The Latest In Progress
James Edward Shippy is adept at voicing not only male and female characters of varying races/cultures, but of also capturing their emotional states as they navigage "juvie", all charged with crimes, some heinous. The main narrator Isaac West has taken the "rap" for someone else in an effort to secure a better life for his sister but he finds lies in prison much more difficult to maintain. While the story may have a potentially happier resolution that is realistic, the friendships that form and the sense of what life is like for kids who really never have had a chance is very powerful. A compelling listen. Edie Ching (Audiobook).
This illustrated collection highlights less-familiar animals such as numbats and long-tailed dunnarts. Brown's brief introductions of each species are peppered with humor and snark, and his drawings give the animals a distinct personality based on their descriptions. Each animal's "status" is listed, raising awareness for species that are near extinction and making this a great resource for environmental discussions. Meaghan McKeron. Seven to Ten.
Scholastic (Arthur A. Levine)
Obe is a loner who cares more about the environment than almost anything else until he "discovers" a very unusual animal that eats "plastic". This is a book about environmental awareness, bullying and friendship, family relation ships and self acceptance. Pretty ambitious but very engaging. The daily school "facts" about environmental dangers will be of interest to young scientists. Edie Ching (10-14)
Simon & Schuster (Caitlin Dlouhy/Atheneum)
What seems like just another construction site/vehicle story becomes more with the "surprise" that keeps little bulldozer from doing the "big" job he set out to do. Rohman's illustrations give personality to each of the vehicles and Fleming's language is lively and both repetative as well as expanding words (hunkered, clattered, grumbled). And rough tough trucks have soft hearts. Edie Ching (up to 7)
A book that sheds new light on this famous Supreme Court decision thanks to Rubin's extensive research and interest in the subject. There were many cases combined to go beyond just the concept of separate schools but to look at the larger picture of civil rights and the equality of all people. The background of each case is presented, the sacrifices that many families endured and the problems that followed even after the decision. Edie Ching (10-14)
Macmillan (Roaring Brook)
Zara is in a wheelchair but this is only noted in the illustrations. Her energetic dog Moose hates goodbyes and keeps creating hellos by showing up at school in the classroom, the library, the cafeteria. What to do, Zara sends Moose to therapy school and we see him where he should be at the end of the book, the class reading dog. The language is active, "goodbye is hide without seek, an itch that can't be scratched" and the illustrations capture the moods of dog and children. A subtle story that might create interest in therapy dogs. Edie Ching (up to 7)
Penguin (Listening Library/Random House)
February 28, 2017
This modern, middle-school retelling of Cyrano de Bergerac introduces readers to a group of friends who are making their first forays into the mysterious world of romance. One day Gracie notices her friend A.J. in a new light and is immediately in the midst of her first real crush. However, A.J. is interested in Grace's best friend Sienna. Sienna and A.J. can't seem to communicate without the help of their best friends. On top of all these new complications, Gracie feels constant pressure to be a ray of sunshine for her parents who lost their first child seven years before Gracie was born. Gracie draws readers in with her funny, offbeat inner monologue. The reader brings to life the characters, humor and heart throughout this story. (M. Crews)