Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Nonfiction for All Ages

Elementary
Some Writer!: The Story of E.B.White - Melissa Sweet
"SOME PIG," Charlotte the spider's praise for Wilbur, is just one fondly remembered snippet from E. B. White's Charlotte's Web. In Some Writer!, the two-time Caldecott Honor winner Melissa Sweet mixes White's personal letters, photos, and family ephemera with her own exquisite artwork to tell his story, from his birth in 1899 to his death in 1985. Budding young writers will be fascinated and inspired by the journalist, New Yorker contributor, and children's book author who loved words his whole life. This authorized tribute is the first fully illustrated biography of E. B. White and includes an afterword by Martha White, E. B. White's granddaughter.

Middle School
In the Shadow of Liberty: The Hidden History of Slavery, Four Presidents, and Five Black Lives 
- Kenneth C. Davis
Through the powerful stories of five enslaved people who were "owned" by four of our greatest presidents, this book helps set the record straight about the role slavery played in the founding of America. From Billy Lee, valet to George Washington, to Alfred Jackson, faithful servant of Andrew Jackson, these dramatic narratives explore our country's great tragedy--that a nation "conceived in liberty" was also born in shackles.

Presenting Buffalo Bill: The Man Who Invented the Wild West - Candace Fleming
This, the first significant biography of Buffalo Bill Cody for younger readers in many years, explains it all. With copious archival illustrations and a handsome design, "Presenting Buffalo Bill "makes the great showman come alive for new generations. Extensive back matter, bibliography, and source notes complete the package.


It was April 5, 1943, and the Gestapo would arrive any minute. Dietrich Bonhoeffer had been expecting this day for a long time. He had put his papers in order -- and left a few notes specifically for Hitler's men to see. Two SS agents climbed the stairs and told the boyish-looking Bonhoeffer to come with them. He calmly said good-bye to his parents, put his Bible under his arm, and left. Upstairs there was proof, in his own handwriting, that this quiet young minister was part of a conspiracy to kill Adolf Hitler. This account includes the discovery that Bonhoeffer was one of the first people to provide evidence to the Allies that Jews were being deported to death camps. It takes readers from his privileged early childhood to the studies and travel that would introduce him to peace activists around the world -- eventually putting this gentle, scholarly pacifist on a deadly course to assassinate one of the most ruthless dictators in history.

High School
Women of Colonial America: 13 Stories of Courage and Survival in the New World
- Brandon Marie Miller
Using a host of primary sources, author Brandon Marie Miller recounts the roles, hardships, and daily lives of Native American, European, and African women in 17th- and 18th-century colonial America. Hard work proved a constant for most women--they ensured their family's survival through their skills while others sold their labor or lived in bondage as indentured servants and slaves. Even in this world defined entirely by men, a world where no one thought it important to record a female's thoughts, women found ways to step forth. Elizabeth Ashbridge survived an abusive indenture to become a Quaker preacher. Anne Bradstreet penned epic poetry while raising eight children in the wilderness. Anne Hutchinson went toe-to-toe with Puritan authorities. Margaret Hardenbroeck Philipse built a trade empire in New Amsterdam. Martha Corey lost her life in the vortex of Salem's witch hunt. And Eve, a Virginia slave, twice ran away to freedom. With strength, courage, resilience, and resourcefulness, these women and many others played a vital role in the mosaic of life in colonial America.


New Middle Grade and YA Fiction

Middle Grades
The Girl Who Drank the Moon - Kelly Barnhill
An epic fantasy about a young girl raised by a witch, a swamp monster, and a Perfectly Tiny Dragon, who must unlock the powerful magic buried deep inside her. Every year, the people of the Protectorate leave a baby as an offering to the witch who lives in the forest. They hope this sacrifice will keep her from terrorizing their town. But the witch in the forest, Xan, is kind and gentle. She shares her home with a wise Swamp Monster named Glerk and a Perfectly Tiny Dragon, Fyrian. Xan rescues the abandoned children and delivers them to welcoming families on the other side of the forest, nourishing the babies with starlight on the journey. One year, Xan accidentally feeds a baby moonlight instead of starlight, filling the ordinary child with extraordinary magic. Xan decides she must raise this enmagicked girl, whom she calls Luna, as her own. To keep young Luna safe from her own unwieldy power, Xan locks her magic deep inside her. When Luna approaches her thirteenth birthday, her magic begins to emerge on schedule--but Xan is far away. Meanwhile, a young man from the Protectorate is determined to free his people by killing the witch. Soon, it is up to Luna to protect those who have protected her--even if it means the end of the loving, safe world she's always known.

