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The Might Miss Malone, by Christopher Paul Curtis

South Carolina Children's Book Award Nominees 2013-2014

The 2013-2014 South Carolina Children's Book Award Nominees can be checked out from Richland Library. Get your hands on a copy, today!


The Adventures of Beanboy by Lisa Harkrader
Leah B. Says: Available in print and eBook (OverDrive)
Amazon Says: Never underestimate the power of the bean. Tucker MacBean has been drawing comic books almost as long as he’s been reading more...
Amazon Says: Never underestimate the power of the bean. Tucker MacBean has been drawing comic books almost as long as he’s been reading them. When his favorite comic has a contest for kids, he hopes he has finally found a way to fix his family—all he has to do is create the winning superhero sidekick . . . Introducing “Beanboy”—the first comic book character to truly harness the power of the bean for good. He is strong, he is relentless, he can double in size overnight (if given enough water). With thoughtful characterizations and copious comic book illustrations, this laughout-loud novel will have readers rooting for a superhero with true heart. less...
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The Aviary by Kathleen O'Dell
Leah B. Says: Available in print and eBook (OverDrive and 3M)
Amazon Says: Twelve-year-old Clara Dooley has spent her whole life in the Glendoveer mansion, where her mother is a servant to the kind and elderly matron of the house. Clara has never kno more...
Amazon Says: Twelve-year-old Clara Dooley has spent her whole life in the Glendoveer mansion, where her mother is a servant to the kind and elderly matron of the house. Clara has never known another home. In fact, she's confined to the grand estate due to a mysterious heart condition. But it's a comfortable life, and if it weren't for the creepy squawking birds in the aviary out back, a completely peaceful one too. But once old Mrs. Glendoveer passes away, Clara comes to learn many dark secrets about the family. The Glendoveers suffered a horrific tragedy: their children were kidnapped, then drowned. And their father George Glendoveer, a famous magician and illusionist, stood accused until his death. As Clara digs deeper and deeper into the terrifying events, the five birds in the aviary seem to be trying to tell her something. And Clara comes to wonder: what is their true identity? Clara sets out to solve a decades-old murder mystery—and in doing so, unlocks a secret in her own life, too. Kathleen O'Dell deftly weaves magic, secret identities, evil villians, unlikely heroes, and the wonder of friendship into a mystery adventure with all the charm of an old fashioned classic. less...
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Leah B. Says: Available in print
Amazon Says: Anyone can get involved in gathering data for ongoing, actual scientific studies such as the Audubon Bird Count and FrogWatch USA. Just get out into a field, urban park, or yo more...
Amazon Says: Anyone can get involved in gathering data for ongoing, actual scientific studies such as the Audubon Bird Count and FrogWatch USA. Just get out into a field, urban park, or your own backyard. You can put your nose to a monarch pupa or listen for raucous frog calls. You can tally woodpeckers or sweep the grass for ladybugs. This book, full of engaging photos and useful tips, will show you how. less...
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Leah B. Says: Available in print
Amazon Says: The streets of 1893 New York are full of life: crowded, filthy, dangerous. If you are a newsboy like thirteen-year- old Maks Geless, you need to watch out for Bruno, leader of more...
Amazon Says: The streets of 1893 New York are full of life: crowded, filthy, dangerous. If you are a newsboy like thirteen-year- old Maks Geless, you need to watch out for Bruno, leader of the Plug Ugly Gang whose shadowy, sinister boss is plotting to take control of all the newsies on the lower East Side. With Bruno’s boys in fierce pursuit, Maks discovers Willa, a strange girl who lives alone in an alley. It is she, stick in hand, who fights off the Plug Uglies--but further dangers await. Maks must find a way to free his sister Emma from The Tombs, the city jail where she has been imprisoned for stealing a watch at the glamorous new Waldorf Hotel. Maks, believing her innocent, has only four days to prove it. Fortunately, there is Bartleby Donck, the eccentric lawyer (among other employments) to guide Maks and Willa in the art of detection. Against a backdrop alive with the sights and sounds of tenement New York, Maks, as boy detective, must confront a teeming world of wealth and crime, while struggling against powerful forces threatening new immigrants and the fabric of family love.  less...
