Books for children - May 26


"Thunder from the Sea" by Joan Hiatt Harlow, McElderry Books, 256 pages

Read aloud: age 8 and older

Read yourself: age 8, 9 and older

In 1929, 13-year-old Tom Campbell had lived the last 10 years of his life at an orphanage in Newfoundland. When fisherman Enoch Murray and his wife, Fiona, ask the orphanage for a boy to come live with them on Back o' the Moon Island and work with Enoch, the orphanage sends Tom.

Tom has always wanted a family and a dog, and Enoch and Fiona are very kind and good to Tom. Tom thinks maybe he has found the family he has longed for, and adding to his good fortune, Tom rescues a Newfoundland dog from the sea, names him Thunder, and the two become the best of friends. But when Fiona becomes pregnant and word comes that Thunder's owner has been found, Tom is crestfallen. Will the Murrays still want Tom once their baby is born, and will Thunder be taken away from him?


Library: Public Library of New London, 63 Huntington St., New London

Library Director: Suzanne Maryeski

Head of Youth Services: Cris Staubach

Choices this week: "Empty Pot" by Demi; "Mabela the Clever" by Margaret Read MacDonald; "When the Earth Wakes" by Ani Rucki


"The Chickens Build a Wall" by Jean-Francois Dumont, Eerdmans, 2013, 36 pages, $16.00 hardcover

Read aloud: age 4 to 7

Read yourself: age 7 and 8

One fall morning a hedgehog wanders into a barnyard. None of the animals at the farm had ever seen a hedgehog, so he causes quite a stir and suspicion among some. With all eyes upon him, the hedgehog becomes nervous and curls up into a tight ball and remains there, motionless, until long after dark. When the farm animals awake the next morning and discover the hedgehog gone, the chickens go into a frenzy and decide the hedgehog is a thief and maybe worse. As their fear grows, they decide there is only one way to protect themselves against unwanted invaders: build a high wall around the henhouse.

"The Favorite Daughter" by Allen Say, Arthur A. Levine, 32 pages, $17.99 hardcover

Read aloud: age 6 and older

Read yourself: age 7 to 9

Young Yuriko has always loved her name and creating artwork. One day she arrives home visibly upset. When her father inquires why, she tells him that the new art teacher mispronounced her name as Eureka, and all of her classmates called her that for the rest of the day. Yuriko tells her father she wants an American name and doesn't like art anymore. Her father guides Yuriko to rediscover who she is, and what she really wants to do. Ultimately, his wisdom allows Yuriko to find the answers for herself.


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