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      The Black Kids

      by Christina Hammonds Reed

      Nov 2020

      City High School

      “Infused with honesty, heart, and humor, The Black Kids is a true love letter to Los Angeles, highlighting the beauty and flaws of the city, and the people who call it home.” —Brandy Colbert, award-winning author of Little & Lion

      Los Angeles, 1992
      Ashley Bennett and her friends are living the charmed life. It’s the end of senior year and they’re spending more time at the beach than in the classroom. They can already feel the sunny days and endless possibilities of summer.

      Everything changes one afternoon in April, when four LAPD officers are acquitted after beating a black man named Rodney King half to death. Suddenly, Ashley’s not just one of the girls. She’s one of the black kids.

      As violent protests engulf LA and the city burns, Ashley tries to continue on as if life were normal. Even as her self-destructive sister gets dangerously involved in the riots. Even as the model black family façade her wealthy and prominent parents have built starts to crumble. Even as her best friends help spread a rumor that could completely derail the future of her classmate and fellow black kid, LaShawn Johnson.

      With her world splintering around her, Ashley, along with the rest of LA, is left to question who is the us? And who is the them?

      Stealing Mt. Rushmore

      by Daphne Kalmar

      Nov 2020

      Advanced Readers Plus

      Twelve-year-old Nellie discovers that her mom has stolen the $400 her dad saved for their family road trip to see his beloved Mt. Rushmore. Her father had been counting on four boys so he could name them after the four presidents. He’s got only three—George, Tom, and Teddy—and one Nellie. With a missing mom there’s not much chance for an Abe.

      Nellie’s determined to come up with the cash so they can all pile into their car and drive out west. She’ll do anything she can, even if it means selling off her mother’s stuff. Since she’s gone, she doesn’t need it. But for the first time in her life, Nellie is tired of taking care of everyone and everything, and Nellie’s not so sure she’s on the same side as her dad. She’s got her family to fix and the world itself doesn’t seem solid anymore.

      Brother's Keeper

      by Julie Lee

      Nov 2020

      Realistic Fiction Middle Plus

      North Korea. December, 1950.
      Twelve-year-old Sora and her family live under an iron set of rules: No travel without a permit. No criticism of the government. No absences from Communist meetings. Wear red. Hang pictures of the Great Leader. Don’t trust your neighbors. Don’t speak your mind. You are being watched.

      But war is coming, war between North and South Korea, between the Soviets and the Americans. War causes chaos—and war is the perfect time to escape. The plan is simple: Sora and her family will walk hundreds of miles to the South Korean city of Busan from their tiny mountain village. They just need to avoid napalm, frostbite, border guards, and enemy soldiers.

      But they can’t. And when an incendiary bombing changes everything, Sora and her little brother Young will have to get to Busan on their own. Can a twelve-year-old girl and her eight-year-old brother survive three hundred miles of warzone in winter?

      The Nerviest Girl in the World

      by Melissa Wiley

      Nov 2020

      Intermediate Readers

      Pearl lives on a ranch where her chores include collecting eggs and feeding ornery ostriches. She has three older brothers, who don’t coddle her at all. And she knows a thing or two about horses, too.

      One day, Pearl’s brothers get cushy jobs doing stunts for this new form of entertainment called “moving pictures.” They’re the Daredevil Donnelly Brothers, a Death-Defying Cowboy Trio. Before she knows it, Pearl has stumbled into being a stunt girl herself—and dreams of becoming a star. The only problem is, her mother has no idea what she’s up to. And let’s just say she wouldn’t be too happy to find out that Pearl’s been jumping out of burning buildings in her spare time.

      Civil War Breakout: Great Escapes #3

      by W. N. Brown

      Nov 2020

      Hi-Lo PG Middle/High

      Civil War, 1863. Union soldiers Colonel Thomas Rose and Major A.G. Hamilton were captured by the Confederate Army and sent to one of the most horrific prisons ever run—Libby Prison. Infamous for its harsh, overcrowded, and vermin-infested conditions, many soldiers entered Libby but very few left alive. However, Rose and Hamilton were determined to escape.

      Trowbridge Road

      by Marcella Pixley

      Oct 2020

      Advanced Readers Plus

      It’s the summer of ’83 on Trowbridge Road, and June Bug Jordan is hungry. Months after her father’s death from complications from AIDS, her mother has stopped cooking and refuses to leave the house, instead locking herself away to scour at the germs she believes are everywhere. June Bug threatens this precarious existence by going out into the neighborhood, gradually befriending Ziggy, an imaginative boy who is living with his Nana Jean after experiencing troubles of his own. But as June Bug’s connection to the world grows stronger, her mother’s grows more distant—even dangerous — pushing June Bug to choose between truth and healing and the only home she has ever known.

