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Wonder at the Edge of the World

wonder at the edgeWonder at the Edge of the World

by Nicole Helget

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Personal Development: Diversity, Personal Development: Friendship, Social Studies: African American Heritage, Adventure: Magic/Fantasy, Science: Biology

Grades: 3 & up

 

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In this captivating quest that spans the globe, a young girl who wants to know everything challenges her assumptions about family, loyalty, and friendship as she fights to save her father’s legacy—and to begin creating her own.

 

Hallelujah Wonder wants to become one of the first female scientists of the nineteenth century. She knows every specimen and rare artifact that her explorer father hid deep in a cave before he died, and she feels a great responsibility to protect the objects (particularly a mesmerizing and dangerous one called the Medicine Head) from a wicked Navy captain who would use it for evil. Now she and her friend Eustace, a runaway slave, must set out on a sweeping adventure by land and by sea to the only place where no one will ever find the cursed relic….

 

PRAISE

★ “If ever a girl could make her mark on the world, it is Hallelujah Wonder… Brimming with spirit and gumption, Lu’s first-person narration is marked by her scientific mind and youthful naiveté, much like Alan Bradley’s Flavia de Luce; and Helget’s creative use of flashbacks and prognostication adds suspense to the tale. Though historical in setting, the questions of faith, science, and humanity raised remain relevant to modern times. With Hallelujah at the helm, Wonder is full-blown adventure tinged with mysticism, intelligence, and the spirit of discovery.”—Booklist

 

“History, science, adventure and fantasy combine in this tale that carries readers from the plains of Kansas to Antarctica…  Pulse-quickening exploits and taut descriptions will keep readers riveted…  Set against the growing-pains backdrop of pre-Civil War America, both reflecting and supporting Hallelujah’s coming-of-age story, Helget’s tale celebrates the curiosity and mystery of life.”—Kirkus Reviews

 

“Helget’s novel teems with historical information, most of which centers around abolition and the whaling industry. Wonder would thus work well as an extension to world history and natural sciences’ units…  Lu’s main focus is scientific exploration, and her informative musings will have readers wanting to do scientific research of their own. Even with so much background to incorporate, Helget’s novel includes enough exciting escapes from Greeney and agitated whales to keep the pages turning.”—School Library Journal

Drift & Dagger

driftDrift & Dagger

By Kendall Kulper

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Adventure: Magic/Fantasy

Grades: 7 & up

 

In Mal’s world, magic is everything. But Mal is a “blank,” the anti-magic. Blanks can’t be hexed or cursed or saved or killed by magic. And everyone is afraid of them–even Mal himself.

 

So Mal hides what he is–except from Essie Roe, a witch and his best friend. On the day Essie reveals his secret and casts him out from the only home he’s ever known, Mal experiences the true shock of betrayal.

 

Now Mal travels the world in search of rare, illegal magical relics. When his partner in crime, Boone, hears rumors of a legendary dagger that can steal a witch’s power, Mal knows he’s finally found his means of revenge. But as the chase for the fabled knife takes them from Boston to Paris to Constantinople, Mal realizes there are secrets afoot that he’s only beginning to understand–and all the while the blank monster inside him threatens to escape.

 

PRAISE

“Narrated by Mal, this prequel to Kulper’s popular Salt and Storm sustains the high quality and tenor of the earlier book. Mal and Essie are evocative of Emily Brontë’s Catherine and Heathcliff, although their circumstances are very different, and the treasure hunting and mid-nineteenth- century travel will give this book wide appeal.” — Booklist

 

“Kulper creates a vivid, richly detailed alternative world grounded in history but with the added magical twist…  Characterizations, particularly the angry, afflicted Mal, pop as vividly as the alternative setting, offering readers an absorbing experience. Unusual and highly engaging.” — Kirkus Reviews

 

“Fans of alternate histories will enjoy the author’s skillful world-building and fantastic dialogue.” — School Library Journal

The Witch Hunter

witch hunterThe Witch Hunter

By Virginia Boecker

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Adventure: Magic/Fantasy, Adventure: Espionage, Personal Development: Character Development, Personal Development: Friendship, Personal Development: Self-Discovery

Grades: 10-12

 

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Your greatest enemy isn’t what you fight, but what you fear.