Raymie Nightingale - Kate DiCamillo
Raymie Clarke has come to realize that everything, absolutely everything, depends on her. And she has a plan. If Raymie can win the Little Miss Central Florida Tire competition, then her father, who left town two days ago with a dental hygienist, will see Raymie's picture in the paper and (maybe) come home. To win, not only does Raymie have to do good deeds and learn how to twirl a baton; she also has to contend with the wispy, frequently fainting Louisiana Elefante, who has a show-business background, and the fiery, stubborn Beverly Tapinski, who's determined to sabotage the contest. But as the competition approaches, loneliness, loss, and unanswerable questions draw the three girls into an unlikely friendship -- and challenge each of them to come to the rescue in unexpected ways.

Snow White - Matt Phelan
The scene: New York City. The dazzling lights cast shadows that grow ever darker as the glitzy prosperity of the Roaring Twenties screeches to a halt. Enter a cast of familiar characters: a young girl, Samantha White, returning after being sent away by her cruel stepmother, the Queen of the Follies, years earlier; her father, the King of Wall Street, who survives the stock market crash only to suffer a strange and sudden death; seven street urchins, brave protectors for a girl as pure as snow; and a mysterious stock ticker that holds the stepmother in its thrall, churning out ticker tape imprinted with the wicked words "Another . . . More Beautiful . . . KILL."

Young Adult
The Fever Code - James Dashner
Before the trials, WICKED found Thomas, the perfect boy, to help them build the Maze and find the cure for the Flare, a disease that plagues the world. But the truth of what is really going on is a secret and Thomas must uncover it before time runs out.



Every Hidden Thing - Kenneth Oppel
Somewhere in the Badlands, embedded deep in centuries-buried rock and sand, lies the skeleton of a massive dinosaur, larger than anything the late nineteenth century world has ever seen. To Samuel Bolt its the "rex", the king dinosaur that could put him and his struggling, temperamental archaeologist father in the history books. For Rachel Cartland this find could be her chance to prove herself on this expedition with her professor father. With both eyeing the same prize, their budding romance seems destined to fail. As danger looms, can they join forces to find their quarry?


Monday, December 5, 2016

New Books for Christmas & Hanukkah

Gingerbread Baby and his friend, Matti, take his gingerbread band to the Christmas Festival where they are a hit--until the aroma of gingerbread reaches the children, signaling the time to run away.

The Lost Gift: A Christmas Story - Kallie George & Stephanie Graegin
Four animal friends-- Bird, Rabbit, Deer, and Squirrel-- deliver a package for Santa on Christmas Eve.

Greta and Gracie are sisters - Greta is chatty while Gracie is quiet and it's all fine until, one day, everything changes. It's nearly Christmas and together the sisters decorate the tree, shop for presents and even try a spot of ice-skating! But Greta, of course, always knows best - poor Gracie can't get a word in edgeways. Then on Christmas Eve, while Greta is quietly sleeping, Gracie hears a funny noise ...whatever could it be? She creeps downstairs to investigate, and the next morning her very special revelation leaves chitty chatty Greta lost for words!

Maple & Willow's Christmas Tree - Lori Nichols
Sisters Maple and Willow get their first real Christmas tree, only to discover that Maple is allergic to it.

When the people of Chelm receive a giant menorah as a gift from the mayor of Lublin, the villagers try to come up with a fitting way to thank the mayor, but it isn't until the last night of Hanukkah that young Yitzi comes up with the right idea.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Picture Books

Du Iz Tak? - Carson Ellis
Readers are invited to imagine the dramatic possibilities to be found in the natural world, even the humblest back garden! With exquisitely-detailed illustration that will appeal to children and art-lovers alike, and a wonderfully playful invented language, we soon find ourselves speaking "Bug" ... Du iz tak? What is that?


Armstrong: The Adventurous Journey of a Mouse to the Moon - Torben Kuhlmann
The Tale of a Flying Mouse comes Armstrong: A Mouse on the Moon--where dreams are determined only by the size of your imagination and the biggest innovators are the smallest of all. The book ends with a brief non-fiction history of human space travel--from Galileo's observations concerning the nature of the universe to man's first steps on the moon.

Lindbergh: The Tale of a Flying Mouse - Torben Kuhlmann
In a country far away, a new invention--the mechanical mousetrap--has caused all the mice but one to flee to America. Now stranded in a dangerous country, the last mouse decides to build a plane and fly to the land of freedom.

The Ninjabread Man - C.J. Leigh
In this adaptation of the traditional Gingerbread man, Ninjabread Man escapes the Sensei, and defeats Ninja Bear, Ninja Snake and Ninja Mouse, only to be eaten by the clever Ninja Fox.


Baby Wren and the Great Gift - Sally Lloyd-Jones
As she takes in the beauty of her canyon home, the tiny wren discovers what was waiting inside her all along--her own beautiful gift.

