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Gā's Reviews

Float by Daniel Miyares

On a rain-grey day, a young boy in a bright yellow slicker is off on a solo (wordless) adventure. In his hand he has a folded-paper boat, which he sails along the fence tops. The rain comes sluicing down and he becomes a puddle-jumper and now his boat can really sail on water. (A limited palette—white, grey, black, yellow—and reflection, shadow, and movement are key to the voyage.) But the boat sails down the rain grate and, when it reappears, it is a single sodden sheet. Defeated, the boy returns home and is comforted by his dad (or older brother) with a tender wraparound hug, a change of clothes, the sweet delight of hair blown dry, and a cup of cocoa. After the folding of a new mode of transportation, an origami plane, the boy is off again and this time, we see, there is only brilliant yellow sunlight.  — Gā

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Float Cover Image
By Daniel Miyares, Daniel Miyares (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781481415248
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - June 9th, 2015

The Death of the Hat by Paul B. Janeczko

This is the conceit: a brief history of poetry in 50 objects from the early Middle Ages to the present day. But really, 50 objects is as handy as anything else. A good anthology can be about anything if it starts you thinking, traveling, moving forward, touching thing after thing. That is the object. And here, Rumi, Basho, Donne, Langston Hughes, Cummings, Neruda, Mary Oliver, Naomi Shihab Nye, and others are accompanied by the impressionistic watercolors of my favorite multiple-Caldecott-winner, Chris Raschka. (Oh, those amorphous fowl pecking around William’s red wheelbarrow!).  — Gā

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The Death of the Hat: A Brief History of Poetry in 50 Objects Cover Image
By Paul B. Janeczko, Chris Raschka (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780763669638
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Candlewick - March 10th, 2015

Enormous Smallness by Matthew Burgess

The last few years have seen the rise of the picture book biography—a different biography with sophisticated illustrations and text no longer staid and definitive, more open ended, more suggestive of a full life. Such a book is Enormous Smallness: A Story of E. E. Cummings. The elegant writing and whimsical mixed-media collage by Kris Di Giacomo leave you knowing a lot and wanting more.  —Gā

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Enormous Smallness: A Story of e. e. cummings Cover Image
By Matthew Burgess, Kris Di Giacomo (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781592701711
Availability: Backordered
Published: Enchanted Lion Books - April 7th, 2015

Echo by Pam Muñoz Ryan

This plump, multi-layered novel follows a musical instrument from 1933 Nazi Germany, where a boy who works in a harmonica factory is trying to rescue his father—jailed for Jewish sympathies—from a prison camp, to 1935 Depression-era Pennsylvania, where two brothers living in an orphanage attempt to stay together (the older, to protect the younger, joins Albert Hoxie’s Philadelphia Harmonica Band), to 1942 Southern California, where Ivy Maria Lopez must leave behind her school’s music program when her family becomes caretakers of a farm owned by a Japanese American family who have been recently interned in a prison camp. Each story is autonomous and compelling and then left on a knife’s edge—and the book ends (1951, New York, Carnegie Hall) with a revelation of how those stories intertwine and an assurance that music, in its beauty, has the power to mitigate bigotry and fear. A page-turner.  —Gā

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Echo Cover Image
ISBN: 9780439874021
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scholastic Press - February 24th, 2015

The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

Of all the children’s books I’ve read this year, this is the one that remains most vividly alive to me, most deserving of the Newbery. It is a very well told tale, nuanced, poignant, set in World War II Britain. Ada, 10 or 11 years old—no one has kept track—has reason not to trust any adult. She has an untreated clubfoot and her Mam’s ignorance and shame have kept her, until now, a prisoner inside their tiny, dirty London flat. When children in London are evacuated by train away fromthe daily bombings, Susan (who avers, she “is not a nice person,”) is the adult who gives Ada and her younger brother a place to stay in the country village. It’s very hard for Ada to walk and impossible for her not to ride the fat, lonely pony pining away in Susan’s field (since the death of Susan’s companion). Riding allows Ada swift movement and her first access to freedom. And Susan allows her the freedom to slowly, slowly, learn trust. This novel is a feel-good story, but a private war has been fought and won in order to get there. Achingly lovely, like reading Little Women for the first time.  —Gā

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The War that Saved My Life Cover Image
ISBN: 9780803740815
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Dial Books - January 8th, 2015

Lost in NYC by Nadja Spiegelman

With adroit artwork and factual info packed into every crevice—you don’t have to know New York to be excited by the solo adventures 11-year-old Pablo and Alicia experience in their journey toward friendship.  —Gā

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Lost in Nyc: A Subway Adventure: A Toon Graphic Cover Image
ISBN: 9781935179818
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Toon Graphics - April 7th, 2015

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

Nimona’s got supervillainry in the bag, now that she’s Ballister Blackheart’s one and only sidekick. But who knew plotting evil was going to be so hard? For teens who like their humor sarcastic, smart, and fundamentally quirky.  —Tera & Gā

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ISBN: 9780062278227
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Quill Tree Books - May 12th, 2015

Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco Stork

Marcelo Sandoval, 17, is comfortable with his job caring for the ponies at Patterson, the expensive special education school he’s attended since first grade, comfortable with conversations with his mother’s friend, a down-to-earth woman rabbi, with whom he explores his obsession with religious writing and philosophy, comfortable living apart from (but close to) his family in what is essentially a luxury treehouse. Arturo, his father and a high-powered lawyer, wants Marcelo to move beyond his comfort zone into the “real world” by working a summer job in the mail room of his corporate law office. Marcelo, he promises, could then decide, himself, where to attend his senior year—a mainstream high school (which Arturo wants), or Patterson. Marcelo reluctantly agrees. Maneuvering his careful way around unfamiliar places, beginning an important relationship with his boss—a competent and beautiful young woman—questioning the ethics of his father’s most important client (and understanding that this will have financial and emotional fallout), Marcelo proves himself to be capable of enormous insight and growth. And essential goodness. It is a very great pleasure to have met Marcelo.  --Ga

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Marcelo in the Real World Cover Image
ISBN: 9780545056908
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Scholastic Paperbacks - February 1st, 2011

A Brief History of Montmaray by Michelle Cooper

It is 1936, and in the invented kingdom of Montmaray—which consists of a crumbling castle on a tiny island in the Bay of Biscay off the coast of England—16-year-old princess is busy recording her daily existence (in a new journal, a birthday gift), collecting eggs, beating rugs, moving chamber pots under leaky bits of ceiling, interacting with her very eccentric, but quite lovable family, and visiting her subjects—there are six on the island—who are her friends. This fictional dynasty is set against the very real politics of pre-World War II Europe. Here is a novel about murder, deception, and first love—humorously told—with a winning heroine.  --Ga

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A Brief History of Montmaray (The Montmaray Journals #1) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780375851544
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Knopf Books for Young Readers - March 8th, 2011


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