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.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Nonfiction for Older Readers

Diwali: Festival of Lights - Rina Singh
Fireworks, food and family. Diwali reminds us that light will always prevail over darkness through the retelling of the legends of Rama, Krishna and Lakshmi in the biggest and brightest of all Indian festivals.


Vietnam: A History of the War - Russell Freedman
An account of the Vietnam War describes how it began, why it was so difficult to end, and how its tragic legacy endures today.


Tells the story of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki through the eyes of Sachiko Yasui, who was six when the devastation was wrought, describing her experiences in the aftermath of the attack as well as her long journey to find peace.

New Fiction

Upper Elementary
Beautiful Blue World - Suzanna LaFleur
Sofarende is at war and the army is paying families well to recruit children, so if twelve-year-old Mathilde or her best friend Megs is chosen, they hope to help their families but fear they will be separated forever.


Middle School
Garvey's Choice - Nikki Grimes
Garvey's father has always wanted Garvey to be athletic, but Garvey is interested in astronomy, science fiction, reading--anything but sports. Feeling like a failure, he comforts himself with food. Garvey is kind, funny, smart, a loyal friend, and he is also overweight, teased by bullies, and lonely. When his only friend encourages him to join the school chorus, Garvey's life changes. The chorus finds a new soloist in Garvey, and through chorus, Garvey finds a way to accept himself, and a way to finally reach his distant father--by speaking the language of music instead of the language of sports.

Children of Exile - Margaret Peterson Haddix
A twelve-year-old girl raised in a foster village is returned to her biological parents, and discovers home is not what she expected it to be.

Mark of the Plague - Kevin Sands
Blackthorn Key Adventure - Book 2. 
As the plague decimates London in 1665 and an assassin threatens the apothecary's life, apprentice Christopher Rowe and his faithful friend Tom, following a trail of puzzles, riddles, and secrets, risk their lives to untangle the heart of a dark conspiracy.

Young Adult
Consider - Kristy Acevedo
When mysterious holograms suddenly appear, heralding the end of the world, seventeen-year-old Alexandra Lucas must brave her anxiety disorder and make the ultimate decision for her friends, family, and the human race: to stay, or to go.

Crooked Kingdom - Leigh Bardugo
Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn't think they'd survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they're right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and badly weakened, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals, and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz's cunning and test the team's fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city's dark and twisting streets -- a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of the Grisha world.

Replica - Lauren Oliver
Replica is a "flip book" that contains two narratives in one, and it is the first in a duology. Turn the book one way and read Lyra's story; turn the book over and upside down and read Gemma's story ... Lyra's story begins in the Haven Institute, a building tucked away on a private island off the coast of Florida that from a distance looks serene and even beautiful. But up close the locked doors, military guards, and biohazard suits tell a different story. In truth, Haven is a clandestine research facility where thousands of replicas, or human models, are born, raised, and observed. When a surprise attack is launched on Haven, two of its young experimental subjects--Lyra, or 24, and the boy known only as 72--manage to escape. Gemma has been in and out of hospitals for as long as she can remember. A lonely teen, her life is circumscribed by home, school, and her best friend, April. But after she is nearly abducted by a stranger claiming to know her, Gemma starts to investigate her family's past and discovers her father's mysterious connection to the secretive Haven research facility. Hungry for answers, she travels to Florida, only to stumble upon two replicas and a completely new set of questions.

Glitter- Aprilynne Pike
A teenager living in an alternate-history futuristic Versailles must escape its walls by selling a happy-inducing makeup called Glitter.




New Picture Books

Preaching to the Chickens: The Story of Young John Lewis - Jabari Asim
John wants to be a preacher when he grows up a leader whose words stir hearts to change, minds to think, and bodies to take action. But why wait? When John is put in charge of the family farm's flock of chickens, he discovers that they make a wonderful congregation! So he preaches to his flock, and they listen, content under his watchful care, riveted by the rhythm of his voice. John grew up to be a member of the Freedom Riders, chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, and demonstrator on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, and is now a Georgia congressman.

Walking in a Winter Wonderland - based on the song by Felix Bernard & Richard B. Smith
This picture book celebrates winter, using the lyrics of the song Winter Wonderland.

One Day in the Eucalyptus, Eucalyptus Tree - Daniel Bernstrom
Gobbled by a snake, a brown-skinned boy finds a find a way out of his predicament by encouraging the snake to eat an increasing number of animals.

Bad Kitty Does Not Like Snow - Nick Bruel
Kitty is back in this hilarious tale in which she discovers that she does not, in fact, like snow. Not at all. Not even a little.

Mervin the Sloth is About to Do the Best Thing in the World
- Colleen AF Venable
Mervin the Sloth is about to do the best thing in the world. Can you guess what it is? "Flying!" says the bird. "Gazelling!" says the gazelle. "Digging!" says the prairie dog. Hurry up, Mervin! But Mervin moves so slowly. Are you patient enough to wait? No? Turn the page!

Click, Clack, Surprise! - Doreen Cronin
Little Duck celebrates his first birthday with the other animals on the farm by copying their examples, from shearing off all his feathers to taking a mudbath, before enjoying Farmer Brown's yummy frosted maple cake.

Are You Sure, Mother Bear? - Amy Hest
On the first night of winter, Little Miss Bear will not go to sleep. She simply refuses. "Winter is for sleeping," Mother Bear tells her. "But why, Mother?" Little Miss asks. "Because that's what bears do. All bears sleep, all winter long." All winter long is much too long for Little Miss Bear. She is going to miss her stars and her moon, and she is going to miss rolling on hills. Most of all, she is going to miss Mother Bear. But Mother finds a special way to assure her that they will all be there waiting for her--the stars, the moon, the hills, and especially Mother Bear--when she wakes in the spring. From author Amy Hest and artist Lauren Tobia comes a warm and emotionally resonant story that is sure to comfort little bears everywhere.

Steamboat School - Deborah Hopkinson
In 1847 St. Louis, Missouri, when a new law against educating African Americans forces Reverend John to close his school, he finds an ingenious solution to the new state law by moving his school to a steamboat in the Mississippi River. Includes author's note on Reverend John Berry Meachum, a minister, entrepreneur, and educator who fought tirelessly for the rights of African Americans.

In Plain Sight - Richard Jackson
An ailing grandfather and his helpful granddaughter play a unique game of seek and find.


Night Animals - Gianna Marino
Possum is hiding from the sounds in the night, and his fear sets off a chain reaction in the other night animals.


A Voyage in the Clouds: The (Mostly) True Story of the First International Flight by Balloon in 1785
- Matthew Olshan
Dr. John Jeffries and his pilot, Jean-Pierre Blanchard, each want to be the first man to fly from one country to another, across the English Channel. There's only one problem: they can't stand each other! Inspired by the true story of the first international flight.

First Snow - Bomi Park
A tiny girl awakens in the night and quickly dons her boots, coat, scarf, and hat before quietly slipping outside to form a snowball. She rolls the snowball out of town, into the countryside, and past woodland creatures before reaching her destination--an open area where dozens of children are creating snowmen.

Henry & Leo - Pamela Zagarenski
Leo isn't just a stuffed toy, he is Henry's best friend and brother. But when the two are accidentally separated, no one in Henry's family believes Leo is real enough to find his way home.