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11 Birthdays by Wendy Mass
It's Amanda's 11th birthday and she is super excited---after all, 11 is so different from 10. But from the start, everything goes wrong. The worst part of it all is that she and her best friend, Leo, with whom she's shared every birthday, are on the outs and this will be the first birthday they haven't shared together. When Amanda turns in for the night, glad to have her birthday behind her, she wakes up happy for a new day. Or is it? Her birthday seems to be repeating iself. What is going on?! And how can she fix it? Only time, friendship, and a little luck will tell. . .
Call Number: F Mas
Publication Date: 2015
Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen
The first time she saw him, she flipped. The first time he saw her, he ran. That was the second grade, but not much has changed by the seventh. She says:My Bryce. Still walking around with my first kiss. He says: been six years of strategic avoidance and social discomfort. But in the eighth grade everything gets turned upside down. And just as he's thinking there's more to her than meets the eye, she's thinking that he's not quite all he seemed. This is a classic romantic comedy of errors told in alternating chapters by two fresh, funny new voices. Wendelin Van Draanen is at her best here with a knockout cast of quirky characters and a hilarious series of misunderstandings and missed opportunities. But underlying the humor are two teens in transition. They are each learning to look beyond the surface of people, both figuring out who they are, who they want to be, and who they want to be with.
Call Number: F VAn
Publication Date: 2003
The Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine
As twelve-year-old Marlee starts middle school in 1958 Little Rock, it feels like her whole world is falling apart. Until she meets Liz, the new girl at school. Liz is everything Marlee wishes she could be: she's brave, brash and always knows the right thing to say. But when Liz leaves school without even a good-bye, the rumor is that Liz was caught passing for white. Marlee decides that doesn't matter. She just wants her friend back. And to stay friends, Marlee and Liz are even willing to take on segregation and the dangers their friendship could bring to both their families.
Call Number: F Lev
Publication Date: 2013
Lost Boy by Tim Green
From New York Times bestselling author Tim Green comes a captivating baseball novel about one kid's search of a lifetime. It's always been just Ryder and his mom. But on the way home from Ryder's baseball practice, everything comes to a halt. An accident sends his mom to the hospital, and now she is fighting for her life. So Ryder goes on a search to find his father, determined to help pay for the expensive operation to save his mother's life. But with only a signed baseball and a letter as his clues, and the help of his next-door neighbor and a New York City firefighter, will everything fall into place in time, or will Ryder become a lost boy forever? New York Times bestselling author Tim Green knocks this one out of the park, combining heart and baseball to create a story that readers will never forget.
Call Number: F Gre
Publication Date: 2015
Mark of the Thief by Jennifer A. Nielsen
Jennifer A. Nielsen, author of the New York Times and USA Today bestselling Ascendance Trilogy, has woven an electrifying tale of greed and power, magic and destiny, and one boy's courage at the heart of it all. When Nic, a slave in the mines outside of Rome, is forced to enter a sealed cavern containing the lost treasures of Julius Caesar, he finds much more than gold and gemstones: He discovers an ancient bulla, an amulet that belonged to the great Caesar and is filled with a magic once reserved for the Gods -- magic some Romans would kill for. Now, with the deadly power of the bulla pulsing through his veins, Nic is determined to become free. But instead, he finds himself at the center of a ruthless conspiracy to overthrow the emperor and spark the Praetor War, a battle to destroy Rome from within. Traitors and spies lurk at every turn, each more desperate than the next to use Nic's newfound powers for their own dark purposes. In a quest to stop the rebellion, save Rome, and secure his own freedom, Nic must harness the magic within himself and defeat the empire's most powerful and savage leaders.
Call Number: F Nie
Publication Date: 2015
One Came Home by Amy Timberlake
A Newbery Honor Book An ALA-ALSC Notable Children's Book Winner of the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Juvenile Novel "An adventure, a mystery, and a love song to the natural world. . . . Run out and read it. Right now."--Newbery Medalist Karen Cushman. In the town of Placid, Wisconsin, in 1871, Georgie Burkhardt is known for two things: her uncanny aim with a rifle and her habit of speaking her mind plainly. But when Georgie blurts out something she shouldn't, her older sister Agatha flees, running off with a pack of "pigeoners" trailing the passenger pigeon migration. And when the sheriff returns to town with an unidentifiable body--wearing Agatha's blue-green ball gown--everyone assumes the worst.Except Georgie! Refusing to believe the facts that are laid down before her, Georgie sets out on a journey to find her sister. She will track every last clue and shred of evidence to bring Agatha home. Yet even with resolute determination and her trusty Springfield single-shot, Georgie is not prepared for what she faces on the western frontier.
Call Number: F Tim
Publication Date: 2014
The Ruins of Gorlan by John Flanagan
The international bestselling series with over 5 million copies sold in the U.S. "alone" They have always scared him in the past the Rangers, with their dark cloaksand shadowy ways. The villagers believe the Rangers practice magic that makes them invisible to ordinary people. And now 15-year-old Will, always small for his age, has been chosen as a Ranger's apprentice. What he doesn't yet realize is that the Rangers are the protectors of the kingdom. Highly trained in the skills of battle and surveillance, they fight the battles before the battles reach the people. And as Will is about to learn, there is a large battle brewing. The exiled Morgarath, Lord of the Mountains of Rain and Night, is gathering his forces for an attack on the kingdom. This time, he will not be denied. . . . Perfect for fans of J.R.R. Tolkien s Lord of the Rings, T.H. White s The Sword in the Stone, Christopher Paolini s Eragon series, and George R. R. Martin s Game of Thrones / A Song of Ice and Fire series."
Call Number: F Fla
Publication Date: 2006
Rump by Liesl Shurtliff
This funny fractured fairy tale goes behind the scenes of Rumpelstiltskin. "A most magical feat," writes Newbery Honor-winner Kirby Larson, "Liesl Shurtliff spins words into gold." In a magic kingdom where your name is your destiny, 12-year-old Rump is the butt of everyone's joke. But when he finds an old spinning wheel, his luck seems to change. Rump discovers he has a gift for spinning straw into gold. His best friend, Red Riding Hood, warns him that magic is dangerous, and she's right. With each thread he spins, he weaves himself deeper into a curse. To break the spell, Rump must go on a perilous quest, fighting off pixies, trolls, poison apples, and a wickedly foolish queen. The odds are against him, but with courage and friendship--and a cheeky sense of humor--he just might triumph in the end. A Texas Bluebonnet Master List Selection, Rump is perfect for fans of Gail Carson Levine's Ella Enchantednbsp;or Adam Gidwitz's A Tale Dark and Grimm. "Lighthearted and inventive,Rumpnbsp;amusingly expands a classic tale." --Brandon Mull, #1New York Times; bestselling author of Fablehaven.
Call Number: F Shu
Publication Date: 2014
Soldier Dog by Sam Angus
With his older brother gone to fight in the Great War, and his father prone to sudden rages, 14-year-old Stanley devotes himself to taking care of the family's greyhound and puppies. Until the morning Stanley wakes to find the puppies gone. Determined to find his brother, Stanley runs away to join an increasingly desperate army. Assigned to the experimental War Dog School, Stanley is given a problematic Great Dane named Bones to train. Against all odds, the pair excels, and Stanley is sent to France. But in Soldier Dog by Sam Angus, the war in France is larger and more brutal than Stanley ever imagined. How can one young boy survive World War I and find his brother with only a dog to help?
