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Kids' Books January 2014
"A juvenile dolphin's world resembles middle school. But with sharks."
~ from Pamela S. Turner's The Dolphins of Shark Bay
New and Recently Released!
The Twistrose Key - by Tone Almhjell
Publisher: Penguin Group USA
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 10/22/2013
Share The Twistrose Key ISBN-13: 9780803738959
ISBN-10: 0803738951
Fantasy. If you've ever wondered what happens to beloved pets after they die, you'll be enchanted by this richly drawn fantasy. When a strange key magically summons 11-year-old Lin Rosenquist to the land of Sylveros, she's overjoyed to learn that the beautiful, wintry country is populated by talking former pets…including Rufus, Lin's dear departed pet vole. Danger looms, however, sending Lin and Rufus on a quest to find a lost child, fulfill a prophecy, and rescue Sylveros from cruel villains. Fans of the animal companions and high adventure in Philip Pullman's The Golden Compass or C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia should definitely pick up The Twistrose Key.
Africa Is My Home: A Child of the Amistad - by Monica Edinger; illustrated by Robert Byrd
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 10/08/2013
Share Africa Is My Home%3a A Child of the Amistad ISBN-13: 9780763650384
ISBN-10: 0763650382
Historical Fiction. Magulu is just nine years old when she's forced into slavery and sent away from her beloved home in Sierra Leone. Locked away in the dark hold of a ship, she survives the horrific journey to Cuba, where she is sold onto another ship -- the Amistad. Based on the real life of Sarah Margru Kinston (as Magulu eventually came to be known), this moving, lavishly illustrated book offers a first-hand account of the famous mutiny on the Amistad as well as the imprisonment, hard-won freedom, and poignant homecoming of the Amistad Africans. Don't miss this "remarkable story of resilience, faith, and hope" (School Library Journal).
Explorer: The Lost Islands - edited by Kazu Kibuishi
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 10/08/2013
Share Explorer%3a The Lost Islands ISBN-13: 9781419708817
ISBN-10: 1419708813
Graphic Novel. In this follow-up to Explorer: The Mystery Boxes, a talented group of comic artists comes together to tell seven deeply imaginative stories about various kinds of islands. Filled with eerie spirits, lonely castaways, lazy bunnies, a roving DJ, and an underwater volcano, The Lost Islands has something for everyone. By turns whimsical, frightening, funny, and thought-provoking, each absorbing tale has a different visual feel, making this a great choice for readers who prefer short, easy-to-browse books as well as those who were captivated by editor Kazu Kibuishi's Flight series.
Nick and Tesla's High-Voltage Danger Lab  - by Bob Pflugfelder and Steve Hockensmith
Publisher: Random House
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 11/05/2013
Share Nick and Tesla ISBN-13: 9781594746482
ISBN-10: 1594746486
Adventure. While spending the summer with their quirky inventor uncle, twin brother and sister Nick and Tesla are caught up in a bizarre mystery surrounding a spooky, rottweiler-guarded mansion. To get inside the mansion and uncover the truth, the siblings create lots of clever gadgets (like an alarm made from Christmas lights and a "robocat" fueled by mints and soda) -- and each awesome invention is accompanied by illustrated instructions so that you can build them yourself! Want to get your hands on more DIY-infused fiction? Check out Desmond Pucket Makes Monster Magic by Mark Tatulli.
Living on the Spectrum
Unique and engaging, each book on this list is told from the distinct perspective of a character or a real person on the autism spectrum.
Anything but Typical - by Nora Raleigh Baskin
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 03/24/2009
Share Anything but Typical ISBN-13: 9781416963783
ISBN-10: 1416963782
Fiction. Kids at school think that Jason Blake is weird. He's autistic, and his constant blinking and frequent hand-flapping definitely make his differences noticeable -- except online, where he posts his brilliant creative writing on the website Storyboard. Through Storyboard, Jason forms an online friendship (maybe more?) with fellow writer Rebecca. But when he learns that he and Rebecca are both attending the Storyboard conference, he's terrified of meeting her in person. This warm and funny novel will be a hit with aspiring writers as well as anyone who knows -- or wonders -- what it's like to be dramatically different.
The Very Ordered Existence of Merilee Marvelous - by Suzanne Crowley
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 9/1/2007
Share The Very Ordered Existence of Merilee Marvelous ISBN-13: 9780061231971
ISBN-10: 0061231975
Fiction. Thirteen-year-old Merilee Monroe has Asperger's Syndrome and leads "a Very Ordered Existence, VOE for short." She follows a precise schedule and doesn't like people interfering with it. So, when Biswick, a boy who attends a special school and is new to Merilee's small Texas town, decides to befriend her, Merilee is NOT happy about it. If you like books that aren't hurried, introduce lots of characters, and have a hint of mystery (you'll see!), check this one out. Want more than a hint of mystery in a story whose hero has Asperger's? Try The Case of the Prank that Stank, the 1st book in the Wright & Wong mystery series.
The London Eye Mystery - by Siobhan Dowd
Publisher: David Fickling Books
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 2/12/2008
Share The London Eye Mystery ISBN-13: 9780375849763
ISBN-10: 0375849769
Mystery. The London Eye is a huge ferris wheel that takes its passengers on a 30-minute sightseeing ride nearly 450 feet in the air. When Ted and Katrina's cousin Salim comes to visit, they take him to the Eye, where a stranger offers him one free ticket for the ride. Salim takes the ticket and boards a passenger capsule...but when it comes back down, he has disappeared. Was he kidnapped? Killed?!? Ted, whose "funny brain...runs on a different operating system," usually just annoys his sister Kat, but now his strictly logical, keenly observant mind may be the only thing that can save Salim. This riveting read offers not only a deliciously tricky puzzle to solve, but great characters, too.
Mockingbird - by Kathryn Erskine
Publisher: Philomel Books
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 04/15/2010
Share Mockingbird ISBN-13: 9780399252648
ISBN-10: 0399252649
Realistic Fiction. Ten-year-old Caitlin Smith's older brother Devon died in a recent school shooting, and because Caitlin has Asperger's syndrome, the sadness, anger, and confusion that follow are even harder for her to deal with than they would be for most kids. Caitlin has no idea how to carry on now that Devon is gone, but with some help from a kind and patient school counselor, she figures out a way to help not just herself, but also her grieving father and her whole community. Readers who like sad yet hopeful stories with great characters won't want to miss Mockingbird.
Temple Grandin: How the Girl Who Loved Cows Embraced Autism and Changed the World - by Sy Montgomery
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 04/03/2012
Share Temple Grandin%3a How the Girl Who Loved Cows Embraced Autism and Changed the World ISBN-13: 9780547443157
ISBN-10: 0547443153
Nonfiction. Dr. Temple Grandin is an animal scientist, a bestselling author, a college professor, one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people of 2010...and she also happens to have autism. This "riveting" (VOYA) and inspirational authorized biography tells the story of her childhood, her many struggles and accomplishments, and her groundbreaking work for more humane treatment of livestock. It includes a foreword written by Grandin herself plus a special section of "Temple's Advice for Kids on the Spectrum." Neurotypical readers looking for additional real-life insight should try How to Talk to an Autistic Kid by Daniel Stefanski.
Contact your librarian for more great books!
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