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AA Fiction for Ages 8 and up
Bud, Not Buddy
Call Number: J Curtis
It's 1936, in Flint, Michigan, and when 10-year-old Bud decides to hit the road to find his father, nothing can stop him.
The Red Pencil
"Amira, look at me," Muma insists. She collects both my hands in hers. "The Janjaweed attack without warning. If ever they come-- run." Finally, Amira is twelve. Old enough to wear a toob, old enough for new responsibilities. And maybe old enough to go to school in Nyala-- Amira's one true dream. But life in her peaceful Sudanese village is shattered when the Janjaweed arrive. The terrifying attackers ravage the town and unleash unspeakable horrors. After she loses nearly everything, Amira needs to dig deep within herself to find the strength to make the long journey-- on foot-- to safety at a refugee camp. Her days are tough at the camp, until the gift of a simple red pencil opens her mind-- and all kinds of possibilities. New York Times bestselling and Coretta Scott King Award-winning author Andrea Davis Pinkney's powerful verse and Coretta Scott King Award-winning artist Shane W. Evans's breathtaking illustrations combine to tell an inspiring tale of one girl's triumph against all odds.
The Mystery of Meerkat Hill
Call Number: J MCCALL SMITH
Precious wants to be a detective when she grows up. She is always practicing at being a detective by asking questions and finding out about other people's lives. There are two new students in her class, a girl called Teb and a boy called Pontsho. She learns that they are brother and sister, and--even more exciting--that Pontsho has a clever pet meerkat named Kosi. One day, Teb and Pontsho's family's cow disappears. Precious helps them look for clues to find the cow. But getting the cow back home will require some quick thinking and help from an unexpected source.
Brown Girl Dreaming
Call Number: J Woodson
National Book Award Winner Jacqueline Woodson, one of today's finest writers, tells the moving story of her childhood in mesmerizing verse. Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement. Touching and powerful, each poem is both accessible and emotionally charged, each line a glimpse into a child's soul as she searches for her place in the world. Woodson's eloquent poetry also reflects the joy of finding her voice through writing stories, despite the fact that she struggled with reading as a child. Her love of stories inspired her and stayed with her, creating the first sparks of the gifted writer she was to become. Praise for Jacqueline Woodson: Ms. Woodson writes with a sure understanding of the thoughts of young people, offering a poetic, eloquent narrative that is not simply a story . . . but a mature exploration of grown-up issues and self-discovery.The New York Times Book Review
Cleo Edison Oliver, Playground Millionaire
Call Number: J FRA
A multiracial, capitalist tale that's equal parts The Lemonade War and Encyclopedia Brown. Cleopatra Edison Oliver has always been an entrepreneur, just like her inspiration, successful businesswoman Fortune A. Davies. So when Cleo's fifth-grade teacher assigns her class a "Passion Project," Cleo comes up with her best business idea yet: the finest "tooth-pulling" company in town. With the help of her best friend Caylee, a Nerf gun, her dad's tablet, and her patented Persuasion Power, Cleo's Quick and Painless Tooth Removal Service starts to take off. But even the best made plans, by the best CEOs, go awry sometimes. A minor barfing incident during a tooth-pulling operation causes Cleo to lose customers. Caylee, initially enthusiastic about the business, grows distant as Cleo neglects their friendship in lieu of getting more customers. And when a mean classmate makes fun of Cleo for being adopted, everything comes crashing down. Will she be able to rescue her business, salvage her friendship with Caylee, and discover that her true home has been here all along?
The Road to Paris
Call Number: J GRI
Paris has just moved in with the Lincoln family, and isn't thrilled to be in yet another foster home. She has a tough time trusting people, and she misses her brother, who's been sent to a boys' home. Over time, the Lincolns grow on Paris. But no matter how hard she tries to fit in, she can't ignore the feeling that she never will, especially in a town that's mostly white while she is half black. It isn't long before Paris has a big decision to make about where she truly belongs.
Peas and Carrots
Call Number: YA DAV
A rich and memorable story from a Coretta Scott King honor award-winning author about a teenage foster girl looking for a place to call home. Dess knows that nothing good lasts. Disappointment is never far away, and that's a truth that Dess has learned to live with. Dess's mother's most recent arrest is just the latest in a long line of disappointments, but this one lands her with her baby brother's foster family. Dess doesn't exactly fit in with the Carters. They're so happy, so comfortable, so normal, and Hope, their teenage daughter, is so hopelessly naïve. Dess and Hope couldn't be more unlike each other, but Austin loves them both like sisters. Over time their differences, insurmountable at first, fall away to reveal two girls who want the same thing: to belong.