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Close to Famous by Joan Bauer
Leah B. Says: Available in print and eBook (3M)
Amazon Says: Foster McFee dreams of having her own cooking show like her idol, celebrity chef Sonny Kroll. Macon Dillard's goal is to be a documentary filmmaker. Foster's mother Rayka long more...
Amazon Says: Foster McFee dreams of having her own cooking show like her idol, celebrity chef Sonny Kroll. Macon Dillard's goal is to be a documentary filmmaker. Foster's mother Rayka longs to be a headliner instead of a back-up singer. And Miss Charleena plans a triumphant return to Hollywood. Everyone has a dream, but nobody is even close to famous in the little town of Culpepper. Until some unexpected events shake the town and its inhabitants-and put their big ambitions to the test. Full of humor, unforgettable characters, surprises, and lots and lots of heart, this is Joan Bauer at her most engaging. less...
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Double Dog Dare by Lisa Graff
Leah B. Says: Available in print and eBook (3M)
Amazon Says: What would you do to win a dare war? In a humorous and insightful novel about dares, divorce and friendship, Lisa Graff tells the story of fourth-graders Kan more...
Amazon Says: What would you do to win a dare war? In a humorous and insightful novel about dares, divorce and friendship, Lisa Graff tells the story of fourth-graders Kansas Bloom and Francine Halata, who start out as archenemies, until--in a battle of wits and willpower--they discover that they have a lot more in common than either would have guessed. This dual-perspective novel will appeal to girls and boys alike--and to anyone who has ever wanted anything so badly that they'd lick a lizard to get it. Praise for DOUBLE DOG DARE:   “[A] perceptive and funny book….the way [Graff] handles her characters is spot-on.” –Booklist   “Readers will be hooked by the first chapter….All in all, an enjoyable, lighthearted read about a difficult topic.” –School Library Journal   “Graff's…story is lighthearted and humorous, but honestly addresses the emotions associated with divorce. Her characters' voices, interactions, and hangups are relatable, as they battle each other and adjust to their families' reconfigurations.” –Publishers Weekly   less...
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Leah B. Says: Available in print and eBook (OverDrive and 3M)
Amazon Says: Eight-year-old EllRay Jakes is sick of getting picked on. But every time he tries to defend himself against class bully Jared Matthews, EllRay is the one who winds up in troub more...
Amazon Says: Eight-year-old EllRay Jakes is sick of getting picked on. But every time he tries to defend himself against class bully Jared Matthews, EllRay is the one who winds up in trouble. It's just not fair! Then his dad offers him a deal: If EllRay can stay out of trouble for a week, they'll go to Disneyland! But being good for one whole week is not so easy. . . . This humorous and true-to-life story kicks off the EllRay series, which is just right for boys (and girls!) who are beginning to read chapter books. less...
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Leah B. Says: Available in print
Amazon Says: A compelling look at two leaders who held the world's fate in their hands-- and the holiday visit that sealed a friendship and steered the course of World War II. At t more...
Amazon Says: A compelling look at two leaders who held the world's fate in their hands-- and the holiday visit that sealed a friendship and steered the course of World War II. At the height of World War II, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill held an extraordinary month-long visit, during which they planned the success of the Allied powers and strategized a continuing peace for when the war ended. Moving from witty banter to gravely serious discussions-- amid a traditional public celebration of the Christmas holiday-- the two cemented a unique bond as they decided how to confront a menace that threatened all of civilization. Now, on the seventieth anniversary of this event, thanks to the skillful work of author Douglas Wood and illustrator Barry Moser, the story of this remarkable time can be shared with a whole new generation. less...
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Freaky Fast Frankie Joe by Lutricia Clifton
Leah B. Says: Available in print
Amazon Says: When twelve-year-old Frankie Joe's mother is sent to jail, he is uprooted from his home in Texas to live with the father he has never met, his father's wife, and his father's more...
