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Tek

Tek: The Modern Cave Boy coverTEK

The Modern Cave Boy

By Patrick McDonnell

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Personal Development: Self-Discovery, Family Life: Daily Life and Play

Grades: PreK-3rd

 

Listen to Author Interview Storytime Kit

Tek is a cave boy in love with tech: his tablet, videogames, phone, and TV keep him deep in his cave, glued to his devices, day in and day out. He never sees his friends or family anymore—and his ability to communicate has devolved to just one word: “UGH”! Can anyone in the village convince Tek to unplug and come outside into the big, beautiful world?

 

A distinctive package and design cleverly evokes the experience of using an electronic device that eventually shuts down… and after a magic page turn, Tek (and the reader) reconnects with the real world.

 

PRAISE

★ “McDonnell’s ever-cute creatures deliver the story’s tech-addiction message with a grin, and clever references abound, from the fish that crawls up on land and evolves into a fanged cat to the buffering icon that accompanies Tek’s ‘reboot.'” —Publishers Weekly

 

“McDonnell blends the prehistoric with the present to send a clever reminder to young readers that beyond their electronic realm there is a world waiting to be explored. In an uproariously absurd plot—right down to little Tek’s caveman beard—pages reflect the differences between Tek’s technological world and the great outdoors, shifting from limited scenes set in a tablet format (complete with connectivity and battery icons) to colorful full-page illustrations. Good, snarky fun for parents and kids.” —Booklist

 

VIDEOS

Towers Falling

Towers FallingTowers Falling

By Jewell Parker Rhodes

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Personal Development: Diversity, Social Studies: America, Social Studies: Patriotism, Personal Development: Loss

Grades: 3 & up

 

Educator Guide

When her fifth-grade teacher hints that a series of lessons about home and community will culminate with one big answer about two tall towers once visible outside their classroom window, Deja can’t help but feel confused. She sets off on a journey of discovery, with new friends Ben and Sabeen by her side. But just as she gets closer to answering big questions about who she is, what America means, and how communities can grow (and heal), she uncovers new questions, too. Like, why does Pop get so angry when she brings up anything about the towers?

 

Award-winning author Jewell Parker Rhodes tells a powerful story about young people who weren’t alive to witness this defining moment in history, but begin to realize how much it colors their every day.

 

 

PRAISE

“History made personal—and what a person! Deja’s voice is real and memorable, her compelling story one of hope unmarred by sentimentality.” —Newbery Medalist Linda Sue Park

 

“Once again, Jewell Parker Rhodes uses the power of story to help young people make sense of their world, even among the most confusing of circumstances. Towers Falling is a great book for pairing with history/social studies, and a great book to help young readers untangle the knots of growing up in America. Jewell’s powerful fiction is almost magical.” —James Blasingame, Associate Professor of English, Arizona Sate University

 

“Extraordinary…  Every teacher of elementary and middle schoolers should read the book as they prepare to discuss the events of 9/11/01 with their students who have no memories of those events. It is a book that they will want to share with their students and that parents will want to share with their children. But Towers Falling is not only the story of Deja’s confusion about the towers that once stood in NYC. It is also a rich story of a family living in poverty and the importance of family. It is a story of friendships that cross cultural and racial boundaries. And it is a story of a classroom of students taught by a teacher who wants them to better understand community.” —Ann Neely, Associate Professor of the Practice of Education, Vanderbilt University

 

“In connecting a nation-changing event to the lives of today’s middle-graders, Rhodes makes a valuable contribution to the 9/11 canon.” —The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

 

“This tender retelling of tragedy is a solid vessel to help young readers understand the gravity of 9/11 and how it touches all Americans, no matter where we come from.” —Kirkus Reviews

 

“Rhodes approaches a complex, painful topic with insight and grace, providing context to an event distant to the book’s audience.” —Publishers Weekly

 

“A welcome contribution to children’s literature.” —School Library Journal

 

“Rhodes has a talent for teaching kids to care about major events…her emphasis on critical thinking would make Towers Falling at home on a Common Core curriculum…Rhodes has created a curious, resilient character whose journey can help other children process the horrible events that shape the world into which they are born.” —TIME

 