The Big Bike Race
Call Number: J BLEDSOE
With hard work, perseverance, and friendship, Ernie's dream of competing in a big race comes true.
The Blossoming Universe of Violet Diamond by
Call Number: J WOODS
Publication Date: 2014-01-09
Coretta Scott King Honor winner Brenda Woods moving, uplifting story of a girl finally meeting the African American side of her family explores racism and how it feels to be biracial, and celebrates families of all kinds. Violet is a smart, funny, brown-eyed, brown-haired girl in a family of blonds. Her mom is white, and her dad, who died before she was born, was black. She attends a mostly white school where she sometimes feels like a brown leaf on a pile of snow. Now that Violets eleven, she decides its time to learn about her African American heritage. And despite getting off to a rocky start trying to reclaim her side of the family, she can feel her confidence growing as the puzzle pieces of her life finally start coming together. Readers will cheer for Violet, sharing her joy as she discovers her roots.
Elijah of Buxton
Call Number: J Curtis
Newbery Medalist and CSK Award winner Christopher Paul Curtis's debut middle-grade/young-YA novel for Scholastic features his trademark humor, compelling storytelling, and unique narrative voice. Eleven-year-old Elijah is the first child born into freedom in Buxton, Canada, a settlement of runaway slaves just over the border from Detroit. He's best known for having made a memorable impression on Frederick Douglass, but that changes when a former slave steals money from Elijah’s friend, who has been saving to buy his family out of captivity in the South. Elijah embarks on a dangerous journey to America in pursuit of the thief and discovers firsthand the unimaginable horrors of the life his parents fled--a life from which he’ll always be free, if he can find the courage to get back home.
Kinda Like Brothers
Call Number: J BOO
Jarrett doesn't trust Kevon. But he's got to share a room with him anyway. It was one thing when Jarrett's mom took care of foster babies who needed help. But this time it's different. This time the baby who needs help has an older brother -- a kid Jarrett's age named Kevon. nbsp; Everyone thinks Jarrett and Kevon should be friends -- but that's not gonna happen. Not when Kevon's acting like he's better than Jarrett -- and not when Jarrett finds out Kevon's keeping some major secrets. nbsp; Jarrett doesn't think it's fair that he has to share his room, his friends, and his life with some stranger. He's gotta do something about it -- but what? nbsp; From award-winning author Coe Booth, KINDA LIKE BROTHERS is the story of two boys who really don't get along -- but have to find a way to figure it out.
Call Number: J RHO
From award-winning author Jewell Parker Rhodes, a powerful novel set fifteen years after the 9/11 attacks. When her fifth-grade teacher hints that a series of lessons about home and community will culminate with one big answer about two tall towers once visible outside their classroom window, Deja can't help but feel confused. She sets off on a journey of discovery, with new friends Ben and Sabeen by her side. But just as she gets closer to answering big questions about who she is, what America means, and how communities can grow (and heal), she uncovers new questions, too. Like, why does Pop get so angry when she brings up anything about the towers?
Asian Fiction for Ages 8 and Up #2
Inside Out and Back Again
Call Number: J Lai
No one would believe me but at times I would choose wartime in Saigon over peacetime in Alabama. For all the ten years of her life, Hà has only known Saigon: the thrills of its markets, the joy of its traditions, the warmth of her friends close by . . . and the beauty of her very own papaya tree. But now the Vietnam War has reached her home. Hà and her family are forced to flee as Saigon falls, and they board a ship headed toward hope. In America, Hà discovers the foreign world of Alabama: the coldness of its strangers, the dullness of its food, the strange shape of its landscape . . . and the strength of her very own family. This is the moving story of one girl's year of change, dreams, grief, and healing as she journeys from one country to another, one life to the next.
Ticket to India
Call Number: J SEN
A trip to India turns into a grand adventure in this contemporary novel about the Great Partition, from the award-winning author of Saving Kabul Corner and Shooting Kabul. A map, two train tickets, and a mission. These are things twelve-year-old Maya and her big sister Zara have when they set off on their own from Delhi to their grandmother’s childhood home of Aminpur, a small town in Northern India. Their goal is to find a chest of family treasures that their grandmother’s family left behind when they fled from India to Pakistan during the Great Partition. But soon the sisters become separated, and Maya is alone. Determined to find her grandmother’s lost chest, she continues her trip, on the way enlisting help from an orphan by named Jai. Maya’s grand adventure through India is as thrilling as it is warm: a journey through her family’s history becomes a real coming-of-age quest.
