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13 March Reads You Might Have Missed

March at LBYR has been a busy month with releases galore! From sweet bedtime board books to heart-wrenching YA with adult crossover, these new titles include something for every reader.

Ten Tiny Toes by Todd Tarpley, illustrated by Marc Brown

Now in board book, this modern classic illustrated by Marc Brown celebrates the joy of a new baby entering the world. An ideal baby shower gift, featuring diverse illustrations and a heartwarming message about growing up.

The Brother Book and The Sister Book by Todd Parr

Bestselling and beloved author Todd Parr has returned with not one but two books about brothers and sisters of all kinds! These are stories showcasing the uniqueness of families, perfect for soon-to-be big siblings.

Sheep 101 by Richard Morris, illustrated by LeUyen Pham

A clever, charming picture book tailor-made for bedtime reading! What happens when a boy is counting sheep, and sheep 101 gets stuck jumping over the fence? He’ll need help from some familiar nursery characters, each one funnier than the last.

The True Adventures of Esther the Wonder Pig by Steve Jenkins, Derek Walter, and Caprice Crane, illustrated by Cori Doerrfeld

Meet Esther! Maybe you’ve already heard of the not-so-miniature pig adopted by two dads who got a lot more than they bargained for—Esther the Wonder Pig was a bestselling adult memoir. Now her story is in picture book form, perfect for young readers.

 

The Super Awful Superheroes of Classroom 13 by Honest Lee and Matthew J. Gilbert

The wacky kids of Classroom 13 are back! This installment of the chapter book series sees the students struck by lightning, granting them superpowers. But with great gifts comes great chaos… and a lot laugh-out-loud fun.

 

President of the Whole Sixth Grade: Girl Code by Sherri Winston

Book three in the Presidents series features African American middle schooler Brianna going outside her comfort zone to interview students from a girls’ coding program at an inner-city academy. Will she learn to ignore stereotypes and embrace the world around her?

 

Survival Tails: The Titanic by Katrina Charman

Don’t miss this series starter about animals in peril during important historical events, perfect for fans of the I Survived series! Survival Tails blends historical facts and exciting animal adventures into a winning combination.

 

The Wild Robot Escapes by Peter Brown

Roz the robot has returned at last! The sequel to Peter Brown’s bestselling The Wild Robot is already a bestseller as well. Roz has learned to survive and thrive on a remote island with her animal friends and adoptive goose son, Brightbill, but what will happen when she’s returned to the civilized world? Can she find her way home again despite the technology and humans standing in the way?

Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World by Ashley Herring Blake

This is a powerful and tender middle grade novel about bravery and identity, featuring LGBTQ characters historically absent in books for younger readers. Ivy’s hopes and fears as she grapples with her feelings for another girl and her growing family are a welcome addition to the list of coming-of-age stories.

 

The Creativity Project: An Awesometastic Story Collection edited by Colby Sharp

This collaborative triumph edited by teacher and book advocate Colby Sharp is bursting with ingenuity. Featuring prompts and writing by Kate DiCamillo, R.J. Palacio, Linda Sue Park, Javaka Steptoe, and other renowned authors and illustrators, this book will leave readers itching to create stories of their own.

The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan

John Green called this YA debut “brilliantly crafted, harrowing… heart-wrenching”. What further endorsement is needed? A lyrical, story of grief and forgiveness The Astonishing Color of After deals with the aftermath of Leigh’s mother’s suicide and her journey towards understanding her family history.

Tyler Johnson Was Here by Jay Coles

The Hate U Give meets All American Boys in this timely YA debut about race relations in America, justice, and freedom. A can’t-miss story of Marvin, a black teenager whose twin brother Tyler goes missing at a party during a raid, and the aftermath of the police brutality that ensues.

The Unlucky Lottery Winners of Classroom 13

Unlucky Lottery Winners of Classroom 13 cover

The Unlucky Lottery Winners of Classroom 13

By Honest Lee & Matthew Gilbert

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Humorous Stories; Social Issues: Friendship; Action & Adventure

Grades: 3-7

 

When unlucky teacher Ms. Linda LaCrosse wins the lottery, she shares her winnings with her class–giving each student over a BILLION DOLLARS!

 

You might think this was nice, but it was not. It was a nasty idea! With great money comes horrible allergies, steep taxes, exploding volcanoes, and other problems. As the students of Classroom 13 are about to learn, winning the lottery is not always lucky.

