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      The Oboe Goes Boom Boom Boom

      by Colleen AF Venable

      Dec 2020

      Arts Elementary Plus

      There is a perfect instrument for everyone, and the jovial band director would love to tell you about them all—if only the enthusiastic little drummer would stop interrupting!

      It’s time to join the band! The band director knows everything about all the instruments, and he can’t wait to help find the perfect one for you. But an irrepressible little girl keeps interrupting with loud BOOM BOOM BOOMS on her drum. At least until the band director introduces one instrument that’s even louder.

      Acclaimed author Colleen AF Venable packs the text with boundless energy and giggle-worthy jokes—as well as information about eight instruments commonly played in school bands. Debut illustrator Lian Cho’s exuberant artwork matches the text note for note and practically leaps off the page. This joyous picture book will leave young readers eager to pick up an instrument and learn how to play!

      Charming as a Verb

      by Ben Philippe

      Dec 2020

      Mature Young Adults Plus

      Henri “Halti” Haltiwanger can charm just about anyone. He is a star debater and popular student at the prestigious FATE academy, the dutiful first-generation Haitian son, and the trusted dog walker for his wealthy NYC neighbors. But his easy smiles mask his tireless work ethic and burning ambition to attend his dream college, Columbia University.

      There is only one person who seems immune to Henri’s charms: his “intense” classmate and neighbor Corinne Troy. When she uncovers Henri’s less-than-honest dog-walking scheme, she blackmails him into helping her change her image at school. Henri agrees, seeing potential upside for himself.

      Soon, what started as a mutual hustle turns into something more surprising than either of them ever bargained for.…

      The Language of Ghosts

      by Heather Fawcett

      Dec 2020

      Fantasy/Science Fiction Middle Plus

      The Penderwicks meets Howl’s Moving Castle in this thrilling middle grade fantasy adventure about a trio of royal siblings who unlock a long-forgotten magical language in their bid to reclaim their stolen throne—from Ember and the Ice Dragons author Heather Fawcett. Perfect for fans of Kelly Barnhill and Robert Beatty.

      Forced into exile on an enchanted, moving island, ex-princess Noa Marchena has two missions: reclaim her family’s stolen throne and ensure that the dark powers her older brother, Julian, possesses don’t go to his head in the process. But between babysitting her annoying little sister, Mite, and keeping an eye on the cake-loving sea monster that guards the moving island, Noa has her hands full.

      When the siblings learn that their enemies are searching for a weapon capable of defeating Julian—whose legendary spell weaving is feared throughout the kingdom—once and for all, they vow to get to it first. To everyone’s surprise, the key to victory turns out to be a long-lost magical language—and only Noa can speak it. But what if by helping her brother, Noa ends up losing him?

      The Lightness

      by Emily Temple

      Dec 2020

      Adult Crossover High Plus

      One year ago, the person Olivia adores most in the world, her father, left home for a meditation retreat in the mountains and never returned. Yearning to make sense of his shocking departure and to escape her overbearing mother—a woman as grounded as her father is mercurial—Olivia runs away from home and retraces his path to a place known as the Levitation Center.

      Once there, she enrolls in their summer program for troubled teens, which Olivia refers to as “Buddhist Boot Camp for Bad Girls”. Soon, she finds herself drawn into the company of a close-knit trio of girls determined to transcend their circumstances, by any means necessary. Led by the elusive and beautiful Serena, and her aloof, secretive acolytes, Janet and Laurel, the girls decide this is the summer they will finally achieve enlightenment—and learn to levitate, to defy the weight of their bodies, to experience ultimate lightness.

      But as desire and danger intertwine, and Olivia comes ever closer to discovering what a body—and a girl—is capable of, it becomes increasingly clear that this is an advanced and perilous practice, and there’s a chance not all of them will survive. Set over the course of one fateful summer that unfolds like a fever dream, The Lightness juxtaposes fairy tales with quantum physics, cognitive science with religious fervor, and the passions and obsessions of youth with all of these, to explore concepts as complex as faith and as simple as loving people—even though you don’t, and can’t, know them at all.

      Winter Counts

      by David Heska Wanbli Weiden

      Dec 2020

      Adult Crossover Thrillers Plus

      Virgil Wounded Horse is the local enforcer on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota. When justice is denied by the American legal system or the tribal council, Virgil is hired to deliver his own punishment, the kind that’s hard to forget. But when heroin makes its way into the reservation and finds Virgil’s own nephew, his vigilantism suddenly becomes personal. He enlists the help of his ex-girlfriend and sets out to learn where the drugs are coming from, and how to make them stop.

      They follow a lead to Denver and find that drug cartels are rapidly expanding and forming new and terrifying alliances. And back on the reservation, a new tribal council initiative raises uncomfortable questions about money and power. As Virgil starts to link the pieces together, he must face his own demons and reclaim his Native identity. He realizes that being a Native American in the twenty-first century comes at an incredible cost.

      Winter Counts is a tour-de-force of crime fiction, a bracingly honest look at a long-ignored part of American life, and a twisting, turning story that’s as deeply rendered as it is thrilling.

