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      The Million Dollar Race

      by Matthew Ross Smith

      Apr 2021

      Sports Middle Plus

      Grant Falloon isn’t just good at track; he’s close to breaking the world record 100-meter time for his age group. So when the mega-rich Babblemoney sneaker company announces an international competition to find the fastest kid in the world, he’s desperate to sign up.

      But not so fast. Nothing’s ever that easy with the eccentric Falloon family. Turns out, his non-conformist parents never got him a legal birth certificate. He can’t race for the United States, so now if he wants to compete, he may just have to invent his own country.

      And even if that crazy plan works, winning gold will mean knocking his best friend—and biggest competitor—Jay, out of the competition. As unexpected hurdles arise, Grant will have to ask not only if winning is possible, but what he’s willing to sacrifice for it.

      365 Days to Alaska

      by Cathy Carr

      Apr 2021

      Upper Elementary & Junior High Plus

      A charming debut middle-grade novel about a girl from off-the-grid Alaska adjusting to suburban life.

      Eleven-year-old Rigel Harman loves her life in off-the-grid Alaska. She hunts rabbits, takes correspondence classes through the mail, and plays dominoes with her family in their two-room cabin. She doesn’t mind not having electricity or running water—instead, she’s got tall trees, fresh streams, and endless sky.

      But then her parents divorce, and Rigel and her sisters have to move with their mom to the Connecticut suburbs to live with a grandmother they’ve never met. Rigel hates it in Connecticut. It’s noisy, and crowded, and there’s no real nature. Her only hope is a secret pact that she made with her father: If she can stick it out in Connecticut for one year, he’ll bring her back home.

      At first, surviving the year feels impossible. Middle school is nothing like the wilderness, and she doesn’t connect with anyone … until she befriends a crow living behind her school. And if this wild creature has made a life for itself in the suburbs, then, just maybe, Rigel can too.

      365 Days to Alaska is a wise and funny debut novel about finding beauty, hope, and connection in the world no matter where you are—even Connecticut.

      A Place to Hang the Moon

      by Kate Albus

      Apr 2021

      Realistic Fiction Middle Plus

      For fans of The War That Saved My Life and other World War II fiction, A Place to Hang the Moon is the tale of three orphaned siblings who are evacuated from London to live in the countryside with the secret hope of finding a permanent family.

      It is 1940 and William, 12, Edmund, 11, and Anna, 9, aren’t terribly upset by the death of the not-so-grandmotherly grandmother who has taken care of them since their parents died. But the children do need a guardian, and in the dark days of World War II London, those are in short supply, especially if they hope to stay together. Could the mass wartime evacuation of children from London to the countryside be the answer? It’s a preposterous plan, but off they go - keeping their predicament a secret - and hoping to be placed in a temporary home that ends up lasting forever. Moving from one billet to another, the children suffer the cruel trickery of foster brothers, the cold realities of outdoor toilets and the hollowness of empty stomachs. They find comfort in the village lending library, whose kind librarian, Nora Müller, seems an excellent choice of billet, except that her German husband’s whereabouts are currently unknown, and some of the villagers consider her unsuitable.

      A Place to Hang the Moon is a story about the dire importance of family: the one you’re given, and the one you choose.

      Like Home

      by Louisa Onome

      Apr 2021

      City High School

      Fans of Netflix’s On My Block and readers of Elizabeth Acevedo and Angie Thomas will love this debut novel about a girl whose life is turned upside down after one local act of vandalism throws both her relationships and neighborhood into turmoil.

      Chinelo, or Nelo as her best friend Kate calls her, is all about her neighborhood Ginger East. She loves its chill vibe, ride-or-die sense of community, and the memories she has growing up there with her friends. Ginger East isn’t what it used to be though. After a deadly incident at the local arcade, most of her friends’ families moved away. Kate, whose family owns the local corner store, is still there and as long as that stays constant, Nelo’s good.

      When Kate’s parent’s store is vandalized and the vandal still at large, Nelo is shaken to her core. And then the police and the media get involved and more of the outside world descends upon Ginger East with promises to “fix the neighborhood.” Suddenly, Nelo finds herself in the middle of a drama unfolding on a national scale.

      Worse yet, Kate is acting strange. She’s pushing Nelo away at the exact moment they need each other most. Now Nelo’s entire world is morphing into something she hates and she must figure out how to get things back on track or risk losing everything—everyone—she loves.

      Treasure of the World

      by Tara Sullivan

      Apr 2021

      Advanced Readers Plus

      A young girl must find a way to help her family survive in a desolate and impoverished Bolivian silver mining community in this eye-opening tale of resilience.

      Twelve-year-old Ana wants nothing more than to escape the future set for her and her classmates in her small mining village. Boys her age are beginning to leave school to become silver miners and girls her age are destined to one day be the wives of miners. But when her often ill eleven-year-old brother is forced by their demanding father to start work in the mines, Ana gives up her dreams of school to volunteer in his place. The world of silver mining though is dark and dangerous and the men who work there don’t want a girl in their way. Ana must find the courage to not only survive but save her family after the worst happens and a mining accident kills her father and leaves her brother missing.

      Halfway to Harmony

      by Barbara O'Connor

      Apr 2021

      Intermediate Readers Plus

      A heartfelt middle-grade from New York Times– bestselling author Barbara O’Connor about a young boy who goes on an adventure after the loss of his older brother—timeless, classic, and whimsical.

