Search All School Library Catalogs
Click on a book jacket to see if the library has a featured book in-stock
Hot Titles

Challenger Deep
by Neal Shusterman

Book list From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780061134111 *Starred Review* Award-winning author Shusterman returns to realistic fiction with a breathtaking exploration of one teen's experience with schizophrenia. Caden Bosch thinks there is somebody at his high school who wants to kill him. But that's not all. There are things happening outside of the typical space and time constraints that he can't understand. He feels at once all-powerful and frighteningly powerless. Caden slowly drifts away from friends and family and deeper into his mind, until his parents admit him to a mental hospital for further evaluation and treatment. Shusterman beautifully deploys dual narratives that become increasingly intertwined in this remarkable story. In addition to the grounded-in-reality narrative, he introduces another world, where Caden is out at sea with the Captain, a girl named Calliope, a parrot, and more. All of these characters eventually match real-world counterparts in the hospital and beyond. In confessional back matter, Shusterman explains his inspiration for this powerful story: his own son Brendan's experience in the depths of mental illness. Brendan Shusterman's illustrations, interspersed throughout, contribute significantly to the reading experience. With the increasing demand for understanding mental illness, this is a must-purchase for library collections. Haunting, unforgettable, and life affirming all at once. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: An author tour and powerhouse promotional plan will mean lots of attention for best-selling Shusterman's latest endeavor.--Barnes, Jennifer Copyright 2015 Booklist
School Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780061134111 Gr 9 Up-Caden Bosch lives in two worlds. One is his real life with his family, his friends, and high school. There he is paranoid for no reason, thinks people are trying to kill him, and demonstrates obsessive compulsive behaviors. In his other world, he's part of the crew for a pirate captain on a voyage to the Challenger Deep, the ocean's deepest trench. There he's paranoid, wary of the mercurial captain and his mutinous parrot, and tries hard to interpret the mutterings of his fellow shipmates as they sail uncharted waters toward unknown dangers. Slowly, Caden's fantasy and paranoia begin to take over, until his parents have only one choice left. Shusterman's latest novel gives readers a look at teen mental illness from inside the mind of Caden Bosch. He is a credible and sympathetic character, and his retreat into his own flawed mind is fascinating, full of riddles and surrealism. Shusterman based the novel on his son's mental illness, and Brendan's input regarding his diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder and psychiatric care makes the novel ring true. Teens, especially fans of the author's other novels, will enjoy this book. VERDICT This affecting deep dive into the mind of a schizophrenic will captivate readers, engender empathy for those with mental illnesses, and offer much fodder for discussion.-Heather Miller Cover, Homewood Public Library, AL (c) Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780061134111 With lyricism and potent insight, Shusterman (Unwind) traces the schizophrenic descent and return of Caden Bosch, an intelligent 15-year-old and a gifted artist. His internal narratives are sometimes dreams, sometimes hallucinations, and sometimes undefinable, dominated by a galleon and its captain, sailing with an enormous, sullen crew to the deepest point of the Marianas Trench, Challenger Deep. The metaphor's not exactly subtle, but Shusterman finds unexpected resonance in its details-the tarry seams in the wood, the human ballast. External reality still registers: people around Caden run the gamut of humor, scolding, threats, and avoidance to pressure him into changing behavior he no longer controls. Shusterman has mined personal experience of mental illness with his son Brendan, whose line drawings mirror Caden's fragmentation in swirling lines eerily reminiscent of Van Gogh. It's a powerful collaboration, and crucial to the novel's credibility. As Caden says, "There is no such thing as a 'correct' diagnosis," and though his story doesn't necessarily represent a "typical" experience of mental illness, it turns symptoms into lived reality in ways readers won't easily forget. Ages 14-up. Agent: Andrea Brown, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. (Apr.) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
...More

