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Book of the Week Archive for 2003
2007 Archive
The Name of this Book is Secret
Ages 9-12
The Name of this Book is Secret by Pseudonymous Bosch
Warning: this description has not been authorized by Pseudonymous Bosch. As much as he'd love to sing the praises of his book (he is very vain), he wouldn't want you to hear about his brave 11-year old heroes, Cass and Max-Ernest. Or about how a mysterious box of vials, the Symphony of Smells, sends them on the trail of a magician who has vanished under strange (and stinky) circumstances. And he certainly wouldn't want you to know about the hair-raising adventures that follow and the nefarious villains they face. You see, not only is the name of this book secret, the story inside is, too. For it concerns a secret.A Big Secret.
--Little, Brown Young Readers 2007
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Keeping Corner by Kashmira Sheth
Young Adult

Keeping Corner by Kashmira Sheth
Pretty as a peacock, twelve-year-old Leela has been spoiled all her life by everyone in her Gujarat village. She's never been interested in school and barely takes notice of the growing unrest between the British colonists and her own countrymen. Why should she? Her future has been planned since her engagement at two and marriage at nine. And now, as the day she moves in with her husband's family draws near, she's too busy collecting bangles and ribbons to care about much else.

But when Leela's husband dies, her life changes forever. Instead of being showered with gifts and affection, she is forced to shave her head and give away her be loved saris and bangles. Leela is considered unlucky now, and will have to stay confined to her house for a year" keep corner" in preparation for a life of mourning for a boy she barely knew.

When her schoolteacher hears of her fate, she offers to give Leela lessons at home. For the first time, despite her confinement, Leela begins to open her eyes to the changing world around her. India is suffering from a severe drought, and farmers are unable to pay taxes to the British. She learns about a new leader of the people, a man named Gandhi, who starts a political movement and practices satyagraha"non-violent protest against the colonists aswell as the caste system. The quiet strength ofsatyagrahamay liberate her country. Could it be that she can use the same path to liberate herself?

In this novel based on her great aunt's life, Kashmira Sheth paints a heartfelt and evocative portrait of a child turned widow in Gandhi-era India.
--Hyperion Books for Children 2007
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Finding Stinko by Michael de Guzman
Ages 9-12
Finding Stinko
by Michael de Guzman
Newboy hasn’t spoken in three years. One morning he opened his mouth and nothing came out. He doesn’t know why he stopped talking, but what he does know is that he’s through with the state child-care system. In twelve years he’s lived in eleven foster homes, and the Knoxes are the worst of the bunch. Now, with no voice, no family, and no exact plan, Newboy is running away for good. Living on the streets means danger and excitement around every corner, but the one thing Newboy never expected to find is a companion in the form of an old ventriloquist dummy lying in a Dumpster – a puppet with no hands, backward feet, and a chunk of its nose missing. Amazingly, this beat-up doll whom he dubs “Stinko” possesses a kind of magic that helps Newboy rediscover his ability to communicate.
This is a fast-paced adventure about a runaway kid figuring out not just what he’s searching for but also what he has to say.
--Farrar, Straus and Giroux 2007
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MORE de GUZMAN HERE

When Randolph Turned Rotten by Charise Mericle Harper
Ages 5-8
When Randolph Turned Rotten
by Charise Mericle Harper
MOST OF THE TIME, Randolph is very, very nice. But when his friend Ivy gets invited to a really great sleepover birthday party and he doesn't, Randolph feels a little left out, and sad, and mad. And then he goes a little crazy! Will he ever turn back to the nice friend he once was? We hope so!

This nutty friendship story recognizes that even best friends aren't always good friends (sometimes they can be downright rotten!). Kids' squirmier feelings are conveyed with good humor and empathy in this reassuring tale about the icky feelings we all have, even though we are mostly very, very nice.
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I Am Not Joey Pigza by Jack Gantos
Ages 11 and up
I Am Not Joey Pigza by Jack Gantos
The Pigza Sage continues....
Just when Joey Pigza’s wired world finally seems to be under control, his good-for-nothing dad pops back into his life. This time, though, Carter Pigza is a new man – literally. After a lucky lotto win, Carter Pigza has a crazy new outlook on life, and he’s even changed his name to Charles Heinz. He thinks Joey and his mom should become new people, too. Soon Joey finds himself bombarded with changes: a new name, a new home, and a new family business – running the beat-up Beehive Diner. He knows he should forgive his dad as his mom wants him to, and get with the new family program. But Joey is afraid that in changing names and going with the flow he will lose sight of who he really is. In this rocket-paced new chapter in Joey Pigza’s life, a favorite hero discovers what identity and forgiveness really mean, and how to cook a delicious turkey burger.
GANTOS TALKS ABOUT JOEY
THE JOEY BOOKS ARE HERE