      Walter Tipple is looking for adventure. His big brother, Tank, always used to say, "Let's you and me go see the world, Little Man"—but Tank went to the army and never came home, and Walter doesn't know how to see the world without him. But then he meets the brash, brave new girl next door named Posey, as well as an eccentric man named Banjo who's off on a bodacious adventure of his own. What follows is a summer of mishaps, mayhem, strange quests, and strong friendships—and maybe, Walter can learn who he's supposed to be without the brother he always wanted to be like. This is a wild, adventurous, and utterly heartfelt story from the acclaimed and bestselling author Barbara O'Connor.

      Red, White, and Whole

      by Rajani LaRocca

      Apr 2021

      Advanced Readers

      A heartbreakingly hopeful novel in verse by an author to watch, about an Indian American girl whose life is turned upside down when her mother is diagnosed with leukemia.

      Reha feels torn between two worlds: school, where she’s the only Indian American student, and home, with her family and their close-knit community. But Reha’s parents don’t understand why she’s conflicted—they only notice when Reha doesn’t meet their strict expectations. Reha feels especially disconnected from her mother, or Amma.

      Then Reha finds out that her Amma is sick. Really sick.

      Reha, who dreams of becoming a doctor even though she can’t stomach the sight of blood, is determined to make her Amma well again. She’ll be the perfect daughter, even if it means giving up her attempts to fit in at school, if it means saving her Amma’s life.

      From Indies Introduce author Rajani LaRocca comes a radiant #ownvoices novel in verse that she describes as the book of her heart about the ties that bind and how to go on in the face of unthinkable loss.

      When You Look Like Us

      by Pamela N. Harris

      Apr 2021

      Mystery High Plus

      A timely, gripping YA debut perfect for fans of Jason Reynolds and Tiffany D. Jackson, about a boy who must take up the search for his sister when she goes missing from a neighborhood where black girls’ disappearances are too often overlooked.

      When you look like us—brown skin, brown eyes, black braids or fades—people think you’re trouble. No one looks twice at a missing black girl from public housing because she must’ve brought whatever happened to her upon herself. I, Jay Murphy, can admit that, for a minute, I thought my sister, Nicole, got too caught up with her boyfriend—a drug dealer—and his friends. But she’s been gone too long now.

      If I hadn’t hung up on her that night, she’d be spending time with our grandma. If I was a better brother, she’d be finishing senior year instead of being another name on a missing persons list. It’s time to step up and do what the Newport News police department won’t.

      Nic, I’m bringing you home.

      Noah the Con Artist: The Club

      by Elizabeth Gordon

      Mar 2021

      Hi-Lo PG Middle/High

      Noah is an artist. Ever since he learned to draw, people have been impressed by his remarkable skills. When there's an art contest at The Club, Noah is certain that he'll win the big prize, until he sees Milo's painting. Noah is scared. Everyone expects Noah to win the contest. If he loses, he believes he'll lose the one skill he's most proud of. Noah is determined to beat Milo, but at what cost? Is winning worth compromising his values?

      Muck and Magic

      by Michael Morpurgo

      Mar 2021

      Intermediate Readers Plus

      Twelve-year-old Bonny has always wanted to be a world-champion cyclist, maybe even an Olympic medalist, and her parents have cheered her on all the way. But when a flat tire draws Bonny to a horse farm, her predictable world starts to change. The owner, Lizzie, gives Bonny a job in the stables and shows her a life-size horse sculpture she is making, inviting Bonny to pose as its rider and help in its creation. As Bonny’s sense of her possibilities expands, she starts to understand the meaning of her new friend’s advice: a true gift is never to be wasted—and if you “breathe the world in deep,” you can do anything. With a charming narrative and gorgeous artwork, two of the creative team behind Where My Wellies Take Me pair up again to tell a tale that will resonate with aspiring artists, horse lovers, independent thinkers, and dreaming young minds everywhere.

      Love & Olives

      by Jenna Evans Welch

      Mar 2021

      PG High Plus

      Liv Varanakis doesn’t have a lot of fond memories of her father, which makes sense—he fled to Greece when she was only eight. What Liv does remember, though, is their shared love for Greek myths and the lost city of Atlantis. So when Liv suddenly receives a postcard from her father explaining that National Geographic is funding a documentary about his theories on Atlantis—and will she fly out to Greece and help?—Liv jumps at the opportunity.

      But when she arrives to gorgeous Santorini, things are a little…awkward. There are so many questions, so many emotions that flood to the surface after seeing her father for the first time in years. And yet Liv doesn’t want their past to get in the way of a possible reconciliation. She also definitely doesn’t want Theo—her father’s charismatic so-called “protégé”—to witness her struggle.

      And that means diving into all that Santorini has to offer—the beautiful sunsets, the turquoise water, the hidden caves, and the delicious cuisine. But not everything on the Greek island is as perfect as it seems. Because as Liv slowly begins to discover, her father may not have invited her to Greece for Atlantis, but for something much more important.

      Be More Chill: The Graphic Novel

      by David Levithan

      Mar 2021

      Hi-Lo Mature

      The groundbreaking story by New York Times best-selling author Ned Vizzini that inspired the Tony-nominated Broadway musical--now adapted in a graphic novel by #1 New York Times best-selling author David Levithan.

      Jeremy Heere is your average high school dork. Day after day, he stares at beautiful Christine, the girl he can never have, and dryly notes the small humiliations that come his way. Until the day he learns about the "squip."

      A pill-sized supercomputer that you swallow, the squip is guaranteed to bring you whatever you most desire in life. By instructing him on everything from what to wear, to how to talk and walk, the squip transforms Jeremy from geek to the coolest guy in class. Soon he is friends with his former tormentors and has the attention of the hottest girls in school.

      But Jeremy discovers that there is a dark side to handing over control of your life--and it can have disastrous consequences.
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