Friday, June 30, 2017


Sam in Winter - Edward van de Vendel
When his dog Sam goes missing, Kix must enlist the help of an old enemy in order to find him.

Middle Grades
Forever or a Long, Long Time - Caela Carter
Flora and her brother, Julian, don't believe they were born. They've lived in so many foster homes, they can't remember where they came from. And even now that they've been adopted, Flora still struggles to believe in forever. So along with their new mother, Flora and Julian begin a journey to go back and discover their past -- for only then can they really begin to build their future.

In Over Their Heads - Margaret Peterson Haddix
Twelve-year-old twins Nick and Eryn and their robot stepsiblings, Jackson and Ava, try to save humanity from killer robots.

Young Adult
Empress of a Thousand Skies - Rhoda Belleza
Two fugitives, a princess-in-exile and her accused killer, cross the galaxy as they fight to reclaim her family dynasty and save the universe from a deadly threat.

Defy the Stars - Claudia Gray
Teenaged soldier Noemi and an enemy robot, Abel, who is programmed to obey her commands, set out on an interstellar quest to save her home planet, Earth colony Genesis.

Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers - Deborah Heiligman
The deep and enduring friendship between Vincent and Theo Van Gogh shaped both brothers' lives. They shared everything, swapping stories of lovers and friends, successes and disappointments, dreams and ambitions. Heiligman draws on the letters Vincent wrote to Theo during his lifetime to weave a tale of two lives intertwined as Theo supported Vincent's struggles to find his path in life.

Strange the Dreamer - Laini Taylor
War orphan and junior librarian Lazlo Strange gets an unexpected opportunity to follow his dream of seeking the mythic lost city of Weep with the Godslayer and his band of legendary warriors.

The Pearl Thief - Elizabeth Wein
Fifteen-year-old Julia Beaufort-Stuart wakes up in a hospital not knowing how she was injured, and soon befriends Euan McEwen, the Scottish Traveller boy who found her, and later, when a body is discovered, she experiences the prejudices his family has endured and tries to keep them from being framed for the crime.

Picture Books

Priscilla Gorilla - Barbara Bottner
Priscilla is obsessed with gorillas. But when her ape-like behavior gets her sent to the Thinking Corner, Priscilla wonders if she is really channeling her inner gorilla, or just being a troublemaker.

Shake a Leg, Egg! - Kurt Cyrus
It's springtime, and the pond is bursting with new life. There are beaver pups, heron hatchlings, and lots and lots of ducklings. Everyone is out and about, swimming, flapping, chirping, and quacking--except for one family of geese.

The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors - Drew Daywalt
You've played the game. Now read the legend of how it all began...Long ago, in an ancient and distant realm called the Kingdom of Backyard, there lived a warrior named ROCK. Meanwhile in the Empire of Mom's Home Office, a second great warrior sought the glory of battle. And his name was PAPER. At the same time, in the Kitchen Realm, in the tiny village of Junk Drawer, lived a third warrior. They called her SCISSORS. These three were the strongest, smartest, and fastest in all the land. Time and again they beat the most fearsome opponents they could find: an apricot, a computer printer--even frozen, breaded, dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets! But when the warriors finally meet each other, the most epic round of battles begins...and never ends. That is why, to this day, children around the world honor these worthy adversaries by playing ROCK, PAPER, SCISSORS!

Olivia the Spy - Ian Falconer
Listening in on her mother's conversations hoping to discover the secret plan for her upcoming birthday, Olivia instead hears her mother talking about her poor behavior and becomes concerned she'll be sent to military school.

Go Sleep in Your Own Bed! - Candace Fleming
When Pig plops into his sty at bedtime, he finds Cow sleeping there and must send her off to her stall, setting off a chain reaction of animals being awakened to move to their own beds.
All Ears, All Eyes - Richard Jackson
As darkness falls in the forest, animals hoot, chirp, whirr, and bark, lulling drowsy children to sleep.

