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      Saving Lady Liberty: Joseph Pulitzer’s Fight for the Statue of Liberty

      by Claudia Friddell

      Sep 2020

      Nonfiction Elementary Plus

      When Joseph Pulitzer first saw the Statue of Liberty’s head in Paris, he shared sculptor Auguste Bartholdi’s dream of seeing France’s gift of friendship stand in the New York harbor. Pulitzer loved words, and the word he loved best was liberty. Frustrated that many, especially wealthy New Yorkers, were not interested in paying for the statue’s needed pedestal, Pulitzer used his newspaper, the New York World to call on all Americans to contribute.

      Claudia Friddell’s text and Stacy Innerst’s illustrations capture this inspiring story of how one immigrant brought together young and old, rich and poor, to raise funds for the completion of a treasured national monument.

      Kiyo Sato: From a WWII Japanese Internment Camp to a Life of Service

      by Connie Goldsmith

      Sep 2020

      Biography High Plus

      In 1941 Kiyo Sato and her eight younger siblings lived with their parents on a small farm near Sacramento, California, where they grew strawberries, nuts, and other crops. Kiyo had started college the year before when she was eighteen, and her eldest brother, Seiji, would soon join the US Army. The younger children attended school and worked on the farm after class and on Saturday. On Sunday, they went to church. The Satos were an ordinary American family. Until they weren’t.

      On December 7, 1941, Japan bombed the US naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The next day, US president Franklin Roosevelt declared war on Japan and the United States officially entered World War II. Soon after, in February and March 1942, Roosevelt signed two executive orders which paved the way for the military to round up all Japanese Americans living on the West Coast and incarcerate them in isolated internment camps for the duration of the war. Kiyo and her family were among the nearly 120,000 internees.

      In this moving account, Sato and Goldsmith tell the story of the internment years, describing why the internment happened and how it impacted Kiyo and her family.

      Cy Young: An American Baseball Hero

      by Scott H. Longert

      Sep 2020

      Sports Middle Plus

      Cy Young: American Baseball Hero tells the life story of Cy Young, the hardest-throwing pitcher in baseball history, and introduces middle-grade readers to America’s favorite pastime, explaining balls, strikes, and outs in an exciting and easy-to-understand way

      Cy Young was one of the hardest-throwing pitchers of all time. He recorded three no-hitters—including a perfect game—and accumulated more than 2,800 strikeouts on his way to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Scott H. Longert uses Young’s life story to introduce middle-grade readers to the game, explaining balls, strikes, and outs in an easy-to-understand way. Longert narrates each season and each milestone game with an enthusiastic play-by-play that is sure to draw readers into the excitement on the field and in the crowd, fostering a better understanding of and a passion for baseball.

      Baseball fans today know Cy Young’s name chiefly through the award given in his honor each year to the best pitcher in the National and the American Leagues. Denton True “Cyclone” Young won more than five hundred games over a career that spanned four decades, a record that no other major league pitcher has come close to matching. In addition to being the winningest pitcher in baseball history, he was also a kind, self-effacing, and generous man. Born into a farm family in rural Ohio, he never lost touch with the small-town values he grew up with.

      Shirley Chisholm Is a Verb!

      by Veronica Chambers

      Sep 2020

      Biography Elementary Plus

      A timely picture book biography about Shirley Chisholm, the first Black woman in Congress, who sought the Democratic nomination to be the president of the United States.

      Shirley Chisholm famously said, “If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.” This dynamic biography illuminates how Chisholm was a doer, an active and vocal participant in our nation’s democracy, and a force to be reckoned with. Now young readers will learn about her early years, her time in Congress, her presidential bid and how her actions left a lasting legacy that continues to inspire, uplift, and instruct.

      Terry Fox and Me

      by Mary Beth Leatherdale

      Sep 2020

      Sports Elementary Plus

      Before Terry Fox become a national hero and icon, he was just a regular kid. But even then, his characteristic strength, determination and loyalty were apparent and were the foundation for his friendship with Doug. The two first met at basketball tryouts in grammar school. Terry was the smallest - and worst - basketball player on the court. But that didn’t stop him.

      With Doug’s help, Terry practiced and practiced until he earned a spot on the team. As they grew up, the best friends supported each other, challenged each other, helped each other become better athletes and better people. Doug was by Terry’s side every step of the way: when Terry received a diagnosis of cancer in his leg, when he was learning to walk - then run - with a prosthetic leg and while he was training for the race of his life, his Marathon of Hope.

      Written from Doug’s perspective, this story shows that Terry Fox’s legacy goes beyond the physical and individual accomplishments of a disabled athlete and honors the true value of friendship.

      Finish the Fight!: The Brave and Revolutionary Women Who Fought for the Right to Vote

      by Veronica Chambers

      Sep 2020

      Biography Middle Plus

      This exciting collaboration with the New York Times will reveal the untold stories of the diverse heroines who fought for the 19th amendment. On the 100th anniversary of the historic win for women’s rights, it’s time to celebrate the names and stories of the women whose courage helped change the fabric of America.

