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Sasha's mother is long gone, she lost her father a few years ago to the coal mines and now she's lost her brother to a fire. Foster care is the state's answer; shutting down is Sasha's. Grief overwhelms Sasha until she finds new family and joins the poetry club at school. Beautifully told, readers are drawn into Sasha's struggles and life in West Virginia. The evocative poetry gives voice to her struggles as well as how she will survive. A must read! Ten to fourteen. Ruth Compton
Emma Casey would like to share things with her mother, such as her helping out at her Granny Blue's Boneyard Café, her giving tours of the cemetery, etc. but she can't. Why? Because her mother is dead. She knows she has a special destiny waiting for her because her mother told her so before she died. After much searching she finds in the local folklore a clue to a hidden treasure. Will she find her destiny? What does the treasure hold? Uniquely voiced by Ms Simses who manages to put you right in the middle of the story with her wonderful voice. Grades 7-10 Maria E. Gentle
It is the first summer after Cedar's loss of her father and brother Sam in a tragic auto accident. Her mother and younger brother Miles are each coping as best they can: her mother by building a deck onto their summer home, Miles by watching a soap opera, and Cedar by working at Summerlost, a local theater festival. At work, Cedar meets Leo and together they figure out a scheme to make more money, money that Leo needs for a trip to England. A tender and rich story of family, friendship and loss beautifully voiced by Ms Strole which will stay in your memory for a long time. Ages 10-14 Maria E. Gentle
Zylynn has spent almost 13 years inside a compound called The Children Inside the Light. Now, 10 days before her birthday, she is plucked from the only world she has ever known and made to live with strangers in the Darkness. She is confused because her new world doesn’t have the same Rules. She is also scared and anxious to get home to the Light before it is closed off to her forever. A spellbinding fictional account of what it is like to escape from a cult from the eyes of a child. The immediacy of her situation adds tension, while the pacing opens opportunity for discussion throughout the story. Ten to Fourteen. Julie Dietzel-Glair
As a young boy prepares for bedtime, he asks his inked father to once again tell the stories of the tattoos that decorate his dad's body. Told wholly in the contemporary voice of the father as he describes the ways his tattoos have celebrated his life's momentous occasions, this picture book breaks new ground in characterizing an underrepresented 21st-century family. Up to Seven. -Todd Krueger
This fresh interpretation of “nature vs. technology” follows Roz the robot, who finds herself stranded on a wild island. As she learns the skills necessary to survive, she also discovers the power of friendship and motherly love, while the island inhabitants learn a thing or two from her as well. The combination of Brown's whimsical illustrations and the short but exciting chapters results in a page-turning adventure. Seven to Ten. Meaghan McKeron.
The interdependence of the plants and birds and animals on the prairie is emphasized in this celebration of the prairie dogs' role in native grassland ecosystems which uses song lyrics, informational narrative, and collage illustrations to tell the story. Roth’s striking images were created with paper and fabric. The book includes music for those who want to sing the cumulative text, based on “The green grass grew all around,” as well as extensive back matter including an timeline of the progress of restoring the Janos grasslands in Chihuahua, Mexico, illustrated with photographs. (K. Isaacs. 7-10 and up) This title will appear on the June agenda.