Wow, we have about a month or so left before the RI Children’s Book Award voting. There are three more books on the list I’d like to highlight for you.
words by Troy Andrews and pictures by Bryan Collier
Goodreads summary: A 2016 Caldecott Honor Book and Coretta Scott King (Illustrator) Award Winner
Hailing from the Tremé neighborhood in New Orleans, Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews got his nickname by wielding a trombone twice as long as he was high. A prodigy, he was leading his own band by age six, and today this Grammy-nominated artist headlines the legendary New Orleans Jazz Fest.
Along with esteemed illustrator Bryan Collier, Andrews has created a lively picture book autobiography about how he followed his dream of becoming a musician, despite the odds, until he reached international stardom. Trombone Shorty is a celebration of the rich cultural history of New Orleans and the power of music.
Watch the Trombone Shorty book trailer.
Stella By Starlight
by Sharon M. Draper
Goodreads summary: When the Ku Klux Klan’s unwelcome reappearance rattles Stella’s segregated southern town, bravery battles prejudice in this Depression-era tour de force from Sharon Draper, the New York Times bestselling author of Out of My Mind.
Stella lives in the segregated South; in Bumblebee, North Carolina, to be exact about it. Some stores she can go into. Some stores she can’t. Some folks are right pleasant. Others are a lot less so. To Stella, it sort of evens out, and heck, the Klan hasn’t bothered them for years. But one late night, later than she should ever be up, much less wandering around outside, Stella and her little brother see something they’re never supposed to see, something that is the first flicker of change to come, unwelcome change by any stretch of the imagination. As Stella’s community – her world – is upended, she decides to fight fire with fire. And she learns that ashes don’t necessarily signify an end.
Watch the Stella By Starlight book trailer.
by Raina Telgemeier
Goodreads summary: Three weeks. Two sisters. One car. A True Story
Raina can’t wait to be a big sister. But once Amara is born, things aren’t quite how she expected them to be. Amara is cute, but she’s also a cranky, grouchy baby, and mostly prefers to play by herself. Their relationship doesn’t improve much over the years. But when a baby brother enters the picture, and later, when something doesn’t seem right between their parents, they realize they must figure out how to get along. They are sisters, after all.
Watch the Sisters book trailer.
This next title is a potential Newbery winner. The ALA media awards will be announced from the midwinter conference on Monday, January 23 at 8am. I’ll be livestreaming it from the library and welcome any students who would like to join me to watch!
Ghost (Track, #1)
by Jason Reynolds
A National Book Award Finalist for Young People’s Literature
His dad’s been in jail three years now, but Ghost still feels the trauma, which is probably at the root of the many “altercations” he gets into at middle school. When he inserts himself into a practice for a local elite track team, the Defenders, he’s fast enough that the hard-as-nails coach decides to put him on the team. Ghost is surprised to find himself caring enough about being on the team that he curbs his behavior to avoid “altercations.” But Ma doesn’t have money to spare on things like fancy running shoes, so Ghost shoplifts a pair that make his feet feel impossibly light—and his conscience correspondingly heavy. Ghost’s narration is candid and colloquial, reminiscent of such original voices as Bud Caldwell and Joey Pigza; his level of self-understanding is both believably childlike and disarming in its perception. He is self-focused enough that secondary characters initially feel one-dimensional, Coach in particular, but as he gets to know them better, so do readers, in a way that unfolds naturally and pleasingly. His three fellow “newbies” on the Defenders await their turns to star in subsequent series outings. Characters are black by default; those few white people in Ghost’s world are described as such.
An endearing protagonist runs the first, fast leg of Reynolds’ promising relay. (Fiction. 10-14)
I’m ending this post with our next family book club title. I am completely smitten with this clever, funny book! Thank goodness is it is the first in a trilogy because I did not want to say goodbye to the Bland sisters when I reached the end. Mr. Sangiuliano and I are excited to announce that the next HMS Family Book Club will be Friday, March 3 from 7:45-8:30am. In fact, I’m sending out this Book Bites post early because author Kara LaReau will be signing her new book at Barrington Books this Saturday from 11am-1pm. I hope to see you there! Believe me, this title is one you do not want to miss! Scoop up a copy and start reading it for the book club!
The Jolly Regina (The Unintentional Adventures of the Bland Sisters #1)
words by Kara LaReau and pictures by Jen Hill
Goodreads summary: This new series features the blandest sisters who ever embarked on a rollicking, swashbuckling, and entirely unintentional adventure
In the spirit of A Series of Unfortunate Events and the Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place series, The Unintentional Adventures of the Bland Sisters will captivate middle-grade readers looking for humor, hijinks, and a swashbuckling good time. Meet Jaundice and Kale Bland, two sisters who avoid excitement at any cost. Together, they patiently await the return of their parents, who left on an errand years ago and have never returned.
One day, the Bland sisters are kidnapped by an all-female band of pirates. They’re unwillingly swept into a high-seas romp that might just lead to solving the mystery of what happened to their parents. With whimsical illustrations and Roald Dahl–esque wit, The Unintentional Adventures of the Bland Sisters is the visually stunning, laugh-out-loud funny start to a new series for readers who are looking for an anything-but-bland adventure.