Call Number: F Ang
Publication Date: 2014
Wonder by R. J. Palacio
The extraordinary #1 New York Times bestseller that has captivated over 1 million readers and inspired a movement to choose kind. I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse. August Pullman was born with a facial difference that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid--but his new classmates can't get past Auggie's extraordinary face. WONDER begins from Auggie's point of view, but soon switches to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others. These perspectives converge in a portrait of one community's struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance. "Wonder is the best kids' book of the year," said Emily Bazelon, senior editor at Slate.com and author of Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy. In a world where bullying among young people is an epidemic, this is a refreshing new narrative full of heart and hope. R.J. Palacio has called her debut novel "a meditation on kindness" --indeed, every reader will come away with a greater appreciation for the simple courage of friendship. Auggie is a hero to root for, a diamond in the rough who proves that you can't blend in when you were born to stand out. Join the conversation: #thewonderofwonder
Call Number: F Pal
Publication Date: 2012
KBA Book Summaries 2017
Drowned City by Don Brown
Kirkus' Best of 2015 list School Library Journal Best of 2015 Publishers Weekly's Best of 2015 list Horn Book Fanfare Book Booklist Editor Choice On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina's monstrous winds and surging water overwhelmed the protective levees around low-lying New Orleans, Louisiana. Eighty percent of the city flooded, in some places under twenty feet of water. Property damages across the Gulf Coast topped $100 billion. One thousand eight hundred and thirty-three people lost their lives. The riveting tale of this historic storm and the drowning of an American city is one of selflessness, heroism, and courage--and also of incompetence, racism, and criminality. Don Brown's kinetic art and as-it-happens narrative capture both the tragedy and triumph of one of the worst natural disasters in American history. A portion of the proceeds from this book has been donated to Habitat for Humanity New Orleans.
Call Number: F Bro
Publication Date: 2015-08-04
Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan
Music, magic, and a real-life miracle meld in this genre-defying masterpiece from storytelling maestro Pam Muñoz Ryan. Lost and alone in a forbidden forest, Otto meets three mysterious sisters and suddenly finds himself entwined in a puzzling quest involving a prophecy, a promise, and a harmonica. Decades later, Friedrich in Germany, Mike in Pennsylvania, and Ivy in California each, in turn, become interwoven when the very same harmonica lands in their lives. All the children face daunting challenges: rescuing a father, protecting a brother, holding a family together. And ultimately, pulled by the invisible thread of destiny, their suspenseful solo stories converge in an orchestral crescendo. Richly imagined and masterfully crafted, ECHO pushes the boundaries of genre and form, and shows us what is possible in how we tell stories. The result is an impassioned, uplifting, and virtuosic tour de force that will resound in your heart long after the last note has been struck.
Call Number: E Rya
Publication Date: 2015-02-24
Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead
"Masterly. . . . Sensitively explores togetherness, aloneness, betrayal and love." --The New York Times Book Review Five Starred Reviews NYT Editors' Choice This brilliant novel by Newbery Medal winner Rebecca Stead explores multiple perspectives on the bonds and limits of friendship. Bridge is an accident survivor who's wondering why she's still alive. Emily has new curves and an almost-boyfriend who wants a certain kind of picture. Tabitha sees through everybody's games--or so she tells the world. The three girls are best friends with one rule: No fighting. Can it get them through seventh grade? This year everything is different for Sherm Russo as he gets to know Bridge Barsamian. What does it mean to fall for a girl--as a friend? On Valentine's Day, an unnamed high school girl struggles with a betrayal. How long can she hide in plain sight? Each memorable character navigates the challenges of love and change in this captivating novel. Praise for Goodbye Stranger "This astonishingly profound novel is not your average middle-school friendship tale." --The Horn Book, Starred : "Stead shows how strongly love of all kinds can smooth the juddering path toward adulthood. Winsome, bighearted, and altogether rewarding." --Booklist, Starred : "[Stead] captures the stomach-churning moments of a misstep or an unplanned betrayal and reworks these events with grace, humor, and polish into possibilities for kindness and redemption. Superb." --Kirkus Reviews, Starred "This memorable story about female friendships, silly bets, different kinds of love, and bad decisions is authentic in detail and emotion." --Publishers Weekly, Starred : "Filled with humor [and] delightful coincidences. . . . An immensely satisfying addition for Stead's many fans." --School Library Journal, Starred : "This eloquent story of friendship, first love, and identity will resonate powerfully with readers." --VOYA, Starred
Call Number: F Ste
Publication Date: 2015-08-04
The Honest Truth by Dan Gemeinhart
It's never too late for the adventure of a lifetime. In all the ways that matter, Mark is a normal kid. He's got a dog named Beau and a best friend, Jessie. He likes to take photos and write haiku poems in his notebook. He dreams of climbing a mountain one day. But in one important way, Mark is not like other kids at all. Mark is sick. The kind of sick that means hospitals. And treatments. The kind of sick some people never get better from. So Mark runs away. He leaves home with his camera, his notebook, his dog, and a plan. A plan to reach the top of Mount Rainier. Even if it's the last thing he ever does. The Honest Truth is a rare and extraordinary novel about big questions, small moments, and one incredible journey.
Call Number: F Gem
Publication Date: 2015-12-29
Losers Take All by David Klass
In this table-turning novel about the thrill of defeat and the agony of victory, the new rule at Jack Logan's sports-crazy New Jersey high school is that all kids must play on a team. So Jack and a ragtag group of anti-athletic friends decide to get even. They are going to start a rebel JV soccer team whose mission is to avoid victory at any cost, setting out to secretly undermine the jock culture of the school. But as the team's losing formula becomes increasingly successful at attracting fans and attention, Jack and his teammates are winning in ways they never expected-and don't know how to handle.
Call Number: F Kla
Publication Date: 2015-10-20
Lost in the Sun by Lisa Graff
From the author; A Tangle of Knots; and Absolutely Almost, a touching story about a boy who won't let one tragic accident define him. Everyone says that middle school is awful, but Trent knows nothing could be worse than the year he had in fifth grade, when a freak accident on Cedar Lake left one kid dead, and Trent with a brain full of terrible thoughts he can't get rid of. Trent's pretty positive the entire disaster was his fault, so for him middle school feels like a fresh start, a chance to prove to everyone that he's not the horrible screw-up they seem to think he is. If only Trent could make that fresh start happen. It isn't until Trent gets caught up in the whirlwind that is Fallon Little--the girl with the mysterious scar across her face--that things begin to change. Because fresh starts aren't always easy. Even in baseball, when a fly ball gets lost in the sun, you have to remember to shift your position to find it. Praise for Lost in the Sun: Publishers ; Best Book of the Year! * "Graff writes with stunning insight [and] consistently demonstrates why character-driven novels can live from generation to generation."--Kirkus Reviews *STARRED* * "Graff creates layered, vulnerable characters that are worth getting to know."--Booklist; *STARRED* * "[A]n ambitious and gracefully executed story."--Publishers Weekly&; *STARRED* ; * "Weighty matters deftly handled with humor and grace will give this book wide appeal."--School Library Journal *STARRED* * "Characterization is thoughtful."--BCCB *STARRED* "In Lost in the Sun, Trent decides that he will speak the truth: that pain and anger and loss are not the final words, that goodness can find us after all--even when we hide from it. This is a novel that speaks powerfully, honestly, almost shockingly about our human pain and our human redemption. This book will change you."--Gary Schmidt, two-time Newbery Honor-winning author of The Wednesday Wars and Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy "Lisa Graff crafts a compelling story about a boy touched with tragedy and the world of people he cares about. And like all the best stories, it ends at a new beginning."--Richard Peck, Newbery Award-winning author of A Year Down Yonder and A Long Way From Chicago Lisa Graff's Awards and Reviews: Lisa Graff's books have been named to 30 state award lists, and A Tangle of Knots was long-listed for the National Book Award.
Call Number: F Gra
Publication Date: 2015-05-26
Masterminds by Gordon Korman
A terrific page-turner, full of unexpected twists and revelations. Buckle up. James Patterson The first book in a new action-packed series from New York Times bestselling author Gordon Korman is perfect for young fans of James Patterson and John Grisham. Eli Frieden lives in the most perfect town in the world: Serenity, New Mexico. Honesty and integrity are valued above all else. The thirty kids who live there never lie; they know it's a short leap from that to the awful problems of other, less fortunate places. Eli has never left Serenity . . . why would he ever want to? Then one day, he bikes to the edge of the city limits and something so crazy and unexpected happens, it changes everything. Eli convinces his friends to help him investigate further, and soon it becomes clear that nothing is as it seems in Serenity. The clues mount to reveal a shocking discovery, connecting their ideal crime-free community to some of the greatest criminal masterminds ever known. The kids realize they can trust no one; least of all their own parents.