Iron Thunder: The Battle Between the Monitor and Merrimac by Avi
Ages 8-12
Iron Thunder:
The Battle Between the Monitor and Merrimac

by Avi
What would it be like to be present at a pivotal moment in history? Iron Thunder: The Battle Between the Monitor and Merrimac shows young readers how it would have felt to live in the 1860s and be part of the exciting race to build the Monitor, the Union’s first ironclad warship.

The book is narrated by Tom Carroll, a 13-year-old who takes a job to help support his family after his father is killed in the Civil War fighting for the Union. Tom finds work in the city of Brooklyn, New York, as assistant to the Monitor’s inventor, Captain John Ericsson. Through Tom’s first- person narrative, kids will feel like they were there during the scramble to make the Monitor seaworthy within 100 days. They learn what it’s like to run from dangerous Confederate spies who desperately want information about the ship. They also share the experience of being a young crew member on an untried vessel when new technology doesn’t work. Tom is aboard the Monitor as she takes part in a sea battle that changes the course of the war and revolutionizes naval warfare.
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Kimchi & Calamari by Rose Kent
Ages 9-12
Kimchi & Calamari by Rose Kent
Kimchi and calamari. It sounds like a quirky food fusion of Korean and Italian cuisine, and it's exactly how Joseph Calderaro feels about himself. Why wouldn't an adopted Korean drummer—comic book junkie feel like a combo platter given:
(1) his face in the mirror
(2) his proud Italian family.

And now Joseph has to write an essay about his ancestors for social studies. All he knows is that his birth family shipped his diapered butt on a plane to the USA. End of story. But what he writes leads to a catastrophe messier than a table of shattered dishes—and self-discovery that Joseph never could have imagined.
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The Real Benedict Arnold
Age 10 and up

The Real Benedict Arnold
Every account of the American Revolution mentions Benedict Arnold and brands him—correctly—as a traitor. There’s no question that Arnold, an American army officer, switched his loyalty to the British side. Over the years, however, historians, partisans, and gossips have added to Arnold’s unsavory reputation by distorting, embroidering, or simply ignoring factual details. In this informed and thoughtful account, Jim Murphy goes in search of the real man behind the “traitor” label, rumors, and folktales that became part of the Benedict Arnold legend. Drawing on Arnold’s few surviving writings and on the letters, memoirs, and political documents of his contemporaries, Murphy builds a fascinating portrait of a brilliant man, consistently undervalued by his peers, who made a choice that continues to reverberate through American history. Dramatic accounts of crucial battles and political maneuvers round out this lively biography of a patriot who could have been a hero.
--Clarion Books 2007
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Nothing by Jon Agee
Ages 4-8
NOTHING
by Jon Agee
Otis has an antique shop crammed to the gills with stuff. So he's delighted when someone comes in and buys it all. Next day, Suzie Gump arrives, the shop is empty, full of nothing, and Suzy loves it" and takes it all. Suzie has set a trend, and soon everybody is craving nothing" the stores are full of it. It's only when there's not even a towel for drying off after a bath that Suzie realizes she may have gone a bit too far.
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Schooled by Gordon Korman
Ages 9-12
SCHOOLED by Gordon Korman
Capricorn Anderson had never watched a television show before. He'd never tasted a pizza. He had never even heard of a wedgie. And he had never, in his wildest dreams, thought of living anywhere but Garland Farm commune with his hippie caretaker, Rain.

Capricorn (Cap for short) had lived every day of his life on Garland Farm growing fruits and vegetables. He was home-schooled by Rain, the only person he knew in the world. Life was simple for Cap. But when Rain falls out of a tree while picking plums and is hospital-ridden, he has to attend the local middle-school and live with his new guidance counselor and her irritable daughter. While Cap knew a lot about Zen Buddhism, no amount formal education could ready him for the trials and tribulations of public middle school.

