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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

Girl in the Blue Coat

girl in the blue coatGirl in the Blue Coat

By Monica Hesse

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Social Studies; World History; WWII; Holocaust; Prejudice & Racism; Mysteries & Detective Stories

Grades: 7 & up

 

[button link=”http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/podcasts/index.html?channel=5&podcast=529″]Listen to Author Interview[/button][button link=”https://www.hachettebookgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/PR4661_GirlintheBlueCoat_EG_3p.pdf”]Educator Guide[/button]

Amsterdam, 1943. Hanneke spends her days procuring and delivering sought-after black market goods to paying customers, her nights hiding the true nature of her work from her concerned parents, and every waking moment mourning her boyfriend, who was killed on the Dutch front lines when the Germans invaded. She likes to think of her illegal work as a small act of rebellion.

 

On a routine delivery, a client asks Hanneke for help. Expecting to hear that Mrs. Janssen wants meat or kerosene, Hanneke is shocked by the older woman’s frantic plea to find a person—a Jewish teenager Mrs. Janssen had been hiding, who has vanished without a trace from a secret room. Hanneke initially wants nothing to do with such dangerous work, but is ultimately drawn into a web of mysteries and stunning revelations that lead her into the heart of the resistance, open her eyes to the horrors of the Nazi war machine, and compel her to take desperate action.

 

PRAISE

Girl in the Blue Coat is a powerful, compelling coming-of-age story set against the dark and dangerous backdrop of World War II. It’s an important and page-turning look at the choices all of us—including young adults—have to make in wartime. A beautiful combination of heartbreak, loss, young love, and hope.”—Kristin Hannah, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Nightingale

 

“A tapestry of guilt and acceptance, growing responsibility, and reluctant heroism, Hanneke’s coming-of-age under heartbreaking circumstances is a jarring reminder of how war consumes and transforms the passions of ordinary life. Every devastating moment of this beautiful novel is both poignant and powerful, and every word feels true.” —Elizabeth Wein, New York Times bestselling author of Code Name Verity

 

★ “[An] affecting novel…that skillfully combines reality with fiction. Her characters come alive, and…Hesse’s pacing infuses her story with thriller suspense, enriching the narrative with dramatic surprises both small and large.” —Booklist

 

★ “Riveting… a gripping historical mystery.” —Publishers Weekly

 

★ “This fast-paced story is alternately touching, heart-pounding and wrenching-but always gripping. …a heartrending, moving story.” —VOYA

Dreamland Burning

dreamlandDreamland Burning

By Jennifer Latham

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Mystery & Detective Stories; Social Issues: Prejudice & Racism; Historical Fiction

Grades: 7 & up

 

[button link=”http://littlebrownlibrary.com/lb-school-podcast-jennifer-latham/”]LB School Podcast[/button][button link=”http://littlebrownlibrary.com/jennifer-latham-on-dreamland-burning/”]Author Essay[/button]

When seventeen-year-old Rowan Chase finds a skeleton on her family’s property, she has no idea that investigating the brutal century-old murder will lead to a summer of painful discoveries about the past… and the present.

 

Nearly one hundred years earlier, a misguided violent encounter propels seventeen-year-old Will Tillman into a racial firestorm. In a country rife with violence against blacks and a hometown segregated by Jim Crow, Will must make hard choices on a painful journey towards self discovery and face his inner demons in order to do what’s right the night Tulsa burns.

 

Through intricately interwoven alternating perspectives, Jennifer Latham’s lightning-paced page-turner brings the Tulsa race riot of 1921 to blazing life and raises important question about the complex state of US race relations – both yesterday and today.

 

PRAISE

★ ”This timely story gives readers an unflinching look at the problem of racism, both past and present, while simultaneously offering the hope of overcoming that hatred.” –Booklist

 

★ ”Latham presents a fast-paced historical novel brimming with unsparing detail and unshakeable truths about a shameful chapter in American history. For more than 50 years, Tulsa’s schoolchildren didn’t learn about the race riot, and many outside of Tulsa remain unaware today. This masterfully told story fills this void. An unflinching, superbly written story about family, friendship, and integrity, set during one of America’s deadliest race riots.” –Kirkus Review

★ ” Latham’s enthralling, expertly paced plot will keep readers engaged, and the detailed imagery creates a strong sense of place in both time periods… Mystery fans will enjoy this cleverly plotted, suspenseful work, while the broader social issues will draw a wide audience.” –School Library Journal

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

 

[button link=”http://littlebrownlibrary.com/lb-school-podcast-nicole-helget/”]Listen to Author Interview[/button][button link=”http://www.scribd.com/doc/275042831/Wonder-at-the-Edge-of-the-World”]Educator Guide[/button]

 

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

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

WolfbyWolfblood-for-bloodWolf 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

 

[button link=”https://www.hachettebookgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/PR4475_WolfByWolf_EG.pdf”]Educator Guide[/button][button link=”http://littlebrownlibrary.com/lb-school-podcast-ryan-graudin/”]LB School Podcast[/button]

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?

