Thursday, February 25, 2016

On Shelves Now: THE BITTER SIDE OF SWEET by Tara Sullivan

320 p.
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Ages: 12 and up

Fifteen-year-old Amadou counts the things that matter. For two years what has mattered are the number of cacao pods he and his younger brother, Seydou, can chop down in a day. This number is very important. The higher the number the safer they are because the bosses won’t beat them. The higher the number the closer they are to paying off their debt and returning home to Baba and Auntie. Maybe. The problem is Amadou doesn’t know how much he and Seydou owe, and the bosses won’t tell him. The boys only wanted to make some money during the dry season to help their impoverished family. Instead they were tricked into forced labor on a plantation in the Ivory Coast; they spend day after day living on little food and harvesting beans in the hot sun—dangerous, backbreaking work. With no hope of escape, all they can do is try their best to stay alive—until Khadija comes into their lives.

She’s the first girl who’s ever come to camp, and she’s a wild thing. She fights bravely every day, attempting escape again and again, reminding Amadou what it means to be free. But finally, the bosses break her, and what happens next to the brother he has always tried to protect almost breaks Amadou. The old impulse to run is suddenly awakened. The three band together as family and try just once more to escape.

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On Shelves Now: EMMA AND JULIA LOVE BALLET by Barbara McClintock

32 p.
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Ages: 4 to 8

Emma is little. Julia is big.
They both love ballet.

Emma takes ballet lessons. So does Julia.
Emma is learning to be a ballerina.
Julia is a professional ballerina.

They are both excited about the big performance in the theater tonight.
Emma will be watching from the audience.
Julia will be dancing onstage!
And afterward, Emma will go backstage to meet her ballet hero!

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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

On Shelves Now: SAME BUT DIFFERENT: Teen Life on the Autism Express by Holly Robinson Peete, Ryan Elizabeth Peete & RJ Peete

224 p.
Publisher: Scholastic
Ages: 12 and up

Being a teen is hard enough. But when you have autism--or when your brother or sister is struggling with the condition--life can be challenging. It's one thing when you're a kid in grade school and a playdate goes south due to autism in a family. Or when you're a little kid and a vacation or holiday turns less-than-happy because of an autistic family member. But being a teen with autism can get pretty hairy--especially when you're up against dating, parties, sports, body changes, school, and other kids who just don't "get" you.

In this powerful book, teenagers Ryan Elizabeth Peete and her twin brother, Rodney, who has autism, share their up-close-and-personal experiences on what it means to be a teen living with autism. Same But Different, explores the funny, painful, and unexpected aspects of teen autism, while daring to address issues nobody talks about. Same But Different underscores tolerance, love, and the understanding that everybody's unique drumbeat is worth dancing to.

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On Shelves Now: CINNAMON GIRL: letters found inside a cereal box by Juan Felipe Herrera

176 p.
Publisher: HarperTeen
Ages:13 and up

When the Twin Towers fell, New York City was blanketed by dust. On the Lower East Side, Yolanda, the cinnamon girl, makes her manda, her promise. She vows to gather as much of the dust as she can. Maybe if she can return it to Ground Zero, she can comfort all the voices. Maybe that will help Uncle DJ open his eyes again. As tragedies from her past mix in the air of an unthinkable present, Yolanda searches for hope. Maybe it’s buried somewhere in the silvery dust of Alphabet City.

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Thursday, February 18, 2016

On Shelves Now: THE CIRCLE OF LIES by Crystal Velasquez

240 p.
Publisher: Aladdin
Ages: 8 to 12

Ana’s life changed dramatically when she accepted a position at an exclusive boarding school in New Mexico. She found three great new friends—Shani, Doli, and Lin—and together, they discovered that they each had the power to turn into a wildcat. Their new friendship and powers were put to the test in a battle against the god Anubis and his newly resurrected Brotherhood of Chaos.

After defeating the Brotherhood, Ana learns that her aunt and uncle have gone missing. Her friends are ready to help her find them, but then Shani is accused of vandalizing school property and expelled. While Ana and the others head to Mexico to search for her family, Shani travels to Mumbai to stay with her father. But strange things are happening in the Indian city. Has she stumbled upon another sinister plot?

Meanwhile, Ana, Doli, and Lin have gone to Mexico to try and track down Ana’s family, and in the heart of Chichen Itxa, they find new dangers—and more proof of the Brotherhood’s growing power. With the four wildcats separated by thousands of miles, is this Anubis’s chance to rise again?

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192 p.
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Ages: 8 to 12

Aaron Philip is no ordinary kid.
He started his own Tumblr, Aaronverse.
He’s hung out with the guy who created the cartoon Adventure Time.
He’s appeared in a documentary film.
He’s a disability activist who’s been on television.
He’s a kawaii dude who loves anime.
And he’s a fourteen-year-old boy with cerebral palsy.
This kid can’t walk, but he can fly.
Aaron Philip’s memoir chronicles his extraordinary journey from happy baby in Antigua to confident teen artist in New York City. His honest, often funny stories of triumph—despite physical difficulties, poverty, and other challenges—are as inspiring as they are eye-opening.

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Thursday, February 11, 2016

On Shelves Now: FRIDA KAHLO by Isabel Sanchez Vegara

32 p.
Publisher: Frances Lincoln Children's Books
Ages: 5 to 8

In this new series, discover the lives of outstanding people from designers and artists to scientists. All of them went on to achieve incredible things, yet all of them began life as a little child with a dream. The second book follows Frida Kahlo, whose desire to study medicine was destroyed by a childhood accident. Frida began painting from her bedside and produced over 140 works, culminating in a solo exhibition in America. This inspiring and informative little biography comes with extra facts about Frida's life at the back.