Cap doesn't exactly fit in at Claverage Middle School (dubbed C Average by the kids). He has long, ungroomed hair, wears hemp clothes, and practices Tai Chi out on the lawn. His weirdness basically makes him biggest nerd in school. This is great news for Zach Powers, big man on campus. He can't wait to instate the age-old tradition in C-Average School: The biggest nerd is nominated for class president—andwins. So when Cap becomes president, he is more puzzled than ever. But as Cap begins to take on his duties, the joke starts to turn on Zach.
Will Cap out to be the greatest President in the history of C-Average School? Or the biggest punch-line?
--Hyperion 2007
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Tico and the Golden Wings
Ages 5-8
Tick and the Golden Wings
by Leo Lionni (1910-1999)
All Tico the wingless bird wants is a pair of golden wings to carry him up over the mountaintops. But when Tico's wish is granted, none of his friends will talk to him. What's so wrong with being different? Tico wonders all alone. One day Tico helps a crying man by giving him one of his golden feathers. A black feather appears in its place. Each day he gives a feather away to someone in need until his golden wings are as black as India ink. When Tico returns to his friends, they are all relieved to see him. "Now you are just like us," they say. But Tico knows there is more to him than the color of his wings.
--Knopf Books for Young Readers 2007
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The Arrival by Shaun Tan
All Ages
The Arrival by Shaun Tan
"A shockingly imaginative graphic novel that captures the sense of adventure and wonder that surrounds a new arrival on the shores of a shining new city. Wordless, but with perfect narrative flow, Tan gives us a story filled with cityscapes worthy of Winsor McCay." -- Jeff Smith, author of Bone "A magical river of strangers and their stories!" -- Craig Thompson, author of Blankets "Magnificent." -- David Small, Caldecott Medalist In a heartbreaking parting, a man gives his wife and daughter a last kiss and boards a steamship to cross the ocean. He's embarking on the most painful yet important journey of his life - he's leaving home to build a better future for his family. Shaun Tan evokes universal aspects of an immigrant's experience through a singular work of the imagination. He does so using brilliantly clear and mesmerizing images. Because the main character can't communicate in words, the book forgoes them too. But while the reader experiences the main character's isolation, he also shares his ultimate joy.
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THE SHORT AND INCREDIBLY HAPPY LIFE OF RILEY
All Ages
The Short and Incredibly Happy Life of Riley
by Colin Thompson
Human beings live for quite a long time and for a lot of that time we are not happy. We want to be taller, shorter, fatter, thinner, older and younger. We want our straight hair to be curly, our curly hair to be straight and our brown eyes to be blue. We hate our parents, children, teachers, students and everybody. We want to be somewhere else with someone else, eating something else and wearing something fantastic no one else can afford, and we want to splash them as we drive by in our big red car.
Rats live for quite a short time and for most of that time they are very, very happy...
This laugh-out-loud picture book will appeal to people - and rats - of all ages. A truly unique picture book by Thompson and Lissiat presents life lessons with gentle humor and satire.
RELEASE YOUR INNER RILEY!
--Kane Miller 2007
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I MISS YOU EVERY DAY by Simms Taback
Ages 4 and up
I MISS YOU EVERY DAY
by Simms Taback
What do you do when you miss someone you love so much? There's only one solution, really - wrap yourself up, jump in a box (don't forget the air holes, of course!) and send yourself for a visit! Silly and sweet, I Miss You Every Day is the ideal read-aloud to share with those who, although they might not live close by, are always close to your heart. Cleverly illustrated with Caldecott Medalist Simms Taback's signature artwork, each page is packed with details and humorous asides as a little girl wraps herself up, decorates the wrapping and the box and makes her way through the US Postal system. Her final destination? That special someone's home where good times, yummy sweets and a bedtime story make the trip worthwhile.