 

What would YOU do if you won the lottery? The final chapter encourages young readers to write their OWN chapter and send it in to the author, Honest Lee.

 

The Unlucky Lottery Winners of Classroom 13 is the first in a new chapter book series of hilarious stories about a rather unlucky classroom. Each story is full of humor, action, and fun, and will prompt hours of conversation among friends, families, and classrooms.

The Star Thief

Star Thief cover

The Star Thief

By Lindsey Becker

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Adventure: Magic/Fantasy, Mythology, Personal Development: Self-Discovery, Personal Development: Conflict Resolution

Grades: 3-7

 

LB School Podcast

Honorine’s life as as maid at the Vidalia mansion is rather dull, dusting treasures from faraway places and daydreaming in front of maps of the world. But everything changes when she catches two brutish sailors ransacking Lord Vidalia’s study, and then follows a mysterious girl with wings out into the night….

 

Suddenly, Honorine is whisked into the middle of a battle between the crew of a spectacular steamship and a band of mythical constellations. The stars in the sky have come to life to defend themselves against those who want to harness their powers. Much to her surprise, Honorine is the crux of it all, the center of an epic clash between magic and science, the old ways and the new. But can this spirited young girl bring both sides of a larger-than-life fight together before they unleash an evil power even older than the stars?

The End of the Wild

The End of the Wild coverThe End of the Wild

By Nicole Helget

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Family Life: Cooking/Food, Family Life: Parents/Siblings/Babies, Guidance/Health: Death, Personal Development: Loss, Personal Development: Self-Discovery, Science: Environment

Grades: 3-7

 

Download Educator Guide

 

Eleven-year-old Fern’s rundown home borders a pristine forest, where her impoverished family hunts and forages for food. It’s also her refuge from the crushing responsibility of caring for her wild younger brothers and PTSD-stricken stepfather. But when a fracking company rolls into town, Fern realizes that her special grove could be ripped away, and no one else seems to care.

 

Her stepfather thinks a job with the frackers could help pull the family out of poverty. Her wealthy grandfather–who wants to take custody of Fern and her brothers–likes the business it brings to his manufacturing company. Facing adversity from all sides, can one young girl make a difference in the fate of her family and their way of life?

 

PRAISE

A 2018 Charlotte S. Huck Award Honor Book
NSTA-CBC 2018 Outstanding Science Trade Books
for Students K-12
NSTA-CBC 2018 Best STEM Trade Books for Students K-12
★ “An uncommonly fine account of perseverance and understanding in the face of adversity.” —Booklist

 

★ “Fern’s first-person voice is completely convincing. Her vocabulary and phrasing is rural Midwestern, and her imagery comes from the natural world she loves. The sense of place is palpable. The author demonstrates the poverty of Fern’s family and friends (including a Muslim family from Somalia) with telling detail, and the tension and action arise naturally…  This nuanced take on a pressing issue is an important one. Middle-grade readers will find much to think about in this beautifully written story.” —Kirkus

 

★ “Helget confronts substantial subjects like poverty, environmentalism, and mental illness, injecting humor and hope to provide balance. Without lecturing, she encourages readers to be thoughtful and curious.” —Publishers Weekly

The Fitzgerald-Trouts

Look Out For The Fitzgerald-Trouts coverLook Out For The Fitzgerald-Trouts

By Esta Spalding

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

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

Grades: 3-7

 

Meet the Fitzgerald-Trouts, a band of four loosely related children living together in a lush tropical island. They take care of themselves. They sleep in their car, bathe in the ocean, eat fish they catch and fruit they pick, and can drive anywhere they need to go–to the school, the laundromat, or the drive-in. If they put their minds to it, the Fitzgerald-Trouts can do anything. Even, they hope, find a real home.

 

 

Knock About With The Fitzgerald-Trouts coverKnock About With The Fitzgerald-Trouts

By Esta Spalding

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

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

Grades: 3-7

 

Welcome to the further adventures of the plucky Fitzgerald-Trout siblings, who live on a tropical island where the grown-ups are useless, but the kids can drive. In this second installment, the delightfully self-reliant siblings continue their search for a home. This time, their pursuit will bring them face-to-face with a flood, illegal carnivorous plants, and the chance to win an extraordinary prize at a carnival. Will they finally find a place to call home?

