidious fellow, Lester likes everything just so. So when Cousin Clara moves in and knits him truly dreadful sweaters as fast as he can surreptitiously dispose of them, Lester must think of a way to get rid of them for good -- or be doomed to look like a clown forever.
--Kids Can Press, Ltd. 2012

Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns About Courage
by Howard Binkow
Ages 4-8

This book explains to 4-8 year olds in a simple playful way how to work with fear issues. The eleventh book in the award winning Howard B. Wigglebottom series. Educator and counselor approved. Tips and lessons included. Reviews/support resources are available here.