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Caldecott Medal Winners
Click to search this book in our catalog So You Want to be President
by David Small

Publishers Weekly : HThis lighthearted, often humorous roundup of anecdotes and trivia is cast as a handbook of helpful hints to aspiring presidential candidates. St. George (Sacagawea; Crazy Horse) points out that it might boost your odds of being elected if your name is James (the moniker of six former presidents) or if your place of birth was a humble dwelling ("You probably weren't born in a log cabin. That's too bad. People are crazy about log-cabin Presidents. They elected eight"). She serves up diverse, occasionally tongue-in-cheek tidbits and spices the narrative with colorful quotes from her subjects. For instance, she notes that "Warren Harding was a handsome man, but he was one of our worst Presidents" due to his corrupt administration, and backs it up with one of his own quotes, "I am not fit for this office and never should have been here." Meanwhile, Small (The Gardener) shows Harding crowned king of a "Presidential Beauty Contest"; all the other presidents applaud him (except for a grimacing Nixon). The comical, caricatured artwork emphasizes some of the presidents' best known qualities and amplifies the playful tone of the text. For an illustration of family histories, Small depicts eight diminutive siblings crawling over a patient young George Washington; for another featuring pre-presidential occupations, Harry Truman stands at the cash register of his men's shop while Andrew Johnson (a former tailor) makes alterations on movie star Ronald Reagan's suit. The many clever, quirky asides may well send readers off on a presidential fact-finding missionDand spark many a discussion of additional anecdotes. A clever and engrossing approach to the men who have led America. Ages 7-up. (Aug.)

Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information, Inc. Distributed by Syndetic Solutions Inc. Terms

School Library Journal : Gr 4-8-Curious tidbits of personal information and national history combine with humorously drawn caricatures to give this tongue-in-cheek picture book a quirky appeal. "There are good things about being President and there are bad things about being President." So begins a walk through a brief history of facts, successes, oddities, and mishaps. For example, most readers won't know that William Howard Taft weighed over 300 pounds and ordered a specially made bathtub. Small's drawing of a naked Taft being lowered into a water-filled tub by means of a crane should help them remember. Another spread depicts a men's shop where Andrew Johnson (a tailor) fits Ronald Reagan (an actor) for a suit while Harry Truman (a haberdasher) stands behind the counter. While the text exposes the human side of the individuals, the office of the presidency is ultimately treated with respect and dignity. A list of presidents with terms of office, birthplace, date of birth and death, and a one-sentence summary of their accomplishments is provided. This title will add spark to any study of this popular subject.-Alicia Eames, New York City Public Schools

Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information, Inc. Distributed by Syndetic Solutions Inc. Terms

New York Times Bestsellers
Click to search this book in our catalog Apples Never Fall
by Liane Moriarty

Kirkus Australian novelist Moriarty combines domestic realism and noirish mystery in this story about the events surrounding a 69-year-old Sydney woman’s disappearance. Joy and Stan Delaney met as champion tennis players more than 50 years ago and ran a well-regarded tennis academy until their recent retirement. Their long, complicated marriage has been filled with perhaps as much passion for the game of tennis as for each other or their children. When Joy disappears on Feb. 14, 2020 (note the date), the last text she sends to her now-grown kids—bohemian Amy, passive Logan, flashy Troy, and migraine-suffering Brooke—is too garbled by autocorrect to decipher and stubborn Stan refuses to accept that there might be a problem. But days pass and Joy remains missing and uncharacteristically silent. As worrisome details come to light, the police become involved. The structure follows the pattern of Big Little Lies (2014) by setting up a mystery and then jumping months into the past to unravel it. Here, Moriarty returns to the day a stranger named Savannah turned up bleeding on the Delaneys’ doorstep and Joy welcomed her to stay for an extended visit. Who is Savannah? Whether she’s innocent, scamming, or something else remains unclear on many levels. Moriarty is a master of ambiguity and also of the small, telling detail like a tossed tennis racket or the repeated appearance of apple crumble. Starting with the abandoned bike that's found by a passing motorist on the first page, the evidence that accumulates around what happened to Joy constantly challenges the reader both to notice which minor details (and characters) matter and to distinguish between red herrings and buried clues. The ultimate reveal is satisfying, if troubling. But Moriarty’s main focus, which she approaches from countless familiar and unexpected angles, is the mystery of family and what it means to be a parent, child, or sibling in the Delaney family—or in any family, for that matter. Funny, sad, astute, occasionally creepy, and slyly irresistible. Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Book list The Delaneys are a nice family. Stan and Joy sold their tennis school and retired, and they have good relationships with their adult children, Amy, Troy, Logan, and Brooke. But one Valentine's Day, Joy goes missing. The narrative flashes between the investigation into her disappearance and the previous September, when Savannah, a young victim of domestic abuse, shows up on the Delaneys' doorstep. Though Savannah cooks and cleans, the Delaney children are suspicious of how comfortable she is in their parents' home. Meanwhile, as evidence mounts against Stan, cracks in their lives start to show. Logan was dumped, and Brooke is separated and divorced. Troy is facing a dilemma with his ex-wife. Throughout the novel, there is tennis. Stan was a patient coach but less so with his own gifted children. Joy felt unappreciated as both a tennis player and as the glue that held the family together. Moriarty is at her best in the suburbs, and here the alternating points of view give a full picture and a gentle skewering of the pain points of suburban living. As the two time lines converge, and a happy ending is reached, no clue is left abandoned, not even in the chilling final chapter.HIGH DEMAND BACKSTORY: Moriarty is a perennial bestseller, and her previous books have received prestigious TV adaptations, so expect lots of well-deserved interest.