John Ronald's Dragons: The Story of J.R.R. Tolkien - Caroline McAlister
John Ronald loved dragons. He liked to imagine dragons when he was alone, and with his friends, and especially when life got hard or sad. After his mother died and he had to live with a cold-hearted aunt, he looked for dragons. He searched for them at his boarding school. And when he fought in a Great War, he felt as if terrible, destructive dragons were everywhere. But he never actually found one, until one day, when he was a grown man but still very much a boy at heart, when he decided to create one of his own. This picture book biography introduces the creator of Middle Earth and author of The Hobbit to a new generation of children who see magic in the world around them.

Over and Under the Pond - Kate Messner
Celebrates the forms of life that live above and under a pond, including turtles, red-winged blackbirds, blue herons, minnows, frogs, and catfish.

The Three Billy Goats Gruff - Jerry Pinkney
Three billy goats must outwit the big, ugly troll that lives under the bridge they have to cross on their way up the mountain.

A Perfect Day - Lane Smith
Today is a perfect day for Cat, Dog, Chickadee, and Squirrel. Cat is lounging among the daffodils. Dog is sitting in the wading pool, deep in the cool water. Chickadee is eating fresh seed from the birdfeeder. Squirrel is munching on his very own corncob. Today is a perfect day in Bert's backyard. Until Bear comes along, that is. Bear crushes the daffodils, drinks the pool water, and happily gobbles up the birdseed and corncob. Today was a perfect day for Cat, Dog, Chickadee, and Squirrel. Now, it's just a perfect day for Bear.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Books for Black History Month

Elementary Level:
Flying Lessons & Other Stories - Edited by Ellen Oh
From basketball dreams and family fiascoes to first crushes and new neighborhoods, this anthology, written by award-winning children's authors, celebrates the uniqueness and universality in all of us.

Middle Grades:
One Last Word: Wisdom from the Harlem Renaissance - Nikki Grimes
In this collection of poetry, Nikki Grimes looks afresh at the poets of the Harlem Renaissance --
including voices like Langston Hughes, Georgia Douglas Johnson, and many more writers of importance and resonance from this era -- by combining their work with her own original poetry. Using "The Golden Shovel" poetic method, Grimes has written a collection of poetry that is as gorgeous as it is thought-provoking. This special book also includes original artwork in full-color from some of today's most exciting African American illustrators, who have created pieces of art based on Nikki's original poems. Featuring art by: Cozbi Cabrera, R. Gregory Christie, Pat Cummings, Jan Spivey Gilchrist, Nikki Grimes, E. B. Lewis, Frank Morrison, Brian Pinkney, Sean Qualls, James Ransome, Javaka Steptoe, Shadra Strickland, and Elizabeth Zunon. A foreword, an introduction to the history of the Harlem Renaissance, author's note, poet biographies, and index makes this not only a book to cherish, but a wonderful resource and reference as well.

Answering the Cry for Freedom: Stsories of African Americans and the American Revolution 
- Gretchen Woelfle
Step into the shoes of thirteen men and women of color, and discover how the American Revolution rattled the chains of slavery. Woelfle examines the death-defying attempts of black Americans to gain the inalienable rights promised in the Declaration of Independence.

Young Adult:
Blood Brother: Jonathan Daniels and His Sacrifice for Civil Rights - Rich Wallace
Jonathan Daniels, a white seminary student from New Hampshire, traveled to Selma, Alabama, in 1965 to help with voter registration of black residents. After the voting rights marches, he remained in Alabama, in the area known as "Bloody Lowndes," an extremely dangerous area for white freedom fighters, to assist civil rights workers. Five months later, Jonathan Daniels was shot and killed while saving the life of Ruby Sales, a black teenager. Through Daniels's poignant letters, papers, photographs, and taped interviews, authors Rich Wallace and Sandra Neil Wallace explore what led Daniels to the moment of his death, the trial of his murderer, and how these events helped reshape both the legal and political climate of Lowndes County and the nation.

