January 08, 2024
As a middle school teacher who has taught in inner-city Brookyln for almost 30 years, Torrey Maldonado’s wellspring of source material comes from his professional career and learned experiences growing up in a Brooklyn, New York project. Like every middle school student, Maldonado came to many crossroads in his young life, and had to decide which way he would turn— “End up like Luke Skywalker? End up like Darth Vader?” And with a mother like Yoda—very short, but full with The Force—Torrey had all kinds of unique influences who helped him learn how to use his hands for good...
November 27, 2023
Middle school can be tough, especially when you’re living out of a car, fighting to keep your Native American Heritage alive, and dealing with your mean brother, Emjay. James Bird, author of the JLG selection No Place Like Home, takes readers on a bumpy road trip through the ups and downs of experiencing homelessness at a young age. Told through the lens of an optimistic, twelve-year-old protagonist—perhaps based on a young James? —this middle school novel will encourage readers to practice resiliency, form their own identities, and preserve their heritage and culture— even in the most destitute of times...