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Ship Breaker

Ship Breaker

By Paolo Bacigalupi

Genre: Science Fiction

Curriculum subjects: Science Fiction, Survival, Character Development

Grade: 9-12

 

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A gritty, high-stakes adventure set in a futuristic world where oil is scarce, but loyalty is scarcer.

 

In America’s Gulf Coast region, grounded oil tankers are being broken down for parts by crews of young people. Nailer, a teenage boy, works the light crew, scavenging for copper wiring just to make quota-and hopefully live to see another day.

 

But when, by luck or by chance, he discovers an exquisite clipper ship beached during a recent hurricane, Nailer faces the most important decision of his life: Strip the ship for all it’s worth or rescue its lone survivor, a beautiful and wealthy girl who could lead him to a better life….

In this powerful novel, Paolo Bacigalupi delivers a thrilling, fast-paced adventure set in a vivid and raw, uncertain future.

 

PRAISE

Winner of the 2011 Printz Medal

 

“Vivid, brutal, and thematically rich, this captivating title is sure to win teen fans for the award-winning Bacigalupi.” – Booklist

 

 

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

By Sherman Alexie

Genre: Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Social Studies: Native American; Teen Life: School, Prejudice, family

Grade: 9 & Up

 

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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 by acclaimed artist Ellen Forney, 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.

 

 

PRAISE

Winner of the 2007 National Book Award

Winner of the 2008 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Fiction

 

★”Junior’s narration is intensely alive.” – The Horn Book

 

★”Alexie nimbly blends sharp wit with unapologetic emotion in his first foray into young-adult literature.” – Kirkus Reviews

 

★”Alexie bounds into YA with what might be a Native American equivalent of Angela’s Ashes.” – Publishers Weekly

 

★“[Arnold’s] determination to both improve himself and overcome poverty, despite the handicaps of birth, circumstances, and race, delivers a positive message in a low-key manner. Alexie’s tale of self-discovery is a first purchase for all libraries.” – School Library Journal

 

★“Realistic and fantastical and funny and tragic – all at the same time.” – Voice of Youth Advocates

 

“This is a gem of a book…reading becomes more like listening to your smart, funny best friend recount his day while waiting after school for a ride home.” –The New York Times

Harlem Stomp

Harlem StompHarlem Stomp: A Cultural History of the Harlem Renaissance

By Laban Carrick Hill

Genre: Non-Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Social Studies: History; Social Studies: African American Heritage

Grades: 7 & Up

 

Meticulously researched and lavishly illustrated, the book is a veritable time capsule packed with poetry, prose, photographs, full-color paintings, and reproductions of historical documents.

 

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PRAISE

National Book Award Finalist

★”A visual feast….Together, the words and images bring this extraordinary period to life.” -SLJ

★”This energetic, elegantly designed volume documents the artistic, literary and musical surge of black culture in Harlem.” –Publishers Weekly

★”With a beautiful open design, this illustrated history combines the politics of the black metropolis in the roaring 1920s with….detailed chapters on the ‘blazing creativity’ of performers, writers, visual artists, and intellectuals….wonderful for browsing.” –Booklist

 

Knock Knock

Knock Knock: My Dad’s Dream for Me

By Daniel Beaty

Illustrated by Bryan Collier

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Personal Development: Responsibility, Family Life: Parents/Siblings/Babies

Grade: K-1

 

Every morning, I play a game with my father.

He goes knock knock on my door

and I pretend to be asleep

till he gets right next to the bed.

And my papa, he tells me, “I love you.”

 

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But what happens when, one day, that “knock knock” doesn’t come? This powerful and inspiring book shows the love that an absent parent can leave behind, and the strength that children find in themselves as they grow up and follow their dreams.

 

PRAISE & ACCOLADES

Winner of the 2014 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award

2014 Boston Globe-Horn Book Picture Book Honor

 

★ “By sharing his experience, explained in an afterword, Beaty lends his voice to children struggling with the absence of a parent and the grief that goes with it.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

 

“The desire for guidance encountering life’s experiences is told from a small child’s point of view with candor, as well as hope….” —Booklist

 

“The text, powerful and spare, is well supported by Collier’s watercolor and collage art…there is a lot going on in the mind of any child who has been denied a parent, for whatever reason. In this book they will find comfort and inspiration.” —The Horn Book

 

“A poignant [and] heart-wrenching tale of love, loss, and hope.” —School Library Journal

 

“Challenging but ultimately uplifting, Knock Knock is a thoughtful meditation on grappling with the sometimes uneasy legacy passed down to us by our parents.” —The Huffington Post

Luna

Luna

By Julie Anne Peters

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Curriculum subjects: Relationships/Sexuality, Personal Development, Prejudice, Self-Discovery, Family

Grade: 10-12

2004 National Book Award finalist 

 

Regan’s brother Liam can’t stand the person he is during the day. Like the moon from whom Liam has chosen his female namesake, his true self, Luna, only reveals herself at night. In the secrecy of his basement bedroom Liam transforms himself into the beautiful girl he longs to be, with help from his sister’s clothes and makeup. Now, everything is about to change-Luna is preparing to emerge from her cocoon. But are Liam’s family and friends ready to welcome Luna into their lives?

