Thursday, April 28, 2016

On Shelves Now: LITTLE SHAQ TAKES A CHANCE by Shaquille O'Neal

80 p.
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Ages: 5 to 7

Like most kids, Little Shaq doesn't love trying new things, especially if he might not be very good at them. So when his class is assigned projects for the school's upcoming art show, he's not sure that his skills will transfer from the basketball court to the art studio. Rosa Lindy and Barry have their projects all figured out. Can Little Shaq find the confidence to embrace his own style and create a piece for the show?

Continuing this series that celebrates community, family, and education, Little Shaq Takes a Chance will inspire readers to be brave, have fun, and love reading!

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On Shelves Now: SOMEWHERE AMONG by Annie Donwerth-Chikamatsu

448 p.
Publisher: Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books
Ages: 9 to 12

Eleven-year-old Ema has always been of two worlds—her father’s Japanese heritage and her mother’s life in America. She’s spent summers in California for as long as she can remember, but this year she and her mother are staying with her grandparents in Japan as they await the arrival of Ema’s baby sibling. Her mother’s pregnancy has been tricky, putting everyone on edge, but Ema’s heart is singing—finally, there will be someone else who will understand what it’s like to belong and not belong at the same time.

But Ema’s good spirits are muffled by her grandmother who is cold, tightfisted, and quick to reprimand her for the slightest infraction. Then, when their stay is extended and Ema must go to a new school, her worries of not belonging grow. And when the tragedy of 9/11 strikes, Ema, her parents, and the world watch as the twin towers fall…

As Ema watches her mother grieve for her country across the ocean—threatening the safety of her pregnancy—and her beloved grandfather falls ill, she feels more helpless and hopeless than ever. And yet, surrounded by tragedy, Ema sees for the first time the tender side of her grandmother, and the reason for the penny-pinching and sternness make sense—her grandmother has been preparing so they could all survive the worst.

Dipping and soaring, Somewhere Among is the story of one girl’s search for identity, inner peace, and how she discovers that hope can indeed rise from the ashes of disaster.

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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

On Shelves Now: KEEP ME IN MIND by Jaime Reed

336 p.
Publisher: Scout
Ages: 12 and up

Ellia Dawson doesn't recognize the handsome boy who sits in tears by her hospital bed. But he's telling her that he's Liam McPherson, her boyfriend. Boyfriend? Ellia thinks in shock. She has no clue who Liam is, let alone whether or not she once loved him. She remembers her family, her friends, and the fact that she wants to be a fashion designer. But Liam is a big blank in her life.

Meanwhile, Liam is devastated that Ellia, the love of his life, who suffered an accident while they were running together on the beach, has lost her memory. He is desperate to win her back, rebuild what they once had, but Ellia keeps him at an arm's length. She's much more comfortable with a new boy she meets at the hospital, who understands more what she's going through. So Liam begins writing the story of the two of them, piecing together the past in the hopes of having a future with the girl he loves.

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On Shelves Now: THE INTERROGATION OF ASHALA WOLF by Ambelin Kwaymullina

384 p.
Publisher: Candlewick
Ages: 12 and up

They’re known as Firestarters. Boomers. Skychangers. The government calls them Illegals — children with inexplicable abilities — and detains them in menacing facilities so that society is kept out of harm’s way. Ashala Wolf and her Tribe of fellow Illegals have taken refuge in the Firstwood, a forest eerily conscious of its inhabitants, where they do their best to survive and where they are free to practice their abilities. But when Ashala is compelled to venture outside her territory, she is betrayed by a friend and captured by an enemy. Injured and vulnerable, with her own Sleepwalker ability blocked, Ashala is forced to succumb to a machine that will pull secrets from her mind. It’s only a matter of time before the machine ferrets out the location of the Tribe. Her betrayer, Justin Connor, is ever-present, saving her life when she wishes to die and watching her every move. Will the Tribe survive the interrogation of Ashala Wolf?

