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Celeste’s Harlem Renaissance

Celeste's Harlem RenaissanceCeleste’s Harlem Renaissance

By Eleanora E. Tate

Genre: Historical Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Social Studies: History; Social Studies: African American Heritage

Grades: 3 – 7

 

It’s 1921, and when Celeste Lassiter Massey goes to stay with her Aunt Valentina in Harlem, she is not thrilled to trade her friends and comfortable North Carolina surroundings for scary big city life with a famous actress. While Celeste absorbs the excitement of the Harlem Renaissance in full swing, she sees as much grit as glamour. A passionate writer, talented violinist, and aspiring doctor, Celeste eventually faces a choice between ambition and loyalty, roots and horizons. The decision will change her forever.

 

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PRAISE

“[Tate] draws her characters with charming humor and multidimensional candor.” -SLJ

 

“Tate has created a fully realized heroine….Readers will likely happily accompany Celeste on her journey.” –Publishers Weekly

 

“Complex, distinctive, and well developed. Celeste’s wide-eyed observations…pull readers in.” –The Horn Book

 

“Readers will connect with [Celeste’s] strong, regional voice. Both sobering and inspiring, Tate’s novel is a moving portrait of growing up black and female in 1920s America.” –Booklist

“Tate has an eye, and an ear, for the ambience of the era. Celeste and her friends and family are well-conceived individuals, both real and imagined….Absorbing.” –Kirkus

 

 

Mr. Revere and I

Mr. Revere & I by Robert LawsonMr. Revere and I

By Robert Lawson

Genre: Historical Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Social Studies: History; Social Studies Patriotism

Grades: 3 – 7

 

Paul Revere didn’t make his famous midnight ride alone. Meet a patriot unlike any other: Scheherazade, the mare who doesn’t mind mentioning she was once the fastest and most admired horse in the King’s army. But on arrival in America, “Sherry” is quickly let down by her British rider and recruited by Sam Adams to join the Sons of Liberty. Before long, she finds herself teamed with Raul Revere to play a key-if unnoticed-role in the American Revolution. Full of wit and wisdom, this beloved classic presents an unforgettable view to the birth of a nation-straight from the horse’s mouth!

 

Explore this historical time period even further in this new edition of award-winning author Robert Lawson’s classic tale, with additional bonus material, including a map of Paul Revere’s ride!

 

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Ben and Me

Ben & Me by Robert LawsonBen and Me

By Robert Lawson

Genre: Historical Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Social Studies: History; Science: Inventions

Grades: 3 – 7

 

Ever wonder where inventors get their ideas? As it turns out, the great inventor Benjamin Franklin got his best ideas from a mouse named Amos! Funny, interesting and wise, this classic tale has been a favorite for generations. Once you’ve met Amos and read his account, you’ll never think of Ben Franklin-or American history-quite the same way.

 

Explore this historical time period even further in this new edition of award-winning author Robert Lawson’s classic tale, with additional bonus material, including a map of Ben Franklin’s travels!

 

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Sure Signs of Crazy

Sure Signs of Crazy by Karen Harrington

Sure Signs of Crazy

By: Karen Harrington

Genre: Middle Grade Realistic Fiction

Curriculum Subjects: Family Life: Parents/Siblings/Babies, Personal Development: Self-Discovery, Guidance/Health: Death

Grade: 3 – 7

AR: 9.0

F&P: Z

You’ve never met anyone exactly like twelve-year-old Sarah Nelson. While most of her friends obsess over Harry Potter, she spends her time writing letters to Atticus Finch. She collects trouble words in her diary. Her best friend is a plant. And she’s never known her mother, who left when Sarah was two.

 

Since then, Sarah and her dad have moved from one small Texas town to another, and not one has felt like home.

 

Everything changes when Sarah launches an investigation into her family’s Big Secret. She makes unexpected new friends and has her first real crush, and instead of a “typical boring Sarah Nelson summer,” this one might just turn out to be extraordinary.

