Children's Books

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The Black Canary by Jane Louise Curry
The Black Canary was a very good book about a young boy, by the name of James Parrett. He is the product of a biracial marriage and often feels as if he is the outsider. He doesn't fit in with the black crowd, and he doesn't fit in with the white crowd. His parents, are accomplished musicians who are often on tour, and do not always pay as much attention to James as they should. When this story takes place, it is in the 21st century, and James and his parents are staying in London while his mother goes on a European singing tour. While staying at his uncle's house in Clerkenwell, James disovers an odd, cloudy form, that takes him back in time. James is lucky that he can come back to his own time. However, during a tour of the Thames River with his father, James falls in the river, and when he is pulled out of the river, it turns out that he is still in London, but in the year 1600! James is very confused, and not sure what to do. Being that he is a black boy, the people in the year 1600, find him to be an oddity. James tries to get back to the 21st century, but in trying he ends up being part of a boys' choir/acting troupe, performing the acts of plays of the likes of William Shakespeare and Ben Johnson. This group of boys is named: "The Children of the Royal Chapel." James learns a lot about himself, and discovers that he can sing, and enjoys performing in front of people. James likes this life, however he misses his parents, and wonders how can he get back? Read this book to see if James makes it back to his family, and what changes may occur in his relationship with his parents. A very well-written book that gives great insight into the life and times of 1600 London. I would recommend this book to grades 5-8, and I feel that both boys and girls would enjoy this book.

Mrs. Rose

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