Sydney has always felt invisible at home and at school next to her outgoing brother. The feeling is exacerbated when he ends up in jail after hitting someone while driving drunk. It is only after changing schools and making new friends that she is able to discover who she truly is. An evocative and compelling narrative that shines a light on the struggles within the drunk-driver's family, a view rarely addressed. 14 and up. Ruth Compton
This wordless, 105-page graphic novel presents the story of a young child left home alone when her mother leaves for work. It has its origins in an experience the author had as a child growing up in China. Her heroine tires of her toys and boards a bus for Grandma's house. After falling asleep, missing her stop, and running, terrified, into the woods, she is guided by a deer up a ladder to a cloud-filled paradise in the sky. The animal is a perfect playmate--attentive, playful...present. The soft pencil drawings depict a range of exquisite views and moods. Goujing has mastered the use of sequential panels to express time and emotional content. Seven to Ten. Wendy Lukehart. (This title will appear on the December agenda.)
This miracle doesn't involve any belief in magical beings, just the kindness of neighbors/friends and the power of the sweet aroma of a roast, reminding lots of people of the good things in life. Set in the city on Christmas Eve, neighbors come together and put aside their grouchiness to celebrate. Vibrant illustrations pulsate on every page, and their are swirls of smells and snow everywhere. A very joyous book whatever your holiday tradition. Up to Seven. Edie Ching.
Twins Josh and and JB inherited their basketball skills from their dad, who played professionally before his health forced him off the court. Poems ranging from free verse to hip-hop rhymes by turns propel the plot and moderate the cadence of the storytelling in this tale of love, basketball, music, and family.
After a year of bad luck, Summer hopes her fortune will change, but a family emergency requires her parents’ presence in Japan. Summer learns to make her own luck by helping her strict grandparents work a grueling Midwestern wheat harvest.
Twelve-year-old Willow Chance’s genius makes life harder after her adoptive parents die in a car accident. Her observer/outsider status allows for humor, solace, and surprise as she finds both friends and strangers who care about her and each other.
Abducted Carey and Janessa hide from the world trying to cope during their mother’s absences. After a social worker discovers them and returns them to their father, the lies Carey’s mother told her about their father continue to haunt her.
Funny, smart, and hard working Deza Malone, from Bud, Not Buddy, has to rely on her talents when her Dad goes missing and her Mom loses her job during the Great Depression. Turpin’s narration covers the gamut of emotions, distinguishing each character and bringing Deza’s intelligence and humor to life. The novel fulfills qualities of a superb story punctuated with both laughter and tears. (10-14)
The loss of her mother and grandmother as well as her family home in hurricane Katrina nearly devastates Laurel. Her attempt to cope with the pain sends her to the depths of despair and near death through her addiction to methamphetamine (“moon”).