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The Sound of Silence

Sound of Silence cover The Sound of Silence

By Katrina Goldsaito

Illustrated by Julia Kuo

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Family Life: Daily Life and Play, Social Studies: Europe/Asia/Africa

Grades: Pre-K-3rd

 

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“Do you have a favorite sound?” little Yoshio asks.

 

The musician answers, “The most beautiful sound is the sound of ma, of silence.”

 

But Yoshio lives in Tokyo, Japan: a giant, noisy, busy city. He hears shoes squishing through puddles, trains whooshing, cars beeping, and families laughing. Tokyo is like a symphony hall!

 

Where is silence?

 

Join Yoshio on his journey through the hustle and bustle of the city to find the most beautiful sound of all.

 

PRAISE

★ “Like a Zen koan, this story draws readers’ attention to silence, that vanishingly rare attribute of modern family life…  Every detail of this book brings Japan vividly to life, from popular storefronts and cartoon characters to commuters wearing surgical masks and children removing their outside shoes at school. Japanese is rich in onomatopoeic sounds, and Goldsaito and Kuo convey this linguistic quirk to English readers both visually and verbally. The elegantly expressive text and illustrations together create an immersive sensory experience for readers. An inviting tale that will stretch inquisitive and observant young minds—and may even lead children to a greater appreciation of that golden commodity, silence.” —Kirkus

 

★ “The language in this picture book evokes the cacophony of sounds a person hears throughout daily life and the beautifully drawn images show where these sounds come from.” —School Library Connection

 

★ “This book will be especially welcome in settings that teach yoga or mindfulness, but its message and striking art will be appreciated anywhere the din of daily life can overwhelm.” —School Library Journal

 

VIDEO

 

The Memory Book

memory bookThe Memory Book

By Lara Avery

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Family Life: Parents/Siblings/Babies, Personal Development: Loss, Teen Life: Relationships/Sexuality

Grades: 10th & up

 

Sammie McCoy is a girl with a plan: graduate at the top of her class and get out of her small town as soon as possible. Nothing will stand in her way—not even the rare genetic disorder the doctors say will slowly steal her memories and then her health.

 

So the memory book is born: a journal written to Sammie’s future self, so she can remember everything from where she stashed her study guides to just how great it feels to have a best friend again. It’s where she’ll record every perfect detail of her first date with longtime-crush Stuart, a gifted young writer home for the summer. And where she’ll admit how much she’s missed her childhood friend Cooper, and the ridiculous lengths he will go to make her laugh. The memory book will ensure Sammie never forgets the most important parts of her life—the people who have broken her heart, those who have mended it–and most of all, that if she’s going to die, she’s going to die living.

 

This moving and remarkable novel introduces an inspiring character you’re sure to remember, long after the last page.

 

PRAISE

★ “[Sammie’s] narrative voice is sardonic, distinctive, wildly intelligent, and sometimes hilarious…  Readers will feel her mind and heart shifting with the illness. Indelible.” —Kirkus

 

★ “Avery crafts an emotionally charged story about a young woman who has kept her eyes trained on the future, only to learn that all she has is now…  Avery’s novel stands out for its strong characters, a heartbreaking narrative that shifts to reflect Sammie’s condition, and a love story that will leave many readers in tears.” —Publishers Weekly

 

★ “Sammie’s voice is a bright, relatable, and uncompromising one, and when her inevitable decline begins, readers will be surprised and pained by it, right along with the book’s fiercely undeterred protagonist. Strengths abound in Avery’s touching novel, and Sammie’s relationships, both friendly and romantic, are no exception.” —School Library Journal

 

★ “Avery brings an emotional honesty to Sammie’s narrative…  Teens will be inspired by Avery’s heart-rending story about a special and intelligent young woman coping with a devastating disease—a story buoyed by the strong love of family flowing through Sammie’s narrative and by an exquisite love story in which Sammie experiences happiness with Coop.” —VOYA

The Best Worst Thing

Best Worst ThingThe Best Worst Thing

By Kathleen Lane

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Family Life: Parents/Siblings/Babies, Family Life: Neighbors/Neighborhoods

Grades: 3rd-7th

 

[button link=”http://littlebrownlibrary.com/lb-school-podcast-kathleen-lane/”]Listen to Author Interview[/button]

Front door locked,
kitchen door locked,
living room windows closed.
Nobody in the closet,
nobody under the beds.

 

Still, Maggie is worried. Ever since she started middle school, she sees injustice and danger everywhere—on the news, in her textbooks, in her own neighborhood. Even her best friend seems to be changing.

 

Maggie believes it is up to her, and only her, to make everything all right. Can she come up with a plan to keep everyone safe?

 

The Best Worst Thing is a perceptive novel about learning the limits of what you can control, and the good—sometimes even best—things that can come of finally letting go.

 

PRAISE

★ “Though there are no tidy beginnings or endings in Maggie’s swirling first-person narrative, Lane crafts a powerful portrait of a girl wrangling with deeply relatable concerns, which will easily resonate with readers confronting a complex and uncertain world.” —Publishers Weekly

 

★ “The protagonist is able to use the strength she finds in a budding friendship to foster a positive change in her perspective of the world. Not only can this book serve as bibliotherapy for those with obsessive-compulsive disorder and high anxiety, but readers of all kinds will also find much here to ponder and discuss. VERDICT Thoughtful characterization and relatable themes make this a strong purchase.” —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

Love and First Sight

LAFS-final-070216_2

Love and First Sight

By Josh Sundquist

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Love & Romance; Social Issues: Bullying; Social Issues: Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance

Grades: 7 & up

 

[button link=”https://www.netgalley.com/widget/open?widget_id=86838_10941_147042757557a4f1b7c1ad9_9780316305358_US”]Download eGalley[/button]

 

After a lifetime attending a school for the blind, sixteen-year-old Will Porter’s first day at a mainstream high school went about as well as he expected. He accidentally grazed a girl’s boob when reaching for a handrail on the stairs, he sat on another student in the cafeteria, and he somehow drove a new classmate to tears without saying a word. His high school career can only go up from there, right?

