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All Cats Are on the Autism Spectrum

Kathy Hoopmann

This updated edition of the bestselling All Cats Have Asperger Syndrome provides an engaging, gentle introduction to autism.

All-new cats take a playful look at the world of autism, and these fun feline friends will strike a chord with all those who are familiar with typical autistic traits, bringing to life common characteristics such as sensory sensitivities, social issues and communication difficulties.

Touching, humorous and insightful, this book evokes all the joys and challenges of being on the autism spectrum, leaving the reader with a sense of the dignity, individuality and the potential of autistic people.

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Flap Your Hands

Steve Asbell

This fascinating, groundbreaking picture book by an autistic creator celebrates stims--the repetitive movements that provide focused stimulation to people on the autistic spectrum.

When you're feeling overwhelmed
And the world's too much to bear...
If your feelings bubble over
But they have no place to go...
Maybe it would help to move!
Want to try a stim?

When four neurodivergent kids face some stressful moments, they use body movements called stims to self-regulate their emotions. One boy tickles the space next to his face; a girl flutters her fingers by her ears; another boy kicks his feet like splashy flippers; another girl directs her hands like a conductor! As the children say fun words, flap their hands, and engage in other stims, their actions build in energy and joyousness until their inner calm is restored.

Delightful text and color-drenched illustrations by debut author-illustrator Steve Asbell invites other neurodivergent readers to join in on the action. Flap Your Hands is a wonderful celebration and reminder that stimming is a natural and healthy thing to do!

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Who Ate What?

Rachel Levin

Guess what people ate throughout history in this deliciously informative introduction to culinary history

In this first book of culinary history for children, readers will discover the fascinating dishes eaten by 10 high-interest historical peoples - from prehistoric humans to children of the future. Whether munching on mud-baked hedgehogs like the ancient Egyptians, or nibbling tacos topped with chillis grown in space like the astronauts of today, readers will be immersed in the diverse, tasty, weird, and wonderful food history of the world.

Packed with guess-what challenges, unbelievable facts, and interactive guessing game, 4 real recipes from different eras, and delicious reveals, this fact-filled read-aloud encourages an interest in food (and perhaps a bit of subtle encouragement to taste something new!), and is perfect for history-lovers and food-enthusiasts alike.

Ages 6 - 9

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Next Level

Samara Cole Doyon

Told from the loving perspective of a mother of a child with autism, Next Level shows the full humanity of people who move through the world and communicate in their own unique, complete, and powerful way. Doyon's powerful love letter to her son invites us to "level up" and see our shared humanity in new and limitless dimensions.

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The Weight of Blood

Tiffany D. Jackson

New York Times bestselling author Tiffany D. Jackson ramps up the horror and tackles America's history and legacy of racism in this suspenseful YA novel following a biracial teenager as her Georgia high school hosts its first integrated prom.

When Springville residents--at least the ones still alive--are questioned about what happened on prom night, they all have the same explanation . . . Maddy did it.

An outcast at her small-town Georgia high school, Madison Washington has always been a teasing target for bullies. And she's dealt with it because she has more pressing problems to manage. Until the morning a surprise rainstorm reveals her most closely kept secret: Maddy is biracial. She has been passing for white her entire life at the behest of her fanatical white father, Thomas Washington.

After a viral bullying video pulls back the curtain on Springville High's racist roots, student leaders come up with a plan to change their image: host the school's first integrated prom as a show of unity. The popular white class president convinces her Black superstar quarterback boyfriend to ask Maddy to be his date, leaving Maddy wondering if it's possible to have a normal life.

But some of her classmates aren't done with her just yet. And what they don't know is that Maddy still has another secret . . . one that will cost them all their lives.

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Project Hail Mary

Andy Weir

Ryland Grace is the sole survivor on a desperate, last-chance mission—and if he fails, humanity and the earth itself will perish.

Except that right now, he doesn’t know that. He can’t even remember his own name, let alone the nature of his assignment or how to complete it.

All he knows is that he’s been asleep for a very, very long time. And he’s just been awakened to find himself millions of miles from home, with nothing but two corpses for company.

His crewmates dead, his memories fuzzily returning, Ryland realizes that an impossible task now confronts him. Hurtling through space on this tiny ship, it’s up to him to puzzle out an impossible scientific mystery—and conquer an extinction-level threat to our species.

And with the clock ticking down and the nearest human being light-years away, he’s got to do it all alone.

Or does he?

An irresistible interstellar adventure as only Andy Weir could deliver, Project Hail Mary is a tale of discovery, speculation, and survival to rival The Martian—while taking us to places it never dreamed of going.

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Kneel

Candace Buford

This fearless debut novel explores racism, injustice, and self-expression through the story of a promising Black football star in Louisiana.

The system is rigged.

For guys like Russell Boudreaux, football is the only way out of their small town. As the team's varsity tight end, Rus has a singular goal: to get a scholarship and play on the national stage. But when his best friend is unfairly arrested and kicked off the team, Rus faces an impossible choice: speak up or live in fear.

"Please rise for the national anthem."

Desperate for change, Rus kneels during the national anthem. In one instant, he falls from local stardom and becomes a target for hatred. But he's not alone. With the help of his best friend and an unlikely ally, Rus will fight for his dreams, and for justice.

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I Must Betray You

Ruta Sepetys

A gut-wrenching, startling historical thriller about communist Romania and the citizen spy network that devastated a nation, from the #1 New York Times bestselling, award-winning author of Salt to the Sea and Between Shades of Gray.

Romania, 1989. Communist regimes are crumbling across Europe. Seventeen-year-old Cristian Florescu dreams of becoming a writer, but Romanians aren’t free to dream; they are bound by rules and force.

Amidst the tyrannical dictatorship of Nicolae Ceaușescu in a country governed by isolation and fear, Cristian is blackmailed by the secret police to become an informer. He’s left with only two choices: betray everyone and everything he loves—or use his position to creatively undermine the most notoriously evil dictator in Eastern Europe.

Cristian risks everything to unmask the truth behind the regime, give voice to fellow Romanians, and expose to the world what is happening in his country. He eagerly joins the revolution to fight for change when the time arrives. But what is the cost of freedom?

Master storyteller Ruta Sepetys is back with a historical thriller that examines the little-known history of a nation defined by silence, pain, and the unwavering conviction of the human spirit.

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The Honeys

Ryan La Sala

From Ryan La Sala, the wildly popular author of Reverie, comes a twisted and tantalizing horror novel set amidst the bucolic splendor of a secluded summer retreat.

Mars has always been the lesser twin, the shadow to his sister Caroline's radiance. But when Caroline dies under horrific circumstances, Mars is propelled to learn all he can about his once-inseparable sister who'd grown tragically distant.

Mars's genderfluidity means he's often excluded from the traditions -- and expectations -- of his politically-connected family. This includes attendance at the prestigious Aspen Conservancy Summer Academy where his sister poured so much of her time. But with his grief still fresh, he insists on attending in her place.

What Mars finds is a bucolic fairytale not meant for him. Folksy charm and sun-drenched festivities camouflage old-fashioned gender roles and a toxic preparatory rigor. Mars seeks out his sister's old friends: a group of girls dubbed the Honeys, named for the beehives they maintain behind their cabin. They are beautiful and terrifying -- and Mars is certain they're connected to Caroline's death.

But the longer he stays at Aspen, the more the sweet mountain breezes give way to hints of decay. Mars's memories begin to falter, bleached beneath the relentless summer sun. Something is hunting him in broad daylight, toying with his mind. If Mars can't find it soon, it will eat him alive.

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Golden Arm

Carl Deuker

Lazarus "Laz" Weathers has always been shy, and his issue with stuttering when he speaks hasn't helped. Stuck in a Seattle trailer park, Laz finds baseball helps him escape from the world of poverty and drugs. When he gets an opportunity to pitch for the rich kids across town, he has a chance to get drafted by the major leagues.

But playing for the other team means leaving behind his family, including Antonio, Laz's younger brother, who more and more, seems to be drawn to the dark world of the Jet City's drug ring. Now Laz will have to choose between being the star pitcher he always dreamed of becoming and the team player his family needs.

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A Deadly Education

Naomi Novik

I decided that Orion Lake needed to die after the second time he saved my life.


Everyone loves Orion Lake. Everyone else, that is. Far as I’m concerned, he can keep his flashy combat magic to himself. I’m not joining his pack of adoring fans.

I don’t need help surviving the Scholomance, even if they do. Forget the hordes of monsters and cursed artifacts, I’m probably the most dangerous thing in the place. Just give me a chance and I’ll level mountains and kill untold millions, make myself the dark queen of the world.

At least, that’s what the world expects. Most of the other students in here would be delighted if Orion killed me like one more evil thing that’s crawled out of the drains. Sometimes I think they want me to turn into the evil witch they assume I am. The school certainly does.

But the Scholomance isn’t getting what it wants from me. And neither is Orion Lake. I may not be anyone’s idea of the shining hero, but I’m going to make it out of this place alive, and I’m not going to slaughter thousands to do it, either.

Although I’m giving serious consideration to just one.

 

 

 

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As Long as the Lemon Trees Grow

Zoulfa Katouh

A love letter to Syria and its people, As Long as the Lemon Trees Grow is a speculative novel set amid the Syrian Revolution, burning with the fires of hope, love, and possibility. Perfect for fans of The Book Thief and Salt to the Sea.



Salama Kassab was a pharmacy student when the cries for freedom broke out in Syria. She still had her parents and her big brother; she still had her home. She had a normal teenager's life.



Now Salama volunteers at a hospital in Homs, helping the wounded who flood through the doors daily. Secretly, though, she is desperate to find a way out of her beloved country before her sister-in-law, Layla, gives birth. So desperate, that she has manifested a physical embodiment of her fear in the form of her imagined companion, Khawf, who haunts her every move in an effort to keep her safe.



But even with Khawf pressing her to leave, Salama is torn between her loyalty to her country and her conviction to survive. Salama must contend with bullets and bombs, military assaults, and her shifting sense of morality before she might finally breathe free. And when she crosses paths with the boy she was supposed to meet one fateful day, she starts to doubt her resolve in leaving home at all.



Soon, Salama must learn to see the events around her for what they truly are--not a war, but a revolution--and decide how she, too, will cry for Syria's freedom.

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All My Rage

Sabaa Tahir

Lahore, Pakistan. Then.
Misbah is a dreamer and storyteller, newly married to Toufiq in an arranged match. After their young life is shaken by tragedy, they come to the United States and open the Clouds' Rest Inn Motel, hoping for a new start.
 
