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      Infinite Hope: A Black Artist's Journey from World War II to Peace

      by Ashley Bryan

      Feb 2020

      Biography Middle Plus

      In May of 1942, at the age of eighteen, Ashley Bryan was drafted to fight in World War II. For the next three years, he would face the horrors of war as a black soldier in a segregated army. He endured the terrible lies white officers told about the black soldiers to isolate them from anyone who showed kindness—including each other. He received worse treatment than even Nazi POWs. He was assigned the grimmest, most horrific tasks, like burying fallen soldiers…but was told to remove the black soldiers first because the media didn’t want them in their newsreels. And he waited and wanted so desperately to go home, watching every white soldier get safe passage back to the United States before black soldiers were even a thought.

      For the next forty years, Ashley would keep his time in the war a secret. But now, he tells his story. The story of the kind people who supported him. The story of the bright moments that guided him through the dark. And the story of his passion for art that would save him time and time again.

      Her Own Two Feet: A Rwandan Girl's Brave Fight to Walk

      by Meredith Davis

      Jan 2020

      Biography Middle Plus

      Rebeka Uwitonze was born in Rwanda with curled and twisted feet, which meant she had to crawl or be carried to get around. At nine years old, she gets an offer that could change her life. A doctor in the US might be able to turn her feet. But it means leaving her own family behind and going to America on her own.

      Her Own Two Feet tells Rebeka's inspiring story through her eyes, with the help of one of her hosts. She travels from Rwanda to Austin, Texas, to join the Davis family, despite knowing almost no English. In the face of dozens of hospital visits and painful surgeries, Rebeka's incredible bravery and joyful spirit carry her to the opportunity of a lifetime. A stunning debut about hope, perseverance, and what becomes possible when you take a risk.

      Glossary. “A Note from Rebeka.” “A Note from Meredith.” About Africa New Life Ministries. Black-and-white photographs.

      Born to Fly: The First Women's Air Race Across America

      by Steve Sheinkin

      Dec 2019

      Biography Middle Plus

      Just nine years after American women finally got the right to vote, a group of trailblazers soared to new heights in the 1929 Air Derby, the first official women-only air race across the US. Follow the incredible lives of legend Amelia Earhart, who has captivated generations of young women; Marvel Crosson, who built a plane with her own hands before she even learned how to fly; Louise Thaden, who bravely shattered jaw-dropping altitude records; and Elinor Smith, who made headlines at age seventeen when she flew under the Brooklyn Bridge.

      Source notes. Works cited. Index. Black-and-white illustrations and photographs.

      Free Lunch

      by Rex Ogle

      Nov 2019

      Biography Middle Plus

      Free Lunch is the story of Rex Ogle’s first semester in sixth grade. Rex and his baby brother often went hungry, wore secondhand clothes, and were short of school supplies, and Rex was on his school’s free lunch program. Grounded in the immediacy of physical hunger and the humiliation of having to announce it every day in the school lunch line, Rex’s is a compelling story of a more profound hunger—that of a child for his parents’ love and care. Compulsively readable, beautifully crafted, and authentically told with the voice and point of view of a 6th-grade kid, Free Lunch is a remarkable debut by a gifted storyteller.

      Author’s note.

      Undaunted: The Wild Life of Biruté Mary Galdikas and Her Fearless Quest to Save Orangutans

      by Anita Silvey

      Oct 2019

      Biography Middle Plus

      As a young scientist, Birute Mary Galdikas had a mission: To find and study the elusive orangutans of Borneo’s rain forest to help protect this amazing and elusive species.
       
      Follow her story as she carries out an epic search and struggles to survive while studying the world’s most endangered great ape.
       
      When Galdikas saw her first image of an orangutan in the wild, she was immediately captivated. It haunted her and she found its gaze “almost hypnotic.” She moved to Borneo, where she made it her life’s mission to study and work to protect these mysterious creatures. Like primatologists Jane Goodall and Dian Fossey, Galdikas was driven by incredible ambition and a fascination with apes and human origins, making her way to the harsh rain forests of Indonesian Borneo when she was just 25 years old. She set up a simple camp, named after her mentor, Louis Leakey, and proceeded to look…and look…and look for wild orangutans, one of the most elusive species on the planet. Her studies brought these critically endangered apes to the world stage, and they are still making an impact today. Now in her 70s, Dr. Galdikas has conducted the longest running study of any wild mammal by any single scientist.
       
      Award-winning author Anita Silvey explores the life and legacy of this incredible and little-known primatologist. With unparalleled storytelling, Silvey offers unique insight into Galdikas’ childhood, her work with National Geographic, her passion of raising awareness about conservation, and her mission of securing a future for orangutans.


      “Orangutan Family Scrapbook.” Time line. Note on Borneo’s plants. Suggestions for further information. Source notes. Index. Author’s note. Black-and-white and full-color photographs and maps.

      Dear America: Young Readers' Edition: The Story of an Undocumented Citizen

      by Jose Antonio Vargas

      Oct 2019

      Biography Middle Plus

      In this young readers' adaptation of his adult memoir Dear America, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and undocumented immigrant Jose Antonio Vargas tells his story, in light of the 12 million undocumented immigrants currently in America.
       
