What’s in the News?

There continues to be much in the news for children and young adults to follow.   Connecting fiction and nonfiction to these topics help the young gain a greater understanding of the world in which they live.  Some topics like the brutal winter that much of the nation has experienced may be examined in a lighter way, or in a factual way by looking at climate change, etc.  The recent outbreak of measles is causing some to once again raise the question of childhood vaccinations.   The deadly epidemic of Ebola in West Africa has caused health care professionals in the United States to prepare hospitals for the disease.  By reading articles and viewing conversations about Ebola, the young may want to examine other plagues that threatened the world’s population at sometime in our history.  Later in the year the nation will celebrate the end of World War II.  Suggest that younger students read books that prepare them for this important date.

Public and school librarians should take every opportunity to engage in conversation with the young about tough topics they hear about in the news.

Younger readers may want to focus on issues related to the fun side of the weather, and some of the hardships the weather has caused.  Consider the following titles from Random House:

Picture Books

Cold Snap  by Eileen Spinelli; illustrated by Marjorie Priceman

Lemonade in Winter by Emily Jenkins; illustrated by G. Brian Karas

Snow Happy! by Patricia Hubbell; illustrations by Hiroe Nakata

Snow by Roy McKie and P.D. Eastman

Snowflakes Fall  by Patricia MacLachlan; illustrated by Steven Kellogg

Middle Grade

May B. by Caroline Starr Rose

Young Adult

Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson

The world has long suffered epidemics that threatened to wipe out entire populations. The United States has ways of controlling such devastating illnesses, but populations riddled with poverty don’t have medical facilities to help them control these epidemics. The following books from Random House may help younger readers better understand these global public health issues:

Middle Grade

All the Way Home by Patricia Reilly Giff

The Great Trouble by Deborah Hopkinson

Laugh with the Moon by Shana Berg

Young Adult

A Matter of Days by Amber Kizer

Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder, adapted by Michael French

Outbreak: Plagues That Changed History  by Bryn Barnard

Perhaps young adults know about the raising of the United States Flag on Iwo Jima on Feb. 23, 1945. They may wish to read Flags of Our Fathers by James Bradley & Ron Powers & adapted by Michael French

Japan surrendered to the United States on September 2, 1945, officially ending World War II. Commemorate the 70th anniversary of this event by reading books set during World War II with special emphasis on the Pacific Theatre:

Middle Grade

FDR and The American Crisis by Albert Marrin

Under the Blood-Red Sun  by Graham Salisbury

Young Adult

Unbroken: An Olympian’s Journey from Airman to Castaway to Captive by Laura Hillenbrand

Eyes of the Emperor  by Graham Salisbury

House of Red Fish by Graham Salisbury

Farewell to Manzanar  by Jeanne Houston

Random House Teachers and Librarians