The Latest In Progress
A novel about Malcolm X during his teen years, as his family is broken apart by his father's murder and his mother's mental breakdown. This fictionalized account of Malcolm Little life before he becomes Malcolm X is told by a daughter with the help of author Magoon. The time period runs from the Great Depression to 1945 and moves from Lansing to Harlem and Boston, and ultimately to prison. Fourteen and Up. Kathie Weinberg.
Matt is trying to deal with his mother's recent death, and his father's drinking. A family friend offers Matt a job in the local funeral home, where Matt becomes in addition to a hard worker, an observer of grief. He starts to use these observations to understand his feelings about the loss of his mother. Warm and sensitive, this is Reynolds at his best. Fourteen and Up. Kathie Weinberg.
After Roza mysteriously showed up in Finn and Sean’s barn, they took her in and lived happily ever after until a man showed up to abduct her. Finn was the only witness and since he can’t give the police any usable information, the whole town doubts his story. Since Finn feels partially responsible for Roza’s disappearance, he decides he should be the one to save her. A lovely modern fairy tale about love and evil. Fourteen and up. Michelle Miller
Three intertwined stories of music, a harmonica and dealing with difficult situations and one more story about the magic underlying all. The first story is set in Nazi Germany, the second in Phil. in 1935,the third in Calif in 1942. Prejudice affects Fritz and Ivy, poverty is the curse of Mike and Frankie. Their stories draw the reader in, the cliff hanger ending of each leaves lots of questions, the resolutions, while a bit improbable, will be very satisfying to middle school readers. Ten to Fourteen. Edie Ching.
A lovely new good night book that is also a celebration of birds. With rhyming text a mother recounts the various ways that birds nest and reminds her child "But you next here with me" a refrain that is both comforting and enabling of the child to participate in the telling. Information on each of the birds that Melissa Sweet so delightfully illustrates can be found on the end pages. The warm hues, especially of blues, adds to the gentleness of this glorious book. Up to Seven. Edie Ching.
Once again Rebecca Stead tells a story on many levels through several characters who are connected to each other but uniquely portrayed. Bridge is one kind of survivor (after a horrific accident) her good friend is another (school bullying after a cell phone photo incident). There are big issues here, to whom does your body belong, who do you trust? What does it mean to "love" someone (in the eyes of a middle schooler) but they are delicately treated, in this short but emotionally large book. Ten to Fourteen. Edie Ching. (This title will appear on the September agenda.)
A picture book with a conscience. CJ accompanies his grandmother on a journey every Sunday. He is a reluctant traveler, this time wishing they could go by car (instead of bus)wondering why he makes this journey EVERY Sunday...But in the midst of feeling so sorry for himself he hears the music of the blind man and starts to see things in a new light. The illustrations have minimal backgrounds, and the figures are simplistic, similar to a child's art. We see varying perspectives and as CJ's mood changes a large double page spread reflects his new mood. Lots to share in this thoughtful story. Up to Seven. Edie Ching.