Amazon Says: When twelve-year-old Frankie Joe's mother is sent to jail, he is uprooted from his home in Texas to live with the father he has never met, his father's wife, and his father's four "legitimate" sons in Illinois. Frankie Joe is miserable. Trying to adjust to his blended family proves too much to bear, so Frankie Joe hatches a plot to escape on his bike back home to Texas. For that he needs money, and so Frankie Joe's Freaky Fast Delivery Service is born. His deliveries win new friends, a place in the rural Illinois community, and a sense of achievement. But his planned escape is destroyed by a heartbreaking betrayal, and Frankie Joe needs all of his incredible resilience and the loving support of his new family to survive the devastating loss. less...
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The Humming Room by Ellen Potter
Leah B. Says: Available in print
Amazon Says: Hiding is Roo Fanshaw's special skill. Living in a frighteningly unstable family, she often needs to disappear at a moment's notice. When her parents are murdered, it's her sp more...
Amazon Says: Hiding is Roo Fanshaw's special skill. Living in a frighteningly unstable family, she often needs to disappear at a moment's notice. When her parents are murdered, it's her special hiding place under the trailer that saves her life. As it turns out, Roo, much to her surprise, has a wealthy if eccentric uncle, who has agreed to take her into his home on Cough Rock Island. Once a tuberculosis sanitarium for children of the rich, the strange house is teeming with ghost stories and secrets. Roo doesn't believe in ghosts or fairy stories, but what are those eerie noises she keeps hearing? And who is that strange wild boy who lives on the river? People are lying to her, and Roo becomes determined to find the truth. Despite the best efforts of her uncle's assistants, Roo discovers the house's hidden room--a garden with a tragic secret. Inspired by The Secret Garden, this tale full of unusual characters and mysterious secrets is a story that only Ellen Potter could write. Read the Q&A with Ellen Potter from Publisher's Weekly on writing a novel inspired by The Secret Garden By Sally Lodge Jan 12, 2011In 2003, Ellen Potter made a lively splash onto the scene with her middle-grade novel Olivia Kidney. She went on to write three sequels about that enchantingly quirky heroine, as well as two other novels, Slob and The Kneebone Boy. Most recently, the author tapped into memories of her own childhood reading to pen The Humming Room, a novel inspired by Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden. Set in a mansion—a former children’s tuberculosis sanitarium—on an island in the St. Lawrence River, the story centers on Roo, a prickly orphan who goes to live with her aloof uncle, and befriends Phillip, his troubled son, and Jack, a local boy. Potter talks about how this novel took shape.   Is it safe to assume that The Secret Garden was an important book to you as a child?   Obviously, I loved the novel as a kid. What really struck me was that when I went back to read it as an adult, the story not only held up, but I discovered elements in it I had never noticed before. It felt very fresh, and surprisingly layered in a way I hadn’t realized as a child.   Was that an unusual reaction for you to have to a book you revisit from your childhood?   Ellen Potter. Photo: Shai Enav. Yes, very unusual for me. A lot of times when I go back to books I loved when I was young I don’t quite understand what it was that I loved about them. Rereading The Secret Garden, Ifelt a lot like Mary feels when she visits her garden. She’s always finding something new popping up—something delightful or surprising. I’ve reread The Secret Garden every year as an adult. I have a battered copy on my bookshelf—it’s really quite a mess! The experience of reading the novel keeps deepening for me.   How did you tackle the actual writing of The Humming Room?   The idea of writing a contemporary version of The Secret Garden was very exciting to me, yet at the same time it was very, very intimidating. I knew I needed to follow the original story line—or that I wanted to—but I knew I had to make it different enough that it would be worthwhile for people to read my novel. My editor, Jean Feiwel, was great and kept encouraging me to have at it, to go anywhere that I felt I had to go with it.   Did you set parameters for yourself, in terms of working within Burnett’s original storyline?   I actually kept trying to swerve away from the original story, but it wasn’t easy. There’s something about The Secret Garden that kept me rooted in the original storyline, which was difficult for me. I don’t plot my novels—I move along with my characters. For the first time I had a story already set out for me, which was very challenging.   Would you say that you heard Burnett’s voice in your head as you wrote?   