Christian Books and Bibles

Good Good Father - Christ Tomlin and Pat Barrett
When his town is in trouble, a little bear named Tucker doubts why the King would have time for him and if he would really offer help. Just as Tucker is about to give up, the King runs to him offering love, acceptance, and help, assuring the reader that God truly is a Good Good Father and they are loved by Him. (picture book)

Bibles for Kids:
David Jeremiah Airship Genesis Kids Study Bible
The Airship Genesis Kids Study Bible is an exciting adventure through God's Word in the trustworthy New King James Version. Designed for children ages 7-11, the Airship Genesis Kids Study Bible brings Bible stories to life and helps kids discover vital truths from Scripture, finding real-life applications for children living in today's world. Study features for the Airship Genesis Kids Study Bible are based on the characteristics of the Airship Genesis: Legendary Bible Adventure brand from David Jeremiah and the Turning Point for God Ministry. In Airship Genesis: Legendary Bible Adventure, the Genesis Exploration Squad is commissioned to embark on a series of adventures that takes them throughout the Bible. Each mission is a learning experience, both in biblical understanding as well as character building.

Kid's Devotional Bible
Complete with a year's worth of devotions, the Kids' Devotional Bible, NIrV will help children develop a habit they'll want to keep. Engaging weekday devotions, fun weekend activities, interesting illustrations, and a dictionary make this a Bible they'll want to read and apply to their lives. It includes the complete New International Reader's Version (NIrV)the stepping stone to the NIVmaking it easier for young readers to read and understand. Features include: Short weekday devotions that help young readers apply Bible lessons for a full year; 52 weekend devotions that teach kids about God's creation through fun activities like visiting the zoo and gazing at the stars; "Got It" feature that encourages kids to find answers to Bible trivia themselves; Book introductions that give helpful information about each book of the Bible; A dictionary to look up words they want to know more about; The complete NIrV text, which uses shorter sentences and easier words. Kids can read this Bible on their own!

Fiction for Elementary and Middle School

Into the Wild: Yet Another Misadventure - Doreen Cronin
The fluffy, fearless Chicken Squad detectives are determined to find out who the new addition is in their yard, so, equipped with the latest surveillance gear, the chicks venture into the wild to get answers.

Book Uncle and Me - Uma Krishnaswami
Every day, nine-year-old Yasmin borrows a book from Book Uncle, a retired teacher who has set up a free lending library next to her apartment building. But when the mayor tries to shut down the rickety bookstand, Yasmin has to take her nose out of her book and do something. But what can she do? The local elections are coming up but she's just a kid. She can't even vote! Still, Yasmin has friends -- her best friend, Reeni, and Anil, who even has a black belt in karate. And she has grownup family and neighbors who, no matter how preoccupied they are, care about what goes on in their community. Then Yasmin remembers a story that Book Uncle selected for her. It's an old folktale about a flock of doves trapped in a hunter's net. The birds realize that if they all flap their wings at the same time, they can lift the net and fly to safety, where they seek the help of a friendly mole who chews a hole in the net and sets them free. And so the children get to work, launching a campaign to make sure the voices of the community are heard.

Upper Elementary/Middle School

The Best Man - Richard Peck
Archer has four important role models in his life--his dad, his grandfather, his uncle Paul, and his favorite teacher, Mr. McLeod. When Uncle Paul and Mr. McLeod get married, Archer's sixth-grade year becomes one he'll never forget."-- Provided by publisher

Ghost - Jason Reynolds
Ghost. Lu. Patina. Sunny. Four kids from wildly different backgrounds with personalities that are explosive when they clash. But they are also four kids chosen for an elite middle school track team -- a team that could qualify them for the Junior Olympics if they can get their acts together. They all have a lot to lose, but they also have a lot to prove, not only to each other, but to themselves. Ghost has a crazy natural talent, but no formal training. If he can stay on track, literally and figuratively, he could be the best sprinter in the city. But Ghost has been running for the wrong reasons -- it all starting with running away from his father, who, when Ghost was a very little boy, chased him and his mother through their apartment, then down the street, with a loaded gun, aiming to kill. Since then, Ghost has been the one causing problems -- and running away from them -- until he meets Coach, an ex-Olympic Medalist who blew his own shot at success by using drugs, and who is determined to keep other kids from blowing their shots at life.