If You Give a Mouse a Brownie - Laura Numeroff
If you give a mouse a brownie, he's going to ask for some ice cream to go with it. When you give him the ice cream, he'll probably ask you for a spoon. He'll start drumming on the table. Drumming will get him so excited he ll want to start a band..


Duck on a Tractor - David Shannon
Pleased with his success in riding a bike, Duck decides to drive the farm tractor, and invites all the other farm animals along for the ride--all the way to town.


Thursday, November 10, 2016

New Novels

Grades 3-6
The Poet's Dog - Patricia MacLachlan
Teddy is a gifted dog. Raised in a cabin by a poet named Sylvan, he grew up listening to sonnets read aloud and the comforting clicking of a keyboard. Although Teddy understands words, Sylvan always told him there are only two kinds of people in the world who can hear Teddy speak: poets and children. Then one day Teddy learns that Sylvan was right. When Teddy finds Nickel and Flora trapped in a snowstorm, he tells them that he will bring them home -- and they understand him. The children are afraid of the howling wind, but not of Teddy's words. They follow him to a cabin in the woods, where the dog used to live with Sylvan... only now his owner is gone. As they hole up in the cabin for shelter, Teddy is flooded with memories of Sylvan. What will Teddy do when his new friends go home? Can they help one another find what they have lost?

Ghosts - Raina Telgemeier
Catrina and her family have moved to the coast of Northern California for the sake of her little sister, Maya, who has cystic fibrosis. Cat is even less happy about the move when she is told that her new town is inhabited by ghosts, but Maya sets her heart on meeting one.


Grade 5-8
Ashes - Laurie Halse Anderson
As the Revolutionary War rages on, Isabel and Curzon are reported as runaways, and the awful Bellingham is determined to track them down. With purpose and faith, Isabel and Curzon march on, fiercely determined to find Isabel's little sister Ruth, who is enslaved in a Southern state.


The Hidden Oracle - Rick Riordan
After angering his father Zeus, the god Apollo is cast down from Olympus. He must learn to survive in the modern world until he can somehow find a way to regain Zeus's favor. 

Nonfiction for Elementary Grades

Giant Squid - Candace Fleming
A nonfiction picture book exploring the mysterious life of the elusive giant squid.

Writing with Rosie: You Can Write a Story Too - Patricia Reilly Giff
In a humorous and entertaining guide, two-time Newbery Honor-winning author Patricia Reilly Giff breaks down the process of writing fiction into steps, all while trying to cope with the constant distractions from her exuberant seventy-pound golden retriever puppy, Rosie. Citing examples from her award-winning novels she explains how to proceed with each step in chapter sections titled Can You See What I Did? Young writers can find the inspiration and tips they need to try their hand in sections called Your Turn. Anecdotes from her writing life and hilarious adventures with her high-energy pet provide entertainment and encouragement.

What Milly Did: The Remarkable Pioneer of Plastics Recycling - Elise Moser
Milly Zantow wanted to solve the problem of her towns full landfill and ended up creating a global recycling standard the system of numbers you see inside the little triangle on plastics. This is the inspiring story of how she mobilized her community, creating sweeping change to help the environment.

Around America to Win the Vote: Two Suffragists, a Kitten, and 10,000 Miles - Mara Rockliff
In April 1916, Nell Richardson and Alice Burke set out from New York City in a little yellow car, embarking on a bumpy, muddy, unmapped journey ten thousand miles long. They took with them a teeny typewriter, a tiny sewing machine, a wee black kitten, and a message for Americans all across the country: Votes for Women! The women's suffrage movement was in full swing, and Nell and Alice would not let anything keep them from spreading the word about equal voting rights for women. Braving blizzards, deserts, and naysayers--not to mention a whole lot of tires stuck in the mud--the two courageous friends made their way through the cities and towns of America to further their cause. One hundred years after Nell and Alice set off on their trip, Mara Rockliff revives their spirit in a lively and whimsical picture book, with exuberant illustrations by Hadley Hooper bringing their inspiring historical trek to life.



Who Eats What? series - Rebecca Pettiford
Vibrant photographs and carefully leveled text introduce early fluent readers to each biome and the many food chains it hosts. Each title includes an activity, glossary, and index.



Arctic Food Chains

Desert Food Chains

Ocean Food Chains

Prairie Food Chains

Rain Forest Food Chains

Thursday, November 3, 2016

New Picture Books

Lion Lessons - John Agee
Learning to be a lion takes some serious lessons, but luckily, this kid has a teacher who is a real pro.

Coyote Moon - Maria Geanferrari
A nonfiction picture book about coyotes hunting in suburban 
neighborhoods at night.

We Found a Hat - Jon Klassen
Two turtles find a hat that looks good on both of them, but, with fairness in mind, they decide to leave it be, until night falls and one of the turtles changes its mind.

