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Independent Readers

Junior Library Guild’s Independent Readers Category is the best selection of expertly-curated titles for grades 2-4. It features a mix of picture books and early chapter books that helps beginning readers transition to reading on their own.

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      Squirm

      by Carl Hiaasen

      Dec 2018

      Advanced Readers

      Billy’s summer activities include flying across the country, hiking a mountain, dodging a grizzly bear, shooting down a spy drone, saving an endangered panther . . . and then trying to save his dad.

      Nate Expectations

      by Tim Federle

      Dec 2018

      Advanced Readers Plus

      High schools. Musicals. Theater. Friendship. LGBTQ. Family life. Pennsylvania. Best friends. Broadway. Acting. Rehearsals.

      The Monster Detector: Big Foot and Little Foot #2

      by Ellen Potter

      Dec 2018

      Independent Readers

      Hugo is a young Sasquatch. Boone is a young boy. After an unlikely encounter, they’ve become an even unlikelier pair of best friends. After saving up his Monster Card wrappers, Hugo sends away for a special prize in the mail—a Monster Detector! Using the watchlike device, Hugo quickly spots a monster right in his own cavern. Spooked, but still excited about his prize, Hugo heads to school and finds yet another surprise—his friend Boone! Boone announces he wants to go to Sasquatch school, but no human has ever gone before, and not everyone is as happy about it as Hugo. Boone’s first day of school gets off to a rocky start, but Hugo doesn’t have much time to worry before he makes another monster sighting and takes off after the creature. What follows are even more surprises, ones that have Hugo rethinking what it really means to be a “monster.”
      Black-and-white illustrations.

      No Small Potatoes: Junius G. Groves and His Kingdom in Kansas

      by Tonya Bolden

      Dec 2018

      Biography Elementary Plus

      Biographical time line. Glossary. Notes. Selected sources. Full-color mixed media illustrations.

      The Law of Finders Keepers

      by Sheila Turnage

      Nov 2018

      Advanced Readers

      While Mo, Dale, and Harm race to solve the mystery of Blackbeard’s hidden treasure, Mo also seeks something more precious: her birth mother.

      Big Foot and Little Foot

      by Ellen Potter

      Nov 2018

      Independent Readers

      Hugo is a young Sasquatch who longs for adventure. Boone is young boy who longs to see a Sasquatch. When their worlds collide, they become the unlikeliest pair of best friends.
      At the Academy for Curious Squidges, Hugo learns all manner of Sneaking—after all, the most important part of being a Sasquatch is staying hidden from humans. But Hugo dreams of roaming free in the Big Wide World rather than staying cooped up in caves. When he has an unexpected run-in with a young human boy, Hugo seizes the opportunity for a grand adventure. Soon, the two team up to search high and low for mythical beasts, like Ogopogos and Snoot-Nosed Gints. Through discovering these new creatures, together, Big Foot and Little Foot explore the ins and outs of each other’s very different worlds but learn that, deep down, maybe they’re not so different after all.
      Black-and-white illustrations.

      So Tall Within: Sojourner Truth’ Long Walk to Freedom

      by Gary D. Schmidt

      Nov 2018

      Biography Elementary Plus

      Sojourner Truth was born into slavery but possessed a mind and a vision that knew no bounds. So Tall Within traces her life from her painful childhood through her remarkable emancipation to her incredible leadership in the movement for rights for both women and African Americans. Her story is told with lyricism and pathos by Gary D. Schmidt, one of the most celebrated writers for children in the twenty-first century, and brought to life by award winning and fine artist Daniel Minter. This combination of talent is just right for introducing this legendary figure to a new generation of children.
      Biographical note. Bibliography. Artist’s note. Full-color illustrations.

      The Beloved World of Sonia Sotomayor: From the Bronx to the Supreme Court

      by Sonia Sotomayor

      Nov 2018

      Biography Middle Plus

      As a child, Sonia Sotomayor dreamed of becoming a lawyer and a judge—though she'd never met one of either, and none lived in her neighborhood. As she grew up, she didn't let hardships stand in her way. Family tree. Glossary of Spanish words. Brief history of the Supreme Court. Black-and-white photo insert.

      Tight

      by Torrey Maldonado

      Oct 2018

      Advanced Readers Plus

      Kids from the Brooklyn projects are supposed to be “hard.” But when Bryan starts hanging with new kid Mike, he learns that pretending to be tough can lead to trouble.

      Hammering For Freedom: The William Lewis Story

      by Rita Lorraine Hubbard

      Oct 2018

      Biography Elementary Plus

      Afterword. Sources. Full-color acrylic illustrations.

      Ski Soldier: A World War II Biography

      by Louise Borden

      Oct 2018

      Biography Middle Plus

      Pete Seibert was a US Army ski soldier during World War II. Severely wounded, he not only persevered to ski again; he founded Colorado’s Vail Ski Resort. Time line. More about Pete Seibert. Note about the 10th Mountain Division. Author’s note. Sources. Black-and-white photographs and reproductions.

      Megabat

      by Anna Humphrey

      Oct 2018

      Independent Readers

      Daniel Misumi is not happy about his family’s recent move. Plus, he doesn’t like their new house—he’s sure his attic room is haunted. But it turns out the “ghost” is actually a talking fruit bat!
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