 

Praise for Sure Signs of Crazy

 

“Sarah Nelson lives between a terrible tragedy in the past and a terrible fear about what might happen in the future. In that uncertainty, Sarah faces her life squarely, with a heroism that makes us cheer for humanity’s courage, wit, and guts. She faces a divided friendship, the death of a neighbor, the loss of her first love, the near loss of her father, and, most poignantly, the knowledge that her lost mother will never be found–and yet hers is a compelling journey that takes us into that most fragile place: Hope. You will be glad you journeyed there with her.” –Gary D. Schmidt, Newbery Honor author of The Wednesday Wars and Okay for Now

 “Don’t think this will be a hard sell to readers…for Harrington has created a protagonist who is, in her own way, as clear-eyed, tough-minded, and inspiring as any dystopian hero.” –Booklist

 “Sarah is an introspective protagonist whose narrative, interspersed with letters and word definitions, keeps readers absorbed…Secondary characters add interest and texture to this compelling novel.” –School Library Journal

 “Readers intrigued by the premise of this moving story will sympathize with the plucky protagonist and rejoice in the way her summer works out.” –Kirkus

 “[A] beautifully written story…This is the kind of book that stays with you.” –Library Media Connection

The Mostly True Story of Jack

The Mostly True Story of Jack by Kelly Barnhill The Mostly True Story of Jack

By: Kelly Barnhill

Genre: Fantasy

Curriculum Subjects: Folk Tales/Fairy Tales/Classics: Magic; Character Development: Friendship

Grade: 3 – 7

 

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When Jack is sent to Hazelwood, Iowa, to live with his strange aunt and uncle, he expects a summer of boredom. Little does he know that the people of Hazelwood have been waiting for him for quite a long time.

 

When he arrives, three astonishing things happen: First, he makes friends — not imaginary friends but actual friends. Second, he is beaten up by the town bully; the bullies at home always ignored him. Third, the richest man in town begins to plot Jack’s imminent, and hopefully painful, demise. It’s up to Jack to figure out why suddenly everyone cares so much about him. Back home he was practically, well, invisible.

 

The Mostly True Story of Jack is an eerie tale of magic, friendship, and sacrifice. It’s about things broken and things put back together. Above all, it’s about finding a place to belong.

 

PRAISE

 

★ “Truly splendid…the ultimate page-turner.” –Kirkus

 

★ “Suspense builds steadily, with twists and surprises woven throughout, and friendship emerges as a powerful theme….Barnhill explores the struggle between good and evil and the power of love and sacrifice, creating a provocative and highly original mystery.” –Publishers Weekly

 

★ “Wonderful in the best possible way: filled with wonders and magic, yes, but magic that is ancient, numinous, and tied to the natural world…Barnhill’s first novel for children is a marvel of both plotting and characterization, and it provides a foundation for the omnipresent magic that elevates this title to the first rank of contemporary children’s literature.” –Booklist

 

★ “A compelling story with genuine characters and a deliciously creepy atmosphere. The suspense builds from the very first page…This delightful story will captivate readers with its blend of magic, mystery, and adventure.” -VOYA

 

 

Courage For Beginners

Courage For Beginners

By Karen Harrington

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Curriculum Subjects: Personal Development: Friendship, Family Life: Transportation and Travel, Guidance/Health: Disease/Sickness, Family Life: Parents/Siblings/Babies

Grade: 3-7

 

[button link=”https://www.hachettebookgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/PR3911_CourageForBeginners_EG.pdf”]Educator Guide[/button][button link=”http://littlebrownlibrary.com/lb-school-podcast-episode-9/”]Listen to author interview[/button]

 

Twelve-year-old Mysti Murphy wishes she were a character in a book. If her life were fictional, she’d magically know how to deal with the fact that her best friend, Anibal Gomez, has abandoned her in favor of being a “hipster.” She’d be able to take care of everyone when her dad has to spend time in the hospital. And she’d certainly be able to change her family’s secret.

