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      Becoming Beatriz

      by Tami Charles

      Nov 2019

      Young Adults

      Up until her fifteenth birthday, the most important thing in the world to Beatriz Mendez was her dream of becoming a professional dancer and getting herself and her family far from the gang life that defined their days—that, and meeting her dance idol Debbie Allen on the set of her favorite TV show, Fame. But after the latest battle in a constant turf war leaves her gang leader brother, Junito, dead and her mother grieving, Beatriz has a new set of priorities. How is she supposed to feel the rhythm when her gang needs running, when her mami can’t brush her own teeth, and when the last thing she can remember of her old self is dancing with her brother, followed by running and gunshots? When the class brainiac reminds Beatriz of her love of the dance floor, her banished dreams sneak back in. Now the only question is: will the gang let her go?

      Author’s note. Further information about gangs and drug dealing in 1980s Newark, the ACT-SO contest, and Debbie Allen.

      Ruby's Hope: A Story of How the Famous "Migrant Mother" Photograph Became the Face of the Great Depression

      by Monica Kulling

      Nov 2019

      Independent Readers Plus

      Dust storms and dismal farming conditions force young Ruby’s family to leave their home in Oklahoma and travel to California to find work. As they move from camp to camp, Ruby sometimes finds it hard to hold on to hope. But on one fateful day, Dorothea Lange arrives with her camera and takes six photographs of the young family. When one of the photographs appears in the newspaper, it opens the country’s eyes to the reality of the migrant workers’ plight and inspires an outpouring of much needed support.

      Bleak yet beautiful illustrations depict this fictionalized story of a key piece of history about hope in the face of hardship, and the family that became a symbol of the Great Depression.

      Author’s note. Bibliography. “How the ‘Migrant Mother’ Came to Be.” Black-and-white historical photographs. Full-color illustrations were drawn with graphite and colored digitally.

      History's Forgotten Events

      by Bailey, Rachel

      Nov 2019

      Series Nonfiction
      History Grades 3-5

      Brings to light 12 of history's forgotten events including Boston's molasses flood in 1919 that reached up to 40 feet high and traveled through the streets at 35 miles per hour; the cargo ship Arabia that sank after hitting a tree only to be found years later preserved in a cornfield; the candy boycott in Canada in 1947 where kids demanded the price of candy bars be reduced from 8 cents to 5 cents; and more. The book features historic photos, interesting sidebars, and thought-provoking prompts.

      Art Sparks: Draw, Paint, Make, and Get Creative with 53 Amazing Projects!

      by Marion Abrams

      Nov 2019

      Arts Elementary Plus

      Kids love arts and crafts and every kid can be an artist with this book as their guide.

      Working with basic art supplies — from paint, markers, paper, and glue to household finds like cardboard boxes and fabric scraps — children learn that as long as they can imagine it, they can create it! This rich collection of 53 inspiring art projects for kids aged 6 and up is curated by two art educators with decades of experience, and offers up a ton of freeform fun. From Doodlemonsters and Painted Animal Rocks to Paper Bead Jewelry and Nature Weaving, projects vary in difficulty to engage a wide range of ages and abilities, and many can be made in under an hour. Every project featured in the book has been kid-made (and kid-approved!), and photos of the finished pieces serve as inspiration for kids everywhere to use art to express their imagination, humor, creativity, and individuality.

      Metric conversion chart. Project templates. Full-color photographs.

      We Need Prairie Dogs

      by Smalls, June

      Nov 2019

      Series Nonfiction
      Science Grades 3-5

      Introduces readers to the roles of prairie dogs in grassland ecosystems, as well as threats to prairie dog populations and conservation efforts. Eye-catching infographics, clear text, and a “That’s Amazing!” feature make this book an engaging exploration of the importance of prairie dogs.