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Book list The Delaneys are a nice family. Stan and Joy sold their tennis school and retired, and they have good relationships with their adult children, Amy, Troy, Logan, and Brooke. But one Valentine's Day, Joy goes missing. The narrative flashes between the investigation into her disappearance and the previous September, when Savannah, a young victim of domestic abuse, shows up on the Delaneys' doorstep. Though Savannah cooks and cleans, the Delaney children are suspicious of how comfortable she is in their parents' home. Meanwhile, as evidence mounts against Stan, cracks in their lives start to show. Logan was dumped, and Brooke is separated and divorced. Troy is facing a dilemma with his ex-wife. Throughout the novel, there is tennis. Stan was a patient coach but less so with his own gifted children. Joy felt unappreciated as both a tennis player and as the glue that held the family together. Moriarty is at her best in the suburbs, and here the alternating points of view give a full picture and a gentle skewering of the pain points of suburban living. As the two time lines converge, and a happy ending is reached, no clue is left abandoned, not even in the chilling final chapter.HIGH DEMAND BACKSTORY: Moriarty is a perennial bestseller, and her previous books have received prestigious TV adaptations, so expect lots of well-deserved interest.

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Publishers Weekly Set in Sydney, Australia, this engrossing psychological thriller from bestseller Moriarty (Nine Perfect Strangers) centers on Joy and Stan Delaney, who have been married for 50 years and are discontented in their retirement. Joy often fantasizes about their four grown children giving them grandchildren to help them out of their rut. One night, a young woman appears at the Delaneys’ door. Introducing herself as Savannah, she claims she’s a victim of domestic abuse and has the injuries to show for it. The couple welcome Savannah into their home, where she soon becomes a permanent guest. Eventually, the Delaney children notice oddities in Savannah’s behavior and suggest it may be time for her to leave. Tension builds between Joy and Stan, and suddenly she vanishes. The police and two of the Delaney children believe Stan is responsible for her disappearance as he won’t talk about it. Moriarty expertly delves into the innermost thoughts of each of the children, exposing secrets unbeknownst to each other; artfully balances the present-day plot with revealing backstory; and offers several different possibilities for what happened to Joy. Only the overlong conclusion disappoints. Moriarty’s superb storytelling continues to shine. (Sept.)

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Newbery Medal Winners
Click to search this book in our catalog Hello, Universe
by Erin Entrada Kelly

Book list Gr. 5-8. Igus' prose poems and Wood's evocative paintings combine to give a succinct overview of African American music. A useful time line sets the social context, and brief paragraphs describe the various types of music, from African origins and slave songs through ragtime; the blues; big band, bebop, and cool jazz; gospel; rhythm and blues; and the contemporary sounds of rock, hip-hop, and rap. Igus effectively uses snippets from song lyrics to communicate both a feel for the music itself and a sense of how the various styles played to the emotions of the musicians and their fans ("From the basements to the rooftops, / I see the cool tones of modern jazz / escape the city heat"). Wood's paintings are equally suggestive. Mixing modernist and primitive styles and using color nicely to communicate musical style and tone, her art not only complements the text but vivifies it. Audience may be a problem: the supportive text is too sophisticated for younger readers to grasp themselves, and the format may alienate some older readers. Perhaps best used in a junior-high classroom with audio accompaniment, this striking book, in the hands of a creative teacher or librarian, could give kids a feeling for the majesty, creativity, and continuity of African American music. (Reviewed February 15, 1998)0892391510Bill Ott