Juniper, California. Now.
Salahudin and Noor are more than best friends; they are family. Growing up as outcasts in the small desert town of Juniper, California, they understand each other the way no one else does. Until The Fight, which destroys their bond with the swift fury of a star exploding.  
 
Now, Sal scrambles to run the family motel as his mother Misbah’s health fails and his grieving father loses himself to alcoholism. Noor, meanwhile, walks a harrowing tightrope: working at her wrathful uncle’s liquor store while hiding the fact that she’s applying to college so she can escape him—and Juniper—forever.
 
When Sal’s attempts to save the motel spiral out of control, he and Noor must ask themselves what friendship is worth—and what it takes to defeat the monsters in their pasts and the ones in their midst.  
 
From one of today’s most cherished and bestselling young adult authors comes a breathtaking novel of young love, old regrets, and forgiveness—one that’s both tragic and poignant in its tender ferocity.

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Anybody Here Seen Frenchie?

Leslie Connor

Eleven-year-old Aurora Petrequin's best friend has never spoken a word to her. In fact, Frenchie Livernois doesn't talk.

Aurora is bouncy, loud and impulsive--"a big old blurter." Making friends has never come easily. When Frenchie, who is autistic, silently chose Aurora as his person back in third grade, she chose him back. They make a good team, sharing their love of the natural world in coastal Maine.

In the woods, Aurora and Frenchie encounter a piebald deer, a rare creature with a coat like a patchwork quilt. Whenever it appears, Aurora feels compelled to follow.

At school, Aurora looks out for Frenchie, who has been her classmate until this year. One morning, Frenchie doesn't make it to his classroom. Aurora feels she's to blame. The entire town begins to search, and everyone wonders: how is it possible that nobody has seen Frenchie?

At the heart of this story is the friendship between hyper-talkative Aurora and nonvocal Frenchie. Conflict arises when Aurora is better able to expand her social abilities and finds new friends. When Frenchie goes missing, Aurora must figure out how to use her voice to help find him, and lift him up when he is found.

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Falling Short

Ernesto Cisneros

Ernesto Cisneros, Pura Belpré Award-winning author of Efrén Divided, is back with a hilarious and heartfelt novel about two best friends who must rely on each other in unexpected ways. A great next pick for readers who loved Ghost by Jason Reynolds or The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Pérez.

 

 

Isaac and Marco already know sixth grade is going to change their lives. But it won't change things at home--not without each other's help.

This year, star basketball player Isaac plans on finally keeping up with his schoolwork. Better grades will surely stop Isaac's parents from arguing all the time. Meanwhile, straight-A Marco vows on finally winning his father's approval by earning a spot on the school's basketball team.

But will their friendship and support for each other be enough to keep the two boys from falling short

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Chester Keene Cracks the Code

Kekla Magoon

Cracking the code isn’t all it’s cracked up to be in this scavenger-hunt adventure from a Coretta Scott King Honor–winning author.

Chester Keene takes great comfort in his routines. After school Monday to Thursday is bowling, and Friday, the best of days, is laser tag! But most special of all is when Chester gets secret spy messages from his dad, who is always on covert government assignments, which is why Chester has never met him.

Then, one day at lunch, Chester’s classmate Skye approaches him with a clue. They’ve been tasked with a complex puzzle-solving mission. Chester takes their assignments very seriously, but Skye treats it like a big game. Skye proves to be a useful partner and good company, even if her haphazard, free-wheeling ways are disruptive to Chester’s carefully curated schedule.

As Chester and Skye get closer to their final clue, they discover the key to their spy assignment: they have to stop a heist! But cracking this code might lead to a discovery Chester never saw coming.

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The Canyon's Edge

Dusti Bowling

One year after a random shooting changed their family forever, Nora and her father are exploring a slot canyon deep in the Arizona desert, hoping it will help them find peace. Nora longs for things to go back to normal, like they were when her mother was still alive, while her father keeps them isolated in fear of other people. But when they reach the bottom of the canyon, the unthinkable happens: A flash flood rips across their path, sweeping away Nora's father and all of their supplies.

Suddenly, Nora finds herself lost and alone in the desert, facing dehydration, deadly snakes, venomous scorpions, and, worst of all, the Beast who has terrorized her dreams for the past year. If Nora is going to save herself and her father, she must conquer her fears, defeat the Beast, and find the courage to live her new life.

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Cookies & Milk

Shawn Amos

Ellis Bailey Johnson has the summertime blues. Instead of hanging out with friends, listening to music, and playing his harmonica, Ellis has to help bring his dad's latest farfetched, sure-to-fail idea to life: open the world's first chocolate chip cookie store.

They have six weeks to perfect their recipe, get a run-down A-frame storefront on Hollywood's Sunset Boulevard into tip-top shape, and bring in customers. But nothing goes according to plan, especially when family secrets start to surface. Can Ellis bake up a happy ending?

Partially based on Shawn Amos's own experiences growing up the son of Wally "Famous" Amos, and packed with humor, heart, and fun illustrations, this debut novel sings with the joy of self-discovery, unconditional love, and community.

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A Rover's Story

Jasmine Warga

Meet Resilience, a Mars rover determined to live up to his name.

Res was built to explore Mars. He was not built to have human emotions. But as he learns new things from the NASA scientists who assemble him, he begins to develop humanlike feelings. Maybe there's a problem with his programming....

Human emotions or not, launch day comes, and Res blasts off to Mars, accompanied by a friendly drone helicopter named Fly. But Res quickly discovers that Mars is a dangerous place filled with dust storms and giant cliffs. As he navigates Mars's difficult landscape, Res is tested in ways that go beyond space exploration.

As millions of people back on Earth follow his progress, will Res have the determination, courage, and resilience to succeed... and survive

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Go Camping

Maddie Frost

Camping or Glamping?

Albert and Pickles are an unlikely pair of besties and they’re ready to explore the great outdoors for the first time. Albert is ready to camp the old-fashioned way while Pickles thinks he’s going to a five-star resort under the stars. Pickles is going to have to find a way to cope in the wilderness for one whole night, but luckily, Albert is there to assist in pitching a tent, cooking by the fire, and embracing the great outdoors.

While navigating their way through the rest of this camping trip, Albert and Pickles run into their old friend, Platters, who is in search of the Woolly Moon Beast—a legendary ferocious creature. Together, they must reunite a lost baby koala with its mama while this potentially dangerous predator looms large in the woods.

WOMBATS! is a brand new graphic novel series that is perfect for fans of Jack books, Baloney and Friends and Narwhal and Jelly.

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The Sweetest Scoop

Lisa Robinson

Chunky Monkey. Cherry Garcia. Truffle Kerfuffle.

Legendary ice cream makers Ben & Jerry are behind some of the wackiest, tastiest flavors we know and love. It all began when two groovy guys, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, met when they were 12 years old. Ben liked art, Jerry liked science, and they both loved food . . . especially ice cream!

They started a business together, and with no idea how to actually make ice cream, they made it happen with teamwork, determination, and an appetite for fun and experimentation. When the doors of Ben & Jerry's Homemade ice cream shop finally opened, crowds flocked. But the pair would still have a rocky road ahead--and ambitious activist goals to fulfill.

Chock-full of facts and humor, this entertaining biography about two hardworking partners living their Americone Dream gives readers plenty to chew on. Through their inventiveness, passion, and activism, Ben & Jerry dreamed of making the world a better, more delicious place--one scoop at a time.

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My Two Border Towns

David Bowles

A picture book debut by an award-winning author about a boy's life on the U.S.-Mexico border, visiting his favorite places on The Other Side with his father, spending time with family and friends, and sharing in the responsibility of community care.

Early one Saturday morning, a boy prepares for a trip to The Other Side/El Otro Lado. It's close--just down the street from his school--and it's a twin of where he lives. To get there, his father drives their truck along the Rio Grande and over a bridge, where they're greeted by a giant statue of an eagle. Their outings always include a meal at their favorite restaurant, a visit with Tío Mateo at his jewelry store, a cold treat from the paletero, and a pharmacy pickup. On their final and most important stop, they check in with friends seeking asylum and drop off much-needed supplies.

My Two Border Towns by David Bowles, with stunning watercolor illustrations by Erika Meza, is the loving story of a father and son's weekend ritual, a demonstration of community care, and a tribute to the fluidity, complexity, and vibrancy of life on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Available in English and Spanish.

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The Great Stink

Colleen Paeff

A Robert F. Sibert Honor Book!

Discover the true story about the determined engineer who fixed London’s pollution problem in this funny, accessible nonfiction picture book featuring engaging art from the illustrator of Queen Victoria’s Bathing Machine.

It’s the summer of 1858, and London’s River Thames STINKS. What is creating this revolting smell? The answer is gross: the river is full of poop.

But the smell isn’t the worst problem. Every few years, cholera breaks out, and thousands of people die. Could there be a connection between the foul water and the deadly disease?

One engineer dreams of making London a cleaner, healthier place. His name is Joseph Bazalgette. His grand plan to create a new sewer system to clean the river is an engineering marvel. And his sewers will save lives. Nothing stinky about that.

With tips for how to prevent pollution today, this fascinating look at science, history, and what one person can do to create change will impress and astound readers who want to help make their planet a cleaner, happier place to live.

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Fauja Singh Keeps Going

Simran Jeet Singh

The true story of Fauja Singh, who broke world records to become the first one hundred-year-old to run a marathon, shares valuable lessons on the source of his grit, determination to overcome obstacles, and commitment to positive representation of the Sikh community.

Every step forward is a victory.

Fauja Singh was born determined. He was also born with legs that wouldn't allow him to play cricket with his friends or carry him to school miles from his village in Punjab. But that didn't stop him. Working on his family's farm, Fauja grew stronger to meet his own full potential.

He never stopped striving. At the age of 81, after a lifetime of making his body, mind, and heart stronger, Fauja decided to run his first marathon. He went on to break records all around the world and became the first person over 100 to complete the grueling long-distance race.

With exuberant text by Simran Jeet Singh and exhilarating illustrations by Baljinder Kaur, the true story of Fauja Singh reminds us that it's both where we start and how we finish that make our journeys unforgettable.

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Everything in Its Place

Pauline David-Sax

An inspiring and poetic story about reading, libraries, and overcoming shyness to find community.

I gather the books in my arms, and give them a hug. "Welcome back," I whisper.
 
Nicky is a shy girl who feels most at home in the safe space of her school library, but the library closes for a week and Nicky is forced to face her social anxiety. When she meets a group of unique, diverse, inspiring women at her mother's diner—members of a women's motorcycle club—Nicky realizes that being different doesn’t have to mean being alone, and that there’s a place for everyone.

