Looking for a paperback to take to the beach? Your friendly international school librarians are here to help. beijingkids will be featuring librarian reviews of books selected from this year’s Panda Book Awards shortlist every Sunday to help you find the perfect summer read.
A few years ago, several dedicated librarians initiated the Panda Book Awards to take students on an exciting reading adventure at the start of the school year and to invite students from participating schools to vote for their favorite book. The steering committee, comprised of international librarians from schools across China, has made a careful selection of books published in 2010-2012 for this year’s shortlist. The list is separated by school division to encourage young people of all ages to read quality books. The voting for this year’s selection takes place on the week after Chinese New Year in 2013.
Most of the books are available in school libraries or at your local bookstore. Try Page One, The Bookworm, Wangfujing Bookstore, Mackids Bookstore or Popular Kid’s Republic Bookstore. Don’t forget to bring your trusty Panda Awards Shortlist to assist you.
For more information on the Panda Awards check out our previous blog post and the Panda Award’s website.
Make sure to check back next Sunday for next week’s Panda Awards Summer Reads.
Below is a review of Shadow from international librarian Nadine Rosevear.
Book title: Shadow
Author: Michael Morpurgo
Rating: 5 stars
Appropriate age level: Older Readers (11 to 14 years) – Middle School
Reduced to living in a cave in abject poverty, life in war-torn Afghanistan is a daily struggle for eight year old Aman and his mother. The only light in Aman’s life is his love of Manchester United and idol David Beckham. That is, until he befriends a stray, starving dog with a mysterious past: Shadow.
As the family suffer ongoing persecution by the corrupt police force and the Taliban, their circumstances become increasingly unstable. Their only hope for the future lies with Aman’s Uncle Mir, who lives in Manchester in England.
Against incredible odds, Aman, his mother and Shadow set out for England. How far can Shadow lead them?
Shadow is a powerful and richly satisfying story which examines the survival of hope in the face of injustice. It is told in vivid, direct prose and feels very immediate. This is enhanced by beautiful pencil drawings rendered in a photo-realistic style.
Topical issues examined in the story include the military use of bomb-sniffing dogs, as well as immigration and asylum seeking. An informatory afterword puts these in context.
Animal lovers will certainly seek out this book, but readers of all tastes and ages will be quickly drawn in.
Reviewer: Nadine Rosevear is a librarian at the International School of Beijing and has lived overseas as an international educator since 1984 working in places like Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Malaysia, Japan and China. China has been her home for 8 years. She is married and has two grown-up daughters.
Image from Flickr by aafromaa.