In today's world where many four year olds keep in touch with grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins by cell phone, I Miss You Every Day presents the perfect opportunity to turn off the technology and connect with family the old fashioned way - through the vivid images and imaginative text contained within a wonderfully crafted picture book. I Miss You Every Day also comes with a card and envelope so even if a child can't be with the one they miss, they can mail a little bit of their heart to them instead. Whether it's for Grandparent's Day on September 9th or for no occasion at all, I Miss You Every Day uses wit, humor and a sneak peek inside the world of the local post office to create a wonderful book to read-aloud with the ones you love - in classic Simms Taback style.
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The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
Young Adult
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
by Sherman Alexie
In his first book for young adults, bestselling author Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot.

Heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which is based on the author's own experiences, coupled with poignant drawings that reflect the character's art, chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he was destined to live.
--Little, Brown Young Readers 2007
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HOMEBOYZ by Alan Lawrence Sitomer
Young Adult
HOMEBOYZ by Alan Lawrence Sitomer
When Teddy Anderson's little sister Tina is gunned down randomly in a drive-by shooting, the gangstas who rule the streets in the Anderson family's rapidly deteriorating neighborhood dismiss the incident as just another case of RP, RT—wrong place, wrong time. According to gangsta logic, Tina doesn't even count as a statistic. Teddy's family is devastated. Mrs. Anderson sinks into deep depression while Pops struggles to run both the household and his declining laundry business. The Andersons are shocked still further when Teddy is arrested and thrown in prison for attempted homicide after his elaborately laid plans for revenge against his sister's killer are foiled by the cops. Teddy soon finds himself out of prison on house arrest, and in the capable hands of Officer Mariana Diaz, the smart, tough probation officer assigned to oversee his endless hours of community service. As part of the innovative rehabilitation program Diaz runs, Teddy is assigned to tutor Micah, a twelve-year-old orphan and would-be gansta. As Teddy goes through the motions of complying with the terms of his probation, Diaz has no idea that he is using his genius-level computer hacker skills to plot his final vengeance and to defraud the state education system of hundreds of thousands of dollars. But even though Teddy thinks he knows it all, he fails to see how Micah's desperate need for love and trust just might have the power not only to pierce all Teddy's defenses, but to save his family.
--Jump At The Sun 2007
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Millie Waits for the Mail
Ages 4-8
Millie Waits for the Mail
by Alexander Steffensmeier
Millie is unlike most other cows. She chews her cud and grazes in the fields with the others, but she doesn’t enjoy that nearly as much as she loves scaring the mail carrier. It’s too bad the mail carrier doesn’t have as much fun each time Millie comes up with a new way to surprise him. Who knew delivering the mail was going to be such a difficult job?
@AMAZON

Middle School Is Worse Than Meatloaf: A Year Told Through Stuff
Ages 9-12
Middle School Is Worse Than Meatloaf: A Year Told Through Stuff
by Jennifer L. Holm
Elicia Castaldi, Illustrator
Ginny has ten items on her big to-do list for seventh grade. None of them, however, include accidentally turning her hair pink. Or getting sent to detention for throwing frogs in class. Or losing the lead role in the ballet recital to her ex-best friend. Or the thousand other things that can go wrong between September and June. But it looks like it's shaping up to be that kind of a year! Here's the story of one girl's worst school year ever -- told completely through her stuff.
Ginee Seo Books, 2007
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Down-to-Earth Guide To Global Warming
Ages 9 and up
Down-to-Earth Guide To Global Warming
by Laurie David and Cambria Gordon
Irreverent and entertaining, DOWN TO EARTH is filled with fact about global warming and its disastrous consequences, loads of photos and illustrations, as well as suggestions for how kids can help combat global warming in their homes, schools, and communities. Engagingly designed, DOWN TO EARTH will educate and empower, leaving readers with the knowledge they need to understand this problem and a sense of hope to inspire them into action.
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Lawn Boy by Garl Paulsen
Ages 9-12

Lawn Boy by Garl Paulsen
One day I was 12 years old and broke. Then Grandma gave me Grandpa's old riding lawnmower. I set out to mow some lawns. More people wanted me to mow their lawns. And more and more. . . . One client was Arnold the stockbroker, who offered to teach me about "the beauty of capitalism. Supply and Demand. Diversify labor. Distribute the wealth." "Wealth?" I said. "It's groovy, man," said Arnold.

