A universal story that Medina just happens to set in Queens New York at the time of the Son of Sam terror (he was a serial killer preying on young couples out necking late at night) and the New York Black Out. Nora Lopez is a high school senior who is more mother to her own mother and brother, a responsibility that many kids take on whatever their culture.Nora has a part-time job, a new boyfriend, a best-friend (whose family treat her like one of their own), a neighbor who cares (and is also a huge feminist) teachers who care and these are the positive forces in a life where her father has abandoned them all for his "new" family, her mother refuses to see the problems with her brother Hector, and Hector spirals down in anger, drug abuse and perhaps mental illness. This is a serious book that will resonate with many young people who are placed in adult roles whether they are ready for them or not.
Based on a true story, this book celebrates the ingenuity of a man determined to provide an education to African American children in St. Louis in 1847. His determination and ingenuity celebrate that there were efforts to defeat the racism in the south before the Civil War. The illustrations in dark tones, emphasize the serious nature of the story. End notes provide more detailed historical context. (7 to 10) Edie Ching
We all know this tale but Murray puts a new spin on it, with fun "scientific facts", a map in Hare Hope and Tortoise Tootles and a sense that this is a friendly competition. Warm colors, note how the rosy sun appears frequently, add to the gentleness of the telling. The illustrations add to the fun, Rabbit looks cocky but good-humored and carrots are his pitfall, tortoise is just willing to give it a go, a laid back friend. A positive way to talk about "competition". (Up to 7) Edie Ching
Winter reminds us that as Hillary Clinton is on a road that will quite possibly lead her to the White House, her mother was born in a time when women were disenfranchised. All political opinions aside, this is a biography of a woman who has led an impressive life: 1st student to give a graduation speech at her college; 1st female attorney at her law firm; 1st First Lady to have her own office in the West Wing! An inspiring reminder to young readers to not back down in the face of adversity. (Seven to Ten) Anne Womack
When four superfans of the hot boy band The Ruperts stay in the same hotel as their heartthrobs, they have no idea one of the Ruperts is going to end up in their room, dead. This is on the surface a hilarious, fast paced murder mystery romp, with up-to-the-minute slang and attitude. But look deeper and you'll find real questions about the nature of friendship, the nature of fandom, the lie of celebrity, privacy and more. Fourteen and up.
A boy and his dog, what could be better for a picture book, but his only gets better as both learn about each other and their world. Perkins reminds us that both are "pups" and defines for us Frank's interests (Botany is about plants, Entomology is Science about bugs). Big words interspersed eith wonderful pictures of Frank's adventures chasing ducks and squirrels and deer and looking at the stars together. And there are even predicting the future questions. Science and dogs and boys, what could be better. Up to Seven. Edie Ching.
Two siblings, completely opposite from each other and not very tolerant of each other encounter "monsters" at the vacation cabin, all because sister Jenny breaks the rules. Barnett leaves lots of room for his illustrator to also tell the story and Myers doesn't miss opportunities for little details that tell us more about these characters. The dialogue between the siblings rings true as does the anger on both faces when they don't get their way. The "monsters" are unique and Ian's transformation will delight all. The lesson to be learned....look on the back cover. Up to Seven. Edie Ching