Illustration by Robert Casilla.  Copyright (c) by Houghton Mifflin Company.  
Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Company.  All rights reserved.
Illustration by Robert Casilla. © by Houghton Mifflin Co.
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Growth and IndependenceGrowth and Independence
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Books in this category include stories about kinds of families and activities that families do, such as celebrating holidays, adopting children and communicating across generations.
This is whichCatvalue: 4
   Book Results for:
Growth and Independence
1.   A Long Way to Go: A Story of Women’s Right to Vote
Zibby Oneal (Author), Michael Dooling (Illustrator)
Eight-year-old Lila's grandmother is a huge supporter of women's suffrage, but her father is a traditionalist. Lila tries to convince and educate her father about the importance of women having the right to vote.
[Grade Level: 3 - 6]
2.   A Matter of Pride
Written by
Emily Crofford
This book is about a young girl and her relationship with her mother. She later learns about the courgae and strength that she never knew her mother had.
[Grade Level: 2 - 6]
3.   Balancing Girl
Lillian Hoban (Illustrator), Bernice Rabe (Author)
Margaret, a first grader, is excellent at balancing things while in her wheelchair. She is excited for the school carnival because she has one of the best acts prepared.
[Grade Level: K - 2]
4.   Ballerino Nate
Kimberly Brubaker Bradley (Author), Robert W. Alley (Illustrator)
After attending a student ballet performance with his kindergarten class, Nate decides he wants to become a ballet dancer, but is discouraged by his second-grade, sports-loving brother, who pronounces, "You can't... You're a boy," and reminds Nate at every turn that his dream is for girls' and will require him to wear pink shoes and a dress. Despite his parents’ reassurance, Nate is still apprehensive when he begins a ballet class and learns that he is the only boy enrolled. Nate's mother takes him to a real ballet performance, where he sees that half the dancers are men. Nate gets to meet one of the dancers, who agrees that a man can't be a ballerina, because that means "woman dancer." Instead, he tells Nate that he hopes some day to be a top ballerino, and Nate feels good about his new pursuit at last.
[Grade Level: Pre-K - 3]
5.   Busy Toes
C W. Bowie (Author), Fred Willingham (Illustrator)
This book demonstrates all the things that children can do with their toes.
[Grade Level: Pre-K - 2]
6.   Crash
Written by
Jerry Spinelli
Crash Coogan is a seventh grade "jock" who enjoys teasing his skinny Quaker neighbor. When one day Coogan's grandfather has a stroke and becomes severely disabled, Crash no longer sees the fun in playing brutal pranks and quickly learns about what is important in life.
[Grade Level: 5 & Up]
7.   Danger at the Breaker
Andrea Shine (Illustrator), Catherine Welch (Author)
Andrew's family is going through some financial problems and needs his help. In order to help his family, eight year old Andrew leaves school and works on the coal mines. He quickly learns about the danger and risk that goes into working on the coal mines.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
8.   Drum, Chavi,Drum!/Toca, Chavi, Toca!
Mayra Dole (Author), Tonel Tonel (Illustrator)
Chavi is determined to play the drums on the school float during Miami's Calle Ocho parade, but everyone--from her music teacher to her own loving mother--is convinced that because she is a girl, she cannot possibly be good enough. Chavi knows differently, and she practices on anything she can get her hands on: pans, paint cans, car hoods. She just knows she's good, and before the book is over, so does everyone else.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
9.   Elena’s Serenade
Campbell Geeslin (Author), Ana Juan (Illustrator)
Elena, a young girl who lives in Mexico, dreams of being a glassblower like her father. When Papa rebuffs her dream by commenting, "Who ever heard of a girl glassblower?," Elena takes one of his old glassblowing pipes, disguises herself as a boy, and sets off to Monterrey, home of Mexico's "great glassblowers.” Along the way, she discovers that she can play sweet songs on the pipe, and when she finally reaches her destination, she creates beautiful ornaments, which are shaped by the tunes she plays on her pipe. Elena eventually creates a crystal swallow to carry her back home, where she disguises herself as an elderly man and shows her creations to Papa. When she finally reveals her identity, Papa realizes how special his daughter is.
[Grade Level: K-4]
10.   I Can Do It!
Sarah Albee (Author), Sesame Street Staff (Author), Larry DiFiori (Illustrator)
The Sesame Street characters are beginning to do things on their own. There are some things that they have not yet learned to do, but accomplish these things with the help of their friends.