Frida Kahlo and Her Animalitos
by Monica Brown

Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780735842694 Brown uses the pets and animals in Frida Kahlo's life-spider monkeys, a parrot, and a fawn, among others-to emphasize aspects of her personality as she developed into an artist: "Frida's turkeys were intelligent and sensitive, just like her. And, like Frida, her dogs were warm and loving." Along with highlighting Kahlo's tender interactions with the animals, Brown shows how art buoyed her during difficult times, including a bus accident at age 18 that left her with persistent health problems. Parra's warm, weathered paintings are done in a flattened, folk-art style that vividly evokes the Mexican environment and "heritage of which she was very proud." Even if readers don't get much of a sense of the work Kahlo created, they'll finish the book feeling like they know the artist. Ages 4-8. Agent: Stefanie Von Borstel, Full Circle Literary. (Sept.) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
School Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780735842694 Gr 1-4-Two well-known children's book creators present the life of iconic Mexican artist Frida Kahlo through the kid-friendly lens of her animal friends. Kahlo's life as a young girl at La Casa Azul was marked by the support of her family, illness, and her "animalitos," or the many pets and creatures that she loved. Each spread introduces a new animal, from Bonito the parrot to her spider monkeys Fulang Chang and Caimito de Guayabal. The text often makes comparisons between the featured critters and the independent, free-spirited girl and budding artist. Throughout, Brown makes references to Kahlo's love of and inspiration by her Aztec culture, which was often seen in her art and evidenced by her pets' names. The picture book biography touches only briefly upon some of the artist's life-changing events, such as the accident she experienced in her teens or her marriage to Diego Rivera, but instead emphasizes the companionship of the animals with which she surrounded herself. Parra's lively acrylic paintings pay tribute to the vibrant hues of Kahlo's paintings, and her ties to her Mexican and Aztec heritage are apparent. A detailed author's note about the subject's life, art, and influence concludes the book and lists the many works in which her animalitos appear. VERDICT This unique and gorgeous take on the famous figure's work will give children an accessible entry point to an important artist. A good choice for picture book biography shelves.-Shelley M. Diaz, School Library Journal Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780735842694 Featuring charming visuals and lively, often lyrical prose, this picture book introduces Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, interweaving biographical details while highlighting her special relationships with pets. From early efforts at painting, to a childhood illness, to school escapades, Brown takes us into Kahlo's adulthood her developing passion for creating art, her marriage to Diego Rivera, and, finally, her animals. She kept company with spider monkeys, parrots, dogs, turkeys, and much more, and Brown describes each as possessing personalities that reflect Kahlo's own characteristics: Like her eagle, Frida's imagination could fly high. Rich-hued, folk art-style illustrations incorporate evocative touches, fanciful details, and collagelike compositions. Both the accessible art and text convey a sense of how some of Frida's experiences and animals impacted and informed her life and art. Although examples of her actual artwork aren't included, an author's note lists some titles that feature her animals, and provides further biographical information.--Rosenfeld, Shelle Copyright 2017 Booklist
...More

The Three Pigs
by David Wiesner

School Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780618007011 K-Gr 6-In Tuesday (Clarion, 1991), Wiesner demonstrated that pigs could fly. Here, he shows what happens when they take control of their story. In an L. Leslie Brooke sort of style (the illustrations are created through a combination of watercolor, gouache, colored inks, and pencils), the wolf comes a-knocking on the straw house. When he puffs, the pig gets blown "right out of the story." (The double spread contains four panels on a white background; the first two follow the familiar story line, but the pig falls out of the third frame, so in the fourth, the wolf looks quite perplexed.) So it goes until the pigs bump the story panels aside, fold one with the wolf on it into a paper airplane, and take to the air. Children will delight in the changing perspectives, the effect of the wolf's folded-paper body, and the whole notion of the interrupted narrative. Wiesner's luxurious use of white space with the textured pigs zooming in and out of view is fresh and funny. They wander through other stories-their bodies changing to take on the new style of illustration as they enter the pages-emerging with a dragon and the cat with a fiddle. The cat draws their attention to a panel with a brick house, and they all sit down to soup, while one of the pigs reconstructs the text. Witty dialogue and physical comedy abound in this inspired retelling of a familiar favorite.-Wendy Lukehart, Dauphin County Library, Harrisburg, PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780618007011 Ages 3^-6. This spectacular, large-format edition has double-page-spread illustrations that resonate with bold strokes and exuberant images of the moon as it prepares for its nightly activities. The moon paints the sky, gets rid of fog and mist, plants dreams, locks up nightmares until morning comes and it's time to go to sleep. Even very young children will understand this simple, almost poetic Spanish rendition of a sweet bedtime story.
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780618007011 Even the book's younger readers will understand the distinctive visual code. As the pigs enter the confines of a storybook page, they conform to that book's illustrative style, appearing as nursery-rhyme friezes or comic-book line drawings. When the pigs emerge from the storybook pages into the meta-landscape, they appear photographically clear and crisp, with shadows and three dimensions. Wiesner's (Tuesday) brilliant use of white space and perspective (as the pigs fly to the upper right-hand corner of a spread on their makeshift plane, or as one pig's snout dominates a full page) evokes a feeling that the characters can navigate endless possibilitiesDand that the range of story itself is limitless. Ages 5-up. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
...More

