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      The Echo Park Castaways

      by M. G. Hennessey

      Nov 2019

      Realistic Fiction Middle Plus

      Nevaeh, Vic, and Mara are veterans of the Los Angeles foster care system. For over a year, they’ve been staying with Mrs. K in Echo Park. It’s not ideal, but it’s the best home they’ve found. However, living together doesn’t necessarily make them close. Mara barely speaks, Vic spends most of his time living in a dream world, and Nevaeh is forced to act as a backup parent. Still, they all have good reasons to tolerate each other, doing whatever it takes to keep Mrs. K happy.

      But when Child Protective Services places Quentin in their home, everything is turned upside down. Nevaeh isn’t sure she can watch over anyone else, especially a boy on the autism spectrum. Plus, Quentin tries to run away, creating a crisis. So when Vic realizes that Quentin just wants to see his mom, he decides to help him out. This epic quest has a lot of risks, but it may just be worth it if it brings them closer. Through a whirlwind series of adventures (and misadventures), they learn that sometimes the hardest things in life are easier to face when you tackle them together.

      Author’s note.

      Estranged #2: The Changeling King

      by Ethan M. Aldridge

      Nov 2019

      Graphic Novels Middle Plus

      After years of pretending to be a human, the changeling Edmund Carter has assumed his rightful role as Cinder, king of the World Below. Finally, Cinder is free to be himself. But he has yet to gain full support from everyone at the royal palace.

      Meanwhile, Ed is struggling to adjust to life as a human in the World Above. His birth family treats him with a kindness he never knew growing up in the fay court, but Ed misses the sense of purpose that came with being a knight. That feeling quickly fades when a mysterious new threat emerges in the World Below. Life-giving magic is disappearing, and Cinder will need the help of Ed and their sister, Alexis, to figure out why before it’s too late. But nothing can prepare them for the family secret that awaits at the end of their quest.

      Concept sketches. Full-color illustrations created with watercolors, ink, and Photoshop.

      The Hundred-Year Barn

      by Patricia MacLachlan

      Nov 2019

      Easy Reading Plus

      In 1919, this barn was built
      by townspeople, family, and friends.
      It has stood for a hundred years
      and will stand for a hundred more.
      The barn is a symbol of peace
      and stability
      and caring
      and community.


      A little boy watches his family and community come together to build a grand red barn. This barn becomes his refuge and home—a place to play with friends and farm animals alike. The boy leaves and returns as a young man to help on the farm and to care for the barn again. In this joyful celebration of generations of family and their tender connection to the barn, Newbery Medal-winning author Patricia MacLachlan and award-winning artist Kenard Pak spin a tender and timeless story about the simple moments that make up a lifetime.

      Full-color illustrations created with watercolor, gouache, pencil, ink, and digital media.

      Lalani of the Distant Sea

      by Erin Entrada Kelly

      Nov 2019

      Fantasy/Science Fiction Elementary Plus

      Life is difficult on the island of Sanlagita. To the west looms a vengeful mountain, one that threatens to collapse and bury the village at any moment. To the north, a dangerous fog swallows sailors who dare to venture out, looking for a more hospitable land. The women live in fear of the deadly mender’s disease, spread by the sharp needles they use to repair the men’s fishing nets. And what does the future hold for young girls? Mending and more mending.

      When Lalani Sarita’s mother pricks her finger and falls ill, she gives twelve-year-old Lalani an impossible task—leave Sanlagita and find the riches of the legendary Mount Isa, which towers on an island to the north. But generations of men and boys have died on the same quest—how can a timid young girl survive the epic tests of the archipelago? And how will she manage without Veyda, her best friend?

      Black-and-white illustrations.

      My Jasper June

      by Laurel Snyder

      Nov 2019

      Advanced Readers Plus

      The school year is over, and it is summer in Atlanta. The sky is blue, the sun is blazing, and the days brim with possibility. But Leah feels…lost. She has been this way since one terrible afternoon a year ago, when everything changed. Since that day, her parents have become distant, her friends have fallen away, and Leah’s been adrift and alone.

      Then she meets Jasper, a girl unlike anyone she has ever known. There’s something mysterious about Jasper, almost magical. And Jasper, Leah discovers, is also lost. Together, the two girls carve out a place for themselves, a hideaway in the overgrown spaces of Atlanta, away from their parents and their hardships. Somewhere only they can find.

      But as the days of this magical June draw to a close and the darker realities of their lives intrude once more, Leah and Jasper have to decide how real their friendship is, and whether it can be enough to save them both.

      Stay

      by Bobbie Pyron

      Nov 2019

      Intermediate Readers

      Piper’s life is turned upside down when her family moves into a shelter in a whole new city. She misses her house, her friends, and her privacy—and she hates being labeled the homeless girl at her new school. But while the shelter, Hope House, offers her new challenges, it also brings new friendships, like the girls in Firefly Girls Troop 423 and a sweet street dog named Baby. So when Baby’s person goes missing, Piper knows she has to help. But helping means finding the courage to trust herself and her new friends, no matter what anyone says about them—before Baby gets taken away for good.

      Told in the alternating perspectives of Piper and Baby, this uplifting friendship tale celebrates the importance of hope, the power of story, and the true meaning of home.

