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ALA Best Books for Young Adults
Click to search this book in our catalog The Hate U Give
by Thomas, Angie

Publishers Weekly At home in a neighborhood riven with gang strife, Starr Carter, 16, is both the grocer's daughter and an outsider, because she attends private school many miles away. But at Williamson Prep, where she's among a handful of black students, she can't be herself either: no slang, no anger, no attitude. That version of herself-"Williamson Starr"-"doesn't give anyone a reason to call her ghetto." She's already wrestling with what Du Bois called "double consciousness" when she accepts a ride home from Khalil, a childhood friend, who is then pulled over and shot dead by a white cop. Starr's voice commands attention from page one, a conflicted but clear-eyed lens through which debut author Thomas examines Khalil's killing, casual racism at Williamson, and Starr's strained relationship with her white boyfriend. Though Thomas's story is heartbreakingly topical, its greatest strength is in its authentic depiction of a teenage girl, her loving family, and her attempts to reconcile what she knows to be true about their lives with the way those lives are depicted-and completely undervalued-by society at large. Ages 14-up. Agent: Brooks Sherman, Bent Agency. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Gr 8 Up-After Starr and her childhood friend Khalil, both black, leave a party together, they are pulled over by a white police officer, who kills Khalil. The sole witness to the homicide, Starr must testify before a grand jury that will decide whether to indict the cop, and she's terrified, especially as emotions run high. By turns frightened, discouraged, enraged, and impassioned, Starr is authentically adolescent in her reactions. Inhabiting two vastly different spheres-her poor, predominantly black neighborhood, Garden Heights, where gangs are a fact of life, and her rich, mostly white private school-causes strain, and Thomas perceptively illustrates how the personal is political: Starr is disturbed by the racism of her white friend Hailey, who writes Khalil off as a drug dealer, and Starr's father is torn between his desire to support Garden Heights and his need to move his family to a safer environment. The first-person, present-tense narrative is immediate and intense, and the pacing is strong, with Thomas balancing dramatic scenes of violence and protest with moments of reflection. The characterization is slightly uneven; at times, Starr's friends at school feel thinly fleshed out. However, Starr, her family, and the individuals in their neighborhood are achingly real and lovingly crafted. VERDICT Pair this powerful debut with Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely's All American Boys to start a conversation on racism, police brutality, and the Black Lives Matter movement.-Mahnaz Dar, School Library Journal © Copyright 2017. 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* Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two very different worlds: one is her home in a poor black urban neighborhood; the other is the tony suburban prep school she attends and the white boy she dates there. Her bifurcated life changes dramatically when she is the only witness to the unprovoked police shooting of her unarmed friend Khalil and is challenged to speak out though with trepidation about the injustices being done in the event's wake. As the case becomes national news, violence erupts in her neighborhood, and Starr finds herself and her family caught in the middle. Difficulties are exacerbated by their encounters with the local drug lord for whom Khalil was dealing to earn money for his impoverished family. If there is to be hope for change, Starr comes to realize, it must be through the exercise of her voice, even if it puts her and her family in harm's way. Thomas' debut, both a searing indictment of injustice and a clear-eyed, dramatic examination of the complexities of race in America, invites deep thoughts about our social fabric, ethics, morality, and justice. Beautifully written in Starr's authentic first-person voice, this is a marvel of verisimilitude as it insightfully examines two worlds in collision. An inarguably important book that demands the widest possible readership. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: From the moment this book sold, it has been high-profile. An in-the-works movie adaptation will further push this to the head of the class.--Cart, Michael Copyright 2016 Booklist

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

ALA Notable Books for Children
Click to search this book in our catalog A Big Bed for Little Snow
by Grace Lin