The Bazaar of Bad Dreams: Stories
by Stephen King

Book list From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission. 9781501111679 For thousands of readers, few things are more comfortable than hunkering down with a Stephen King short story an odd fact, considering how uncomfortable some of those stories make us. With this, his more-or-less tenth collection, King offers an arsenic sugaring to his poison pies: brief intros describing the hows, wheres, and whys behind each tale, from working out personal demons to instants of dumbstruck inspiration. The faithful might have already read or heard a few Ur, Blockade Billy but King's batting average is just as strong with the unfamiliar tales as with the familiar ones. The van strike that almost killed the author in 1999 haunts the book; vehicular accidents crop up everywhere, perhaps most disturbingly in Herman Wouk Is Still Alive, a nihilistic shocker about a dual suicide by car, and, most entertainingly, with The Little Green God of Agony, which King confesses is directly inspired by his rehabilitation. Here, an exorcist of sorts extracts pain from a sufferer in the shape of a globular green beastie. Though the stories swing from sad to wistful to grim, it's this cackling sense of play that makes Uncle Stevie so much fun to have around. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Why not order a few copies? This King kid, he might be going places.--Kraus, Daniel Copyright 2015 Booklist
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9781501111679 This collection begins with an introduction by King on why he writes short stories. To the reader's delight, he also provides a backstory for each tale, enticing the reader with a memory or scenario that prompted that particular selection's birth. Some of the pieces have been previously published. Some have been polished and revised-"Ur" was originally written as a "Kindle Single" for Amazon. Veering from the short story format, King published "Tommy" as a poem in Playboy in 2010. For baseball fans, watch out for the unexpected ending in "Blockade Billy." With "The Little Green God of Agony," King hints at how his life experience shapes his works. VERDICT The stories collected here are riveting and sometimes haunting, as is the author's style. Surprise endings abound. King is in a class all by himself. Be prepared to read voraciously. [See Prepub Alert, 6/1/15.]-Susan Carr, -Edwardsville P.L., IL Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9781501111679 Renowned author King's impressive latest collection (after 2010's Full Dark, No Stars) wraps 20 stories and poems in fascinating commentary. Each work's preface explains what inspired it and gives readers insight into King's writing methods, with occasional tidbits of his daily life. The stories themselves are meditations on mortality, destiny, and regret, all of which showcase King's talent for exploring the human condition. Realistic and supernatural elements sit side by side. The tragic "Herman Wouk Is Still Alive" contrasts the charmed lives of two world-famous poets enjoying a roadside picnic with the grim existence of two single mothers who are taking one last road trip. "Under the Weather" tells of a man's fierce love for his wife and the terrifying power of denial. "Summer Thunder," a story about a man and his dog at the end of the world, is a heart-wrenching study of inevitability and the enduring power of love. Other standouts include "Ur," about a Kindle that links to other worlds, and "Bad Little Kid," about a terrifying murderous child (complete with propeller hat). This introspective collection, like many of King's most powerful works, draws on the deepest emotions: love, grief, fear, and hope. Agent: Chuck Verrill, Darhansoff and Verrill. (Nov.) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
...More

