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      Wondrous Rex

      by Patricia MacLachlan

      Apr 2020

      Independent Readers

      Grace’s aunt Lily is a writer. She works with words every day and teaches Grace interesting words like “melancholy” and “delirious.” But Lily is often “flummoxed” by her own writing. Her stories don’t go anywhere, her desk is a mess, and her writer’s group can’t help. So Lily posts an ad for an assistant.

      The next day, Grace opens the door, and there is Rex: a Labrador Retriever who will change Grace’s life, and Lily’s. The word “amazing” is an everyday word for Rex, who inspires Lily, and helps Grace find the words to write her own story.

      A Bear Named Bjorn

      by Delphine Perret

      Mar 2020

      Independent Readers Plus

      Bjorn lives in a cave. The walls are soft, the ground is comfortable, and just in front there is new grass and a rough tree, perfect for back-scratching.

      A Bear Named Bjorn takes us into the forest with Bjorn the bear and his friends. One day, the animals have their eye tests and try on the humans’ lost spectacles. Another, they just sit, watching the leaves and playing cards on a tree stump. And on party night the animals borrow clothes hanging on the camping ground line—and return everything carefully in the morning, only a little bit used.

      Bjorn’s thoughtful bear logic and small eccentricities are the heart of these mischievous chapters that are by turns contemplative and comical, odes to both nature and “human” nature.

      Black-and-white illustrations.

      Dory Fantasmagory: Tiny Tough

      by Abby Hanlon

      Feb 2020

      Independent Readers

      When her big sister Violet has friend trouble at school, Dory tries to come to her rescue. But Dory’s active imagination takes over, and she is sure that Violet’s lost treasure (a friendship bracelet) has something to do with pirates. In search of the treasure, Dory meets up with a real pirate crew and finds that a pirate’s life is harder than she thought. At sea, Dory longs for her imaginary friend Mary. But Mary has gone off with an exciting new friend of her own and Dory is crushed with jealousy. Just when things can’t get any worse, Dory’s old enemy, Mrs. Gobble Gracker, shows up, and Dory’s ocean adventure takes a surprising turn.

      There’s a ton of treasure in Dory’s fifth adventure as Dory mixes in pirates, pals (real and make-believe), and her own imagination into one wild and wet free-for-all.

      Black-and-white illustrations.

      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.
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