      Trowbridge Road paints an unwavering portrait of a girl and her family touched by mental illness and grief. Set in the Boston suburbs during the first years of the AIDS epidemic, the novel explores how a seemingly perfect neighborhood can contain restless ghosts and unspoken secrets. Written with deep insight and subtle lyricism by acclaimed author Marcella Pixley, Trowbridge Road demonstrates our power to rescue one another even when our hearts are broken.

      A Cloud of Outrageous Blue

      by Vesper Stamper

      Oct 2020

      History High

      Edyth grew up in a quiet village with a loving family, before losing everything she holds dear in the blink of an eye. Suddenly sent to live in a priory and work with ancient texts, Edyth must come to terms with her new life and the gifts she discovers in herself. But outside the priory, something much worse is coming. With the reappearance of a boy from her past and the ominous Great Plague creeping closer and closer to the priory, it will be up to Edyth to rise above it all and save herself.

      From the award-winning author-illustrator of What the Night Sings comes a new journey of self-discovery and love in the most uncertain times.

      Hood

      by Jenny Elder Moke

      Oct 2020

      Mystery High Plus

      Isabelle of Kirklees has only ever known a quiet life inside the sheltered walls of the convent, where she lives with her mother, Marien. But after she is arrested by royal soldiers for defending innocent villagers, Isabelle becomes the target of the Wolf, King John’s ruthless right hand. Desperate to keep her daughter safe, Marien helps Isabelle escape and sends her on a mission to find the one person who can help: Isabelle’s father, Robin Hood.

      As Isabelle races to stay out of the Wolf’s clutches and find the father she’s never known, she is thrust into a world of thieves and mercenaries, handsome young outlaws, new enemies with old grudges, and a king who wants her entire family dead. As she joins forces with Robin and his Merry Men in a final battle against the Wolf, will Isabelle find the strength to defy the crown and save the lives of everyone she holds dear?

      The Invention of Sophie Carter

      by Samantha Hastings

      Oct 2020

      PG High Plus

      Bounced from one begrudging relative to another their whole lives, orphaned identical twins Sophie and Mariah Carter have always relied on each other for love and support.

      Both long to visit London for the summer—Sophie to see the Queen’s Great Exhibition and Mariah to study the world’s finest collection of paintings. But when their cantankerous aunt insists she only has the means to sponsor one of them, Sophie and Mariah hatch a clever scheme: They will travel to London together and take turns playing the part of Sophie.

      At first the plan runs like clockwork. But as the sisters avoid getting caught by increasingly narrow margins and two handsome gentlemen—both of whom think they’re falling in love with the real Sophie Carter—enter the equation, they find they don’t have the situation quite as under control as they thought.

      All He Knew

      by Helen Frost

      Oct 2020

      Advanced Readers Plus

      Henry has been deaf from an early age—he is intelligent, aware of language, but by age seven, he was considered unteachable. With his impoverished family, including older sister Molly, feeling powerless to help him, Henry is sent to Riverview, a mental institution where he is misunderstood, underestimated, and treated without mercy.

      Victor is a conscientious objector to the war, sent to Riverview instead of to battle. And to him, Henry is far from unteachable. As their friendship grows, Henry learns—to trust, to keep his family and friends close, and ultimately, to believe in the enduring power of human kindness.

      This is Helen Frost's eleventh novel in verse.

      City of Gold

      by Will Hobbs

      Oct 2020

      High Interest Middle Plus

      Weeks after arriving in Colorado to start a new farm, the Hollowell family is looking at disaster when 15-year-old Owen witnesses the theft of their mules. Learning that Hercules and Peaches will likely be sold to the mines, Owen sets out to track the rustler over the mountains. It’s all Ma can do to hold back little brother Till, who’s more than a handful. The outlaw’s trail leads to Telluride, the turbulent “City of Gold.” Owen gets help from a resourceful girl named Molly and dubious assistance from Till, who shows up on the train from Durango.

      Telluride’s notorious marshal finally takes an interest when he identifies the rustler as one of Butch Cassidy’s Wild Bunch. The lawman leads Owen and Till on horseback into the canyon country and all the way to Robbers Roost. For readers who love adventure and humor, Will Hobbs delivers a stirring tale of two brothers who risk it all to recover their mules and secure their future.

      The Damned

      by Renée Ahdieh

      Sep 2020

      Fantasy/Science Fiction High Plus

      Following the events of The Beautiful, Sébastien Saint Germain is now cursed and forever changed. The treaty between the Fallen and the Brotherhood has been broken, and war between the immortals seems imminent. The price of loving Celine was costly.

      But Celine has also paid a high price for loving Bastien. Still recovering from injuries sustained during a night she can’t quite remember, her dreams are troubled. And she doesn’t know she has inadvertently set into motion a chain of events that could lead to her demise and unveil a truth about herself she’s not ready to learn.

      Forces hiding in the shadows have been patiently waiting for this moment. And just as Bastien and Celine begin to uncover the danger around them, they learn their love could tear them apart.
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