The Secret Keepers - Trenton Lee Stewart
When Reuben discovers an antique watch that was mortared into the wall, he soon learns it has a secret power. As one secret leads to another, Reuben finds himself torn between his innately honest nature and the lure to be a hero. Now he is on a dangerous adventure, and with fearless Penny, mighty Jack, and the wise Mrs. Genevieve on his side, Reuben must outwit and outmaneuver the sly villain called The Smoke and his devious defenders the Directions, in order to save the city from a terrible fate.

Young Adult Fiction

Throne of Glass series
The Assassin's Blade - Sarah Maas
In these five prequel novellas to "Throne of Glass," feared assassin Celaena embarks on daring missions that take her from remote islands to hostile deserts, where she fights to liberate slaves and avenge tyranny.

Empire of Storms - Sarah Maas
 Book 5 - The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those who don't. As the kingdoms of Erilea fracture around her, enemies must become allies if Aelin is to keep those she loves from falling to the dark forces poised to claim her world.


Last Seen Leaving - Caleb Roehrig
Flynn's girlfriend is missing, and people are suspecting him of knowing something, so he struggles to uncover her secrets as he must also face the truth about himself.

Carve the Mark - Veronica Roth
On a planet where violence and vengeance rule, in a galaxy where some are favored by fate, everyone develops a currentgift, a unique power meant to shape the future. While most benefit from their currentgifts, Akos and Cyra do not -- their gifts make them vulnerable to others' control. Can they reclaim their gifts, their fates, and their lives, and reset the balance of power in this world? Cyra is the sister of the brutal tyrant who rules the Shotet people. Cyra's currentgift gives her pain and power -- something her brother exploits, using her to torture his enemies. But Cyra is much more than just a blade in her brother's hand: she is resilient, quick on her feet, and smarter than he knows. Akos is from the peace-loving nation of Thuvhe, and his loyalty to his family is limitless. Though protected by his unusual currentgift, once Akos and his brother are captured by enemy Shotet soldiers, Akos is desperate to get his brother out alive -- no matter what the cost. When Akos is thrust into Cyra's world, the enmity between their countries and families seems insurmountable. They must decide to help each other to survive -- or to destroy one another.

The Sun is Also a Star - Nicola Yoon
Two teens--Daniel, the son of Korean shopkeepers, and Natasha, whose family is here illegally from Jamaica--cross paths in New York City on an eventful day in their lives--Daniel is on his way to an interview with a Yale alum, Natasha is meeting with a lawyer to try and prevent her family's deportation to Jamaica--and fall in love.
Michael L. Printz Honor, 2017

New Picture Books

Circles - David Adler
The characteristics of circles as well as how to find the radius, diameter, circumference, and area of a circle are explained and illustrated in this geometry picture book.

Six Dots: A Story of Young Louis Braille - Jen Bryant
Louis Braille was just five years old when he lost his sight. He was a clever boy, determined to live like everyone else, and what he wanted more than anything was to be able to read. Even at the school for the blind in Paris, there were no books for him. And so he invented his own alphabet -- a whole new system for writing that could be read by touch. A system so ingenious that it is still used by the blind community today.
Schneider Family Book Award, 2017.

Egg - Kevin Henkes
Three little birds crack their way out of eggs and fly away, leaving one egg sitting all alone until the three chicks come back and discover a friendly baby alligator has finally hatched.

A Greyhound A Groundhog - Emily Jenkins
A tongue twister featuring a little round greyhound and a little round groundhog who work themselves into a frenzy as they whirl around and around one another.

Excellent Ed - Stacy McAnulty
Everyone in the Ellis family is excellent, except Ed the dog, who is determined to find something at which he, too, can excel.

Frederick Douglass: The Lion Who Wrote History - Walter Dean Myers
Frederick Douglass was a self-educated slave in the South who grew up to become an icon. He was a leader of the abolitionist movement, a celebrated writer, an esteemed speaker, and a social reformer, proving that, as he said, "Once you learn to read, you will be forever free."

