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Book of the Week Archive for 2003
2010 Archive
Out of Sight  by Pittau, Gervais
Ages 4 and up
Out of Sight by Pittau & Gervais

Can you recognize a lemur by its tail?
A tiger by its stripes?
A rhino by its tracks?

More than 50 animals are hiding in this amazing, over-sized life-the-flap book.
Can you name them all?
Each flap offers a visual clue of the animal underneath with a revelation of the animal along with interesting and obscure facts.

Did you know?
Squirrels are among the smartest animals in the world?
A fox's tail is called a bush.
Pigs are good swimmers.
A rhino's horn isn't a true horn (it's made of extremely dense hair).

Hours and hours of adventure in this book.
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Forge by Laurie Halse Anderson
Ages 10-12
Forge by Laurie Halse Anderson
The Patriot Army was shaped and strengthened by the desperate circumstances of the Valley Forge winter. This is where Curzon the boy, introduced in Chains becomes Curzon the young man. In addition to the hardships of soldiering, he lives with the fear of discovery, for he is an escaped slave passing for free. And then there is Isabel, who is also at Valley Forge—against her will. She and Curzon have to sort out the tangled threads of their friendship while figuring out what stands between the two of them and true freedom.
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The Crossing: How George Washington Saved The American Revolution
AGes 9-12
The Crossing: How George Washington Saved The American Revolution
by Jim Murphy
It is 1776, and George Washington and his army of rebellious American colonists are emboldened by its stunning victories over the British at Lexington and Concord. But now, the Americans face the threat of a brutal British retaliation. George Washington, who has little experience with a threat of this magnitude, is unanimously chosen as commander in chief in hopes he can unite the colonies. Britain's army is massive and well trained. America's is small and unruly. As the British begin their invasion of New York City and its environs, George Washington isn't the only one who is overcome with doubts that he can succeed against such overwhelming odds. This breathtaking account of a pivotal time in the American Revolution shows George Washington's transformation from a gentleman farmer with little military experience to a brilliant general, as he delivers the country from the blackest of times--into the brightest of futures.
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Pop-Up: Everything You Need to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book
Ages 5 and up


Want to make a pop-up book? Here’s everything you need to assemble four amazing 3-D creations—plus a behind-the-scenes guide to key techniques.

Do you delight in seeing an ingenious pop-up "pop" but feel utterly daunted at the thought of making one yourself? Get your hands on this all-in-one guide and kit, combining the simplest of instructions and the coolest of components for creating a pop-up dragon, castle, jungle scenario, and Frankenstein scene. There’s no need for scissors or glue, thanks to press-out, pre-scored, peel-off sticky-back pieces. And for those inspired to learn more, there’s also a guide to basic folds and techniques—plus a sample pop-up robot showing how those techniques may be used.

The kit’s eye-popping features include a roaring dragon, a medieval castle, Frankenstein’s laboratory, and a jungle scene full of animals for you to assemble.
--Candlewick 2010
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Blank Confession by Pete Hautman
Young Adult
Blank Confession by Pete Hautman
Shayne Blank is the new kid in town—but that doesn't stop him from getting into a lot of trouble very quickly. The other kids don't understand him. He's not afraid of anything. He seems too smart. And his background doesn't add up. But when he walks into the police department to confess to a murder, it quickly becomes apparent that nothing is as it seems. There's more to Shayne—and his story—than meets the eye. As the details begin to fill in, the only thing that becomes clear is that nothing about Shayne's story is clear at all.
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Annexed by Sharon Dogar
Young Adult
Annexed by Sharon Dogar

Everyone knows about Anne Frank and her life hidden in the secret annex – but what about the boy who was also trapped there with her?

In this powerful and gripping novel, Sharon Dogar explores what this might have been like from Peter’s point of view. What was it like to be forced into hiding with Anne Frank, first to hate her and then to find yourself falling in love with her? Especially with your parents and her parents all watching almost everything you do together. To know you’re being written about in Anne’s diary, day after day? What’s it like to start questioning your religion, wondering why simply being Jewish inspires such hatred and persecution? Or to just sit and wait and watch while others die, and wish you were fighting.

