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I Yam a Donkey! by Cece Bell
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Publishers Weekly Newbery Honoree Bell (El Deafo) creates a laugh-out-loud dialogue in the tradition of "Who's on First?" or Lane Smith's It's a Book. "I yam a donkey!" a googly-eyed donkey proclaims. A bespectacled yam objects. "What did you say? `I yam a donkey?' The proper way to say that is `I am a donkey.' " "You is a donkey, too?" the donkey asks. "You is a funny-looking donkey." ...More

So You Want to be President by David Small
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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...More

Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave by illustrated by Bryan Collier, written by Laban Carrick Hill
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School Library Journal 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 lin...More

A Deepness in the Sky by Vernor Vinge
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Library Journal A war between two rival civilizations over trading rights to the planet Arachna results in the virtual enslavement of the Qeng Ho by the victorious Emergent culture. As the Spider-folk of Arachna evolve in their customary cyclical pattern, unaware of the threat that lies in their near future, a few Qeng Ho rebels work desperately to free themselves and save Arachna from conquest. This prequel to A Fire Upon the Deep (Tor, 1992) demonstrate...More

Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter
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Library Journal Walter's newest book (after The Financial Lives of the Poets) will have readers checking out Richard Burton movies and Cinque Terre guidebooks after marveling at his imagination and spot-on characters. It's 1962, and Dee Moray, an American starlet, has just fled the tumultuous Roman set of Cleopatra to hole up in a dilapidated hotel in an obscure Italian seaside village. Pasquale Tursi, the young proprietor of the Hotel Adequ...More

Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick
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Book list *Starred Review* In the year 2073, a reporter named Eric is sent to Blessed Island to research a rare flower called the Dragon Orchid. There he finds an insular community of mysterious villagers, a delicious tea that has him losing days at a time, and a beguiling girl named Merle. In just 50 pages, we reach a shattering conclusion and then start anew in 2011. An archaeologist is digging on Blessed Island, where he meets a quiet boy named Eric an...More

Bad Land by Jonathan Raban
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Library Journal Hunting Mister Heartbreak (LJ 4/15/91) told of British-born Raban's last journey through the United States. Bad Land, emanating from his latest travels, might have been titled "Finding Mister Heartbreak," as he examines the 1910-20 diaspora of homesteaders to the badlands of southeastern Montana. Attracted by free land and glowing promotional pamphlets distributed by the railroads, settlers flocked to this semi-arid region to...More

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