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      Clean Getaway

      by Nic Stone

      Apr 2020

      Upper Elementary & Junior High Plus

      How to Go on an Unplanned Road Trip with Your Grandma:
      • Grab a Suitcase: Prepacked from the big spring break trip that got CANCELLED.
      • Fasten Your Seatbelt: G’ma’s never conventional, so this trip won’t be either.
      • Use the Green Book: G’ma’s most treasured possession. It holds history, memories, and most important, the way home.

      What Not to Bring:
      • A Cell Phone: Avoid contact with Dad at all costs. Even when G’ma starts acting stranger than usual.

      Set against the backdrop of the segregation history of the American South, take a trip with New York Times bestselling Nic Stone and an eleven-year-old boy who is about to discover that the world hasn’t always been a welcoming place for kids like him, and things aren’t always what they seem—his G’ma included.

      The Fresh New Face of Griselda

      by Jennifer Torres

      Mar 2020

      Upper Elementary & Junior High Plus

      Griselda "Geez" Zaragoza has a love for beautiful things, like her collection of vintage teacups and the flower garden she and her dad planted in the front yard. But when his business fails, Griselda loses not just her home, but also her confidence and her trust in her unflappable parents.

      Tagging along with big sister Maribel, who postponed college for a job selling Alma Cosmetics, Geez dreams up a way to reclaim the life she thinks she lost. If she can sell enough tubes of glistening, glittery Alma lip gloss, she'll win a cash prize that could help jump start her dad's business. With ups and downs along the way, Geez will discover that beauty isn't just lost or found, but made and re-made.

      The Year We fell From Space

      by Amy Sarig King

      Feb 2020

      Upper Elementary & Junior High Plus

      Liberty Johansen is going to change the way we look at the night sky. Most people see the old constellations, the things they've been told to see. But Liberty sees new patterns, pictures, and possibilities. She's an exception.

      Some other exceptions: Her dad, who gave her the stars. Who moved out months ago and hasn't talked to her since. Her mom, who's happier since he left, even though everyone thinks she should be sad and lonely. And her sister, who won't go outside their house.

      Liberty feels like her whole world is falling from space. Can she map a new life for herself and her family before they spin too far out of reach?

      Author’s note with resources.

      The Story That Cannot Be Told

      by J. Kasper Kramer

      Jan 2020

      Upper Elementary & Junior High Plus

      Ileana has always collected stories. Some are about the past, before the leader of her country tore down her home to make room for his golden palace; back when families had enough food, and the hot water worked on more than just Saturday nights. Others are folktales, like the one she was named for, which her father used to tell her at bedtime. But some stories can get you in trouble, like the dangerous one criticizing Romania’s Communist government that Uncle Andrei published—right before he went missing.

      Fearing for her safety, Ileana’s parents send her to live with the grandparents she’s never met, far from the prying eyes and ears of the secret police and their spies, who could be any of the neighbors. But danger is never far away. Now, to save her family and the village she’s come to love, Ileana will have to tell the most important story of her life.

      Author’s note.

      The Tornado

      by Jake Burt

      Dec 2019

      Upper Elementary & Junior High Plus

      Bell Kirby is an expert at systems, whether he’s designing the world’s most elaborate habitat for his pet chinchilla, recreating Leonardo da Vinci’s greatest inventions in his garage, or avoiding Parker Hellickson, the most diabolical bully Village Green Elementary has ever seen. Since third grade, Parker has tormented Bell, who’s spent two long years devising a finely tuned system that keeps him out of Parker’s way. Sure, it means that Bell can’t get a drink when he wants to, can’t play with his best friend on the playground, and can’t tell his parents about his day, but at least he’s safe.

      Until Daelynn Gower touches down in his classroom like a tornado. Bell’s not sure why the new girl, with her rainbow hair, wild clothes, and strange habits, is drawn to him, but he knows one thing—she means trouble. It’s bad enough that she disrupts Bell’s secret system, but when Daelynn becomes the bully’s new target, Bell is forced to make an impossible decision: Finally stand up to Parker—or join him.

      The World Ends in April

      by Stacy McAnulty

      Nov 2019

      Upper Elementary & Junior High Plus

      Every day in middle school can feel like the end of the world.

      Eleanor Dross knows a thing or two about the end of the world, thanks to a survivalist grandfather who stockpiles freeze-dried food and supplies—just in case. So when she reads about a Harvard scientist’s prediction that an asteroid will strike Earth in April, Eleanor knows her family will be prepared. Her classmates? They’re on their own!

      Eleanor has just one friend she wants to keep safe: Mack. They’ve been best friends since kindergarten, even though he’s more of a smiley emoji and she’s more of an eye-roll emoji. They’ll survive the end of the world together…if Mack doesn’t go away to a special school for the blind. But it’s hard to keep quiet about a life-destroying asteroid—especially at a crowded lunch table—and soon Eleanor is the president of the (secret) End of the World Club. It turns out that prepping for TEOTWAWKI (the End of the World as We Know It) is actually kind of fun. But you can’t really prepare for everything life drops on you. And one way or another, Eleanor’s world is about to change.

      Author’s note. Historical information. Definitions. Asteroid facts from NASA. Information on disaster readiness kits and supplies. Note about identifying legitimate online sources. List of acronyms. Sources.

