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      Butterfly Yellow

      by Thanhhà Lai

      Dec 2019

      Young Adults Plus

      In the final days of the Việt Nam War, Hằng takes her little brother, Linh, to the airport, determined to find a way to safety in America. In a split second, Linh is ripped from her arms—and Hằng is left behind in the war-torn country.

      Six years later, Hằng has made the brutal journey from Việt Nam and is now in Texas as a refugee. She doesn't know how she will find the little brother who was taken from her until she meets LeeRoy, a city boy with big rodeo dreams, who decides to help her. Hằng is overjoyed when she reunites with Linh. But when she realizes he doesn't remember her, their family, or Việt Nam, her heart is crushed. Though the distance between them feels greater than ever, Hằng has come so far that she will do anything to bridge the gap.

      Author’s note.

      Dough Boys

      by Paula Chase

      Dec 2019

      Realistic Fiction Middle Plus

      Deontae “Simp” Wright has big plans for his future. Plans that involve basketball, his best friend, Rollie, and making enough money to get his mom and four younger brothers out of the Cove, their low-income housing project. Long term, this means the NBA. Short term, it means being a dough boy—getting paid to play lookout and eventually moving up the rungs of the neighborhood drug operation with Rollie as his partner.

      Rolland “Rollie” Matthews used to love playing basketball. He loved the rhythm of the game, how he came up with his best drumbeats after running up and down the court. But playing with the elite team comes with extra, illegal responsibilities, and Rollie isn’t sure he’s down for that life. The new talented-and-gifted program, where Rollie has a chance to audition for a real-life go-go band, seems like the perfect excuse to stop being a dough boy. But how can he abandon his best friend?

      Remarkables

      by Margaret Peterson Haddix

      Dec 2019

      Mystery/Adventure Elementary Plus

      One minute they’re there, laughing and having fun at the house next door. The next minute the teens are gone. Like magic. Marin can’t believe her eyes. Who are they? Can anyone else see them? What makes them so happy?

      Marin is lonely in this new town of hers and eager to figure out more. Then she meets Charley, who reveals that he knows about them, too. He calls them the “Remarkables.” Charley warns her to stay away from the Remarkables—and him. Charley and Marin both have painful secrets they’re holding on to, but could solving the mystery of the Remarkables help them? How can they ever get any answers if whenever they’re too close, the Remarkables instantly disappear…?

      Ember and the Ice Dragons

      by Heather Fawcett

      Dec 2019

      Fantasy/Science Fiction Middle Plus

      Ember St. George is a dragon. At least, she was, before her adoptive father—a powerful but accident-prone Magician—turned her into a human girl to save her life. Unfortunately, Ember’s growing tendency to burst into flames at certain temperatures—not to mention her invisible wings—is making it too dangerous for her to stay in London. The solution: ship Ember off to her aunt’s research station in frigid Antarctica.

      Though eccentric Aunt Myra takes getting used to, Ember quickly feels at home in a land of ice storms, mischievous penguins, and twenty-four-hour nights. She even finds herself making friends—with a girl genius called Nisha and a mysterious orphan named Moss. Then she discovers that Antarctica is home to the Winterglass Hunt, a yearly tradition in which rare ice dragons are hunted for their jeweled scales. Furious, Ember decides to join the hunt to sabotage it from the inside. But being an undercover dragon isn’t easy—especially among dragon hunters. Can a twelve-year-old fire dragon survive the many dangers that come her way in the Antarctic wilderness and protect the ice dragons from extinction?

      “A Note on the World.”

      Bernard Pepperlin

      by Cara Hoffman

      Dec 2019

      Intermediate Readers Plus

      The drowsy Dormouse has been stuck inside a perpetual Sunday afternoon with the Hatter and the March Hare for what seems like forever. But when a girl in a blue dress crashes the Hatter’s tea party, the Dormouse feels more awake than he has in a long time. He wishes he could follow her and be a part of her adventure.

      As luck would have it, a surprising twist of fate sends the Dormouse on an adventure of his own, where he must not—cannot—fall asleep. For he is destined to save a magical world outside Wonderland, and it will take all his courage (and a few new friends) to do it.

      Black-and-white illustrations.

      The Topeka School

      by Ben Lerner

      Dec 2019

      Adult Crossover High Plus

      Adam Gordon is a senior at Topeka High School, class of ’97. His mother, Jane, is a famous feminist author; his father, Jonathan, is an expert at getting “lost boys” to open up. They both work at a psychiatric clinic that has attracted staff and patients from around the world. Adam is a renowned debater, expected to win a national championship before he heads to college. He is one of the cool kids, ready to fight or, better, freestyle about fighting if it keeps his peers from thinking of him as weak. Adam is also one of the seniors who bring the loner Darren Eberheart—who is, unbeknownst to Adam, his father’s patient—into the social scene, to disastrous effect.

      Deftly shifting perspectives and time periods, The Topeka School is the story of a family, its struggles and its strengths: Jane’s reckoning with the legacy of an abusive father, Jonathan’s marital transgressions, the challenge of raising a good son in a culture of toxic masculinity. It is also a riveting prehistory of the present: the collapse of public speech, the trolls and tyrants of the New Right, and the ongoing crisis of identity among white men.