 

Elizabeth Grey is one of the king’s best witch hunters, devoted to rooting out witchcraft and doling out justice. But when she’s accused of being a witch herself, Elizabeth is arrested and sentenced to burn at the stake.

 

Salvation comes from a man she thought was her enemy. Nicholas Perevil, the most powerful and dangerous wizard in the kingdom, offers her a deal: he will save her from execution if she can break the deadly curse that’s been laid upon him.

 

But Nicholas and his followers know nothing of Elizabeth’s witch hunting past–if they find out, the stake will be the least of her worries. And as she’s thrust into the magical world of witches, ghosts, pirates, and one all-too-handsome healer, Elizabeth is forced to redefine her ideas of right and wrong, of friends and enemies, and of love and hate.

 

Virginia Boecker weaves a riveting tale of magic, betrayal, and sacrifice in this unforgettable fantasy debut.

 

PRAISE

★ “An explosive cocktail of high-stakes adventure… The first-person, present-tense narration is rendered masterfully; coupled with the cinematic vividness of the descriptions, the whole makes for a page-turning delight.” — Publishers Weekly

 

“Woven within the complex fantasy is a new understanding of friendship and a tenuous but sweet Romeo and Juliet–like love story that promises to blossom, along with the witchcraft, mystery, and bloodletting.”— Booklist

 

“Boecker’s first-person, present tense narrative creates a suspenseful mood by allowing readers to see Elizabeth’s secrets, doubts, and fears. Secondary characters are well realized and integral to the plot. The book has plenty of action—sword fights, battles with monsters, black magic, and betrayal—but there is also camaraderie and romance.”— School Library Journal

 

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READERS READ BOOKS. FANS READ SEQUELS!

king slayer

Dave the Potter

Dave The Potter

By Laban Carrick Hill

Illustrated by Bryan Collier

Genre: Non-Fiction Picture Book

Curriculum Subjects: African American Heritage, Poetry

Grade: PreK-1st

 2011 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award 

2011 Caldecott Honor Book

Dave was an extraordinary artist, poet, and potter living in South Carolina in the 1800s. He combined his superb artistry with deeply observant poetry, carved onto his pots, transcending the limitations he faced as a slave. In this inspiring and lyrical portrayal, National Book Award nominee Laban Carrick Hill’s elegantly simple text and award-winning artist Bryan Collier’s resplendent, earth-toned illustrations tell Dave’s story, a story rich in history, hope, and long-lasting beauty.

 

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★ “The volume is a visual feast, packed with contemporary photographs, reproductions, magazine covers, and posters, and enhanced by an interesting design. Together, the words and images bring this extraordinary period to life.”
 —School Library Journal

 

 

 

 

 

The Dark Frigate

The Dark Frigate

By Charles Boardman Hawes

Genre: Historical Fiction

Curriculum subject:

Grade: 7-12

1924 Newbery Medalist

 

In seventeenth century England, a terrible accident forces orphaned Philip Marsham to flee London in fear for his life. Bred to the sea, he signs on with the “Rose of Devon,” a dark frigate bound for the quiet shores of Newfoundland.

 

Philip’s bold spirit and knowledge of the sea soon win him his captain’s regard. But when the “Rose of Devon” is seized in midocean by a devious group of men plucked from a floating wreck, Philip is forced to accompany these “gentlemen of fortune” on their murderous expeditions. Like it or not, Philip Marsham is now a pirate–with only the hangman awaiting his return to England.
With its bloody battles, brutal buccaneers, and bold, spirited hero, this rousing tale will enthrall young listeners in search of seafaring adventure.