Little Penguins - Cynthia Rylant
During the first snowy day of winter, five little penguins bundle up and venture outside to play.

Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean Michel-Basquiat - Javaka Steptoe
Jean-Michel Basquiat and his unique, collage-style paintings rocked to fame in the 1980s as a cultural phenomenon unlike anything the art work had ever seen. But before that, he was a little boy who saw art everywhere: in poetry books and museums, in games and in the words that we speak, and in the pulsing energy of New York City. Now, award-winning illustrator Javaka Steptoe's vivid text and bold artwork echoing Basquiat's own introduce young readers to the powerful message and art doesn't always have to be neat or clean--and definitely not inside the lines--to be beautiful.
Caldecott Medal, 2017
Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award, 2017

The Princess and the Warrior: A Tale of Two Volcanoes - Duncan Tonatiuh
Award-winning author Duncan Tonatiuh reimagines one of Mexico's cherished legends. Princess Izta had many wealthy suitors but dismissed them all. When a mere warrior, Popoca, promised to be true to her and stay always by her side, Izta fell in love. The emperor promised Popoca if he could defeat their enemy Jaguar Claw, then Popoca and Izta could wed. When Popoca was near to defeating Jaguar Claw, his opponent sent a messenger to Izta saying Popoca was dead. Izta fell into a deep sleep and, upon his return, even Popoca could not wake her. As promised Popoca stayed by her side.
Pura Belpre Author Award Honor, 2017
Pura Belpre Illustrator Award Honor, 2017

Teacup - Rebecca Young
A boy travels across the sea in a rowboat in search of a new home, making a journey that is long and difficult--but also filled with beauty and hope.

Nanette's Baguette - Mo Willems
It's Nanette's first trip to get the baguette! Is she set? You bet!

We Are Growing! - Mo Willems
Walt is not the tallest or the curliest or the pointiest or even the crunchiest. A confounded blade of grass searches for his 'est' in this hilarious story about growing up.

Theodore Seuss Geisel Award, 2017

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

New Picture Books

Wolf in the Snow - Matthew Cordell
When a wolf cub and little girl are lost in a snowstorm they must find their way home.

Old Dog Baby Baby - Julie Fogliano
A rhyming picture book about a lazy old dog and a playful baby.

Wonderful Winter - Bruce Goldstone
A photographic picture book providing a comprehensive overview of facts about winter.

A Poem for Peter: The Story of Ezra Jack Keats and the Creation of The Snowy Day
- Andrea Davis Pinkney
The story of The Snowy Day begins more than one hundred years ago, when Ezra Jack Keats was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. The family were struggling Polish immigrants, and despite Keats's obvious talent, his father worried that Ezra's dream of being an artist was an unrealistic one. But Ezra was determined. By high school he was winning prizes and scholarships. Later, jobs followed with the WPA (Works Progress Administration) and Marvel comics. But it was many years before Keats's greatest dream was realized and he had the opportunity to write and illustrate his own book. For more than two decades, Ezra had kept pinned to his wall a series of photographs of an adorable African American child. In Keats's hands, the boy morphed into Peter, a boy in a red snowsuit, out enjoying the pristine snow; the book became The Snowy Day, winner of the Caldecott Medal, the first mainstream book to feature an African American child. It was also the first of many books featuring Peter and the children of his -- and Keats's -- neighborhood.

The Bear Who Wasn't There - LeUyen Pham
A picture book inviting readers to join the search for a missing bear.

Me First! Prefixes Lead the Way - Robin Pulver
A group of prefixes have trouble patiently waiting for Mr. Wright to teach a lesson about them in this introduction to prefixes.

XO, Ox: A Love Story - Adam Rex
The hilarious tale of an ox who is in love with a gazelle, told in correspondence.

Best in Snow - April Pulley Sayre
A photographic non-fiction picture book about the wonder of snowfall and the winter water cycle.

Is That Wise, Pig? - Jan Thomas
Mouse and Cow are making soup, but Pig keeps trying to add strange ingredients.