The books present different ideas of what home is


The house is not the same for everyone. For some, home is a place where they feel safe and loved and where there is food. For others it is the opposite or there may be missing elements that make the house a difficult place. And then there are those who are homeless or who have been, through no fault of their own, relocated to refugee camps.

The books reviewed today touch on different ideas of what home is. They are all important because they offer different perspectives to deepen a child’s sensitivity and make him realize that not everyone lives the same way. It is a gift to help children understand the inequalities in the world, because only then can children become more compassionate people.

Books to borrow

The following book is available at many public libraries.

“The Blue House Dog” by Deborah Blumenthal, illustrated by Adam Gustavson, Peachtree, 32 pages

Reading aloud: 4 years and up.

Do you read: 8 years and up.

Cody, a young boy, watches the stray dog ​​roam the streets of his neighborhood. The dog had lived with the old man in the blue house, but the man died, and now the dog is struggling to survive. The dog is alone, having lost the only person he loved and the only person who loved him.

Cody also knows the loss. Cody’s best friend was his dog, Teddy. But Teddy is dead and Cody misses him dearly. Watching the stray dog, Cody’s heart opens again, and he patiently tries to earn the stray dog’s trust and love with food, human contact, and a safe place to call home. Will the dog accept Cody’s offer of love and friendship?

Inspired by a true story, “The Blue House Dog” is perfectly rendered in every way and will strike a deep and powerful chord with readers young and old.

The librarian’s choice

Library: Wernersville Public Library, 100 N. Reber St., Wernersville

Library Director: Leigh-Anne Yacovelli

Youth Services Coordinator: Tara Sanders

Picks this week: “Home” by Carson Ellis; “Crenshaw” by Katherine Applegate; “Goodbye Stranger” by Rebecca Stead

Books to buy

The following books are available at preferred bookstores.

“Sanctuary: Kip Tiernan and Rosie’s Place, the Nation’s First Shelter for Women” by Christine McDonnell, illustrated by Victoria Tentler-Krylov, Candlewick, 2022, 36 pages, $18.99 hardcover

Reading aloud: 7 to 10 years old.

Do you read: 8 – 10 years.

During the Great Depression of the 1930s, young Kip lived with her grandmother, who constantly gave to those in need. These people who had gone through difficult times came to their homes for help, and it was thanks to Kip’s grandmother that Kip learned to be generous and to care about others.

Kip carried these lessons with her into adulthood, actively helping others, and eventually noticed women dressing up as men to receive a free meal and a bed at the local men’s shelter. At that time, no one believed that women were homeless, but Kip knew otherwise.

And so, Kip decided to beg and harass Boston city officials to help him establish the nation’s first women’s shelter. She called it Rosie’s Place, and it was a place where no one would criticize them for being poor or sick or for any other reason. At Rosie’s Place, women were able to take refuge in a safe and nurturing environment and help regain their dignity, thanks to the compassion of Kip Tiernan and his league of volunteers.

A beautiful and powerful story, “Sanctuary: Kip Tiernan and Rosie’s Place, the Nation’s First Women’s Shelter” reminds young and old alike that everyone needs a place to call home, no matter what their circumstances.

“The Waiting Place: When Home is Lost and a New One Not Yet Found” by Dina Nayeri, photos by Anna Bosch Miralpeix, is profound on every level. (Courtesy of Candlewick)

“The Waiting Place: When Home is Lost and a New One Not Yet Found” by Dina Nayeri, photos by Anna Bosch Miralpeix, Candlewick, 2022, 64 pages, $18.99 hardcover

Reading aloud: 10 years and up.

Do you read: 11 years and older.

Although “The Waiting Place” seems like a picture book for young children, it is heavy, powerful and offers important thoughts for older children on what it is like to be placed in a refugee camp. which turns out to be a real place of waiting.

Focusing on children aged 5 to 13, author Nayeri and photographer Miriralpeix paint a deeply moving portrait of what children expect in a refugee camp – a chance to be allowed to live in something other than life. a shipping crate, a new home where life is safe and full of promise. Children are waiting to make a friend, waiting in hopes of going to school, trying to wait out the boredom of life there, and clinging to their dreams.

Profound on every level, “The Waiting Place: When Home is Lost and a New One Not Yet Found” is extremely relevant and should be read in every home and school in our country and around the world.

Nationally syndicated, Kendal Rautzhan writes and lectures on children’s literature. She can be contacted at [email protected]


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