      Jose Antonio Vargas was only twelve years old when he was brought to the United States from the Philippines to live with his grandparents. Unbeknownst to him, he was sent to the U.S. illegally. When he applied for a learner’s permit, he learned the truth, and spent the next almost twenty years keeping his immigration status a secret. Hiding in plain sight, he was writing for some of the most prestigious news organizations in the country. Only after publicly admitting his undocumented status—risking his career and personal safety—was Vargas able to live his truth.
       
      This book asks questions like, How do you define who is an American? How do we decide who gets to be a citizen? What happens to those who enter the U.S. without documentation? By telling his personal story, and presenting facts without easy answers, Jose Antonio Vargas sheds light on an issue that couldn’t be more relevant.

      Flying to the Moon: An Astronaut's Story

      by Michael Collins

      Sep 2019

      Biography Middle Plus

      In time for the 50th anniversary of man's first landing on the moon, this re-release of Michael Collins's autobiography is a bold, sparkling testament to exploration and perseverance. In this captivating account, space traveler Collins recalls his early days as an Air Force test pilot, his training at NASA, and his unparalleled experiences in orbit, including the Apollo 11 mission, the first manned lunar landing. The final chapter to this autobiography is an exciting and convincing argument in favor of mankind's continued exploration of our universe. Originally published in 1976 and updated for this new edition, Collins's voice and message are sure to resonate with a new generation of readers.


      Introduction by Scott Kelly. Preface. Full-color photo inserts.

      Reaching for the Moon: The Autobiography of NASA Mathematician Katherine Johnson

      by Katherine Johnson

      Sep 2019

      Biography Middle Plus

      As a young girl, Katherine Johnson showed an exceptional aptitude for math. In school she quickly skipped ahead several grades and was soon studying complex equations with the support of a professor who saw great promise in her. But ability and opportunity did not always go hand in hand. As an African American and a girl growing up in an era of brutal racism and sexism, Katherine faced daily challenges. Still, she lived her life with her father’s words in mind: “You are no better than anyone else, and nobody else is better than you.”

      In the early 1950s, Katherine was thrilled to join the organization that would become NASA. She worked on many of NASA’s biggest projects including the Apollo 11 mission that landed the first men on the moon.

      Katherine Johnson’s story was made famous in the bestselling book and Oscarnominated film Hidden Figures. Now in Reaching for the Moon she tells her own story for the first time, in a lively autobiography that will inspire young readers everywhere.



      Black-and-white photographs.

      Union Made: Labor Leader Samuel Gompers and His Fight for Workers' Rights

      by Norman H. Finkelstein

      Aug 2019

      Biography Middle Plus

      Born in England, Samuel Gompers grew up watching his father roll cigars, and at 10 years old, started rolling them himself. After immigrating to the United States, Gompers soon discovered his vocation to fight for the American laborer in his personal work experience. His charismatic, outspoken personality soon landed him the role of speaking on behalf of his fellow workers. His participation in various unsuccessful unions and other failed ventures to enact labor changes led to his creation of the American Federation of Labor. Faced with strikes that turned violent, opposition from the government, and lies perpetrated by anti-unionizers, Gompers persevered, and lived to see various measures enacted to ensure safe work environments, workers’ compensation, and other basic laborer rights.

      Author’s note. Time line. Source notes. Bibliography. Index. Black-and-white photographs and reproductions.

      It’s Trevor Noah: Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood

      by Trevor Noah

      Jul 2019

      Biography Middle Plus

      Out of stock
      Trevor Noah, the funny guy who hosts The Daily Show, shares his remarkable story of growing up in South Africa, with a black South African mother and a white European father at a time when it was against the law for a mixed-race child like him to exist. But he did exist—and from the beginning, the often-misbehaved Trevor used his keen smarts and humor to navigate a harsh life under a racist government.

      Further information about South African apartheid.

      Enemy Child: The Story of Norman Mineta, a Boy Imprisoned in a Japanese American Internment Camp During World War II

      by Andrea Warren

      Jun 2019

      Biography Middle Plus

      It’s 1941 and ten-year-old Norman Mineta is a carefree fourth grader in San Jose, California, who loves baseball, hot dogs, and Cub Scouts. But when Japanese forces attack Pearl Harbor, Norm’s world is turned upside down as, one by one, things that he and his Japanese American family took for granted are taken away. In a matter of months, they, along with everyone else of Japanese ancestry living on the West Coast, are forced by the government to move to internment camps, leaving everything they have known behind.

      Further information about Japanese American internment and Norman Mineta. Multimedia recommendations. Author’s note on her research process. Bibliography. Source notes. Index. Black-and-white photographs, maps, and reproductions.

      Dreaming in Code: Ada Byron Lovelace, Computer Pioneer

      by Emily Arnold McCully

      May 2019

      Biography Middle Plus

      Even by 1800s standards, Ada Byron Lovelace had an unusual upbringing. Her strict mother worked hard at cultivating her own role as the long-suffering ex-wife of bad-boy poet Lord Byron while raising Ada in isolation. Tutored by the brightest minds, Ada developed a hunger for mental puzzles, mathematical conundrums, and scientific discovery that kept pace with the breathtaking advances of the industrial and social revolutions taking place in Europe. At seventeen, Ada met eccentric inventor Charles Babbage, a kindred spirit. Their ensuing collaborations resulted in ideas and concepts that presaged computer programming by almost two hundred years, and Ada Lovelace is now recognized as a pioneer and prophet of the information age.

      Epilogue. Afterword. Appendices. Source notes. Glossary. Bibliography. Index. Black-and-white photography and reproductions.
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