Yes. I feel I know The Secret Garden so well that I could kind of riff on it like a jazz musician. I know it in my core, and could take the essence and work with that. Still, I love the original novel so much that it was psychologically a very tough book to write. Though I think whenever I finish a book I always say it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever written!   You obviously did branch out from the original, with the setting to begin with. Why choose an island on the St. Lawrence?   I went back and forth on the setting, actually. At first I thought of perhaps setting it in New York City, but that didn’t work. At the time I began writing the novel I was living in the Thousand Islands, and was spending a lot of time on the St. Lawrence. The river is so very beautiful, and it struck me as similar in some ways to the moor in The Secret Garden.   Similar in what ways?   The St. Lawrence seems a vast expanse of gray, the way the moor is a vast expanse of purple. But if you stop and look closely at the river, it’s incredibly changeable and moody—and sometimes violent. But it’s always surprising. And it occurred to me that this would be a perfect setting for The Humming Room. On top of that, there are quite a few mansions in the Thousand Islands with ghost stories attached to them. It’s quite incredible.   So that inspired your mansion setting, with mysterious humming noises and an abandoned garden hidden within it?   Yes, and I decided to make the mansion a defunct sanitarium, because I wanted there to be a ghostly presence, an eerie echo, in the house. One of the things I loved in The Secret Garden, and tried to put in my novel, was that there was a consciousness to everything—the house, the moor, and the garden. They are really characters themselves. In my novel, I wanted to give this same consciousness and self-awareness to the mansion, the river, and the garden, to give them personalities.   How did you set out to make Roo, Jack, and Phillip distinct from—and have a more modern sensibility than—Burnett’s characters?   One thing I remember about Mary and Dickon is that there was a little squeak of romance in their relationship, but it was so understated. As a child, I remember wanting more romance in the book. So I brought out a bit more romance between Roo and Jack. It’s a young romance and entirely innocent, but it’s there. With Phillip, my Colin character, I tried at first to make his ailment physical, like Colin’s, but that didn’t work, so I decided to give Phillip a more mental affliction, which worked better for the story. And like Mary, Roo starts off as a not very likable character—she’s a pretty tough customer. That’s unusual for a heroine, and I loved that about The Secret Garden. But before long Mary begins to blossom, and that happens to Roo as well.   Have you tackled another writing project since finishing The Humming Room?   Yes. I’m working on a series for younger readers, for Feiwel and Friends. It’s directed at boys—though I think girls will like it, too. I have a son who is seven, and I’ve been noticing for a while how few very engaging books there are for boys around that age. They somehow get the short shrift. Boys at that age who are big readers are reading books like Diary of a Wimpy Kid, which deal with middle-school issues that seven-year-olds are not yet concerned about. So I’m trying to write something along those lines, but more appropriate for younger kids. As I write, I’ve been trying out scenes on my son. I wait for his giggle, and if it comes, I keep that part in the book. Luckily, it’s a method that seems to be working quite well! - Publisher's Weekly, January 2012 less...
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The Mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Paul Curtis
Leah B. Says: Available in print, CD, downloadable audio (OverDrive) and eBook (OverDrive and 3M)
Amazon Says: "We are a family on a journey to a place called wonderful" is the motto of Deza Malone's family. Deza is the smartest girl in her class in Gary, Indiana, singled out by teache more...
Amazon Says: "We are a family on a journey to a place called wonderful" is the motto of Deza Malone's family. Deza is the smartest girl in her class in Gary, Indiana, singled out by teachers for a special path in life. But the Great Depression has hit Gary hard, and there are no jobs for black men. When her beloved father leaves to find work, Deza, Mother, and her older brother Jimmie go in search of him, and end up in a Hooverville outside Flint, Michigan. Jimmie's beautiful voice inspires him to leave the camp to be a performer, while Deza and Mother find a new home, and cling to the hope that they will find Father. The twists and turns of their story reveal the devastation of the Depression and prove that Deza truly is the Mighty Miss Malone. less...
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Never Forgotten by Patricia C. McKissack
Leah B. Says: Available in print
Amazon Says: A 2012 Coretta Scott King Author Honor Book This gorgeous picture book by Newbery Honor winner Patricia C. McKissack and two-time Caldecott Medal-winning husband-and-w more...
