These books will inspire children

Everyone needs inspiration from time to time. Sometimes inspiration comes from things we can’t help but notice. Other types of inspiration can come from more subtle experiences, which often happen when you read a good book.

With the mission of motivating children. Read a book (or two or three) to them every day.

borrow books

The following books are available in many public libraries.

“Shy Charles,” written and illustrated by Rosemary Wells, Dial Books for Young Readers, 28 pages

Read aloud: 2-3 years old.

Read yourself: 6-7 years old.

Charles is a happy little boy. He is also very shy. He won’t talk to the neighbor girl next door, answer the phone, or say thank you to the nice lady at the nearby store who always gives Charles a bar of chocolate when he and his mom come in to shop.

Infuriated, Charles’ parents decided it was time to do something about Charles’ shyness. First, they let Charles study ballet. It was not successful. Then they tried football. It was a disaster. Will Charles be able to communicate with others, find a job, and handle himself in an emergency?

With snappy, rhyming text and wonderful, joyful illustrations, this delightful story is inspiring and a real winner.

Librarian’s Choice

Library: Robesonia Community Library, 75 S. Brooke St., Robesonia

Librarian: Susan Eshleman

Youth Services Coordinator: Leah Ruth

Picks of the Week: “Last to Finish” by Barbara Esham; “How a Rocket Learned to Read” by Tad Hills; “Sarah, Plain and Simple” by Patricia MacLachlan and tall”

buy books

The following books are available at your favorite bookstore.

“Novel 4: The Grill Fable” by Garrett M. Stapleton, Kindle Edition, Amazon, 2022, 149 pp., $2.99

Read aloud: Ages 12 and up.

Read Yourself: Ages 12 and Up.

Matty Gordon’s father died when he was very young. It’s devastating for his mother and for him, but it’s not the only obstacle in Marty’s life. Marty was born with mosaic Down syndrome and was often the subject of pointing and giggling classmates. Matty may look a little different from his classmates, but he has an average IQ and he did well in school. Socially, however, Marty had a hard time fitting in, and he missed the closeness with his father.

When Marty was a freshman in high school, the new teacher and football coach suggested that Marty join the football team as a water boy, and Marty agreed to give it a try. Knowing that he likes to be a part of something has been good for Marty’s confidence, and he’s also developed a close friendship with teammate Harry and many of the bench players.

But it wasn’t always smooth sailing for Marty. Starting quarterback Brian Anderson bullies Marty at every opportunity, and despite Marty’s low position in the football hierarchy, Marty sticks to his duties and tries to avoid confrontations with Brian.

As the football season progressed, it became clear to the coach that Brian needed protection on the field in order to give him space and extra time to complete his throws. The coach asked Marty to try out as a running back to protect Brian and help the team move towards the championship. Doing anything for Brian isn’t high on Matty’s list, but he loves his team, agrees and does a great job. What followed was a beautiful transformation for Matty, Brian and everyone.

“No. 4: The Grill Fable” includes a magnificent cast of characters that perfectly complement this multi-layered, redemptive, and inspiring story that is sure to capture the reader’s heart from beginning to end.

“Madani’s Best Game” by Fran Pintadera, illustrated by Raquel Catalina, translated by Lawrence Schimel, Eerdmans, 2022, 48 pp., $17.99 hardcover

Read aloud: 5-8 years old.

Read yourself: 7-9 years old.

The whole community knew that Madani was playing the best football they had ever seen. Every Saturday, spectators marvel at Madani’s soccer skills, playing barefoot. Everyone wonders how much better Madani would be as a footballer if he had cleats like the rest of the players.

For a while, Madani kept money in metal cans. He told his friends that when the cans were full, he’d go downtown to do some shopping, and when he did, the football game would be better than ever. His friends thought Madani would buy cleats, but Madani surprised everyone.

A funny and beautiful story about friendship, football, love and persistence, “Madani’s Best Game” is full of inspiration.

Kendal Rautzhan writes and lectures on children’s literature nationwide. She can be reached at

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