Kirkus At the beginning of winter, Little Snow's mother fills his big, sky-blue bed with feathers and reminds him that it is "for sleeping, not jumping."Of course, Little Snow cannot resist, and whenever Mommy isn't around, he jumps and jumps. Each time, some feathers fall from his cloud-shaped bed. At one point, he jumps extra high and the bed tears, releasing a sky full of feathers that falls in a blizzard of snow upon a city's rooftops. In what is clearly a companion to Lin's Caldecott Honor book A Big Mooncake for Little Star (2018), this book's color palette consists of a solid white negative space instead of black, and light-blue snowflakes adorn Little Snow's white pajamas. As before, a mischievous little protagonist with Asian features is the cause of a natural phenomenon that readers will recognize with satisfaction. The story is clever but simple, without the extra layers of cultural and natural complexity that made Lin's previous book so exceptional. Lin's gouache illustrations are an echo of that book as well, with Little Snow's pajama edges similarly bleeding into the background. It's still visually intriguing, but this time around, everything feels more stark than luminous. The most delightful spread is the most colorful one, as the snow falls over city buildings full of diverse children peering out the windows, enchanted.A sweet and clever modern myth that may send readers back to its lauded companion. (Picture book. 4-8) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

School Library Journal PreS-Gr 1—When Little Snow's mother makes him a big, round bed filled with warm feathers, the boy cannot resist jumping on it despite his Mommy's warning, "Remember…this bed is for sleeping, not jumping." Though he nods in agreement, every time his mom leaves the room, the mischievous tyke pounces. Little by little, tiny feathers escape until one day, a particularly energetic bounce produces a large tear creating an avalanche. "What a lot of feathers fell that day!" A double-spread reveals a panorama of snow-capped buildings with family-filled windows marveling at the snow-filled sky. When his mother notices the deflated bed, she smiles indulgently as the clever child points out that he's saved her the trouble of emptying the old feathers; she need only replace them next year. Both mother and child wear white pajamas with soft blue snowflakes against a stark white background. The plump, round bed is also light blue with a matching blanket and a little brown stuffed toy dachshund that serves as both pillow and cuddly. The endpapers feature white birds in flight against a pale blue sky. This heartwarming story offers a fanciful explanation of snow while capturing the love and playfulness between a mother and son. VERDICT A simple, sweet choice for a winter toddler storytime, bound to be a bedtime favorite.—Barbara Auerbach, Cairo Public Library, NY

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

Book list At the start of winter, Little Snow's mother makes him a new bed. It's warm and filled with fluffy feathers, and Mommy knowingly reminds him that the bed is for sleeping, not jumping. Like all mischievous children, Little Snow cannot resist defying his mother, and as soon as he is alone, he does exactly what she said not to: jump, jump, jump! With each jump, a puff of feathers escapes from a split corner of the bouncy, cloud-like bed, but whenever he hears his mother coming, he pretends to be asleep. So it goes all winter, with Little Snow releasing more and more feathers until one day they're all gone and at just the right moment a secret is revealed. Lin's use of color, pattern, and white space stylistically similar to her Caldecott Honor Book A Big Mooncake for Little Star (2018) elegantly foreshadow the surprise. Lin might be onto something with her inventive visual approach, and her fans will appreciate this heartwarming tale of human nature.--Amina Chaudhri Copyright 2010 Booklist

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

Publishers Weekly This companion to A Big Mooncake for Little Star, for which Lin won a Caldecott Honor, stars a boy, Little Snow. As his mother fills his puffy, gray-blue bed with feathers at winter’s start, she reminds him that “this bed is for sleeping, not jumping.” Naturally, the minute she leaves (“Little Snow listened to Mommy’s footsteps fade away”) and anytime she is absent, the child leaps onto his cloudlike bunk. When he does, “Tiny feathers squeezed out of his bed and fluttered down.” After a season’s worth of jumping, Little Snow springs so high and lands so hard on the bed that it tears, spilling the feathers. The next spread shows where all those feathers end up; though it’s not too hard to guess where that might be, the revelation charms (and reveals a glimpse of Little Snow’s predecessor). Classically drafted paintings of the child leaping and bouncing with his stuffed dachshund convey the joy of release and weightlessness. Lin skillfully uses the folded and creased snowflake shapes of the mother and child’s matching pajamas to convey the contours of their bodies underneath, giving their clothes a wonderfully otherworldly look. A beguiling contemporary origin story. Ages 4–8. Agent: Rebecca Sherman, Writers House. (Oct.)