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Kirkus The collaborators on Going Back Home (1997) return with a stunning history of African-American music. They begin 500 years ago, on the African continent, chronicle the slave trade, and document the work songs and spirituals of American slaves. The blues, ragtime, jazz, gospel, R&B, rock, funk, rap, and hip hop all come under scrutiny in free-verse poems that incorporate lyrics about and the rhythms of every style. In addition, Igus has added a brief description of each musical movement and a terrific timeline noting highlights of African-American history--both musical and more general information--which roots the whole book in a broader context. Wood's vibrant paintings are based in historical detail, and resonate with emotion. The color choices, postures of the figures, as well as the expressions on their faces, reflect various aspects of African-American music; the pictures broadcast joy, innovation, and exuberance in the face of systematic oppression. A child hidden in each scene adds a nice piece of personality for readers to interpret. Stylish and lively design pulls it all together into an absorbing, attractive package. Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

ALA Notable Books for Children
Click to search this book in our catalog A Stone Sat Still
by Brendan Wenzel

School Library Journal K-Gr 4—Wenzel scores another hit with this engaging and though-provoking companion to They All Saw a Cat. "A stone sat still/with the water, grass, and dirt/and it was as it was/where it was in the world." Lyrical text, stunning mixed-media artwork, and cleverly shifting perspectives reveal how this object is at once static and ever-changing, predictable yet filled with possibility, seemingly eternal yet somehow vulnerable. The stone is "dark" when swathed in shadow, and "bright" when bathed in moonlight. It's "loud" when a seagull uses it to break apart a clam, and "quiet" when a snake sits curled atop; "rough" (compared to a slug) and "smooth" (compared to a porcupine); a "pebble" to a moose, and a "hill" to a tiny insect. As various animals discover, the stone is "a danger," "a haven,' "a story," "a stage," and so much more. Detail-packed illustrations work closely with the text to eloquently convey this sedentary stone's role in its surrounding biome. Observant readers will notice that the water levels surrounding the stone are rising, which becomes first "an island," then "a wave," then "a memory" as it disappears beneath the surface, continuing to sit "still in the world" surrounded by seaweed and sea creatures. VERDICT Showcasing at-a-glimpse activities of an array of animals, this book offers small stories to pore over as well as bigger ideas to ponder, including the influence of viewpoint, the relationship between wildlife and habitat, the impact of environmental issues, and the vagaries of time.—Joy Fleishhacker, Pikes Peak Library District, Colorado Springs

