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      The Tyrant's Tomb: The Trials of Apollo, Book Four

      by Rick Riordan

      Feb 2020

      Advanced Readers Plus

      It's not easy being Apollo, especially when you've been turned into a human and banished from Olympus. On his path to restoring five ancient oracles and reclaiming his godly powers, Apollo (aka Lester Papadopoulos) has faced both triumphs and tragedies. Now his journey takes him to Camp Jupiter in the San Francisco Bay Area, where the Roman demigods are preparing for a desperate last stand against the evil Triumvirate of Roman emperors. Hazel, Reyna, Frank, Tyson, Ella, and many other old friends will need Apollo's aid to survive the onslaught. Unfortunately, the answer to their salvation lies in the forgotten tomb of a Roman ruler…someone even worse than the emperors Apollo has already faced.

      Glossary.

      Momentous Events in the Life of a Cactus

      by Dusti Bowling

      Jan 2020

      Advanced Readers Plus

      Just as Aven starts to feel comfortable in Stagecoach Pass, with her friends and schoolmates accustomed to her lack of “armage,” everything changes once again. She’s about to begin high school…with 3,000 new kids to stare at her. And no matter how much Aven tries to play it cool, nothing prepares her for the reality. In a year filled with confusion, humiliation, and just maybe love, can Aven manage to stay true to herself?

      The Collected Works of Gretchen Oyster

      by Cary Fagan

      Dec 2019

      Advanced Readers Plus

      Hartley Staples, near-graduate of middle school, is grappling with the fact that his older brother has run away from home, when he finds a handmade postcard that fascinates him. And soon he spots another. Despite his losing interest in pretty much everything since Jackson ran away, Hartley finds himself searching for cards in his small town at every opportunity, ignoring other responsibilities, namely choosing a topic for his final project. Who is G.O. and why are they scattering cards about the town?

      Full-color collage art.

      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.

      Let Me Fix That for You

      by Janice Erlbaum

      Oct 2019

      Advanced Readers Plus

      Twelve-year-old Gladys Rand may not have many friends, but at least she has her empire. From her table at the back of the cafeteria, Glad arranges favors for her classmates in exchange for their friendship. She solves every problem, handles every situation, and saves every butt. But the jobs keep getting harder, and when Glad decides the problem that most needs fixing is her parents' relationship, she finds herself in way over her head. She'll have to call in all her favors and use all her skills to help the person who most needs it—herself—in this quirky, touching, and laughout-loud novel from Janice Erlbaum.

      Math and science notes.

      The Other Half of Happy

      by Rebecca Balcárcel

      Oct 2019

      Advanced Readers Plus

      Quijana is a girl in pieces. One-half Guatemalan, one-half American: When Quijana's Guatemalan cousins move to town, her dad seems ashamed that she doesn't know more about her family's heritage. One-half crush, one-half buddy: When Quijana meets Zuri and Jayden, she knows she's found true friends. But she can't help the growing feelings she has for Jayden. One-half kid, one-half grown-up: Quijana spends her nights Skyping with her ailing grandma and trying to figure out what's going on with her increasingly hard-to-reach brother. In the course of this immersive and beautifully written novel, Quijana must figure out which parts of herself are most important, and which pieces come together to make her whole. This lyrical debut from Rebecca Balcárcel is a heartfelt poetic portrayal of a girl growing up, fitting in, and learning what it means to belong.

      Character quotes. Quotes from Don Quixote. Poem. List of quoted poems. Game instructions. Science notes.

      Fing's War

      by Benny Lindelauf

      Sep 2019

      Advanced Readers Plus

      The Boon family and their indefatigable gallows humor are back in Benny Lindelauf’s follow-up to Nine Open Arms.