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

NPR’s Here & Now Interview

The Horn Book‘s Talks with Roger Interview

OverDrive’s Professional Book Nerds Podcast Interview

• The Nerdy Bookcast Launch Special: Books Help Teach Us How to Live, Part 1-3 

• TeachingBook.net Meet the Author

 

 

VIDEO

Nothing Up My Sleeve

Nothing Up My Sleeve coverNothing Up My Sleeve

By Diana Lopez

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Family: Alternative Family; Fantasy & Magic; Social Issues:Friendship

Grades: 3rd-7th

 

<a class=”lb-school-library-button” href=”https://www.hachettebookgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/PR4783_NothingUpMySleeve_EG_Final.pdf” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>Educator Guide</a>

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

 

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

 

PRAISE

“The friends’ obstacles are realistic and the finale is satisfying. A clever reveal highlights this appealing, Latino cast.” —Kirkus

 

“An upbeat coming-of-age story. The boys’ easygoing banter is true to life, and details about their shared Latino background give the novel a strong sense of culture and place.” —Publishers Weekly

 

“Intriguing magic and authentic perspectives make this a strong addition for
middle grade collections.” —School Library Journal

Silence is Goldfish

Silence is GoldfishSilence is Goldfish

By Annabel Pitcher

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

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

Grades: 7th & up
[button link=”http://littlebrownlibrary.com/lb-school-podcast-annabel-pitcher/”]LB School Podcast[/button]

Fifteen-year-old Tess doesn’t mean to become mute. At first, she’s just too shocked to speak. And who wouldn’t be? Discovering your whole life has been a lie because your dad isn’t your real father is a pretty big deal. Terrified of the truth, Tess retreats into silence.

 

Reeling from her family’s betrayal, Tess sets out to discover the identity of her real father. He could be anyone–even the familiar-looking teacher at her school. Tess continues to investigate, uncovering a secret that could ruin multiple lives. It all may be too much for Tess to handle, but how can she ask for help when she’s forgotten how to use her voice?

 

In a brilliant study of identity, betrayal, and complex family dynamics, award-winning author Annabel Pitcher explores the importance of communication, even when we’re faced with unspeakable truths.

 

PRAISE

★ “Tess’s silence presents myriad challenges, including the loss of a best friend and some intense bullying, but it also brings new confidence…  It’s a painful but rewarding story of an insecure teen finding her voice.” —Publishers Weekly

 

★ “Stream-of-consciousness narration revealing Tess’ internal struggle gives way to silent dialogue with a goldfish-shaped flashlight in her pocket. ‘Mr. Goldfish’ becomes her confidant and anchor as she tries to pinpoint signs of Jack’s unfatherly behavior, ‘swimming’ through the air in her imagination and providing enthusiastic commentary. Tess, a big—some might say fat—white girl, invites readers into her alienation with a sort of savage intimacy. Pitcher delivers a story of betrayal and miscues among family and friends with a realistic blend of humor and gravity as Tess slides toward mental instability. An unflinchingly honest portrayal of anguish.” —Kirkus

Mayday

maydayMayday

By Karen Harrington

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Family Life: Grandparents and Extended Family, Guidance/Health: Disease/Sickness, Personal Development: Loss

Grades: 3rd-7th

 

 

Wayne Kovok lives in a world of After. After his uncle in the army was killed overseas. After Wayne and his mother survived a plane crash while coming back from the funeral. After he lost his voice.

 

Wayne has always used his love of facts to communicate (“Did you know more people die each year from shaking a vending machine than from shark attacks?”). Without his voice, how will he wow the prettiest girl in school? How will he stand up to his drill-sergeant grandfather? And how will he share his hopes with his deadbeat dad? It’s not until Wayne loses his voice completely that he realizes how much he doesn’t say.

 

PRAISE

★ “Wayne’s convincing narration perceptively captures the tribulations of young teens, and even though his problems aren’t commonplace, surprisingly, the resolutions are. Perhaps best of these is Grandpa’s advice: ‘Before you go taking the bull by the horns, make sure it’s your bull.’ A fine character-driven tale that slowly grows to a crescendo of satisfaction. ” —Kirkus

 

★ “Compelling…  Harrington deftly depicts the delicate dance of family and friends trying to handle the aftermath of near tragedy, their efforts further complicated once Wayne uncovers an important secret his grandfather is keeping. Wayne is an appealing protagonist with a strong voice who develops believably over the difficult months, as do the other characters. A well-done book on all levels.” —Publishers Weekly

Thunder Boy Jr.