Book lovers of all ages will find inspiration in this beautiful love letter to reading—and how words help us find empathy and connections with the world around us.

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Evergreen

Matthew Cordell

A picture book by Caldecott medal winner Matt Cordell about a timid squirrel who makes a brave journey to help a relative who is ill.

Evergreen the squirrel is afraid of many things: thunder, hawks, and the dark paths of Buckthorn Forest. But when her mother tasks Evergreen with delivering soup to her sick Granny Oak, the little squirrel must face her fears and make the journey.

Along the way, Evergreen is met by other forest dwellers – some want to help her, but some want her mother’s delicious soup! It’s up to Evergreen to stay the course, and those who help her will surprise and delight young readers.

Using an art style reminiscent of the work of William Steig and Arnold Lobel, Matthew Cordell creates a classic tale of bravery and love.

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Ducks Overboard!: a True Story of Plastic in Our Oceans

Markus Motum

"Discover the pollution crisis in our oceans through the eyes of one lost plastic duck in this engaging and stylish picture book based on a true story. When a shipping container filled with 28,000 plastic ducks spilled into the Pacific Ocean, where did all those ducks go? Based on a true story, this innovative take on the plastic pollution crisis follows one duck as it travels on ocean currents to meet sea life and discovers the rubbish from humans that endangers our oceans."--Provided by publisher

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The Best of Iggy

Annie Barrows

Meet 9-year-old Iggy Frangi. He's not a bad kid, he's really not. Okay, so he's done a few (a few is anything up to 100) bad things. And okay, he's not very sorry about most of them. People make a big deal about nothing. What's a little pancake here and there? Is that something to get mad about? Iggy doesn't think so. No one got hurt, so there's no problem. No one got hurt except for that one time, that one time when the Best Idea Ever turned into the Worst Idea of All Time.

Iggy is sorry he did it. He is really, really, really sorry.

"For what?" you might ask. "What did he do?"

Well, you'll have to read the book to find out.

Things Iggy will NOT do in this book:
Be the most polite kid ever.
Play the cello.
Think before acting.
Learn a lesson.
Regret his actions. (Most of them, anyway.)

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Dear Beast

Dori Hillestad Butler

A jealous cat really, really, REALLY wants to drive away his young owner's new dog in this playful illustrated chapter book from a two-time Geisel Honor winner.

Simon has taken care of his owner, Andy, for many years. He's a good cat. Clean, responsible, and loyal. What more could a boy want? Even when Andy's dad moves out, Simon is certain that Andy doesn't need another pet. So why would Andy's dad adopt a DOG?! To make matters worse, the animal is a rude, rowdy troublemaker.

Simon's job is clear: the beast has got to go. He decides to write him a letter. Strongly worded, of course. But when the dog's response sets off an unexpected correspondence, Simon realizes the beast may be here to stay. Can he make room for another pet in Andy's life?

This funny and heartwarming collaboration between Geisel Honor and Edgar Award-winning author Dori Hillestad Butler and bestselling illustrator Kevan Atteberry is a tribute to the love of a good pet - and the joy found in new friendship. With nine chapters and adorable full-color illustrations on every spread, the series is perfect for kids transitioning from picture books to chapter books.
 

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Batcat

Meggie Ramm

Batcat loves being all alone in their home on Spooky Island. Up in their tree house, they pass the time playing video games and watching TV. But when Batcat suddenly finds themself haunted by an annoying, ice cream-stealing ghost, they visit the local Island Witch for a spell to remove their ghastly guest permanently!

With their Ghost-B-Gone spell in hand, Batcat travels across Spooky Island to gather ingredients--to the Cavernous Caves where the bats tell them they're too round to be a bat, and to the Whispering Cemetery where the cats will help only if they commit to being a true cat. But Batcat is neither and that's what makes them special, right?

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Aven Green Sleuthing Machine

Dusti Bowling

Third-grader Aven Green has been solving mysteries for a really long time--a whole month!



She's solved many important cases like The Mystery of the Cranky Mom, The Mystery of the Missing Ice Cream, and The Mystery of the Smelly Feet. Her record is nearly 100% (only The Mystery of the Cereal in My Underpants remains unsolved to this day). Aven asks all the right questions, wields her detective kit carefully, and follows up on every clue. Then her teacher's lunch bag (with her lunch still in it) is taken and Aven's great-grandma's beloved dog goes missing! Can this perceptive detective crack two cases at the same time? Luckily, Aven has a super-powered brain full of lots of extra brain cells to take on both cases. See, she was born without arms, so all of the cells that were supposed to make her arms went into making her brain instead. At least that's her working theory for The Mystery of Why I Have So Many Extra Brain Cells.

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Anglerfish: The Seadevil of the Deep

Elaine M. Alexander

Deep in the darkest part of the ocean, visit a primordial, fierce-toothed fish that draws in prey with its own bioluminescent lure.

Dive thirteen thousand feet below the ocean’s surface, where no ray of sunlight can penetrate. Resources are scarce, and fellow inhabitants scarcer. This is life in the midnight zone—life for the anglerfish, known as the Seadevil of the Deep. Still largely a mystery to scientists, the deep-sea anglerfish is a true source of fascination and awe. To some, the fish resembles a prehistoric creature forgotten by time; to others, she is the embodiment of power, grace, and grit, using her remarkable physical attributes and a talent for deception to survive one of the harshest environments on the planet.

In Anglerfish, author Elaine M. Alexander and illustrator Fiona Fogg shine a small light on this mesmerizing, unforgettable creature. A captivating text paired with stunning artwork complement not only STEM but also language arts and history curricula. More facts about the anglerfish—from how it hunts to the surprising way a female mates with far tinier males—await curious readers in the back matter.

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Year of the Reaper

Makiia Lucier

A Sickness to kill them. A Princess to save them. And a Reaper who will stop at nothing to reveal the truth.

Young Lord Cassia was destined for death, kidnapped and imprisoned by the enemy three years ago. Now he has escaped, the sole survivor of a deadly outbreak that has ravaged the kingdoms of Oliveras and Brisa alike. His survival has won him his freedom, at a cost: Cas is now haunted by the souls of those with unfinished business left in the realm.

When Cas finally returns to his home in the mountains, he arrives just in time to celebrate the king and queen's newborn son. But when an assassin interrupts the festivities, Cas finds himself thrust into the dark underpinnings of court life. Nothing is as he remembers, and his only solace is Lena, a royal historian with a penchant for stealing his horse and keeping him anchored to the present...even as the past rises to the surface.

For the more Cas learns about the new queen-a former princess of Brisa, an old enemy-the more he is certain she harbors secrets. Secrets that threaten the one person Cas holds most dear.

Lucky for him, the past never forgets, and the secrets of the dead aren't always buried with them.

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Starfish

Lisa Fipps

Ellie is tired of being fat-shamed and does something about it in this highly acclaimed debut novel in verse.

Ever since Ellie wore a whale swimsuit and made a big splash at her fifth birthday party, she’s been bullied about her weight. To cope, she tries to live by the Fat Girl Rules—like “no making waves,” “avoid eating in public,” and “don’t move so fast that your body jiggles.” And she’s found her safe space—her swimming pool—where she feels weightless in a fat-obsessed world. In the water, she can stretch herself out like a starfish and take up all the room she wants. It’s also where she can get away from her pushy mom, who thinks criticizing Ellie’s weight will motivate her to diet. Fortunately, Ellie has allies in her dad, her therapist, and her new neighbor, Catalina, who loves Ellie for who she is. With this support buoying her, Ellie might finally be able to cast aside the Fat Girl Rules and starfish in real life—by unapologetically being her own fabulous self.

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King and the Dragonflies

Kacen Callender

Twelve-year-old Kingston James is sure his brother Khalid has turned into a dragonfly. When Khalid unexpectedly passed away, he shed what was his first skin for another to live down by the bayou in their small Louisiana town. Khalid still visits in dreams, and King must keep these secrets to himself as he watches grief transform his family.

It would be easier if King could talk with his best friend, Sandy Sanders. But just days before he died, Khalid told King to end their friendship, after overhearing a secret about Sandy-that he thinks he might be gay. "You don't want anyone to think you're gay too, do you?"

But when Sandy goes missing, sparking a town-wide search, and King finds his former best friend hiding in a tent in his backyard, he agrees to help Sandy escape from his abusive father, and the two begin an adventure as they build their own private paradise down by the bayou and among the dragonflies. As King's friendship with Sandy is reignited, he's forced to confront questions about himself and the reality of his brother's death.

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Iveliz Explains It All

Andrea Beatriz Arango

Listen up:
The end of elementary school?
Worst time of my life.
And the start of middle school?
I just wasn’t quite right.
But this year?
YO VOY A MI.

Seventh grade is going to be Iveliz’s year. She’s going to make a new friend, help her abuela Mimi get settled after moving from Puerto Rico, and she is not going to get into any more trouble at school. . . .

Except is that what happens? Of course not. Because no matter how hard Iveliz tries, sometimes people say things that just make her so mad. And worse, Mimi keeps saying Iveliz’s medicine is unnecessary—even though it helps Iveliz feel less sad. But how do you explain your feelings to others when you’re not even sure what’s going on yourself?

Powerful and compassionate, Andrea Beatriz Arango’s debut navigates mental health, finding your voice, and discovering that those who really love you will stay by your side.

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Invisible

Christina Diaz Gonzalez

Can five overlooked kids make one big difference?

There's George: the brain

Sara: the loner

Dayara: the tough kid

Nico: the rich kid

And Miguel: the athlete

And they're stuck together when they're forced to complete their school's community service hours. Although they're sure they have nothing in common with one another, some people see them as all the same . . . just five Spanish-speaking kids.

Then they meet someone who truly needs their help, and they must decide whether they are each willing to expose their own secrets to help . . . or if remaining invisible is the only way to survive middle school.

With text in English and Spanish, Invisible features a groundbreaking format paired with an engaging, accessible, and relatable storyline. This Breakfast Club--inspired story by Christina Diaz Gonzalez, award-winning author of Concealed, and Gabriela Epstein, illustrator of two Baby-Sitters Club graphic novel adaptations, is a must-have graphic novel about unexpected friendships and being seen for who you really are.

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Elatsoe

Darcie Little Badger

Elatsoe--Ellie for short--lives in an alternate contemporary America shaped by the ancestral magics and knowledge of its Indigenous and immigrant groups. She can raise the spirits of dead animals--most importantly, her ghost dog Kirby. When her beloved cousin dies, all signs point to a car crash, but his ghost tells her otherwise: He was murdered.

