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Noggin
by John Corey Whaley

School Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9781442458727 Gr 9 Up-Travis Coates, 16, is dying of cancer, so he accepts an offer from a cryogenic group to have his head removed and frozen with the hope that it would be attached to another body in the future and he could be reanimated. Five years later, he "wakes up" with a new body and is still 16. There are a few minor problems with his new life-he is a celebrity/freak and gets more attention than he wants, he has to get used to a body that has different abilities than his old one, and he has to go to school with kids he doesn't know. The biggest problem is that Travis's best friend and his girlfriend are now 21 years old and have moved on with their lives while he feels like he has simply taken a nap. Cate is engaged and not interested in in a relationship with a teenager. Travis is obsessed with the idea that he can win her back and won't accept her repeated "no." He tries various means to convince her that he's still the one for her: some hilarious, some touching, some inappropriate, but all definitely sophomoric. The premise of the story is interesting although far-fetched. The author does a good job of describing the emotions and reactions of all of the characters, but Travis's fixation on Cate becomes tiresome and a plot twist at the end feels like it was thrown in just to make the story longer.-Nancy P. Reeder, Heathwood Hall Episcopal School, Columbia, SC (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9781442458727 Like baseball great Ted Williams, Travis Coates has his head surgically removed and cryogenically frozen after he dies (of leukemia at age 16). Unlike Williams, Travis is a fictional character, and five years after his death, technological advances allow doctors to attach his head to a donor body that's taller and more muscular than the original. Whaley's second novel (following his Printz-winning Where Things Come Back) is far more concerned with matters of the heart than with how head reattachment surgery would work. Travis awakens to restart where he left off-sophomore year-but everyone he knew has moved on. Best friend Kyle is struggling through college; former girlfriend Cate is engaged to someone else. As only the second cryogenics patient successfully revived, Travis is in uncharted territory; he's "over" high school, but not ready to be anywhere else. Travis's comic determination to turn back the hands of time and win Cate's love is poignant and heartbreaking. His status in limbo will resonate with teens who feel the same frustration at being treated like kids and told to act like adults. Ages 14-up. Agent: Stephen Barr, Writers House. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission. 9781442458727 *Starred Review* Travis Coates has lost his head literally. As he dies from acute lymphoblastic leukemia, his head is surgically removed and cryogenically frozen. Five years pass, and, thanks to advances in medical science, it becomes possible to reanimate his head and attach it to a donor body. Travis Coates is alive again, but while his family and friends are all 5 years older, Travis hasn't aged he is still 16 and a sophomore in high school. Awkward? Difficult? Puzzling? You bet. In the past, the two people he could have talked to about this were his best friend, Kyle, and his girlfriend, Cate. But now they're part of the problem. Kyle, who came out to Travis on his deathbed, has gone back into the closet, and Cate is engaged to be married. Stubbornly, Travis vows to reverse these developments by coaxing Kyle out of the closet and persuading Cate to fall in love with him again. How this plays out is the substance of this wonderfully original, character-driven second novel. Whaley has written a tour de force of imagination and empathy, creating a boy for whom past, present, and future come together in an implied invitation to readers to wonder about the very nature of being. A sui generis novel of ideas, Noggin demands much of its readers, but it offers them equally rich rewards. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Whaley's sleeper debut, Where Things Come Back (2011), won both the Michael L. Printz Award and the William C. Morris Award, so readers will be eagerly awaiting this second effort.--Cart, Michael Copyright 2010 Booklist
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Emmanuels Dream: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah
by Laurie Ann Thompson

Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780449817445 K-Gr 2-This powerful and winning picture book tells the story of a young man overcoming the odds. Born in Ghana with a deformed left leg, Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah experienced stigma as a result of his disability: his father abandoned the family, and many assumed that the boy would be little more than a burden. However, with the encouragement of his mother, Yeboah refused to give up, hopping to school (instead of walking) and even learning to play soccer and cycle, despite receiving no extra help or accommodations. Thompson's lucidly written text explains how Yeboah cycled 400 miles in 2001 to raise awareness, forever changing how Ghanaians perceived those with disabilities. The narrative is simply and clearly written, and the illustrations are skillfully rendered in charmingly emotive ink and watercolor collages. A brief author's note explains how Yeboah inspired legislation upholding equal rights for the disabled and how he continues to make strides, working with organizations that provide wheelchairs to those who need them and setting up a scholarship fund for children with disabilities. VERDICT This uplifting account will resonate with readers and supplement global and cultural studies. A triumph.-Kathryn Diman, Bass Harbor Memorial Library, Bernard, ME Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
School Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780449817445 K-Gr 2-This powerful and winning picture book tells the story of a young man overcoming the odds. Born in Ghana with a deformed left leg, Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah experienced stigma as a result of his disability: his father abandoned the family, and many assumed that the boy would be little more than a burden. However, with the encouragement of his mother, Yeboah refused to give up, hopping to school (instead of walking) and even learning to play soccer and cycle, despite receiving no extra help or accommodations. Thompson's lucidly written text explains how Yeboah cycled 400 miles in 2001 to raise awareness, forever changing how Ghanaians perceived those with disabilities. The narrative is simply and clearly written, and the illustrations are skillfully rendered in charmingly emotive ink and watercolor collages. A brief author's note explains how Yeboah inspired legislation upholding equal rights for the disabled and how he continues to make strides, working with organizations that provide wheelchairs to those who need them and setting up a scholarship fund for children with disabilities. VERDICT This uplifting account will resonate with readers and supplement global and cultural studies. A triumph.-Kathryn Diman, Bass Harbor Memorial Library, Bernard, ME (c) Copyright 2015. 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. 9780449817445 Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah was born in Ghana with a severely deformed leg, but with boundless self-determination, he became a world-renowned athlete and activist. In the beginning of her straightforward, free-verse text, Thompson only lightly touches on what it's like for disabled people in Ghana: Most people thought he would be useless, or worse / a curse. But most of Emmanuel's childhood is characterized by discrimination. When he tries to find work to support his sickly single mother, most people told him to go out and beg / like the other disabled people did. Stalwart Emmanuel, however, is resolute about making a difference, and he obtains a bicycle to travel around Ghana, nearly 400 miles in 10 days, to prove just how capable disabled people can be. Qualls' illustrations simple line drawings and stylish, expressive figures filled with layers of rich, warm color on pale, thickly painted backgrounds capture Emmanuel's triumphs beautifully. An author's note describes Emmanuel's activism in more detail, particularly the Persons with Disabilities Act, passed in Ghana following his bike ride.--Hunter, Sarah Copyright 2015 Booklist
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Finding Winnie: The True Story of the Worlds Most Famous Bear
by Lindsay Mattick


The Hour of Peril: The Secret Plot to Murder Lincoln Before the Civil War
by by Daniel Stashower

Book list From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780312600228 *Starred Review* Some of President Lincoln's associates and some historians have questioned if the supposed conspiracy to assassinate him upon his arrival in Baltimore was serious. Stashower has no doubt that the plot was real, and he has written a convincing and well-researched chronicle of it and the successful effort to thwart it. His story has the necessary elements of a successful historical thriller, including a determined assassin; a wily, intrepid detective; a serpentine plot; and, in Lincoln, an important and sympathetic potential victim. Stashower seems determined to lay out the painstaking details of the plot; although it provides credibility, it sometimes acts as a drag on the narrative. Still, the stakes are high, so the story has a built-in urgency and excitement. The detective, the soon-to-be-famous Allan Pinkerton, is a relentless and clever sleuth, and the chief conspirator, a Baltimore barber named Ferrandini, is a formidable adversary. Despite some slow moments, the book generally succeeds as both a historical inquiry and a detective story.--Freeman, Jay Copyright 2010 Booklist
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780312600228 John Wilkes Booth succeeded in 1865, but the first major plot to assassinate Abraham Lincoln unfolded in 1861 in anticipation of the then president-elect's railway trip to Washington, D.C., for his inauguration. Stashower (The Beautiful Cigar Girl) explains how Allan Pinkerton, a temperamental Scottish cooper turned "fierce and incorruptible lawman" and founder of the Pinkerton Agency, sought to infiltrate and obfuscate a murderous group led by Cypriano Ferrandini, an outspoken Italian barber in Baltimore. Interwoven with the tale of Pinkerton and company's efforts to foil what would become known as the Baltimore Plot, Stashower offers a rich portrait of a resolute but weary Lincoln as he makes his way, both politically and physically, to the White House. As everyone knows, he arrived without incident, but while he saved his skin, he lost some respect for stealing into the capital "like a thief in the night," as one newspaper put it. The book starts out slow, but once Stashower lets the Pinkerton operatives loose, their race against time as Lincoln's train speeds toward Maryland makes for an enthralling page-turner that is sure to please true crime, thriller, and history fans. Photos. (Feb.). (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780312600228 The first known attempt to murder Abraham Lincoln occurred in February 1861 during his railway journey from Springfield, IL, to Washington, DC, for his inauguration. Stashower (The Beautiful Cigar Girl) details how Allan Pinkerton, head of the Pinkerton National Detective Agency, managed to stop a band of rebels bent on killing the president-elect in Baltimore. Stashower describes a campaign-weary, nonchalant, and somewhat incautious Abraham Lincoln, traveling east toward the presidency. The author records him arriving safely in DC after stealing through Maryland's darkened countryside and Baltimore's precincts as "a thief in the night"-at Pinkerton's behest, but in the process forfeiting a measure of political stature to his detractors, who questioned his courage and fitness for office. The tale builds methodically before shifting into dramatic mode as Pinkerton, in fewer than two weeks, uncovers and quashes the would-be assassins' designs, assisted by agent Kate Warne, the leader of Pinkerton's female undercover unit. VERDICT Stashower's character-driven narrative and lively writing style reveal the finely honed skills of an accomplished mystery writer. Recommended.-John Carver Edwards, Univ. of Georgia Libs., Cleveland (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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Henry Hikes to Fitchburg
by D.B. Johnson

School Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780395968673 K-Gr 4-A nicely realized retelling of a short passage from Henry Thoreau's Walden. Henry and his friend decide to go to Fitchburg, a town 30 miles away. "I'll walk," says Henry, but his friend decides to work for the money for a train ticket and see who gets there first. Each subsequent spread marks their progress: "Henry's friend cleaned out Mrs. Thoreau's chicken house. 10 cents./Henry crossed a swamp and found a bird's nest in the grass. 12 miles to Fitchburg." The friend arrives first, barely. "`The train was faster,' he said." "I know," Henry smiled, "I stopped for blackberries." Johnson makes this philosophical musing accessible to children, who will recognize a structural parallel to "The Tortoise and the Hare." The author quotes Thoreau's original anecdote in his endnote. The two friends are depicted as 19th-century bears in the geometric, warm-toned, pencil-and-paint illustrations. Each picture is solidly composed, and although the perspectives may seem somewhat stiff and distracting up close, they work remarkably better from a short distance. The layout and steady pace, as well, make this suitable for storytime. The somewhat open-ended resolution could allow for classroom debate, and is also simply a good ending to a good story.-Nina Lindsay, Oakland Public Library, CA (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. 9780395968673 Ages 4^-8. Henry the bear and his friend decide to visit Fitchburg, a country town some 30 miles away. Henry asserts that walking is the fastest way to get there, but his friend thinks the train is best. They agree to meet in Fitchburg to see which of them is right. As Henry begins his hike, his friend goes off to earn money for the train fare. It won't take long for adults to realize that Henry is no average bear. He's an ursine Henry David Thoreau (and looks the part), engaging in a simple competition to gently expose children to Thoreau's view of life. While his friend fills the woodbox in Mrs. Alcott's kitchen, Henry rock-hops across the Sudbury River. While his friend pulls weeds in Mr. Hawthorne's garden, Henry presses ferns and flowers in a book. And while his friend cleans out Mrs. Thoreau's chicken house, Henry crosses a swamp and finds a bird's nest. While his friend, having finally earned the fare, rides a train bound for Fitchburg, Henry, nearly there, eats his fill in a blackberry patch. Although the commuter does reach Fitchburg ahead of the hiker, Henry smilingly responds with bemused understatement: "I stopped for blackberries." This splendid book works on several levels. Johnson's adaption of a paragraph taken from Thoreau's Walden (set down in an author's note) illuminates the contrast between materialistic and naturalistic views of life without ranting or preaching. His illustrations are breathtakingly rich and filled with lovingly rendered details. The angular, art-deco-influenced spreads are beautifully colored, thoughtfully designed, funny, and interesting, demonstrating Johnson's virtuosic control of his craft. Young children will like the story itself; older ones may be inspired to talk about the period in American history and the still relevant issues Thoreau raised. --Tim Arnold
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780395968673 Freelance illustrator Johnson models his striking debut on a passage from Walden, in which Thoreau advocates journeying on foot over buying a ticket to ride. Henry, a brown bear attired in a brick-red duster and wide-brimmed sun hat, is a kinder, gentler fellow than his cantankerous inspiration. His ursine friend, wearing town clothes and conspicuously toting a pocket watch, makes plans to meet him in Fitchburg, a town 30 miles distant. Spreads contrast the pair's respective travel strategies: on the left, Henry's friend does chores for unseen Mrs. Alcott, Mr. Hawthorne and Mr. Emerson to earn train fare; right-handed pages picture a leisurely Henry examining flora and fauna, admiring the view and excavating a honey tree as he strides toward his destination. At the end of the summer day, "His friend sat on the train in a tangle of people./ Henry ate his way through a blackberry patch." Johnson inventively demonstrates Thoreau's advice with kaleidoscopic illustrations in variegated colors and gently skewed perspectives that weigh fast-paced urban existence against an unmaterialistic life in the woods. Both bears make it to Fitchburg, but Henry's friend wears a blank stare, in contrast to Henry's bright-eyed, curious gaze. Johnson implies what money can and cannot buy, and encourages slowing down to experience nature. With graceful understatement, he presents some complicated ideas assuredly and accessibly. Ages 4-8. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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Beneath the sun
by written by Melissa Stewart ; illustrated by Constance R Bergum

