Here’s our list of personal stories for young readers this January.
Leaving China by James McMullan
James McMullan is an Irish illustrator and designer of theatrical posters. His works have been featured in many American magazines and in best–selling illustrated books. In 2014, McMullan released a memoir for kids about his childhood in China and the wartime journeys that left a huge impact on his life. Leaving China covers McMullan’s early years in Tsingtao, North China. He shares the story of his privileged life (household servants, rickshaw rides, and picnics) and how it drastically changed when World War broke out. The book features the years when they constantly move from one place to another to escape the war. James McMullan immigrated to the United States when he was 17 and has since established himself as one of New York’s celebrated artists. Leaving China is a book is filled with wonderful text and colorful paintings that depict McMullan’s childhood.
Grandpa Nick’s Bump by Lynda Daniele
Lynda Daniele wrote Grandpa Nick’s Bump as a tribute to her late husband. When Nick passed away after his battle with meningioma, Lynda Daniele took writing lessons and later on wrote this heart-warming tale to honor Nick’s loving memory. The book centers around Nick, a loving husband, and the neighbor kids they were babysitting for. These kids did not have a grandfather, and so they ask Nick if he can be their grandfather. Of course, Nick agreed, and as time went by, they developed a special bond. Grandpa Nick cared for the children despite his deteriorating condition. Uncle Nick’s Bump is a heartwarming story of friendship, creating memories, and the value of family. Lynda Daniele’s memoir for kids is a light narrative filled with colorful illustrations. It is one of those children’s books that you will hardly forget because of its uniqueness and beautiful message.
When I Was Nine by James Stevenson
There are many types of children’s memoirs. Some tell about their first encounter of things, others about meeting a friend or owning a pet. There are also those that write about important chapters in their life- first day in school, moving to a new neighborhood or an important milestone or event in the family. When I Was Nine is a book by James Stevenson. It was published in 1980. It tells about the family trip they had one summer. The year was 1939, and James’s family packed the car for a trip west. In this book, Stevenson narrates how they visited a cave in Missouri and saw the Northern Lights. The best highlight of his book is the vacation stay they had on a ranch in New Mexico. This family trip had a long-lasting effect on James. He said that when they returned home, everything felt small. This is probably because that summer trip exposed James to the big world.
Mo’ne Davis: Remember My Name by Mo’ne Davis
Mo’ne Ikea Davis is a former Little League Baseball pitcher and currently plays softball for Hampton University. She is the first female pitcher to win in a game in the Little League World Series and the first Little Leaguer to be featured on the prestigious cover of Sports Illustrated. Davis later was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. In 2015, Davis released her memoir entitled Mo’ne Davis: Remember My Name: My Story from First Pitch to Game Changer. In her book, she shares her inspiring story from a little girl who learned to play baseball alongside boys to her rise to superstardom before reaching eighth grade. Together with full-colored photos, Davis’ story will truly touch the hearts of many young readers. Remember My Name is one memoir that kids should read.
Honor Girl: A Graphic Memoir by Maggie Thrash
Published in 2015, Honor Girl is a coming-of-age memoir by Maggie Trash. In this graphic book, she shares her story about an all-girl camp, her first love, and her first heartbreak. Maggie was only fifteen years old during the events of the book happened. It features the one-hundred-year-old Camp Bellflower for Girls in Appalachia. Honor Girl is about a romantic moment that happened to Maggie involving another yet older woman. Honest and full of humor, Maggie Trash’s one of a kind graphic memoir is not only interesting but entertaining as well. It is a book for young adults and teenagers.