Children's Book Previews


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York: The Shadow Cipher, by Laura Ruby
         

From National Book Award finalist and Printz Award winner Laura Ruby comes an epic alternate history series about three kids who try to solve the greatest mystery of the modern world: a puzzle and treasure hunt laid into the very streets and buildings of New York City.

It was 1798 when the Morningstarr twins arrived in New York with a vision for a magnificent city: towering skyscrapers, dazzling machines, and winding train lines, all running on technology no one had ever seen before. Fifty-seven years later, the enigmatic architects disappeared, leaving behind for the people of New York the Old York Cipher—a puzzle laid into the shining city they constructed, at the end of which was promised a treasure beyond all imagining. By the present day, however, the puzzle has never been solved, and the greatest mystery of the modern world is little more than a tourist attraction.

Tess and Theo Biedermann and their friend Jaime Cruz live in a Morningstarr apartment—until a real estate developer announces that the city has agreed to sell him the five remaining Morningstarr buildings. Their likely destruction means the end of a dream long held by the people of New York. And if Tess, Theo, and Jaime want to save their home, they have to prove that the Old York Cipher is real. Which means they have to solve it.




The Someday Suitcase , by Corey Ann Haydu
         

Readers who loved The Thing About Jellyfish and Goodbye Stranger will find a mysterious magic and unforgettable friendship in The Someday Suitcase, written by the critically acclaimed author of Rules for Stealing Stars.

Clover and Danny are the kind of best friends who make each other even better. They’re so important to each other that Clover believes they’re symbiotic: her favorite science word, which describes two beings who can’t function without the other. But when Danny comes down with a mysterious illness that won’t go away, the doctors can’t figure out what’s wrong with him. So Clover decides to take matters into her own hands by making lists—list of Danny’s symptoms, his good days, his bad days.

As the evidence piles up, only one thing becomes clear: Danny is only better when Clover is around.

Suddenly it feels like time is running out for Clover and Danny to do everything they’ve planned together—to finally see snow, to go on a trip with the suitcase they picked out together. Will science be able to save Danny, or is this the one time when magic can overcome the unthinkable?




The Tiny Hero of Ferny Creek Library , by Linda Bailey
         

Eddie, a passionate reader and a shiny green bug, saves the school library in this funny, heartwarming tale that fans of Flora & Ulysses and Charlotte’s Web will love. Includes black-and-white illustrations throughout from Newbery Honor Medalist and New York Times-bestselling author-artist Victoria Jamieson.

Eddie is a tiny green bug who loves to read and who lives behind the chalkboard in the fourth-grade classroom with his parents, his 53 brothers and sisters, and his aunt Min. But when Aunt Min goes to the school library to read a book and never returns, Eddie leaves the comfort of his home for the first time and makes the dangerous trek through Ferny Creek Elementary School to find her. After dodging running sneakers, falling books, and terrifying spiders, Eddie reaches the library, where he discovers Aunt Min stuck in a perilous situation! To top it all off, there’s a substitute librarian who aims to close the library for good and get rid of all the books!

Encouraged by the brave deeds done by small creatures such as Stuart Little and Charlotte from Charlotte’s Web, Eddie comes up with a plan to save the library—a plan that requires all the courage one little bug can muster.

A great read-aloud and read-alone, this action-packed short novel includes references to classic children’s literature throughout and is perfect for fans of Chris Grabenstein’s Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library and Lynne Rae Perkins’s Nuts to You. Featuring extensive black-and-white art from Newbery Honor Medalist and New York Times-bestselling author-artist Victoria Jamieson.




The Beginner's Guide to Curses , by Lari Don
         
Molly Drummond is cursed: whenever a dog barks, she turns into a hare -- which can make life quite dangerous... So she does the sensible thing and attends a curse-lifting workshop, run by a local witch. There she meets other cursed creatures: Innes, a kelpie; Beth, a dryad; Atacama, a sphinx; and a toad. But should they work together to lift their various curses? Or are they better off on their own? And will the crow-man, who draws on the energy of curses, destroy their chances to live a normal life? 

By the author of the bestselling Fabled Beasts Chronicles series, this is the dramatic first installment in the brand new, long-awaited Spellchasers trilogy. Lari Don has once again created a world of brilliant magic, dark danger and sparkling friendship which will enchant children of upper primary age. 

The Beginner's Guide to Curses will be followed in spring 2017 by The Shapeshifter's Guide to Running Away (book 2) and The Witch's Guide to Magical Combat (book 3) in autumn 2017. Publication will be supported by a major marketing and promotion campaign with Lari, across Scotland and the rest of the UK.



Prudence the Part-Time Cow , by Jody Shaffer
         
Prudence looks like a full-time cow―she wanders through pastures, she swats flies, and she lines up for supper. But Prudence is a part-time cow―she is also a scientist, an architect, and an inventor, studying and building and dreaming and creating. To the other cows in the herd, Prudence is a bit too part-time. She's just too different to be part of the herd. At first Prudence tries to fit in, suppressing all her scientific smarts and imaginative inventing. But in a moment of inspiration―Cow Power!―Prudence realizes how to show the others that she can be a part-time cow and a full-time member of the herd. Funny and sweet, this is a story for anyone who's ever felt a bit different.


Someone Like Me , by Patricia MacLachlan
         

If you were a little girl
who listened to stories
over and over and over;
and who read books
every night,
every day,
even as her mother led her across the street,
You might be me,
a writer.