As Peter and Anne become closer and closer in their confined quarters, how can they make sense of what they see happening around them?

Anne’s diary ends on August 4, 1944, but Peter’s story takes us on, beyond their betrayal and into the Nazi death camps. He details with accuracy, clarity and compassion the reality of day to day survival in Auschwitz – and ultimately the horrific fates of the Annex’s occupants.

Excellent addition to Holocaust literature.
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Little Black Crow
Ages 6-8
Little Black Crow
by Chris Raschka
Picture a sky
as big as all outdoors,
a fence disappearing over a hill,
a crow then appearing,
a boy looking up,
watching, wondering.

Not much more than a moment but the meeting lofts a rush of childhood questions— 27 in all—inspiring answers as big as all outdoors.

Raschka has created a book in the sparest language against the simplest setting, to inspire in any young listener the wonder of wondering.
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Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty
Young Adult
Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty
by G. Neri
Randy DuBurke, Illustrator
Eleven-year old Roger is trying to make sense of his classmate Robert "Yummy" Sandifer's death, but first he has to make sense of Yummy's life. Yummy could be as tough as a pit bull sometimes. Other times he was as sweet as the sugary treats he loved to eat. Was Yummy some sort of monster, or just another kid? As Roger searches for the truth, he finds more and more questions. How did Yummy end up in so much trouble? Did he really kill someone? And why do all the answers seem to lead back to a gang-the same gang to which Roger's older brother belongs? A compelling graphic dramatization based on events that occurred in Chicago in 1994, this gritty exploration of youth gang life will force readers to question their own understandings of good and bad, right and wrong.
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The Sea of Bath
Ages 2-5
The Sea of Bath by Bob Logan

The Captain was asleep at his boat...when the tide came in...

A sleepy old seafarer navigates a mysterious sea! Join him as he explores the curious sites on his voyage...
Ducks that squeak instead of quack...
A school of wind-up goldfish...
An eager whale hoping to play fetch...
And a odd vessel by the name of Soap!
Will the Captain ever learn what sea he sails in?
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The Odious Ogre  by Norton Juster, Jules Feiffer
All Ages
The Odious Ogre by Norton Juster, Jules Feiffer, Illustrator
This is the story of a really rotten Ogre who is extraordinarily large, exceedingly ugly, unusually angry, constantly hungry, and absolutely merciless. He terrorizes the entire countryside and all the surrounding towns, wreaking havoc, sowing confusion, and dining happily on the hapless citizens. Nothing can stop him. But then he takes a wrong turn and encounters a kind and friendly young lady who does her best to help him--with a surprising result.
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The Carbon Diaries 2015
Young Adult
The Carbon Diaries 2015 by Saci Lloyd
Told in short diary entries filled with scrapbook clippings, this riveting ecothriller is one girl's attempt to stay grounded in a world where disaster has become the norm.

It's the year 2015, a time when global warming has begun to ravage the environment. In response, the United Kingdom becomes the first country to mandate carbon rationing-a well-intentioned plan that goes tragically awry. When her carbon debit card arrives in the mail, sixteen-year-old Laura is just trying to pass her exams, manage her ecopunk band, and catch the attention of her gorgeous classmate Ravi. But as multiple natural disasters strike and Laura's parents head toward divorce, her world spirals out of control. A severe drought sparks fires and deadly riots; then the highest-category hurricane in recent history strikes London. With the death toll in the thousands and climbing, Laura and her family face the unimaginable as her older sister clings to life.
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Zen Ghosts by Jon J. Muth
Ages 6-9
Zen Ghosts by Jon J. Muth
It’s Halloween.

The trees are ablaze in fiery reds. Excited children don colorful costumes. And there’s mystery and fun around every corner!

