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      Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks

      by Jason Reynolds

      Feb 2020

      Upper Elementary & Junior High

      This story was going to begin like all the best stories. With a school bus falling from the sky. But no one saw it happen. They were all too busy—
      Talking about boogers.
      Stealing pocket change.
      Skateboarding.
      Wiping out.
      Braving up.
      Executing complicated handshakes.
      Planning an escape.
      Making jokes.
      Lotioning up.
      Finding comfort.
      But mostly, too busy walking home.

      Jason Reynolds conjures ten tales (one per block) about what happens after the dismissal bell rings, and brilliantly weaves them into one wickedly funny, piercingly poignant look at the detours we face on the walk home, and in life.

      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.

      The Forty Thieves

      by Christy Lenzi

      Feb 2020

      Fantasy/Science Fiction Elementary Plus

      Marjana and her little brother, Jamal, who have been slaves of Ali Baba's cruel brother ever since their mother died, are kidnapped by the Forty Thieves one night. They are able to escape, but Marjana is worried for Jamal, as he becomes drawn to their lifestyle and joins a street gang. When Marjana meets Saja, a slave who works at the bathhouse who's also concerned about her little brother, Badi, becoming involved with the street gangs, Saja and Marjana try to get their brothers to become friends and, in turn, become friends themselves, despite Marjana's initial reluctance.

      Marjana's mistress, however, is more worried about what her husband's fortune will be and convinces Marjana to spy on him when the fortune-teller Abu-Zayed visits. Abu-Zayed predicts that Ali Baba will end up far richer and greater, which sends Marjana's master into a panic, especially when he learns that Ali Baba has found the secret of the Forty Thieves' cave, which indicates that the fortune is coming true. Can Marjana save her brother from joining the street gangs, all the while helping Ali Baba from the wrath of the Forty Thieves?

      Author’s note.

      Something Deeply Hidden: Quantum Worlds and the Emergence of Spacetime

      by Sean Carroll

      Feb 2020

      Adult Crossover Nonfiction Plus

      Something Deeply Hidden begins with the news that physics is in a crisis. Quantum mechanics underlies all of modern physics, but major gaps in the theory have been ignored since 1927. Science popularizers keep telling us how weird it is, how contradictory, how impossible it is to understand. Academics discourage students from working on the “dead end” of quantum foundations. Putting his professional reputation on the line, Carroll says that crisis can now come to an end. We just have to accept that there is more than one of us in the universe. There are many, many Sean Carrolls. Many of every one of us.

      The Many Worlds theory of quantum behavior says that every time there is a quantum event, a world splits off with everything in it the same, except in that other world the quantum event didn’t happen. As you read this, you are splitting into multiple copies of yourself thousands of times per second. Step-by-step in Carroll’s uniquely lucid way, he sets out the major objections to this utterly mind blowing notion until his case is inescapably established.

      Appendix. Further reading. References. Index. Black-and-white diagrams and photographs.

      Sauerkraut

      by Kelly Jones

      Feb 2020

      Intermediate Readers

      HD Schenk is a maker—an inventor, someone who builds cool stuff. He’s got a plan for the summer: he’ll build his own computer and enter it in the county fair. Then everyone will know who he is and what he can do. To earn enough money for the parts he’ll need, HD has promised to clear out his uncle’s overflowing basement. No big deal, right? But there’s more in that basement than HD bargained for. On his first trip down there, a voice only he can hear starts talking to him. About…sauerkraut?

      Who knew the ghost of his great-great-grandmother was haunting an old pickling crock? She’s got a grand plan, too. She wants HD to help make her famous recipe for sauerkraut and enter it in the county fair so that she can be declared pickle queen. After some initial shock, HD is willing enough to help. This ghost is family, after all. But only HD can really see and hear his Oma, which is going to make it hard for her to win on her own…

      Black-and-white illustrations.

      Paper Son: The Inspiring Story of Tyrus Wong, Immigrant and Artist

      by Julie Leung

      Feb 2020

      Biography Elementary Plus

      Before he became an artist named Tyrus Wong, he was a boy named Wong Geng Yeo. He traveled across a vast ocean from China to America with only a suitcase and a few papers. Not papers for drawing—which he loved to do—but immigration papers to start a new life. Once in America, Tyrus seized every opportunity to make art, eventually enrolling at an art institute in Los Angeles. Working as a janitor at night, his mop twirled like a paintbrush in his hands. Eventually, he was given the opportunity of a lifetime—and using sparse brushstrokes and soft watercolors, Tyrus created the iconic backgrounds of Bambi.