 

As Will starts to find his footing, he develops a crush on a charming, quiet girl name Cecily. And despite his fear that having a girlfriend will make him inherently dependent on someone sighted, the two of them grow closer and closer. Then an unprecedented opportunity arises: an experimental surgery that could give Will eyesight for the first time in his life. But learning to see is more difficult than Will could have ever imagined, and as he adjusts to his new sense, he finds the sighted world has been keeping more secrets from him than he realized. It turns out that the girl he’s been falling for doesn’t meet traditional definitions of beauty. In fact, everything he’d heard about her appearance now appears to be a lie engineered by their so-called friends to get the two of them together. Does it matter what Cecily looks like? No, not really. But then why does Will feel so betrayed?

 

Told in Will’s voice as he transitions from blind to sighted, this is a story about the nature of perception, love, trust, and romantic attraction. With moments of breathtaking poignancy, it’s about how we relate to each other and the world around us, and how true friendship is one thing you don’t need to be able to see to believe.

 

VIDEO

Are We There Yet?

are we there yetAre We There Yet?

By Dan Santat

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Adventure: Science Fiction, Family Life: Transportation and Travel

Grades: PreK-1

 

[button link=”https://www.hachettebookgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/PR4590_Are_We_There_Yet_3p.pdf”]Road Trip Activity Kit[/button]

 

“Are we there yet?”

 

Every parent has heard this classic kid question on a long car ride—and after reading this astonishingly inventive new book (that even turns upside down for several pages!), you’ll never look at being bored the same way again.

 

Let’s face it: everyone knows that car rides can be boring. And when things get boring, time slows down. In this book, a boy feels time slowing down so much that it starts going backward—into the time of pirates! Of princesses! Of dinosaurs! The boy was just trying to get to his grandmother’s birthday party, but instead he’s traveling through Ancient Egypt and rubbing shoulders with Ben Franklin. When time flies, who knows where—or when—he’ll end up.

 

PRAISE

 

★ “A car trip to visit Grandma on her birthday feels like “an eternity.” What happens when you just get too bored? Most parents on a car trip have heard the titular question, but in Caldecott medalist Santat’s hands, the familiar trip becomes an unforgettable romp through time and space…  Employing both comic-book-style panels and full-bleed spreads, the mixed-media illustrations are full of humor, and the changes in point of view keep the telling dynamic and engaging…  A multilayered, modern-day parable reminding readers there’s no greater gift than the present. ” — Kirkus

 

★ “’Be patient,’ writes Caldecott Medalist Santat (The Adventures of Beekle), dedicating the book to his son. ‘We have all the time in the world.’ His own patience is what harnesses the energy of his riotous story and gives it a laser focus. It’s a remarkable feat—a turbocharged adventure that’s also a meditation on the relative nature of time.” — Publishers Weekly

 

★ “Let the interactive reading begin! The words begin to spiral around a spread featuring the boy’s glazed expression, forcing the book to be rotated and read upside down. Suddenly the slow-moving time transports the car back in history, placing it alongside a steam locomotive, a pirate ship, a jousting knight, and the newly build Sphinx in Cairo…  The gambit to get kids involved in the story works, and Santat’s rich illustrations—ranging from double-page spreads to comic-style panels—carry it home.” — School Library Journal

 

VIDEO

Wolfie the Bunny

wolfieWolfie the Bunny

By Ame Dyckman

Illustrated by Zachariah OHora

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Adventure: Animals, Folk Tales/Fairy Tales/Classics: Humor, Family Life: Adoption/Multiple Births

Grades: PreK-1

 

[button link=”http://littlebrownlibrary.com/lb-school-podcast-ame-dyckman-zachariah-ohora/”]Listen to Author Interview[/button]

Families of all kinds will delight in this sweet tale of new babies, sibling rivalry, bravery, unconditional love…and veggies!

 

The Bunny family has adopted a wolf son, and daughter Dot is the only one who realizes Wolfie can–and might–eat them all up! Dot tries to get through to her parents, but they are too smitten to listen. A new brother takes getting used to, and when (in a twist of fate) it’s Wolfie who’s threatened, can Dot save the day?

 

PRAISE

★ “This gets all the elements of the successful picture book just right: a familiar scenario (sibling rivalry), a scary adversary, a display of courage, and a happy ending. And then there’s the art!…A crowd-pleaser for crowds big and small.” — Booklist

 

★ “Interspecies adoption puts a fresh spin on the new-baby theme…A treat of a picture book.” —The Horn Book

 

★ “More laughs come from the irresistible contrast between Dot’s sweet bunny countenance and her furious glares of rage… Wolfie proves he’s not only trustworthy but full of love.” —Kirkus Review

 

★ “The text is seamlessly integrated with the illustrations and uses various fonts to good effect. OHora’s acrylic paintings are the heart of this tale. They clearly show everyone’s feelings from fear to sadness to joy to anger to love and everything in between, and there are brilliant bits of humor and whimsy added to the mix. VERDICT: A great book for one-on-one sharing that’s also sure to be a storytime hit.” —School Library Journal

 

VIDEOS