      A Whale of the Wild

      by Rosanne Parry

      Dec 2020

      Intermediate Readers

      In the stand-alone companion to the New York Times–bestselling A Wolf Called Wander, a young orca whale must lead her brother on a tumultuous journey to be reunited with their pod. This gorgeously illustrated novel explores family bonds, survival, global warming, and a changing seascape. A must-have for fans of Sara Pennypacker’s Pax.

      For Vega and her family, salmon is life. And Vega is learning to be a salmon finder, preparing for the day when she will be her family’s matriarch. But then she and her brother Daneb are separated from their pod when a devastating earthquake and tsunami render the seascape unrecognizable. Vega must use every skill she has to lead her brother back to their family. The young orcas face a shark attack, hunger, the deep ocean, and polluted waters on their journey. Will Vega become the leader she’s destined to be?

      Our Subway Baby

      by Peter Mercurio

      Dec 2020

      City Elementary

      This gentle and incredibly poignant picture book tells the true story of how one baby found his home.

      “Some babies are born into their families. Some are adopted. This is the story of how one baby found his family in the New York City subway.”

      So begins the true story of Kevin and how he found his Daddy Danny and Papa Pete. Written in a direct address to his son, Pete’s moving and emotional text tells how his partner, Danny, found a baby tucked away in the corner of a subway station on his way home from work one day. Pete and Danny ended up adopting the baby together. Although neither of them had prepared for the prospect of parenthood, they are reminded, “Where there is love, anything is possible.”

      Every Body Looking

      by Candice Iloh

      Dec 2020

      City High School

      Every Body Looking is a novel of a young woman’s struggle to carve a place for herself—for her black female body—in a world of deeply conflicting messages.

      Told entirely in verse, Ada’s story encompasses her earliest memories as a child, including her abuse at the hands of a young cousin, her mother’s rejection and descent into addiction, and her father’s attempts to create a home for his American daughter more like the one he knew in Nigeria.

      The present-tense of the book is Ada’s first year at Howard University in Washington DC, where she must finally confront the fundamental conflict between who her family says she should be and what her body tells her she must be.

      A Hopeful Heart: Louisa May Alcott Before Little Women

      by Deborah Noyes

      Dec 2020

      Biography Middle Plus

      How did Little Women— the beloved literary classic and inspiration for Greta Gerwig’s acclaimed feature film adaptation—come to be? This stunning biography explores the unique family and unusual circumstances of literary icon Louisa May Alcott.

      Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy. How did these cherished characters come to be? Louisa May Alcott, the author of one of the most famous "girl" books of all time, was anything but a well-mannered young lady. A tomboy as well as a ravenous reader, Louisa took comfort in fictional characters that were as passionate and willful as she was–and whose wild imaginations were a match for her own. She was often found roaming the woods near her home in Concord, Massachusetts, or exploring the natural world in the company of the great Transcendentalist thinkers Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. Here is a beautiful portrait of Louisa May Alcott, a woman influenced by her father, a penniless philosopher, her mother, with whom she shared a great connection, and, of course, her three sisters. Featuring unique indigo illustrations, Deborah Noyes unveils how Louisa’s natural spirit, loving family, and unconventional circumstances inspired the timeless masterpiece that is Little Women.

      How We Got to the Moon: The People, Technology, and Daring Feats of Science Behind Humanity's Greatest Adventure

      by John Rocco

      Dec 2020

      Nonfiction Middle

      Everyone knows of Neil Armstrong’s famous first steps on the moon. But what did it really take to get us there?

      The Moon landing is one of the most ambitious, thrilling, and dangerous ventures in human history. This exquisitely researched and illustrated book tells the stories of the 400,000 unsung heroes—the engineers, mathematicians, seamstresses, welders, and factory workers—and their innovations and life-changing technological leaps forward that allowed NASA to achieve this unparalleled accomplishment.

      From the shocking launch of the Russian satellite Sputnik to the triumphant splashdown of Apollo 11, Caldecott Honor winner John Rocco answers every possible question about this world-altering mission. Each challenging step in the space race is revealed, examined, and displayed through stunning diagrams, experiments, moments of crisis, and unforgettable human stories

      Explorers of all ages will want to pore over every page in this comprehensive chronicle detailing the grandest human adventure of all time!

      Micah: The Good Girl

      by Ashley Woodfolk

      Dec 2020

      Hi-Lo Mature

      Micah Dupree had always liked being the “good girl.” She was happy painting, going to church, and acing her school projects. After all, she had a perfect older brother to live up to. But when he unexpectedly dies, Micah’s world is turned upside-down. With her anxiety growing, a serious boyfriend in the picture, and new feelings emerging, Micah begins to question what being the “good girl” really means…and if it’s worth it, anyway.

      With simply stated text and compelling characters, Flyy Girls is a series that’s perfect for readers of any level.

      Watch Over Me

      by Nina LaCour

      Dec 2020

      High-Interest High Plus

      Mila is used to being alone. Maybe that’s why she said yes to the opportunity: living in this remote place, among the flowers and the fog and the crash of waves far below.

      But she hadn’t known about the ghosts.

      Newly graduated from high school, Mila has aged out of the foster care system. So when she’s offered a job and a place to stay at a farm on an isolated part of the Northern California Coast, she immediately accepts. Maybe she will finally find a new home, a real home. The farm is a refuge, but also haunted by the past traumas its young residents have come to escape. And Mila’s own terrible memories are starting to rise to the surface.
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