Books Each year, a committee of educators, Rotarians and community members carefully choose nine or more books for the Gift of Literacy program. Click here to read the selection criteria. 2018 Book Selections

Cecil’s Pride
By Craig Hatkoff

Known as the King of Beasts, the lion has always been a symbol of strength and courage. But there was one real lion that earned the title of Lion King. He was known simply by name: Cecil. News of his tragic death spread across the globe like wildfire, raising questions to an unprecedented level about our relationship to our animals and our planet.

Cecil’s Pride is a tale of resilience and responsibility–a triumph out of tragedy. Discover Cecil’s struggle as a young lion to survive, his rise to power, and his extraordinary alliance with Jericho, his former arch-rival. Cecil is gone, but his legacy lives on. The world knows the story of how Cecil died. This is the story of how he lived.

Flutter and Hum: Animal Poems / Aleteo y Zumbido: Poemas de Animales
By Julie Paschkis

All sorts of animals flutter and hum, dance and stretch, and slither and leap their way through this joyful collection of poems in English and Spanish. Julie Paschkis’s poems and art sing in both languages, bringing out the beauty and playfulness of the animal world.

Giant Squid
By Candace Fleming

The giant squid is one of the most elusive creatures in the world. As large as whales, they hide beyond reach deep within the sea, forcing scientists to piece together their story from those clues they leave behind.
An injured whale’s ring-shaped scars indicate an encounter with a giant squid. A piece of beak broken off in the whale’s belly; a flash of ink dispersed as a blinding defense to allow the squid to escape– these fragments of proof were all we had . . . until a giant squid was finally filmed in its natural habitat only two years ago.

Little Red and the Very Hungry Lion
By Alex T. Smith

Little Red is on her way to visit Auntie Rosie with a basket of goodies and some spot medicine. Along the way she meets the Very Hungry Lion. The Lion is eager to gobble up Little Red. The Lion’s plan doesn’t work out the way he wanted.

Little Red and the Very Hungry Lion is a fractured fairy tale version of Little Red Riding Hood. It’s a classic fairy tale with a safari twist!

Lost and Found: Adèle and Simon in China
By Barbara McClintock

When siblings Adèle and Simon visit their uncle in China, he buys them each gifts for their trip. Simon picks out a hat, a flute, a fan, and other small items, while his sister selects a camera to photograph their journey. As soon as they’re packed and ready, it’s time to set off with Uncle Sydney to explore! In a series of postcards home to their mother, Adèle describes each of the places they visit and the adventures they have… and, of course, what item Simon managed to lose at each stop along the way. On a silk farm in Shanghai, he loses his scarf. Along the Great Wall, his hat blows right off his head. By the end of the trip, Simon has misplaced all of his belongings! But when Adèle develops her photographs, she and her brother discover that they can see each of Simon’s lost items in the background of the pictures.

Marisol McDonald and the Clash Bash / Marison McDonald y la fiesta sin igual
By Monica Brown

Marisol is turning eight, and it’s time to plan a birthday party that will be fabulous, marvelous, and divine. She also hopes that Abuelita, who lives far away in Peru, will be able to come to the celebration. At the party store, Marisol can’t decide what kind of party to have. Nothing seems right for soccer, pirate, princess, unicorn-loving Marisol. Finally she comes up with just the right idea, and when her friends arrive for her Clash Bash birthday, a big surprise awaits. But in a heartwarming turn of events, Marisol gets the biggest surprise of all a visit from Abuelita via computer. In this delightful story told in English and Spanish, author Monica Brown and illustrator Sara Palacios once again bring the irrepressible Marisol McDonald to life. With her bright red hair, golden brown skin, mismatched outfits, and endearing individuality, this free-spirited Peruvian-Scottish-American girl is headed straight into the hearts of young readers everywhere.

Ned the Knitting Pirate
By Diana Murray

The crew of the pirate ship the Rusty Heap are a fearsome bunch! They’re tougher than gristle and barnacle grit. They heave and they ho and they swab and they . . . knit?
Well, one of them does, at least! Unfortunately for Ned, his knitting doesn’t go over well with the captain and crew. They urge him to hide his hobby and strive to be scurvier, like pirates should be. But when the briny ocean beast shows up to feast on the Rusty Heap and its crew, maybe Ned’s knitting is just the ticket to save the day!

Orion and the Dark
By Emma Yarlett

Orion is scared of a lot of things, but most of all he’s scared of the dark. So one night the Dark decides to take Orion on an adventure. Emma Yarlett’s second picture book combines her incredible storytelling and artwork with die-cut pages that bring the Dark to life.

The Bear Who Wasn’t There
By LeUyen Pham

This book is about Bear… so what happens when he doesn’t show up on his page? Who will find him? Will it be Giraffe, who himself seems to always be in the wrong place at the wrong time, or Cow, or perhaps even the author herself?
One thing’s for sure–it probably won’t be Duck. Duck doesn’t seem concerned that Bear is missing. In fact, he seems to be trying to steal the show for himself! Duck would much prefer that the reader pick up his own book, The Duck Who Showed Up. He even disguises himself as Bear in an attempt to fool the reader. But after pages and pages of Duck’s antics and search-party chaos, Bear appears somewhere utterly unexpected. In fact, it looks like someone may have tried to get rid of him on purpose….