When Addy, Michael, and Karl finish trick-or-treating, their bags are brimming with treats. But the fun isn’t over yet. Their good friend Stillwater the panda has one more special surprise in store for them. A mysterious visitor is about to tell them a spine-tingling story — one that will fill each and every reader with wonder. Based on a Zen Koan.
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The Good Garden: How One Family Went from Hunger to Having Enough
Ages 7 and up
Good Garden, The: How One Family Went from Hunger to Having Enough
by Katie Smith Milway
The inspiring story of one struggling farming family in Honduras and their journey to grow enough food to meet their needs. Based on the real story of farm transformation underway in Honduras and many other countries, this book offers children ways they can be part of the movement to grow "good gardens" and foster food security. Eleven-year-old Maria Luz and her family live on a small farm. This year their crop is poor, and they may not have enough to eat or to sell for other essentials, such as health care, school uniforms and books. When Maria's father must leave home to find work, she is left in charge of their garden. Then a new teacher comes to Maria's school and introduces her to sustainable farming practices that yield good crops.
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Confessions of a Former Bully
Confessions of a Former Bully by Trudy Ludwig
After Katie gets caught teasing a schoolmate, she's told to meet with Mrs. Petrowski, the school counselor, so she can make right her wrong and learn to be a better friend. Bothered at first, it doesn't take long before Katie realizes that bullying has hurt not only the people around her, but her, too. Told from the unusual point of view of the bullier rather than the bullied, Confessions of a Former Bully provides kids with real life tools they can use to identify and stop relational aggression.
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Brontorina  by James Howe
Ages 4-8
Brontorina by James Howe
Brontorina has a dream. She wants to dance. But Brontorina is rather large — too large to fit in Madame Lucille’s dance studio. Brontorina does not have the right shoes, and everyone knows you can’t dance without the proper footwear. Still, Brontorina knows, deep in her heart, that she is meant to be a ballerina. James Howe introduces a lovable dinosaur whose size is outmatched only by her determination, and whose talent is outmatched only by her charm. Accompanied by Randy Cecil’s beguiling illustrations, here is an irresistible story that proves that no problem is too big when the heart and imagination know no bounds.
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Ages 7-10
Clementine, Friend of the Week
by Sara Pennypacker
Ages 7-10

It's Clementine's turn to be "Friend of the Week"! She gets to be line leader, collect the lunch money, and feed the fish. Even better, the other kids will make her a booklet, full of the things they value about having her in the class. After reading her friend Margaret's booklet, Clementine begins to get nervous and a little jealous --she has to get a great booklet now. Fortunately, she has a lot of astoundishing ideas for getting the kids to write great stuff about her. Unfortunately, just as she's working on the best one, something terrible happens to her beloved kitten Moisturizer. Worst of all, exactly when she needs a friend the most, Margaret lets her down. Or does she...?
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My Life with the Lincolns by Gayle Brandeis
Ages
My Life with the Lincolns
by Gayle Brandeis
My dad used to be Abraham Lincoln. When I was six and learning to read, I saw his initials were A. B. E., Albert Baruch Edelman. ABE. That's when I knew.

Mina Edelman believes that she and her family are the Lincolns reincarnated. Her main task for the next three months: to protect her father from assassination, her mother from insanity, and herself-Willie Lincoln incarnate-from death at age twelve.

Apart from that, the summer of 1966 should be like any other. But Mina's dad begins taking Mina along to hear speeches by Martin Luther King, Jr in Chicago. And soon he brings the freedom movement to their own small town, with consequences for everyone.
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The Dreamer by Pam Munoz Ryan
Ages 9-12
The Dreamer by Pam Munoz Ryan

From the time he is a young boy, Neftali hears the call of a mysterious voice. Even when the neighborhood children taunt him, and when his harsh, authoritarian father ridicules him, and when he doubts himself, Neftali knows he cannot ignore the call. Under the canopy of the lush rain forest, into the fearsome sea, and through the persistent Chilean rain, he listens and he follows.