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On Shelves Now: RED BUTTERFLY by A.L. Sonnichsen

400 p.
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Ages: 8 to 12

Kara never met her birth mother. Abandoned as an infant, she was taken in by an American woman living in China. Now eleven, Kara spends most of her time in their apartment, wondering why she and Mama cannot leave the city of Tianjin and go live with Daddy in Montana. Mama tells Kara to be content with what she has…but what if Kara secretly wants more?

Told in lyrical, moving verse, Red Butterfly is the story of a girl learning to trust her own voice, discovering that love and family are limitless, and finding the wings she needs to reach new heights.

Amazon | B & N | Book Depository | IndieBound | Simon & Schuster

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

On Shelves Now: LOUIS ARMSTRONG by Stéphane Ollivier

28 p.
Publisher: Moonlight Publishing
Ages: 8 to 10

This illustrated biography of Louis Armstrong tells the life of the greatest jazz musician and singer of his age, and gives an introduction to his music

Born in New Orleans in 1901, Louis Armstrong loved the gospel singing he heard every week as a boy in his neighborhood church. He was also inspired by the marching bands and the musicians and singers who celebrated mardi gras in the streets, and performed at funerals and in the many cabarets. The trumpet was his favorite instrument, and he taught himself to play it. From his teenage years on, music was his life. He started as a professional musician playing on the Mississippi river boats before joining various bands. He soon established himself as the best musician of his generation, and at the age of 25 created his own jazz group—the Hot Five. Soon all of America would discover his other extraordinary talent—his unique deep singing voice.

The book contains a CD with the narrative of the book and 14 highlights of Louis Armstrong recordings.

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On Shelves Now: LITTLE WHITE LIES by Brianna Baker and Bowman Hastie

272 p.
Publisher: Harper Teen
Ages: 14 and up

Seventeen-year-old Coretta White is a black honors student whose Tumblr, Little White Lies—an exposé of her brilliant-yet-clueless (and hypocritical) parents—has gone viral. She finds herself at a confusing tipping point of celebrity and success. She’s got hundreds of thousands of followers; she’s even been offered a TV deal. But Coretta has a confession: she hasn’t been writing all her own posts. Overwhelmed with the stress of keeping up with her schoolwork and applying for colleges, she secretly hires an expert ghostwriter, a forty-one-year-old white man named Karl Ristoff, to help her with the Tumblr. His contributions help make it a sensation, but unable to bear the guilt, Coretta eventually confesses the scandalous truth to a select few to free herself of the burden.

The fallout is almost instantaneous. Before she knows it, her reputation has been destroyed. The media deal disappears. Even her boyfriend breaks up with her. Then Karl is thrust into the limelight, only to suffer a precipitous fall himself. Ultimately the two join forces to find out who is responsible for ruining both of their lives…someone who might have even had the power to fuel their success in the first place. And to exact justice and a clever revenge, they must truly come clean to each other.

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Thursday, February 4, 2016

On Shelves Now: DON'T CALL ME GRANDMA by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson

32 p.
Publisher: Carolrhoda
Ages: 5 to 9

Great-grandmother Nell eats fish for breakfast, she doesn't hug or kiss, and she does NOT want to be called grandma. Her great-granddaughter isn't sure what to think about her. As she slowly learns more about Nell's life and experiences, the girl finds ways to connect with her prickly, pearl-wearing great-grandmother.

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On Shelves Now: SURF'S UP by Kwame Alexander

32 p.
Publisher: NorthSouth
Ages: 4 to 8

Surf's up! Not yet, Dude! Books are boring! Not this one! Bro and Dude have very different ideas about how to spend the day at the beach. But as Bro continues to gasp and cheer as he reads his book (Moby Dick), Dude can't help but get curious. Before you can shout 'Surf's up!' both frogs are sharing the same adventure, that is, until they get to the beach. Newbery Medal Winner, Kwame Alexander, and Daniel Miyares have joined forces to give little listeners a wild ride.

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Tuesday, February 2, 2016

On Shelves Now: SUGAR HILL by Carole Boston Weatherford

32 p.
Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company
Ages: 5 to 8

Take a walk through Harlem's Sugar Hill and meet all the amazing people who made this neighborhood legendary. With upbeat rhyming, read-aloud text, Sugar Hill celebrates the Harlem neighborhood that successful African Americans first called home during the 1920s.

Children raised in Sugar Hill not only looked up to these achievers but also experienced art and culture at home, at church, and in the community. Books, music lessons, and art classes expanded their horizons beyond the narrow limits of segregation.

Includes brief biographies of jazz greats Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Sonny Rollins, and Miles Davis; artists Aaron Douglas and Faith Ringgold; entertainers Lena Horne and the Nicholas Brothers; writer Zora Neale Hurston; civil rights leader W. E. B. DuBois and lawyer Thurgood Marshall.

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On Shelves Now: KING by Ellen Oh

288 p.
Publisher: Harper Teen
Ages: 13 and up

Girl warrior, demon slayer, Tiger spirit of the Yellow Eyes—Kira is ready for her final quest. In this thrilling finale to the Prophecy trilogy, fans will get even more of the fierce Kira and her quest to save her kingdom!

All eyes are on her. Kira, once an outcast in her home village of Hansong, is now the only one with the power to save her kingdom. She must save her cousin, the boy fated to be the future king, uncover the third lost treasure, and face innumerable enemies in order to fulfill the famed prophecy.

Kira braves a sea of tigers and battles armies of demons as she musters her inner strength and learns to trust herself, the romantic feelings for Jaewon that are growing within her, and the destiny that must be hers.