[Grade Level: Pre-K - 2]
11.   I Like Being Me: Poems for Children About Feeling Special, Appreciating Others, and Getting Along
Judy Lalli (Author), Douglas L. Mason-Fry (Photographer)
Rhyming poetry helps children think about cooperation, sharing, helping others and making positive choices.
[Grade Level: Pre-K - 3]
12.   Jeremy's Decision
Ardyth Brott (Author), Michael Martchenko (Illustrator)
Jeremy is always asked if he will be a famous orchestra conductor like his father, but he has his own plans for the future.
[Grade Level: Pre-K - 3]
13.   Joshua T Bates Takes Charge
Susan Richards Shreve (Author), Dan Andreasen (Illustrator)
Joshua T. Bates was held back during the third grade and has been bullied and called names by Tommy Wilhelm ever since. Now as a fifth grader, Joshua's new best friend is getting teased by Tommy as well. Joshua has to choose whether to stand up for his new friend or avoid the taunting and name-calling of Tommy Wilhelm.
[Grade Level: 3 - 6]
14.   Just Because I Am: A Child's Book of Affirmation
L M. Payne (Author), Pamela Espeland (Editor), Claudia Rohling (Illustrator)
The messages in this book help to strengthen a young child's self-esteem.
[Grade Level: Pre-K - 3]
15.   Meow Means Mischief
Ann Whitehead Nagda (Author), Stephanie Roth (Illustrator)
A young girl describes her move to a new neighborhood, the arrival of her not-so-favorite grandparents from India, and her adoption of a stray kitten.
[Grade Level: 2 - 4]
16.   Milly, Molly, and Alf
Gill Pittar (Author), Cris Morrell (Illustrator)
Alf is a new boy in Milly's and Molly's class, and although he is different from the other children, Milly and Molly take "an immediate liking" to him.
[Grade Level: Pre-K - 3]
17.   My Grandma's in a Nursing Home
Judy Delton (Author), Kathy Tucker (Editor), Dorothy Tucker (Author), Charles Robinson (Illustrator)
This book is about a young boy, Jason, who visits his grandmother, who has Alzheimer's disease. Jason hates going to the nursing home where his grandmother lives. Eventually Jason starts to enjoy going to the nursing home because he sees how much it means to his grandmother.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
18.   Sees Behind Trees
Written by
Michael Dorris
Set in the colonial past, this coming-of-age story is about a young Powhatan Indian boy with a visual disability who dreads the warrior's test, a rite of passage for boys his age to enter manhood, but ends up passing the test with flying colors by using his acute senses of hearing and smell.
[Grade Level: 4 - 6]
19.   Selavi, That Is Life: A Haitian Story of Hope
Written by
Youme Landowne
A homeless boy and his friends in Haiti build a home and a radio station where they can stay away from the military police and voice their own opinion. These children's families have either been killed or their houses are destroyed and they are forced to either live on the streets or in orphanages.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
20.   Shi-shi-etko
Nicola L. Campbell (Author), Kim LaFave (Illustrator)
Shi-shi-etko, which means “she loves to play in water,” is counting down the four days she has until she leaves for Indian Residential School. She spends her last days at home looking at everything around her to remember all the details, aspects and culture of her home. Her mother, father and grandmother each share lessons they want her to carry with her. The book focuses on the four days before Shi-shi-etko leaves, but does not include her time at residential school. Note: In Canada, United States, Australia and New Zealand, native people were forced by law to attend residential schools away from their homelands. The schools were often far away from the children homes and the students were not allowed to see their families for months.
[Grade Level: Pre-K - 2]
21.   The House You Pass on the Way
Written by
Jacqueline Woodson
Fourteen-year-old Staggerlee, the daughter of a racially mixed marraige, spends a summer with her cousin Trout, and starts to question her sexuality.
[Grade Level: 6 & Up]
22.   The Kid's Guide to Service Projects
Barbara A. Lewis (Author), Pamela Espeland (Illustrator)
This book describes the different opportunities for children to get involved in community service across a wide range of areas and interests.
[Grade Level: 4 - 6]
23.   The Kid's Guide to Social Action
Barbara A. Lewis (Author), Pamela Espeland (Author), Caryn Pernu (Author)
This book is a resource guide for children who want to learn political action skills at the community, state and national levels.
[Grade Level: 4 - 6]
24.   Wildflower Girl
Written by
Marita Conlon-McKenna
Peggy O'Driscoll, a thirteen year old girl, leaves her home in Ireland during the Great Famine of the 1840s to make a better life for herself in America. Despite the fact that she is scared and misses her family, she displays great courage and strength.
[Grade Level: 5 & Up]
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