 

START READING!

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

 

CHARACTER CHEAT SHEET

wolfbywolfcharactercheatsheet

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

 

[button link=”http://media.hdp.hbgusa.com/titles/assets/reading_group_guide/9780316404518/EG_9780316404518.pdf”]Educator Guide[/button]

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

Bird in a Box

Bird in a Box

By Andrea Davis Pinkney

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Personal Development: Friendship, Guidance/Health: Disability, Social Studies: African American Heritage

Grades: 3 – 7

In a small upstate New York town during the Great Depression, three children–Hibernia, Willie, and Otis–are about to meet.

Hibernia dreams of becoming a famous singer and performing at Harlem’s swanky Savoy Ballroom.
Willie is recovering from a tragedy that prevents him from becoming a junior boxing champ.
Otis spends every night glued to the radio, listening to the voices that remind him of Daddy and Ma.
Each of them is looking for hope, and they all find it in the thrilling boxing matches of young Joe Louis. They know Joe has a good chance of becoming the country’s next heavyweight champion. What they don’t know is that during this unforgettable year, the three of them will become friends.

 

[button link=”http://media.hdp.hbgusa.com/titles/assets/reading_group_guide/9780316074032/EG_9780316074032.pdf”]Download Educator Guide[/button]

 

PRAISE

 

*”The artfully orchestrated novel is related with grace, restraint and a wealth of historical detail” –Kirkus, starred review

“Pinkney weaves quite a bit of 1930s history into her story and succeeds admirably in showing how Louis came to represent so much more than his sport. Her detailed notes make this an accessibly and inspiring piece of historical fiction that belongs in most collections” –School Library Journal

“Children who have graduated from Matt de la Pena and Kadir Nelson’s excellent A Nation’s Hope (2011) will be shown just how culturally significant louis really was with this stirring novel, which also scores high marks as a satisfying read for both boys and girls” –Booklist

“[A] well-researched historical novel” –Horn Book

By the Great Horn Spoon

By the Great Horn SpoonBy the Great Horn Spoon

By Sid Fleischman

Genre: Historical Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Social Studies: Old West; Humor

Grades: 3 – 7

In this rollicking adventure set during the California Gold Rush, Jack’s aunt is forced to sell her beloved mansion to meet her debts. She is still unable to raise enough money to pay her creditors, and twelve-year-old Jack goes to California in search of gold to help her. Joined by his trusty butler, Praiseworthy, Jack finds adventure and trouble at every turn. Will Jack strike gold in San Francisco or come home empty-handed?

 

[button link=”https://www.hachettebookgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/PR3845_CCCReadyGuide_ByTheGreatHornSpoon.pdf” color=”teal”]Download Educator Guide[/button]

 

PRAISE

 

“Another uncommonly original…delectable story, told, and illustrated with zest and gusto to the very last page.” –Horn Book

 

47

47 by Walter Mosley47

By Walter Mosley

Genre: Historical Fantasy

Curriculum Subject: Social Studies: History; Social Studies: African American Heritage: Adventure: Science Fiction

Grades: 7 & Up

 

[button link=”https://www.hachettebookgroup.com/_assets/books/educatorguides/47_teacherguide.pdf”]Educator Guide[/button]

Number 47, a fourteen-year-old slave boy growing up underthe watchful eye of a brutal master in 1832, meets the mysterious TallJohn, who introduces him to a magical science and also teaches him the meaning of freedom.

 

 

PRAISE

ALA/YALSA Best Books for Young Adults

 

★”Equal parts history and tall tale, this engaging story related by an endearing narrator is so full of dramatic tension that few readers will realize they’re learning something, too.” – Publishers Weekly

 

“Walter Mosley is a force to be reckoned with in this lifetime and those to come. His infinite imagination makes this incredible reading.” – Black Issues Book Review

 

“A stirring story of escape from slavery in which [science fiction] and African American myth blend with the realism of plantation brutality and the courage of resistance.” – Booklist

 

“Thrilling on many levels, the books voices, sacrifices, climatic battles, and satisfying escapes will dazzle and provoke readers.” – The Horn Book