“Bee-lieve You Can” is Newsbee’s motto for the month, and he’s chosen stellar books that mark the merits of determination. Join him in his hive-quest for the best. If we put our minds to it, we can make our wildest dreams come true, and our ordinary goals more achievable. Keep “Paging On!”
‘Sometimes You Fly’
By Katherine Applegate
Life’s bumps and blessings are the theme of “Sometimes You Fly,” by Katherine Applegate. Beginning at birth, we face milestones, paths that diverge, roadblocks that waylay us. These glitches begin when we’re young and teach perseverance.
Applegate kicks off her enchanting book with a harried mom baking her 1-year-old a birthday cake. “Before the cake...before the peas...before the laugh...before the seas . . . before the blocks . . . before the grow . . . ”
Heartfelt verse takes readers through everyday times and fast-forwards them to the future with whimsical illustrations by Jennifer Black Reinhardt, showing children in baby pools then at the ocean, in school then at graduation, and the like.
Stick-to-it-ness is the key, Applegate surmises, ”Remember, then, with every try, sometimes you fail, sometimes you fly. What matters most is what you take from all you learn before the cake.”
By Bethany Hegedus
Nellie Harper Lee was a tomboy — she preferred rough and tumble play when she was growing up in Ala. Later Lee garnered worldwide adoration after writing the “book of the 20th century,” “To Kill A Mockingbird,” in 1960.
“Alabama Spitfire,” by Bethany Hegedus tells Lee’s story, an interesting read, made even more enjoyable with homespun art by Erin McGuire.
“Nellie loved words. She loved the sounds they made . . . Words had weight. Words held meaning.” By the first grade, Lee could read a newspaper and later accompanied her lawyer father to court. In school she didn’t back down – taking up for a skinny boy named Tru, who became her lifelong friend, the accomplished writer, Truman Capote.
Born when racial discrimination was rampant, Lee attended law school and later wrote stories about what she knew best — small town life in Monroeville, Ala. “To Kill a Mockingbird” made her an instant celebrity. But Lee loathed that — she returned to her roots and spent the rest of her life letting “her book speak for her.”
‘The Wild Robot Escapes’
By Peter Brown
ROZZUM unit 7134, more commonly known as Roz, is back again, a friendly bot intent on returning to her island home in Peter Brown’s “The Wild Robot Escapes.” Readers first met Roz in “The Wild Robot” as the bot struggled to survive after being shipwrecked on a remote island.
Highly intelligent and empathic to boot, the bot soon made friends with the island animals and adopted a son, Brightbill, a gosling she raised from an egg.
Roz’s new high jinks find her at Hilltop Farm where she’s been assigned to help with farm chores after damages she incurred on the island necessitate her being refurbished. Life on the dairy farm is good for Roz; she makes friends with the cows and with the farmer’s children, Jad and Jaya, who eventually help Roz run away from the farm to find Brightbill, a son she dearly misses.
Roz’s escapades lead to a wild goose chase that ends happily in a book that’s equally as entertaining as Brown’s first outing. Drawings throughout add even greater appeal to this crowd pleaser.