 

PRAISE

“Have you ever wanted to live on an island filled with selfish grownups and blood-sucking iguanas hiding in a dark and mysterious forest? Me neither. But the brave and inventive Fitzgerald-Trouts have such fascinating lives that I just might reconsider–as soon as I read this glorious book again, at least twice. I salute thee, Fitzgerald-Trouts!”—Lemony Snicket, author of the bestselling series All the Wrong Questions

 

“Spalding’s playful tone takes the edge off the neglectful parents and dire circumstances, largely thanks to the plucky, self-reliant kids who know (rightly) they are better off on their own.” —Booklist

 

“The Boxcar Children meet Dahl in a Hawaii-like setting here and it’s all sorts of fun, with just enough snarkiness to add edge to the charm and wonder. A clever but subtle twist at the end adds even more amusement, and the overall effect is as pleasing as a tropical breeze.” —The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

 

“A touch of Everything on a Waffle weirdness; a touch of The Willoughbys sendup; and a warm, genial, wholly original voice.” —Horn Book

 

“Readers will root for the spunky youngsters [and] relate to the kids’ simple desires for a normal life, complete with goldfish in bowls and room to sleep.”—School Library Journal

The Secret Keepers

The Secret Keepers coverThe Secret Keepers

By Trenton Lee Stewart

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Adventure: Mysteries, Adventure: Magic/Fantasy, Family Life: Neighbors/Neighborhoods

Grades: 3-7

 

Listen to Author Interview Educator Guide

When Reuben discovers an extraordinary antique watch, he soon learns it has a secret power and his life takes an intriguing turn. At first he is thrilled with his new treasure, but as one secret leads to another, Reuben finds himself torn between his innately honest nature and the lure to be a hero.

 

Now he is on a dangerous adventure–full of curious characters, treacherous traps, and hairsbreadth escapes–as he races to solve the mystery before it is too late. Even with fearless Penny, mighty Jack, and the wise Mrs. Genevieve on his side, can Reuben outwit and outmaneuver the sly villain called The Smoke and his devious defenders the Directions and save the city from a terrible fate?

 

In this ingeniously crafted novel, acclaimed author Trenton Lee Stewart invites readers to join the adventure, decipher the clues, and ask themselves the question: Is knowing a secret a gift or a curse?

 

PRAISE

★ “Stewart has created an exciting, fully imagined world filled with mystery and danger, where children can have real adventures without parental supervision. He doesn’t shy from putting the children in true danger, both physical and moral, keeping readers on tenterhooks until the final page.” —Publishers Weekly

 

★ “Children will be caught up in the mystery, trying to decipher the clues as they follow Reuben and his new-found friends in their race to save the town from a dreadful future…  All in all, this is another winner from Trenton Lee Stewart.” —School Library Connection

 

★ “Fans of Stewart’s ‘MysteriousBenedict Society’ and series like it will devour his latest novel. This epic story filled with adventure and twists and turns is certain to keep readers’interest from beginning to end.” —School Library Journal

 

secret-keepers

When The Sea Turned to Silver

When the Sea Turned to Silver coverWhen the Sea Turned to Silver

By Grace Lin

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Adventure: Magic/Fantasy, Folk Tales/Fairy Tales/Classics: Heroes/Heroines, Family Life: Grandparents and Extended Family

Grades: 3-7

 

Listen to Author Interview Activities Readers Theatre Educator Guide

Pinmei’s gentle, loving grandmother always has the most exciting tales for her granddaughter and the other villagers. However, the peace is shattered one night when soldiers of the Emperor arrive and kidnap the storyteller.

 

Everyone knows that the Emperor wants something called the Luminous Stone That Lights the Night. Determined to have her grandmother returned, Pinmei embarks on a journey to find the Luminous Stone alongside her friend Yishan, a mysterious boy who seems to have his own secrets to hide. Together, the two must face obstacles usually found only in legends to find the Luminous Stone and save Pinmei’s grandmother–before it’s too late.

 

A fast-paced adventure that is extraordinarily written and beautifully illustrated, When the Sea Turned to Silver is a masterpiece companion novel to Where the Mountain Meets the Moon and Starry River of the Sky.

