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      Just Being Dalí

      by Amy Guglielmo

      Apr 2021

      Arts Elementary Plus

      This kid-friendly picture book biography celebrates the irrepressible individuality of Surrealist artist Salvador Dalí.

      Salvador Dalí just couldn’t help being himself. When he was little, he wasn’t like the other children; he was a daydreamer who liked to play pretend. When he grew up, he became an artist, but he didn’t want to make art that looked like everyone else’s. He became the most famous painter of his time after he made a picture of melting clocks. He liked to do wild, attention-grabbing things: He drove a fancy car stuffed with 1,000 pounds of cauliflower. He gave a speech inside a deep-sea diving suit. And he took his pet ocelot Babou to lunch at snooty restaurants. He designed lollipop wrappers in exchange for free candy, a lobster phone that really worked, and a hat made out of a shoe! Here’s the true story of the one and only Salvador Dalí, an artist who never stopped being himself.

      The Leaf Detective: How Margaret Lowman Uncovered Secrets in the Rainforest

      by Heather Lang

      Apr 2021

      Science Nonfiction Elementary Plus

      Meg Lowman was determined to investigate the marvelous, undiscovered world of the rainforest treetops. Meg’s perseverance and creativity allowed her to achieve this goal, but when this fantastic ecosystem started to disappear, Meg needed to act quickly.

      Meg Lowman was always fascinated by the natural world above her head. The colors, the branches, and, most of all, the leaves and mysterious organisms living there. As a scientist, Meg set out to climb up and investigate the rain forest tree canopies—and to be the first scientist to do so. But she encountered challenge after challenge. Male teachers would not let her into their classrooms, the high canopy was difficult to get to, and worst of all, people were logging and clearing the forests. Meg never gave up or gave in. She studied, invented, and persevered, not only creating a future for herself as a scientist, but making sure that the rainforests had a future as well. Working closely with Meg Lowman, author Heather Lang and artist Jana Christy beautifully capture Meg’s world in the treetops.

      Sylvie

      by Sylvie Kantorovitz

      Apr 2021

      Graphic Novels Middle Plus

      In a wise and witty graphic memoir, a young artist finds her path apart from the expectations of those around her.

      Sylvie lives in a school in France. Her father is the principal, and her home is an apartment at the end of a hallway of classrooms. As a young child, Sylvie and her brother explore this most unusual kingdom, full of small mysteries and quirky surprises. But in middle and high school, life grows more complicated. Sylvie becomes aware of her parents’ conflicts, the complexities of shifting friendships, and what it means to be the only Jewish family in town. She also begins to sense that her perceived “success” relies on the pursuit of math and science—even though she loves art. In a funny and perceptive graphic memoir, author-illustrator Sylvie Kantorovitz traces her first steps as an artist and teacher. The text captures her poignant questioning and her blossoming confidence, while the droll illustrations depict her making art as both a means of solace and self-expression. An affecting portrait of a unique childhood, Sylvie connects the ordinary moments of growing up to a life rich in hope and purpose.

      Permanent Record (Young Readers Edition): How One Man Exposed the Truth about Government Spying and Digital Security

      by Edward Snowden

      Apr 2021

      Biography High Plus

      A young reader’s adaptation of whistleblower and bestselling author Edward Snowden's memoir—featuring a brand-new afterword that includes resources to learn about the basics of digital security.

      In 2013, Edward Snowden shocked the world when he revealed that the United States government was secretly building a system of mass surveillance with the ability to gaze into the private lives of every person on earth. Phone calls, text messages, emails—nothing was safe from prying eyes. Now the man who risked everything to expose the truth about government spying details to a new generation how he helped build that system, what motivated him to try to bring it down, and how young people can strive to protect their privacy in the digital age.

      Kate's Light

      by Elizabeth Spires

      Apr 2021

      Biography Elementary Plus

      When Kate Kaird immigrated with her young son Jacob from Germany to America in 1882, she couldn’t have predicted the surprising turn her life would take. She soon met and married John Walker, keeper of the Sandy Hook Lighthouse. They moved to Robbins Reef Lighthouse in New York Harbor in 1885 and she became assistant keeper.

      At first Kate wondered if she could live in such a lonely place, but she gradually grew to love life at Robbins Reef. When her husband died several years later, she was determined to stay on. After convincing the Lighthouse Board that she could do the job alone, Kate was appointed permanent keeper of the lighthouse, becoming one of the first women on the Eastern seaboard to be put in charge of an offshore lighthouse. She lived there 34 years and was known for her many rescues.

      With watercolor and ink illustrations which perfectly capture the salty spray of the sea, Kate’s Light brings the turn of the century New York Harbor to life, with a focus on one of its little known but most crucial attendants.

      Gone to the Woods

      by Gary Paulsen

      Apr 2021

      Biography Middle Plus

      A middle-grade memoir from a living literary legend, giving readers a new perspective on the origin of Paulsen's famed survival stories.

      His name is synonymous with high-stakes wilderness survival stories. Now, Gary Paulsen portrays a series of life-altering moments in his turbulent childhood as his own original survival story. If not for his summer escape from a shockingly neglectful Chicago upbringing to a North Woods homestead at age five, there never would have been a Hatchet. Without the encouragement of the librarian who handed him his first book at age thirteen, he may never have become a reader. Without his desperate teenage enlistment in the Army, he would not have discovered his true calling as a storyteller. A moving and enthralling story of grit and growing up for newcomers and lifelong fans alike, this is the acclaimed author at his rawest and realest.