Call Number: F Kor
Publication Date: 2015-02-03
The Nest by Kenneth Oppel; Jon Klassen (Illustrator)
The Nest leaves a lasting mark on the memory.The New York Times Book Review Steve just wants to save his baby brother; but what will he lose in the bargain? Kenneth Oppel's (Silverwing, The Boundless) haunting gothic tale for fans of Coraline, is one of the most acclaimed books of the year, receiving six starred reviews. Illustrations from Caldecott Medalist Jon Klassen. For some kids summer is a sun-soaked season of fun. But for Steve, it's just another season of worries. Worries about his sick newborn baby brother who is fighting to survive, worries about his parents who are struggling to cope, even worries about the wasp's nest looming ominously from the eaves. So when a mysterious wasp queen invades his dreams, offering to fix the baby, Steve thinks his prayers have been answered. All he has to do is say Yes. But yes is a powerful word. It is also a dangerous one. And once it is uttered, can it be taken back? Celebrated author Kenneth Oppel creates an eerie masterpiece in this compelling story that explores disability and diversity, fears and dreams, and what ultimately makes a family. Includes illustrations from celebrated artist Jon Klassen.
Call Number: F Opp
Publication Date: 2015-10-06
Popular by Maya Van Wagenen
2015 YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction New York Times Bestseller A breakout teen author explores the true meaning of popularity and how to survive middle school in this hysterically funny, touchingly honest contemporary memoir. "I was inspired by [Maya's] journey and made a point of saving a copy of 'Popular' for my sister, who starts middle school this fall. Maybe if I had read it when I was her age, it could have saved me from a world of hurt, or at least put that world in perspective." --Maude Apatow & New York Times Book Review Can curlers, girdles, Vaseline, and a strand of pearls help a shy girl become popular? Maya Van Wagenen is about to find out. Stuck near the bottom of the social ladder at "pretty much the lowest level of people at school who aren't paid to be here," Maya has never been popular. But before starting eighth grade, she decides to begin a unique social experiment: spend the school year following a 1950s popularity guide, written by former teen model Betty Cornell. The real-life results are hilarious, painful, and filled with unexpected surprises. Told with humor and grace, Maya's journey offers readers of all ages a thoroughly contemporary example of kindness and self-confidence, along with a better understanding of what it means to be popular.
Call Number: 155.5 Wag
Publication Date: 2014-04-15
Rhyme Schemer by K. A. Holt
Kevin has a bad attitude. He's the one who laughs when you trip and fall. In fact, he may have been the one who tripped you in the first place. He has a real knack for rubbing people the wrong way--and he's even figured out a secret way to do it with poems. But what happens when the tables are turned and he is the one getting picked on? Rhyme Schemer is a touching and hilarious middle-grade novel in verse about one seventh grader's journey from bully-er to bully-ee, as he learns about friendship, family, and the influence that words can have on people's lives.
Call Number: F Hol
Publication Date: 2014-10-14
KBA Book Summaries 2021
Ali Cross by James Patterson
James Patterson's blockbuster Alex Cross series has sold over 100 million copies--and now he's bringing those thrills to a new generation! Alex's son Ali is eager to follow in his father's footsteps as a detective, but when his best friend goes missing, what price will he have to pay to solve the mystery? Ali Cross has always looked up to his father, former detective and FBI agent Alex Cross. While solving some of the nation's most challenging crimes, his father always kept his head and did the right thing. Can Ali have the same strength and resolve? When Ali's best friend Gabe is reported missing, Ali is desperate to find him. At the same time, a string of burglaries targets his neighborhood---and even his own house. With his father on trial for a crime he didn't commit, it's up to Ali to search for clues and find his friend. But being a kid sleuth isn't easy---especially when your father warns you not to get involved!---and Ali soon learns that clues aren't always what they seem. Will his detective work lead to a break in Gabe's case or cause even more trouble for the Cross family?
Publication Date: 2019-11-25
The Benefits of Being an Octopus by Ann Braden
Some people can do their homework. Some people get to have crushes on boys. Some people have other things they've got to do. Seventh-grader Zoey has her hands full as she takes care of her much younger siblings after school every day while her mom works her shift at the pizza parlor. Not that her mom seems to appreciate it. At least there's Lenny, her mom's boyfriend--they all get to live in his nice, clean trailer. At school, Zoey tries to stay under the radar. Her only friend Fuchsia has her own issues, and since they're in an entirely different world than the rich kids, it's best if no one notices them. Zoey thinks how much easier everything would be if she were an octopus: eight arms to do eight things at once. Incredible camouflage ability and steady, unblinking vision. Powerful protective defenses. Unfortunately, she's not totally invisible, and one of her teachers forces her to join the debate club. Even though Zoey resists participating, debate ultimately leads her to see things in a new way: her mom's relationship with Lenny, Fuchsia's situation, and her own place in this town of people who think they're better than her. Can Zoey find the courage to speak up, even if it means risking the most stable home she's ever had? This moving debut novel explores the cultural divides around class and the gun debate through the eyes of one girl, living on the edges of society, trying to find her way forward.
Publication Date: 2018-09-04
The Bridge Home by Padma Venkatraman
Four determined homeless children make a life for themselves in Padma Venkatraman's stirring middle-grade debut. Life is harsh on the teeming streets of Chennai, India, so when runaway sisters Viji and Rukku arrive, their prospects look grim. Very quickly, eleven-year-old Viji discovers how vulnerable they are in this uncaring, dangerous world. Fortunately, the girls find shelter--and friendship--on an abandoned bridge that's also the hideout of Muthi and Arul, two homeless boys, and the four of them soon form a family of sorts. And while making their living scavenging the city's trash heaps is the pits, the kids find plenty to take pride in, too. After all, they are now the bosses of themselves and no longer dependent on untrustworthy adults. But when illness strikes, Viji must decide whether to risk seeking help from strangers or to keep holding on to their fragile, hard-fought freedom.
Publication Date: 2020-04-14
Charlie Hernández and the League of Shadows by Ryan Calejo
The Lightning Thief meets the Story Thieves series in this middle grade fantasy inspired by Hispanic folklore, legends, and myths from the Iberian Peninsula and Central and South America. Charlie Hernández has always been proud of his Latin American heritage. He loves the culture, the art, and especially the myths. Thanks to his abuela's stories, Charlie possesses an almost encyclopedic knowledge of the monsters and ghouls who have spent the last five hundred years haunting the imaginations of children all across the Iberian Peninsula, as well as Central and South America. And even though his grandmother sometimes hinted that the tales might be more than mere myth, Charlie's always been a pragmatist. Even barely out of diapers, he knew the stories were just make-believe--nothing more than intricately woven fables meant to keep little kids from misbehaving. But when Charlie begins to experience freaky bodily manifestations--ones all too similar to those described by his grandma in his favorite legend--he is suddenly swept up in a world where the mythical beings he's spent his entire life hearing about seem to be walking straight out of the pages of Hispanic folklore and into his life. And even stranger, they seem to know more about him than he knows about himself. Soon, Charlie finds himself in the middle of an ancient battle between La Liga, a secret society of legendary mythological beings sworn to protect the Land of the Living, and La Mano Peluda (a.k.a. the Hairy Hand), a cabal of evil spirits determined to rule mankind. With only the help of his lifelong crush, Violet Rey, and his grandmother's stories to guide him, Charlie must navigate a world where monsters and brujas rule and things he couldn't possibly imagine go bump in the night. That is, if he has any hope of discovering what's happening to him and saving his missing parents (oh, and maybe even the world). No pressure, muchacho.
Publication Date: 2019-10-22
City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab
From #1 NYT bestselling author Victoria Schwab comes a sweeping, spooky, evocative adventure, perfect for fans of "Stranger Things" and Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.A New York Times bestseller!Ever since Cass almost drowned (okay, she did drown, but she doesn't like to think about it), she can pull back the Veil that separates the living from the dead . . . and enter the world of spirits. Her best friend is even a ghost.So things are already pretty strange. But they're about to get much stranger.When Cass's parents start hosting a TV show about the world's most haunted places, the family heads off to Edinburgh, Scotland. Here, graveyards, castles, and secret passageways teem with restless phantoms. And when Cass meets a girl who shares her "gift," she realizes how much she still has to learn about the Veil -- and herself.And she'll have to learn fast. The city of ghosts is more dangerous than she ever imagined.#1 NYT bestselling author Victoria Schwab delivers a thrillingly spooky and action-packed tale of hauntings, history, mystery, and the bond between friends (even if that friend is a ghost . . .).
