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      Skunk and Badger

      by Amy Timberlake

      Jan 2021

      Intermediate Readers Plus

      No one wants a skunk.

      They are unwelcome on front stoops. They should not linger in Important Rock Rooms. Skunks should never, ever be allowed to move in. But Skunk is Badger’s new roommate, and there is nothing Badger can do about it.

      When Skunk plows into Badger’s life, everything Badger knows is upended. Tails are flipped. The wrong animal is sprayed. And why-oh-why are there so many chickens?

      "Nooooooooooooooooooooo!"

      Newbery Honor author Amy Timberlake spins the first tale in a series about two opposites who need to be friends.

      Cinders & Sparrows

      by Stefan Bachmann

      Jan 2021

      Fantasy/Science Fiction Elementary Plus

      A suspenseful tale of witches, family, and magic from internationally bestselling author Stefan Bachmann. When a twelve-year-old orphan unexpectedly becomes the mistress of a mysterious castle, she is thrust into a plot involving murderous spells, false identity, and a magical battle of wills between the living and the dead. Readers of Kate Milford’s Greenglass House, Victoria Schwab’s City of Ghosts, and Diana Wynne Jones will be enchanted.

      Twelve-year-old Zita, an orphan and a housemaid, has resigned herself to a life of drudgery when a strange letter arrives, naming her the only living heir to the Brydgeborn fortune. Now the mistress of the castle, Zita soon realizes that there has been foul play in the death of her family. And as she is guided through lessons in the art of witchcraft by a somewhat distant Mrs. Cantanker, Zita begins to wonder who is friend and who is foe.

      Grown

      by Tiffany D. Jackson

      Jan 2021

      High-Interest High Plus

      Korey Fields is dead.

      When Enchanted Jones wakes with blood on her hands and zero memory of the previous night, no one—the police and Korey’s fans included—has more questions than she does. All she really knows is that this isn’t how things are supposed to be. Korey was Enchanted’s ticket to stardom.

      Before there was a dead body, Enchanted was an aspiring singer, struggling with her tight-knit family’s recent move to the suburbs while trying to find her place as one of the few black girls in high school. But then legendary R&B artist Korey Fields spots her at an audition, and suddenly her dream of being a professional singer takes flight.

      Enchanted is dazzled by Korey’s luxurious life but soon her dream turns into a nightmare. Behind Korey’s charm and star power lurks a dark side; one that wants to control her every move with rage and consequences. Except now he’s dead and the police are at the door. Who killed Korey Fields?

      All signs point to Enchanted.

      Crownchasers

      by Rebecca Coffindaffer

      Jan 2021

      Fantasy/Science Fiction High Plus

      A deadly competition for the throne will determine more than just the fate of the empire in this riveting duology opener, perfect for fans of The Hunger Games, Aurora Rising, and Three Dark Crowns.

      Alyssa Farshot has spent her whole life trying to outrun her family legacy, even leaving behind the kingship and her uncle, the emperor, for a life of exploring. But when her dying uncle announces a crownchase—a search for the royal seal, hidden in the empire, that will determine the empire’s next ruler—Alyssa is thrust into her greatest, most dangerous adventure yet.

      This explosive first book in a duology by a talented debut author is jam-packed with tension and thrills that will hook readers from its first page.

      Miss Meteor

      by Tehlor Kay Mejia

      Jan 2021

      Young Adults

      TWO EX-BEST FRIENDS. TWO ENORMOUS SECRETS. ONE BEAUTY PAGEANT.

      Everyone knows that Meteor, New Mexico, got its name from the space rock that crashed into the desert nearby. No one knows that Lita Perez came with it—or that she’s starting to turn back into stardust. She’ll never get a chance to graduate high school or kids the boy of her dreams — not unless she can find a way to make Meteor hold onto her and never let go. Not unless she achieve her wildest childhood dream and win the annual Miss Meteor beauty pageant. But if she’s going to have a chance, she’ll need her ex-best friend Chicky Quintanilla.

      Chicky knows Lita has no chance of becoming Miss Meteor. Every year, the pageant queen is skinny, poised, and white—three things that Lita definitely is not. But Chicky also knows that if Lita wins, it will show this whole backward town that there’s more to beauty than being blonde and popular. If Lita can find a way to overcome the odds, then maybe Chicky can find a way to come out of the closet. Maybe she can finally stand up to the people who look down on her for not fitting in and stop pushing away the people who make her feel seen. To pull off the unlikeliest underdog story in pageant history, Lita and Chicky are going to have to forget the past and imagine a future where girls like them are more than enough—they are everything.

      Class Act

      by Jerry Craft

      Jan 2021

      Graphic Novels Middle Plus

      Eighth grader Drew Ellis is no stranger to the saying, “You have to work twice as hard to be just as good.” His grandmother has told him that his entire life. But lately he’s been thinking: Even if he works ten times as hard, he may never get the same opportunities that his privileged classmates at the prestigious Riverdale Academy Day School take for granted. Then, after a visit to his friend Liam’s house, Drew realizes that Liam is one of those privileged kids. He wants to pretend like everything is okay, but even his best friend, Jordan, can tell that something is up.