Seven Blind Mice
by Ed Young

School Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780399222610 K-Gr 3-- A real winner, on many levels. The first impression is visual delight. Brilliant colors and varied textures of paper collage are placed in striking contrast against velvety black pages. Bold white lettering imposed on the dark background tells of seven blind mice, seen in seven bright colors. Over the course of a week each investigates, in turn, the strange ``Something'' it encounters. To one it is a pillar, to another a snake, to another a cliff. Finally, on the seventh day, the white mouse, running across the thing and remembering what the others found, concludes that it is an elephant. The tale ends with the moral that wisdom comes from seeing ``the whole.'' Adapting the old fable of the blind men and the elephant by weaving in the days of the week, the mice, and the beautiful shapes of the things they see, Young gives children a clever story, wise words, and a truly exciting visual experience.-- Shirley Wilton, Ocean County College, Toms River, NJ (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780399222610 In a stunning celebration of color Caldecott medalist Young ( Lon Po Po ) offers a vibrant variation on the fable of the blind men trying to identify an elephant. Seven differently-hued blind mice approach the ``strange Something'' in their midst on successive days and report their findings to the group. A large black square provides the background for each painting, a dramatic contrast to the brilliant images ``felt'' by the sightless rodents. Young's textured, cut-paper illustrations allow readers to visualize just how a floppy ear might be mistaken for a fan (``I felt it move!''); the elephant's curving trunk springs to life as both a jewel-green snake and a glowing yellow spear. The spare text permits greater exploration and enjoyment of the artwork--it may be difficult to read the story straight through without stopping to compare the various images. The ``Mouse Moral'' that concludes the tale--``Knowing in part may make a fine tale, but wisdom comes from seeing the whole''--may seem superfluous to those who prefer the imaginative ``vision'' of the mice. Ages 4-up. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
School Library Journal (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780399222610 K-Gr 3-- A real winner, on many levels. The first impression is visual delight. Brilliant colors and varied textures of paper collage are placed in striking contrast against velvety black pages. Bold white lettering imposed on the dark background tells of seven blind mice, seen in seven bright colors. Over the course of a week each investigates, in turn, the strange ``Something'' it encounters. To one it is a pillar, to another a snake, to another a cliff. Finally, on the seventh day, the white mouse, running across the thing and remembering what the others found, concludes that it is an elephant. The tale ends with the moral that wisdom comes from seeing ``the whole.'' Adapting the old fable of the blind men and the elephant by weaving in the days of the week, the mice, and the beautiful shapes of the things they see, Young gives children a clever story, wise words, and a truly exciting visual experience.-- Shirley Wilton, Ocean County College, Toms River, NJ (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
...More

When the Earth Shakes: Earthquakes, Volcanoes, and Tsunamis
by Simon Winchester

School Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780670785360 Gr 5-8-Winchester, a journalist and former geologist, examines earth-shaking phenomena. In the opening pages, the author discusses his experience on a university research team that confirmed the key scientific theory of continental drift; his powerful writing conveys the excitement of discovery. After this first chapter, descriptions of earthquakes, volcanos, and tsunamis are told in the third person. This contrast between personal narrative and straightforward factual writing is incredibly effective and makes the book an excellent mentor text for demonstrating the differences among various narrative styles. The visuals, too, are strong. Spectacular photographs are included, such as an aerial view of the San Andreas fault and images of the devastation following the 2004 tsunami. A reproduction of Edvard Munch's The Scream is included, and Winchester explains that the vivid sunset that the artist portrayed was caused by dust from the volcanic eruption of Krakatoa. There are several diagrams of cross-cuts of the rock formations found below the surface of the earth (with simple yet thorough captions). Information about the Richter scale and a similar scale that describes volcanos' intensity are also incorporated. The in-depth index is outstanding. An afterword warns readers of the importance of protecting the planet, and Winchester closes with the words "We inhabit this planet subject to geological consent-which can be withdrawn at any time, and without notice." VERDICT A must-buy for libraries serving middle school, this title works both as a basic overview of earth science and as a fine example of how to incorporate personal narrative into nonfiction.-Amy Thurow, New Glarus School District, WI Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
...More