If I'd known what was coming, I might have climbed on my mower and putted all the way home to hide in my room. But the lawn business grew and grew. So did my profits, which Arnold invested in many things. And one of them was Joey Pow the prizefighter. That's when my 12th summer got really interesting.
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Penguin by Polly Dunbar
Ages 4-8
Penguin by Polly Dunbar
A quirky new tale from a rising talent — in which a bossy little boy receives a surprising comeuppance.

When Ben rips open his present, he finds a penguin inside. "Hello, Penguin!" he says. "What shall we play?" But Penguin says nothing. Even when Ben tickles its belly, sings a funny song, does a dizzy dance, stands on his head, sticks out his tongue, and resorts to increasingly rude and drastic measures, Penguin makes no response. What will it take for Penguin to say something — or for Ben to understand what Penguin has to say? Fresh, spare illustrations bring whimsy to this wonderful tale, in which a silent Penguin turns marvelously eloquent and a little boy finally gets his heart’s desire.
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Before, After, and Somebody In Between
Young Adult
Before, After, and Somebody In Between
Debut novel by Jeannine Garsee
One hour into her first day of tenth grade, Martha Kowalski knows she’s really in trouble. The school bully, Chardonnay, has already threatened her life—and at home, things are even worse. Martha’s mom, fresh out of rehab, is shacking up with an obnoxious jerk in a neighborhood that can only be described as a “ghetto.” More than anything she’s ever wanted, Martha wants to play the cello. But even music becomes dangerous to her health—because nothing is what it seems in this place. With her mother’s willpower dissolving, Martha watches helplessly as her own dreams slip further away.

But in an exhilarating twist that would stun even Cinderella, everything changes. A wealthy lawyer invites her into his family’s home and Martha is given a chance to start over. The warm, caring Brinkmans treat Martha like one of the family and even though it feels so right, she knows they can’t be as perfect as they seem. And she knows that this fairy tale can’t last forever…
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Strays by Ron Koertge
Ages 14 and up
STRAYS by Ron Koertge

Sixteen-year-old Ted O’Connor’s parents just died in a fiery car crash, and now he’s stuck with a set of semi-psycho foster parents, two foster brothers -- Astin, the cocky gearhead, and C.W., the sometimes gangsta -- and an inner-city high school full of delinquents. He’s having pretty much the worst year of his miserable life. Or so he thinks. Is it possible that becoming an orphan is not the worst thing that could have happened to him?

Master novelist Ron Koertge brings his best work yet, a smart, surprising story full of trademark wit and sharp insight about a boy learning to run with a new pack.

Could life as a foster kid lead to unexpected benefits? A teenager’s link to animals gives way to human connection in a smart, incisive new novel.
--Candlewick Press 2007
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When Gorilla Goes Walking
Ages 4-8
When Gorilla Goes Walking
by Nikki Grimes
"When Gorilla goes walking, the neighbors laugh and stare at her tailless rump and her very proud air."

Gorilla is an affectionate, jealous, lovable cat who constantly wants to play with Cecilia. Experience their unique relationship through Nikki Grimes's lyrical poetry and Shane Evans's vibrant art work. Readers will fall in love with Gorilla and wish they could bring her home with them!
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My Father's House
All Ages
My Father's House
by Kathi Appelt
From woodland halls to painted desert walls, from mountain porches wrapped in snow to rain forest attics catching clouds, this exquisitely beautiful poetic tribute to Earth’s creator is grand in its gratitude and sure of the love found throughout the natural world.

Filled with award-winning artist Raul Colón’s jewel-toned illustrations, My Father’s House imparts a refreshing and uplifting message that is necessary today more than ever.
--Viking Juvenile, May 2007
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Evil Genius
Ages 12 and up
Evil Genius
by by Catherine Jinks
Cadel Piggott has a genius IQ and a fascination with systems of all kinds. At seven, he was illegally hacking into computers. Now he’s fourteen and studying for his World Domination degree, taking classes like embezzlement, misinformation, forgery, and infiltration at the institute founded by criminal mastermind Dr. Phineas Darkkon. Although Cadel may be advanced beyond his years, at heart he’s a lonely kid. When he falls for the mysterious and brilliant Kay-Lee, he begins to question the moral implications of his studies for the first time. But is it too late to stop Dr. Darkkon from carrying out his evil plot?

