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      Ink!: 100 Fun Facts About Octopuses, Squid, and More

      by Stephanie Warren Drimmer

      Jan 2020

      Independent Readers Plus

      Learn everything you’ve ever wanted to know about cephalopods, from inking, to hunting, to coconut carrying. Squish along with squid, camouflage with cuttlefish, and marvel at magnificent octopuses. Packed with weird-but-true facts and tons of cool animal info, this Level 3 Reader explores the incredible world of cephalopods.

      National Geographic Fact Readers feature the same expert-vetted running text as traditional readers—with a bonus of 100 fun facts sprinkled throughout! A fact roundup at the end of each book lets kids review what they’ve learned. (Plus, they can impress their friends with their animal expertise!)

      Cephalopod facts roundup. Index. Full-color illustrations and photographs.

      Douglas

      by Randy Cecil

      Dec 2019

      Independent Readers Plus

      When Iris Espinosa goes to the cinema, she doesn’t expect to meet a small mouse. And she certainly doesn’t expect that mouse to stow away in her sweater pocket. At home, Iris is delighted by the mouse’s daring, which reminds her of the actor Douglas Fairbanks. And so begin the adventures of a sweet, plucky mouse named Douglas, who must overcome obstacles aplenty, from hungry cats to broom-wielding humans, as she journeys across the tall rooftops of Bloomville to return to her movie-theater home. Full of high-stakes chases, clever escapes, and valiant rescues, Randy Cecil’s story is a cinematic and meticulously crafted celebration of courage and friendship.

      Black-and-white oil illustrations.

      Ruby's Hope: A Story of How the Famous "Migrant Mother" Photograph Became the Face of the Great Depression

      by Monica Kulling

      Nov 2019

      Independent Readers Plus

      Dust storms and dismal farming conditions force young Ruby’s family to leave their home in Oklahoma and travel to California to find work. As they move from camp to camp, Ruby sometimes finds it hard to hold on to hope. But on one fateful day, Dorothea Lange arrives with her camera and takes six photographs of the young family. When one of the photographs appears in the newspaper, it opens the country’s eyes to the reality of the migrant workers’ plight and inspires an outpouring of much needed support.

      Bleak yet beautiful illustrations depict this fictionalized story of a key piece of history about hope in the face of hardship, and the family that became a symbol of the Great Depression.

      Author’s note. Bibliography. “How the ‘Migrant Mother’ Came to Be.” Black-and-white historical photographs. Full-color illustrations were drawn with graphite and colored digitally.

      Nixie Ness: Cooking Star: After-School Superstars #1

      by Claudia Mills

      Oct 2019

      Independent Readers Plus

      Third graders Nixie Ness and Grace Kenny have been best friends since they were two-years-old. They have always spent every afternoon after school at Nixie’s house until Nixie’s mom announces that she has a job, which means she won’t be there to watch the girls after school, which means Nixie will have to go to the after-school program and Grace will be spending her afternoons at their classmate, Elyse’s, house.

       

      Nixie begrudgingly starts the after-school program, joining the cooking camp. And it turns out that the other children at cooking camp are nice, and the recipes they make are delicious. But Nixie can’t really enjoy being an after-school superstar until she finds a way to overcome her jealousy about Grace and Elyse’s budding friendship.

       

      Perfect for fans of Judy Moody, Ivy and Bean, and Clementine, this new chapter book series features recurring characters, and each book will highlight one activity they do at their after-school program. The books are illustrated in black and white and include a bonus activity that corresponds to the book’s plot. Nixie Ness: Cooking Star features a recipe for morning glory muffins.



      Black-and-white illustrations.

      Big Mouth Elizabeth

      by Rachel Vail

      Oct 2019

      Independent Readers Plus

      Second-grader Elizabeth longs to be a member of the Big Mouth club, which is made up of kids who have lost at least one baby tooth. Elizabeth is WAY behind on losing her baby teeth, and so is Cali, a quiet girl who is also left out of the Big Mouth Club. Elizabeth thinks Cali is so much more babyish than she is—in fact, Elizabeth SHOULD be in the Big Mouth Club because she's NOT babyish. But when she understands how bad it feels to be left out, Elizabeth's attitude shifts.
      Here is a story about fitting in in unexpected ways. With copious line art by Paige Keiser, this second book in Rachel Vail's Elizabeth series is sure to delight fans of Judy Moody, Junie B. Jones, and Clementine.