      Aalfred and Aalbert

      by Morag Hood

      Nov 2019

      Kindergarten Plus

      Aalfred and Aalbert lead solitary lives. Sometimes, Aalfred thinks he might like to be part of a pair, and sometimes Aalbert thinks he might like to be one of two. But Aalfred sleeps all day, and Aalbert sleeps all night &mdashso how will the two ever meet? Luckily, a helpful bystander intervenes, and when Aalfred and Aalbert 's paths cross in the most unexpected way, they find that they go together quite well, just like cheese and broccoli.
      This adorable story about two aardvarks and an unlikely matchmaker will appeal to families with LGBTQ parents and family members as author-illustrator Morag Hood keeps children laughing with funny situations and entertaining teachable moments about relationships.

      Full-color illustrations were created in gouache and colored digitally.

      The Brave Cyclist: The True Story of a Holocaust Hero

      by Amalia Hoffman

      Nov 2019

      Sports Elementary Plus

      Once a skinny and weak child, Gino Bartali rose to become a Tour de France champion and one of cycling's greatest stars. But all that seemed unimportant when his country came under the grip of a brutal dictator and entered World War II on the side of Nazi Germany. Bartali might have appeared a mere bystander to the harassment and hatred directed toward Italy’s Jewish people, but secretly he accepted a role in a dangerous plan to help them. Putting his own life at risk, Bartali used his speed and endurance on a bike to deliver documents Jewish people needed to escape harm. His inspiring story reveals how one person could make a difference against violence and prejudice during the time of the Holocaust.

      Afterword with photograph of Gino Bartali. Select bibliography. Source notes. Full-color illustrations.

      My Winter City

      by James Gladstone

      Nov 2019

      City Elementary

      A young boy wakes up in the early light of a winter morning, pulls on his boots and mittens, and steps out into the snowy city with his dad. They trudge through the snow, their dog bounding along beside them. A slushy, steamy bus ride takes them to the tobogganing hill for some winter fun. That night, the boy lies awake under cozy covers, reflecting on the day.

      Full-color watercolor illustrations.

      Child of St Kilda

      by Beth Waters

      Nov 2019

      Multicultural Elementary

      Norman John Gillies was one of the last children ever born on St Kilda, five years before the whole population was evacuated forever to the British mainland. People had lived on these islands for over four thousand years, developing a thriving, tightly-knit society that knew nothing of crime or money, and took care of its weakest members without hesitation. At the mercy of the seasons and the elements, a unique lifestyle evolved, based around resilience, mutual trust, and caring. What was it like to grow up in such harsh conditions? Why and how did this ancient way of life suddenly cease in 1930? Where did the islanders go, and what became of them? And what became of Norman John, child of St Kilda?

      “St Kilda Sketchbook.” Map. Author’s note about visiting St Kilda. Bibliography. Full-color monoprint illustrations.

      Zora and Me: The Cursed Ground (Audiobook)

      by T. R. Simon

      Nov 2019

      Audiobooks Middle +

      When Zora Neale Hurston and her best friend, Carrie Brown, discover that the town mute can speak, they think they’ve uncovered a big secret. But it is just one piece of a larger puzzle that goes back half a century to the tragic story of an enslaved girl named Lucia.

      Tyna of the Lake: Gamayun Tales

      by Alexander Utkin

      Nov 2019

      Graphic Novels Elementary Plus

      We rejoin our friend the merchant as he returns home from his adventure with the King of Birds. When curiosity gets the best of him and he opens his new mysterious golden chest, the merchant unwittingly condemns his newborn son to a life under the sea. His son grows up to be adventurous and strong, and when he goes to the sea to serve the Water Spirit, he befriends Tyna, the Water Spirit’s daughter, who promises to help him. Will Tyna save the merchant’s son from her vengeful father?

      Full-color illustrations.

      Ants Don't Wear Pants!

      by Kevin McCloskey

      Nov 2019

      Graphic Novels Early Elementary Plus

      You'll be captivated by these tiny creatures that hear with their legs and smell with their antennae. Some even explode In this latest addition to his best-selling Giggle and Learn series, Kevin McCloskey points his magnifying glass at an anthill, shrinking young readers down, down, down into the underground colony. With his trademark humor and curiosity, he is sure to keep every emerging reader spellbound.

      “How to Read Comics with Kids.” Full-color illustrations were created with acrylic and gouache.
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