Saturday, September 6, 2014

brown girl dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

brown girl dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
Nancy Paulson Books

From Goodreads:
Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement. Touching and powerful, each poem is both accessible and emotionally charged, each line a glimpse into a child’s soul as she searches for her place in the world. Woodson’s eloquent poetry also reflects the joy of finding her voice through writing stories, despite the fact that she struggled with reading as a child. Her love of stories inspired her and stayed with her, creating the first sparks of the gifted writer she was to become

Glass Sentence, The by SE Grove

The Glass Sentence (Mapmakers Trilogy, 1) by SE Grove
Viking (Penguin)

From Goodreads:
She has only seen the world through maps. She had no idea they were so dangerous.
Boston, 1891. Sophia Tims comes from a family of explorers and cartologers who, for generations, have been traveling and mapping the New World—a world changed by the Great Disruption of 1799, when all the continents were flung into different time periods.  Eight years ago, her parents left her with her uncle Shadrack, the foremost cartologer in Boston, and went on an urgent mission. They never returned. Life with her brilliant, absent-minded, adored uncle has taught Sophia to take care of herself.

Then Shadrack is kidnapped. And Sophia, who has rarely been outside of Boston, is the only one who can search for him. Together with Theo, a refugee from the West, she travels over rough terrain and uncharted ocean, encounters pirates and traders, and relies on a combination of Shadrack’s maps, common sense, and her own slantwise powers of observation. But even as Sophia and Theo try to save Shadrack’s life, they are in danger of losing their own.

Port Chicago 50 by Steve Sheinkin

Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights by Steve Sheinkin

On July 17, 1944, a massive explosion rocked the segregated Navy base at Port Chicago, California, killing more than 300 sailors who were at the docks, critically injuring off-duty men in their bunks, and shattering windows up to a mile away. On August 9th, 244 men refused to go back to work until unsafe and unfair conditions at the docks were addressed. When the dust settled, fifty were charged with mutiny, facing decades in jail and even execution. This is a fascinating story of the prejudice that faced black men and women in America's armed forces during World War II, and a nuanced look at those who gave their lives in service of a country where they lacked the most basic rights.

West of the Moon by Margi Preus

West of the Moon by Margi Preus
Amulet Books

From Goodreads:
Astri is a young Norwegian girl desperate to join her father in America. After being separated from her sister and sold to a cruel goat farmer, Astri makes a daring escape. She quickly retrieves her little sister, and, armed with a troll treasure, a book of spells and curses, and a possibly magic hairbrush, they set off for America. With a mysterious companion in tow and the malevolent “goatman” in pursuit, the girls head over the Norwegian mountains, through field and forest, and in and out of folktales and dreams as they steadily make their way east of the sun and west of the moon.

Revolution by Deborah Wiles

Revolution (Sixties Trilogy, 2) by Deborah Wiles 
Scholastic Press

From Goodreads:
It's 1964, and Sunny's town is being invaded.  Or at least that's what the adults of Greenwood, Mississippi are saying. All Sunny knows is that people from up north are coming to help people register to vote.  They're calling it Freedom Summer.

Meanwhile, Sunny can't help but feel like her house is being invaded, too.  She has a new stepmother, a new brother, and a new sister crowding her life, giving her little room to breathe.  And things get even trickier when Sunny and her brother are caught sneaking into the local swimming pool -- where they bump into a mystery boy whose life is going to become tangled up in theirs.

As she did in her groundbreaking documentary novel COUNTDOWN award-winning author Deborah Wiles uses stories and images to tell the riveting story of a certain time and place -- and of kids who, in a world where everyone is choosing sides, must figure out how to stand up for themselves and fight for what's right.

Absolutely Almost by Lisa Graff

Absolutely Almost by Lisa Graff
Philomel (Penguin)

From Goodreads:
Albie has never been the smartest kid in his class. He has never been the tallest. Or the best at gym. Or the greatest artist. Or the most musical. In fact, Albie has a long list of the things he's not very good at. But then Albie gets a new babysitter, Calista, who helps him figure out all of the things he is good at and how he can take pride in himself.