 

Wolf by Wolf

WolfbyWolfWolf by Wolf & Blood for Blood

By Ryan Graudin

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Adventure: General, Social Studies: Europe/Asia/Africa, Teen Life: Family, Teen Life: Relationships/Sexuality

Grades: 9 & up

 

Educator Guide LB School Podcast

 

Her story begins on a train.

 

The year is 1956, and the Axis powers of the Third Reich and Imperial Japan rule the world. To commemorate their Great Victory over Britain and Russia, Hitler and Emperor Hirohito host the Axis Tour: an annual motorcycle race across their conjoined continents. The victor is awarded an audience with the highly reclusive Adolf Hitler at the Victor’s ball.

 

Yael, who escaped from a death camp, has one goal: Win the race and kill Hitler. A survivor of painful human experimentation, Yael has the power to skinshift and must complete her mission by impersonating last year’s only female victor, Adele Wolfe. This deception becomes more difficult when Felix, Adele twin’s brother, and Luka, her former love interest, enter the race and watch Yael’s every move.

 

But as Yael begins to get closer to the other competitors, can she bring herself to be as ruthless as she needs to be to avoid discovery and complete her mission?

 

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Wolf by Wolf

Blood for Blood

 

PRAISE FOR THE SERIES

★ “Truly inventive… this alternate history novel feel distinctly real.” —Booklist

 

★ “Graudin crafts another fast-paced, enthralling tale of sacrifice and dogged determination as she fuses alternate history and spy-thriller suspense. A provocative rumination on self-preservation, the greater good, and the boundaries that keep heroes from becoming as cruel as those they fight.” —Publishers Weekly

★ “Beyond its breath-taking climax, the novel provokes deeper questions about the ‘moreness’ Yael begins to see in her competitors’ identities, and in her own.” —Voice Of Youth Advocates

 

VIDEO

The Book that Proves Time Travel Happens

The Book that Proves Time Travel Happens

By Henry Clark

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Curriculum Subjects: Adventure: Science Fiction, Personal Development: Diversity, Social Studies: African American Heritage

Grade: 3-7

 

Educator Guide

This never-before-seen twist on time travel adventure explores the theme of accepting those who are different–and having the courage to join them. The moment Ambrose Brody steps into a fortune-teller’s tent, he is whisked into a quest that spans millennia with his best friend, an enigmatic carnival girl, and an unusual family heirloom that drops them into the middle of the nineteenth century!

 

The year 1852 is a dangerous time for three non-white children, and they must work together to dodge slave-catchers and save ancestors from certain death–all while figuring out how to get back to the future. Fortunately, they have a guide in the helpful hints embedded in an ancient Chinese text called the I-Ching, which they interpret using Morse Code. But how can a three-thousand-year-old book be sending messages into the future through a code developed in the 1830s? Find out in this mind-bending, time-bending adventure!

 

PRAISE

“Where time travel, historical fiction and nonfiction, ancient Chinese design and Morse code collide—keep up, or risk being left in the past…or the future.  [This book] will extend readers’ knowledge of history and expand their concept of ‘diversity.’” — Kirkus Reviews

 

“Zany, clever, endlessly inventive and genuinely one-of-a-kind.” — Trenton Lee Stewart, author of The Mysterious Benedict Society

 

VIDEO

 

Salt & Storm

salt stormSalt & Storm

by Kendall Kulper

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Adventure: Magic/Fantasy, Personal Development: Self-Discovery, Personal Development: Loss

Grades: 7 & up

 

Educator Guide

Sixteen-year-old Avery Roe wants only to take her rightful place as the witch of Prince Island, making the charms that keep the island’s whalers safe at sea, but her mother has forced her into a magic-free world of proper manners and respectability. When Avery dreams she’s to be murdered, she knows time is running out to unlock her magic and save herself.