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Book list What at first may seem like a retread of 2016's Caldecott Honor Book They All Saw a Cat takes the beautifully proven concept and elevates it to awe-inspiring heights as, by broadening the scope yet still focusing on the little moments it contemplates infinity. Wenzel's text sets a steady beat: A stone sat still / with the water, grass, and dirt / and it was as it was / where it was in the world. Each spread observes the same small boulder, impressionistically depicted through a specific animal's perspective. Wenzel's familiar mixed-media style is sometimes placid and picturesque; other times, it's active and intense; but it always holds to the purposes of poetry, tone, and science. Every image offers interaction, whether through interpretation of the animal's relationship to the stone or through revelation of the secrets hidden within the layered artwork. Periodically, a visual refrain returns us to a snail that makes its way, bit by bit, over the stone. For it, the stone was an age, and as the book progresses, the passage of time brings steadily rising waters. In the end, the stone becomes an island and then a wave, and finally, to an owl soaring over the sea-flooded world, the stone was a memory. Yet on the ocean floor, where the stone still sits, another snail begins its journey.--Ronny Khuri Copyright 2019 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Publishers Weekly As in They All Saw a Cat, Wenzel's poem focuses on how point of view affects experience. This time, his subject is a humble stone: "A stone sat still/ with the water, grass, and dirt,/ and it was as it was/ where it was in the world." In each spread or vignette, a different wild creature encounters the round rock. A wide-eyed chipmunk perches on it as the sun casts it in shadow ("and the stone was dark"); at night, an owl peers at it lit by the moon ("and the stone was bright"). After a gull breaks a clam on its surface ("and the stone was loud"), a snake sunbathes there ("and the stone was quiet"). Animals witness it turning different seasonal hues and encounter it variably as smooth and rough, large and small, "a blink" and "an age." Alert readers will notice that the water beneath the stone rises as the pages turn-eventually, great waves overtake it in spreads that reveal a vast expanse of silvery water. But the stone isn't gone: under the waves, it "sits still in the world," a small snail upon it. "Have you ever seen such a place?" Wenzel asks. Look closely, his words say: even the most seemingly insignificant bits of Earth offer splendor. The wonderful mixed-media creatures and their encounters entertain, while bigger ideas suggest all kinds of conversations about perception and perspective, wildlife and habitat, local and global change, and eternity and evanescence. Ages 3-5. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Aug.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Kirkus As with Wenzel's Caldecott Honor-winning They All Saw a Cat (2016), this picture book plays with perspective to examine characteristics of one objecta stoneas it is experienced by a multitude of creatures.When a sea gull perches atop the stone to crack open a clam, it is "loud." When a snake curls upon it to rest in the sun, it is "quiet." But no matter what, the stone "was as it was / where it was in the world." Wenzel's mixed-media illustrations use a muted color palette well suited to this presentation of the natural world. Readers experience the stone's sensory qualities through the text and its relationship with slightly anthropomorphized animals. In the dark, the stone is "a feel," as curious-looking raccoons know it through their paws, while it's "a smell," lit up in vibrant colors, to a hunting coyote, who sniffs the scents of the creatures who have previously passed. The book's only misstep is the addition of three unnecessary spreads at the end that directly ask readers if they've "ever known such a place?" Coming as they do after text that reads, "and the stone was always," these spreads cannot help but feel anticlimactic. A gentle celebration of sameness and change. (Picture book. 4-8) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

ALA Best Books for Young Adults
Click to search this book in our catalog The Lie Tree.
by Hardinge, Frances

School Library Journal Gr 7 Up-Faith Sunderly is intensely curious about her famous father's scientific research. When he is suddenly found dead, she is convinced that he was murdered, and pieces together clues and uncovered secrets, like the reverend's prized specimen-a tree that thrives on lies and bears a fruit that, when eaten, reveals a hidden truth. In this dark and haunting mystery, Hardinge creates her own truth-telling magic. © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Book list *Starred Review* On the small island of Vale, something unnatural this way comes. Is it wicked? Perhaps, but it is quickly evident in Hardinge's newest tale following her acclaimed Cuckoo Song (2015) that things are not what they seem, and the answers to such questions are rarely black and white. As 14-year-old Faith Sunderly and her family arrive at their new home, many questions swirl in the girl's head. It isn't long before she learns that their exodus from Kent has less to do with an ongoing excavation on Vale than it does with escaping scandal. After catching a glimpse of one of her father's private letters, she understands that he, Reverend Erasmus Sunderly, a renowned naturalist, has been accused of faking his most famous fossil discovery. Faith meets this news with incredulity: His bleak and terrible honesty were the plague and pride of the family. She bears a fierce love for her stern and distant father, which is underpinned by an unrequited yearning for his affection and approval. Despite possessing a highly intelligent and inquisitive mind, the reverend's daughter is never permitted to be anything but dutiful and demure; unlike her six-year-old brother, Howard, who ignites his father's pride simply by being a boy. Throughout the novel, Faith is thwarted by limits placed on her gender. In 1868, the roles of women, science, and religion are under scrutiny and often at odds with one another; Darwin's The Origin of Species is only nine years old, and its ideas of evolution are beginning to knock against the teachings of the church. Faith, who has spent hours reading the scientific volumes of her father's library, longs (in vain) to be part of these heated debates, even as the local doctor informs her that the small female skull makes it impossible for women to be intellectuals. As these injustices are bandied about, Faith feels not only incensed and confused but also ashamed for masking her own cleverness so that she might be thrown a scrap of worthwhile conversation: Rejection had worn Faith down. . . . Even so, each time she pretended ignorance, she hated herself and her own desperation. These concerns are interwoven with a story of intrigue and, possibly, murder. From the outset, Reverend Sunderly's behavior is strange. He is secretive and disappears for hours to care for a plant no one is permitted to see. When Faith interrupts her father one evening, he is forced to take her into his confidence. Thrilled by this moment of bonding, Faith agrees to help him relocate his precious plant in the dead of night, but come morning, the reverend's body is discovered with a broken neck. She is positive that someone is behind his death, and she takes it upon herself to discover who. Faith finds some answers in the reverend's journal, but it contains even more mysteries prime among them the plant she recently helped him to hide: the Mendacity Tree. According to her father, a man of science and reason, this rare specimen feeds not on sunshine but on lies, from which it bears a fruit that will reveal great truths to the person who consumes it. Faith can't help but wonder whether this tree, seemingly the stuff of fairy tales, might show her what happened to her father. And so she follows in the reverend's footsteps: she conducts scientific research on the plant and nurtures it with lies, the ramifications of which outstrip both logic and imagination. There is an effortless beauty to Hardinge's writing, which ranges from frank to profound. Though layered, the plot refuses to sag, driven as it is by mystery, taut atmosphere, complex characters, and Faith's insatiable curiosity. The 2015 winner of the UK's Costa Book of the Year Award, this novel is the first children's book since Philip Pullman's The Amber Spyglass (2000) to receive the honor, and both books use the lens of fantasy to observe a young girl caught in the cross fire of science and religion though Hardinge's touch is more nuanced. It is a book in which no details are wasted and each chapter brings a new surprise. Readers of historical fiction, mystery, and fantasy will all be captivated by this wonderfully crafted novel and the many secrets hidden within its pages.--Smith, Julia Copyright 2016 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