      Poised to win a scholarship to the nearby teachers college, Fing has high hopes. It’s 1938 and her poor family of nine—one father, four brothers, three sisters, and a grandmother—has finally managed to eke out a living in the tiny cigar factory abutting their dilapidated home. But smelling success, her dreamer of a father is determined to expand and Fing’s dreams fall apart when she instead has to go to work for the Cigar Emperor, taking care of his new, German wife’s eccentric niece. The novel’s gripping language, enriched by Yiddish, German, and Dutch dialect, plunges the reader into the world of a large, colorful, motherless family as they navigate the changes World War II visits upon their little town on the border of the Netherlands and Germany. This stand-alone follow-up to Nine Open Arms, a 2015 Batchelder Honor book translated from Dutch, is a fantasy, a historical novel, and literary fiction all wrapped into one.

      Glossary of slang words. Character list. Map.

      For Black Girls Like Me

      by Mariama J. Lockington

      Sep 2019

      Advanced Readers Plus

      Makeda June Kirkland is eleven-years-old, adopted, and black. Her parents and big sister are white, and even though she loves her family very much, Makeda often feels left out. When Makeda's family moves from Maryland to New Mexico, she leaves behind her best friend, Lena—the only other adopted black girl she knows—for a new life. In New Mexico, everything is different. At home, Makeda’s sister is too cool to hang out with her anymore and at school, she can’t seem to find one true friend.

      Through it all, Makeda can’t help wondering: What would it feel like to grow up with a family that looks like me?

      Through singing, dreaming, and writing secret messages back and forth with Lena, Makeda might just carve a small place for herself in the world.

      Secret Soldiers

      by Keely Hutton

      Aug 2019

      Advanced Readers Plus

      Over a quarter million underage British boys fought on the Allied front lines of the Great War, but not all of them fought on the battlefield—some fought beneath it. This gripping middle-grade military adventure follows the journey of Thomas, a thirteen-year-old coal miner, who lies about his age to join the Claykickers, a specialized crew of soldiers known as “tunnelers,” in hopes of finding his missing older brother. Thomas works in the tunnels of the Western Front alongside three other soldier boys whose constant bickering and inexperience in mining may prove more lethal than the enemy digging toward them. But as they burrow deeper beneath the battlefield, the boys discover the men they hope to become and forge a bond of brotherhood.

      Author's note.

      Zenobia July

      by Lisa Bunker

      Jul 2019

      Advanced Readers Plus

      Zenobia July is starting a new life. She used to live in Arizona with her father; now she’s in Maine with her aunts. She used to spend most of her time behind a computer screen, improving her impressive coding and hacking skills; now she’s coming out of her shell and discovering a community of friends at Monarch Middle School. People used to tell her she was a boy; now she’s able to live openly as the girl she always knew she was. When someone anonymously posts hateful memes on her school’s website, Zenobia knows she’s the one with the abilities to solve the mystery, all while wrestling with the challenges of a new school, a new family, and coming to grips with presenting her true gender for the first time.

      Trace

      by Pat Cummings

      Jun 2019

      Advanced Readers Plus

      Trace Carter doesn’t know how to feel at ease in his new life in New York. Even though his artsy Auntie Lea is cool, her brownstone still isn’t his home. Haunted by flashbacks of the accident that killed his parents, the best he can do is try to distract himself from memories of the past. But the past isn’t done with him. When Trace takes a wrong turn in the New York Public Library, he finds someone else lost in the stacks with him: a crying little boy, wearing old, tattered clothes. And though at first he can’t quite believe he’s seen a ghost, Trace soon discovers that the boy he saw has ties to Trace’s own history—and that he himself may be the key to setting the dead to rest.

      Family tree.

      The Great Jeff

      by Tony Abbott

      May 2019

      Advanced Readers Plus

      Life hasn't been great for Jeff Hicks. After years at his beloved St. Catherine's, he's forced to spend eighth grade in the public middle school, which he hates. He's no longer speaking to his former best friend, Tom Bender, because of "that burned girl" Jessica Feeney. But worst of all, his family is changing, and it's not for the better. When his mom comes home announcing that she's lost her job, Jeff begins to worry about things far beyond his years: How will they pay the rent? Will his absentee dad step up and save the day? Is his mom drinking too much? And ultimately, where will they live?
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