Who killed him and how did he die? With the help of her family, her best friend Jay, and the memory great, great, great, great, great, great grandmother, Elatsoe, must track down the killer and unravel the mystery of this creepy town and it's dark past. But will the nefarious townsfolk and a mysterious Doctor stop her before she gets started?

The breathtaking debut novel from Darcie Little Badger features an asexual, Apache teen protagonist -- and combines mystery, horror, noir, ancestral knowledge, haunting illustrations, and fantasy elements, in one of the most-talked-about books in years.

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Bloom

Kenneth Oppel

The invasion begins--but not as you'd expect. It begins with rain. Rain that carries seeds. Seeds that sprout--overnight, everywhere. These new plants take over crop fields, twine up houses, and burrow below streets. They bloom--and release toxic pollens. They bloom--and form Venus flytrap-like pods that swallow animals and people. They bloom--everywhere, unstoppable.

Or are they? Three kids on a remote island seem immune to the toxic plants. Anaya, Petra, Seth. They each have strange allergies--and yet not to these plants. What's their secret? Can they somehow be the key to beating back this invasion? They'd better figure it out fast, because it's starting to rain again....

 

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African Town

Charles Waters

Chronicling the story of the last Africans brought illegally to America in 1860, African Town is a powerful and stunning novel-in-verse.

Cover may vary.

In 1860, long after the United States outlawed the importation of enslaved laborers, 110 men, women and children from Benin and Nigeria were captured and brought to Mobile, Alabama aboard a ship called Clotilda. Their journey includes the savage Middle Passage and being hidden in the swamplands along the Alabama River before being secretly parceled out to various plantations, where they made desperate attempts to maintain both their culture and also fit into the place of captivity to which they'd been delivered. At the end of the Civil War, the survivors created a community for themselves they called African Town, which still exists to this day. Told in 14 distinct voices, including that of the ship that brought them to the American shores and the founder of African Town, this powerfully affecting historical novel-in-verse recreates a pivotal moment in US and world history, the impacts of which we still feel today.

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The Demon of Unrest

Erik Larson

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Splendid and the Vile brings to life the pivotal five months between the election of Abraham Lincoln and the start of the Civil War—a simmering crisis that finally tore a deeply divided nation in two.

On November 6, 1860, Abraham Lincoln became the fluky victor in a tight race for president. The country was bitterly at odds; Southern extremists were moving ever closer to destroying the Union, with one state after another seceding and Lincoln powerless to stop them. Slavery fueled the conflict, but somehow the passions of North and South came to focus on a lonely federal fortress in Charleston Harbor: Fort Sumter.

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My Beloved Monster

Caleb Carr

“The most brilliant feline portrait in literary history.” –People Magazine. Caleb Carr has had special relationships with cats since he was a young boy in a turbulent household, famously peopled by the founding members of the Beat Generation, where his steadiest companions were the adopted cats that lived with him both in the city and the country. As an adult, he has had many close feline companions, with relationships that have outlasted most of his human ones. But only after building a three-story home in rural, upstate New York did he enter into the most extraordinary of all of his cat pairings: Masha, a Siberian Forest cat who had been abandoned as a kitten, and was languishing in a shelter when Caleb met her. She had hissed and fought off all previous carers and potential adopters, but somehow, she chose Caleb as her savior.

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How to Eat in Space

Helen Taylor

A kid-friendly, accessible, and humorous picture book about the sometimes complicated task of eating while in outer space--spoiler: it's not as simple as it seems!

Without a kitchen, plates, or cups, eating in space isn't easy. When food floats (and so do you), remember:

  1. Be patient: Preparing a meal without gravity's help takes time.

  2. Avoid crumbs: They get everywhere!

  3. Clean up after yourself: Today's stray snack could become tomorrow's smelly surprise.

Once you learn the dos and don'ts, you'll be eating like an astronaut in no time!

This fact-filled look at the sometimes complicated task of eating while away from Earth will show young readers what it's really like to live on the space station, with engaging back matter that takes a deep dive into the topic and features photos of real NASA astronauts!

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Little Faces Big Feelings

Amy Morrison

Learn about the emotions behind the faces of over 90 different children, then use the included mirror to practice understanding your own feelings! See why kids are happy, sad, mad/frustrated, surprised, scared, brave, bored, silly, and/or tired with beautiful photographs showing every bit of context (like welcoming a new sibling, falling off a bike, or getting ready to sleep). Every spread shows the same emotion on 10 different children's faces so family members and educators can demonstrate emotions look different for everyone. Created with neurodiverse children in mind! Complete with family discussion questions and a feelings wheel in the back matter.

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What Moves the Dead

T. Kingfisher

When Alex Easton, a retired soldier, receives word that their childhood friend Madeline Usher is dying, they race to the ancestral home of the Ushers in the remote countryside of Ruritania.

What they find there is a nightmare of fungal growths and possessed wildlife, surrounding a dark, pulsing lake. Madeline sleepwalks and speaks in strange voices at night, and her brother Roderick is consumed with a mysterious malady of the nerves.

Aided by a redoubtable British mycologist and a baffled American doctor, Alex must unravel the secret of the House of Usher before it consumes them all.

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We Have Always Lived in the Castle

Shirley Jackson

Shirley Jackson's beloved gothic tale of a peculiar girl named Merricat and her family's dark secret

Taking readers deep into a labyrinth of dark neurosis, We Have Always Lived in the Castle is a deliciously unsettling novel about a perverse, isolated, and possibly murderous family and the struggle that ensues when a cousin arrives at their estate. This edition features a new introduction by Jonathan Lethem.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

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The Haunting of Hill House

Shirley Jackson

The greatest haunted house story ever written, the inspiration for a 10-part Netflix series directed by Mike Flanagan and starring Michiel Huisman, Carla Gugino, and Timothy Hutton

First published in 1959, Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House has been hailed as a perfect work of unnerving terror. It is the story of four seekers who arrive at a notoriously unfriendly pile called Hill House: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of a "haunting"; Theodora, his lighthearted assistant; Eleanor, a friendless, fragile young woman well acquainted with poltergeists; and Luke, the future heir of Hill House. At first, their stay seems destined to be merely a spooky encounter with inexplicable phenomena. But Hill House is gathering its powers--and soon it will choose one of them to make its own.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

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My Cousin Rachel

Daphne Du Maurier

NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE STARRING RACHEL WEISZ AND SAM CLAFLIN!

"From the first page...the reader is back in the moody, brooding atmosphere of Rebecca."--The New York Times

From Daphne du Maurier, the legendary author of Rebecca and Jamaica Inn, comes a gothic classic set in beautiful, mysterious, and eerie Cornwall.

Philip Ashley's older cousin Ambrose, who raised the orphaned Philip as his own son, has died in Rome. Philip, the heir to Ambrose's beautiful English estate, is crushed that the man he loved died far from home. He is also suspicious. While in Italy, Ambrose fell in love with Rachel, a beautiful English and Italian woman. But the final, brief letters Ambrose wrote hint that his love had turned to paranoia and fear.

Now Rachel has arrived at Philip's newly inherited estate. Could this exquisite woman, who seems to genuinely share Philip's grief at Ambrose's death, really be as cruel as Philip imagined? Or is she the kind, passionate woman with whom Ambrose fell in love? Philip struggles to understand Rachel's intentions, knowing Ambrose's estate, his future, and his sanity, hang in the balance.

An atmospheric mystery full of doubt and paranoia, My Cousin Rachel is a suspenseful gothic treat for long-time fans and new readers of Daphne du Maurier.

Praise for Daphne du Maurier:

"Miss du Maurier is... a storyteller whose sole aim is to bewitch and beguile. And in My Cousin Rachel she does both, with Rebecca looking fondly over her shoulder."--New York Times

"Double-distilled readers' delight."--Manchester Guardian

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The Hacienda

Isabel Cañas

 

Mexican Gothic meets Rebecca in this debut supernatural suspense novel, set in the aftermath of the Mexican War of Independence, about a remote house, a sinister haunting, and the woman pulled into their clutches...
During the overthrow of the Mexican government, Beatriz’s father was executed and her home destroyed. When handsome Don Rodolfo Solórzano proposes, Beatriz ignores the rumors surrounding his first wife’s sudden demise, choosing instead to seize the security that his estate in the countryside provides. She will have her own home again, no matter the cost.
 
But Hacienda San Isidro is not the sanctuary she imagined.

When Rodolfo returns to work in the capital, visions and voices invade Beatriz’s sleep. The weight of invisible eyes follows her every move. Rodolfo’s sister, Juana, scoffs at Beatriz’s fears—but why does she refuse to enter the house at night? Why does the cook burn copal incense at the edge of the kitchen and mark the doorway with strange symbols? What really happened to the first Doña Solórzano?

Beatriz only knows two things for certain: Something is wrong with the hacienda. And no one there will save her.

Desperate for help, she clings to the young priest, Padre Andrés, as an ally. No ordinary priest, Andrés will have to rely on his skills as a witch to fight off the malevolent presence haunting the hacienda and protect the woman for whom he feels a powerful, forbidden attraction. But even he might not be enough to battle the darkness.

Far from a refuge, San Isidro may be Beatriz’s doom.

 

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Mexican Gothic

Silvia Moreno-Garcia

An isolated mansion. A chillingly charismatic aristocrat. And a brave socialite drawn to expose their treacherous secrets. . . . From the author of Gods of Jade and Shadow comes “a terrifying twist on classic gothic horror” (Kirkus Reviews) set in glamorous 1950s Mexico.

After receiving a frantic letter from her newly-wed cousin begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom, Noemí Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. She’s not sure what she will find—her cousin’s husband, a handsome Englishman, is a stranger, and Noemí knows little about the region.   
 
Noemí is also an unlikely rescuer: She’s a glamorous debutante, and her chic gowns and perfect red lipstick are more suited for cocktail parties than amateur sleuthing. But she’s also tough and smart, with an indomitable will, and she is not afraid: Not of her cousin’s new husband, who is both menacing and alluring; not of his father, the ancient patriarch who seems to be fascinated by Noemí; and not even of the house itself, which begins to invade Noemi’s dreams with visions of blood and doom.
 
Her only ally in this inhospitable abode is the family’s youngest son. Shy and gentle, he seems to want to help Noemí, but might also be hiding dark knowledge of his family’s past. For there are many secrets behind the walls of High Place. The family’s once colossal wealth and faded mining empire kept them from prying eyes, but as Noemí digs deeper she unearths stories of violence and madness. 
 
