Ebo is alone. His brother, Kwame, has disappeared, and Ebo knows it can only be to attempt the hazardous journey to Europe, and a better life, the same journey their sister set out on months ago. But Ebo refuses to be left behind in Ghana. He sets out after Kwame and joins him on the quest to reach Europe. Ebo’s epic journey takes him across the Sahara Desert to the dangerous streets of Tripoli, and finally out to the merciless sea. But with every step he holds on to his hope for a new life, and a reunion with his family.
As the author notes although Illegal is a work of fiction all of the different portions of it are true, and events similar to what happen to Ebo happen to children, teens, and adults each day. This graphic novel is a compassionate look at the plight of refugees and immigrants. Readers will gain empathy for Ebo as the novel does not shy away from the terrible events that happen to him but his positive outlook lessens the overwhelming nature of the tragedies. The graphic novel would be an excellent teaching tool- to combine with history lessons or current events. Readers who enjoy graphic novel memoirs or graphic novel nonfiction such as Spinning by Walden or March by Lewis should check out this book.
You can find Illegal by Eoin Colfer in the Juvenile Graphic Novel section at J GRAPHIC COLFER.
A young boy relates his adventures during the year he spends living alone in the Catskill Mountains including his struggle for survival, his dependence on nature, his animal friends, and his ultimate realization that he needs human companionship.
First published in 1959, this classic tale of survival and adventure was a Newbery honor book in 1960. The sequel to this book, On the Far Side of the Mountain was published many years later in 1990. This classic is perfect for reader’s who enjoy survival stories like Hatchet by Gary Paulsen.
You can find My Side of the Mountain in the Juvenile Fiction section at J GEORGE.
Today’s recommend read is: Strongheart: Wonder Dog of the Silver Screen by Candace Fleming.
A German shepherd is transformed from Etzel, a police dog in Berlin, to Strongheart, a silent movie star that will need his best acting skills to prove himself innocent of attacking a girl.
Readers who love animals will be interested in this book based on the true story of the German Shepard dog, Strongheart, who was a silent film star in the 1920s. The illustrations throughout are charming and the inclusion of back-matter with photographs of the dog and explanations of which sections are facts and which are embellished should help satisfy the curiosity of young readers.
You can find Strongheart: Wonder Dog of the Silver Screen in the Juvenile Fiction section at J FLEMING.
While trying to cheer up her depressed mother, twelve-year-old Sophie gets roped into doing a triathlon as part of a school project on risk-taking, and discovers she can see people’s thoughts in bubbles above their heads.
This middle-grade novel deals with important topics including depression, therapy, preteen insecurities, and more. While seeing people’s thoughts sounds exciting Sophie quickly learns that you may not want to know what other people are thinking- luckily she has some good friends on her side. For middle-grade readers who like their realistic fiction to have a feel-good ending and don’t mind some low fantasy elements.
You can find this novel in the Juvenile Fiction section at J COOPER.
Matilda, a brilliant, sensitive little girl, uses her talents and ingenuity to seek revenge on her crooked father, lazy mother, and the terrifying Miss Trunchbull, her wicked headmistress, and save her beloved teacher, Miss Honey.
Published in 1988, Matilda is another example of Roald Dahl’s work and another classic novel that has been released as a movie. The humor and the triumph of good over evil with the girl as the hero make this a book that has become a classic.
You can find Matilda in the Juvenile Fiction section at J DAHL.
When unlikeable Elsie dies in the influenza pandemic of 1918, she comes back to haunt Annie to make sure she’ll be Annie’s best–and only–friend soon.
For readers who enjoy horror, but prefer it to be creepy rather than gory Mary Downing Hahn is one of the go-to authors. This page-turning ghost story is for those who enjoy historical settings, and those who enjoy Hahn’s other books.
You can find One for the Sorrow: A Ghost Story in the Juvenile Fiction section at J HAHN.
Bradley Academy’s all-girl a cappella group used to be the pride of the sunshine state, but the Nightingales have recently fallen out of harmony. When a boy comes between Nightingales co-captains Lidia and Sidney, the a cappella group appears in dire straits, until new girl Julianna hopes to bring the group back to their former glory in time for the big state final.
The plot may sound familiar- girl finds herself falling for the guy her best friend has a crush on- but the a cappella aspect of the books makes it fun to read this book anyway. If you liked Glee or Pitch Perfect, this is the book for you. Characters frequently burst into song, and spend much of their time picking out songs for their performances- you’ll need to be keeping up with music from the radio and from musicals to catch all the references. For middle school tweens looking for a light and quick read- this could be the right choice!
You can find Turn It Up! in the Young Adult Fiction section at YA CALONITA.
For this Throwback Thursday Ruth Anne recommends: Fair Weather by Richard Peck.
In 1893, thirteen-year-old Rosie and members of her family travel from their Illinois farm to Chicago to visit Aunt Euterpe and attend the World’s Columbian Exposition which, along with an encounter with Buffalo Bill and Lillian Russell, turns out to be a life-changing experience for everyone.
Richard Peck passed away on May 23, 2018- but his books are well regarded and on their way to becoming classics. This is perfect for readers who enjoy historical fiction especially readers who live in and around Chicago and Illinois. Full of humor and fast-paced this is also a great inter-generational story that shows relationships between children and grandparents.
You can find this book in the Juvenile Fiction section at J PECK.
~ra & aw
Polly Diamond and the Magic Book by Alice Kuipers is the story of a young girl, Polly, who discovers magic and has many misadventures. Polly loves to write stories and begins to put them in a special book. She soon discovers that everything she writes about will appear in real life. Certainly, all of Polly’s dreams will come true. Come to the library to check out a copy of this book to see if all of Polly’s dreams are as magical as they seem.
You can find Polly Diamond and the Magic Book in the Juvenile Fiction section at J KUIPERS.
Have you read The House with a Clock in its Walls by John Bellairs? This haunting mystery (with a little fantasy thrown in) has been turned into a movie that will be released at the end of September 2018! We’re going to try and read the book before we see the movie- we still have some time!