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      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.

      Jack and Santa

      by Mac Barnett

      Dec 2020

      Emergent Readers Plus

      When Jack finds himself on the naughty list, he worries that Santa will bring him coal. But Jack wants presents–lots of them. Will Jack be able to prove to Santa that he’s not so bad after all?

      Welcome to the laugh-out-loud and irreverent world of Jack, a new early reader series by the New York Times bestselling and award-winning team of Mac Barnett and Greg Pizzoli.

      This Is My America

      by Kim Johnson

      Dec 2020

      Young Adults

      The Hate U Give meets Just Mercy in this unflinching yet uplifting first novel that explores the racist injustices in the American justice system.

      Every week, seventeen-year-old Tracy Beaumont writes letters to Innocence X, asking the organization to help her father, an innocent Black man on death row. After seven years, Tracy is running out of time—her dad has only 267 days left. Then the unthinkable happens. The police arrive in the night, and Tracy’s older brother, Jamal, goes from being a bright, promising track star to a “thug” on the run, accused of killing a white girl. Determined to save her brother, Tracy investigates what really happened between Jamal and Angela down at the Pike. But will Tracy and her family survive the uncovering of the skeletons of their Texas town’s racist history that still haunt the present?

      Red Fox Road

      by Frances Greenslade

      Dec 2020

      High Interest Middle Plus

      Francie and her parents are on a spring road trip: driving from British Columbia, Canada, to hike in the Grand Canyon. Her mom and dad are fighting because her dad is relying on GPS, while her mom wants to follow a (paper) map. When the GPS leads them down an old logging road, disaster strikes. Their truck hits a rock and wipes out the oilpan. They are stuck in the middle of nowhere. Francie can’t help feeling a little excited, as she’d often imagined how she’d survive if she got stranded in the bush, and now here they are. Her dad sets off to walk for help. Francie and her mom are left on their own, with little food, but that’s okay: her dad will be back in a few hours, with help—and hot chocolate, he promised. But hours go by. And then a day. And then another. Francie relies on her outdoor living lessons and her keen interest in nature for distraction, gathering dandelion leaves and fir needles for tea. Then one morning, Francie wakes up all alone.

      I Talk Like a River

      by Jordan Scott

      Dec 2020

      Character Building Elementary

      I wake up each morning with the sounds of words all around me.
      And I can’t say them all…


      When a boy who stutters feels isolated, alone, and incapable of communicating in the way he’d like, it takes a kindly father and a walk by the river to help him find his voice. Compassionate parents everywhere will instantly recognize a father’s ability to reconnect a child with the world around him.

      Poet Jordan Scott writes movingly in this powerful and ultimately uplifting book, based on his own experience, and masterfully illustrated by Greenaway Medalist Sydney Smith. A book for any child who feels lost, lonely, or unable to fit in.

      Eleanor, Alice, and the Roosevelt Ghosts

      by Dianne K. Salerni

      Dec 2020

      Mystery Middle Plus

      It’s 1898 in New York City and ghosts exist among humans.

      When an unusual spirit takes up residence at the Roosevelt house, thirteen-year-old Eleanor and fourteen-year-old Alice are suspicious. The cousins don’t get along, but they know something is not right. This ghost is more than a pesky nuisance. The authorities claim he’s safe to be around, even as his mischievous behavior grows stranger and more menacing. It’s almost like he wants to scare the Roosevelts out of their home - and no one seems to care!

      Meanwhile, Eleanor and Alice discover a dangerous ghost in the house where Alice was born and her mother died. Is someone else haunting the family?

      Introverted Eleanor and unruly Alice develop an unlikely friendship as they explore the family’s dark, complicated history. It’s up to them to destroy both ghosts and come to terms with their family’s losses.

      Told from alternating perspectives, thrills and chills abound in Dianne K. Salerni’s imaginative novel about a legendary family and the ghosts that haunt their secrets.

      Pine Island Home

      by Polly Horvath

      Dec 2020

      PG Middle Plus

      When the McCready sisters’ parents are washed away in a tsunami, their Great Aunt Martha volunteers to have them live with her on her farm in British Columbia. But while they are traveling there, Martha dies unexpectedly, forcing Fiona, the eldest, to come up with a scheme to keep social services from separating the girls - a scheme that will only work if no one knows they are living on their own.

      Fiona approaches their grouchy and indifferent neighbor Al and asks if he will pretend to be their live-in legal guardian should papers need to be signed or if anyone comes snooping around. He reluctantly agrees, under the condition that they bring him dinner every night.

      As weeks pass, Fiona takes on more and more adult responsibilities, while each of the younger girls finds their own special role in their atypical family - But even if things seem to be falling into place, Fiona is sure it’s only a matter of time before they are caught.

      Hello, Arnie!: An Arnie the Doughnut Story

      by Laurie Keller

      Dec 2020

      Pre-Kindergarten Plus

      Arnie and his pastry pals are excited to meet YOU. But first he has a question: What kind of doughnut are you anyway? Let’s see…

      1) You’re not round.
      2) You don’t have frosting or sprinkles.
      3) You don’t have filling coming out of your head.
      4) You’re not glazed with sugar.
      5) You don’t have a hole in the middle.

      Hmmm, this is harder than Arnie thought. Whoever you are, get ready to say HELLO, ARNIE! This ingenious new picture book breaks the fourth wall as Arnie gets to know his youngest readers—preschoolers—and makes them giggle with every page turn. Perfect for fans of Mo Willems, Bob Shea, and Jory John.

      The Challenger Disaster: Tragedy in the Skies: History Comics

      by Pranas T. Naujokaitis

      Dec 2020

      Nonfiction Middle Plus

      Turn back the clock with History Comics! This volume of First Second's new nonfiction series introduces readers to the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster of 1986.

      Let this graphic novel be your time machine—experience history like never before! Fight for equality in the Montgomery Bus Boycott, train with the first civilian selected for a mission to space, help spark a rebellion at the Stonewall Riot, and so much more! With History Comics, the past comes alive in a way that's edifying, entertaining, and relevant to kids' lives.

      In this volume, turn the clock back to January 28, 1986. Seven astronauts boarded the space shuttle Challenger on what was intended to be a routine mission. But then disaster struck. What caused the mid-air explosion? Would future crewed space missions be permanently grounded? In this imaginative tale set in a far-off future a group of curious kids investigates the hard questions surrounding the Challenger explosion.
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