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Caldecott Medal Winners
Click to search this book in our catalog This one summer
by Mariko Tamaki, Jillian Tamaki

Publishers Weekly Rose and Windy, friends for two weeks every summer in nearby Ontario lake cottages, have hit early adolescence. Rose, a bit older, has knowledge and polish that tubby, still-childish Windy lacks, and Windy sometimes bores her. Yet Windy's instincts are often sound, while Rose is led astray by an infatuation with a local convenience store clerk. As Rose's parents' marriage founders and the taunts of local teens wake her to issues of social class, Rose veers between secret grief and fleeting pleasure in the rituals of summer. Jillian Tamaki's exceptionally graceful line is one of the strengths of this work from the cousin duo behind Skim. Printed entirely in somber blue ink, the illustrations powerfully evoke the densely wooded beach town setting and the emotional freight carried by characters at critical moments, including several confronting their womanhood in different and painful ways. Fine characterization and sensitive prose distinguish the story, too-as when Rose remembers the wisdom a swimming teacher shared about holding his breath for minutes at a time: "He told me the secret was he would tell himself that he was actually breathing." Ages 12-up. Agent: Sam Hiyate, the Rights Factory. (May)? (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

New York Times Bestsellers
Click to search this book in our catalog The Anxious Generation
by Jonathan Haidt

Book list Portable telephones were originally celebrated as a way to stay connected to friends and family. But in the early 2010s, with the onset of smartphones and their easy access to the internet, children’s brains were being effectively rewired, shifting from "play-based" to "phone-based." Parents, who worked to keep their children safe from outdoor play and predators, now allowed their kids to stroll unfettered through the internet. Excessive phone use can lead to social deprivation, sleep deprivation, attention fragmentation, and addiction. For young women, Haidt writes, it can lead to depression; for young men, it can lead to existing in their own separate realities. The author admits to some benefits of online use for children, including lower rates of injury and alcohol use and a measure of intellectual stimulation, but the pluses are overshadowed by the loss of social interactions and life experiences. Academic Haidt (The Coddling of the American Mind, 2018) backs up his claims with scientific studies and graphics, and presents plans to limit the effects of smartphones by large tech companies, schools, and parents. This is a practical look at a vital topic.

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

Newbery Medal Winners
Click to search this book in our catalog Last Stop on Market Street
by Matt De La Pena

Publishers Weekly Like still waters, de la Peña (A Nation's Hope) and Robinson's (Gaston) story runs deep. It finds beauty in unexpected places, explores the difference between what's fleeting and what lasts, acknowledges inequality, and testifies to the love shared by an African-American boy and his grandmother. On Sunday, CJ and Nana don't go home after church like everybody else. Instead, they wait for the Market Street bus. "How come we don't got a car?" CJ complains. Like many children his age, CJ is caught up in noticing what other people have and don't have; de la Peña handles these conversations with grace. "Boy, what do we need a car for?" she responds. "We got a bus that breathes fire, and old Mr. Dennis, who always has a trick for you." (The driver obliges by pulling a coin out of CJ's ear.) When CJ wishes for a fancy mobile music device like the one that two boys at the back of the bus share, Nana points out a passenger with a guitar. "You got the real live thing sitting across from you." The man begins to play, and CJ closes his eyes. "He was lost in the sound and the sound gave him the feeling of magic." When the song's over, the whole bus applauds, "even the boys in the back." Nana, readers begin to sense, brings people together wherever she goes. Robinson's paintings contribute to the story's embrace of simplicity. His folk-style figures come in a rainbow of shapes and sizes, his urban landscape accented with flying pigeons and the tracery of security gates and fire escapes. At last, CJ and Nana reach their destination-the neighborhood soup kitchen. Nana's ability to find "beautiful where he never even thought to look" begins to work on CJ as the two spot people they've come to know. "I'm glad we came," he tells her. Earlier, Nana says that life in the deteriorated neighborhood makes people "a better witness for what's beautiful." This story has the same effect. Ages 3-5. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Jan.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Book list CJ and his nana depart church and make it to the bus stop just in time to avoid an oncoming rain shower. They board the bus, and while CJ is full of questions and complaints (why don't they have a car? why must they make this trip every week? and so forth), Nana's resolute responses articulate the glories of their rich, vibrant life in the city, as presented by the bus' passengers and passages. A tattooed man checks his cell phone. An older woman keeps butterflies in a jar. A musician tunes and plays his guitar. At last the pair arrive at the titular destination and proceed to the soup kitchen where, upon recognizing friendly faces, CJ is glad they came to help. Robinson's bright, simple, multicultural figures, with their rounded heads, boxy bodies, and friendly expressions, contrast nicely with de la Peña's lyrical language, establishing a unique tone that reflects both CJ's wonder and his nana's wisdom. The celebratory warmth is irresistible, offering a picture of community that resonates with harmony and diversity.--Barthelmess, Thom Copyright 2015 Booklist

