Librarian Recommended English Books for Children. Read Aloud Videos.

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Librarian Recommended Children’s English Books - Read Aloud Videos - The Sakura Medal

Apple cake and Baklava - Kathrin Rohmann

Leila is the new girl in Max’s class in rural Germany, and they soon become close friends. She has fled Syria with her family, having left her beloved grandmother and father behind. Her most cherished object is a walnut from her grandmother’s garden. Max is close to his own grandmother, who is very understanding of Leila’s situation, having fled her home in Pommern as a little girl. Leila is desperately sad when she loses her beloved walnut and, in a failed attempt, sets out to return to Syria.


Apple Cake and Baklava is a story about otherness, openness and the willingness to come to know one another. Many children will be aware of the latest surge of refugees and their plight. Leila’s is a sadly universal and timeless story of leaving behind a home country forever. While set in rural Northern Germany, it could equally take place in most European countries.
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The Tattooist of Auschwitz - Heather Morris

In April 1942, Lale Sokolov, a Slovakian Jew, is forcibly transported to the concentration camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau. When his captors discover he speaks several languages, he is put to work as a Tätowierer (the German word for "tattooist"), tasked with permanently marking his fellow prisoners.

Imprisoned for more than two and a half years, Lale witnesses horrific atrocities and barbarism - but also incredible acts of bravery and compassion. Risking his own life, he uses his privileged position to exchange jewels and money from murdered Jews for food to keep his fellow prisoners alive.

One day in July 1942, Lale, prisoner 32407, comforts a trembling young woman waiting in line to have the number 34902 tattooed onto her arm. Her name is Gita, and in that first encounter, Lale vows to somehow survive the camp and marry her.
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Reader Levels and Interests

Read Aloud Videos - Mr. Tim from The Magic Crayons reading his favourite books for your child or class
Chapter Book - A story book intended for intermediate readers, generally age 7-10
Early Reader - The first books that children will be able to read independently
Graphic Novels - A novel in comic-strip format. Synonyms: comic, comic book, cartoon; manga
Picture Books - A book containing many illustrations, especially one for children
Realistic Fiction -
High School - For readers of that age
Middle School - For readers of that age
Read Aloud Books - Great to a large class. ESL / EFL Dispatch Teacher Essentials
Jolly Phonics - Highly recommended for those learning to read

The Sakura Medal Book Awards

Sakura Medal Winners

2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
2020
2021

Sakura Medal Nominees

2018
2019
2020
2021

Setting

Cuba
• France
Germany
India
Japan
Korea
• Mexico
UK

How to Read Books Aloud

• Ensure all students / your children can see the book
• Allow students to settle before you begin reading. Turn of nearby computers or TVs to avoid distractions
• Allow time for students to absorb the illustrations on each page before reading the text
• Different voices for each character are engaging for students and fun for you if you are reading the story multiple times - if you can keep track of voices of the characters
• Inform your audience of the author and illustrator so they may ask for the story again and foster an interest in writers and drawing
• Take your time
• There is no need to be shy. Children will delight in listening to you

How often should you read with your child?
• Everyday
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