An engrossing thriller with darkness and humor, freaks and geeks, Evil Genius explores the fine line between good and evil in a strange world of manipulations and subterfuge where nothing is as it seems.
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A Seed Is Sleepy
All Ages
A Seed Is Sleepy
by Dianna Hutts Aston
Sylvia Long, Illustrator
Award-winning artist Sylvia Long and author Dianna Hutts Aston have teamed up again to create this gorgeous and informative introduction to seeds. Poetic in voice and elegant in design, the book introduces children to a fascinating array of seed and plant facts, making it a guide that is equally at home being read on a parent's lap as in a classroom reading circle.
--Chronicle Books 2007
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The Dumpster Diver
Ages 4-8
The Dumpster Diver by Janet S. Wong
David Roberts, Illustrator
One person’s trash is another persons’s treasure in this vivid picture-book ode to creative recycling — and to loyal friends.

Anyone can dive for treasure in the ocean, but Steve dives for it in his neighborhood dumpster! As he delves into the trash each weekend, Steve encourages his young neighbors (aka the Diving Team) to see the potential in what other people throw away. With a little bit of imagination, trash can be transformed into treasure — and as the Diving Team soon discovers, it might even help a friend in need.
--Candlewick 2007
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Princess Pigsty
Ages 4-8
Princess Pigsty
by Cornelia Funke
One morning Princess Isabella throws her crown out the window--it's BORING being a princess, she declares. When she steadfastly refuses to fetch her crown from the fishpond, her father, the king, puts his royal foot down. "Off to the pigsty with you!" he commands--and Isabella couldn't be happier about her punishment! Because while plain old princesses spend all their time primping and smiling and stifling yawns--yuckety-yuk!-- REAL girls get to peel onions, pick blackberries, and sometimes even sleep outside with the pigs.
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Ophelia by Lisa Klein
Young Adult
Ophelia by Lisa Klein
Ophelia is young, vivacious, and falling in love with a prince who cannot return her affections without arousing suspicion. And so they meet in secret—embracing in stairwells and castle turrets, reaching passionately for each other under the cover of darkness. His name is Hamlet; her name is Ophelia. And if you think you know this story, think again. Because when bloody deeds turn the court of Elsinore into a place of treachery and madness, Ophelia alone will find the means to escape, with nothing more than the clothes on her back…and one very dangerous secret. A spellbinding page-turner, this unforgettable novel will hold readers in its grip until the final, heart-rending scene.
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Edwardo: The Horriblest Boy in the Whole Wide World
Ages 4-8
Edwardo: The Horriblest Boy in the Whole Wide World
by John Burningham
Edwardo is an ordinary boy who does his best to live up to grown-ups' expectations. So when they rant at him for being the clumsiest, noisiest, nastiest, cruelest, messiest, and dirtiest boy in the whole wide world, he becomes all those things with a vengence, thus earning the title of the horriblest boy in the whole wide world. How Edwardo becomes the nicest boy in the whole wide world will be appreciated by ordinary little boys everywhere. John Burningham's amusing illustrations bring a lighthearted touch to the power of positive reinforcement.
--Knopf Books for Young Readers 2007
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Tough Boy Sonatas
Young Adult
Tough Boy Sonatas
by Curtis L. Crisler
Illustrated by Floyd Cooper
The Chocolate City. Hell. The Land of Robbing Hoods. Gary, the armpit city of Chicago, has a number of names. It stands as a mother, pregnant with its roachlike inhabitants, and guards their crime, their greed. Has God left this town? Has He left the crumbling church where parishioners use donations for hamburgers and candy? Or does He turn the other cheek to pious morality, happy instead to see laughing and card playing and love from His flock on Saturday night?The solitary voice of the city's young men poses these questions in Tough Boy Sonatas. Curtis Crisler wanders into the lives of Gary's boys—into their darkness, but into their goodness, too. After walking by holdups and addictions, these boys find resurrection in a favorite, loving uncle. This bittersweet, poetic collection explores both angry poverty and innocent childhood with unclothed sincerity.
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Book Recommendations for Black History and Women in History Months