 

PRAISE

A 2016 National Book Award Finalist

 

★ “Lin’s evocative language sweeps readers away, and the stories within the story are juicy and delicious.” —Booklist

 

★ “Lin’s stonecutter claims that storytellers ‘can make time disappear… bring us to places we have never dreamed of…feel sorrow and joy and peace’; the description is a fitting one for author-illustrator Lin herself, who has proven herself a master.” —The Horn Book

 

★ “The meticulous craft delivers what Lin’s fans have come to expect… This beautifully told companion to Where the Mountain Meets the Moon and Starry River of the Sky offers lyrical storytelling, bringing ‘us to places we have never dreamed of.'” —Kirkus

 

★ “Lin’s fans will not be disappointed: she again delivers a rich interweaving of ancient tales with fast-paced adventure, fantasy, and slowly unfolding mysteries told through captivating language with beguiling similes.” —Publishers Weekly

 

★ “A stunning addition to a deservedly beloved set of novels; recommended for all middle grade collections.” —School Library Journal

 

VIDEO

The Adventurer’s Guide to Successful Escapes

 Adventurers Guide to Successful Escapes coverThe Adventurer’s Guide to Successful Escapes

By Wade Albert White

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Adventure: Magic/Fantasy, Adventure: Mysteries

Grades: 3-7

 

Anne has spent most of her thirteen years dreaming of the day she and her best friend Penelope will finally leave Saint Lupin’s Institute for Perpetually Wicked and Hideously Unattractive Children. When the big day arrives, a series of very curious happenings lead to Anne being charged with an epic quest. Anne, Penelope, and new questing partner Hiro have only days to travel to strange new locales, solve myriad riddles, and triumph over monstrous foes–or face the horrible consequences.

 

Packed with action, humor, and endless heart, this debut novel marks the first volume in an irresistible and original fantasy series.

 

 

PRAISE

 

“Tongue-in-cheek writing keeps the story funny and fresh. fast pacing—not to mention dragons and robots—will keep readers invested in this lighthearted new series.” —Booklist

 

“Ridiculous yet nail-biting action, this is a highly distinctive, smart take on the fantasy novel. Readers will find a humorous tale of adventure, friendship, and courage, all led by a brown-skinned protagonist.” —Kirkus Reviews

 

“The first in a fantasy adventure series with a unique crew of characters, this will tickle funny bones and leave readers awaiting the next installment.” —School Library Journal

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

The Candymakers

The Candymakers

By Wendy Mass

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Adventure: Mysteries, Science: Inventions, Personal Development: Friendship

Grades: 3-7

 

In the town of Spring Haven, four children have been selected to compete in the national candymaking contest of a lifetime. Who will make a candy more delicious than the Oozing Crunchorama or the Neon Yellow Lightning Chew?

 

Logan, the candymaker’s son, who can detect the color of chocolate by feel alone?

 

Miles, the boy allergic to rowboats and the color pink?

 

Daisy, the cheerful girl who can lift a fifty-pound lump of taffy as if it were a feather?

 

Philip, the suit-and-tie-wearing boy who’s always scribbling in a secret notebook?

 

This sweet, charming, and cleverly crafted story, told from each contestant’s perspective, is filled with mystery, friendship, and juicy revelations.

 

 

Candymakers and the Great Chocolate Chase coverThe Candymakers and the Great Chocolate Chase

By Wendy Mass

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Adventure: Mysteries, Science: Inventions, Personal Development: Friendship

Grades: 3-7

 

It has been a few months since the Harmonicandy was chosen as the winner of the nationwide candymaking contest. Forever changed by the experience, Logan, Miles, Philip, and Daisy have returned to their regular lives. But when presented with the chance to go on tour to promote the new candy, they each have very different reasons for hitting the road.

 

The stakes are a lot higher than they thought, however, and a decades-old secret is revealed. In this action-packed adventure, the four friends embark on a journey full of hidden treasures, imaginary worlds, rivers of light, a map of awe, a sky of many colors, and one very small cat who thinks he’s a dog.

 

And candy.

 

LOTS and LOTS of candy.

 

They’ve already learned to trust one another. Now they’ll have to trust themselves in order to face what lies ahead and save what really matters.

 

 

PRAISE

“Reveals a multitude of mysteries…Attentive, candy-loving readers will be richly rewarded.” —Booklist

 

“Earnest and sweet, with enough salty twists not to taste saccharine.” —Kirkus Reviews

 

“A real page-turner…Give this mouthwatering confection to children who like Trenton Stewart’s The Mysterious Benedict Society.” —School Library Journal

 

VIDEO