And Noemí, mesmerized by the terrifying yet seductive world of High Place, may soon find it impossible to ever leave this enigmatic house behind.

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Burn Book: A Tech Love Story

Kara Swisher

From award-winning journalist Kara Swisher comes a witty, scathing, but fair accounting of the tech industry and its founders who wanted to change the world but broke it instead. "Swisher, the bad-ass journalist and OG chronicler of Silicon Valley...takes no prisoners in this highly readable look at the evolution of the digital world...Bawdy, brash, and compulsively thought-provoking, just like its author, Burn Book sizzles" ( Booklist , starred review).

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Loud!

Rose Robbins

Abigail is frustrated. She can't focus on writing and fools around instead.

She is sent to the cooling down room. After that is music class, and she can't make any of the instrument's work! Just when things are about to go wrong again, the teacher discovers exactly what to do to engage this little girl, and Abigail ends up finding a special voice of her very own.

Illustrated with bright, graphic pictures, this upbeat book will appeal to anyone with experience of a disruptive child, and readers will love seeing Abigail and her friends triumph.

Page Plus features a QR code to listen to Abigail's song.

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An Unfinished Love Story: A Personal History of the 1960s

Doris Kearns Goodwin

An Unfinished Love Story: A Personal History of the 1960s by Doris Kearns Goodwin, one of America’s most beloved historians, artfully weaves together biography, memoir, and history. She takes you along on the emotional journey she and her husband, Richard (Dick) Goodwin embarked upon in the last years of his life.

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An Unfinished Love Story: A Personal History of the 1960s

Doris Kearns Goodwin

An Unfinished Love Story: A Personal History of the 1960s by Doris Kearns Goodwin, one of America’s most beloved historians, artfully weaves together biography, memoir, and history. She takes you along on the emotional journey she and her husband, Richard (Dick) Goodwin embarked upon in the last years of his life.

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The Familiar

Leigh Bardugo

In a shabby house, on a shabby street, in the new capital of Madrid, Luzia Cotado uses scraps of magic to get through her days of endless toil as a scullion. But when her scheming mistress discovers the lump of a servant cowering in the kitchen is actually hiding a talent for little miracles, she demands Luzia use those gifts to improve the family's social position.

What begins as simple amusement for the nobility takes a perilous turn when Luzia garners the notice of Antonio Pérez, the disgraced secretary to Spain's king. Still reeling from the defeat of his armada, the king is desperate for any advantage in the war against England's heretic queen―and Pérez will stop at nothing to regain the king's favor.

D

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Pretty Ugly

David Sedaris

In this beautifully gross picture book, Anna Van Ogre’s lovely monster face turns into that of a sickeningly adorable, rosy-cheeked little girl—and it’s not switching back! Can she find a way to stop looking like an ugly human and regain her gorgeous monstrosity of a face?

In this incredible story about beauty standards, owning your uniquessness, and developing self-esteem, nationally acclaimed comedian and perpetual bestelling author David Sedaris and renowned creator of the Olivia picture boook series Ian Falconer come together to ponder the eternally relevant question: is true beauty really on the inside?

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All My Stripes

Shaina Rudolph

A helpful story for kids with autism spectrum disorders as they follow a young zebra who learns to understand how he is different from the rest of his classmates.

Zane the zebra often feels different. He worries that his classmates don't notice his "curiosity," "honesty," or "caring stripes," just his "autism stripe." With the help of his Mama, Zane comes to appreciate all his stripes, including his "autism stripe," as the unique strengths that make him who he is.

Includes a Reading Guide with additional background information about autism spectrum disorders and a Note to Parents and Caregivers with tips for finding support.

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My Mother's Tongues

Uma Menon

In a sparkling debut authored by a sixteen-year-old daughter of immigrants, this ode to the power of multilingualism gives voice to the lasting benefits of speaking with more than one tongue.

Sumi's mother can speak two languages, Malayalam and English. And she can switch between them at the speed of sound: one language when talking to Sumi's grandmother, another when she addresses the cashier. Sometimes with Sumi she speaks a combination of both. Could it be she possesses a superpower? With awe and curiosity, young Sumi recounts the story of her mother's migration from India and how she came to acquire two tongues, now woven together like fine cloth. Rahele Jomepour Bell's inviting illustrations make playful use of visual metaphors, while Uma Menon's lyrical text, told astutely from a child's perspective, touches lightly on such subjects as linguistic diversity and accent discrimination ("no matter how they speak, every person's voice is unique and important"). This welcome debut, penned when the author was still a teenager, is an unabashed celebration of the gift of multilingualism--a gift that can transport people across borders and around the world.

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Three Strike Summer

Skyler Schrempp

When the skies dried up, Gloria thought it was temporary. When the dust storms rolled in, she thought they would pass. But now the bank man’s come to take the family farm, and Pa’s decided to up and move to California in search of work. They’ll pick fruit, he says, until they can save up enough money to buy land of their own again.

There are only three rules at the Santa Ana Holdsten Peach Orchard:
No stealing product.
No drunkenness or gambling.
And absolutely no organizing.

Well, Gloria Mae Willard isn’t about to organize any peaches, no ma’am. She’s got more on her mind than that. Like the secret, all-boys baseball team she’s desperate to play for, if only they’d give her a chance. Or the way that wages keep going down. The way their company lodgings are dirty and smelly, and everyone seems intent on leaving her out of everything.

But Gloria has never been the type to wait around for permission. If the boys won’t let her play, she’ll find a way to make them. If the people around her are keeping secrets, then she’ll keep a few of her own. And if the boss men at the Santa Ana Holdsten Peach Orchard say she can’t organize peaches, then by golly she’ll organize a whole ball game.

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We Are Family

LeBron James

Kids have big dreams. And when those dreams are on the line, how far are they willing to go to achieve them?

When Jayden and his teammates find out there's not going to be a Hoop Group this year--and maybe ever again--they have to learn to lean on each other if they want to save their basketball season, in this inspiring new middle grade novel from NBA superstar LeBron James and acclaimed author Andrea Williams. A New York Times bestseller!

Jayden Carr has been training all summer to be ready for Hoop Group--the free afterschool basketball program where his hero, NBA superstar Kendrick King, got his start. But when his beloved coach tells him there's not going to be a Hoop Group this year, Jayden is heartbroken.

And he's not the only one. Coach Beck's daughter, Tamika, was planning to be the first girl ever to start for the squad. Chris King, Kendrick's only nephew, spent the summer bragging that his uncle was coming home just to watch him play. For Anthony Pierson, Hoop Group was supposed to be his way out of trouble. And for Dexter Donyel, all 4'6" of him, Hoop Group was his chance to finally be part of a team, instead of just watching from the stands.

For each kid, Hoop Group was more than just a chance to ball; it was an escape, a dream, a family. Now their prospects seem all but impossible--but then the world hasn't met Jayden, Tamika, Chris, Anthony, and Dex before. Determined to have their shot, the five new friends scrap, hustle, fight, and play hard to save their season to prove that sometimes a chance is all it takes.

It's an inspiring, original middle grade story from NBA superstar LeBron James and acclaimed author Andrea Williams that channels the many relatable challenges so many young kids face.

The first step to winning is getting out on the court.

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Boundless

Chaunté Lowe

World champion high jumper Chaunté Lowe pens the captivating story of her journey from an impoverished childhood full of big dreams and devastating hurdles, to becoming a bronze medal-winning US Olympian.

 

Scholastic Focus is the premier home of thoroughly researched, beautifully written, and thoughtfully designed works of narrative nonfiction aimed at middle-grade and young adult readers. These books help readers learn about the world in which they live and develop their critical thinking skills so that they may become dynamic citizens who are able to analyze and understand our past, participate in essential discussions about our present, and work to grow and build our future.

Everything seemed set against Chaunté Lowe. Growing up with a single mother in Paso Robles, California, where she experienced food insecurity, homelessness, and domestic abuse, Chaunté couldn't imagine a future that offered a different sort of life. But then, one day, she turned on the TV and there was Flo Jo, competing in the Olympics and shattering records in track and field. Almost immediately, Chaunté knew what she wanted to do. She started running.

With the help of a small community of friends, family, and coaches, Chaunté worked as hard as she could - both in the classroom and out on the sports field - and through her own fierce determination and grit, she overcame every imaginable obstacle, eventually propelling herself to the place she always dreamed about: the Olympic medal podium.

Boundless is a story that will move anyone who's ever had a big dream, ever dared to hope for a better future, and ever believed that nothing was impossible. In her own words, Chaunté presents her remarkable and inspiring story of loss and survival, perseverance and hope.

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Slugfest

Gordon Korman

From Gordon Korman, the New York Times bestselling author of Restart, comes a hilarious new story about a group of underdogs who come together when they are forced to attend summer school--for failing PE.

Yash is the best athlete at Robinette Middle School--so good, in fact, that he's already playing on the high school's JV sports teams. Imagine his shock when he learns that his JV practices have kept him from earning a state-mandated credit for eighth-grade PE. To graduate, he has to take Physical Education Equivalency--PEE, also known as "Slugfest"--in summer school.

Yash gets to know his fellow "slugs": Kaden, an academic superstar who's physically hopeless; twins Sarah and Stewart, who are too busy trying to kill each other to do any real PE; Jesse, a notorious prankster; Arabella, who protests everything; and Cleo, a natural athlete who has sworn off sports.

But when one of them tries to blow the lid off a scandal that could make all their time in summer school a waste, Yash is forced to take drastic action.

Teaming up with the most hapless crew in school can really surprise a person. And their teacher might be hiding the biggest surprise yet. . . .

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The Grip

Marcus Stroman

In this first book in the semi-autobiographical middle grade series from MLB pitcher Marcus Stroman, a young baseball player learns that perfect games only come with a lot of practice—and some strikeouts.

Young Marcus Stroman is determined to make it to the highest playing level he can, despite every coach telling him he’s not tall enough to become a “real” pitcher. He’ll show them…with some struggling and a whole lot of learning.

It’s easy to forget that for every professional sports player there was a kid just learning that sport, dealing with nerves during try-outs, dropping the ball when all their teammates are counting on them, and learning how to stay friends with someone who doesn’t make the team. These hard lessons are universal whether in the majors or on a school playing field, and so are teamwork, competition, and believing in yourself.

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Cinderella and a Mouse Called Fred

Deborah Hopkinson

This fresh, hilarious retelling of Cinderella--told by the mouse who will become Cinderella's coach horse--has a girl-power ending, a celebration of inclusivity, illustrations by a Caldecott Medalist...and even an explanation of how fairy tale pumpkins got their name!