      As the pressures build, and he starts to feel more isolated than ever, will Drew find a way to bridge the divide so he and his friends can truly accept each other? And more importantly, will he finally be able to accept himself?

      A Thousand Questions

      by Saadia Faruqi

      Jan 2021

      Multicultural Elementary

      Out of stock
      Set against the backdrop of Karachi, Pakistan, Saadia Faruqi’s tender and honest middle grade novel tells the story of two girls navigating a summer of change and family upheaval with kind hearts, big dreams, and all the right questions.

      Mimi is not thrilled to be spending her summer in Karachi, Pakistan, with grandparents she’s never met. Secretly, she longs to find her long-absent father and plans to write to him in her beautiful new journal.

      The cook’s daughter, Sakina, still hasn’t told her parents that she’ll be accepted to school if only she can improve her English test score—but then, how could her family possibly afford to lose the money she earns working with her Abba in a rich family’s kitchen?

      Although the girls seem totally incompatible at first, as the summer goes on, Sakina and Mimi realize that they have plenty in common—and that they each need the other to help get what they want most.

      The Truth Project

      by Dante Medema

      Jan 2021

      Young Adults Plus

      Seventeen-year-old Cordelia Koenig intended to breeze through her senior project. While her peers stressed, Cordelia planned to use the same trace-your-roots genealogy idea her older sister used years prior. And getting partnered with her longtime crush, Kodiak Jones, is icing on the cake. All she needs to do is mail in her DNA sample, write about her ancestry results, and get that easy A.

      But when Cordelia’s GeneQuest results reveal that her father is not the person she thought he was but a stranger who lives thousands of miles away, her entire world shatters. Now she isn’t sure of anything—not the mother who lied, not the man she calls Dad, or the girl staring back at her in the mirror.

      If your life began with a lie, how can you ever be sure of what's true?

      Turning Point

      by Paula Chase

      Jan 2021

      Realistic Fiction Middle Plus

      Told in dual perspectives, this provocative and timely stand-alone companion to Paula Chase’s So Done and Dough Boys will resonate with fans of Jason Reynolds, Rebecca Stead, and Renée Watson.

      Best friends Rasheeda and Monique are both good girls. For Sheeda, that means keeping her friends close and following her deeply religious, Bible-quoting aunt’s every rule. For Mo, that means not making waves in the prestigious and mostly White ballet intensive she’s been accepted to. But what happens when Sheeda catches the eye of Mo’s older brother, and the invisible racial barriers to success as a ballerina turn out to be not so invisible?

      Paula Chase continues to explore the lives of African American middle school characters from the Cove, a low-income housing project, in this stand-alone companion to So Done and Dough Boys. Both universal and specific, Turning Point is rich with thematic threads such as racism, body image, poverty, creativity, religion, Me Too, friendship, and family running through it. A rewarding and thought-provoking read for the older middle grade audience.

      Punching the Air

      by Ibi Zoboi

      Jan 2021

      Hi-Lo Mature

      The story that I thought
      was my life
      didn’t start on the day
      I was born

      Amal Shahid has always been an artist and a poet. But even in a diverse art school, he’s seen as disruptive and unmotivated by a biased system. Then one fateful night, an altercation in a gentrifying neighborhood escalates into tragedy. “Boys just being boys” turns out to be true only when those boys are white.

      The story that I think
      will be my life
      starts today

      Suddenly, at just sixteen years old, Amal’s bright future is upended: he is convicted of a crime he didn’t commit and sent to prison. Despair and rage almost sink him until he turns to the refuge of his words, his art. This never should have been his story. But can he change it?

      Ana on the Edge

      by A.J. Sass

      Jan 2021

      Sports Middle Plus

      Twelve-year-old Ana-Marie Jin, the reigning US Juvenile figure skating champion, is not a frilly dress kind of kid. So, when Ana learns that next season's program will be princess themed, doubt forms fast. Still, Ana tries to focus on training and putting together a stellar routine worthy of national success.

      Once Ana meets Hayden, a transgender boy new to the rink, thoughts about the princess program and gender identity begin to take center stage. And when Hayden mistakes Ana for a boy, Ana doesn't correct him and finds comfort in this boyish identity when he's around. As their friendship develops, Ana realizes that it's tricky juggling two different identities on one slippery sheet of ice. And with a major competition approaching, Ana must decide whether telling everyone the truth is worth risking years of hard work and sacrifice.

      Horrid

      by Katrina Leno

      Jan 2021

      Mystery High Plus

      Following her father's death, Jane North-Robinson and her mom move from sunny California to the dreary, dilapidated old house in Maine where her mother grew up. All they want is a fresh start, but behind North Manor's doors lurks a history that leaves them feeling more alone…and more tormented.

      As the cold New England autumn arrives, and Jane settles in to her new home, she finds solace in old books and memories of her dad. She steadily begins making new friends, but also faces bullying from the resident "bad seed," struggling to tamp down her own worst nature in response. Jane's mom also seems to be spiraling with the return of her childhood home, but she won't reveal why. Then Jane discovers that the "storage room" her mom has kept locked isn't for storage at all -- it's a little girl's bedroom, left untouched for years and not quite as empty of inhabitants as it appears…

      Is it grief? Mental illness? Or something more…horrid?
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