Today I recommend: It Ain’t So Awful, Falafel
Zomorod Yousefzadeh is the new kid on the block…for the fourth time. California’s Newport Beach is her family’s latest perch, and she’s determined to shuck her brainy loner persona and start afresh with a new name from the popular tv show, “The Brady Bunch” – she is now known as “Cindy” to her classmates and teachers. It is the late 1970s, and fitting in becomes more difficult as Iran makes U.S. headlines with protests, revolution, and finally the taking of American hostages. Even mood rings, and a secret crush cannot distract Cindy from the anti-Iran sentiments that creep way to close to home. Those who struggle to fit in, and who ultimately find their place among their loved ones and new school friends, will enjoy this book. You will also find yourselves rooting for Cindy as she overcomes school and family difficulties, and comes out much more confident as she works way back back to the person she really is.
You can find this book in the Rebecca Caudill Nominee section at J DUMAS.
For this Throwback Thursday I recommend: The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall.
While vacationing with their widowed father in the Berkshire Mountains, four young sisters, ages four through twelve, share adventures with a local boy, much to the dismay of his snobbish mother.
First published in 2005, this is a modern classic that won a National Book Award in 2005. This story of siblings is perfect for readers who enjoyed Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. You can find it in the Juvenile Fiction section at J BIRDSALL.
Today I recommend: Beyond Lucky by Sarah Aronson
Believing his luck has changed for the better after finding a rare soccer card, aspiring young goalie Ari Fish finds his athletic skills floundering in the face of a dispute between his best friend and the new girl on the team, who both accuse each other of stealing the card. Beyond Lucky is not only about soccer. It’s also about friendships and how complicated they can be in middle school. I thoroughly enjoyed this one, and was surprised by the turn of events a few times. This was a fun book that kept me guessing until the end. It’s great fiction for the middle school soccer lover or sports fan. Ari is competitive, yet relatable and endearing. And if you love the play-by-play, Aronson pulls you right into the games!
You can find this book in the Juvenile Fiction section at J ARONSON
Today I recommend: I Am Princess X by Cherie Priest.
I Am Princess X starts out with 2 best friends, May and Libby. They create a cool character named princess X who carries a samurai sword, lives in a haunted house and wears red chuck Taylors. Later, sad things happen and Libby and her mother pass away, and their princess X stories and drawings are accidentaly thrown out. A couple years later, May is lonely without her best friend, but then starts seeing princess X everywhere, stickers and patches and merchandise of all sorts, and there is a web comic of the princess. May is convinced that Libby did not actually die, but is waiting to be helped and found by May, writing clues in the webcomic for help. But is it actually true, is her best friend alive? Find out more once you read the book.
I absolutely loved this book very much. Most of it was in novel form, but the princess X webcomic strips were included throughout the story as comics. The comics were beautifully drawn and the words were very descriptive. I recommend this book to whoever likes suspense, mystery and comics.
-Elizabeth N. Teen Blogger
You can find I am Princess X in the Young Adult Fiction section at YA PRIEST. This book was also on the Illinois Reader’s Choice Award List – Rebecca Caudill Young Reader’s Book Award list in 2018.
Today I recommend: The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Perez.
The First Rule of Punk is an awesome fictional novel about a Mexican punk rocker middle schooler, Malu. Malu is moving to Chicago with her mother who loves Mexican heritage, far away from Malu’s father who owns a small record shop. She does not have any friends, until she tries to start up a band with some classmates for the school talent show. Will Malu’s band be good enough to get into the talent show, and will she make friends? Read this novel to find out more.
I loved this book! It is different from other books I have read. This one is about being who you are, the importance of heritage, being a tough punk rocker and staying strong. My favorite character was Ellie, the band’s guitarist. She was very confident and smart, and was not afraid to speak up for what is right, always making petitions and helping others. I really enjoyed this novel, and I hope that you will too.
-Elizabeth N, Teen Blogger
You can find The First Rule of Punk in the Juvenile Fiction section at J PEREZ, and during the 2018-2019 school year on our Battle of the Books shelf.
For this Throwback Thursday I recommend: Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh.
Eleven-year-old Harriet keeps notes on her classmates and neighbors in a secret notebook, but when some of the students read the notebook, they seek revenge.
For amateur detectives, and readers who enjoyed Boxcar Children, Hardy Boys, and Nancy Drew this is a great classic! Harriet the Spy was first published in 1964, and like many of the Throwback Thursday Classics has also been adapted into a movie. We also have it available as an audiobook at the library.
You can find the book in the Juvenile Fiction section at J FITZHUGH and the audiobook at J CD FITZHUGH.
For this Throwback Thursday I recommend: The Call of the Wild by Jack London.
The adventures of an unusual dog, forcibly taken to the Klondike gold field, where he eventually becomes the leader of a wolf pack.
Originally published in 1903, this classic was quickly adapted into a movie in 1923, and has been adapted into a movie several other times since then. This classic is for readers who enjoy more tense drama, it is not a standard happy animal story.
You can find The Call of the Wild in the Juvenile Fiction section at J LONDON.
Today’s recommended read is: Swing It, Sunny by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm.
It’s autumn and Sunny is back home and starting middle school. Dale her brother has been sent to a boarding school to help with his drug problems. Sunny misses him terribly and her fun is often interrupted by thoughts of him, thoughts that are often completely unrelated to what Sunny is doing. When Dale returns home for the holidays feeling angry and betrayed by his family, it’s Gramps who helps Sunny see the sunny side of things again. Through it all, Sunny tries to stay positive and learns we can’t always fix everything.
If you like this book you may like DRAMA by Raina Telgemeier or All’s Faire in Middle School by Victoria Jamieson.
You can find this book in the Juvenile Graphic Novel section at J GRAPHIC HOLM.
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.