Tanya

  1. The Lightning Dreamer: Cuba's greatest abolitionist

    At thirteen, Tula wonders "how many slaves / Mama will buy with the money / she gains by marrying me to / the highest bidder." Loosely based on the early life of the Cuban novelist and human rights advocate Gertrudis Gmez de Avellaneda (1814-73) who was nicknamed Tula, this novel in verse follows her through a dangerous open rebellion against 19th century slavery in Cuba and a personal fight to resist an arranged marriage.  During this time in Cuban history, the most open rebels were poets like Gmez de Avellaneda. This award winning novel is recommended for gra

  2. Oddette's Secrets

    Odette is an only child living with her parents when Paris is invaded by Nazi's.  Her father enlists in the French Army, leaving Odette and her mother living with food shortages and constant fear of being taken prisoner.  Odette is sent to live in the countryside, hiding in plain sight while living with a family and pretending to be Christian. Her journey takes her on a personal search for her own religious identity. This work of historical fiction was inspired by the autobiography of Odette Meyers, an adult book titled 

  3. Navigating Early

    This is a story about the intersecting lives of two boys living at a boarding school in Maine.  Jack’s father, a military man, enrolled thirteen-year-old Jack in boarding school after his mother died.  There, Jack meets Early Auden, a socially isolated numerical savant who has lost his entire family.  Jack is surpri

  4. One Came Home

    It's the summer of 1871 in the small town of Placid, Wisconsin when 13 year old Georgia Burkhardt, a rugged girl with a bullseye shot, sets out to find the truth behind her older sister, Agatha's disappearance.  Georgia knew that she had something to do with her sister's broken engagement to a wealthy older gentleman but Georgia didn't expect Agatha to run off like that.  After the town sheriff is sent to find Agatha and bring her home, he returns with an unrecognizable body wearing Agatha's dress.  Everyone in the family but Georgia, accept

  5. A Little Book of Sloth

    Meet the most adorable sloths in Costa Rica's Sloth Sanctuary!  The photographs are stunning and the humorously presented information about sloths will keep the reader’s attention.  Meet the cutest baby sloths and some of their older companions.  Learn about all their goofy personalities and silly antics.  Also learn how the sanctuary he

  6. Hoop Genius: How a Desperate Teacher and a Rowdy Gym Class Invented Basketball

    In 1891 a school teacher named James Naismith, desperate to manage a rowdy gym class in Springfield, Massachusetts, invented a new game he called "Basket Ball". It started with a list of rules scratched on paper, two old peach baskets and a soccer ball. The game was an instant sensation. The origin of the national sport of basketball is humorously written and illustrated in this picture book. Enjoy the original first draft of "Basket Ball" rules inside the cover. Author's notes add biographical details for the curious reader.

  7. Freakling

    Which brother in this future dystopia is the” true son” or messiah of a society split between those who have psi (the telekinetic power to move objects with the mind) and those who have none?  Who will the true son save or liberate?  One brother, a 12-year-old named Taemon , discovers that his psi includes remote viewing and other gifts but he loses his psi abilities after he hears a vo

  8. Shadow on the Mountain

    This work of historical fiction is based on a true story of a boy who spied for the Resistance during the 1940 Nazi occupation of Norway.  Espen is an average teenager whose life is caught up in a time in history that is anything but typical.  Before the occupation he spent his days at school, playing soccer or participating in Scouts. 

  9. Doll Bones

    Twelve-years-old Zach tells his lifelong friends Poppy and Alice that he is giving up playing fantasy games with their dolls and action figures, telling them that “you can’t play pretend forever”.   Poppy and Alice don’t know that Zach’s father has thrown his action figures out and told him that “it’s time you grew up”.   However, Poppy tells Zach and Alice that their game can

  10. Invisible

    This psychological thriller was published in 2005, but it remains one of my favorites. Seventeen year old, Doug Hanson lacks social skills, making him a target at school. The only "perfect" relationship he has is with his next door neighbor and boyhood friend, Andy Morrow who is a popular football player.

  11. Warp Speed

    Seventh grader, Marley Sidelski is a self-described geek and Star Trek fan.   He gets a lot of practice running from school bullies.  In fact, he's so good a running that he gets the attention of the gym teacher, who wants him on the track team.  Finally, Marley gets a taste of popularity, in this less than believable but very funny book about surviving middle school. Recommended for grades 5-8.

  12. May B.

    May Elizabeth Bitterly lives on the Kansas frontier with her family. May wants to study and become a teacher, but her father needs her to earn some money for the familiy by living and working on the neighboring Oblinger homestead, but just until Christmas.  Mr. Oblinger has made a rustic sod house for his new young bride, who is not use to the roughness of life on the frontier. May cooks, washes and offers Mrs. Oblinger lessons of life on the frontier. Mrs. Oblinger does not return May’s kindness.

  13. Bird in a Box

    Life wasn't easy for anyone during the Great Depression, but it could be even harder if you were African American. In this work of historical fiction, Hibernia a preacher's daughter, dreams of becoming a singer.  Willie is recovering from a burn that will keep him from fulfilling his dream of becoming a boxer. Otis, an orphan, is struggling to find happiness but finds comfort in his family's radio and the sense of humor that was passed down to him from his father.

  14. Hidden

    Author, Helen Frost elegantly hides poetic verse within a three part story told through the internal monologues of two girls whose paths will coincidentally cross twice in life. Darra and Wren, both ages 14, recognize each other at summer camp.