If you thought you knew the fairy tale CINDERELLA, think again!

Did you know that the fairy godmother was actually grouchy? Or that the rodent she transformed into the coach's horse was named Fred? Or that Cinderella hid from the prince when he came looking for her with that uncomfortable glass slipper?!

A best loved fairytale is given the ending it deserves in this clever picture book that shows a heroine shape her own destiny...and find her fairytale princess.

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Goodbye: A First Conversation About Grief

Megan Madison

A picture book edition of the board book about grief, offering adults the opportunity to begin important conversations with young children in an informed, safe, and supported way.

Developed by experts in the fields of early childhood and activism against injustice, this topic-driven picture book offers clear, concrete language and compelling imagery to introduce the concept of grief. This book aims to normalize the topic of death by discussing what it means and how it feels to experience loss. It centers around several questions that arise about grief and honest, simple ways to answer them.

While young children are avid observers and questioners of their world, adults often shut down or postpone conversations on complicated topics because it's hard to know where to begin. Research shows that talking about tough issues from the age of two not only helps children understand what they see, but also increases self-awareness, self-esteem, and allows them to recognize and confront things that are unfair, like discrimination and prejudice.

These books offer a supportive approach that considers both the child and the adult. Stunning art accompanies the simple and interactive text, and the backmatter offers additional resources and ideas for extending this discussion.

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The Swifts: A Dictionary of Scoundrels

Beth Lincoln

On the day they are born, every Swift child is brought before the sacred Family Dictionary. They are given a name, and a definition. A definition it is assumed they will grow up to match.

Meet Shenanigan Swift: Little sister. Risk-taker. Mischief-maker.

Shenanigan is getting ready for the big Swift Family Reunion and plotting her next great scheme: hunting for Grand-Uncle Vile’s long-lost treasure. She’s excited to finally meet her arriving relatives—until one of them gives Arch-Aunt Schadenfreude a deadly shove down the stairs.

So what if everyone thinks she’ll never be more than a troublemaker, just because of her name? Shenanigan knows she can become whatever she wants, even a detective. And she’s determined to follow the twisty clues and catch the killer.

Deliciously suspenseful and delightfully clever, The Swifts is a remarkable debut that is both brilliantly contemporary and instantly classic. A celebration of words and individuality, it’s packed with games, wordplay, and lots and lots of mischief as Shenanigan sets out to save her family and define herself in a world where definitions are so important.

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Drew Leclair Gets a Clue

Katryn Bury

In this modern take on Harriet the Spy, twelve-year-old Drew uses her true crime expertise to catch the cyberbully in her school--only to discover that family, friendship, and identity are the hardest mysteries to solve.

Drew Leclair knows what it takes to be a great detective. She's pored over the cases solved by her hero, criminal profiler Lita Miyamoto. She tracked down the graffiti artist at school, and even solved the mystery of her neighbor's missing rabbit. But when her mother runs off to Hawaii with the school guidance counselor, Drew is shocked. How did she miss all of the clues?

Drew is determined to keep her family life a secret, even from her best friend. But when a cyberbully starts posting embarrassing rumors about other students at school, it's only a matter of time before Drew's secret is out.

Armed with her notebooks full of observations about her classmates, Drew knows what she has to do: profile all of the bullies in her grade to find the culprit. But being a detective is more complicated when the suspects can be your friends. Will Drew crack the case if it means losing the people she cares about most?

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The Night Raven

Johan Rundberg

Mika is not your average twelve-year-old--and she's about to prove it.

It's 1880, and in the frigid city of Stockholm, death lurks around every corner. Twelve-year-old Mika knows that everyone in her orphanage will struggle to survive this winter. But at least the notorious serial killer the Night Raven is finally off the streets...or is he?

Mika is shocked when a newborn baby is left at the orphanage in the middle of the night, by a boy with a cryptic message. Who is he? And who is this "Dark Angel" he speaks of? When a detective shows up, Mika senses something even more sinister is going on.

Drawn in by Mika's unique ability to notice small details--a skill Mika has always used to survive--the gruff Detective Hoff unwittingly recruits her to help him with his investigation into a gruesome murder. Mika knows she should stay far, far away, and yet...with such little hope for her future, could this be an opportunity? Maybe, just maybe, this is Mika's chance to be someone who matters.

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The A&a Detective Agency: the Fairfleet Affair

K. H. Saxton

Follow clues, solve puzzles, crack the code... find the missing millionaire.

The celebrated museums of the Fairfleet Institute are known for curating the mysteries of humanity. But they don't solve mysteries. Luckily, twelve-year-old friends Alex Foster and Asha Singh of the A&A Detective Agency do. Or they will . . . once they get a real case to test their skills as sleuths.

When Dr. Alistair Fairfleet, the institute's eccentric chairman, disappears on the first day of Alex and Asha's summer vacation, they receive a letter written by the missing millionaire himself inviting them to a game involving complicated clues and puzzles. It is just the sort of case they've been waiting to tackle. But nothing in the Fairfleet case has a simple solution. As the kids track down clues, they uncover art forgeries, archaeological crimes, and Fairfleet family secrets. All of this tests their partnership and forces them to confront the complicated legacies of the people and places they admire most.
 

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The Parker Inheritance

Varian Johnson

When Candice finds a letter in an old attic in Lambert, South Carolina, she isn't sure she should read it. It's addressed to her grandmother, who left the town in shame. But the letter describes a young woman. An injustice that happened decades ago. A mystery enfolding its writer. And the fortune that awaits the person who solves the puzzle.So with the help of Brandon, the quiet boy across the street, she begins to decipher the clues. The challenge will lead them deep into Lambert's history, full of ugly deeds, forgotten heroes, and one great love; and deeper into their own families, with their own unspoken secrets. Can they find the fortune and fulfill the letter's promise before the answers slip into the past yet again?Featuring exclusive bonus content!

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Dragonbreath #1

Ursula Vernon

Danny Dragonbreath can't breathe fire, but he has no fear. And that comes in handy when a bad grade at school inspires him to enlist his cousin the sea-serpent's help with a research project. Using a hybrid of comic-book panels and text, Ursula Vernon introduces an irresistible set of characters that will have readers laughing until smoke comes out of their noses!

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Stuntboy, in the Meantime

Jason Reynolds

Portico Reeves’s superpower is making sure all the other superheroes—like his parents and two best friends—stay super. And safe. Super safe. And he does this all in secret. No one in his civilian life knows he’s actually…Stuntboy!

But his regular Portico identity is pretty cool, too. He lives in the biggest house on the block, maybe in the whole city, which basically makes it a castle. His mom calls where they live an apartment building. But a building with fifty doors just in the hallways is definitely a castle. And behind those fifty doors live a bunch of different people who Stuntboy saves all the time. In fact, he’s the only reason the cat, New Name Every Day, has nine lives.

All this is swell except for Portico’s other secret, his not-so-super secret. His parents are fighting all the time. They’re trying to hide it by repeatedly telling Portico to go check on a neighbor “in the meantime.” But Portico knows “meantime” means his parents are heading into the Mean Time which means they’re about to get into it, and well, Portico’s superhero responsibility is to save them, too—as soon as he figures out how.

Only, all these secrets give Portico the worry wiggles, the frets, which his mom calls anxiety. Plus, like all superheroes, Portico has an arch-nemesis who is determined to prove that there is nothing super about Portico at all.

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Planet Omar: Accidental Trouble Magnet

Zanib Mian

Welcome to the imaginative brain of Omar!

Omar and his family have just moved, and he is NOT excited about starting at a new school. What if the work is too hard or the kids are mean or the teacher is a zombie alien?!

But when Omar makes a new best friend, things start looking up. That is, until a Big Mean Bully named Daniel makes every day a nightmare! Daniel even tells Omar that all Muslims are going to be kicked out of the country . . . Could that possibly be true?

Luckily, Omar's enormous imagination and goofy family help him get through life's ups and downs.

Omar's funny, relatable narrative is the perfect answer to the call for both mirrors and windows to fill bookshelves with diverse stories.

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Stick Dog

Tom. Watson

Introducing everyone's new best friend: Stick Dog! Don't miss the very first book in this bestselling funny illustrated series.

He'll make you laugh...he'll make you cry...but above all, he'll make you hungry!

Follow Stick Dog as he goes on an epic quest for the perfect burger. With hilarious text and stick-figure drawings, reluctant readers eat this one up!

Perfect for fans of such series as The Last Kids on Earth, Dog Man, Big Nate, Timmy Failure, and Diary of a Wimpy Kid, this is the first book in the bestselling Stick Dog series. A favorite of readers ages 6 to 12, both avid and less so, Stick Dog is a winner for those looking for their next funny illustrated middle grade book series.

Other favorites in the series include Stick Dog Wants a Hot Dog, Stick Dog Chases a Pizza, and many more!

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The Terrible Two

Mac Barnett

It's prankster against prankster in the first book of the hilarious New York Times bestselling series by Mac Barnett and Jory John! Welcome to Yawnee Valley, the land of cows.

"Some facts about Yawnee Valley: If you placed all of Yawnee Valley's cows in a stack, they would extend to the moon and back. (But this is probably not a good idea since cows are afraid of heights and cannot breathe in space without helmets."

Miles Murphy is known for one thing and one thing only: pranking. He's the best prankster his school has ever seen. So, when he's forced to move to boring, cow-filled Yawnee Valley, he assumes he'll be the best prankster at his new school, too.

There's one problem. The school already has a prankster--and he's good. Really good. Let the prank war begin!

Young readers won't want to put this book down. It's just a lot of fun. Deceptively simple to read but with a lovely flow, the concepts are sometimes deep, including the subject of bullying. But Terrible Two never reverts to the obvious or to potty humor, and the vocabulary is spot-on for the age group.

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Fly on the Wall

Remy Lai

Henry Khoo's family treats him like a baby. He’s not allowed to go anywhere without his sister/chaperone/bodyguard. And he definitely CAN’T take a journey halfway around the world all by himself!

But that’s exactly his plan. After his family’s annual trip to visit his father in Singapore is cancelled, Henry decides he doesn’t want to be cooped up at home with his overprotective family and BFF turned NRFF (Not Really Friend Forever). Plus, he’s hiding a your-life-is-over-if-you’re-caught secret: he’s the creator of an anonymous gossip cartoon, and he's on the verge of getting caught. Determined to prove his independence and avoid punishment for his crimes, Henry embarks on the greatest adventure everrr. . . hoping it won’t turn into the greatest disaster ever.