 

Seventh grade is not turning out the way Mysti had planned. With the help of a hot-air balloon, her new friend Rama Khan, and a bright orange coat, can she find the courage to change?

 

PRAISE

★ “A wrenching and rewarding read.” — Booklist, starred review

 

★ “[Mysti’s] wickedly good schemes to get even with Anibal and her courageous solutions to family crises will make her a compelling protagonist for sophisticated young readers.” — VOYA, starred review

 

“Harrington’s portrait of a resourceful girl weathering transitions and finding creative solutions offers an even balance of humor and painful topics relevant to middle-school readers.” — Publishers Weekly

Odin’s Ravens

Odin’s Ravens

The Blackwell Pages

By M. A. Marr and K. A. Armstrong

Genre: Fantasy, Adventure

Curriculum Subjects: Adventure: Magic/Fantasy, Folk Tales/Fairy Tales/Classics: Magic, Personal Development: Friendship

Grade: 3-7

 

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Seven kids, Thor’s hammer, and a whole lot of Valkyries are the only things standing against the end of the world.

 

When thirteen-year-old Matt Thorsen, a modern day descendant of the Norse god Thor, was chosen to represent Thor in an epic battle to prevent the apocalypse he thought he knew how things would play out. Gather the descendants standing in for gods like Loki and Odin, defeat a giant serpent, and save the world. No problem, right?

 

But the descendants’ journey grinds to a halt when their friend and descendant Baldwin is poisoned and killed and Matt, Fen, and Laurie must travel to the Underworld in the hopes of saving him. But that’s only their first stop on their journey to reunite the challengers, find Thor’s hammer, and stop the apocalypse–a journey filled with enough tooth-and-nail battles and larger-than-life monsters to make Matt a legend in his own right.

 

Authors K.L. Armstrong and M.A. Marr return to Blackwell in the epic sequel to Loki’s Wolves with more explosive action, adventure and larger-than-life Norse legends.

 

PRAISE

“This sequel stands by itself, as essential details of the first are neatly woven throughout. Intense action, well-crafted scenes and humor-laced dialogue add up to a sure winner…What Riordan has done for Greek and Egyptian mythology, Armstrong and Marr are doing for Norse myths…A Hel of a good read.” – Kirkus Reviews

 

“This sequel to Loki’s Wolves delivers plenty of action…offering moments of humor even as it delivers exciting scenes of quest, combat, and adventure. Narrative shifts from one teen hero to another add further dimension to the story…Keep this series in mind for Percy Jackson fans in search of fresh reading material.” – Booklist

Pi in the Sky

pi in the skyPi in the Sky

By Wendy Mass

Genre: Middle Grade Adventure

Curriculum Subject: Adventure: Science Fiction, Science: Astronomy/Space/Aviation, Science: Math

Grade: 3-7

 

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Joss is the seventh son of the Supreme Overlord of the Universe, and all he gets to do is deliver pies. That’s right: pies. Of course these pies actually hold the secrets of the universe between their buttery crusts, but they’re still pies.

 

Joss comes from a family of overachievers, and is happy to let his older brothers shine. But when Earth suddenly disappears, Joss is tasked with the not-so-simple job of bringing it back. With the help of an outspoken girl from Earth named Annika, Joss embarks on the adventure of a lifetime and learns that the universe is an even stranger place than he’d imagined.

