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Archive for November, 2018

Screaming At The Ump

Wednesday, November 14th, 2018

51AevIJg8mL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_by Audrey Vernick, 250 pages, Grades 6 and up

One of Casey’s favorite things is helping out his dad and grandpa with their Umpire Training Camp. One thing Casey is NOT interested in doing is talking to Mrs. Bob the Baker (a.k.a. Mom). She broke the family, married Bob (who bakes for a living), and moved out. He hasn’t lived with her for years, and hasn’t spoken to her for months. What’s the point? There are more interesting things going on in his life: he might be the first 6th grader to get something published in the school paper, his best friend, Zeke, is entering a film about their Umpire Camp in a national contest, a famous x-baseball player may be attending their Umpire Camp in disguise, and he and Zeke get to be in charge of the best day of camp this year! Life is good; even Mrs. Bob the Baker can’t ruin this.

If you like books about baseball and a lot more too, you might also enjoy: Heat, by Mike Lupica, One Handed Catch, by Mary Jane Auch, Under the Blood Red Sun, by Graham Sallisbury, or The Other Boy, by M.G. Hennessey.

All American Boys

Wednesday, November 14th, 2018

518x0cPKHSL._SX332_BO1,204,203,200_by Jason Reynolds & Brendan Kiely, 316 pages, Grades 8 and up.

Rashad is Black. His father is a retired police officer. Rashad is taking ROTC because his father believes this will make him an upstanding citizen, but Rashad already is responsible.Quinn is white. His dad died in Afghanistan and everyone in town knows Quinn as the hero’s son.Rashad and Quinn run in different crowds, but they are teammates on the basketball court.

One day Rashad is beaten by a cop and Quinn happens to witness the incident. Quinn is horrified, but also frozen because he knows the cop; it is his best friend’s older brother. This man had once looked after Quinn when his father died.

Quinn can’t believe the same person who helped him could commit such violence. Rashad’s father can’t believe a fellow officer could do such a thing.  People are complicated and life is messy, and sometimes doing the right thing is not easy at all.

If you enjoy reading books about contemporary social justice issues, you might also enjoy: Piecing Me Together, by Rene Watson, The Stars Beneath Our Feet, David Barclay Moore or The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas.

Down and Across

Monday, November 5th, 2018

91pt6L4K1-Lby Arvin Ahmadi, 320 pages, Grades 8 and up

Scott has hard time committing to anything; most of his sixteen years he has quit before he has finished. This summer his parents sign him up for an internship trying to help him get serious; college applications are just around the corner, after all. When his parents leave him home alone for a few weeks he quickly gets side tracked and skips the internship to attend a lecture in the city. Ironically, the author he cuts his internship to see is famous for studying and writing about grit, basically the art of resolve and sticktoitiveness. If anyone can help him become more committed the expert in grit might be his last best hope!

If you enjoy books with teen characters about friendship you might also enjoy: Guitar Boy, by Mary Jane Auch, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, by Jenny Han, or The Sun is Also a Star, by Nicola Yoon.

CYRM Nominees 2019

Monday, November 5th, 2018

Here are the CYRM Nominees.

Read all three in a category and you can VOTE!

Voting ends March 31, 2019.

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The Stars Beneath Our Feet

Monday, November 5th, 2018

9781524701246David Barclay Moore, 294 pages, Grades 5-8

Lolly’s favorite thing to do is build with legos, and it is building that helps him cope when his brother is shot and killed in a gang related incident. When Lolly builds his imaginary cities he creates games and characters and kind of escapes into his fantasy world. Grown-ups around him can see this lego building is helping him feel better; his mom’s girlfriend keeps bringing him discarded blocks from her job, the after school teacher has set aside a big place where he can build and add to his structures day after day, and even though Lolly thinks he prefers this private, quiet space and time, he has to admit it does get more fun when the after school teacher makes him share his space with Rose.

If you enjoy stories about overcoming the death of a loved one you might also enjoy: The Boy in the Black Suit, by Jason Reynolds. If you like books that deal with social justice issues, you might also enjoy: Hold Fast, by Blue Balliett, or The Sky at our Feet, by Nadia Hashimi

One of Us is Lying

Monday, November 5th, 2018

91BHA3Ym2HLby Karen M. McManus, 360 pages, Grades 8 and up.

When Simon drops dead in detention the four other kids in the room become suspects. Investigators discover he died because the water he drank was contaminated with peanut oil and he is highly allergic. The mystery is how did peanut oil get in his water, and how did all the emergency epipens happen to go missing right when they could have saved his life? Bronwyn, Addy, Nate and Cooper all claim to be innocent, but they also all have something they would like to keep secret. Can they prove their innocence without divulging their embarrassing secret? And, who did kill Simon, anyway?

If you enjoy mysteries you might also like: Death Cloud, by Andy Lane, I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I Would Have to Kill You, by Ally Carter, or if you like your mysteries creepy try Darkhouse, by Barbara Redecki.

The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora

Monday, November 5th, 2018

910v3TBEG8Lby Pablo Cartaya, 236 pages, Grades 6-8

Arturo thought he would be enjoying the summer, but recent events have turned him into an unexpected activist. His whole family works in his grandmother’s Cuban restaurant, La Cocina. The restaurant is more than a popular place to eat it is the hub of the neighborhood. His grandma has always helped families who are in struggling with gifts of food and a warm place to be. Everyone in the neighborhood loves La Cocina, but it is hard to resist the sweet talking proposals of the real estate developer, silver-tongued Winfrido Pipo. Even Arturo is taken with Pipo’s plans for the new mall until he realizes the development does not include La Cocina anywhere! Is Pipo planning to put grandma out of business? How can that be good for the neighborhood?

If you are interested in social justice issues you might also enjoy reading: The Sky at our Feet, by Nadia Hashimi,  Lucky Broken Girl, by Ruth Behar, or The Stars Beneath our Feet, by David Barclay Moore.

The Thing About Luck

Monday, November 5th, 2018

61IvDDX-bVL._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_by Cynthia Kadohata, 269 pages, Grades 6-8

Luck is a nice thing to have when it is good, but when bad, luck seems to attract more bad luck and so on and so on. Summer thought it was bad enough when her parents were called back to Japan for an emergency; this means she is in charge of her brother until they get back. But then, it is also harvest time and, since her parents are not around, it is up to Summer to help her grandmother cook and clean for the harvest workers. Then her grandpa seems to be slowing down a lot and the bosses are getting angry and threatening not to pay them if they cannot work faster. Will this bad luck just keep multiplying or could Summer finally catch a break and some good luck after all?

If you like reading books by Kadohata you might also enjoy: A Million Shades of Gray, Cracker!, or Weedflower.

Long Way Down

Monday, November 5th, 2018

Screen Shot 2018-11-05 at 8.36.35 AMby Jason Reynolds, 306 pages, Grades 7 and up

In this novel in verse Will, who is 16 years old, grapples with the idea of street justice; death for a death. He descends in the elevator from his apartment to the street, gun in the waist of jeans, ready to avenge his brother Shawn’s fatal shooting, he is visited by seven ghosts. Each ghost has a story about street justice, “the code,” and the continual cycle of violence. Will is broken hearted about his brother’s murder, what will he decide to do?

If you like novels in verse that tackle difficult topics you might also like Out of the Dust, by Karen Hesse, Paper Hearts, by Meg Wiviot, Caminar, by Skila Brown, or The Red Pencil, by Andrea Davis Pinkney.