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Amari and the Night Brothers

B. B. Alston

Amari Peters has never stopped believing her missing brother, Quinton, is alive. Not even when the police told her otherwise, or when she got in trouble for standing up to bullies who said he was gone for good.

So when she finds a ticking briefcase in his closet, containing a nomination for a summer tryout at the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs, she's certain the secretive organization holds the key to locating Quinton--if only she can wrap her head around the idea of magicians, fairies, aliens, and other supernatural creatures all being real.

Now she must compete for a spot against kids who've known about magic their whole lives. No matter how hard she tries, Amari can't seem to escape their intense doubt and scrutiny--especially once her supernaturally enhanced talent is deemed "illegal." With an evil magician threatening the supernatural world, and her own classmates thinking she's an enemy, Amari has never felt more alone. But if she doesn't stick it out and pass the tryouts, she may never find out what happened to Quinton.

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Nightbooks

J. A. White

A boy is imprisoned by a witch and must tell her a new scary story each night to stay alive. This thrilling contemporary fantasy from J. A. White, the acclaimed author of the Thickety series, brings to life the magic and craft of storytelling.

Alex’s original hair-raising tales are the only thing keeping the witch Natacha happy, but soon he’ll run out of pages to read from and be trapped forever. He’s loved scary stories his whole life, and he knows most don’t have a happily ever after. Now that Alex is trapped in a true terrifying tale, he’s desperate for a different ending—and a way out of this twisted place.

This modern spin on the Scheherazade story is perfect for fans of Coraline and A Tale Dark and Grimm. With interwoven tips on writing with suspense, adding in plot twists, hooks, interior logic, and dealing with writer’s block, this is the ideal book for budding writers and all readers of delightfully just-dark-enough tales.

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When Life Gives You Mangos

Kereen Getten

A small village on a Jamaican island. 
A girl who doesn't remember the previous summer. 
A best friend who is no longer acting like one; a new girl who fills that hole in her heart. 
A summer of finding fallen mangos, creating made up games and dancing in the rain. 
Secrets she keeps from others...and herself.
The courage to face the truth even in the toughest of storms. 

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A Royal Guide to Monster Slaying

Kelley Armstrong

Twelve-year-old Rowan is destined to be Queen; her twin brother, Rhydd, to be Royal Monster Hunter. Rowan would give anything to switch places, but the oldest child is always next in line, even if she is only older by two minutes. She resigns herself to admiring her monster hunting aunt's glorious sword and joining her queen mother for boring diplomatic teas. But tragedy shatters the longstanding rule, and Rowan finds herself hunting the most dangerous monster of all: a gryphon. 
     Accompanied by a feisty baby jackalope and a giant wolf that barely tolerates her, Rowan sets off on a journey that will see her join other unlikely allies: a boy with monster-hunting ambitions of his own, and a girl hiding dangerous motives. It will take all of Rowan's skills, both physical and diplomatic, to keep this adventure on track. The future of her kingdom depends on it.

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Booked

Kwame Alexander

In this follow-up to Newbery-winner The Crossover, soccer, family, love, and friendship take center stage. Twelve-year-old Nick learns the power of words as he wrestles with problems at home, stands up to a bully, and tries to impress the girl of his dreams. Helping him along are his best friend and sometimes teammate Coby, and The Mac, a rapping librarian who gives Nick inspiring books to read.

This electric and heartfelt novel-in-verse by poet Kwame Alexander bends and breaks as it captures all the thrills and setbacks, action and emotion of a World Cup match Now in paperback.

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Olivia's Gift

Victoria Linnartz

"Olivia couldn't wait to go to school to learn to read and to meet new friends. Only to realize that reading is not so easy for everyone. Join Olivia on her journey to learning how to read, the friends she meets, and the unexpected gifts she finds." - Description from publisher

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The Boo-Boos of Bluebell Elementary

Chelsea Lin Wallace

A rollicking read-aloud featuring a wide cast of characters coming to the school nurse for help with their hilariously dramatic bumps, runny noses, and many other colorful complaints!


The big feelings and minor dilemmas of elementary school are no match for this hilarious, delightful cast of characters and the untiring compassion of Miss Peatree. One after another, students pile into her office to get fixed up--whether they need a Band-Aid for a bumped knee or a solution for a touch of homesickness. Even the principal visits with an urgent paper cut!


With irresistible, hilarious rhyme and endlessly lively art, Chelsea Lin Wallace and Alison Farrell showcase the humor of elementary school's many little problems and the gentle good sense that puts everything right.

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Warrior on the Mound

Sandra W. Headen

Narrated by twelve-year-old Cato, this intense and evocative story of racial unrest in prewar North Carolina ends with a dramatic match between white and Black little league teams.

1935. Twelve-year-old Cato wants nothing more than to play baseball, perfect his pitch, and meet Mr. Satchel Paige––the best pitcher in Negro League baseball. But when he and his teammates “trespass” on their town’s whites-only baseball field for a practice, the resulting racial outrage burns like a brushfire through the entire community, threatening Cato, his family, and every one of his friends.

There’s only one way this can end without violence: It has to be settled on the mound, between the white team and the Black. Winner takes all.

Written in first person with a rich, convincing voice, Warrior on the Mound is about the experience of segregation; about the tinderbox environment of the prewar South; about having a dream; about injustice, and, finally, about dialogue.

Back matter includes an author's note, historical background, biographical information about Negro League players, and more.
 

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The Luminous Life of Lucy Landry

Anna Rose Johnson

Lucy, a spirited French-Ojibwe orphan, is sent to the stormy waters of Lake Superior to live with a mysterious family of lighthouse-keepers—and, she hopes, to find the legendary necklace her father spent his life seeking…

Selena Lucy Landry (named for a ship, as every sailor’s child should be) has been frightened of the water ever since she lost her father at sea. But with no one else to care for her, she’s sent to foster with the Martins—a large Anishinaabe family living on a lighthouse in the middle of stormy Lake Superior.

The Martin family is big, hard-working, and close, and Lucy—who has always been a dreamer—struggles to fit in. Can she go one day without ruining the laundry or forgetting the sweeping? Will she ever be less afraid of the lake?

Although life at the lighthouse isn’t what Lucy hoped for, it is beautiful—ships come and go, waves pound the rocks—and it has one major advantage: It’s near the site of a famous shipwreck, a shipwreck that went down with a treasure her father wanted more than anything. If Lucy can find that treasure—a priceless ruby necklace—won’t it be like having Papa back again, just a little bit?

But someone else is hunting for the treasure, too. And as the lighthouse company becomes increasingly skeptical that the Martins can juggle Lucy and their duties, Lucy and the Martin children will need to find the necklace quickly—or they may not have a home at all.

The Luminous Life of Lucy Landry is a timelessly sweet tale of found family from rising Ojibwe voice Anna Rose Johnson, author of NPR Best Book of the Year The Star That Always Stays. Perfect for fans of L.M. Montgomery and Karina Yan Glaser!

"Lucy Landry is a charming and fanciful heroine reminiscent of Anne Shirley, who reminds us that even in dark times, we can be a light for others."—Alyssa Colman, author of Bank Street Best Book of the Year The Gilded Girl

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Jeffrey Loves Blue

Loretta Garbutt

In art class, a boy finds the courage to leave his comfort zone, try something new, and do something nice for a friend

Sometimes, Jeffrey fixates on certain likes and dislikes. For example, he is very attached to the colour blue. He wears blue socks, blue underwear, a blue hat, and--of course!--blue jeans. At painting class, he paints only in blue. But when his classmate, Keiko, wants to use the blue paint, Jeffrey will have to try a different color. With some gentle coaxing, the narrator helps him navigate his emotions, encouraging him to consider Keiko's feelings.

This story explores how something that seems simple for some people can be very complicated for others. Jeffrey's caregiver provides choice, time, and space to help Jeffrey process his emotions. The focus of the story is not about getting rid of Jeffrey's fixation--it's about widening his perspective to help a friend, which encourages empathy and compromise.

Delightfully simple and captivating illustrations contextualize Jeffrey's experience, inviting readers into his thought processes as he works through his difficult decision.

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You're Going to Love This Book!

Jory John

Sure to bring a smile to the faces of even the grumpiest readers, this laugh-out-loud picture book from #1 New York Times–bestselling author Jory John and internationally acclaimed illustrator Olivier Tallec is hilarious enough to come back to again and again.

Attention, reader: You’re going to LOVE this book!

No, really, you are. It’s got everything you could ever want: comedy, drama, action, heart. Plus—are you ready? It’s got homework! Ahh yeah! And a trip to the best place ever, the dentist! Ahhhh yeahhh! Additionally—brace yourself—it’s got raisins! Nature’s candy. AHH YEAHHH! This book is so great, you won’t be able to stop reading it. I DARE you not to have fun.

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Spider in the Well

Jess Hannigan

This cheeky picture book debut from author-illustrator Jess Hannigan tells the darkly dry and utterly hilarious tale of fibs, cons, and JUSTICE! Perfect for fans of Jon Klassen, Ryan Higgins, and stylized cinema--from Orson Welles to Wes Anderson.

Breaking News: Wishing Well Broken!

The townspeople of Bad Göodsburg are up in arms. With their beloved well busted, none of their important, generous, kindhearted wishes are coming true! Time to send that good-for-nothing Newsboy to investigate. . .

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Summer at Squee

Andrea Wang

Phoenny Fang plans to have the best summer ever. She’s returning to Summertime Chinese Culture, Wellness, and Enrichment Experience (SCCWEE for short and “Squee” to campers in the know), and this year she’s a senior camper. That means she; her best friend, Lyrica Chu; and her whole Squad will have the most influence. It almost doesn’t matter that her brother is a CIT (counselor-in-training) and that her mom and auntie are the camp directors. Time spent at Squee is sacred, glorious, and free.

On the day Phoenny arrives, though, she learns that the Squad has been split up, and there’s an influx of new campers this year. Phoenny is determined to be welcoming and to share all the things she loves about camp—who doesn’t love spending hours talking about and engaging in cultural activities? But she quickly learns how out of touch she is with others’ experiences, particularly of the campers who are adoptees. The same things that make her feel connected to her culture and community make some of the other campers feel excluded.

Summer at Squee turns out to be even more transformative than Phoenny could’ve imagined, with new friendships, her first crush, an epic show, and a bigger love for and understanding of her community.

