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Librarian Top Picks for January

Check out the books JLG member librarians snatched up in January. From Pre-Kindergarten read-aloud picks to a healthy mix of Nonfiction titles, these January favorites appeal to a wide range of readers!

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      Mi papi tiene una moto (My Papi Has a Motorcycle)

      by Isabel Quintero

      Sep 2019

      Primary Spanish

      When Daisy Ramona zooms around her neighborhood with her papi on his motorcycle, she sees the people and places she’s always known. She also sees a community that is rapidly changing around her. But as the sun sets purple-blue-gold behind Daisy Ramona and her papi, she knows that the love she feels will always be there.

      Author’s note. Full-color digital illustrations created with a mix of hand-painted watercolor texture.

      Flubby Is Not a Good Pet!

      by J.E. Morris

      Aug 2019

      Emergent Readers Plus

      Flubby is a large, sleepy cat who refuses to do the things that other pets do. He won’t sing, catch, or even jump! But when a scary situation brings Flubby and his owner together, they realize they really do need each other—and that makes Flubby a good pet after

      Full-color illustrations.

      Dig.

      by A.S. King

      Aug 2019

      Mature Young Adults Plus

      The Shoveler, the Freak, CanIHelpYou?, Loretta the Flea-Circus Ring Mistress, and First-Class Malcolm. These are the five teenagers lost in the Hemmings family’s maze of tangled secrets. Only a generation removed from being Pennsylvania potato farmers, Gottfried and Marla Hemmings managed to trade digging spuds for developing subdivisions and now sit atop a seven-figure bank account—wealth they’ve declined to pass on to their adult children or their teenage grandchildren. “Because we want them to thrive,” Marla always says. What does thriving look like? Like carrying a snow shovel everywhere. Like selling pot at the Arby’s drive-thru window. Like a first class ticket to Jamaica between cancer treatments. Like a flea-circus in a double-wide. Like the GPS coordinates to a mound of dirt in a New Jersey forest. As the rot just beneath the surface of the Hemmings’ precious suburban respectability begins to spread, the far-flung grandchildren gradually find their ways back to one another, just in time to uncover the terrible cost of maintaining the family name.

      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.

      ¡Vamos!: Let's Go to the Market!

      by Raul the Third

      Jul 2019

      Multicultural Elementary

      Bilingual in a new way, this paper over board book teaches readers simple words in Spanish as they experience the bustling life of a border town. Follow Little Lobo and his dog Bernabe as they deliver supplies to a variety of vendors, selling everything from sweets to sombreros, portraits to piñatas, carved masks to comic books!

      Glossary. Full-color illustrations done in ink and colored in Photoshop.

      The Past and Other Things That Should Stay Buried

      by Shaun David Hutchinson

      Jun 2019

      Mature Young Adults Plus

      Dino doesn’t mind spending time with the dead. His parents own a funeral home, and death is literally the family business. He’s just not used to them talking back. Until Dino’s ex-best friend July dies suddenly—and then comes back to life. Except not exactly. Somehow July is not quite alive, and not quite dead. As Dino and July attempt to figure out what’s happening, they must also confront why and how their friendship ended so badly, and what they have left to understand about themselves, each other, and all those grand mysteries of life.

      Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me

      by Mariko Tamaki

      Jun 2019

      Graphic Novels High Plus

      Laura Dean, the most popular girl in high school, was Frederica Riley's dream girl: charming, confident, and SO cute. There's just one problem: Laura Dean is maybe not the greatest girlfriend. Reeling from her latest break up, Freddy's best friend, Doodle, introduces her to the Seek-Her, a mysterious medium who leaves Freddy some cryptic parting words: Break up with her. But Laura Dean keeps coming back, and as their relationship spirals further out of her control, Freddy has to wonder if it's really Laura Dean that's the problem.

      Two-color illustrations penciled with graphite, then inked and colored in Photoshop.

      The Friendship War

      by Andrew Clements

      May 2019

      Intermediate Readers

      Grace and Ellie have been best friends since second grade. Ellie’s always right in the center of everything—and Grace is usually happy to be Ellie’s sidekick. But what happens when everything changes? This time it’s Grace who suddenly has everyone’s attention when she accidentally starts a new fad at school. It’s a fad that has first her class, then her grade, and then the entire school collecting and trading and even fighting over…buttons?! A fad that might also get her in major trouble and could even be the end of Grace and Ellie’s friendship.

      Author’s note. Excerpt from The Losers Club.

      The Field Guide to the North American Teenager

      by Ben Philippe

      May 2019

      Mature Young Adults Plus

      Plunked into a new high school and sweating a ridiculous amount from the oppressive Texas heat, Norris finds himself cataloging everyone he meets: the Cheerleaders, the Jocks, the Loners, and even the Manic Pixie Dream Girl. Making a ton of friends has never been a priority for him, and this way he can at least amuse himself until it’s time to go back to Canada, where he belongs. Yet against all odds, those labels soon become actual people to Norris…like loner Liam, who makes it his mission to befriend Norris, or Madison the beta cheerleader, who is so nice that it has to be a trap. Not to mention Aarti the Manic Pixie Dream Girl, who might, in fact, be a real love interest in the making.

      Genesis Begins Again

      by Alicia D. Williams

      Apr 2019

      Advanced Readers

      Genesis keeps a list of things she hates about herself: #86: Her skin is so dark, people call her Charcoal and Eggplant. And #73: Her family keeps getting evicted, their belongings laid out on the sidewalk. But an encouraging choir teacher helps her find something to love about herself: her singing voice.

      Song for a Whale

      by Lynne Kelly

      Apr 2019

      Upper Elementary & Junior High Plus

      Iris, who is deaf, decides to invent a way to “sing” to a whale that is unable to speak to other whales. There’s just one problem: he’s three thousand miles away. How will she play her song for him?
      Author’s note about the 52-Hertz Whale.

      Someday We Will Fly

      by Rachel DeWoskin

      Apr 2019

      History High

      1940: Lilia is fifteen when her mother, Alenka, disappears, and she, her father, and sister flee Warsaw for Shanghai, one of the few places that will accept Jews without visas. They struggle to make a life—and wonder if Alenka will find them, if she’s still alive.
      Author’s note. Sources.
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