Publication Date: 2018-08-28
Look Both Ways by Jason Reynolds; Alexander Nabaum (Illustrator)
New York Times bestselling author Jason Reynolds comes a novel told in ten blocks, showing all the different directions kids' walks home can take. This story was going to begin like all the best stories. With a school bus falling from the sky. But no one saw it happen. They were all too busy-- Talking about boogers. Stealing pocket change. Skateboarding. Wiping out. Braving up. Executing complicated handshakes. Planning an escape. Making jokes. Lotioning up. Finding comfort. But mostly, too busy walking home. Jason Reynolds conjures ten tales (one per block) about what happens after the dismissal bell rings, and brilliantly weaves them into one wickedly funny, piercingly poignant look at the detours we face on the walk home, and in life.
Publication Date: 2019-10-08
The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise by Dan Gemeinhart
Five years.That's how long twelve-year-old Coyote and her dad, Rodeo, have lived on the road in an old school bus, criss-crossing the nation.It's also how long ago Coyote lost her mom and two sisters.Coyote hasn't been home in all that time, but when she learns that the park in her old neighborhood is being demolished--the very same park where she, her mom, and her sisters buried a treasured memory box--she devises an elaborate plan to get her dad to drive 3,600 miles back to Washington state . . . without him realizing it.On the way, they'll pick up an eclectic group of folks. Lester has a lady love to meet. Salvador and his mom are looking to start over. Val needs a safe place to be herself. Coyote will learn that going home can sometimes be the hardest journey of all, but that with friends, she just might be able to turn her 'once upon a time' into a 'happily ever after.'
Publication Date: 2020-07-21
Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly
Donnelly offers up a stunningly focused story that rips into the heart of familiar fairy tale. Isabelle [is] a shattered but not unreedemable girl with a warrior's heart." -- Booklist, starred reviewAn instant New York Times bestseller!A Seventeen Best of the YearLonglisted for the Carnegie MedalA YALSA pickIsabelle should be blissfully happy-she's about to win the handsome prince. Except Isabelle isn't the beautiful girl who lost the glass slipper and captured the prince's heart. She's the ugly stepsister who cut off her toes to fit into Cinderella's shoe . . . which is now filling with blood.Isabelle tried to fit in. She cut away pieces of herself in order to become pretty. Sweet. More like Cinderella. But that only made her mean, jealous, and hollow. Now she has a chance to alter her destiny and prove what ugly stepsisters have always known: it takes more than heartache to break a girl.Evoking the darker, original version of the Cinderella story, Stepsister shows us that ugly is in the eye of the beholder, and uses Jennifer Donnelly's trademark wit and wisdom to send an overlooked character on a journey toward empowerment, redemption . . . and a new definition of beauty.
Publication Date: 2020-04-07
Unsinkable by Jessica Long
U.S. Paralympic swimming gold medalist Jessica Long delivers an inspirational photographic memoir detailing her journey from underdog to world-class champion athlete. Born in Siberia, double amputee Jessica Long was adopted from a Russian orphanage at thirteen months old and with thirteen gold medals has since become one the most decorated U.S. Paralympic athletes. Now Jessica shares all the moments, medals, and milestones in her life--big and small, heartbreaking and uplifting--that led to her domination in the Paralympic swimming world. This photographic memoir, filled with photographs, sidebars, quotes, and more, will thrill her fans and inspire those who are hearing her story for the first time.
Publication Date: 2020-05-26
The Unteachables by Gordon Korman
A hilarious new middle grade novel from beloved and bestselling author Gordon Korman : The Unteachables are a notorious class of misfits, delinquents, and academic train wrecks. Like Aldo, with anger management issues; Parker, who can't read; Kiana, who doesn't even belong in the class--or any class; and Elaine (rhymes with pain). The Unteachables have been removed from the student body and isolated in room 117. Their teacher is Mr. Zachary Kermit, the most burned-out teacher in all of Greenwich. He was once a rising star, but his career was shattered by a cheating scandal that still haunts him. After years of phoning it in, he is finally one year away from early retirement. But the superintendent has his own plans to torpedo that idea--and it involves assigning Mr. Kermit to the Unteachables. The Unteachables never thought they'd find a teacher who had a worse attitude than they did. And Mr. Kermit never thought he would actually care about teaching again. Over the course of a school year, though, room 117 will experience mayhem, destruction--and maybe even a shot at redemption. This middle grade novel is an excellent choice for tween readers in grades 4 to 6, in the classroom or for homeschooling.
Publication Date: 2019-01-08
KBA Book Summaries 2019
Free Verse by Sarah Dooley
A moving, bittersweet tale reminiscent of Sharon Creech's Walk Two Moons set in a West Virginia coal-mining town. When her brother dies in a fire, Sasha Harless has no one left, and nowhere to turn. After her father died in the mines and her mother ran off, he was her last caretaker. They' d always dreamed of leaving Caboose, West Virginia together someday, but instead she's in foster care, feeling more stuck and broken than ever. But then Sasha discovers family she didn't know she had, and she finally has something to hold onto, especially sweet little Mikey, who's just as broken as she is. Sasha even makes her first friend at school, and is slowly learning to cope with her brother's death through writing poetry, finding a new way to express herself when spoken words just won't do. But when tragedy strikes the mine her cousin works in, Sasha fears the worst and takes Mikey and runs, with no plans to return. In this sensitive and poignant portrayal, Sarah Dooley shows us that life, like poetry, doesn't always take the form you intend.
Publication Date: 2016-03-15
The Gallery by Laura Marx Fitzgerald
It's 1929, and twelve-year-old Martha has no choice but to work as a maid in the New York City mansion of the wealthy Sewell family. But, despite the Gatsby-like parties and trimmings of success, she suspects something might be deeply wrong in the household - specifically with Rose Sewell, the formerly vivacious lady of the house who now refuses to leave her room. The other servants say Rose is crazy, but scrappy, strong-willed Martha thinks there's more to the story - and that the paintings in the Sewell's gallery contain a hidden message detailing the truth. But in a house filled with secrets, nothing is quite what it seems, and no one is who they say. Can Martha follow the clues, decipher the code, and solve the mystery of what's really going on with Rose Sewell? Inspired by true events described in a fascinating author's note, The Gallery is a 1920s caper told with humor and spunk that readers today will love.
Publication Date: 2016-06-14
Nevermoor by Jessica Townsend
An instant New York Times bestseller! "A Harry Potter-esque adventure." --Time Magazine A breathtaking, enchanting new series by debut author Jessica Townsend, about a cursed girl who escapes death and finds herself in a magical world--but is then tested beyond her wildest imagination Morrigan Crow is cursed. Having been born on Eventide, the unluckiest day for any child to be born, she's blamed for all local misfortunes, from hailstorms to heart attacks--and, worst of all, the curse means that Morrigan is doomed to die at midnight on her eleventh birthday. But as Morrigan awaits her fate, a strange and remarkable man named Jupiter North appears. Chased by black-smoke hounds and shadowy hunters on horseback, he whisks her away into the safety of a secret, magical city called Nevermoor. It's then that Morrigan discovers Jupiter has chosen her to contend for a place in the city's most prestigious organization: the Wundrous Society. In order to join, she must compete in four difficult and dangerous trials against hundreds of other children, each boasting an extraordinary talent that sets them apart--an extraordinary talent that Morrigan insists she does not have. To stay in the safety of Nevermoor for good, Morrigan will need to find a way to pass the tests--or she'll have to leave the city to confront her deadly fate. Perfect for fans of the Harry Potter series and Neil Gaiman, this fast-paced plot and imaginative world has a fresh new take on magic that will appeal to a new generation of readers.