TBJThunder Boy Jr.

By Sherman Alexie

Illustrated by Yuyi Morales

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Personal Development: Character Development, Personal Development: Friendship, Personal Development: Self-Discovery

Grades: Pre-K-3rd

 

Thunder Boy Jr. is named after his dad, but he wants a name that’s all his own. Just because people call his dad Big Thunder doesn’t mean he wants to be Little Thunder. He wants a name that celebrates something cool he’s done, like Touch the Clouds, Not Afraid of Ten Thousand Teeth, or Full of Wonder.

 

But just when Thunder Boy Jr. thinks all hope is lost, he and his dad pick the perfect name…a name that is sure to light up the sky.

 

National Book Award-winner Sherman Alexie’s lyrical text and Caldecott Honor-winner Yuyi Morales’s striking and beautiful illustrations celebrate the special relationship between father and son.

 

PRAISE & ACCOLADES

2016 Boston GlobeHorn Book Picture Book Honor Book

 

★ “While the effervescent illustrations and boisterous tone are dynamite on their own, Alexie and Morales’ story offers a breezy, matter-of-fact introduction to a tradition—replacing a child’s name—that will likely be new to many readers. Even if little ones don’t pick up on the cultural significance, they’ll be entranced by the brilliant illustrations and Thunder Boy’s rollicking determination to branch out on his own.” — Booklist

 

★ “Alexie demonstrates his familiar gift for storytelling, using seemingly uncomplicated language to tell a layered and emotional story that retains tension despite being full of love…  Plenty of kids will recognize the shared-name dilemma, and even those free of the anxiety of name influence will recognize Lightning’s jubilance at being recognized and understood by his father.”— The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

 

★ “It is Dad who comes up with just the right name, rather a diversion from the book’s theme of self-definition but unmistakable in its acknowledgment of the bond between father and son. Despite the dad-pleasing message, the book is too funny and real to veer into parental self-congratulation, and Morales’s illustrations (made from “the remains of an antique house”—you’ll have to read the note) give great life and specificity to Thunder Boy’s Lightning’s family.” — The Horn Book

 

★ “An expertly crafted, soulful, and humorous work that tenderly explores identity, culture, and the bond between father and son.” — Kirkus

 

★ “Alexie’s first picture book showcases his ear for dialogue and sideways sense of humor, and Morales uses voice balloons and other comics elements to complement the characters’ dynamic poses. Thunder Boy’s energy is irresistible, as is this expansive portrait of a Native American family.” — Publishers Weekly

 

★ “An enchanting and humorous picture book about a little boy frustrated with his name…  This has all of the qualities of a classic story like Goodnight Moon and is destined to be a modern classic, with youngsters wanting repeated readings.” — School Library Journal

 

VIDEOS

Every Exquisite Thing

Every Exquisite Thing coverEvery Exquisite Thing

By Matthew Quick

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Teen Life: Personal Development & Identity; Poetry; Vocabulary; Mental Health

Grades: 10th & up

 

<a class=”lb-school-library-button” href=”http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/podcasts/index.html?channel=5&podcast=536″ target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>Listen to Author Interview</a> <a class=”lb-school-library-button” href=”https://www.hachettebookgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/PR4664_EveryExquisiteThing_EG_Final.pdf” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>Educator Guide</a>

Nanette O’Hare is an unassuming teen who has played the role of dutiful daughter, hardworking student, and star athlete for as long as she can remember. But when a beloved teacher gives her his worn copy of The Bubblegum Reaper–a mysterious, out-of-print cult classic–the rebel within Nanette awakens.

 

As she befriends the reclusive author, falls in love with a young but troubled poet, and attempts to insert her true self into the world with wild abandon, Nanette learns the hard way that rebellion sometimes comes at a high price.

 

A celebration of the self and the formidable power of story, Every Exquisite Thing is Matthew Quick at his finest.

 

PRAISE

★ “Quick continues to excel at writing thought-provoking stories about nonconformity.” —Publishers Weekly

 

★ “This will find a dedicated audience among teen readers.” —School Library Journal

 

★ “All of the elements of this novel work together to make this an outstanding coming-of-age story…This is a book that readers will want to read twice to take it all in.” —VOYA

 

VIDEO