Dream Big

Books enable us to “Dream Big,” to see bee-yond ourselves and soar a mile or two in someone else’s blue shoes. There’s no better way to have the world open up then on the pages of a book. This month Newsbee is delighted to introduce you to characters who don’t settle for less in three awesome titles for young readers. Hope you won’t settle this summer either, stretch that brain and gain with lots of visits to your public library.

‘Randy Riley’s Big Hit’ by Chris Van Dusen

Randy Riley dreams of being a great baseball player, but he finds another way to score in his hometown. Read all about this plucky hero in “Randy Riley’s Big Hit,” written and illustrated by Chris Van Dusen.

Randy has a passion for baseball and outer space. He’s smart as a whip but can’t get a hit. Striking out at sports, Randy turns his telescope and energies toward outer space. What he sees in the heavens threatens dastardly doom to his domain.

A fireball is approaching the Earth at lightning speed, so Randy ramps up his creativity and builds a massive robot to do battle with the intergalactic whizz-bang. While his pals round the bases and throw pitches and curves, Randy labors night and day with batteries, metal and motors building a massive man of steel.

Told in rhyme, this tale will steal your hearts with its nostalgic ’50s-like art, a perfect fit for an amusing tale of an inventive boy who saves the day.

‘Here Come the Girl Scouts!’ by Shana Corey

Dreams sprout from ideas — but they’ll die on the vine without courage, hard work and perseverance. No matter how many obstacles Juliette “Daisy” Gordon Low faced, she forged ahead.

“Here Come the Girl Scouts!” by Shana Corey details the high road Low took in creating an organization that means so much to so many.

“Daisy,” as she was known, longed for a life filled with adventure, but she met obstacles aplenty. For starters she was born at a “time when proper young ladies were supposed to be dainty and delicate.”
“Boosh! How boring,” Daisy thought.

The young woman struck out on her own — even though she was struck with an affliction. An ear infection affected Daisy’s hearing, but that didn’t stop her. On a visit to England she learned about the Boy Scouts, and a seed was planted.

“Girls in America should have something like this,” Daisy thought. And so they have, since 1912, thanks to a lady who made a difference and was ahead of her time.

This new book is a dream come true for a debut artist too — it’s the first illustrated by Hadley Hooper. She gets an art badge for bringing Low’s adventures to life.

‘Kepler’s Dream’ by Juliet Bell

Dreams grant us gifts unimaginable. Such is the case for 11-year-old Ella, the sprightly heroine in “Kepler’s Dream,” a charming book by Juliet Bell about a girl who gets more than she bargained for when she goes to live with Violet Von Stern, a grandmother she barely knows.

Ella has a tough go of it. Her parents are divorced, she never sees her father, and her mother has leukemia. A stem cell transplant is required necessitating a long hospital stay. But who will watch Ella?

Her father isn’t in the picture, never has been. Taking folks on wilderness fishing trips is all he’s interested in, but he has an idea. Ella can stay with his mother, “the dragon lady.” Violet Von Stern expects perfection and lives in an eclectic hacienda in New Mexico overrun with peacocks, and littered with what-nots and old books.

Life at the hacienda is dull for Ella — no TV or Internet — until she meets Rosie, the daughter of a man who works for GM, the title Ella gives her grandmother. The girls are the same age, and soon become friends, and partners in solving a mystery surrounding the disappearance of the most valuable book in GM’s collection, a prized edition of “Dream,” by Johannes Kepler, a scientist/astrologer from the 17th century.

As June gives way to July, bonds form that Ella couldn’t have foreseen. The mystery of the missing book is solved as the mystery of love develops in a heartwarming story of dreams come true.

Reprinted with permission, Missourian Publishing Company. Copyright 2012.