Combining elements of magical realism with biography, poetry, literary fiction, and sensorial, transporting illustrations, Pam Munoz Ryan and Peter Sis take readers on a rare journey of the heart and imagination.
Ages: 9-12
--Scholastic, Inc. 2010
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Forget-Her-Nots by Amy Brecount White
Young Adult
em>Forget-Her-Nots by Amy Brecount White

Something-some power-is blooming inside Laurel. She can use flowers to do things. Like bringing back lost memories. Or helping her friends ace tests. Or making people fall in love. Laurel suspects her newfound ability has something to do with an ancient family secret, one that her mother meant to share with Laurel when the time was right. But then time ran out. Can Laurel piece everything together quickly enough to control her power, which is growing more potent every day?
--HarperCollins Publishers 2010
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Not All Princesses Dress in Pink
Ages 3-6
Not All Princesses Dress in Pink by Jane Yolen and Heidi E. Y. Stemple

Not all princesses dress in pink.
Some play in bright red socks that stink,
blue team jerseys that don't quite fit,
accessorized with a baseball mitt,
and a sparkly crown!

This book proves that girls can jump in mud puddles and climb trees, and make messes-all while wearing their tiaras. Not every girl has a passion for pink, but all young ladies will love this empowering affirmation of their importance and unlimited potential.
--Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing 2010
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Countdown by Deborah Wiles
Ages 10-13
Countdown by Deborah Wiles
It's 1962, and it seems everyone is living in fear. Twelve-year-old Franny Chapman lives with her family in Washington, DC, during the days surrounding the Cuban Missile Crisis. Amidst the pervasive threat of nuclear war, Franny must face the tension between herself and her younger brother, figure out where she fits in with her family, and look beyond outward appearances. For Franny, as for all Americans, it's going to be a formative year.
--Scholastic 2010
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Bedtime for Mommy by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Ages: 3-5
Bedtime for Mommy by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
When it's Mommy's bedtime, she begs her little girl,

Five more minutes?

Ok, but then brush your teeth!

But then Mommy wants another glass of water, another story. Luckily this little girl is very patient!

A hilarious reversal of the classic bedtime routine in which a little girl puts Mommy (and then Daddy) to bed.
--Bloomsbury USA Children's Books 2010
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Bag in the Wind
Ages 5-8
Bag in the Wind by Ted Kooser
In a singular first children’s book, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Ted Kooser follows a plastic bag on its capricious journey from a landfill into a series of townspeople’s lives.

One cold morning in early spring, a bulldozer pushes a pile of garbage around a landfill and uncovers an empty plastic bag — a perfectly good bag, the color of the skin of a yellow onion, with two holes for handles — that someone has thrown away. Just then, a puff of wind lifts the rolling, flapping bag over a chain-link fence and into the lives of several townsfolk — a can-collecting girl, a homeless man, a store owner — not that all of them notice. Renowned poet Ted Kooser fashions an understated yet compassionate world full of happenstance and connection, neglect and care, all perfectly expressed in Barry Root’s tender illustrations. True to the book’s earth-friendly spirit, it is printed on paper containing 100 percent recycled post-consumer waste and includes an author’s note on recycling plastic bags.
--Candlewick 2010
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Farm by Elisha Cooper
Ages 5-8
Farm by Elisha Cooper
Elisha Cooper, captures the smell, taste, and feel of the changing seasons on a farm.

There is so much to look at and learn about on a farm - animals, tractors, crops, and barns. And children feeding animals for morning chores! With lyrical writing and beautiful illustrations that capture the rhythms of the changing seasons, Elisha Cooper brings the farm to life.
--Orchard Books 2010
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Yucky Worms by Vivian French
Ages 5-8
Yucky Worms by Vivian French
Here's to nature's recyclers! Kids will burrow right into this book about the industrious and danger-filled life of the delightfully yucky earthworm.