      Lift as You Climb: The Story of Ella Baker

      by Patricia Hruby Powell

      Sep 2020

      Character Building Elementary

      “What do you hope to accomplish?” asked Ella Baker’s granddaddy when she was still a child.

      Her mother provided the answer: “Lift as you climb.”


      Long before the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s, Ella Baker worked to lift others up by fighting racial injustice and empowering poor African Americans to stand up for their rights. Her dedication and grassroots work in many communities made her a valuable ally for leaders like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and she has been ranked as one of the most influential women in the civil rights movement. In the 1960s she worked to register voters and organize sit-ins, and she became a teacher and mentor to many young activists.

      Caldecott Honor winner R. Gregory Christie’s powerful pictures pair with Patricia Hruby Powell’s poignant words to paint a vivid portrait of the fight for the freedom of the human spirit.

      Selena, reina de la música tejana (Selena: Queen of Tejano Music)

      by Silvia López

      Sep 2020

      Spanish Elementary

      Selena Quintanilla's music career began at the age of nine when she started singing in her family's band. She went from using a hairbrush as a microphone to traveling from town to town to play gigs. But Selena faced a challenge: People said that she would never make it in Tejano music, which was dominated by male performers. Selena was determined to prove them wrong.

      Born and raised in Texas, Selena didn't know how to speak Spanish, but with the help of her dad, she learned to sing it. With songs written and composed by her older brother, and the fun dance steps Selena created, her band, Selena Y Los Dinos, rose to stardom! A true trailblazer, her success in Tejano music and her crossover into mainstream American music opened the door for other Latinx entertainers, and she became an inspiration for Latina girls everywhere.

      World of Glass: The Art of Dale Chihuly

      by Jan Greenberg

      Sep 2020

      Arts Elementary Plus

      His crew calls him Maestro. Thousands of fans call him a magician. Over the past five decades, Dale Chihuly (b. 1941) has created some of the most innovative and popular works of art in museums and gardens around the world. Authors Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan met with Chihuly in his studio for exclusive interviews discussing his early life, his passion for glassblowing, and his dazzling works.

      Lavishly illustrated with Chihuly’s art and family photographs, this book discusses Chihuly’s workshop and his glassblowing technique.

      Simone Biles: Epic Athletes

      by Dan Wetzel

      Sep 2020

      Sports Elementary Plus

      Acclaimed sports journalist Dan Wetzel scores a perfect ten with this uplifting middle-grade biography of gold medal gymnast Simone Biles!

      In the 2016 Summer Olympics, Simone Biles dazzled gymnastics fans across the globe with each jaw-dropping backflip, spin, and jump she landed. Her record-breaking performance catapulted her to the top of the sport, and she quickly became a hero to young people.

      But well before Simone faced Olympic trials on the balance beam and rings, she confronted real-life challenges as a kid, as she moved in and out of foster care. With the support and love of her grandparents, plus her unwavering drive to make history on the ultimate stage in sports, she grew into an incredible role model and activist for the #MeToo movement—and one of the greatest athletes of our time.

      Warrior Dog (Young Readers Edition): The True Story of a Navy SEAL and His Fearless Canine Partner

      by Joe Layden

      Sep 2020

      Biography Middle Plus

      The powerful true story of a SEAL Team member and military dog handler, and the dog that saved his life, adapted for young readers.

      When Will Chesney became a Navy SEAL, he never imagined working with dogs. But when he was introduced to Cairo, a Belgian Malinois, they became close immediately. Will and Cairo started working together, side by side, depending on each other for survival in hundreds of critical operations. Soon their bond went beyond military service to true friendship.

      As Will moved on to other assignments, he saw Cairo less and less. Then, in 2011, the call came: Pick up your dog and get back to Virginia. Now.

      Cairo and Will trained for weeks, but it soon became clear that this was no ordinary mission. Cairo was among the first members of the US military on the ground in Pakistan as part of Operation Neptune Spear, which resulted in the successful elimination of Osama bin Laden.

      After the mission, Will went back to his job, until a grenade blast in 2013 left him severely injured. Now it was up to Cairo to save Will’s life once more—and then up to Will to be there when Cairo needed him the most.

      Ms. Gloria Steinem: A Life

      by Winifred Conkling

      Sep 2020

      Biography High Plus

      Her strength and wisdom have inspired women for generations, but Gloria Steinem’s life is more complex and compelling than most people realize. Her unconventional childhood caused her to rethink society’s assumptions about the roles of women and men. This spark lit a fire in her that burned for decades as she became a leading voice in the women’s movement.

      Throughout the years, Gloria Steinem is perhaps the single-most iconic figure associated with women's rights, her name practically synonymous with feminism. Documenting everything from her boundary-pushing journalistic career to the foundation of Ms. magazine to being awarded the 2013 Presidential Medal of Freedom, Winifred Conkling's Ms. Gloria Steinem: A Life is a meticulously researched biography that is sure to satisfy even the most voracious of aspiring glass-ceiling smashers.
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