 

Avery finds an unexpected ally in a tattooed harpoon boy named Tane–a sailor with magic of his own, who moves Avery in ways she never expected. Becoming a witch might stop her murder and save her island from ruin, but Avery discovers her magic requires a sacrifice she never prepared for.

 

PRAISE

“Debut author Kulper infuses her atmospheric novel with richly detailed descriptions of whaling in nineteenth-century New England, and through tenacious Avery’s lyrical first-person narrative, she explores poignant themes of destiny, sacrifice, and free will.” — Booklist

 

“The well-developed romance between Tane and Avery is searing.” — The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

 

“As rich and dark as the ocean itself, Salt & Storm is a tour de force!…This perfect fall read will leave readers bewitched and anxious for more Kulper-penned tales.”– Romantic Times Book Reviews

 

“I love this book. Kulper beautifully and lovingly captures the struggles of a young, headstrong girl battling forces both natural and supernatural, and discovering through the journey the joys and searing pain of first love.” — Kathleen Kent, New York Times bestelling author of The Outcasts and The Heretic’s Daughter

Of Beetles and Angels

Of Beetles and Angels

By Mawi Asgedom

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Social Studies: Immigration, Social Studies: Biographies, Personal Development: Character Development, Social Studies: African American Heritage, Family Life: Daily Life and Play

Grades: 5-17

Now in a paperback edition, this acclaimed memoir tells the unforgettable story of a young boy’s journey from a refugee camp in Sudan to Chicago, where his family survived on welfare. Mawi followed his father’s advice to “treat people . . . as though they were angels sent from heaven, ” and realized his dream of a full-tuition scholarship to Harvard University. Updated with 14 black-and-white photos and a new epilogue.

 

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 PRAISE

“A moving memoir.” * Chicago Tribune

“An amazing story.” * Oprah Winfrey

“His simple lyrical narrative, both wry and tender, stays true to the child’s viewpoint as he grows up…What stays with you is the quiet, honest drama of a family’s heartrending journey.” –Booklist

“This earnest account of his life up to his graduation from Harvard is peppered with powerful moments.” –Publishers Weekly

A BookSense ’76 pick

 

I Am Malala

I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World

By Malala Yousafzai with Patricia McCormick

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Personal Development: Self-Discovery, Social Studies: Biographies

Grades: 5-17

 

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I Am Malala. This is my story.

 

Malala Yousafzai was only ten years old when the Taliban took control of her region. They said music was a crime. They said women weren’t allowed to go to the market. They said girls couldn’t go to school.

 

Raised in a once-peaceful area of Pakistan transformed by terrorism, Malala was taught to stand up for what she believes. So she fought for her right to be educated. And on October 9, 2012, she nearly lost her life for the cause: She was shot point-blank while riding the bus on her way home from school.

 

No one expected her to survive.

 

Now Malala is an international symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest ever Nobel Peace Prize winner. In this Young Readers Edition of her bestselling memoir, which has been reimagined specifically for a younger audience and includes exclusive photos and material, we hear firsthand the remarkable story of a girl who knew from a young age that she wanted to change the world — and did.

 

Malala’s powerful story will open your eyes to another world and will make you believe in hope, truth, miracles and the possibility that one person — one young person — can inspire change in her community and beyond.

 

PRAISE

★ “A searing and personal portrait of a young woman who dared to make a difference.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

 

“Malala Yousafzai isn’t the first to proclaim the pen mightier than the sword, but she is probably the only teenager to emerge defiant after taking a bullet for the right of literacy.” — Los Angeles Times

 

“Among Yousafzai’s many gifts is the ability to convey both how extraordinary she herself is and how many children might be, too, if someone taught them how to read and write.” — TheNewYorker.com

 

“Everyone who laid eyes on Malala Yousafzai knew the Pakastani schoolgirl was someone special. When her mountain town of Mingora, in the Swat Valley, fell under Taliban rule, her courage made her a powerful symbol.” — Vanity Fair