Who would want to be friends with a wiggly, slimy worm? You can't even tell which end is which! But there's more to these lowly creatures than meets the eye. Kids are invited to find out where worms live, see how they move, and understand why gardeners consider them friends with the help of this humorous and informative look at an unappreciated, and fascinating, creature.
--Candlewick Press 2010
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An Egret's Day: Poems by Jane Yolen
Ages 8-11
An Egret's Day
Poems by Jane Yolen
Poems and photographs take readers up close to observe the daily life of the extraordinary Great Egret. A Great Egret rarely rests. This majestic bird, with its big feet, even bigger beak, and breathtaking lacy wings, is a treat to watch. With his camera, photographer Jason Stemple takes us close to these magnificent creatures to witness their physical—and quirky—beauty as well as their daily habits and behavior—soaring, hunting, preening, nesting—which most of us never get a chance to see. Meanwhile, celebrated poet Jane Yolen offers her keen observations in carefully-crafted poetry that is at once whimsical, thoughtful, and thought provoking. Interesting facts about the bird accompany each poem. Stunning.
--Wordsong
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Ages 11 and up
Conspiracy 365 Series by Gabrielle Lord
CONSPIRACY 365 is about to grab middle-grade readers' attention by taking them day by day into a fast-moving world of mystery, intrigue and danger. From the opening sentence, this monthly book series written as serial drama draws readers into the life of Callum Ormond, a 15-year-old whose year unfolds with daily dangers and challenges. Book One opens just as his ordinary teen life spins out of control - with a world that seems to be against him and puts his very survival at stake. Who can he turn to? Who can he trust?

Join Cal on an ordinary morning, December 31, 2009, and find out why his 2010 may last one day, one month, or all year, if he can save himself and those he loves. From the words, "They killed your father," at the start of CONSPIRACY 365: January, and as each day unfolds, Cal struggles to learn the dangerous secrets his father discovered about their family and its history that have put lives at risk. Mysterious packages, messages, drawings, abductions and attacks turn Cal into a fugitive as he tries to evade his enemies and untangle his father's clues and complete his fatal mission. At the end of month one, Cal is trapped with no obvious way to escape. CONSPIRACY 365: February continues the story.
Conspiracy 365 January
Conspiracy 365 February
Conspiracy 365 March

Sky High: The True Story of Maggie Gee
Ages 6-8
Sky High: The True Story of Maggie Gee by Marissa Moss
When I was little, something special happened every Sunday. Other families went to baseball games or the movies, but not mine . . . We went to watch the airplanes. . . .

Maggie dreamed of flying--just like her favorite pilot, Amelia Earhart. She told her brothers and sisters stories of flying across oceans and deserts, and all around the world. But in the 1920s and 1930s, few girls took to the sky.

Then, when Maggie grew up, her whole world changed overnight: the United States entered World War II, and everyone in her family was affected. Maggie knew that this was the time to support her country--and it was her chance to fly. Young Maggie Gee became one of only two Chinese American Women Airforce Service Pilots to serve in WWII.

Based on the true adventures of a girl not bound by gravity, Marissa Moss's stirring story and Carl Angel's brilliant illustrations depict what determination, bravery, and boundless possibilities look like when dreams are allowed to soar sky high.
--Tricycle Press 2009
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One Crazy Summer  by Rita Williams-Garcia
Ages 9-12
One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
Eleven-year-old Delphine has it together. Even though her mother, Cecile, abandoned her and her younger sisters, Vonetta and Fern, seven years ago. Even though her father and Big Ma will send them from Brooklyn to Oakland, California, to stay with Cecile for the summer. And even though Delphine will have to take care of her sisters, as usual, and learn the truth about the missing pieces of the past.

When the girls arrive in Oakland in the summer of 1968, Cecile wants nothing to do with them. She makes them eat Chinese takeout dinners, forbids them to enter her kitchen, and never explains the strange visitors with Afros and black berets who knock on her door. Rather than spend time with them, Cecile sends Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern to a summer camp sponsored by a revolutionary group, the Black Panthers, where the girls get a radical new education.

