Books for Independent Reading

VERY EASY

Jamaica Louise James
by Amy Hest
(Multicultural)
Candlewick 1996 (32p)
Jamaica decides that pretty pictures will brighten up the drab subway station where her grandmother sells tokens.
Good-bye, Curtis
by Kevin Henkes
Greenwillow 1995 (24p)
Curtis the letter carrier finds presents in the mailboxes along his route on his last day of delivering mail after forty-two years.

EASY

newLa Boda: A Mexican Wedding Celebration
by Nancy Van Laan
(Multicultural)
Little 1997 (32p)
Maria and her grandmother watch as the community prepares for the traditional Zapotec Indian wedding of Alfonso and Luisa in Oaxaca, Mexico.
newWe Sing the City
by Mary Beth Lundgren
(Multicultural)
Clarion 1997 (32p)
A diverse group of children explore their city and its sounds.
newChinatown
by William Low
(Multicultural)
Holt 1997 (32p)
A young boy and his grandmother take a walk through the streets of their Chinatown neighborhood.
Farmers' Market
by Paul Brett Johnson
Orchard 1997 (32p)
Laura looks forward to going to the farmers' market on Saturdays to help sell her family's produce and to play with her friend Sally.
The Rolling Store
by Angela Johnson
(Multicultural)
Orchard 1997 (32p)
As a young girl and her neighbor load their wagon with goods to sell, the girl remembers stories her grandfather told about a truck called a rolling store that used to bring goods to the people in the country.
Ogbo: Sharing Life in an African Village
by Ifeoma Onyefulu
(Multicultural)
Harcourt 1996 (32p)
In a Nigerian village, children of the same age join groups called ogbo, which become like a second family and offer lifelong companionship.
Going Home
by Eve Bunting
(Multicultural)
Harper 1996 (32p)
When their family leaves California to spend Christmas with relatives in Mexico, Carlos and his sisters have misgivings, but soon learn that home is wherever families are together.
Carolina Shout
by Alan Schroeder
(multicultural)
Dial 1995 (32p)
In the Charleston, South Carolina, of an earlier era, Delia hears the songs, or “shouts” of the Waffle Man, the Pepper-Sauce Man, and other vendors selling their wares.

AVERAGE

newTomás and the Library Lady
by Pat MoraL
(Multicultural)
Knopf 1997 (32p)
Based on an incident in the life of the late Tomás Rivera, a chancellor of the University of California, this story tells how young migrant boy was befriended by neighborhood librarian who encouraged his love for books.
newMama Provi and the Pot of Rice
Sylvia Rosa-Casanova
(Multicultural)
Atheneum 1997 (32p)
As Mama Provi carries her special arroz con pollo upstairs in her apartment building to her ailing granddaughter, she encounters many neighbors and trades a bit of the rice for a variety of ethnic dishes.
newFirehorse Max
by Sara London
Harper 1997 (32p)
When Grandpa Lev needs a new horse to pull his wagon of goods through the neighborhood, Firehorse Max does fine--until he hears the fire bell.
newWhat Zeesie Saw on Delancey Street
by Elsa Okon Rael
Simon 1997 (32p)
In her neighborhood, Zeesie attends her first package party, a feast of food and music to raise money for friends, family, and immigrants in the Jewish community.
Nothing Ever Happens on 90th Street
by Roni Schotter
(Multicultural)
Orchard 1997 (32p)
Eva wonders if she can complete her school assignment because nothing ever happens on her street but, with advice from her neighbors, she begins to make things happen.
The Garden of Happiness
by Erika Tamar
(Multicultural)
Harcourt 1996 (32p)
When Marisol plants a seed in her neighborhood garden, she is happy when a glorious sunflower blooms, sad when it dies in the fall, and delighted when neighborhood boys paint a sunflower mural on a wall.
My Steps
by Sally Derby
(Multicultural)
Lee & Low 1996 (32p)
A group of city kids find that through all the seasons of the year, the front steps can be the best place to play.
Home Lovely
by Lynne Rae Perkins
Greenwillow 1995 (32p)
When Tiffany decides to plant flowers to brighten up the trailer home she shares with her mother, the neighborhood letter carrier notices and lends a hand.
The Last Dragon
by Susan Miho Nunes
(Multicultural)
Clarion 1995 (32p)
A young boy spending the summer with his aunt in Chinatown is delighted when the whole community helps him restore an old dragon costume.
Don't Forget
by Patricia Lakin
Tambourine 1994 (32p)
As Sarah shops in her Boston neighborhood, she meets shopkeepers who survived the Holocaust.
How to Get Famous in Brooklyn
by Amy Hest
(multicultural)
Simon 1995 (32p)
In her notebook, Janie records the daily events in her Brooklyn neighborhood and becomes famous when her neighbors pick up her notebook pages that the wind has blown away.
Be Bop-a-Do-Walk!
by Sheila Hamanaka
(multicultural)
Simon 1995 (32p)
Emi and her friend Martha wonder if they can keep up with Emi's father when he takes a long walk in New York City, all the way from Chinatown to Central Park, with several interesting stops along the way.

CHALLENGING

Bridges to Change: How Kids Live on a South Carolina Sea Island
by Kathleen Krull
(multicultural)
Lodestar 1995 (48p)
The author explores the lives of children living on St. Helena Island, off the coast of South Carolina and home to the Gullah people, whose language and customs still reflect their African origins.
One Nation, Many Tribes: How Kids Live in Milwaukee's Indian Community
by Kathleen Krull
(multicultural)
Lodestar 1994 (48p)
A photo essay that explores the lives of two children of mixed American Indian heritage who attend the Milwaukee Community Indian School.

Now Available in Paperback

Mr. Grigg's Work
by Cynthia Rylant
Orchard
Mrs. Peachtree and the Eighth Avenue Cat
by Erica Silverman
Aladdin.

Now Out of Print

My Perfect Neighborhood
Leah Komaiko