Books and News to Give You Paws

Youth Yak

Page One | Staff Picks | Youth Yak | Book Groups News

Ann Ann

book cover

Yang Warriors

Kao Kalia Yang, illustrated by Billy Thao

Yang Warriors shares a memory from the author’s childhood at the Ban Vinai Refugee Camp in Thailand. The year is 1986. Inspired by brave and honorable television heroes, the author’s sister, Dawb, joins a group of cousins calling themselves the Yang Warriors. They spend their days in the play yard practicing physical and mental drills. When food becomes especially scarce in camp, the group devises a secret mission. They will leave the camp to forage for greens for the younger children. Though they know that their plan is dangerous, they carry it out. Some of the warriors are caught or injured. Yet their mission is accomplished. The Yang Warriors stand by and watch as the younger children enjoy nutritious fresh greens, and a taste of freedom, for lunch. The author remembers her sister and the other warriors as heroes. Yang Warriors reminds us that by summoning courage and compassion, we all have the power to do good in the world.

book cover

Mu’o’n Thi Van, illustrated by Victo Ngai

Wishes is a beautiful picture book inspired by a journey made by the author's family from the dangers of Viet Nam to the safety of Hong Kong. Using just seventy-five words, readers are given a sense of the emotions and challenges experienced by immigrants setting out in search of a better life for themselves and their families. Beautiful illustrations add to the book's appeal. Though Wishes was written for children ages 4 to 8, it will touch the hearts and expand the understanding of people of all ages.

book cover

Ten Beautiful Things
Molly Beth Griffin

Lily is moving to Iowa to live with Gram. As they drive along, Lily is feeling unsure and looking unhappy. Gram suggests that they look for beautiful things along the way. Though Lily is doubtful, it isn’t long before they notice the beautiful sunset, the sound of the gurgling creek, the calf in the field, and many more examples of the surrounding beauty. Upon arriving at Gram’s house, it becomes clear that the tenth beautiful thing is the fact that Lily and Gram are together. Ten Beautiful Things is a reminder to readers of all ages that even in hard times beauty surrounds us if only we look for it. The beautiful illustrations add to the appeal of this book.


Jen Jen

book cover


House of Power (Atherton #1)
Patrick Carman

This is a dystopian/fantasy/sci-fi book. I first listened to this book years ago and at the time, it was the most sophisticated audio book I’d heard—complete with sound effects! This time, I’m listening to it with my husband, Tom, and we plan to listen to the entire series.
Edgar, a gifted climber, is a lonely boy scaling the perilous cliffs that separate the three realms of Atherton: a humble fig grove; a mysterious highland world of untold beauty and sinister secrets; and a vast wasteland where he must confront an unspeakable danger that could destroy the people of Atherton. When Edgar discovers a book which contains the history of Atherton's origins and ultimate apocalypse, his world quite literally begins to turn inside out.



book cover



Sally, Megan, and Jen

The Firekeeper’s Daughter
Angeline Boulley

Recently, Jen and Sally became aware there was a lot of buzz about the book The Firekeeper’s Daughter. They decided they needed to read it and, because it’s a young adult book, asked Megan to read it as well. It was the first time the three of us have all read the same book at the same time since Megan was young and we listened to audio versions of Junie B. Jones books in the car!

Jen and Sally listened to the audio book of The Firekeeper’s Daughter while Megan read the hard copy. The book is a young adult coming of age/mystery about a young Anishinaabe woman who goes undercover to help investigate several local deaths, possibly tied to drug activity.

All three of us felt the beginning of the book was slow, as the author established the setting and characters. Megan had this advice about getting into the book, “take it chapter by chapter and just keep going. Read a chapter or two a day, until it starts to get interesting. I can’t remember the exact chapter, but I think chapter 11 is where it started getting interesting to me.” Jen *may* have increased the speed on the audio book slightly during the first few chapters. Once into the book, we all thought, holy smokes did it get interesting! The book is set in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, but feels very familiar, as though it could be Minnesota (and Minnesota is mentioned periodically in the book.) We learned a fair bit about Anishinaabe culture while intrigued by the investigation happening in the story.

Sometimes it was hard to talk about the book because we were at different places and didn’t want to spoil anything for each other. Jen loved Megan saying,”HURRY UP MOM SO WE CAN TALK!”

When Megan asked her mother what interested her about the book, Jen replied, “I was pretty intrigued by Daunis—she’s so different than I was in high school. Not only was she raised in a different environment than I was, she’s tall and athletic and actually LIKES to run, plus she’s a science whiz. Also, Grammy reminded me that a murder happens, so……….I was curious about that! And of course, I wondered what that hottie Jamie was all about.”

Sally thought it took a little too long to wrap up the story; Jen thought the pace was fine; Megan wanted the romantic interest to end differently.

Based on our experiences, we’d recommend the book to older youth through adults. And we felt it was great to have all read the book. We continue to talk about it, which is a great thing for three generations in a family to do!

— page top —


Page One | Staff Picks | Youth Yak | Book Groups News

About Us|Book Groups|Events|Bindery|Newsletter|Place an Order|Life in Community   
How to Find Us|Contact Us|Links|Home


Newsletter Archives Copyright 2015 Beagle and Wolf Books & Bindery: Designed by Hannah Jennings Design