Set during one of the most tumultuous years in recent American history, this is the heartbreaking, funny tale of three girls in search of the mother who abandoned them.
--HarperCollins Publishers 2010
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Ages 12 and up
Breaking new ground came naturally to Virginia Hamilton. In 1967, the publication of her first book, Zeely, launched the modern era of African American children's fiction. Through her more than forty award-winning books spanning multiple genres, in scores of speeches worldwide, and in essays for prominent magazines and journals, Hamilton helped to bridge cultures and generations. In 2010, eight years after her death, this important legacy continues to grow.

Virginia Hamilton: Speeches, Essays, And Conversations, co-edited by Arnold Adoff and Kacy Cook, gives us Hamilton's voice through her career, from her first nationally published essay in 1971 to her final speech at a children's book festival in 2001. Through these pieces, Hamilton explored her creative process and shared her views on the role of the writer as well as insights on the central themes of her work.
--Scholastic Press 2010
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We Troubled the Waters by Ntozake Shange, Rod Brown (Illustrator)
Ages 5 and up
We Troubled the Waters
by Ntozake Shange, Rod Brown, Illustrator

Jim Crow: Brown v. Board of Education: Bull Connor: KKK: Birmingham: the Lorraine Motel: Rosa: Martin: and Malcolm.

From slavery to the separation of "colored" and "white" and from horrifying oppression to inspiring courage, there are countless stories- both forgotten and immortalized- of everyday and extraordinary people who acted for justice during the civil rights movement that changed our nation.

Award winning poet Ntozake Shange and illustrator Rod Brown give voice to all those who fought for their unalienable rights in a triumphant book about the power of the human spirit.
This stunning showpiece of poetry and art should be in every school library.
--HarperColins Publishers, 2009
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January's Sparrow by Patricia Polacco
Ages 9-12
January's Sparrow by Patricia Polacco

In the middle of the night, The Crosswhites—including young Sadie—must flee the Kentucky plantation they work on. Dear January has been beaten and killed by the plantation master, and they fear who may be next. But Sadie must leave behind her most valuable possession, the wooden sparrow carved for her by January. Through the Underground Railroad, the Crosswhites make the slow and arduous journey to Marshall, Michigan, where they finally live in freedom. And there they stay, happily, until the day a mysterious package shows up on their doorsteps. It is January's sparrow, with a note that reads, "I found you."

How the Crosswhites, and the whole town of Marshall, face this threat will leave readers empowered and enthralled. This is a Polacco adventure that will live in the minds of children for years.
--Philomel 2009
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Sojourner Truth's Step-Stomp Stride
Ages 5-9

Sojourner Truth's Step-Stomp Stride
by Andrea Davis Pinkney, Brian Pinkney, Illustrator

She was big. She was black. She was beautiful.

Born into slavery, Belle had to endure the cruelty of several masters before she escaped to freedom. And oh, was freedom sweet! But still, she knew that she wouldn't really be free unless she was helping to end slavery and injustice in America. That's when she changed her name to Sojourner and began traveling across the country, demanding equal rights for black people and for women.

A woman of towering height and a mesmerizing speaker, Sojourner began drawing mighty crowds wherever she went. Many people weren't ready for her message--some even threatened her. But Sojourner was brave and her truth was powerful, and people would remember what she said. And slowly, but surely as Sojourner's step-stomp stride, America began to change.
--Hyperion 2009
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Henry Aaron's Dream
Ages 8-10
Henry Aaron's Dream

by Matt Tavares

A powerful tale of a kid from the segregated south who would become baseball’s home-run king.

Before he was Hammerin’ Hank, Henry Aaron was a young boy grow ing up in Mobile, Alabama, with what seemed like a foolhardy dream: to be a big-league baseball player. He didn’t have a bat. He didn’t have a ball. And there wasn’t a single black ball player in the major leagues. But none of this could stop Henry Aaron. In a captivating biography of Henr y Aaron’s young life – from his sandlot days through his time in the Negro Leagues to the day he played his first spring training game for the Braves – Matt Tavares offers an inspiring homage to one of baseball’s all-time greats.
--Candlewick 2010
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