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Noreen's Reviews

Summer of a Thousand Pies by Margaret Dilloway

Cady Bennett is such a cool kid! Landing in the house of two aunts after growing up homeless with her dad in San Diego, Cady uses her strong survival skills to learn to trust adults who will do what they promise. The Great British Baking Show and a thousand pies inspire Cady to save the day. This book is all about feeling that you belong.

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ISBN: 9780062803474
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Published: Balzer + Bray - May 12th, 2020

Show Me a Sign by Ann Clare LeZotte

What an intriguing book! Deaf and hearing readers alike will love meeting Mary, a 12-year-old deaf girl who lives on Martha’s Vineyard in 1805. The author, herself a deaf librarian, takes us back in history and opens our eyes to the world of the hearing impaired. I’m impressed with the author’s ability to weave themes of cultural pride, intolerance, racism into the story. A great read for the history buff with a growing, compassionate heart.

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ISBN: 9781338255812
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Published: Scholastic Press - March 3rd, 2020

The List of Things That Will Not Change by Rebecca Stead

Rebecca Stead really knows young people and what they think about. Bea, age ten, has lots of things on her mind like her parents’ divorce, bothersome eczema, difficult classmates, the desire for a sister, and her father’s upcoming marriage to a wonderful man named Jesse. Fortunately, Miriam, her therapist, can help. Any young reader will identify with Bea, who learns that “….life is a trip. A very long one. And what matters most is the people you travel with.”


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ISBN: 9781101938096
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Published: Wendy Lamb Books - April 7th, 2020

Princess Hair by Sharee Miller

Princess stories don’t usually spark my interest, but Princess Hair is different. The girls in it feel good about their beauty as they celebrate their braids, curls, teeny-weeny afros, twists, and frohawks. Diverse in hairstyles and skin tones, these girls like to draw and twirl, think and rock. Every kind of hair is princess hair and is worth celebrating. A lot of little girls have been waiting for this book! - Noreen

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ISBN: 9780316441193
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Published: LB Kids - October 15th, 2019

The Hike by Alison Farrell

This book makes me want to get outside and go! Wren, El, and Hattie, with Bean the dog, do just that on a day-long hike and their friendship, individuality, curiosity, and self-confidence take them to the summit. I’m impressed with how prepared they are. Getting tired, cold, or lost doesn’t phase them. Wren sketches in her nature journal, El composes poems along the way, and Hattie follows the map. They figure things out together. Young readers will love it! - Noreen

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ISBN: 9781452174617
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Published: Chronicle Books - October 8th, 2019

The President Sang Amazing Grace written by Zoe Mulford illus. by Jeff Scher

This book is for all of us—young and old, all races and ethnicities. The words and watercolors bring back that day in Charleston when “no words could say what must be said for all the living and the dead,” and President Obama lifted us out of despair by humbly singing “Amazing Grace.” Read the book, watch the video online, hear the song. Cry, and then share this with every child old enough to understand. There’s work to be done. - Noreen

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By Zoe Mulford, Joan Baez (Other primary creator), Jeff Scher (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781944903848
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Cameron - September 24th, 2019

Beverly, Right Here by Kate DiCamillo

Fourteen-year old Beverly buries her dog Buddy and tells no one she’s leaving. She doesn’t want to depend on anyone and doesn’t want anyone depending on her. Iola, who offers Beverly shelter, says, “Just because you can’t stand to think about something, doesn’t mean it ain’t happening, that it ain’t true. People wait on other people. People rely on other people.” This book is about love, trust, resiliency, and friendship. Like the other two books in the trilogy, it’s real. - Noreen

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ISBN: 9780763694647
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Published: Candlewick - September 24th, 2019

Some Places More Than Others by Renée Watson

This book is heartwarming and real. Amara plunges into her school assignment when she convinces her parents it’s time for her to see Harlem and meet her grandfather for the first time. Amara’s curiosity about the silence between her father and grandfather keeps the pages turning. A great read for any adolescent curious about where they really come from and why family is important. - Noreen

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ISBN: 9781681191089
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Published: Bloomsbury Children's Books - September 3rd, 2019

New Kid by Jerry Craft

Meet Jordan, an African American boy attending a prestigious New York middle school where he’s torn between two worlds—rich and working class, black and white. On the first page, Jordan says, “This is how I feel every single day of my life, like I’m falling without a parachute,” and illustrates his experiences (via a book within the book) with insight and ironic humor that all young students, especially students of color, will really appreciate. A humorous yet poignant story. - Noreen

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By Jerry Craft, Jerry Craft (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780062691194
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Published: Quill Tree Books - February 5th, 2019

Black Enough edited by Ibi Zoboi

These 17 stories, written by contemporary black authors, demonstrate how diverse the teenage black experience can be: a Trinidadian immigrant's guardian angels (her cousins) save her from falling for the wrong guy; a humorous Jason Reynolds story follows four Brooklyn boys walking home after a swim, fantasizing about sandwiches from their neighborhood bodega; a high schooler keeping her application to a historic black college hidden from her father. Both black and non-black readers will benefit from the insights these well-crafted stories provide. - Noreen


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