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Thursday, April 21, 2016

On Shelves Now: NAPPY by Charisse Carney-Nunes

24 p.
Publisher: Brand Nu Words
Ages: 5 to 7

With a powerful message about heritage and self-esteem, this is a humorous and delightfully illustrated picture book that weaves together hair and history to celebrate African American culture for young girls. Through accessible and inspirational lyrical prose, the book serves as an essential educational tool for parents, teachers, and older children. Also included alongside original sketches are biographies of the historical African American female icons celebrated within the story, such as Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Rosa Parks, and Zora Neale Hurston.

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On Shelves Now: GRANDMA LENA'S BIG OL' TURNIP by Denia Lewis Hester

32 p.
Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company
Ages: 3 to 8

Grandma Lena takes good care of the turnips she plants in her garden. One turnip grows so big that Grandma can't pull it out of the ground! Even when Grandpa, Uncle Izzy, and the dog help Grandma yank and tug, the big ol' turnip doesn't budge.

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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

On Shelves Now: MAYBE SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL: How Art Transformed a Neighborhood by F. Isabel Campoy

40 p.
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
 Ages: 4 to 7

What good can a splash of color do in a community of gray? As Mira and her neighbors discover, more than you might ever imagine! Based on the true story of the Urban Art Trail in San Diego, California, Maybe Something Beautiful reveals how art can inspire transformation—and how even the smallest artists can accomplish something big. Pick up a paintbrush and join the celebration!

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192 p.
Publisher: Scholastic
Ages: 9 to 12

With her signature narrative grace, Edwidge Danticat brings Haiti's beautiful queen Anacaona to life. Queen Anacaona was the wife of one of her island's rulers, and a composer of songs and poems, making her popular among her people. Haiti was relatively quiet until the Spanish conquistadors discovered the island and began to settle there in 1492. The Spaniards treated the natives very cruelly, and when the natives revolted, the Spanish governor of Haiti ordered the arrests of several native nobles, including Anacaona, who was eventually captured and executed, to the horror of her people.

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Thursday, April 14, 2016

On Shelves Now: NOTHING UP MY SLEEVE by Diana López

400 p.
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Ages: 8 to 12

Sixth graders Dominic, Loop, and Z stumble upon a new magic shop in town and can't wait to spend their summer mastering cool tricks to gain access to the Vault, a key holders-only back room bound to hold all kinds of secrets. And once they get in, they set their sights even higher: a huge competition at the end of the summer. They work on their card tricks, sleights, and vanishing acts, trying to come up with the most awesome routines possible....Problem is, the trip is expensive, and it's money that each guy's family just doesn't have.

To make things worse, the shop-owners' daughter, Ariel (who just so happens to be last year's competition winner), will do anything to make sure the boys don't come out on top. Even pit them against one another. Will they make it to the competition? And if so, at what cost?

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On Shelves Now: LUIS PAINTS THE WORLD by Terry Farish

32 p.
Publisher: Carolrhoda Books
Ages: 5 to 10

Luis wishes Nico wasn't leaving for the Army. To show Nico he doesn't need to go, Luis begins a mural on the alleyway wall. Their house, the river, the Parque de las Ardillasa-it's the world, all right there. Won't Nico miss Mami's sweet flan? What about their baseball games in the street?

But as Luis awaits his brother's return from duty, his own world expands as well, through swooping paint and the help of their bustling Dominican neighborhood.

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Tuesday, April 12, 2016

On Shelves Now: FLAWED by Cecelia Ahern

336 p.
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Ages: 12 to 18

Celestine North lives a perfect life. She's a model daughter and sister, she's well-liked by her classmates and teachers, and she's dating the impossibly charming Art Crevan.

But then Celestine encounters a situation where she makes an instinctive decision. She breaks a rule. And now faces life-changing repercussions.

She could be imprisoned. She could be branded. She could be found FLAWED.

In her breathtaking young adult debut, bestselling author Cecelia Ahern depicts a society where perfection is paramount and flaws are punished. And where one young woman decides to take a stand that could cost her-everything.