      Home in the Woods

      by Eliza Wheeler

      Dec 2019

      Primary

      Eliza Wheeler’s gorgeously illustrated book tells the story of what happens when six-year-old Marvel, her seven siblings, and their mom must start all over again after their father has died. Deep in the woods of Wisconsin, they find a tar-paper shack. It doesn’t seem like much of a home, but they soon start seeing what it could be. During their first year, it’s a struggle to maintain the shack and make sure they have enough to eat. But each season also brings its own delights and blessings—and the children always find a way to have fun. Most importantly, the family finds immense joy in being together, surrounded by nature. And slowly, their little shack starts feeling like a true home—warm, bright, and filled up with love.

      Author’s note. Full-color illustrations created with dip pens, India ink, and watercolors.

      Strange Birds: A Field Guide to Ruffling Feathers

      by Celia C. Pérez

      Dec 2019

      Upper Elementary & Junior High

      When three very different girls find a mysterious invitation to a lavish mansion, the promise of adventure and mischief is too intriguing to pass up.

      Ofelia Castillo (a budding journalist), Aster Douglas (a bookish foodie), and Cat Garcia (a rule-abiding birdwatcher) meet the kid behind the invite, Lane DiSanti, and it isn’t love at first sight. But they soon bond over a shared mission to get the Floras, their local Scouts, to ditch an outdated tradition. In their quest for justice, independence, and an unforgettable summer, the girls form their own troop and find something they didn’t know they needed: sisterhood.

      Birdwatching tips. Information about crystals. Cookie recipe. Writing tips. Instructions for DIY badges. Author’s note. Bibliography.

      The Outlaw Ocean: Journeys Across the Last Untamed Frontier

      by Ian Urbina

      Dec 2019

      Adult Crossover Nonfiction Plus

      There are few remaining frontiers on our planet. But perhaps the wildest, and least understood, are the world’s oceans: too big to police, and under no clear international authority, these immense regions of treacherous water play host to rampant criminality and exploitation. Traffickers and smugglers, pirates and mercenaries, wreck thieves and repo men, vigilante conservationists and elusive poachers, seabound abortion providers, clandestine oil-dumpers, shackled slaves and cast-adrift stowaways—drawing on five years of perilous and intrepid reporting, often hundreds of miles from shore, Ian Urbina introduces us to the inhabitants of this hidden world. Through their stories of astonishing courage and brutality, survival and tragedy, he uncovers a globe-spanning network of crime and exploitation that emanates from the fishing, oil and shipping industries, and on which the world’s economies rely.

      “Appendix: Reining in the Outlaw Ocean.” Notes. Further reading. Black-and-white photographs.

      Strike Zone

      by Mike Lupica

      Dec 2019

      Sports Middle Plus

      Twelve-year-old star Little League pitcher Nick Garcia has a dream. Several, in fact. He dreams he’ll win this season’s MVP and the chance to throw out the first pitch at Yankee Stadium. He dreams he’ll meet his hero, Yankee’s pitcher Michael Arroyo. He dreams they’ll find a cure for Lupus so he sister won’t have to suffer. But mostly, he dreams one day his family can stop living in fear of the government. For one kid, it’s almost too much to bear.

      Luckily, Nick has his two best friends Ben and Diego to keep him balanced. But when Nick notices a mysterious man lurking on his street corner, he senses a threat. Suddenly, his worst fears are realized, and just when it seems there’s no one they can trust, an unexpected hero emerges and changes everything.

      Who Put This Song On?

      by Morgan Parker

      Dec 2019

      Mature Young Adults Plus

      Trapped in sunny, stifling, small-town suburbia, seventeen-year-old Morgan knows why she’s in therapy. She can’t count the number of times she’s been the only non-white person at the sleepover, been teased for her “weird” outfits, and been told she’s not “really” black. Also, she’s spent most of her summer crying in bed. So there’s that, too.

      Lately, it feels like the whole world is listening to the same terrible track on repeat—and it’s telling them how to feel, who to vote for, what to believe. Morgan wonders, when can she turn this song off and begin living for herself? Life may be a never-ending hamster wheel of agony, but Morgan finds her crew of fellow outcasts, blasts music like there’s no tomorrow, discovers what being black means to her, and finally puts her mental health first. She decides that, no matter what, she will always be intense, ridiculous, passionate, and sometimes hilarious. After all, darkness doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Darkness is just real.

      Nic Bishop Big Cats

      by Nic Bishop

      Dec 2019

      Nonfiction Elementary Plus

      With grace, guile, and unstoppable power, big cats are admired for their speed and strength. Although they are related to house cats, these magnificent creatures are nothing like our pets! With breathtaking full-page images, Sibert Medal-winning photographer Nic Bishop introduces readers to a variety of beautiful and stealthy big cats. The simple, engaging text presents both basic information and captivating details about the appearance, habits, and remarkable abilities of these amazing felines.

      Author’s note. Glossary. Suggestions for further reading. Index. Full-color photographs.
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