Amazon Says: A 2012 Coretta Scott King Author Honor Book This gorgeous picture book by Newbery Honor winner Patricia C. McKissack and two-time Caldecott Medal-winning husband-and-wife team Leo and Diane Dillon is sure to become a treasured keepsake for African American families. Set in West Africa, this a lyrical story-in-verse is about a young black boy who is kidnapped and sold into slavery, and his father who is left behind to mourn the loss of his son. Here's a beautiful, powerful, truly unforgettable story about family, memory, and freedom. "Forceful and iconic," raves Publishers Weekly in a starred review. less...
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Pie by Sarah Weeks
Leah B. Says: Available in print and coming soon on CD
Amazon Says: From the award-winning author of SO B. IT, a story about family, friendship, and...pie! When Alice's Aunt Polly, the Pie Queen of Ipswitch, passes away, she takes with her th more...
Amazon Says: From the award-winning author of SO B. IT, a story about family, friendship, and...pie! When Alice's Aunt Polly, the Pie Queen of Ipswitch, passes away, she takes with her the secret to her world-famous pie-crust recipe. Or does she? In her will, Polly leaves the recipe to her extraordinarily fat, remarkably disagreeable cat, Lardo . . . and then leaves Lardo in the care of Alice. Suddenly, the whole town is wondering how you leave a recipe to a cat. Everyone wants to be the next big pie-contest winner, and it's making them pie-crazy. It's up to Alice and her friend Charlie to put the pieces together and discover the not-so-secret recipe for happiness: Friendship. Family. And the pleasure of donig something for the right reason. With Pie, acclaimed author Sarah Weeks has baked up a sweet and satisfying delight, as inviting as warm pie on a cold day. You'll enjoy every last bite. less...
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Plunked by Michael Northrop
Leah B. Says: Available in print
Amazon Says: When a young slugger gets hit by a pitch, he needs more than practice to get back his game. Sixth grader Jack Mogens has it all figured out: He's got his batting routine down more...
Amazon Says: When a young slugger gets hit by a pitch, he needs more than practice to get back his game. Sixth grader Jack Mogens has it all figured out: He's got his batting routine down, and his outfielding earns him a starting spot alongside his best friend Andy on their Little League team, the Tall Pines Braves. He even manages to have a not-totally-embarrassing conversation with Katie, the team's killer shortstop. But in the first game of the season, a powerful stray pitch brings everything Jack's worked so hard for crashing down around his ears. How can he explain to his parents and friends why he WON'T be playing? Readers will root for Jack as he finds the courage to step back up to the plate. less...
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Leah B. Says: Available in print
Amazon Says: Playful political poems about the penchants and peccadilloes of the presidents! Sure, William Taft got stuck in his tub, but did you know that John Quincy Adams used to skinn more...
Amazon Says: Playful political poems about the penchants and peccadilloes of the presidents! Sure, William Taft got stuck in his tub, but did you know that John Quincy Adams used to skinny-dip in the Potomac? Herbert Hoover spoke Chinese with his wife, and Gerald Ford had his name changed from Leslie Lynch King. It’s true! In The President’s Stuck in the Bathtub, the lives of the presidents are served up as fact-filled and fanciful poems that will make you laugh, cringe, and gasp with amazement at the colorful cast of men and women who have lived in the White House. With footnotes relating the facts behind the inspiration for each poem, and a section called “Presidential Notes and Quotes” in the back, this is one hilarious history lesson that kids will elect to read over and over again! less...
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Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage
Leah B. Says: Available in print, CD, and eBook (3M)
Amazon Says: Newbery honor winner, New York Times bestseller, Edgar Award Finalist, and E.B. White Read-Aloud Honor book. A hilarious Southern debut with the kind of charact more...
