Nine Candles

51XXXQBXSCLNine Candles
By Maria Testa
Illustrated by Amanda Schaffer
Published by Carolrhoda
Ages 6-9

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Every time I see that prison sign, I get a cold feeling in my stomach, like I just ate too much ice cream.  Raymond walks by the prison sign with Dad every Sunday.  He doesn’t like going to the prison, but he does like it once he’s inside – he gets to see Mama.  This Sunday is special.  It’s Raymond’s seventh birthday, and even though Mama is in prison, she can be part of the celebration.  On this birthday, Raymond has only one wish – to see nine candles lighting up his birthday cake.

Awards & Accolades
• International Reading Association/Children’s Book Council Children’s Choices
• Society of School Librarians International Honor Book in the Language Arts
• Barbara Karlin Grant for a Picture Book Writer (SCBWI)

“There is no moralizing here – just a child’s nonjudgmental acceptance of something he cannot change and his anticipation of better times to come.”  —Booklist

“Details of prison life . . . all add to this sensitive story.  A thought-provoking picture book.”  —School Library Journal