School Library Journal Gr 7 Up-In a time when a young woman's exterior life can be stifling and dull, Faith Sunderly's interior life is cavernous. She has a sharp mind; a keen interest in the scientific research that has made her father, the formidable Reverend Sunderly, famous; and an irresistible impulse for sneaking, spying, and skulking around. Faith's curiosity about the world around her, which she must keep hidden, is a source of personal shame and the one thing about herself she longs for people, especially her father, to notice. When the Reverend is invited to take part in an archaeological dig on the insular island community of Vane, the whole family packs up and moves with him. It doesn't take long for Faith to suspect there are darker reasons the family left London in such a hurry, and just as she's starting to put things together, her father is found dead. Setting out to prove her father's death was a murder, Faith uncovers a web of secrets the Reverend has been keeping, all centered on one of his specimens-a small tree that thrives on lies and bears a fruit that tells the truth. Faith believes she can use the tree to find her father's killer and begins feeding it lies. As the tree grows, so do Faith's lies and her fevered obsession with finding out the truth. Hardinge, who can turn a phrase like no other, melds a haunting historical mystery with a sharp observation on the dangers of suppressing the thirst for knowledge, and leaves readers to wonder where science ends and fantasy begins. VERDICT Smart, feminist, and shadowy, Hardinge's talents are on full display here.-Beth McIntyre, Madison Public Library, WI © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly In Hardinge's (Cuckoo Song) superb tale of overarching ambition and crypto-botany, which recently won the Costa Book Award in the U.K., the Reverend Erasmus Sunderly, an eminent if unpleasant Victorian, has suddenly moved his family to a remote island, ostensibly to participate in a paleontological dig, but actually to escape scandal. Noticing that he is acting strangely, his 14-year-old daughter, Faith, a budding scientist whose intellectual curiosities are dismissed and discouraged, offers her aid and soon finds herself party to a terrifying discovery, a mysterious tree that apparently feeds on lies, rewarding the liar with astonishing visions. This so-called "Mendacity Tree" gives the tale an oddly allegorical feel, like something out of Spenser's The Faerie Queene. When Sunderly is found dead, an apparent suicide, it is up to Faith to clear his name, expose the murderer, and perhaps endanger her very soul. Hardinge's characteristically rich writing is on full display-alternately excoriating, haunting, and darkly funny-and the novel also features complex, many-sided characters and a clear-eyed examination of the deep sexism of the period, which trapped even the most intelligent women in roles as restrictive as their corsets. The Reverend's murder is a compelling mystery, grounded not just in professional envy and greed, but in the theological high-stakes game of Darwinian evolution and its many discontents. It's a ripping good yarn, one that should hold particular appeal for readers who are attracted to philosophically dense works like those of David Almond and Margo Lanagan. Ages 13-up. Agent: Nancy Miles, Miles Stott Agency. (May) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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