What do a little girl who dreams of becoming a sushi chef and a young boy whose ambition is to be the world’s best surfer have in common? Both are the subjects of two exceptional picture books, and both have been chosen by Kiriyama Prize judges to be on the list of Notable Books for 2008.
Hiromi’s Hands by Lynne Barasch and Surfer of the Century by Ellie Crowe have still more in common. They are both true stories, they have both been published by Lee & Low Books, and each one was reviewed in the past year by PaperTigers. In the tradition that Lee & Low Books have made their trademark, both books have the arresting illustrations and clarity of text that make them attractive read-alouds, yet are interesting and informative enough to appeal to older readers–including Kiriyama judges!
This year’s list of Notable Books features three memoirs that, while not specifically intended for young adults, may well appeal to adolescent readers. Stealing Buddha’s Dinner by Bich Minh Nguyen, The Thorn of Lion City by Lucy Lum, and Hapa Girl by Maylee Chai, all in different ways and in different places, tell very personal, and at times emotionally wrenching, stories of growing up and finding a place in the world.
In the more than ten years that the Kiriyama Prize has been in existence, books for young readers have appeared on the Notable Lists, which can be found on the Kiriyama web site. For readers of all ages, this is a splendid place to look when hunting for reading recommendations.