Madman of Piney Woods by Christopher Paul Curtis

The Madman of Piney Woods by Christopher Paul Curtis

From Goodreads:
Bestselling Newbery Medalist Christopher Paul Curtis delivers a powerful companion to his multiple award-winning ELIJAH OF BUXTON.

Benji and Red couldn't be more different. They aren't friends. They don't even live in the same town. But their fates are entwined. A chance meeting leads the boys to discover that they have more in common than meets the eye. Both of them have encountered a strange presence in the forest, watching them, tracking them. Could the Madman of Piney Woods be real? 

In a tale brimming with intrigue and adventure, Christopher Paul Curtis returns to the vibrant world he brought to life in Elijah of Buxton. Here is another novel that will break your heart -- and expand it, too.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Let's Get It Started! First Three Titles!

Welcome to the 2015 Mock Newbery Search!

Here are the first three titles we are looking at:

Five, Six, Seven, Nate by Tim Federle
A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd
Ghosts of Tupelo Landing by Sheila Turnage

Click on the specific title to leave your thoughts!

Ghosts of Tupelo Landing by Sheila Turnage

Ghosts of Tupelo Landing by Sheila Turnage 
Kathy Dawson Books (Penguin), 2014

from Goodreads:
When Miss Lana makes an Accidental Bid at the Tupelo auction and winds up the mortified owner of an old inn, she doesn't realize there's a ghost in the fine print. Naturally, Desperado Detective Agency (aka Mo and Dale) opens a paranormal division to solve the mystery of the ghost's identity. They've got to figure out who the ghost is so they can interview it for their history assignment (extra credit). But Mo and Dale start to realize that the Inn isn't the only haunted place in Tupelo Landing. People can also be haunted by their own past. As Mo and Dale handily track down the truth about the ghost (with some help from the new kid in town), they discover the truth about a great many other people, too.

A laugh out loud, ghostly, Southern mystery that can be enjoyed by readers visiting Tupelo Landing for the first time, as well as those who are old friends of Mo and Dale.

Sheila Turnage won a Newbery Honor with Three Times Lucky (2013) and here she is revisiting Tupelo and hoping for the gold this time.  She's bringing the same cast of characters with a little ghostly twist but will that be enough or will the judges feel like they are reading the same "mo" same old??

Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd

Snicker of Magic, A by Natalie Lloyd
Scholastic Press, 2014

From Goodreads:
Midnight Gulch used to be a magical place, a town where people could sing up thunderstorms and dance up sunflowers. But that was long ago, before a curse drove the magic away. Twelve-year-old Felicity knows all about things like that; her nomadic mother is cursed with a wandering heart.

But when she arrives in Midnight Gulch, Felicity thinks her luck's about to change. A "word collector," Felicity sees words everywhere---shining above strangers, tucked into church eves, and tangled up her dog's floppy ears---but Midnight Gulch is the first place she's ever seen the word "home." And then there's Jonah, a mysterious, spiky-haired do-gooder who shimmers with words Felicity's never seen before, words that make Felicity's heart beat a little faster.

Felicity wants to stay in Midnight Gulch more than anything, but first, she'll need to figure out how to bring back the magic, breaking the spell that's been cast over the town . . . and her mother's broken heart.

A Snicker of Magic is well-loved by the Nerdy Bookclub and has been all over twitter.  I hear Lloyd read from the book at ALA Midwinter in Philadelphia and if that excerpt carries throughout the book - Lloyd would do well in style and delineation of characters.  But how will this early release debut fair with some of the seasoned authors releasing books this year including 2013 Honor Book winner Sheila Turnage? We shall see.