The Thing about Luck
Call Number: J KADOHATA
The winner of the National Book Award for Young People's Literature, from Newbery Medalist Cynthia Kadohata. There is bad luck, good luck, and making your own luck-which is exactly what Summer must do to save her family. Summer knows that kouun means "good luck" in Japanese, and this year her family has none of it. Just when she thinks nothing else can possibly go wrong, an emergency whisks her parents away to Japan-right before harvest season. Summer and her little brother, Jaz, are left in the care of their grandparents, who come out of retirement in order to harvest wheat and help pay the bills. Summer just barely has time to notice the attentions of their boss's cute son. Cynthia Kadohata's ode to the breadbasket of America has received six starred reviews and was selected as a National Book Award Finalist.
Call Number: J FENNER
Call Number: J SON
A young orphaned girl in modern-day China discovers the meaning of family in this inspiring story told in verse, in the tradition of Inside Out and Back Again and Sold. Kara never met her birth mother. Abandoned as an infant, she was taken in by an American woman living in China. Now eleven, Kara spends most of her time in their apartment, wondering why she and Mama cannot leave the city of Tianjin and go live with Daddy in Montana. Told in lyrical, moving verse, Red Butterfly is the story of a girl learning to trust her own voice, discovering that love and family are limitless, and finding the wings she needs to reach new heights.
The Whole Story of Half a Girl
After her father loses his job, Sonia Nadhamuni, half Indian and half Jewish American, finds herself yanked out of private school and thrown into the unfamiliar world of public education. For the first time, Sonia's mixed heritage makes her classmates ask questions--questions Sonia doesn't always know how to answer--as she navigates between a group of popular girls who want her to try out for the cheerleading squad and other students who aren't part of the "in" crowd. At the same time that Sonia is trying to make new friends, she's dealing with what it means to have an out-of-work parent--it's hard for her family to adjust to their changed circumstances. And then, one day, Sonia's father goes missing. Now Sonia wonders if she ever really knew him.
Call Number: J LAI
[Listen, Slowly; TR 9780062229182; EPB 9780062229205] This remarkable novel from Thanhhà L?i, New York Times bestselling author of the National Book Award-winning and Newbery Honor Book Inside Out & Back Again, follows a young girl as she learns the true meaning of family. A California girl born and raised, Mai can't wait to spend her vacation at the beach. Instead, though, she has to travel to Vietnam with her grandmother, who is going back to find out what really happened to her husband during the Vietnam War. Mai's parents think this trip will be a great opportunity for their out-of-touch daughter to learn more about her culture. But to Mai, those are their roots, not her own. Vietnam is hot, smelly, and the last place she wants to be. Besides barely speaking the language, she doesn't know the geography, the local customs, or even her distant relatives. To survive her trip, Mai must find a balance between her two completely different worlds
Child of Spring
Call Number: J ZIA
Basanta longs for the beautiful ring worn by her young mistress, but when it comes into her possession, she realizes that it's not the wonderful possession she expected. Increasingly aware of the struggles of her less privileged friends, Lali and Bala, she finds a way to improve their lives and entertain their community--and the beautiful ring takes on new meaning.
Latina/Latino Fiction for Ages 8 and Up #3
My Name Is María Isabel
Call Number: J Ada
Well-known author Alma Flor Ada explores a problem and theme common among children in multicultural settings. Maria Isabel is hurt when her teacher decides to call her Mary to distinguish her from two other Marias in the class. Maria is proud of her name and heritage and must find a way to make her teacher understand."
Call Number: J RYA
A reissue of Pam Munoz Ryan's bestselling backlist with a distinctive new author treatment. Esperanza thought she'd always live with her family on their ranch in Mexico--she'd always have fancy dresses, a beautiful home, and servants. But a sudden tragedy forces Esperanza and Mama to flee to California during the Great Depression, and to settle in a camp for Mexican farm workers. Esperanza must find a way to rise above her difficult circumstances--Mama's life, and her own, depend on it.