The Matriarch
by Susan Page


One Came Home
by Amy Timberlake

School Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780375869259 Gr 5-8-Thirteen-year-old Georgie Burkhardt can shoot better than anyone in Placid, Wisconsin. She can handle accounts and serve customers in her family's general store. What she can't do is accept that the unrecognizable body wearing her older sister's blue-green gown is Agatha. Determined to discover what happened after Agatha abruptly left town with a group of pigeoners, Georgie sets out to follow her route. In return for the loan of a mule, she reluctantly allows Billy McCabe, one of Agatha's suitors, to accompany her. The journey includes a menacing cougar and ruthless counterfeiters, but Georgie's narration offers more than action-packed adventure. She unravels the tangle of events that led to Agatha's sudden departure and acknowledges her own role. By turns humorous and reflective, Georgie's unique and honest voice includes confusion about her feelings for Billy and doubts about her ability to kill even in desperate circumstances. Timberlake seamlessly integrates information about two significant events that occurred in Wisconsin in 1871: the largest recorded nesting of passenger pigeons in spring and devastating firestorms in fall. Georgie's physical and emotional odyssey that occurs between those two events will linger in readers' minds.-Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State University, Mankato (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780375869259 To find out what really happened to her purportedly dead sister, sharpshooting 13-year-old Georgie Burkhardt and her sister's one-time suitor Billy McCabe follow the trail of pigeon hunters and discover far worse going on near Placid, Wisconsin, in 1871. Georgie tells her story in a first-person narrative that rings true to the time and place. She is smart, determined, and not a little blind to the machinations of adults around her, including Billy, who has been sent by Georgie's storekeeper grandfather to follow her and keep her safe. She does notice that Billy is well made, but this is no love story; it's a story of acceptance, by Georgie, her family, and her small town. Timberlake weaves in the largest passenger pigeon nesting ever seen in North America, drought and fatal fires along Lake Michigan that year, a currency crisis that spawned counterfeiters, and advice on prairie travel from an actual handbook from the times. Historical fiction and mystery combine to make this a compelling adventure, and an afterword helps disentangle facts from fiction.--Isaacs, Kathleen Copyright 2010 Booklist
...More

Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie
by Jordan Sonnenblick

Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780439755207 "This insightful debut novel charts the way a talented 13-year-old drummer's life changes when his five-year-old brother, Jeffrey, is diagnosed with leukemia," according to PW. Ages 10-14. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
...More

Invisible Enemies: Stories of Infectious Disease
by Jeanette Farrell

Book list From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780374336370 Gr. 7^-12. From the jacket reproduction of a painting by Pieter Brueghel the Elder through the rich bibliography, this book illustrates the hope and confusion, the logic and paranoia that humankind has experienced when confronting terrifying diseases. Farrell's vivid prose, which occasionally flirts with melodrama, describes the cultural impact of diseases such as malaria, leprosy, tuberculosis, and AIDS, as she recreates the medical breakthroughs, the racial scapegoating, and the tremendous loss of life during the struggle to cope with and combat the illnesses. What makes this book particularly powerful is Farrell's gift for capturing the small moments that expose humanity's best and worst side: a medical pioneer tracing a town's cholera outbreak to a single water pump; the use of English orphans to test a smallpox inoculation before treating the royal family. Such examples make this fascinating reading as well as a revealing look at the intersection of science and social studies. --Randy Meyer
School Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780374336370 Gr 6 Up-Seven infectious diseases (smallpox, leprosy, plague, tuberculosis, malaria, cholera, and AIDS) are covered in this excellent book. For each one, the author highlights the causes of the affliction, the history of its treatment or lack thereof, popular notions and fears that have often led to additional suffering beyond the trauma caused by the illness, and the story of how breakthroughs came about (or what still needs to be done). Filled with fascinating facts, the text is written in a crisp and lucid style that makes the most complex matters understandable. Although this could easily be a dry subject, the author does such a wonderful job of presenting it that some chapters are as exciting as any work of fiction. The black-and-white photos and reproductions illuminate details about historical perceptions of the diseases. A riveting account.-Todd Morning, Schaumburg Township Public Library, IL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
...More

I See the Rhythm
by Michele Wood