  15. How To Steal A Dog

    Georgina and her family suddenly find themselves homeless. Living out of a car with her mother and little brother while her mother works two jobs makes Georgina think about what she can do to help the situation. She comes up with a wild idea to steal a dog and claim reward money after the owner posts reward signs for the lost dog. As the story unfolds, Georgina and the reader grow fond of a mysterious man named Mookie, an old woman named Carmella, and a little dog named Willy. Sometimes, the best lessons happen in the worst of times.

  16. Chains

    Whose side do you fight for if you're a slave during the American Revolution?  While our country is fighting for freedom from Britain, who will fight for the slaves' freedom?  The truth is that sometimes the slaves would fight for whoever promised them their freedom after the war. This book of incredibly well researched historical fiction takes the reader through the harrowing times of a slave girl named Isabel, herlittle sister Ruth, and a slave boy named Curzon as they fight for their freedom.

  17. The Seer of Shadows

    It's 1872 in New York City and Horace Carpetine is a photography apprentice. Horace and a black servant girl named Peggy discover that his photographs for Mrs. Von Macht are evoking the ghost of her deceased daughter, Eleanora. Things really heat up when Horace and Peggy discover that the ghost of Eleanora is out for revenge. This book is a great chiller for those who liked to get spooked; recommended for grades 5-8.

  18. Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life

    This is really a unique book for James Patterson. It's not a graphic novel, by definition, but it is full of sketches and doodles that add a graphic novel quality to the book. This is a story about a boy named Rafe who is starting middle school and seems to only be noticed by the school bully, "Miller the Killer." After the first school assembly, Rafe makes a promise to break all the rules in the student handbook (without hurting anyone) by the end of the school year. While the story deals with some heavy issues, it does it with great humor and fun drawings along the way.

  19. With a Name Like Love

    It's the summer of 1957 in Arkansas and 13 year old Ollie is the oldest of Reverend Love's five daughters.  Ollie tries to imagine what it would

  20. True (...sort of)

    Eleven year old Delly has an impulsive nature that constantly gets her in trouble for fighting, skipping class, hacking spitballs, and more.   The fact that she creates her own words like, “mysturiosity” and “bawlgrammit” is entertaining for the reader, but it also reflects a certain independent quality in Delly’s character.  Unfortunately for Delly, if she does one more thing wrong, she’s going to get sent off to a school for troubled kids.   To avoid more outbursts, Delly first tries counting in her head when she’s upset.  Then, her attention turns to a new
  21. Ruth and the Green Book

    It's the 1950's and Ruth's Daddy just bought a 1952 Buick!  Ruth, her Mama and Daddy will be driving it from their home in Chicago to her Grandma's house in Alabama!  The trip starts out pleasant, but as they continue their drive the family encounters white only restrooms and hotels. It's hard for Ruth's family to find places to rest and eat.

  22. Forge

    Forge is book two of an impressive trilogy about the African American experience during the American Revolutionary War.  While this is not a subject that is typically well developed in our history lessons, it is meticulously well researched by this author and impressively executed with unforgettable characters.  In book one,
  23. Ninth Ward

    Ninth Ward is a perfect choice for both avid readers and reluctant readers. Set in the ill-fated 9th Ward of New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina, this story develops unique and beautiful characters while invoking a regional history of belief in magic and mysticism. Nine year old Lanesha is about to have the fight of her life. Lanesha was born with the gift of “sight”, the ability to communicate with ghosts, but has trouble communicating with her mother, who died during child birth. Mama Ya Ya, the elderly woman who has raised Lanesha, has the ability to see into the future.

  24. The Day of the Pelican

    Eleven year old Meli Lleshi is living a happy life with her Muslim Albanian family in Kosovo in 1998 when her life is turned upside down by the Kosovo War between the Serbs and the Albanians.  The murder of fellow Albanians and the brief but terrifying disappearance of Meli's 13 year old brother, Mehmet, mark the beginning of this story.  On the run from ethnic cleansing, Meli's family will abandon their home and business on a journey to escape.  This journey will take them to the mountains, Uncle's farm, miles of traveling on foot while pushing Grandma in a wheelbarrow,

  25. Little Blog on the Prairie

    Thirteen year old Gen doesn't want to spend her entire summer vacation with her family at an 1890's styled frontier camp.  It's her mother's idea to commit the family to this experience in living history and the owners of this camp take their social experiment very seriously.  To preserve her sanity, Gen smuggles in a cell phone so that she can text her friends about every painful experience of forced frontier life, including the details of meeting Caleb, a very cute fellow camper, and Nora, the very jealous and bitter daughter of the camp owners.   Gen discovers that th

  26. The Frog Scientist

    This award winning non-fiction book is part of the Scientists in the Field series.  It's full of amazing photographs of a variety of mostly cute frogs.  There are a few exceptions.  One is a photo of the Sororan Desert Toad held by Dr. Tyrone Hayes who says, "He looks like a cow turd."   The Frog Scientist follows Dr.

  27. Where the Mountain Meets the Moon

    Minli lives with her mother and father, passing their days trying to eke out a living in rice fields on Fruitless Mountain.  At night, her father, a great storyteller, tells Minli adventures and magical folktales.  Mother, unhappy with the family's difficult life, does not approve of Father filling Minli's head with such nonsense.  After a chance encounter with a goldfish peddler, Minli decides to go on a quest to find The Old Man of the Moon to change their family fortune.  Along the way, Minli befriends a dragon, encounters a talking fish and learns about the "tangled

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