Publication Date: 2017-10-31
OCDaniel by Wesley King
EDGAR AWARD WINNER FOR BEST MYSTERY BANK STREET BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR SILVER BIRCH AWARD WINNER "Complex and satisfying. Written from Daniel's point of view, this perceptive first-person narrative is sometimes painful, sometimes amusing, and always rewarding." --Booklist (starred review) From the author of Incredible Space Raiders from Space! comes a brand-new coming-of-age story about a boy whose life revolves around hiding his obsessive compulsive disorder--until he gets a mysterious note that changes everything. Daniel is the back-up punter for the Erie Hills Elephants. Which really means he's the water boy. He spends football practice perfectly arranging water cups--and hoping no one notices. Actually, he spends most of his time hoping no one notices his strange habits--he calls them Zaps: avoiding writing the number four, for example, or flipping a light switch on and off dozens of times over. He hopes no one notices that he's crazy, especially his best friend Max, and Raya, the prettiest girl in school. His life gets weirder when another girl at school, who is unkindly nicknamed Psycho Sara, notices him for the first time. She doesn't just notice him: she seems to peer through him. Then Daniel gets a note: "I need your help," it says, signed, Fellow Star child--whatever that means. And suddenly Daniel, a total no one at school, is swept up in a mystery that might change everything for him. With great voice and grand adventure, this book is about feeling different and finding those who understand.
Publication Date: 2016-04-12
Rebound by Kwame Alexander
From the New York Times bestselling author Kwame Alexander comes Rebound, a dynamic novel in verse and companion to his Newbery Award-winner, The Crossover, illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Before Josh and Jordan Bell were streaking up and down the court, their father was learning his own moves. In this prequel to Newbery Medal winner The Crossover,Chuck Bell takes center stage, as readers get a glimpse of his childhood and how he became the jazz music worshiping, basketball star his sons look up to. A novel in verse with all the impact and rhythm readers have come to expect from Kwame Alexander. Rebound will go back in time to visit the childhood of Chuck "Da Man" Bell during one pivotal summer when young Charlie is sent to stay with his grandparents where he discovers basketball and learns more about his family's past.
Publication Date: 2018-04-02
Refugee by Alan Gratz
JOSEF is a Jewish boy living in 1930s Nazi Germany. With the threat of concentration camps looming, he and his family board a ship bound for the other side of the world . . . ISABEL is a Cuban girl in 1994. With riots and unrest plaguing her country, she and her family set out on a raft, hoping to find safety in America . . . MAHMOUD is a Syrian boy in 2015. With his homeland torn apart by violence and destruction, he and his family begin a long trek toward Europe . . . All three kids go on harrowing journeys in search of refuge. All will face unimaginable dangers -- from drownings to bombings to betrayals. But there is always the hope of tomorrow. And although Josef, Isabel, and Mahmoud are separated by continents and decades, shocking connections will tie their stories together in the end. This action-packed novel tackles topics both timely and timeless: courage, survival, and the quest for home.
Publication Date: 2017-07-25
Restart by Gordon Korman
Master storyteller Gordon Korman balances humour and heart in this reinvention story about a bully who must come to terms with who he was and what kind of person he wants to become. Chase Ambrose forgets everything after falling off a roof and losing consciousness. He forgets his name. He forgets his parents. He forgets what he was doing up there on that roof. And he forgets that he's the biggest bully at Hiawassee Middle School, along with his two best buddies Aaron and Bear. Chase is shocked to learn how he bullied and tormented kids at school. He ruined lives. One kid left town because of him. And worst of all, even his little half-sister is terrified of him. Was he really such a monster? Determined to reinvent himself, Chase joins video club and befriends some of the kids who used to consider him a number-one enemy. But some people aren't so quick to forgive and forget. Can Chase really change who he is? Or will the old him merely come back over time?
Publication Date: 2017-05-30
Scythe by Neal Shusterman
Two teens must learn the "art of killing" in the first in a chilling new series from Neal Shusterman, author of the New York Times bestselling Unwind dystology. A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery: humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now Scythes are the only ones who can end life and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control. Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe, a role that neither wants. These teens must master the "art" of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own. Scythe is the first novel of a thrilling new series by National Book Award winning author Neal Shusterman in which Citra and Rowan learn that a perfect world comes only with a heavy price.
Publication Date: 2016-11-22
The Thing about Leftovers by C. C. Payne
"C. C. Payne intertwines heartache with humor and hope in a novel about navigating divorce and blended families, following your passion, and celebrating who you are. Fizzy is a good Southern girl who just wants to be perfect. And win the Southern Living cook-off. The being perfect part is hard though, since her parents' divorced and everything in her life has changed. Wary of her too-perfect stepmom and her mom's neat-freak, dismissive boyfriend, she's often angry or upset and feels like a guest in both homes. She tells herself to face facts- She's a oleftovero kid from a marriage that her parents want to forget. But she has to keep all of that to herself, because a good Southern girl never yells, or throws fits, or says anything that might hurt other people's feelings-instead she throws her shoulders back, says yes ma'am, and tries to do better. So Fizzy tries her best, but it's hard to stay quiet when her family keeps getting more complicated. Fortunately, the Southern Livingcook-off gives her a welcome distraction, as do her new friends Miyoko and Zach, who have parent issues of their own. With the poignancy and humor of Joan Bauer and Lynda Mullaly Hunt, this poignant story reminds readers that they have a right to a voice, that it is okay to say how you feel, and that some leftovers are absolutely delicious!"
Publication Date: 2016-07-19
When Friendship Followed Me Home by Paul Griffin
A breathtaking middle-grade novel about happiness, loss, and an unforgettable dog named Flip "This story convinced me all over again that love and imagination are life's biggest magic." --Rebecca Stead, author of Newbery Award winner When You Reach Me Ben Coffin has never been one for making friends. As a former foster kid, he knows people can up and leave without so much as a goodbye. Ben prefers to spend his time with the characters in his favorite sci-fi books...until he rescues an abandoned mutt from the alley next-door to the Coney Island Library. Scruffy little Flip leads Ben to befriend a fellow book-lover named Halley--yes, like the comet--a girl unlike anyone he has ever met. Ben begins thinking of her as "Rainbow Girl" because of her crazy-colored clothes and her laugh, pure magic, the kind that makes you smile away the stormiest day. Rainbow Girl convinces Ben to write a novel with her. But as their story unfolds Ben's life begins to unravel, and Ben must discover for himself the truth about friendship and the meaning of home. Paul Griffin's breathtaking middle-grade debut will warm your heart as much as it breaks it. "Full of pace and laughter, bruises and heart. Paul Griffin is the sort of writer you're torn between telling the whole world about and keeping all to yourself."--Markus Zusak, author of Printz Honor Winner The Book Thief "'Friendship' is an absolutely beautiful, heart-expanding book. I cried, but more than that I felt this giant balloon of love for everyone. This story convinced me all over again that love and imagination are life's biggest magic. It'll make you want to grab hold of everyone important to you and lick them on the nose." --Rebecca Stead, author of Newbery Award winner When You Reach Me "Some books change the way you see the world. Some change the way you breathe. This book will leave you breathless. This is Paul Griffin's best book yet--and that's really saying something." --Patricia McCormick, author of National Book Award Finalist Sold "When Friendship Followed Me Home is both a beautiful book, and an honest book; it is, in fact, beautiful because it is honest. We see the pain of loss, and the glory of community. We see love in its many forms, and we witness the truth that love goes on despite all barriers. Cheer for Ben and Halley: it is kids like these who are our hope." --Gary D. Schmidt, author of Okay for Now
Publication Date: 2016-06-07
KBA Book Summaries 2020
Everless by Sara Holland
In the kingdom of Sempera, time is currency--extracted from blood, bound to iron, and consumed to add time to one's own lifespan. The rich aristocracy, like the Gerlings, tax the poor to the hilt, extending their own lives by centuries. No one resents the Gerlings more than Jules Ember. A decade ago, she and her father were servants at Everless, the Gerlings' palatial estate, until a fateful accident forced them to flee in the dead of night. When Jules discovers that her father is dying, she knows that she must return to Everless to earn more time for him before she loses him forever. But going back to Everless brings more danger--and temptation--than Jules could have ever imagined. Soon she's caught in a tangle of violent secrets and finds her heart torn between two people she thought she'd never see again. Her decisions have the power to change her fate--and the fate of time itself. Fans of Victoria Aveyard, Kendare Blake, and Stephanie Garber will devour this lush novel's breathtaking action, incredible romance, and dangerous secrets. Plus don't miss the thrilling sequel, Evermore!