Book list From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission. 9781561457335 On the hottest day of the year, three kids put on sunscreen, sip lemonade, and run through their backyard sprinkler to cool off. But what do animals do in hot weather? Stewart and Bergum, who previously collaborated on When Rain Falls (2008) and Under the Snow (2009), tell and show what happens on a sweltering day in a field, in a desert, in a wetland, and at the seashore. From earthworm to fiddler crab, from horned lizard to herring gull, each animal deals with high temperatures in its own way. Finally, the sun sets and evening comes, bringing cooler temperatures for all. The second half of the book is unusual in that it includes the cooling strategies of creatures living in shallow water as well as those of land animals, insects, and birds living nearby. The short text tells just enough about each animal to make its story interesting, while the handsome watercolor paintings illustrate each species and its habitat effectively. A quiet, informative read-aloud choice for the dog days of summer.--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2014 Booklist
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Since We Fell
by Dennis Lehane


Splendors and Glooms
by Laura Amy Schlitz

Book list From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780763653804 *Starred Review* A brooding, Dickensian novel with a touch of fantasy and a glimmer of hope, Schlitz's latest opens in London in 1860, when lonely Clara, the only remaining child in a doctor's grief-stricken household, attempts to celebrate her twelfth birthday. Grisini the puppet master is engaged to perform, along with the two orphaned children, Lizzie Rose and Parsefall, who serve as his assistants. Clara bridges the class divide to befriend the children. After kidnapping Clara for ransom, cruel Grisini disappears, leaving Lizzie Rose and Parsefall struggling to survive on their own. They make their way to the country house of a bewitched woman whose magical amulet gives her amazing powers while draining away her humanity. There they learn certain grisly secrets involving their cruel master, Clara's fate, and the wealthy witch, who seeks to control them all. The magic of the storytelling here lies in the subtle depiction of menacing evil. After working its way insidiously through the characters' lives, it is defeated by the children, who grow in strength and understanding throughout the novel. Vividly portrayed and complex, the characters are well-defined individuals whose separate strands of story are colorful and compelling. Schlitz weaves them into an intricate tapestry that is as mysterious and timeless as a fairy tale. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Schlitz's Newbery Medal winner, Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village (2007) earned her a wide following, and librarians will be eager to see what she's up to next.--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2010 Booklist
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780763653804 Anyone who thinks marionettes are creepy will have that opinion reinforced by this dark tale about three children at the mercy of an unscrupulous puppeteer and the witch who pulls his strings. Clara Wintermute asks her father, a wealthy doctor in 1860 London, to hire Professor Grisini and his Venetian Fantoccini to entertain guests at her 12th birthday party. Clara is stagestruck by the puppets and taken with one of Grisini's two assistants, the pretty, well-mannered orphan Lizzie Rose (the other assistant, Parsefall, is an urchin straight out of a Dickensian workhouse). After the puppet show, Clara disappears. Grisini is suspected, but he, too, vanishes. The fate of the three children becomes intertwined with Grisini's old flame, the witch Cassandra Sagredo. It's a fairly complicated plot, and although the pacing occasionally lags, Newbery Medalist Schlitz (Good Masters! Sweet Ladies!) delivers many pleasures-fully dimensional children, period details so ripe one can nearly smell them, and droll humor that leavens a few scenes of true horror. A highly original tale about children caught in a harrowing world of magic and misdeeds. Ages 9-13. Agent: Stephen Barbara, Foundry Literary + Media. (Aug.) (c) 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. 