Kathryn Erskine: Recommended Reads of 2011
Kathryn Erskine is the author of four children’s books: “The Absolute Value of Mike,” “Mockingbird,” “Quaking,” and “Ibhubesi: The Lion.” Erskine received the National Book Award in 2010 for “Mockingbird” and her book “The Absolute Value of Mike” was voted a “Best Children’s Book of 2011″ by BookPage.
When we asked Erskine for her recommendations for 2011, she said: “As a children’s author, I have to focus mostly on books for young people, but for anyone young at heart, these books are universal.”
“Mini Racer” by Kristy Dempsey and Bridget Strevens-Marzo. Bright, peppy, and fun with musical language and pictures you can go back to and find things you missed before. If you liked Richard Scarry, you’ll love this!
“Tia Isa Wants a Car” by Meg Medina and Claudio Munoz. A warm look at determination and a different culture, not to mention strong females, from a Cuban American author.
“Hound Dog True” by Linda Urban. Another sweet story of determination for a slightly older set — even adults will enjoy these characters!
“A Dog’s Way Home” by Bobbie Pyron. A must for dog lovers, especially in the Appalachian area.
“The Great Wall of Lucy Wu” by Wendy Shang. Chinese American girl handling her two cultures with humor and smarts! [EDITOR'S NOTE: Yay! We love when there's love between our GBF authors.]
“Okay for Now” by Gary D. Schmidt. Already a National Book Award finalist, I predict this will be on many award lists. You just can’t help loving and rooting for diamond in the rough Doug.
“This Thing Called the Future” by J.L. Powers. A great look at life in a modern day South African shantytown with its love, family, fears, and balance between traditional and contemporary culture.
“We are America” by Walter Dean Myers & Christopher Myers. Beautiful, poetic and strikes the right balance between pride and recognizing where we might not be perfect–but don’t worry, you’re left with a strong sense of hope for us all.
“The Good Daughter: A Memoir of My Mother’s Hidden Life” by Jasmin Darznik. This is an adult book and a fascinating read if you want to know the culture of Iran over the last century–the true account of this Iranian American author’s extended family.