Once again, de la Pena gifts readers with deep beauty, the kind that does not skirt the difficult truths, but reaches into the confusion, sadness and doubt and pulls forth a bouquet of wildflowers. Each child in this lovely patchwork of humanity has been marked, each has challenges and gifts, but their stories, like the stories of the children hearing this tale, are open to greater possibility than the labels placed upon them. Challenges become greatest assets; the rhythm of a basketball becomes the rhythm of a poem. A gift to anyone hoping to find their way!
Move over, Mushu, Fea is in town! And did I mention the town she is in is Riverside?? Yup, Fea has been sent by the Powers that Bee to help David Bravo fix a really bad first day of middle school. But every time he and Fea think they know what’s wrong and go back in time to fix it (forgot to mention, Fea is a shapeshifting, sometimes dog with a story of her own), things turn out worse than before. What would you fix if you could go back in time? David is worried about so many things: his feeling for Antoine, what he should tell kids about his adoption, how he identifies culturally. All of this is told with such a wonderful sense both of the laughter in the world and the intensity of the sadness that you will find yourself crying and laughing within pages. Love, love, love this book!
In 1968 gold medalist Tommie Smith and bronze medalist John Carlos raised their fists during their award ceremony at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City to protest racial injustice in the United States. In this young adult graphic novel, Tommie’s story, events that led up to that historic moment of global reckoning as well as the steep price they both paid for giving voice to those who were not being heard is told. Dawud Anyabwile’s stunning graphics enhance an already powerful story.
Jax only has to stay with Ma for the day while Mama goes to court to stop their landlord from evicting them, but when Ma answers the door all grumbling and snarls, Jax thinks maybe he should just go with Mama. But things are rarely what they seem, and Jax discovers that 1) Ma is a witch, 2) she has three baby dragons in her purse that need to be delivered to another world right away, before they imprint on something in Brooklyn and decide to keep their magic here, and 3) Ma and Mama have a history, a history of magic, family, and what it means to be “normal.” With courage and an open-mind, Jax embarks on an adventure where magic is everywhere, especially in the hearts of those he loves.
Winner of the Edgar Award, this Victorian era mystery complete with, well, everything! What do we need in a perfect kids’ mystery? Irrepressible, smart twelve-year-old science geek heroine? Check. Victorian ideas about Young Ladies of Quality and those trying to enforce them? Check. Widowed father torn between admiration for his daughter and society’s dictates? Check. Lovely, strong governess willing to overlook norms to give a girl a proper education, and who speaks cat…and wields a rifle with ease? Check. Father’s possible love interest greatly encouraged by above said cheeky daughter? Check. Sleuthing adorable cat who reduces the most logical people to gibberish and knows how to find her way into impossible places? Check. A murder, or at least a dead body and the possibility of a murder? Check. Suspects, red-herrings, mistaken clues and a heroine who takes responsibility for her actions? Check. Myrtle Hardcastle is such fun you’ll have to hide the book from your parents so they don’t snag it while you’re busy. Enjoy and the next one is already on the shelves.