      All the Greys on Greene Street

      by Laura Tucker

      Oct 2019

      Upper Elementary & Junior High Plus

      SoHo, 1981. Twelve-year-old Olympia is an artist—and in her neighborhood, that’s normal. Her dad and his business partner Apollo bring antique paintings back to life, while her mother makes intricate sculptures in a corner of their loft, leaving Ollie to roam the streets of New York with her best friends Richard and Alex, drawing everything that catches her eye.

      Then everything falls apart. Ollie’s dad disappears in the middle of the night, leaving her only a cryptic note and instructions to destroy it. Her mom has gone to bed, and she’s not getting up. Apollo is hiding something, Alex is acting strange, and Richard has questions about the mysterious stranger he saw outside. And someone keeps calling, looking for a missing piece of art…

      Olympia knows her dad is the key—but first, she has to find him, and time is running out.

      Author’s note. Black-and-white illustrations.

      On Thin Ice

      by Michael Northrop

      Oct 2019

      Upper Elementary & Junior High Plus

      Life for 12-year-old Ked Eakins isn't easy. The school bully is after him, a lump on his back makes him a social outcast, and his dad has gambled away their rent money.

      Though it seems like he should just give up, Ked determines it's time to take his life back. He hatches a scheme to make enough money to save their home: He's going to rebuild an old motor bike and sell it at a profit. But the plan is a gamble of his own, and what seemed like a good idea quickly lands him in deeper trouble.

      Ked has his determination and creativity, however, and the school's Maker Space provides him with a place to build. Can Ked and the other Makers save his family from going under?

      This underdog tale about a unique middle schooler is Michael Northrop at his gritty, gripping, unflinching best. It is a powerful portrait of a failing factory town and the families who are being dragged down with it. Ultimately, On Thin Ice is about daring to create when your whole world is crumbling.

      Author’s note.

      Pie in the Sky

      by Remy Lai

      Sep 2019

      Upper Elementary & Junior High Plus

      When Jingwen moves to a new country, he feels like he’s landed on Mars. School is torture, making friends is impossible since he doesn’t speak English, and he's often stuck looking after his (extremely irritating) little brother, Yanghao.
      To distract himself from the loneliness, Jingwen daydreams about making all the cakes on the menu of Pie in the Sky, the bakery his father had planned to open before he unexpectedly passed away. The only problem is his mother has laid down one major rule: the brothers are not to use the oven while she's at work. As Jingwen and Yanghao bake elaborate cakes, they'll have to cook up elaborate excuses to keep the cake making a secret from Mama.
      In her hilarious, emotional middle-grade debut, Remy Lai delivers a scrumptious combination of vibrant graphic art and pitch-perfect writing that will appeal to fans of Real Friends.

      Rainbow cake recipe. Two-color illustrations.

      August Isle

      by Ali Standish

      Sep 2019

      Upper Elementary & Junior High Plus

      Miranda wants nothing more than to spend the summer with her mother, repairing whatever has mysteriously broken between them. So she is crushed when her parents send her to stay with family friends in August Isle, a little coastal town where Miranda’s mother spent her summers growing up. Things start looking up when Miranda becomes fast friends with “Aunt” Clare’s daughter, Sammy, who is sure this will be the best summer ever, spent sailing in the bay and licking ice cream cones underneath the majestic August Oak. But everything changes when a dare gone wrong results in the girls spending their afternoons with Caleb, a mischievous boy from Sammy’s school, and Mr. Taylor, an old seafarer. Suddenly, mysteries begin to swirl around Miranda and August Isle: Mr. Taylor is a man of many stories, but why won’t he share his own? And what are the strange sounds Miranda hears at night, coming from the haunted lighthouse? When a set of clues leads Miranda to a family secret, she is faced with the biggest question of all: Is she brave enough to face the truth?

      Lexie’s Little Lie

      by Emma Shevah

      Aug 2019

      Upper Elementary & Junior High Plus

      Lexie and her cousin Eleni are super-mega-extra-seriously close. They're like twins who aren't actually twins, if that's possible. But when Lexie tells a terrible, jealous lie, her whole family is torn apart. So it's up to Lexie to bring them all back together and fix her relationship with Eleni. After a few calamitous escapades, Lexie has discovered that there are all sorts of truths and all sorts of lies, too… But what Lexie must figure out is, when is the truth more hurtful than a lie?

      Recipes. Black-and-white illustrations.

      Sal and Gabi Break the Universe

      by Carlos Hernandez

      Jul 2019

      Upper Elementary & Junior High Plus

      Best-selling author Rick Riordan presents a brilliant sci-fi romp with Cuban influence that poses this question: What would you do if you had the power to reach through time and space and retrieve anything you want, including your mother, who is no longer living (in this universe, anyway)?

      How did a raw chicken get inside Yasmany's locker?

      When Sal Vidon meets Gabi Real for the first time, it isn't under the best of circumstances. Sal is in the principal's office for the third time in three days, and it's still the first week of school. Gabi, student council president and editor of the school paper, is there to support her friend Yasmany, who just picked a fight with Sal. She is determined to prove that somehow, Sal planted a raw chicken in Yasmany's locker, even though nobody saw him do it and the bloody poultry has since mysteriously disappeared.

      Sal prides himself on being an excellent magician, but for this sleight of hand, he relied on a talent no one would guess…except maybe Gabi, whose sharp eyes never miss a trick. When Gabi learns that he's capable of conjuring things much bigger than a chicken—including his dead mother—and she takes it all in stride, Sal knows that she is someone he can work with. There's only one slight problem: their manipulation of time and space could put the entire universe at risk.
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