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Nell Plants a Tree

Anne Wynter

This gorgeous picture book shows how one little girl's careful tending of a pecan tree creates the living center of a loving, intergenerational Black family. For Earth Day and every day! Perfect for fans of Matt de la Peña and Oge Mora.

Before her grandchildren climbed the towering tree,

explored its secret nests,

raced to its sturdy trunk,

read in its cool shade,

or made pies with its pecans...

Nell buried a seed.

And just as Nell's tree grows and thrives with her love and care, so do generations of her close-knit family.

Inspired by the pecan trees of the creators' own childhoods, Anne Wynter's lyrical picture book, brought to life with breathtaking illustrations by Daniel Miyares, brims with wonder and love.

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All Aboard the Schooltrain

Glenda Armand

Thelma loves to watch the Sunset Limited chug through her little town of Vacherie, Louisiana. And she dreams of one day riding a real train! For now, she has her beloved schooltrain. Every morning, she and her friends walk to school, single file, chanting all the way:

"Schooltrain! Schooltrain! Don't be late! The school bell rings at half past eight!"

Then it's on to great adventures with her teacher's books -- and her own imagination!

But lately, someone named Jim Crow has been making trouble for folks in Vacherie. Aunt Bea and Uncle Ed have already moved away. When Thelma's best friend also has to leave, Thelma wonders, who is Jim Crow and why does he have to be so mean? Will he make trouble for Pop, too?

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Puppy Love

Gary Soto

A sweetly humorous middle grade novel packed with action, basketball, and a dash of magical realism about friendship and family, first crushes, and belonging, from acclaimed author Gary Soto.

 

 

Thirteen-year-old Jordan Mendoza has a huge crush on his classmate, Sierra, but he's never going to win her affections if he stays a C student and keeps embarrassing himself on the basketball court. And it doesn't help that his best friend, Antonio, likes to tease him about it all a little too much.

But when Jordan dives into the waters of a dangerous irrigation canal to save a drowning puppy, he's suddenly got even more on his mind than kissing Sierra and making the starting team. Can he nurse the abandoned puppy back to health (and will his parents let him keep her) Who threw her into the canal--and is it possible that there are more puppies needing rescue And why are the cops suddenly at Jordan's door, looking for him

There's something for every reader in this story's mix of humor, sports, themes of thrilling independence, subtle strands of magical realism, and timely social commentary, all held together by a sweet and satisfying emotional core.

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Treasure Island: Runaway Gold

Jewell Parker Rhodes

Bestselling and award-winning author Jewell Parker Rhodes reimagines the classic novel Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson in this thrilling adventure set in modern-day Manhattan, in which three children must navigate the city's hidden history, dodge a threatening crew of skater kids, and decide who they can really trust in order to hunt down a long-buried treasure.

Three kids. One dog. And the island of Manhattan, laid out in an old treasure map.

Zane is itching for an adventure that will take him away from his family's boarding house in Rockaway, Queens. So when he is entrusted with a real treasure map, leading to a spot somewhere in Manhattan, Zane wastes no time in riding the ferry over to the city to start the search with his friends Kiko and Jack and his dog, Hip-Hop.

Through strange coincidence, they meet a man who is eager to help them find the treasure: John, a sailor who knows all about the buried history of Black New Yorkers of centuries past--and the gold that is hidden somewhere in those stories.

As a vicious rival skateboard crew follows them around the city, Zane and his friends begin to wonder who they can really trust. And soon it becomes clear that treasure hunting is a dangerous business...

Jewell Parker Rhodes has written a version of Treasure Island like none you've never seen--one that takes the reader through little-known Black history, and under the city of Manhattan itself.

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Kin

Carole Boston Weatherford

A Coretta Scott King Honor Book

An “imaginative and moving” (The Horn Book, starred review) portrait of a Black family tree shaped by enslavement and freedom, rendered in searing poems by acclaimed author Carole Boston Weatherford and stunning art by her son Jeffery Boston Weatherford.


I call their names:
Abram Alice Amey Arianna Antiqua
I call their names:
Isaac Jake James Jenny Jim
Every last one, property of the Lloyds,
the state’s preeminent enslavers.
Every last one, with a mind of their own
and a story that ain’t yet been told.
Till now.

Carole and Jeffery Boston Weatherford’s ancestors are among the founders of Maryland. Their family history there extends more than three hundred years, but as with the genealogical searches of many African Americans with roots in slavery, their family tree can only be traced back five generations before going dark. And so from scraps of history, Carole and Jeffery have conjured the voices of their kin, creating an often painful but ultimately empowering story of who their people were in a breathtaking book that is at once deeply personal yet all too universal.

Carole’s poems capture voices ranging from her ancestors to Frederick Douglass to Harriet Tubman to the plantation house and land itself that connects them all, and Jeffery’s evocative illustrations help carry the story from the first mention of a forebear listed as property in a 1781 ledger to he and his mother’s homegoing trip to Africa in 2016. Shaped by loss, erasure, and ultimate reclamation, this is the story of not only Carole and Jeffery’s family, but of countless other Black families in America.

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The Manifestor Prophecy

Angie Thomas

Instant #1 New York Times bestseller!

Internationally bestselling superstar author Angie Thomas makes her middle grade debut with the launch of an inventive, hilarious, and suspenseful new contemporary fantasy trilogy inspired by African American history and folklore.

It's not easy being a Remarkable in the Unremarkable world. Some things are cool--like getting a pet hellhound for your twelfth birthday. Others, not so much--like not being trusted to learn magic because you might use it to take revenge on an annoying neighbor.

All Nic Blake wants is to be a powerful Manifestor like her dad. But before she has a chance to convince him to teach her the gift, a series of shocking revelations and terrifying events launch Nic and two friends on a hunt for a powerful magic tool she's never heard of...to save her father from imprisonment for a crime she refuses to believe he committed.

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Boundless (Scholastic Focus)

Chaunté Lowe

World champion high jumper Chaunté Lowe pens the captivating story of her journey from an impoverished childhood full of big dreams and devastating hurdles, to becoming a bronze medal-winning US Olympian.

 

Scholastic Focus is the premier home of thoroughly researched, beautifully written, and thoughtfully designed works of narrative nonfiction aimed at middle-grade and young adult readers. These books help readers learn about the world in which they live and develop their critical thinking skills so that they may become dynamic citizens who are able to analyze and understand our past, participate in essential discussions about our present, and work to grow and build our future.

Everything seemed set against Chaunté Lowe. Growing up with a single mother in Paso Robles, California, where she experienced food insecurity, homelessness, and domestic abuse, Chaunté couldn't imagine a future that offered a different sort of life. But then, one day, she turned on the TV and there was Flo Jo, competing in the Olympics and shattering records in track and field. Almost immediately, Chaunté knew what she wanted to do. She started running.

With the help of a small community of friends, family, and coaches, Chaunté worked as hard as she could - both in the classroom and out on the sports field - and through her own fierce determination and grit, she overcame every imaginable obstacle, eventually propelling herself to the place she always dreamed about: the Olympic medal podium.

Boundless is a story that will move anyone who's ever had a big dream, ever dared to hope for a better future, and ever believed that nothing was impossible. In her own words, Chaunté presents her remarkable and inspiring story of loss and survival, perseverance and hope.

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One Big Open Sky

Lesa Cline-Ransome

Three women narrate a perilous wagon journey westward that could set them free—or cost them everything they have—in this intergenerational verse novel that explores the history of the Black homesteader movement.

1879, Mississippi. Young dreamer Lettie may have her head in the stars, but her body is on a covered wagon heading westward. Her father, Thomas, promises that Nebraska will be everything the family needs: an opportunity to claim the independence they’ve strived for over generations on their very own plot of land.

But Thomas’ hopes—and mouth—are bigger than his ability to follow through. With few supplies and even less money, the only thing that feels certain is danger.


Right after the war ended/and we were free/we believed/all of us did/that couldn’t nothing hurt us/the way master had when we were slaves/Couldn’t no one tell us/how to live/how to die.

Lettie, her mother, Sylvia, and young teacher Philomena are free from slavery—but bound by poverty, access to opportunity, and patriarchal social structures. Will these women survive the hardships of their journey? And as Thomas’ desire for control overpowers his common sense, will they truly be free once they get there?

Coretta Scott King Honor-winning author Lesa Cline-Ransome’s striking verse masterfully portrays an underrepresented historical era. Tackling powerful themes of autonomy and Black self-emancipation, Cline-Ransome offers readers an intimate look into the lives of three women and an expansive portrait of generations striving for their promised freedom.

A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection

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Dear Yesteryear

Kimberly Annece Henderson

From historical curator and researcher Kimberly Annece Henderson comes this moving letter connecting Black history with the present, with archival photographs and beautiful handlettering by Ciara LeRoy

In 2020, Kimberly Annece Henderson started emaline and 'nem, an Instagram-based archival image repository that features portraiture of everyday African Americans from the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Dear Yesteryear is a beautiful and lyrical continuation of that project that addresses the past, honoring the ancestors who made the present possible and celebrating the ordinary goings on of Black Americans.

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My Bollywood Dream

Avani Dwivedi

A Bollywood film brings people together--and inspires a little girl's budding ambition--in a heartfelt and joyful picture book debut from a new talent.

It's Friday night, and on the bustling streets of Mumbai, a girl heads out with her family to the cinema. As she rides through the winding blocks with her maa, baba, and bhai, old melodies fill the car. And as she captures the sights and sounds of the city with her camera, she imagines a movie unfolding before her eyes. A choreographed dance sequence atop a long line of cars! When they arrive at the screening, the room is abuzz with people from all walks of life, waiting to lose themselves in the show. And finally comes the best part: time for everyone to jump up and dance! First-time author-illustrator Avani Dwivedi offers a buoyant, whimsically illustrated love letter to Mumbai and Bollywood--and to children everywhere eager to take mastery of their dreams.

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Wei Skates On

Nathan Chen

Olympic gold medalist and three-time World Champion Nathan Chen delivers an inspirational picture book about facing your fears and finding the joy in sports, no matter the outcome.

Wei has loved ice-skating ever since his first visit to the rink. He loves gliding across the ice, taking flight on jumps, and moving with the music--there's nothing else like it!

But as Wei's first big competition draws near, he begins to worry. He's been training hard, but what if he doesn't win? With help from Mom, can Wei find a way to handle his nerves? What would it feel like to skate without the pressure of winning?

As the first Asian American man to win gold in figure skating, Nathan Chen is a celebrated role model for kids who want to shine on and off the ice. His uplifting message of positivity and perseverance makes this story the perfect choice for social emotional learning at home or in the classroom.

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