 

Compelling and provocative, this is an unforgettable novel about a transgender teen’s struggle for self-identity and acceptance.

 

★ “Groundbreaking, finely tuned realism about a transsexual teen. . . .Peters writes her characters with care and complexity.”-Kirkus Reviews

 

 

 

Ninth Ward

Ninth Ward

by Jewell Parker Rhodes

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Curriculum Subjects: Survival, Family Life: Grandparents and Extended Family, Person Development: Loss, Personal Development: Self-Discovery

Grade: 3-7

 

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Twelve-year-old Lanesha lives in a tight-knit community in New Orleans’ Ninth Ward. She doesn’t have a fancy house like her uptown family or lots of friends like the other kids on her street. But what she does have is Mama Ya-Ya, her fiercely loving caretaker, wise in the ways of the world and able to predict the future. So when Mama Ya-Ya’s visions show a powerful hurricane–Katrina–fast approaching, it’s up to Lanesha to call upon the hope and strength Mama Ya-Ya has given her to help them both survive the storm.

 

Ninth Ward is a deeply emotional story about transformation and a celebration of resilience, friendship, and family–as only love can define it.

 

PRAISE & ACCOLADES

A 2011 Coretta Scott King Author Honor Book

 

★ “With a mix of magical and gritty realism…the spare but vivid prose, lilting dialogue, and skilled storytelling brings this tragedy to life; the powerful sense of community Rhodes evokes in the Ninth Ward prior to the storm makes the devastation and the hardships Lanesha endures all the more powerful.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

 

★ “Heartbreak and hope are reflected in Lanesha’s story, which will capture even reluctant readers due to the inventive storytelling and the author’s ability to bring history to life.” — School Library Journal, starred review

 

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Ling & Ting: Not Exactly the Same!

Ling & Ting: Not Exactly The Same

By Grace Lin

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Curriculum subjects: Parents/Siblings/Babies, Daily Life and Play, Individuality

Grade: 1-4

2011 Geisel Honor Book

 

Ling and Ting are two adorable identical twins, and they stick together, whether they are making dumplings, getting their hair cut, or practicing magic tricks. But looks are deceiving–people can be very different, even if they look exactly the same.

 

★ “[I]n the same category as Arnold Lobel’s ‘Frog and Toad'” — School Library Journal, starred review

 

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Why We Broke Up

Why We Broke UpWhy We Broke Up

By Daniel Handler

Art by Maira Kalman

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Curriculum subjects: Character Development, Peer Groups/Popularity/Cliques, Relationships/Sexuality

Grade: 10 & up

 

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I’m telling you why we broke up, Ed. I’m writing it in this letter, the whole truth of why it happened.

 

Min Green and Ed Slaterton are breaking up, so Min is writing Ed a letter and giving him a box. Inside the box is why they broke up. Two bottle caps, a movie ticket, a folded note, a box of matches, a protractor, books, a toy truck, a pair of ugly earrings, a comb from a motel room, and every other item collected over the course of a giddy, intimate, heartbreaking relationship. Item after item is illustrated and accounted for, and then the box, like a girlfriend, will be dumped.

 

PRAISE

A 2012 Michael L. Printz Honor Book

An ALA/YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults book

 

“A bittersweet diatribe of their break-up arranged around objects….all the more powerful because of how they evoke truth more than any mere relaying of facts.” — Booklist, starred review

 

“Handler is at his best when he’s creating verbal collages of ordinary, recognizable high-school moments….Like the perfect breakup song, this turns the searing experience of losing your heart into a cathartic work of art.” — The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, starred review

 

“Kalman’s spare illustrations of the objects heighten the overall enjoyment and perfectly complement Handler’s accomplished prose.” — The Horn Book, starred review

 

“As objects from the box are revealed in Kalman’s vividly rendered paintings, readers are taken beneath the surface of what will no doubt be one of the most talked-about romances in teen literature….A poignant, exhilarating tale of a love affair gone to the dogs.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review

 

“Handler shows exceptional skill at getting inside Min’s head and heart…lending real pathos to Min’s memorabilia and making her sorrow all the more palpable.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

 

“Characters are vivid, and their portrayal is enriched by realistic dialogue….Hander offers a heartbreaking, bittersweet, and compelling romance with a unique angle and flare.” — School Library Journal, starred review

 

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