Publication Date: 2018-01-02
Front Desk by Kelly Yang
Mia Tang has a lot of secrets. Number 1: She lives in a motel, not a big house. Every day, while her immigrant parents clean the rooms, ten-year-old Mia manages the front desk of the Calivista Motel and tends to its guests. Number 2: Her parents hide immigrants. And if the mean motel owner, Mr. Yao, finds out they've been letting them stay in the empty rooms for free, the Tangs will be doomed. Number 3: She wants to be a writer. But how can she when her mom thinks she should stick to math because English is not her first language? It will take all of Mia's courage, kindness, and hard work to get through this year. Will she be able to hold on to her job, help the immigrants and guests, escape Mr. Yao, and go for her dreams?
Publication Date: 2018-05-29
Game Changer by Tommy Greenwald
Thirteen-year-old Teddy Youngblood is in a coma fighting for his life after an unspecified football injury at training camp. His family and friends flock to his bedside to support his recovery--and to discuss the events leading up to the tragic accident. Was this an inevitable result of playing a violent sport, or was something more sinister happening on the field that day? Told in an innovative, multimedia format combining dialogue, texts, newspaper articles, transcripts, an online forum, and Teddy's inner thoughts, Game Changer explores the joyous thrills and terrifying risks of America's most popular sport.
Publication Date: 2018-09-11
Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes
Twelve-year-old Jerome is shot by a police officer who mistakes his toy gun for a real threat. As a ghost, he observes the devastation that's been unleashed on his family and community in the wake of what they see as an unjust and brutal killing. Soon Jerome meets another ghost: Emmett Till, a boy from a very different time but similar circumstances. Emmett helps Jerome process what has happened, on a journey towards recognizing how historical racism may have led to the events that ended his life. Jerome also meets Sarah, the daughter of the police officer, who grapples with her father's actions. Once again Jewell Parker Rhodes deftly weaves historical and socio-political layers into a gripping and poignant story about how children and families face the complexities of today's world, and how one boy grows to understand American blackness in the aftermath of his own death.
Publication Date: 2019-09-10
Greetings from Witness Protection! by Jake Burt
The marshals are looking for the perfect girl to join a mother, father, and son on the run from the nation's most notorious criminals. After all, the bad guys are searching for a family with one kid, not two, and adding a streetwise girl who knows a little something about hiding things may be just what the marshals need. Nicki swears she can keep the Trevor family safe, but to do so she'll have to dodge hitmen, cyberbullies, and the spectre of standardised testing, all while maintaining her marshal-mandated B-minus average. As she barely balances the responsibilities of her new identity, Nicki learns that the biggest threats to her family's security might not lurk on the road from New York to North Carolina, but rather in her own past.
Publication Date: 2018-10-02
Last Pick by Jason Walz (Illustrator)
An alien abduction has left behind only those younger than sixteen, older than sixty-five, or too "disabled" to work. In other words, people who weren't a threat--until now. Twins Sam and Wyatt are ready to chuck their labels, break free from their captors, and inspire others to do the same. It's time for "the last picked" to step into the game.Jason Walz pairs vivid world-building and a fast-paced adventure in a beautiful story of sibling devotion. With humor and action, Last Pick shares an empowering message about the dangers of labeling and writing people off.
Publication Date: 2018-10-09
Mars One by Jonathan Maberry
Go on the adventure of a lifetime with a teen and his family after they are selected to colonize Mars . Tristan has known that he and his family were going to be on the first mission to colonize Mars since he was twelve years old, and he has been training ever since. However, knowing that he would be leaving for Mars with no plan to return didn't stop him from falling in love with Izzy. But now, at sixteen, it's time to leave Earth, and he's forced to face what he must leave behind in exchange for an uncertain future. When the news hits that another ship is already headed to colonize Mars, and the NeoLuddite terrorist group begins threatening the Mars One project, the mission's purpose is called into question. Is this all worth it?
Publication Date: 2017-04-04
The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl by Stacy McAnulty
Lucy Callahan was struck by lightning. She doesn't remember it, but it changed her life forever. The zap gave her genius-level math skills, and ever since, Lucy has been homeschooled. Now, at 12 years old, she's technically ready for college. She just has to pass 1 more test--middle school! Lucy's grandma insists- Go to middle school for 1 year. Make 1 friend. Join 1 activity. And read 1 book (that's not a math textbook!). Lucy's not sure what a girl who does calculus homework for fun can possibly learn in 7th grade. She has everything she needs at home, where nobody can make fun of her rigid routines or her superpowered brain. The equation of Lucy's life has already been solved. Unless there's been a miscalculation? A celebration of friendship, Stacy McAnulty's smart and thoughtful middle-grade debut reminds us all to get out of our comfort zones and embrace what makes us different. "An engaging story, full of heart and hope. Readers of all ages will root for Lucy, aka Lightning Girl. No miscalculations here!" --Kate Beasley, author of Gertie's Leap to Greatness
Publication Date: 2018-05-01
Resistance by Jennifer A. Nielsen
Chaya Lindner is a teenager living in Nazi-occupied Poland. Simply being Jewish places her in danger of being killed or sent to the camps. After her little sister is taken away, her younger brother disappears, and her parents all but give up hope, Chaya is determined to make a difference. Using forged papers and her fair features, Chaya becomes a courier and travels between the Jewish ghettos of Poland, smuggling food, papers, and even people. Soon Chaya joins a resistance cell that runs raids on the Nazis' supplies. But after a mission goes terribly wrong, Chaya's network shatters. She is alone and unsure of where to go, until Esther, a member of her cell, finds her and delivers a message that chills Chaya to her core, and sends her on a journey toward an even larger uprising in the works -- in the Warsaw Ghetto. Though the Jewish resistance never had much of a chance against the Nazis, they were determined to save as many lives as possible, and to live -- or die -- with honor.
Publication Date: 2018-08-28
Spirit Hunters by Ellen Oh
We Need Diverse Books founder Ellen Oh returns with Spirit Hunters, a high-stakes middle grade mystery series about Harper Raine, the new seventh grader in town who must face down the dangerous ghosts haunting her younger brother. A riveting ghost story and captivating adventure, this tale will have you guessing at every turn! Harper doesn't trust her new home from the moment she steps inside, and the rumors are that the Raine family's new house is haunted. Harper isn't sure she believes those rumors, until her younger brother, Michael, starts acting strangely. The whole atmosphere gives Harper a sense of déjà vu, but she can't remember why. She knows that the memories she's blocking will help make sense of her brother's behavior and the strange and threatening sensations she feels in this house, but will she be able to put the pieces together in time?
Publication Date: 2017-07-25
KBA Book Summaries 2018
The Forgetting by Sharon Cameron
A brilliant exploration of truth and memory, love and loss in this remarkable story of a civilization that undergoes a collective forgetting. What isn't written, isn't remembered. Even your crimes. Nadia lives in the city of Canaan, where life is safe and structured, hemmed in by white stone walls and no memory of what came before. But every twelve years the city descends into the bloody chaos of the Forgetting, a day of no remorse, when each person's memories - of parents, children, love, life, and self - are lost. Unless they have been written. In Canaan, your book is your truth and your identity, and Nadia knows exactly who hasn't written the truth. Because Nadia is the only person in Canaan who has never forgotten. But when Nadia begins to use her memories to solve the mysteries of Canaan, she discovers truths about herself and Gray, the handsome glassblower, that will change her world forever. As the anarchy of the Forgetting approaches, Nadia and Gray must stop an unseen enemy that threatens both their city and their own existence - before the people can forget the truth. And before Gray can forget her.