      Author’s note. Illustrator’s note. Photographs of Tyrus Wong. Full-color illustrations rendered digitally.

      Infinite Hope: A Black Artist's Journey from World War II to Peace

      by Ashley Bryan

      Feb 2020

      Biography Middle Plus

      In May of 1942, at the age of eighteen, Ashley Bryan was drafted to fight in World War II. For the next three years, he would face the horrors of war as a black soldier in a segregated army. He endured the terrible lies white officers told about the black soldiers to isolate them from anyone who showed kindness—including each other. He received worse treatment than even Nazi POWs. He was assigned the grimmest, most horrific tasks, like burying fallen soldiers…but was told to remove the black soldiers first because the media didn’t want them in their newsreels. And he waited and wanted so desperately to go home, watching every white soldier get safe passage back to the United States before black soldiers were even a thought.

      For the next forty years, Ashley would keep his time in the war a secret. But now, he tells his story. The story of the kind people who supported him. The story of the bright moments that guided him through the dark. And the story of his passion for art that would save him time and time again.

      “A Note About the Children.” Sources. Index. Full-color illustrations and reproductions.

      Sam the Man & the Cell Phone Plan

      by Frances O'Roark Dowell

      Feb 2020

      Independent Readers Plus

      Here are the facts: Sam Graham is an information man. But to get information, you need to do research. You never know when you’ll need an urgent piece of info—like, say, the number for a chicken emergency hotline—so a resource for instant research is a must! This is why Sam needsa cell phone.

      Unfortunately, Mom and Dad disagree. So, Sam has to come up with a plan. But what is small enough to fit in your pocket and can hold all the information you need? Sam will have to go old-school with his latest plan and use a handy notebook instead. Luckily, retro is in, and à la Nick in Andrew Clements’s Frindle, Sam might just start the latest trend!

      Black-and-white illustrations done in pencil.

      Playing with Collage

      by Jeannie Baker

      Feb 2020

      Arts Elementary Plus

      Whether using dried flowers or tiny shells, spaghetti or postage stamps, Jeannie Baker draws from the world around her to make work that is singularly beautiful and imaginative. Incorporating a wide range of textures, her arresting collage pieces have earned her international acclaim. Now she shares her secrets and encourages readers to get creative: each of the four main sections in Playing with Collage presents an abstract collage by the artist and offers suggestions and starting points for anyone aspiring to master the art.

      Answer page. Full-color photographs of collage constructions.

      Snow Leopard: Ghost of the Mountains

      by Justin Anderson

      Feb 2020

      Nonfiction Early Elementary

      The people who live among the high peaks of the Himalayas tell stories of a mysterious animal called the gray ghost. To see one, you’d have to be very lucky indeed. Join a zoologist in the Himalayan mountains as he searches for the elusive creature. With her pale gold and silver-gray coat painted with black rosettes, she blends so well into the boulders, it’s no wonder she’s thought of as a ghost of the mountains. But the fortunate few who spot her are rewarded with a sight they will never forget. Written by an expert with firsthand experience, beautifully illustrated, and interwoven with fascinating facts, this vicarious look at a breathtaking animal includes an end note suggesting resources to explore.

      More about snow leopards. Suggestions for further information. Index. Full-color illustrations done in watercolor.

      Watches and Warnings

      by Ryan Wolf

      Feb 2020

      Hi-Lo Mature

      Sixteen year old Philip is the son of two Evangelical youth pastors. He also secretly helps his older brother pay for his heroin addiction. When a massive tornado touches down in their small town, Philip's family becomes heavily involved in the post-disaster cleanup as Philip struggles with the return of his detoxing brother. With his life swept into sudden chaos, Philip grapples with questions that cut him to the core.

      Nature's Ninja: Animals with Spectacular Skills

      by Rebecca L. Johnson

      Feb 2020

      Science Nonfiction Elementary Plus

      Did you know that some animals have natural ninja-like talents? In this book, you’ll learn all about them, including geckos, sea urchins, bombardier beetles, and more. For example, geckos can grip almost any surface—including walls and ceilings—with their amazing toes. And when collector urchins are attacked, they release tiny, sharp objects that bear a striking resemblance to throwing stars. You will also meet the scientists who are studying these animals’ amazing abilities.

      “Meet the Scientists.” Author’s note. Glossary. Source notes. Selected bibliography. Resources. Index. Full-color photographs and illustrations.
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