      Black-and-white illustrations.

      A Is for Elizabeth

      by Rachel Vail

      Sep 2019

      Independent Readers Plus

      Elizabeth is in second grade. Class 2B! It's great! Friends, recess, homework!
      Even a big project: Make a poster of your name.
      Yayyy!
      Hang on.
      The name Elizabeth has a bajillion letters in it!
      The name Anna has only four letters. Plus, Anna's first letter is A, which is also the first letter of Alphabetical Order. But Anna can't always be first! That's not fair!
      In A is for Elizabeth, Elizabeth makes more than a poster.
      She also makes some important choices—about fairness, rules, speaking up, and glue. But the most important thing she makes is . . . a friend!
      With copious line art by Paige Keiser, this first book in a new series—spun off from Vail's beloved Justin Case series—is sure to delight fans of Judy Moody, Junie B. Jones, and Clementine.

      Black-and-white illustrations.

      Good Dog, McTavish

      by Meg Rosoff

      Sep 2019

      Independent Readers Plus

      When Ma Peachey takes up yoga, the rest of the family finds themselves abandoned to chaos: no one cooks dinner, no one picks up the dirty laundry, the children are always late for school, and there is a good deal of squabbling and squalor. Ma may be off finding inner peace, but irritable Pa Peachey, glum Ava, and wannabe girl-charmer Ollie are falling apart. Only Betty, the sensible youngest child, is wise enough to see that this family is in need of rescue. Enter McTavish, a rescue dog who, true to his mission, is ready to teach this family some new tricks. Getting the Peacheys to behave will take work, but if anyone can do it, McTavish can. After all, he’s a very good dog — maybe even a psychological mastermind!

      Black-and-white illustrations created with mixed media and collage.

      Teeny Weenies: Freestyle Frenzy and Other Stories

      by David Lubar

      Aug 2019

      Independent Readers Plus

      Meet the Teeny Weenies! Suspiciously swift swimmers at a school swim meet cause a frenzy. A boy who likes to litter finally gets the meaning of Earth Day. A girl and her dad go on a fishing trip and catch the surprise of a lifetime. Young chapter book readers ages 7 to 10, reluctant readers, and fans of very short stories will be entertained and delighted by these twelve zany tales by award-winning author David Lubar. Wacky comic-book style illustrations by Bill Mayer add to the fun. Don’t be a weenie. Read these stories!

      Black-and-white illustrations.

      A Squirrelly Situation: Calpurnia Tate, Girl Vet

      by Jacqueline Kelly

      Jun 2019

      Independent Readers Plus

      When Travis finds an abandoned baby squirrel, he brings him home and names him Fluffy. But Mother isn't so sure that Fluffy is such a great family pet—and neither is Thud, the cat. Will Fluffy be able to steer clear of these two and find a home in the Tate household?

      Black-and-white illustrations.

      The Becket List: A Blackberry Farm Story

      by Adele Griffin

      May 2019

      Independent Readers Plus

      Everything is changing for Becket Branch. From subways to sidewalks to safety rules, Becket is a city kid born and raised. Now the Branch family is trading urban bustle for big green fields and moving to Gran’s farm, where Becket has to make sense of new routines from feeding animals to baling hay. And as much as Becket loves to yell “Beautiful Alert!” there’s a lot about the countryside that is just plain odd.

      Black-and-white illustrations.

      Where Dani Goes, Happy Follows

      by Rose Lagercrantz

      Apr 2019

      Independent Readers Plus

      Dani’s father is in Rome and Dani is staying with her grandparents. She wants to be a surprise birthday present for her best friend, who lives far away. Her grandmother agrees—if Dani is brave enough to take the train by herself.
      Black-and-white illustrations.

      Mangoes, Mischief, and Tales of Friendship: Stories From India

      by Chitra Soundar

      Mar 2019

      Independent Readers Plus

      When Prince Veera and his best friend are given the opportunity to preside over his father’s court, they discover that being a wise and just ruler is no easy task. Eight original trickster tales inspired by traditional Indian folktales.

      Black-and-white illustrations done in acrylic, poster color, and watercolor.
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