Amazon Says: Newbery honor winner, New York Times bestseller, Edgar Award Finalist, and E.B. White Read-Aloud Honor book. A hilarious Southern debut with the kind of characters you meet once in a lifetime Rising sixth grader Miss Moses LoBeau lives in the small town of Tupelo Landing, NC, where everyone's business is fair game and no secret is sacred. She washed ashore in a hurricane eleven years ago, and she's been making waves ever since. Although Mo hopes someday to find her "upstream mother," she's found a home with the Colonel--a café owner with a forgotten past of his own--and Miss Lana, the fabulous café hostess. She will protect those she loves with every bit of her strong will and tough attitude. So when a lawman comes to town asking about a murder, Mo and her best friend, Dale Earnhardt Johnson III, set out to uncover the truth in hopes of saving the only family Mo has ever known. Full of wisdom, humor, and grit, this timeless yarn will melt the heart of even the sternest Yankee. less...
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Waiting for the Magic by Patricia MacLachlan
Leah B. Says: Available in print
Amazon Says: People may drift apart But love can hold them together. Sometimes we find that love through magic – Sometimes that magic is all around us. This is a story about all of t more...
Amazon Says: People may drift apart But love can hold them together. Sometimes we find that love through magic – Sometimes that magic is all around us. This is a story about all of these things. But it's also a story about how four dogs and one cat help one boy and his sister save their family. less...
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With a Name like Love by Tess Hilmo
Leah B. Says: Available in print
Amazon Says: One of School Library Journal’s Best Fiction Books of 2011When Ollie’s daddy, the Reverend Everlasting Love, pulls their travel trailer into Binder to lead a three-day rev more...
Amazon Says: One of School Library Journal’s Best Fiction Books of 2011When Ollie’s daddy, the Reverend Everlasting Love, pulls their travel trailer into Binder to lead a three-day revival, Ollie knows that this town will be like all the others they visit— it is exactly the kind of nothing Ollie has come to expect. But on their first day in town, Ollie meets Jimmy Koppel, whose mother is in jail for murdering his father. Jimmy insists that his mother is innocent, and Ollie believes him. Still, even if Ollie convinces her daddy to stay in town, how can two kids free a grown woman who has signed a confession?  Ollie’s longing for a friend and her daddy’s penchant for searching out lost souls prove to be a formidable force in this tiny town where everyone seems bent on judging and jailing without a trial.  less...
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Wonder by R. J. Palacio
Leah B. Says: Available in print and eBook (OverDrive and 3M) and coming soon on CD
Amazon Says: I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse. August Pullman was born with a facial difference that, up until now, has prevented him from more...
Amazon Says: I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse. August Pullman was born with a facial difference that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face. WONDER, now a #1 New York Times bestseller and included on the Texas Bluebonnet Award master list, begins from Auggie’s point of view, but soon switches to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others. These perspectives converge in a portrait of one community’s struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance. "Wonder is the best kids' book of the year," said Emily Bazelon, senior editor at Slate.com and author of Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy. In a world where bullying among young people is an epidemic, this is a refreshing new narrative full of heart and hope. R.J. Palacio has called her debut novel “a meditation on kindness” —indeed, every reader will come away with a greater appreciation for the simple courage of friendship. Auggie is a hero to root for, a diamond in the rough who proves that you can’t blend in when you were born to stand out. Join the conversation: #thewonderofwonder less...
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Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick
Leah B. Says: Available in print
Amazon Says: From Brian Selznick, the creator of the Caldecott Medal winner THE INVENTION OF HUGO CABRET, comes another breathtaking tour de force. Playing with the form he created in his more...
Amazon Says: From Brian Selznick, the creator of the Caldecott Medal winner THE INVENTION OF HUGO CABRET, comes another breathtaking tour de force. Playing with the form he created in his trailblazing debut novel, The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Brian Selznick once again sails into uncharted territory and takes readers on an awe-inspiring journey. Ben and Rose secretly wish their lives were different. Ben longs for the father he has never known. Rose dreams of a mysterious actress whose life she chronicles in a scrapbook. When Ben discovers a puzzling clue in his mother's room and Rose reads an enticing headline in the newspaper, both children set out alone on desperate quests to find what they are missing. Set fifty years apart, these two independent stories--Ben's told in words, Rose's in pictures--weave back and forth with mesmerizing symmetry. How they unfold and ultimately intertwine will surprise you, challenge you, and leave you breathless with wonder. Rich, complex, affecting, and beautiful--with over 460 pages of original artwork--Wonderstruck is a stunning achievement from a uniquely gifted artist and visionary. less...
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