Five, Six, Seven, Nate by Tim Federle

Five, Six, Seven, Nate by Tim Federle
Simon and Schuster, 2014

from Goodreads:
Nate Foster's Broadway dreams are finally coming true. Armed with a one-way ticket to New York City, small-town theater geek Nate is off to start rehearsals for E.T.: The Broadway Musical . It's everything he ever practiced his autograph for! But as thrilling as Broadway is, rehearsals are nothing like Nate expects: full of intimidating child start, cutthroat understudies, and a director who can't even remember Nate's name. 

Now, as the countdown to opening night is starting to feel more like a time bomb, Nate is going to need more than his lucky rabbit's foot if he ever wants to see his name in lights. He may even need a showbiz miracle.

Despite the childish cover, last year's Better Nate Than Ever tackled some serious topics and concluded with Nate reaching his dream.

It's hard for sequels in the Newbery because they need to be complete stories in and of themselves. Can Five, Six, Seven, Nate follow in the footsteps of past winners; Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor (1977) or The Grey King by Susan Cooper (1976) which where both #4 in a series?


Saturday, February 22, 2014

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

From Norvelt to Nowhere by Jack Gantos - 2014

From Norvelt to Nowhere by Jack Gantos
Farrar, Straus and Giroux


After an explosion, a new crime by an old murderer, and the sad passing of the founder of Norvelt, Pennsylvania, twelve-year-old Jack accompanies his slightly mental elderly mentor, Miss Volker, on a cross-country run as she pursues the oddest of outlaws.

A Tangle of Knots by Lisa Graff - 2014

A Tangle of Knots by Lisa Graff
Philomel Books

"Destiny leads 11-year-old Cady to a peanut butter factory, a family of children searching for their own Talents, and a Talent Thief who will alter her life forever"--Provided by publisher.

Hokey Pokey by Jerry Spinelli - 2014

Hokey Pokey by Jerry Spinelli
Knopf Books for Young Reader


Ever since they were Snotsippers, Jack and the girl have fought, until one day she steals his bike and as he and the Amigos try to recover it, Jack realizes that he is growing up and must eventually leave the "goodlands and badlands of Hokey Pokey."

Zebra Forest by Adina Gerwitz - 2014

Zebra Forest by Adina Gerwitz
Candlewick Press

When eleven-year-old Annie first started lying to her social worker, she had been taught by an expert: Gran. She told Annie and her little brother, Rew, the one thing they know about their father: that he was killed in a fight with an angry man who was sent away. Annie tells stories, as she and Rew laze under the birches and oaks of Zebra Forest -- stories about their father the pirate, or pilot, or secret agent. But then something shocking happens to unravel all their stories: a rattling at the back door, an escapee from the prison holding them hostage in their own home, four lives that will never be the same. Driven by suspense and psychological intrigue, this novel deftly portrays an unfolding standoff of truth against family secrets, and offers an affecting look at two resourceful, imaginative kids as they react and adapt to the hand they've been dealt.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013







Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Hold Fast by Blue Balliett - 2014

Hold Fast by Blue Balliett
Scholastic Press

Summary: On a cold winter day in Chicago, Early's father disappeared, and now she, her mother and her brother have been forced to flee their apartment and join the ranks of the homeless--and it is up to Early to hold her family together and solve the mystery surrounding her father.

Escape from Mr. Lemoncellos Library by Chris Grabenstein - 2014

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library by Chris Grabenstein
Random House

Summary: "Twelve-year-old Kyle gets to stay overnight in the new town library, designed by his hero (the famous gamemaker Luigi Lemoncello), with other students but finds that come morning he must work with friends to solve puzzles in order to escape"-- Provided by publisher.

Sure Signs of Crazy by Karen Harrington - 2014

Sure Signs of Crazy by Karen Harrington
Little, Brown and Company

Twelve-year-old Sarah writes letters to her hero, To Kill a Mockingbird's Atticus Finch, for help understanding her mentally ill mother, her first real crush, and life in her small Texas town, all in the course of one momentous summer.