Pond - Jim LaMarche
A group of friends discovers a neglected pond in the woods and decides to fix it up together.
Playtime? - Jeff Mack
Using illustrations and only two words, shows the trouble a young boy has trying to get his very playful pet gorilla to go to bed.

Creation - Cynthia Rylant
The King James Bible creation story illustrated in a folk-art style.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Young Adult Books

Nonfiction
Sabotage: The Mission to Destroy Hitler's Atomic Bomb - Neal Bascomb
The invasion begins at night, with German cruisers slipping into harbor, and soon the Nazis occupy all of Norway. They station soldiers throughout the country. They institute martial rule. And at Vemork, an industrial fortress high above a dizzying gorge, they gain access to an essential ingredient for the weapon that could end World War II: Hitler's very own nuclear bomb. When the Allies discover the plans for the bomb, they agree Vemork must be destroyed. But after a British operation fails to stop the Nazis' deadly designs, the task falls to a band of young Norwegian commandos. Armed with little more than skis, explosives, and great courage, they will survive months in the snowy wilderness, elude a huge manhunt, and execute two dangerous missions. The result? The greatest act of sabotage in all of World War II.

Votes of Confidence: A Young Person's Guide to American Elections - Jeff Fleischer
An in-depth introduction to the American election cycle. Fleischer explains the past, present, and future of American elections; how the election process actually works and why it matters; and how young people can become involved-- not just this year, but for years to come.


Fiction
The Rose and the Dagger - Renée Ahdieh
Sequel to 'The Wrath and the Dawn'. Unsure who to trust, Shahrzad takes matters into her own hands to try and break the curse and reunite with her one true love.

The Reader: Book One of Sea of Ink and Gold - Traci Chee
Set in a world where reading is unheard-of, Sefia makes use of a mysterious object to track down who kidnapped her aunt Nin and what really happened the night her father was murdered.

Steeplejack - A.J. Hartley
Seventeen-year-old Anglet Sutonga lives repairing the chimneys, towers, and spires of the city of Bar-Selehm. Dramatically different communities live and work alongside each other. The white Feldish command the nation's higher echelons of society. The native Mahweni are divided between city life and the savannah. And then there's Ang, part of the Lani community who immigrated over generations ago as servants and now mostly live in poverty on Bar-Selehms edges. When Ang is supposed to meet her new apprentice Berrit, she instead finds him dead. That same night, the Beacon, an invaluable historical icon, is stolen. The Beacon's theft commands the headlines, yet no one seems to care about Berrit's murder--except for Josiah Willinghouse, an enigmatic young politician. When he offers her a job investigating his death, she plunges headlong into new and unexpected dangers.

A Torch Against the Night - Sabaa Tahir
Sequel to 'Ember in the Ashes'. Laia is determined to break into Kauf - the Empire's most secure and dangerous prison - to save her brother, who is the key to the Scholars' survival. And Elias is determined to help Laia succeed, even if it means giving up his last chance at freedom. But dark forces, human and otherworldly, work against Laia and Elias. The pair must fight every step of the way to outsmart their enemies: the bloodthirsty Emperor Marcus, the merciless Commandant, the sadistic Warden of Kauf, and, most heartbreaking of all, Helene - Elias's former friend and the Empire's newest Blood Shrike. Bound to Marcus's will, Helene faces a torturous mission of her own - one that might destroy her: find the traitor Elias Veturius and the Scholar slave who helped him escape... and kill them both.

And I Darken - Kiersten White
No one expects a princess to be brutal. And Lada Dragwlya likes it that way. Ever since she and her gentle younger brother, Radu, were wrenched from their homeland of Wallachia and abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman courts, Lada has known that being ruthless is the key to survival. She and Radu are doomed to act as pawns in a vicious game, an unseen sword hovering over their every move. For the lineage that makes them special also makes them targets. Lada despises the Ottomans and bides her time, planning her vengeance for the day when she can return to Wallachia and claim her birthright. Radu longs only for a place where he feels safe. And when they meet Mehmed, the defiant and lonely son of the sultan, who's expected to rule a nation, Radu feels that he's made a true friend -- and Lada wonders if she's finally found someone worthy of her passion. But Mehmed is heir to the very empire that Lada has sworn to fight against -- and that Radu now considers home. Together, Lada, Radu, and Mehmed form a toxic triangle that strains the bonds of love and loyalty to the breaking point.

The Last Star - Rick Yancey
The epic conclusion to the 5th Wave series. The enemy is Other. The enemy is us. They want the Earth, they want us to have it. They came to wipe us out, they came to save us. Beneath these riddles lies one truth: Cassie has been betrayed. So has Ringer. Zombie. Nugget. And all 7.5 billion people who used to live on our planet. Earth's remaining survivors will need to decide what's more important: saving themselves... or saving what makes us human.