Cowley, Marjorie. The Golden Bull.
Because of the severe drought and accompanying famine in Mesopotamia in 2600 BC, Jomar is sent to be apprenticed to a goldsmith. His sister Zefa, a talented singer and lyre player, is sent with him. The two run into numerous problems, especially finding a place for Zefa to stay. Jomar learns his trade and is involved in creating a special piece of artwork for the local temple, despite these problems. This book had many good depictions of every day life in ancient Mesopotamia, which is wonderful since this area is covered in our sixth grade curriculum, and there are very few books written about it. My only quibble is that the book tends toward being a bit dry. Still, a good book to have.
Perkins, Mitali. Bamboo People.
Add this book to the list containing Sheth's Boys without Names and D'Adamo's
Iqbal for students who need a dose of how lucky they are to live in the US! Studious Chiko responds to an advertisement for teachers in Burma, knowing that it might be a trap to get conscripts for the army. It is, and he is sent to train to fight for the Burmese army against the local tribes. The army is harsh, and Chiko survives the best he can, helping others when possible and taking advantage of his own abilities to read and write. When Chiko is injured, he is healed and taken in by a member of the Karenni tribe. Tu Reh doesn't want to help Chiko, but doesn't feel right letting him die. This is an excellent tale of people from different factions getting along in desperate circumstances, and paints a vivid picture of life in Burma that may be unfamiliar to the majority of people.
Delaney, Joseph. A Coven of Witches.
This is another collection of short stories, much like The Spook's Tale and Other Horrors. It's from the point of view of several witches that show up in the tales and was perfectly fine. I was just disappointed because I want to read the continuing story, but will have to wait for Rise of the Huntress (August 17th!) and Rage of the Fallen (April 19, 2011). Book six was so wonderful that waiting for the next book is just painful!
Update on library-- shelves go in on Monday the 16th. The circulation desk is getting electricity as I type. It's a harrowing process, the whole thing, and it is making me an unpleasant person. I'm just glad that there won't be an occasion to redo the library again before I retire in 2038! Whew!