9780763653804 Gr 4-8-Victorian London could be a magical place: horse-drawn carriages, puppet shows, elaborate upper-class houses. Of course it could also be miserable: fog, filthy streets, shabby hovels where too many people live in too few rooms. Schlitz conjures both the magic and the mundane here. For Clara's 12th birthday, her parents hire a street performer to give a puppet show in their home. The puppeteer, Grisini, is so talented that he appears to be magical. His two orphaned assistants, Lizzie Rose and Parsefall, are envious of Clara's home and all its comforts. Clara vanishes the night of the puppet show, and Grisini and his assistants are the prime suspects. Then Grisini disappears, and Lizzie Rose and Parsefall must seek out the missing girl, with the sinister and mysterious help of a wealthy old witch. Schlitz uses such evocative language that readers will practically smell dirty London and then be relieved by the crisp, cold air in the countryside around the witch's crumbling mansion. The characters are recognizable tropes: the witch is rotting from the inside out; the orphans may be dirty and ill-bred, but they have spirit and pluck; the little rich girl is actually sad and lonely; the skinny puppeteer and the overly dramatic landlady are recognizably Dickensian. Yet, they are so well drawn that they are never caricatures, but people whom readers will cheer for, be terrified of, or grow to like. The plot is rich with supernatural and incredibly suspenseful elements. Fans of mystery, magic, and historical fiction will all relish this novel.-Geri Diorio, Ridgefield Library, CT (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
by J.K. Rowling


First Woman and the Strawberry: A Cherokee Legend
by Gloria Dominic


Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave
by illustrated by Bryan Collier, written by Laban Carrick Hill

School Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780316107310 K-Gr 4-The life of an astonishingly prolific and skilled potter who lived and died a slave in 19th-century South Carolina is related in simple, powerful sentences that outline the making of a pot. The movements of Dave's hands are described using familiar, solid verbs: pulling, pinching, squeezing, pounding. Rural imagery-a robin's puffed breast, a carnival wheel-remind readers of Dave's surroundings. The pithy lines themselves recall the short poems that Dave inscribed on his pots. Collier's earth-toned watercolor and collage art extends the story, showing the landscape, materials, and architecture of a South Carolina farm. Alert readers will find hidden messages in some of the collages, but what stands out in these pictures are Dave's hands and eyes, and the strength of his body, reflected in the shape and size of his legendary jars and pots. A lengthy author's note fleshes out what is known of the man's life story and reproduces several of his two-line poems. A photograph of some of Dave's surviving works cements the book's link to the present and lists of print and online resources encourage further exploration. An inspiring story, perfectly presented and sure to prompt classroom discussion and projects. Outstanding in every way.-Paula Willey, Baltimore County Public Library, Towson, MD (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. 9780316107310 As a closing essay explains, little is known about the man known as Dave the potter. Two things are certain, though: he was a slave in South Carolina, and he was a potter of uncommon skill. As Hill writes, Dave was one of only two potters at the time who could successfully make pots that were larger than twenty gallons. He also inscribed strange, sophisticated poetry into the clay: I wonder where / is all my relation / friendship to all / and, every nation. The verses Hill uses to introduce us to Dave are sometimes just as evocative: On wet days, / heavy with rainwater, / it is cool and squishy, / mud pie heaven. The book's quiet dignity comes from its refusal to scrutinize life as a slave; instead, it is nearly a procedural, following Dave's mixing, kneading, spinning, shaping, and glazing. Collier's gorgeous watercolor-and-collage illustrations recall the work of E. B. Lewis earth-toned, infused with pride, and always catching his subjects in the most telling of poses. A beautiful introduction to a great lost artist.--Kraus, Daniel Copyright 2010 Booklist
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