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On Shelves Now: YOU GOT THIS! Unleash Your Awesomeness, Find Your Path, and Change Your World by Maya S. Penn

224 p.
Publisher: North Star Way
Ages: 8 to 14

Everyone is talking about the entrepreneur, animator, eco-designer, and girls’ rights activist Maya Penn. Her TEDWomen Talk has been viewed over 1,200,000 million times (and is one of the top 15 TEDWomen Talks of all time). Now this amazing teenager has written an inspirational handbook for teens and young adults to help them discover their passions and maximize their full potential for a creative, successful life.

Maya Penn is a remarkable teen entrepreneur who has given three TED Talks, created her own eco-friendly fashion line, developed animated films, and appeared on The View with Whoopi Goldberg. She has even been name-checked by bestselling authors Gabrielle Bernstein, Steve Harvey, and Eve Ensler. All while still in middle school!

Although Maya is extraordinary in many ways, and her success is a testament to her own creativity, passion, and fearlessness—these are traits that can be cultivated in all of us.

In You Got This! Maya shares her incredible journey to becoming an artist, designer, philanthropist, and business owner. She provides a creative blueprint for teens and young adults, along with the tools she used to build an authentic, exciting, and connected life, and offers creative prompts for cultivating success. So let your creativity and passion flow freely and watch as your world transforms—it all starts with you!

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Thursday, April 7, 2016

On Shelves Now: AMAZING GRACE (25th Anniversary Edition) by Mary Hoffman

32 p.
Publisher: Dial
Ages: 4 to 8

This 25th anniversary edition of Mary Hoffman’s classic picture book features an afterword by LeVar Burton, plus sketches from the illustrator’s archives and a note from the author.

Grace loves stories: She loves listening to them, she loves reading them, and she loves making them up. Most of all, Grace loves to act stories out—and she always gives herself the most exciting role.

So when Grace’s class decides to put on the play Peter Pan, Grace knows exactly which role she wants to play. But her classmates protest: Grace can’t play Peter Pan, they say, because she’s a girl—and because she’s black. Grace isn’t sure what to do, until her grandmother takes her to the ballet to see Romeo and Juliet starring Rosalie, a girl she knew back home in Trinidad. Now Grace knows for sure that a girl who looks like her can do anything she sets her mind to, including play an amazing Peter Pan.

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On Shelves Now: COMING ON HOME SOON by Jacqueline Woodson

32 p.
Publisher: Puffin Books
Ages: 5 to 8

Ada Ruth’s mama must go away to Chicago to work, leaving Ada Ruth and Grandma behind. It’s war time, and women are needed to fill the men’s jobs. As winter sets in, Ada Ruth and her grandma keep up their daily routine, missing Mama all the time. They find strength in each other, and a stray kitten even arrives one day to keep them company, but nothing can fill the hole Mama left. Every day they wait, watching for the letter that says Mama will be coming on home soon. Set during World War II, Coming On Home Soon has a timeless quality that will appeal to all who wait and hope.

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Tuesday, April 5, 2016

On Shelves Now: JUST LIKE ME by Nancy Cavanaugh

256 p.
Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Ages: 8 to 12

Who eats Cheetos with chopsticks?! Avery and Becca, my "Chinese Sisters," that's who. We're not really sisters—we were just adopted from the same orphanage. And we're nothing alike. They sing Chinese love songs on the bus to summer camp, and I pretend like I don't know them.

To make everything worse, we have to journal about our time at camp so the adoption agency can do some kind of "where are they now" newsletter. I'll tell you where I am: At Camp Little Big Woods in a cabin with five other girls who aren't getting along, competing for a campout and losing (badly), wondering how I got here…and where I belong.

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On Shelves Now: BOOKED by Kwame Alexander

320 p.
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Ages: 10 to 12

Like lightning/you strike/fast and free/legs zoom/down field/eyes fixed/on the checkered ball/on the goal/ten yards to go/can’t nobody stop you/
can’t nobody cop you…

In this follow-up to the Newbery-winning novel The Crossover, soccer, family, love, and friendship, take center stage as 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!

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