      In the Shadow of the Moon: America, Russia, and the Hidden Story of the Space Race

      by Amy Cherrix

      Apr 2021

      History High

      An exhilarating dive into the secret history of humankind’s race to the moon, from acclaimed author Amy Cherrix. For fans of Bomb and Symphony for the City of the Dead.

      You’ve heard of the space race, but do you know the whole story?

      The most ambitious race humankind has ever undertaken was masterminded in the shadows by two engineers on opposite sides of the Cold War: Wernher von Braun, a former Nazi officer living in the US, and Sergei Korolev, a Russian rocket designer once jailed for crimes against his country—and your textbooks probably never told you.

      These two brilliant but controversial rocketeers never met, yet together they reshaped spaceflight and warfare. From Stalin’s brutal gulags and Hitler’s concentration camps to Cape Canaveral and beyond, their simultaneous quests pushed science—and human ingenuity—to the breaking point.

      Von Braun became an American hero, recognized the world over, while Korolev toiled in obscurity. But as each of these men altered human history, they were eclipsed by their troubled pasts, living out their lives in the shadow of the same moon that drove them to such astonishing feats of scientific achievement.

      From Amy Cherrix comes the extraordinary hidden story of the space race and the bitter rivalry that took humankind to the moon.

      The Beautiful Struggle (Adapted for Young Adults)

      by Ta-Nehisi Coates

      Mar 2021

      Nonfiction High Plus

      Adapted from the adult memoir by the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Water Dancer and Between the World and Me, this father-son story explores how boys become men, and quite specifically, how Ta-Nehisi Coates became Ta-Nehisi Coates.

      Coates grew up in the tumultuous 1980’s in Baltimore, known as the murder capital back then. With seven siblings, four mothers, and one highly unconventional father: Paul Coates, a larger-than-life Vietnam Vet, Black Panther, Afrocentric scholar, Ta-Nehisi’s coming of age story is gripping and lays bare the struggles of inner-city kids.

      With candor, Ta-Nehisi Coates details the challenges on the streets and within one’s family, especially the eternal struggle for peace between a father and son and the important role family plays in such circumstances.

      Sprouting Wings: The True Story of James Herman Banning, the First African American Pilot to Fly Across the United States

      by Louisa Jaggar

      Mar 2021

      Nonfiction Elementary Plus

      The inspirational and true story of James Herman Banning, the first African American pilot to fly across the country, comes to life in this picture book biography perfect for fans of Hidden Figures and Little Leaders. Includes art from a Coretta Scott King award-winning illustrator.

      James Herman Banning always dreamed of touching the sky. But how could a farm boy from Oklahoma find a plane? And how would he learn to fly it? None of the other pilots looked like him.

      In a journey that would span 3,300 miles, take twenty-one days, and inspire a nation, James Herman Banning proved that you can't put barriers on dreams. Louisa Jaggar incorporates over seven years of research, including Banning's own writings and an interview with the aviator's great-nephew. She teams up with cowriter Share Becker and award-winning illustrator Floyd Cooper to capture Banning's historic flight across the United States.

      Invisible Differences: A Story of Aspergers, Adulting, and Living a Life in Full Color

      by Julie Dachez

      Mar 2021

      Graphic Novels High Plus

      Translated for the very first time in English, Invisible Differences is the deeply moving and intimate story of what it's like to live day to day with Asperger Syndrome.

      Marguerite feels awkward, struggling every day to stay productive at work and keep up appearances with friends. She's sensitive, irritable at times. She makes her environment a fluffy, comforting cocoon, alienating her boyfriend. The everyday noise and stimuli assaults her senses, the constant chatter of her coworkers working her last nerve. Then, when one big fight with her boyfriend finds her frustrated and dejected, Marguerite finally investigates the root of her discomfor: after a journey of tough conversations with her loved ones, doctors, and the internet, she discovers that she has Aspergers. Her life is profoundly changed – for the better.

      The Boy Whose Head Was Filled with Stars: A Life of Edwin Hubble

      by Isabelle Marinov

      Mar 2021

      Science Nonfiction Elementary Plus

      A beautiful picture book about the astronomer Edwin Hubble that invites children to ponder How many stars are in the sky? How did the universe begin? Where diid it come from?

      This is the story of Edwin Hubble, a boy fascinated by the stars who surmounted many hurdles to follow his dreams of becoming an astronomer. Using the insights of great mathematicians and endlessly observing the sky, he succeeded in confirming two things that altered human life forever: that there are more galaxies than our own, and that the universe is always expanding. Hubble’s message to us is to find peace in the vastness of the mystery surrounding us, and to be curious. “We do now know why we are born into the world,” he said, “but we can try to find out what sort of world it is.”

      Jump At the Sun: The True Life Tale of Unstoppable Storycatcher Zora Neale Hurston

      by Alicia D. Williams

      Mar 2021

      Arts Elementary Plus

      From the Newbery Honor–winning author of Genesis Begins Again comes a shimmering picture book that shines the light on Zora Neale Hurston, the extraordinary writer and storycatcher extraordinaire who changed the face of American literature.

      Zora was a girl who hankered for tales like bees for honey. Now, her mama always told her that if she wanted something, “to jump at de sun”, because even though you might not land quite that high, at least you’d get off the ground. So Zora jumped from place to place, from the porch of the general store where she listened to folktales, to Howard University, to Harlem. And everywhere she jumped, she shined sunlight on the tales most people hadn’t been bothered to listen to until Zora. The tales no one had written down until Zora. Tales on a whole culture of literature overlooked…until Zora. Until Zora jumped.
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