Other Great Books
My Basmati Bat Mitzvah
Call Number: J FRE
During the fall leading up to her bat mitzvah, Tara (Hindi for "star" Feinstein has a lot more than her Torah portion on her mind. Between Hebrew school and study sessions with the rabbi, there doesn't seem to be enough time to hang out with her best friends. Not to mention working on her robotics project with the class clown Ryan Berger, or figuring out what to do with a priceless heirloom sari that she accidentally ruined. Amid all this drama, Tara considers how to balance her Indian and Jewish identities and what it means to have a bat mitzvah while questioning her faith. With the cross-cultural charm of Bend It Like Beckham, this delightful debut novel is a classic coming-of-age story and young romance with universal appeal.
The Secret of the Village Fool
Call Number: J UPJOHN
Milek and his brother Munio live in a sleepy village in Poland, where nothing exciting seems to happen. They reluctantly do as their mother asks when she asks them to visit their neighbor Anton, knowing that the rest of the village laughs at him because of his strange habits of speaking to animals and only eating vegetables. Things change quickly when war comes to their town in the form of Nazi soldiers searching for Jewish families like that of Milek and Munio. Anton refuses to tell the soldiers where to find them, and then goes so far as to hide the family in his own home, putting his life at risk without a thought. Based on a true story.
Half a World Away
Call Number: J KADOHATA
A kid who considers himself an epic fail discovers the transformative power of love when he deals with adoption in this novel from Cynthia Kadohata, winner of the Newbery Medal and the National Book Award. He is incapable of stopping his stealing, hoarding, lighting fires, aggressive running, and obsession with electricity. He knows his parents love him, but he feels...nothing. One, a little guy named Dimash, spies Jaden and barrels over to him every time he sees him. For the first time in his life, Jaden actually feels something that isn't pure blinding fury, and there's no way to control it, or its power. From camels rooting through garbage like raccoons, to eagles being trained like hunting dogs, to streets that are more pothole than pavement, Half a World Away is Cynthia Kadohata's latest spark of a novel.
Save Me a Seat
Call Number: J WEE
Two boys - one white, one Indian American - gain strength from each other from afar as they struggle to navigate middle school, family, and friendships. Two boys - one white, one Indian American - gain strength from each other from afar as they struggle to navigate middle school, family, and friendships. Joe and Ravi might be from very different places, but they're both stuck in the same place: SCHOOL. Joe's lived in the same town all his life, and was doing just fine until his best friends moved away and left him on his own. Ravi's family just moved to America from India, and he's finding it pretty hard to figure out where he fits in. Joe and Ravi don't think they have anything in common -but soon enough they have a common enemy (the biggest bully in their class) and a common mission: to take control of their lives over the course of a single crazy week.
My Bat Mitzvah
Call Number: J BAS
Caroline's mom is Jewish, her dad isn't, and Caroline has never really thought of herself as any religion. But when her nana dies and leaves Caroline a Star of David necklace, Caroline begins to wonder about her heritage. If she starts going to synagogue, won't that upset her dad? Should she have a Bat Mitzvah like her best friend, Rachel? Does Caroline want to be Jewish? The more she thinks about it, the more questions she has. Like Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret, this thoughtful and relevant novel traces one girl's journey toward discovering who she is and where she fits in.
It Ain't So Awful, Falafel
Call Number: J DUM
Zomorod (Cindy) Yousefzadeh is the new kid on the block . . . for the fourth time. California's Newport Beach is her family's latest perch, and she's determined to shuck her brainy loner persona and start afresh with a new Brady Bunch name--Cindy. It's the late 1970s, and fitting in becomes more difficult as Iran makes U.S. headlines with protests, revolution, and finally the taking of American hostages. Even mood rings and puka shell necklaces can't distract Cindy from the anti-Iran sentiments that creep way too close to home. A poignant yet lighthearted middle grade debut from the author of the best-selling Funny in Farsi.
Words in the Dust
Call Number: J FIC REE
A beautiful debut about a daughter of Afghanistan discovering new friends and opportunities after the defeat of the Taliban. Zulaikha hopes. She hopes for peace, now that the Taliban have been driven from Afghanistan; a good relationship with her hard stepmother; and one day even to go to school, or to have her cleft palate fixed. Zulaikha knows all will be provided for her--"Inshallah," God willing. Then she meets Meena, who offers to teach her the Afghan poetry she taught her late mother. And the Americans come to her village, promising not just new opportunities and dangers, but surgery to fix her face. These changes could mean a whole new life for Zulaikha--but can she dare to hope they'll come true?