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

School Library Journal K-Gr 2-After church on Sundays, CJ and his nana wait for the bus. It's a familiar routine, but this week CJ is feeling dissatisfied. As they travel to their destination, the boy asks a series of questions: "How come we gotta wait for the bus in all this wet?" "Nana, how come we don't got a car?" "How come we always gotta go here after church?" CJ is envious of kids with cars, iPods, and more freedom than he has. With each question, Nana points out something for CJ to appreciate about his life: "Boy, what do we need a car for? We got a bus that breathes fire." These gentle admonishments are phrased as questions or observations rather than direct answers so that CJ is able to take ownership of his feelings. After they exit the bus, CJ wonders why this part of town is so run-down, prompting Nana to reply, "Sometimes when you're surrounded by dirt, CJ, you're a better witness for what's beautiful." The urban setting is truly reflective, showing people with different skin colors, body types, abilities, ages, and classes in a natural and authentic manner. Robinson's flat, blocky illustrations are simple and well composed, seemingly spare but peppered with tiny, interesting details. Ultimately, their destination is a soup kitchen, and CJ is glad to be there. This is an excellent book that highlights less popular topics such as urban life, volunteerism, and thankfulness, with people of color as the main characters. A lovely title.-Anna Haase Krueger, Ramsey County Library, MN (c) Copyright 2014. 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.

Oprah's Book Club
Click to search this book in our catalog Daughter of Fortune
by Isabel Allende

Publishers Weekly: Allende expands her geographical boundaries in this sprawling, engrossing historical novel flavored by four cultures--English, Chilean, Chinese and American--and set during the 1849 California Gold Rush. The alluring tale begins in Valpara so, Chile, with young Eliza Sommers, who was left as a baby on the doorstep of wealthy British importers Miss Rose Sommers and her prim brother, Jeremy. Now a 16-year-old, and newly pregnant, Eliza decides to follow her lover, fiery clerk Joaqu n Andieta, when he leaves for California to make his fortune in the gold rush. Enlisting the unlikely aid of Tao Chi'en, a Chinese shipboard cook, she stows away on a ship bound for San Francisco. Tao Chi'en's own story--richly textured and expansively told--begins when he is born into a peasant family and sold into slavery, where it is his good fortune to be trained as a master of acupuncture. Years later, while tending to a sailor in colonial Hong Kong, he is shanghaied and forced into service at sea. During the voyage with Eliza, Tao nurses her through a miscarriage. When they disembark, Eliza is disguised as a boy, and she spends the next four years in male attire so she may travel freely and safely. Eliza's search for Joaqu n (rumored to have become an outlaw) is disappointing, but through an eye-opening stint as a pianist in a traveling brothel and through her charged friendship with Tao, now a sought-after healer and champion of enslaved Chinese prostitutes, Eliza finds freedom, fulfillment and maturity. Effortlessly weaving in historical background, Allende (House of the Spirits; Paula) evokes in pungent prose the great melting pot of early California and the colorful societies of Valpara so and Canton. A gallery of secondary characters, developed early on, prove pivotal to the plot. In a book of this scope, the narrative is inevitably top-heavy in spots, and the plot wears thin toward the end, but this is storytelling at its most seductive, a brash historical adventure. Major ad/promo; BOMC dual main selection; 11-city author tour. (Oct.) FYI: This book will also be released in a HarperLibros Spanish edition, Hija del la Fortuna (ISBN 0-06-019492-8).

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