Follow a little girl in acclaimed writer Patricia MacLachlan's semi-autobiographical picture book, Someone Like Me. Filled with gorgeous and thoughtful illustrations by Chris Sheban, learn what it might take to grow up to become a writer.




Sputnik's Guide to Life on Earth , by Frank Cottrell Boyce
         

Award-winning author Frank Cottrell Boyce returns with another one-of-a-kind story of heart, humor, and finding one’s place in the universe.

Prez knows that the best way to keep track of things is to make a list. That's important when you have a grandfather who is constantly forgetting. And it's even more important when your grandfather can't care for you anymore and you have to go live with a foster family out in the country.

Prez is still learning to fit in at his new home when he answers the door to meet Sputnik—a kid who is more than a little strange. First, he can hear what Prez is thinking. Second, he looks like a dog to everyone except Prez. Third, he can manipulate the laws of space and time. Sputnik, it turns out is an alien, and he's got a mission that requires Prez's help: the Earth has been marked for destruction, and the only way they can stop it is to come up with ten reasons why the planet should be saved.

Thus begins one of the most fun and eventful summers of Prez's life, as he and Sputnik set out on a journey to compile the most important list Prez has ever made—and discover just what makes our world so remarkable.




This is Just a Test , by Madelyn Rosenberg
         
David Da-Wei Horowitz has a lot on his plate. Preparing for his upcoming bar mitzvah would be enough work even if it didn't involve trying to please his Jewish and Chinese grandmothers, who argue about everything. But David just wants everyone to be happy.

That includes his friend Scott, who is determined to win their upcoming trivia tournament but doesn't like their teammate -- and David's best friend -- Hector. Scott and David begin digging a fallout shelter just in case this Cold War stuff with the Soviets turns south... but David's not so convinced he wants to spend forever in an underground bunker with Scott. Maybe it would be better if Hector and Kelli Ann came with them. But that would mean David has to figure out how to stand up for Hector and talk to Kelli Ann. Some days, surviving nuclear war feels like the least of David's problems.



The Big Bad Fox , by Benjamin Renner
         

Who’s afraid of the Big Bad Fox? No one, it seems.

The fox dreams of being the terror of the barnyard. But no one is intimidated by him, least of all the hens―when he picks a fight with one, he always ends up on the losing end. Even the wolf, the most fearsome beast of the forest, can’t teach him how to be a proper predator. It looks like the fox will have to spend the rest of his life eating turnips.

But then the wolf comes up with the perfect scheme. If the fox steals some eggs, he could hatch the chicks himself and raise them to be a plump, juicy chicken dinner. Unfortunately, this plan falls apart when three adorable chicks hatch and call the fox Mommy.

Beautifully rendered in watercolor by Benjamin Renner, The Big Bad Fox is a hilarious and surprisingly tender parable about parenthood that's sure to be a hit with new parents (and their kids too).




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Magnificent Moths , by Martha Rustad
         
Moths aren’t like other insects. These creatures are truly magnificent! Readers will learn about 12 different species of moths, each of with unusual and unexpected colors and patterns. Information about life cycles, habitats, and body parts is included


She Persisted , by Chelsea Clinton
         
Chelsea Clinton introduces tiny feminists, mini activists and little kids who are ready to take on the world to thirteen inspirational women who never took no for an answer, and who always, inevitably and without fail, persisted.
 
Throughout American history, there have always been women who have spoken out for what's right, even when they have to fight to be heard. In early 2017, Senator Elizabeth Warren's refusal to be silenced in the Senate inspired a spontaneous celebration of women who persevered in the face of adversity. In this book, Chelsea Clinton celebrates thirteen American women who helped shape our country through their tenacity, sometimes through speaking out, sometimes by staying seated, sometimes by captivating an audience. They all certainly persisted. 
 
She Persisted is for everyone who has ever wanted to speak up but has been told to quiet down, for everyone who has ever tried to reach for the stars but was told to sit down, and for everyone who has ever been made to feel unworthy or unimportant or small. 
 
With vivid, compelling art by Alexandra Boiger, this book shows readers that no matter what obstacles may be in their paths, they shouldn't give up on their dreams. Persistence is power.
 
This book features: Harriet Tubman, Helen Keller, Clara Lemlich, Nellie Bly, Virginia Apgar, Maria Tallchief, Claudette Colvin, Ruby Bridges, Margaret Chase Smith, Sally Ride, Florence Griffith Joyner, Oprah Winfrey, Sonia Sotomayor—and one special cameo.



Bees: A Honeyed History , by Piotr Socha
      
One part science, one part cultural history, and countless parts fascination, Bees celebrates the important role that these intriguing insects have played in our ecosystem throughout the ages. From Athena to Alexander the Great and from Egypt to Ethiopia, Bees explores different methods of beekeeping and uncovers the debt that humans owe this vital species. With beautifully accessible illustrations depicting everything from bee anatomy to the essentials of honey making, readers will be captivated by the endless wonders of this seemingly small speck of the animal kingdom.


Life , by Cynthia Rylant
         
Cynthia Rylant and Brendan Wenzel explore the beauty and tenacity of life.

Life begins small, then grows…

There are so many wonderful things about life, both in good times and in times of struggle. Through the eyes of the world’s animals—including elephants, monkeys, whales, and more—Cynthia Rylant offers a moving meditation on finding beauty around us every day and finding strength in adversity. Brendan Wenzel’s stunning landscapes and engaging creatures make this an inspiring and intriguing gift for readers of all ages.