. . . OR featured at your Christmas Eve book exchange.  Two books I hope you’ll find are Puppy & Bear: The First Day of School and Twelve Days in May: Freedom Ride 1961. For the younger set (ages 3-7): All summer long, Puppy and Bear play hide-and-seek under the oak trees, fly down the lane on Bear’s bike with Puppy’s ears flapping in the breeze like a bird’s wings, and pretend to be pirates. But when Bear starts school in the fall, everything changes. Suddenly, Puppy feels abandoned, alone, and lonely. (“Fits the bill for readers whose own best buds have been lost to school.” – -Kirkus Reviews)


For history buffs (or anyone with an interest in Civil Rights), May 4, 1961, should be significant. Thirteen activists–men and women, young and old, black and white–board two buses in Washington, D.C., bound for New Orleans, Louisiana. They plan to reach that city by May 17 to help celebrate the seventh anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision. Their mission is clear. The laws prohibiting segregation on buses crossing state lines and at bus stations are being violated. These nonviolent Freedom Riders are determined to draw attention to the laws’ lack of enforcement. But as their journey takes them deeper into the South over the course of twelve days, their peaceful protest turns violent. This is their story. (Starred reviews: Booklist & School Library Journal)


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