This first book is on the 2017 RI Children’s Book Award list. Written by the author of Nine, Ten: A September 11th Story, it is a realistic fiction book about living with a parent who is incarcerated.
Ruby on the Outside, (2015)
by Nora Raleigh Baskin
Goodreads summary: Ruby’s mom is in prison, and to tell anyone the truth is to risk true friendship in this novel that accurately and sensitively addresses a subject too often overlooked.
Eleven-year-old Ruby Danes is about to start middle school, and only her aunt knows her deepest, darkest, most secret secret: her mother is in prison.
Then Margalit Tipps moves into Ruby’s condo complex, and the two immediately hit it off. Ruby thinks she’s found her first true-blue friend—but can she tell Margalit the truth about her mom? Maybe not. Because it turns out that Margalit’s family history seems closely connected to the very event that put her mother in prison, and if Ruby comes clean, she could lose everything she cares about most.
Watch the Ruby on the Outside book trailer here.
This next book is a 2017 HMS Mock Newbery contender.
The Wild Robot, (2016)
by Peter Brown
Goodreads summary: When robot Roz opens her eyes for the first time, she discovers that she is alone on a remote, wild island. Why is she there? Where did she come from? And, most important, how will she survive in her harsh surroundings? Roz’s only hope is to learn from the island’s hostile animal inhabitants. When she tries to care for an orphaned gosling, the other animals finally decide to help, and the island starts to feel like home. Until one day, the robot’s mysterious past comes back to haunt her….
Watch a book trailer for The Wild Robot here.
The next book is the first one in a very popular series for our grade level. Jacqueline Davies, the author of this series, just came out with a new middle grade book we will debut very soon!
The Lemonade War, (2007)
by Jacqueline Davies
Goodreads summary: For a full hour, he poured lemonade. The world is a thirsty place, he thought as he nearly emptied his fourth pitcher of the day. And I am the Lemonade King.
Fourth-grader Evan Treski is people-smart. He’s good at talking with people, even grownups. His younger sister, Jessie, on the other hand, is math-smart, but not especially good with people. So when the siblings’ lemonade stand war begins, there really is no telling who will win—or even if their fight will ever end. Brimming with savvy marketing tips for making money at any business, definitions of business terms, charts, diagrams, and even math problems, this fresh, funny, emotionally charged novel subtly explores how arguments can escalate beyond anyone’s intent.
Watch a book trailer for The Lemonade War here.
This next book is for all the animal lovers out there.
Fur, Fins, and Feathers: Abraham Dee Bartlett and the Invention of the Modern Zoo, (2015)
by Cassandra Maxwell
Kirkus review: Maxwell presents a brief biography of Abraham Dee Bartlett, the self-taught animal expert who became superintendent of the London Zoo in 1859 and subsequently made significant improvements in the understanding, care, and treatment of animals in captivity.
The combination of interesting details, attractive illustrations, and direct narration make this introduction to a (most likely) little-known historical figure accessible and appealing. Beginning with Bartlett’s childhood fascination with animals, the text travels briskly through the events of his long life, picking out those most germane to the topic (his recognition of the importance of good nutrition and comfortable and stimulating environments for the animals and of the value of providing educational information for visitors) as well as those most likely to pique young listeners’ interest (his treatment of animals who needed medical care, the zoo’s purchase of Jumbo the elephant). Complex ideas are presented clearly, and personal details add depth despite the brevity of the text. The pictures feature pleasing textures and rich colors. Executed in cut-paper collage and mixed media, they range from cozy interiors, like Abraham’s book-strewn childhood bedroom, to expansive outdoor vistas. Animals of all sorts decorate the pages, offering children the chance to identify familiar species and wonder over unusual specimens.
Sure to spark the interest of animal-loving children, this engaging portrait will also please history buffs and Anglophiles. (timeline, author’s note, bibliography)
Watch the Fur, Fins, and Feathers book trailer here.
This last book is one of the latest additions to our graphic novel collection.
The Nameless City, (2016)
by Faith Erin Hicks
Goodreads summary: Every nation that invades the City gives it a new name. But before long, new invaders arrive and the City changes hands once again. The natives don’t let themselves get caught up in the unending wars. To them, their home is the Nameless City, and those who try to name it are forever outsiders.
Kaidu is one such outsider. He’s a Dao born and bred–a member of the latest occupying nation. Rat is a native of the Nameless City. At first, she hates Kai for everything he stands for, but his love of his new home may be the one thing that can bring these two unlikely friends together. Let’s hope so, because the fate of the Nameless City rests in their hands.
Watch a review for The Nameless City here.