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Hands Across the Sea is dedicated
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We Send Books that Get Kids Hooked on Reading
These books are amazing! Every summer, when we buy, sort, and pack thousands of great new books for Caribbean children, we read, browse, and get excited by the quality and range of titles from the world's best publishers that are going into our Hands Wish Lists shipment. Thanks to special consideration given to us by publishers, we can afford to send not only new books—and teaching resources, too, when requested—but the very best books. We thank the publishers for their philanthropic generosity—and we can't wait until the kids open the boxes.
We buy more books from Scholastic than any other publisher—the quality and breadth of their product range is impressive. Scholastic has an "A list" lineup of award-winning children's book favorites, from Goosebumps to Junie B. Jones to Magic Schoolbus to Harry Potter, and many more. The publisher has a highly-evolved line of child-friendly reference books, cutting-edge e-books, and a well of supporting material. Scholastic also offers a massive treasure chest of teaching resources in their Teachers website, including book-specific lesson plans, blogs and videos on teaching strategies, and literacy-building student activities.
The DK Publishing line of beautifully illustrated non-fiction Eye Wonder (primary school) and Eyewitness (secondary school) series is a graphic triumph—never has so much information been presented in such an appealing and accessible way. These "fact books" are very popular with Caribbean students, for research as well as reading. In addition to DK's array of large format, eye-popping books, the publisher's DK Readers (in reading levels from beginner to accomplished) and DK Biography series are a must-send of our Hands Wish Lists. (Along with the glittery Disney Princess hardcovers—a smash with primary-school girls!)
Those daring, resourceful teen sleuths, Nancy Drew and Joe and Frank Hardy, continue to hook Caribbean primary-school and high-school readers, which is why we order a raft of the titles from Penguin Books. There's no mystery here: the page-turning writing of Carolyn Keene (Nancy Drew Mystery Stories) and Franklin W. Dixon (Hardy Boys Mystery Stories) is just as compelling as ever. Penguin Books offers a wide range of contemporary YA (young adult) fiction, too, in the Young Readers section of their website. And Penguin Books offers picture books for pre-schoolers and up, and help and advice for teachers and librarians.
Macmillan Caribbean offers a comprehensive range of texts and resource materials that are essential for success in Caribbean secondary school examinations. For primary school educators, the publisher offers innovative teaching and learning resources, written by experienced, practicing teachers and professionals. Wherever possible the content is drawn from the everyday lives of the students, providing a focused, Caribbean-specific learning experience. Macmillan Caribbean also has a range of Caribbean-infused children's storybooks, health and development titles, and teaching resources, from mathematics to social studies.
We know that it's very powerful when Caribbean children can "see themselves" in books, so we are always on the lookout for children's books by Caribbean authors and illustrators. Offering versions in English and Spanish, Editorial Campana has a range of smart, funny titles. Papillote Press publishes a wealth of Dominica-specific books, and Hansib Publications offers Caribbean fiction for secondary school readers. We've found a number of great Caribbean writers, such as Zetta Elliott, Joanne C. Hillhouse, Ricardo Keens Douglas, Carol Ottley Mitchell, and Joanne Haynes.
Rosen Publishing has an imprint, Power Kids Press, that offers a variety of exciting books for primary-school readers in interest areas including science, animals, health and guidance, arts and activities, the environment, graphica, and much more. For high school students, Rosen offers a wide range of graphic-novel type biographies, and a comprehensive selection of guides to health (conflict, anxiety, anger management, mood disorders, self-image, and more), drug use, character traits, social studies, science, and careers. The Rosen titles are fresh, relevant, and graphically appealing.
Cavendish Square has tackled some big topics—modern issues (from pop culture to teens in crisis), science (climate change to chemistry), animals (animal behavior to veterinarians), world cultures (Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, Islam to Judaism), health (dangerous drugs), world history (ice age to World Wars I and II), and more. Bountifully illustrated, with an open, contemporary design and dramatic typefaces, the Cavendish Square range is appealing to young readers.
Following the requests from educators via our Hands Wish Lists, we buy and send specialty books. The very progressive Annick Press offers a wide-ranging, thought-provoking collection, from jazzy board books for pre-schoolers to examinations of racism, teen sex (and pregnancy), and more. San Francisco, California's Heyday Books, another leading edge publisher, offers topical and adventurous children's books. Human Kinetics has a great lineup of how-to sports books, including cricket—a Caribbean favorite.