Different Like Coco
Ages 7-10

Different Like Coco
by Elizabeth Matthews
Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel was always different. And she vowed to prove that being different was an advantage! Poor, skinny, and orphaned, Coco stubbornly believed that she was as good as the wealthier girls of Paris. Tapping into her creativity and her sewing skills, she began making clothes that suited her (and her pocketbook) — and soon a new generation of independent working women craved her sleek, comfortable, and practical designs. Now an icon of fashion and culture, Coco Chanel continues to inspire young readers, showing just how far a person can come with spunk, determination, and flair.
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Henry's Freedom Box
Ages 5-8

by Ellen Levine
Kadir Nelson, Illustrator
Henry Brown doesn't know how old he is. Nobody keeps records of slaves' birthdays. All the time he dreams about freedom, but that dream seems farther away than ever when he is torn from his family and put to work in a warehouse. When Henry grows up and marries, he is again devastated when his family is sold at the slave market. Then one day, as he lifts a crate at the warehouse, he knows exactly what he must do: He will mail himself to the North. After an arduous journey in the crate, Henry finally has a birthday -- his first day of freedom.
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The Escape of Oney Judge: Martha Washington's Slave Finds Freedom
Ages 7-9
The Escape of Oney Judge: Martha Washington's Slave Finds Freedom
by Emily Arnold McCully
When General George Washington is elected the first President of the United States, his wife chooses young Oney Judge, a house slave who works as a seamstress at Mount Vernon, to travel with her to the nation’s capital in New York City as her personal maid. When the capital is moved to Philadelphia, the Washingtons and Oney move, too, and there Oney meets free blacks for the first time. At first Oney can’t imagine being free – she depends on the Washingtons for food, warmth, and clothing. But then Mrs. Washington tells Oney that after her death she will be sent to live with Mrs. Washington’s granddaughter. Oney is horrified because she knows it is likely that she will then be sold to a stranger – the worst fate she can imagine. Oney realizes she must run. One day she sees an opportunity and takes it, ending up in New Hampshire, where she lives the rest of her life, poor but free.
--Farrar, Straus and Giroux 2007
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M.L.K.: The Journey of a King
Ages 9-12
M.L.K.: The Journey of a King
by Tonya Bolden
Tonya Bolden brings words and pictures together to tell the life story of one of America’s greatest figures: Martin Luther King, Jr.—or M.L.K. Central to the story is King’s belief that agape—the selfless love for one’s neighbor—is the rope that binds all peoples together. This philosophy came forward in his sermons, in his daily practice, and especially in his support of nonviolent protests.

More than 80 photographs of M.L.K. preaching, leading marches, being arrested, and overcoming the violence and prejudice around him are juxtaposed with images of his wife and family, of his fellow protestors, and of other leaders of the day. A tribute to a great human being, M.L.K. will surely inspire young readers.
--Abrams Books for Young Readers 2007
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George Washington Carver: An Innovative Life
Ages 9-12
George Washington Carver: An Innovative Life
by Elizabeth MacLeod
This latest addition to the Snapshots series introduces readers to the scientist, inventor and professor who became a symbol of African American success and interracial harmony. George Washington Carver was the orphan son of slaves, but he went on to become the world-famous "Peanut Scientist." George invented more than 325 products from peanuts -- including gasoline, shampoo, ice cream and chili sauce. Even when George was a child he was known as the "Plant Doctor" because he could make almost any plant grow. George's talents went beyond plant science. He was such a good painter that one of his paintings was picked to represent Iowa at the 1893 World's Fair. But it was through his groundbreaking research in agriculture that George radically improved the lives of countless African American farmers in the southern United States.
--Kids Can Press 2007
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John Lewis in the Lead: A Story of the Civil Rights Movement
Ages 8-11
John Lewis in the Lead: A Story of the Civil Rights Movement
by Kathleen Benson
How does an Alabama sharecropper's son grow up to help change his world? For John Lewis the journey began as a boy experiencing the injustice of segregation and the inspiring words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

After high school Lewis joined with Dr. King and other civil rights leaders who believed in fighting segregation peacefully. From Nashville, Tennessee, to Selma and Montgomery, Alabama, Lewis was in the forefront of the major civil rights protests of the 1960s. In the face of physical attacks, he perservered with dignity and a devotion to nonviolence, helping southern black people gain the right to vote. Lewis continued his commitment to human rights with words and action from his home base in the South, straight to the nation's capital. In 1986 John Lewis was elected to represent Georgia in the United States Congress, where he continues to serve today.