Publication Date: 2017-06-27
Ghost by Jason Reynolds
A National Book Award Finalist for Young People's Literature. Ghost wants to be the fastest sprinter on his elite middle school track team, but his past is slowing him down in this first electrifying novel in a new series from Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award-winning author Jason Reynolds. Ghost. Lu. Patina. Sunny. Four kids from wildly different backgrounds with personalities that are explosive when they clash. But they are also four kids chosen for an elite middle school track team--a team that could qualify them for the Junior Olympics if they can get their acts together. They all have a lot to lose, but they also have a lot to prove, not only to each other, but to themselves. Ghost has a crazy natural talent, but no formal training. If he can stay on track, literally and figuratively, he could be the best sprinter in the city. But Ghost has been running for the wrong reasons--it all started with running away from his father, who, when Ghost was a very little boy, chased him and his mother through their apartment, then down the street, with a loaded gun, aiming to kill. Since then, Ghost has been the one causing problems--and running away from them--until he meets Coach, an ex-Olympic Medalist who blew his own shot at success, and who is determined to keep other kids from blowing theirs.
Publication Date: 2017-08-29
The Greatest Zombie Movie Ever by Jeff Strand
After producing three horror movies that went mostly ignored on YouTube, Justin and his filmmaking buddies decide it's time they create something noteworthy, something epic. They're going to film the Greatest Zombie Movie Ever. They may not have money or a script, but they have passion. And, after a rash text message, they also have the beautiful Alicia Howtz-Justin's crush-as the lead. With only one month to complete their movie, a script that can't possibly get worse, and the hopes and dreams of Alicia on the line, Justin is feeling the pressure. Add to that a cast of uncooperative extras and incompetent production assistants, and Justin must face the sad, sad truth. He may actually be producing The Worst Zombie Movie Ever... "Fans of Strand's other novels of outrageous circumstance...will not be disappointed. A delightfully ludicrous read."-School Library Journalon I Have a Bad Feeling About This
Publication Date: 2016-03-01
Most Dangerous by Steve Sheinkin
This captivating nonfiction investigation of the Pentagon Papers has captured widespread critical acclaim, including features in The Washington Post and on NPR, selection as a 2015 National Book Award finalist, and selection as a finalist for the 2016 YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Award. From Steve Sheinkin, the award-winning author of The Port Chicago 50 and Newbery Honor Book Bomb comes a tense, narrative nonfiction account of what the Times deemed "the greatest story of the century": how whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg transformed from obscure government analyst into "the most dangerous man in America," and risked everything to expose years of government lies during the Nixon / Cold War era. On June 13, 1971, the front page of the New York Times announced the existence of a 7,000-page collection of documents containing a secret history of the Vietnam War. Known as The Pentagon Papers, these files had been commissioned by Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara. Chronicling every action the government had taken in the Vietnam War, they revealed a pattern of deception spanning over twenty years and four presidencies, and forever changed the relationship between American citizens and the politicians claiming to represent their interests. The investigation that resulted--as well as the attempted government coverups and vilification of the whistleblower--has timely relevance to Edward Snowden's more recent conspiracy leaks. A provocative and political book that interrogates the meanings of patriotism, freedom, and integrity, Most Dangerous further establishes Steve Sheinkin as a leader in children's nonfiction.
Publication Date: 2015-09-22
Ms. Bixby's Last Day by John David Anderson
New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice "Kids won't just love this book. They need it." --Soman Chainani, New York Times bestselling author of The School for Good and Evil "Each page crackles as we embark on the greatest adventure of all." --Gary D. Schmidt, Newbery Honor winner and author of Okay for Now Everyone knows there are different kinds of teachers. The boring ones, the mean ones, the ones who try too hard, the ones who stopped trying long ago. The ones you'll never remember, and the ones you want to forget. Ms. Bixby is none of these. She's the sort of teacher who makes you feel like school is somehow worthwhile. Who recognizes something in you that sometimes you don't even see in yourself. Who you never want to disappoint. What Ms. Bixby is, is one-of-a-kind. Topher, Brand, and Steve know this better than anyone. And so when Ms. Bixby unexpectedly announces that she won't be able to finish the school year, they come up with a risky plan, more of a quest, really, to give Ms. Bixby the last day she deserves. Through the three very different stories they tell, we begin to understand what Ms. Bixby means to each of them--and what the three of them mean to each other.
Publication Date: 2017-04-04
Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D. Schmidt
The two-time Newbery Honor winner Gary D. Schmidt delivers the shattering story of Joseph, a father at thirteen, who has never seen his daughter, Jupiter. After spending time in a juvenile facility, he's placed with a foster family on a farm in rural Maine. Here Joseph, damaged and withdrawn, meets twelve-year-old Jack, who narrates the account of the troubled, passionate teen who wants to find his baby at any cost. In this riveting novel, two boys discover the true meaning of familyand the sacrifices it requires.
Publication Date: 2017-05-02
Paper Things by Jennifer Richard Jacobson
When forced to choose between staying with her guardian and being with her big brother, Ari chose her big brother. There's just one problem--Gage doesn't actually have a place to live. When Ari's mother died four years ago, she had two final wishes: that Ari and her older brother, Gage, would stay together always, and that Ari would go to Carter, the middle school for gifted students. So when nineteen-year-old Gage decides he can no longer live with their bossy guardian, Janna, Ari knows she has to go with him. But it's been two months, and Gage still hasn't found them an apartment. He and Ari have been "couch surfing," staying with Gage's friend in a tiny apartment, crashing with Gage's girlfriend and two roommates, and if necessary, sneaking into a juvenile shelter to escape the cold Maine nights. But all of this jumping around makes it hard for Ari to keep up with her schoolwork, never mind her friendships, and getting into Carter starts to seem impossible. Will Ari be forced to break one of her promises to Mama? Told in an open, authentic voice, this nuanced story of hiding in plain sight may have readers thinking about homelessness in a whole new way.
Publication Date: 2017-03-14
Soar by Joan Bauer
Newbery Honor winner Joan Bauer hits a home run with her newest protagonist, who always sees the positive side of any situation. Jeremiah is not one to let anything keep him down. Starting with his adoption by computer genius Walt, Jeremiah has looked on his life as a series of lucky breaks. When a weak heart keeps him from playing his beloved baseball, Jeremiah appoints himself the team coach. When Walt has to move for another new assignment, Jeremiah sees it as a great chance to explore a new town. But no sooner do they arrive than a doping scandel is revealed and the town feels betrayed and disgraced. Jeremiah takes it as his personal mission to restore the town's morale and help the teams bounce back and remember how to soar. Full of humor, heart, and baseball lore, Soar is Joan Bauer at her best.
Publication Date: 2017-01-03
Stella by Starlight by Sharon M. Draper; Sarah Jane Coleman (Cover Design by)
When the Ku Klux Klan's unwelcome reappearance rattles Stella's segregated southern town, bravery battles prejudice in this Depression-era tour de force from Sharon Draper, the New York Times bestselling author of Out of My Mind. Stella lives in the segregated South--in Bumblebee, North Carolina, to be exact about it. Some stores she can go into. Some stores she can't. Some folks are right pleasant. Others are a lot less so. To Stella, it sort of evens out, and heck, the Klan hasn't bothered them for years. But one late night, later than she should ever be up, much less wandering around outside, Stella and her little brother see something they're never supposed to see, something that is the first flicker of change to come, unwelcome change by any stretch of the imagination. As Stella's community--her world--is upended, she decides to fight fire with fire. And she learns that ashes don't necessarily signify an end.
Publication Date: 2015-01-06
Terror at Bottle Creek by Watt Key
Terror at Bottle Creek by Watt Key is a harrowing survival story set in a gripping, man vs. nature situation. "This isHatchetfor the post-Katrina generation, and it's sure to find an audience." --Booklist In this gritty, realistic wilderness adventure, thirteen-year-old Cort is caught in a battle against a Gulf Coast hurricane. Cort's father is a local expert on hunting and swamp lore in lower Alabama who has been teaching his son everything he knows. But when a deadly Category 3 storm makes landfall, Cort must unexpectedly put all his skills--and bravery--to the test. One catastrophe seems to lead to another, leaving Cort and two neighbor girls to face the storm as best they can. Amid miles of storm-thrashed wetlands filled with dangerous, desperate wild animals, it's up to Cort to win--or lose--the fight for their lives. This is a thrilling survivalist story by Watt Key, the author ofAlabama Moon, Dirt Road Home, andHideout. This title has Common Core connections.