 

PRAISE

★ “Full of fascinating science and clever humor, Mass’s story shines as bright as the stars of Joss’s universe. A high-stakes extraterrestrial adventure that’s as exciting as it is fun.” –Publishers Weekly, starred review

 

“Could be a Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy for kids…Science and absurdity frolic together to gleeful effect.” –Kirkus Reviews

 

“The humorous banter and interesting physics factoids keep readers entertained…A unique, mind-stretching title for science-fiction lovers, and the entertaining high jinks and evolving relationship between Joss and Annika give it an even wider appeal.” –School Library Journal

 

VIDEO

Sugar

Sugar

By Jewell Parker Rhodes

Genre: Middle Grade

Curriculum Subject: African American Heritage, History

Grade: 3-7

 

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Ten-year-old Sugar lives on the River Road sugar plantation along the banks of the Mississippi. Slavery is over, but laboring in the fields all day doesn’t make her feel very free. Thankfully, Sugar has a knack for finding her own fun, especially when she joins forces with forbidden friend Billy, the white plantation owner’s son.

 

Sugar has always yearned to learn more about the world, and she sees her chance when Chinese workers are brought in to help harvest the cane. The older River Road folks feel threatened, but Sugar is fascinated. As she befriends young Beau and elder Master Liu, they introduce her to the traditions of their culture, and she, in turn, shares the ways of plantation life. Sugar soon realizes that she must be the one to bridge the cultural gap and bring the community together. Here is a story of unlikely friendships and how they can change our lives forever.

 

From Jewell Parker Rhodes, the author of Ninth Ward (a Coretta Scott King Honor Book and a Today show Al’s Book Club for Kids pick), here’s another tale of a strong, spirited young girl who rises beyond her circumstances and inspires others to work toward a brighter future.

 

PRAISE & ACCOLADES

★ “[Rhodes’] prose shines, reading with a spare lyricism that flows naturally. All Sugar’s hurt, longing, pain and triumph shine through….A magical story of hope.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review

 

VIDEO

Loki’s Wolves

Loki’s Wolves

The Blackwell Pages

By K.L. Armstrong and M.A. Marr

Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy

Curriculum Subjects: Adventure: Magic/Fantasy, Folk Tales/Fairy Tales/Classics: Magic, Personal Development: Friendship

Grade: 3-7

 

[button link=”http://www.blackwellpages.com/”]Visit website[/button][button link=”http://media.hdp.hbgusa.com/titles/assets/reading_group_guide/9780316204965/EG_9780316204965.pdf”]Educator Guide[/button][button link=”https://www.hachettebookgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/PR3804-Lokis-Wolves-Common-Core-Ready-Guide-PDF_Email.pdf”]Common Core Guide[/button]

“The runes have spoken. We have our champion…Matthew Thorsen.”

 

Matt hears the words, but he can’t believe them. He’s Thor’s representative? Destined to fight trolls, monstrous wolves and giant serpents…or the world ends? He’s only thirteen.

 

While Matt knew he was a modern-day descendent of Thor, he’s always lived a normal kid’s life. In fact, most people in the small town of Blackwell, South Dakota, are direct descendants of either Thor or Loki, including Matt’s classmates Fen and Laurie Brekke. No big deal.

 

But now Ragnarok is coming, and it’s up to the champions to fight in the place of the long-dead gods. Matt, Laurie, and Fen’s lives will never be the same as they race to put together an unstoppable team, find Thor’s hammer and shield, and prevent the end of the world.

 

In their middle grade debut, K.L. Armstrong and M.A. Marr begin the epic Blackwell Pages series with this action-packed adventure, filled with larger-than-life legends, gripping battles, and an engaging cast of characters who bring the myths to life.

 

PRAISE

“This smart, fast-paced, action-packed novel…offers readers a solid adventure story that still manages not to skimp on character.” – The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

 

“Norse mythology brought to life with engaging contemporary characters and future volumes that promise explosive action; ideal for Percy Jackson fans who want to branch out.” – Kirkus Reviews

 

“These authors are no strangers to weaving a compelling tale. Once the story moves past the background, the plot picks up quickly and the adventure doesn’t disappoint.” – Library Media Connection

 

“Rousing, fast-paced adventure.” – Publishers Weekly

 

Loki’s Wolves brings Norse mythology to the modern world…The background and explanation of the legends are clear and a natural fit to the story and dialogue, bringing life to lesser-known Norse mythology.” – School Library Journal