John Lewis in the Lead celebrates the life of a living legend of American history. Lewis's passionate belief in justice is a beacon for all who wish to make the country a better place to live.
--Lee & Low Books 2006
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Wind Flyers
Ages 5-9
Wind Flyers
by Angela Johnson

All he ever wanted to do was fly.

Three-time Coretta Scott King Award-winning author Angela Johnson and New York Times bestselling illustrator Loren Long invite readers to ponder a band of undercelebrated World War II heroes -- the Tuskegee Airmen. With fleeting prose and transcendent imagery, this book by the masterful author/artist duo reveals how a boy's love of flight takes him on a journey from the dusty dirt roads of Alabama to the war-torn skies of Europe and into the hearts of those who are only now beginning to understand the part these brave souls played in the history of America.
--Simon & Schuster 2007
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Stealing Home: Jackie Robinson: Against the Odds
Ages 4-8
Stealing Home: Jackie Robinson: Against the Odds
by Robert Burleigh

Man on third. Two outs. The pitcher eyes the base runner, checks for the sign. The fans in the jammed stadium hold their breath. Flapping his outstretched arms like wings, number 42 leads off again. It is September 1955, game one of the World Series, the Yankees versus the Dodgers, and Jackie Robinson is about to do the unbelievable. Attempt to steal home. In a World Series game. To race a baseball thrown from the pitcher's mound and win! Is it possible? Yes, it is -- if you are Jackie Robinson!
--Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books 2007
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Bronzeville Boys and Girls
Ages 7-10
Bronzeville Boys and Girls
by Gwendolyn Brooks (1917-2000)
Illustrated by Faith Ringgold
In 1956, Pulitzer Prize winner Gwendolyn Brooks created a collection of poems that celebrated the joy, beauty, imagination, and freedom of childhood. She reminded us that whether we live in the Bronzeville section of Chicago or any other neighborhood, childhood is universal in its richness of emotions and experiences. And now a brand-new generation of readers will savor Ms. Brooks's poems in this stunning reillustrated edition that features vibrant paintings by Caldecott Honor artist Faith Ringgold.
--Amistad 2006
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A Friendship for Today
Ages 9-12
A Friendship for Today
by Patricia McKissack
The year is 1954, the place is Missouri, and twelve-year-old Rosemary Patterson is about to make history. She is one of the first African American students to enter the white school in her town. Headstrong, smart Rosemary welcomes the challenge, but starting this new school gets more daunting when her best friend is hospitalized for polio. Suddenly, Rosemary must face all the stares and whispers alone. But when the girl who has shown her the most cruelty becomes an unlikely confidante, Rosemary learns important truths about the power of friendship to overcome prejudice.
--Scholastic Press 2007
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Jane Addams: Champion of Democracy
Ages 10-14
Jane Addams: Champion of Democracy
by Dennis Brindell Fradin and Judith Bloom Fradin
Most people know Jane Addams (1860-1935) as the force behind Hull House, one of the first settlement houses in the United States. She was also an ardent suffragist and civil rights activist, co-founding the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the American Civil Liberties Union. But it was her work as a pacifist that put her in the international spotlight. Although many people labeled her “unpatriotic” for her pacifist activities, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931 and, at the time of her death, Jane Addams was one of the most respected and admired women in the world. In this well-researched and inspiring account, acclaimed husband-and-wife team, Dennis Brindell Fradin and Judith Bloom Fradin, draw upon hundreds of historical documents and archival photographs to create a revealing portrait of the woman whose very way of life made her an American icon.
--Clarion Books 2006
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An Unlikely Friendship: A Novel of Mary Todd Lincoln and Elizabeth Keckley
Ages 10 and Up

An Unlikely Friendship: A Novel of Mary Todd Lincoln and Elizabeth Keckley
by Ann Rinaldi
On the night of President Abraham Lincoln's assassination, his frantic wife, Mary, calls for her best friend and confidante, Elizabeth Keckley, but the woman is mistakenly kept from her side by guards who were unaware of Mary Todd Lincoln's close friendship with the black seamstress. How did these two women--one who grew up in a wealthy Southern home and became the wife of the president of the United States, the other who was born a slave and eventually purchased her own freedom--come to be such close companions?
Harcourt 2007
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