Publication Date: 2017-01-10
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KBA Book Summaries 2016
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
National Book Award Winner Jacqueline Woodson, one of today's finest writers, tells the moving story of her childhood in mesmerizing verse. Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement. Touching and powerful, each poem is both accessible and emotionally charged, each line a glimpse into a child's soul as she searches for her place in the world. Woodson's eloquent poetry also reflects the joy of finding her voice through writing stories, despite the fact that she struggled with reading as a child. Her love of stories inspired her and stayed with her, creating the first sparks of the gifted writer she was to become. Praise for Jacqueline Woodson: Ms. Woodson writes with a sure understanding of the thoughts of young people, offering a poetic, eloquent narrative that is not simply a story . . . but a mature exploration of grown-up issues and self-discovery.The New York Times Book Review
Call Number: F Woo
Publication Date: 2014
The Crossover by Kwame Alexander
2015 Newbery Medal Winner 2015 Coretta Scott King Honor Award Winner "With a bolt of lightning on my kicks . . .The court is SIZZLING. My sweat is DRIZZLING. Stop all that quivering. Cuz tonight I m delivering, " announces dread-locked, 12-year old Josh Bell. Heand his twin brother Jordanare awesome on the court. But Josh has more than basketball in his blood, he's got mad beats, too, that tell his family's story in verse, in this fast and furious middle grade novel of family and brotherhood from Kwame Alexander. Josh and Jordan must come to grips with growing up on and off the court to realize breaking the rules comes at a terrible price, as their story's heart-stopping climax proves a game-changer for the entire family. "
Call Number: F ALe
Publication Date: 2014
Curses and Smoke: a Novel of Pompeii by Vicky Alvear Shecter
Tag is a medical slave who wants be a gladiator. Lucia is the daughter of Tag's owner and is betrothed to an older man. The two teenagers are in love with each other, but it is the year A.D. 79 and a volcano called Vesuvius will soon alter their lives forever.
Call Number: F She
Publication Date: 2014
I Kill the Mockingbird by Paul Acampora
When Lucy, Elena, and Michael receive their summer reading list, they are excited to see To Kill A Mockingbird included. But not everyone in their class shares the same enthusiasm. So they hatch a plot to get the entire town talking about the well-known Harper Lee classic. They plan controversial ways to get people to read the book, including re-shelving copies of the book in bookstores so that people think they are missing and starting a website committed to "destroying the mockingbird." Their efforts are successful when all of the hullabaloo starts to direct more people to the book. But soon, their exploits start to spin out of control and they unwittingly start a mini revolution in the name of books.
Call Number: F Aca
Publication Date: 2015
The Iron Trial by Holly Black; Cassandra Clare
From New York Times bestselling authors Holly Black and Cassandra Clare comes a riveting new five book series that defies what you think you know about the world of magic. Most kids would do anything to pass the Iron Trial. Not Callum Hunt. He wants to fail. All his life, Call has been warned by his father to stay away from magic. If he succeeds at the Iron Trial and is admitted into the Magisterium, he is sure it can only mean bad things for him. So he tries his best to do his worst -- and fails at failing. Now the Magisterium awaits him. It's a place that's both sensational and sinister, with dark ties to his past and a twisty path to his future. The Iron Trial is just the beginning, for the biggest test is still to come . . . From the remarkable imaginations of bestselling authors Holly Black and Cassandra Clare comes a heart-stopping, mind-blowing, pulse-pounding plunge into the magical unknown.
Call Number: F Bla
Publication Date: 2014
The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier
This much-anticipated follow-up to Jonathan Auxier's exceptional debut, Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes, is a Victorian ghost story with shades of Washington Irving and Henry James. More than just a spooky tale, it's also a moral fable about human greed and the power of storytelling. The Night Gardener follows two abandoned Irish siblings who travel to work as servants at a creepy, crumbling English manor house. But the house and its family are not quite what they seem. Soon the children are confronted by a mysterious and an ancient curse that threatens their very lives. With Auxier's exquisite command of language, The Night Gardener is a mesmerizing read and a classic in the making. Praise for The Night Gardener STARRED REVIEWS "Lots of creepiness, memorable characters, a worthy message, Auxier's atmospheric drawings and touches of humor amid the horror make this cautionary tale one readers will not soon forget." --Kirkus Reviews, starred review "Storytelling and the secret desires of the heart wind together in this atmospheric novel that doubles as a ghost tale." --School Library Journal, starred review "Auxier achieves an ideal mix of adventure and horror, offering all of it in elegant, atmospheric language that forces the reader to slow down a bit and revel in both the high-quality plot and the storytelling itself." --Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books "All proper scary stories require a spooky, menacing atmosphere, and Auxier (Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes) delivers the goods with his precise descriptions of the gothic setting and teasing hints of mystery and suspense." --The Horn Book Magazine.
Call Number: F Aux
Publication Date: 2015
The Secret Hum of a Daisy by Tracy Holczer
Twelve-year-old Grace and her mother have always been their own family, traveling from place to place like gypsies. But Grace wants to finally have a home all their own. Just when she thinks she's found it her mother says it's time to move again. Grace summons the courage to tell her mother how she really feels and will always regret that her last words to her were angry ones. After her mother's sudden death, Grace is forced to live with a grandmother she's never met. She can't imagine her mother would want her to stay with this stranger. Then Grace finds clues in a mysterious treasure hunt, just like the ones her mother used to send her on. Maybe it is her mother, showing her the way to her true home. Lyrical, poignant and fresh, "The Secret Hum of a Daisy "is a beautifully told middle grade tale with a great deal of heart."
Call Number: F Hol
Publication Date: 2015
Skink - No Surrender by Carl Hiaasen
Carl Hiaasen serves up his unique brand of swamp justice in the "New York Times" bestseller" Skink--No Surrender." A National Book Award Long list Selection. When your cousin goes missing under suspicious circumstances, who do you call? There's only one man for the job: a half-crazed, half-feral, one-eyed ex-governor named Skink. Skink joins 14-year-old Richard on a breakneck chase across Florida, undaunted by lightning storms, poisonous snakes, flying bullets, and giant gators. There are a million places cousin Malley could be, a million unpleasant fates that might have befallen her, but one thing is certain: in the Florida swamp, justice is best served wild.
Call Number: F Hia
Publication Date: 2014
Unfriended by Rachel Vail
In middle school, nothing is more important than friendship. When Truly is invited to sit at the Popular Table with the group she has dreamed of joining, she can hardly believe her luck. Everyone seems so nice, so kind to one another. But all is not as it seems with her new friends, and soon she's caught in a maelstrom of lies, misunderstandings, accusations and counter-accusations, all happening very publicly in the relentless, hyperconnected social media world from which there is no escape. Six eighth-graders, four girls and two boys, struggle to understand and process their fractured glimples into one another's lives as they find new ways to disconnect, but also to connect, in Rachel Vail's richest and most searching book.
Call Number: F Vai
Publication Date: 2014
Wildflower by Alecia Whitaker
The best songs come from broken hearts. Bird Barrett has grown up on the road, singing backup in her family's bluegrass band and playing everywhere from Nashville, Tennessee, to Nowhere, Oklahoma. But one fateful night, when Bird fills in for her dad by singing lead, a scout in the audience offers her a spotlight all her own. Soon Bird is caught up in a whirlwind of songwriting meetings, recording sessions, and music-video shoots. Her first single hits the top twenty, and suddenly fans and paparazzi are around every corner. She's even caught the eye of her longtime crush, fellow roving musician Adam Dean. With Bird's star on the rise, though, the rest of her life falls into chaos as tradition and ambition collide. Can Bird break out while staying true to her roots? In a world of glamour and gold records, a young country music star finds her voice.
Call Number: F Whi
Publication Date: 2014
Barret Traditional Middle School
2561 Grinstead Dr., Louisville, KY 40206