By Robie Harris, illustrated by Michael Emberley
Genre: Picture Book
Curriculum subjects: Parents/Siblings/Babies, Character Development, Self-Discovery
2008 Irma Black Award finalist
Nobody told this older brother that having a new little brother would mean big changes, and he’s FED UP! It’s time to mail Harry to the moon so life can go back to the way it was before Harry: No more spit-up! No more grabbing! No more wailing in the night! But along the way, baby Harry might just help our hero see that being a big brother means more than just a big nuisance-it means adventure and friendship, too.
Known for their keen grasp of the ups and downs of childhood, bestselling author-illustrator team Robie H. Harris and Michael Emberley offer kids and parents a lively look at the lighter side of getting along with the baby in the house.
By Stephenie Meyer
Curriculum subjects: Paranormal, Contemporary
2008 Garden State Book Award
Bella Swan’s move to Forks, a small, perpetually rainy town in Washington, could have been the most boring move she ever made. But once she meets the mysterious and alluring Edward Cullen, Bella’s life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn. Up until now, Edward has managed to keep his vampire identity a secret in the small community he lives in, but now nobody is safe, especially Bella, the person Edward holds most dear.
Deeply romantic and extraordinarily suspenseful, Twilight captures the struggle between defying our instincts and satisfying our desires. This is a love story with bite.
By Gretchen Olson
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Curriculum subjects: Parents/Siblings/Babies, Abuse, Character Development
2008 KY Blue Grass Winner
As 11-year-old Hope struggles to live under the pressures of her verbally abusive mother, she’s tempted to run away but instead chooses resilience. She creates a secret safe haven and an innovative point system (giving herself points for every bad thing her mother says to her); finds comfort and inspiration from Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl; and gains a support team. Ultimately, Hope is able to confront her mother about her hurtful words and help her begin to change.
This is an engaging, satisfying novel, about an important and not widely-understood issue, that will touch and inspire readers.
★ “Hope is a winsome character whose bravery and determination will resonate with middle-grade readers.” — Booklist
By Nancy Coffelt, illustrated by Tricia Tusa
Genre: Picture Book
Curriculum subjects: Divorce/Stepfamilies, Pets, Emotions
2008 Boston-Globe Horn Book Honor
Fred Stays with Me! is an award-winning story that follows a young girl who turns to the one constant in her life, her dog Fred, in the face of her parents’ divorce.
In this poignant but not overly sentimental story, Coffelt’s accessible and kid-friendly language alongside Tusa’s charming artwork create a light, cheerful, and reassuring mood that will comfort any child who has two homes.
★ “Divorce gets a kid-empowering treatment in this congenial story.” – Horn Book (starred review)
By Grace Lin
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Curriculum subjects: Family Life: Daily Life and Play, Personal Development: Friendship, Personal Development: Self-Discovery
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It’s the Chinese Year of the Dog, and as Pacy celebrates with her family, she finds out that this is the year she is supposed to “find herself.” Universal themes of friendship, family, and finding one’s passion in life make this novel appealing to readers of all backgrounds. This funny and profound book is a wonderful debut novel by a prolific picture book author and illustrator and has all the makings of a classic.
PRAISE & ACCOLADES
★ “Lin does a remarkable job capturing the soul and spirit of books like those of Hayward or Maud Hart Lovelace, reimagining them through the lens of her own story, and transforming their special qualities into something new for today’s young readers.”
- Booklist, starred review
By Gail Giles
Genre: Realistic Fiction/Mystery
Curriculum subjects: Mystery, Empathy
2009 Garden State Teen Book Award nominee
“The setting is claustrophobic, the characters are complex and the story will keep readers on the edge of their seats,” KLIATT raved of this vivid, fast-paced psychological thriller in a starred review. Kyle Kirby has planned a cruel and unusual revenge on Cass McBride, the most popular girl in school, for the death of his brother David. He digs a hole. Kidnaps Cass. Puts her in a box–underground. He buries her alive. But lying in the deepest dark, Cass finds a weapon: she uses the power of words to keep her nemesis talking–and herself breathing–during the most harrowing 48 hours of her life.
★ “[An] outstanding psychological thriller.” –VOYA (starred review)
By Tony Abbott
Curriculum subjects: Adventure, Mysteries
2009 Edgar Award nominee
“So how smart are you?” said a man’s voice abruptly. And loudly. “Because now… it’s starting.”
A creepy phone call. An old, yellowed postcard. A bizarre magazine story. And a strange group of funeral-goers who seem to follow their every move-all contain clues that will send Jason and Dia on an adventure to uncover extraordinary family secrets.
Award-winning author Tony Abbott weaves an intriguing and entertaining mystery of adventure, friendship and family.
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By Mark Reibstein, illustrated by Ed Young
Genre: Picture Book
Curriculum subjects: Animals, Individuality, Self-Discovery, Pets
2009 APALA Book Award | A 2008 New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book
Wabi Sabi, a little cat in Kyoto, Japan, had never thought much about her name until friends visiting from another land asked her owner what it meant.
At last, the master
Says, “That’s hard to explain.” And
That is all she says.
This unsatisfying answer sets Wabi Sabi on a journey to uncover the meaning of her name, and on the way discovers what wabi sabi is: a Japanese philosophy of seeing beauty in simplicity, the ordinary, and the imperfect.
Using spare text and haiku, Mark Reibstein weaves an extraordinary story about finding real beauty in unexpected places. Caldecott Medal-winning artist Ed Young complements the lyrical text with breathtaking collages. Together, they illustrate the unique world view that is wabi sabi.
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By Chris Barton, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld
Genre: Picture Book
Curriculum subjects: Sports/Teamwork/Competition, Individuality
2010 PA Young Readers Award
Shark VS. Train! WHO WILL WIN?!
If you think Superman vs. Batman would be an exciting matchup, wait until you see Shark vs. Train. In this hilarious and wacky picture book, Shark and Train egg each other on for one competition after another, including burping, bowling, Ping Pong, piano playing, pie eating, and many more! Who do YOU think will win, Shark or Train?
★ “This is a genius concept.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review
By Malinda Lo
Genre: Fantasy, Folklore, GLBTQ
Curriculum Subject: Folk Tales/Fairy Tales/Classics: Family Life, Teen Life: Relationships/Sexuality, Teen Life: Personal Development
2010 Morris Award finalist
ALA Best Book for Young Adults
Kirkus Best Book for Young Adults
In the wake of her father’s death, Ash is left at the mercy of her cruel stepmother. Consumed with grief, her only joy comes by the light of the dying hearth fire, re-reading the fairy tales her mother once told her. In her dreams, someday the fairies will steal her away, as they are said to do. When she meets the dark and dangerous fairy Sidhean, she begins to believe that her wish may be granted.
The day that Ash meets Kaisa, the King’s royal Huntress, her heart begins to change. Instead of chasing fairies, Ash learns to hunt with Kaisa. Though their friendship is as delicate as a new bloom, it reawakens Ash’s capacity for love-and her desire to live. But Sidhean has already claimed Ash for his own, and she must make a choice between fairy tale dreams and true love.
Entrancing and romantic, Ash is an empowering retelling of Cinderella about the connection between life and love, and solitude and death, where transformation can come from even the deepest grief.
“An unexpected reimagining of the Cinderella tale, exquisite and pristine, unfolding deliberately. … Beautiful language magically wrought; beautiful storytelling magically told.” — Kirkus, starred review