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Memoir

earl_this star won't go outEarl, Esther This Star Won’t Go Out: The Life & Words of Esther Grace Earl
Middle school, high school     240 pp.     Dutton

With Lori Earl and Wayne Earl. John Green dedicated The Fault in Our Stars to Esther Earl, who, in her own words, “went through a life changing experience known as Thyroid Cancer.” This posthumous collection (with a moving introduction by Green) gathers her musings and drawings, which span her illness. Reflections by family and friends both before and after Esther’s death at sixteen are also included. An ultimately hopeful offering.
Subjects: Individual Biographies; Women—Biographies; Diseases—Cancer; Autobiographies; Women—Autobiographies; Children’s writings; Illness; Death

ehlert_scraps bookEhlert, Lois The Scraps Book: Notes from a Colorful Life
Gr. K–3     72 pp.     Simon/Beach Lane

In a generously illustrated picture-book memoir, Ehlert speaks directly to her audience, particularly readers who like collecting objects and making things. The book is jam-packed with Ehlert’s art and photos from her life: her parents, the house she grew up in, and the small table where she was encouraged to pursue her art; along the way, we see how autobiographical her books have been.
Subjects: Visual Arts; Artists; Illustrators; Autobiographies; Women—Autobiographies; Women—Artists; Biographies; Women—Biographies

kehret_animals welcomeKehret, Peg Animals Welcome: A Life of Reading, Writing, and Rescue
Gr. 46     175 pp.     Dutton

Animals typically play important roles in Kehret’s fiction. In this memoir, readers see what a major role they play in her life. Living on a protected preserve, Kehret quietly rescues many feral, abandoned, and lost animals. Without undue drama, episodic chapters describe many such events, introducing the real-life models of many of her fictional animal characters.
Subjects: Individual Biographies; Animals; Women—Autobiographies; Autobiographies; Authors; Women—Authors; Women—Biographies

k'naan_when i get olderK’naan  When I Get Older: The Story Behind Wavin’ Flag 
Gr. K3     32 pp.     Tundra

With Sol Guy. Illustrated by Rudy Gutierrez. K’naan is an acclaimed Somali-Canadian rap artist, poet, and songwriter, and his “Wavin’ Flag” was the anthem of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. This distilled autobiography chronicles his childhood: first in civil war–ravaged Somalia, then in Toronto as a refugee, and how “music made [him] safe” through it all. Gutierrez’s art has an intense, graffiti-like energy. Music, lyrics, and a note on Somalia are appended.
Subjects: Individual Biographies; Poets; Music—Rap music; Somalia; Canada; Songs; Autobiographies; Refugees; Black Canadians; Musicians

leyson_BoyonWoodenBox_225x300Leyson, Leon, Harran, Marilyn J. and Leyson, Elisabeth B. The Boy on the Wooden Box: How the Impossible Became Possible…on Schindler’s List
Gr. 46     232 pp.     Atheneum

Leon Leyson (born Leib Lejzon in 1929) acknowledges that he was “an unlikely survivor of the Holocaust,” saved from extermination by his father’s lucky place in Oskar Schindler’s Kraków factory. Leyson’s account of his childhood in pre-war Poland and under the Nazi occupation stands out for its brisk and unsentimental style and for its human scale. The tone is forthright and almost grandfatherly. Websites.
Subjects: Individual Biographies; Nazism; Schindler, Oskar; History, Modern—Holocaust; Autobiographies; Poland; Jews

From the October 2014 issue of Nonfiction Notes from the Horn Book.

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