It’s the summer before high school, and upon realizing that their classmates aren’t as excited by their summer reading assignment as they are, Lucy, Elena, and Michael take it upon themselves to hype To Kill a Mockingbird by “killing the mockingbird”, by hiding copies in local libraries and bookstores as well as crafting internet buzz to drive up demand for the title. Fat Bob, their recently and dearly departed teacher would be proud, they think, until the whole thing goes viral online, and the three friends (two of whom are also navigating a sweet tween romance) need to reel things in quickly, leading to a satisfying, if not quite believable ending. Sylvie Shaffer. 10-14
Frustrated and bored by the prospect of a summer at home, seventeen year old Adam spends the summer visiting his older, cooler, lesbian sister in Brooklyn and falls in love with an older girl he meets while tagging along on the Queer scene. Just your typical “boy meets girl” story, except that the girl is a lesbian, and the boy is passing as transgender. Set in 2006, the raunchy, hilarious, and downright Shakespearean story is executed brilliantly and offers a crash-course in GLBT issues and terminology. This won’t be for every teen, but the right reader will enjoy this immensely. Sylvie Shaffer. 14 and up.
From former special ed. teacher, Giles, comes an unforgettable “odd couple.” Two special program graduates are placed as apartment-mates, helping their landlady with meals and housekeeping. Each comes with her own difficult history. The two personalities, initially at odds, eventually begin to support each other’s blossoming in unanticipated ways. Told in an alternating dual first-person narrative, this unusual novel evokes Eleanor Roosevelt’s saying, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
“Two are better than one … If either of them falls down, one can help the other up … Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 Nominated by Valerie Diamond
All of King Neptune's fifty daughters have a special talent but what about the youngest one, Minnow? Minnow’s curiosity and determination leads her on the path to finding her own gift. Delicate and dreamlike illustrations offer a clever and heart warming new spin on these well known fairy tale components. Up to Seven. Lizzie Nolan
A double page spread for each number shares an animal (or plenty of them) doing something rhyming and whimsical. The illustrations are cute and often funny, and even when the rhyme isn't perfect, (14 capybaras eating bananas), it's humorous enough to not so much matter. A great and fun counting book. Up to Seven. Jamie Watson
A well researched biography of these two talented but flawed artists whose relationship was troubled but intense. With details of the time and many other public figures, Henry Ford, Nelson Rockefeller, Trotsy, Reef brings their time and politics to life as well, reflecting their public consciousness and communist sympathies. The end pages reflect the author's research and the photographs, generously interspersed add to the intensity of the story. Ten to Fourteen.
A young girl is anxious to be a detective and sees mysteries all around her until she falls into two, a rescued dog and a thief who has caused a classmate to lose his job. The language is simple but the story is complex enough to hold interest without being too predictable and Maisie's dog is sure to win over the hearts of many readers. Seven to Ten.