      Kingdom of Souls

      by Rena Barron

      Nov 2019

      Fantasy/Science Fiction High Plus

      Born into a family of powerful witch doctors, Arrah yearns for magic of her own. But as she fails at bone charms, fails to call upon the ancestors, and fails to see the future, her ambitious mother looks upon her with ever-growing disapproval. There is only one thing Arrah hasn’t tried, a deadly last resort: trading years of her own life for scraps of magic. Until the city’s children begin to vanish, and Arrah is desperate to find the culprit.

      What she uncovers is even more horrifying. The Demon King, whose hunger for souls nearly destroyed the world before he was defeated and imprisoned by the ancient orishas, is stirring. Arrah’s only hope of stopping him is to sacrifice more and more of her years for magic. But she’ll do anything to save the people she loves. Even if it kills her.

      Gut Check

      by Eric Kester

      Nov 2019

      Sports High

      Wyatt has wanted nothing more than to play football on Grayport's championship-winning team. But not for the fame, glory, or girls. It's his last chance to build a relationship with his older brother Brett, the star quarterback, before he leaves for college. Now that their team has gained national attention, a big win could be just what the small town needs in order to rebound from a fishing season that has been devastated by Red Tide. But when Brett suffers a terrible concussion, Wyatt must decide if keeping his brother's secret is worth risking his scholarship future.

      Gods of the Upper Air: How a Circle of Renegade Anthropologists Reinvented Race, Sex, and Gender in the Twentieth Century

      by Charles King

      Nov 2019

      Adult Crossover Nonfiction Plus

      At the end of the 19th century, everyone knew that people were defined by their race and sex and were fated by birth and biology to be more or less intelligent, able, nurturing, or warlike. But one rogue researcher looked at the data and decided everyone was wrong. Franz Boas was the very image of a mad scientist: a wild-haired immigrant with a thick German accent. By the 1920s, he was also the foundational thinker and public face of a new school of thought at Columbia University called cultural anthropology. He proposed that cultures did not exist on a continuum from primitive to advanced. Instead, every society solves the same basic problems—from childrearing to how to live well—with its own set of rules, beliefs, and taboos.

      Boas’s students were some of the century’s intellectual stars: Margaret Mead, the outspoken field researcher whose Coming of Age in Samoa is one of the most widely read works of social science of all time; Ruth Benedict, the great love of Mead’s life, whose research shaped post-Second World War Japan; Ella Deloria, the Dakota Sioux activist who preserved the traditions of Native Americans of the Great Plains; and Zora Neale Hurston, whose studies under Boas fed directly into her now-classic novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God. Together, they mapped vanishing civilizations from the Arctic to the South Pacific and overturned the relationship between biology and behavior. Gods of the Upper Air is a page-turning narrative of radical ideas and adventurous lives, a history rich in scandal, romance, and rivalry, and a genesis story of the fluid conceptions of identity that define our present moment.

      Source notes. Bibliography. Index.

      I'm Trying to Love Math

      by Bethany Barton

      Nov 2019

      Nonfiction Early Elementary

      Do multiplication tables give you hives? Do you break out in a sweat when you see more than a few numbers hanging out together? Then I’m Trying to Love Math is for you! In her signature hilarious style, Bethany Barton introduces readers to the things (and people) that use math in amazing ways—like music, and spacecraft, and even baking cookies! This isn’t a how-to math book, it’s a way to think differently about math as a necessary and cool part of our lives!

      Full-color illustrations created using Higgins inks, Photoshop CC, and Rebelle 3.

      We Speak in Storms

      by Natalie Lund

      Nov 2019

      Young Adults Plus

      It’s been more than 50 years since a tornado tore through a drive-in movie theater in tiny Mercer, Illinois, leaving dozens of teens—a whole generation of Mercerites—dead in its wake. So when another tornado touches down in the exact same spot on the anniversary of this small-town tragedy, the town is shaken. For Brenna Ortiz, Joshua Calloway, and Callie Keller, the apprehension is more than just a feeling. Though they seem to share nothing more than a struggle to belong, the teens’ paths continue to intersect, bringing them together when they least expect it, and perhaps, when they need it most. Both the living and the dead have secrets and unresolved problems, but they may be able to find peace and move forward—if only they work together.
       
      A beautifully told, haunting yet hopeful novel about pushing past the pain, facing the world, and finding yourself.

      The Stars and the Blackness Between Them

      by Junauda Petrus

      Nov 2019

      City High School

      Trinidad. Sixteen-year-old Audre is despondent, having just found out she’s going to be sent to live in America with her father because her strictly religious mother caught her with her secret girlfriend, the pastor’s daughter. Audre’s grandmother Queenie (a former dancer who drives a white convertible Cadillac and who has a few secrets of her own) tries to reassure her granddaughter that she won’t lose her roots, not even in some place called Minneapolis. “America have dey spirits too, believe me,” she tells Audre.

      Minneapolis. Sixteen-year-old Mabel is lying on her bed, staring at the ceiling and trying to figure out why she feels the way she feels—about her ex Terrell, about her girl Jada and that moment they had in the woods, and about the vague feeling of illness that’s plagued her all summer. Mabel’s reverie is cut short when her father announces that his best friend and his just-arrived-from-Trinidad daughter are coming for dinner.

      Mabel quickly falls hard for Audre and is determined to take care of her as she tries to navigate an American high school. But their romance takes a turn when test results reveal exactly why Mabel has been feeling low-key sick all summer, and suddenly it’s Audre who is caring for Mabel as she faces a deeply uncertain future.

      Music playlist inspired by the events of the novel.
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