Children's Book Previews


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Amina's Voice , by Hena Khan
         
A Pakistani-American Muslim girl struggles to stay true to her family’s vibrant culture while simultaneously blending in at school after tragedy strikes her community in this sweet and moving middle grade novel from the award-winning author of It’s Ramadan, Curious George and Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns.

Amina has never been comfortable in the spotlight. She is happy just hanging out with her best friend, Soojin. Except now that she’s in middle school everything feels different. Soojin is suddenly hanging out with Emily, one of the “cool” girls in the class, and even talking about changing her name to something more “American.” Does Amina need to start changing too? Or hiding who she is to fit in? While Amina grapples with these questions, she is devastated when her local mosque is vandalized.

Amina’s Voice brings to life the joys and challenges of a young Pakistani American and highlights the many ways in which one girl’s voice can help bring a diverse community together to love and support each other.



Pup the Sea Otter , by Jonathan London
      

Watch Pup grow from his birth to first dive and from rambunctious play with other pups to a frightening encounter with a predator.

Bestselling author Jonathan London tells Pup’s story in sparse, poetic text with vivid vocabulary while luminous illustrations by London’s son, Sean London, bring the adorable Pup and his loving mother to life within the swirling sea around them.

London’s newest creation in his picture book collection about baby animals (including The Seasons of Little Wolf, Little Puffin’s First Flight, and Honey Paw and Lightfoot―about a bear cub) will entertain children with a combination of learning and fun. An author’s note at the end shares fascinating facts about this popular keystone species.




Morris Mole, by Dan Yaccarino
      

From internationally acclaimed author-illustrator Dan Yaccarino comes a heartwarming tale about finding your own courage.

Meet Morris Mole—he has always been a little bit different. When the moles are running low on food, it's up to clever Morris to save the day. With a little help from an unexpected friend and a lot of digging, Morris learns that even the smallest creatures can do big things.

Featuring Dan Yaccarino’s bright and distinctive art, Morris Mole is sure to win the hearts of all readers.




Goldfish Ghost, by Lemony Snicket
         

Goldfish Ghost was born on the surface of the water in the bowl on a dresser in a boy’s room. The boy’s room was pleasant and familiar, but Goldfish Ghost wanted company, so he set out to find a friend.

He floats over the neighborhood, past the pier, and let the breeze carry him into town where he discovers that not many people pay attention to goldfish ghosts.

Off he floats, searching for the perfect home and the perfect friend

and then he hears a voice. . .




The World's Greatest Detective, by Caroline Carlson
         

Caroline Carlson, author of the Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates series, returns with The World’s Greatest Detective, a story of crime, tricks, and hilarity for those who know that sometimes it takes a pair of junior sleuths to solve a slippery case.

Detectives’ Row is full of talented investigators, but Toby Montrose isn’t one of them. He’s only an assistant at his uncle’s detective agency, and he’s not sure he’s even very good at that. Toby’s friend Ivy is the best sleuth around—or at least she thinks so. They both see their chance to prove themselves when the famed Hugh Abernathy announces a contest to choose the World’s Greatest Detective. But when what was supposed to be a game turns into a real-life murder mystery, can Toby and Ivy crack the case?




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.




Wallace and Grace Take the Case , by Heather Alexander
         

The Read & Bloom line offers high interest, character driven stories for newly independent readers that feature full-color illustrations throughout and will transition kids from leveled readers to a lifetime of reading.

In this charming series, perfect for newly independent readers, kids will be treated to simple whodunit mysteries as an utterly delightful owl duo put their heads together. In their first adventure, Wallace and Grace meet a rabbit who is sure he saw a ghost! But the clues lead them in a different direction. Something is spooking the garden . . . can Wallace and Grace solve this case?




Stonebird , by Mike Revell
         
When 10-year-old Liam's family moves to be near his grandmother who is suffering from dementia, he's left to navigate his new neighborhood, school and grandmother's illness all by himself; His mom regularly looses herself in a bottle of wine, and his sister sneaks out to who knows where shortly after "wine o'clock"-as they've come to call it-strikes. Life it isn't easy.
 
The one place he seems to find solace is a rundown church where he finds an over-sized gargoyle that keeps drawing him in. After learning that they were created to protect people from demons and evil spirits, he can't seem to shake the image of the old stone bird and its presence weaves itself into the stories Liam tells himself and others, so much so that Liam starts to believe that it might be alive.
 
Shy Liam's only means of confidence during shared story time is to tell tales of the gargoyle. His classmate mock him at first but are soon are captivated by his storytelling, and his teacher's slight nods of encouragement fuel Liam's belief in the bird and lead him to think that she knows a thing or two about the old bird herself.
 
As his home life gets harder and the bullies more relentless the gargoyle seemingly brings Liam's stories to life-swooping in to protect and defend him in the most unexpected ways. But is the old stone bird really alive, or is it just Liam's imagination finding ways to help him through a difficult time?



The Worst Fairy Godmother Ever , by Sarah Aronson
         
Q: What do you need to become a great fairy godmother?
a) kindness
b) determination
c) gusto 
d) all of the above

Fairy-godmother-in-training Isabelle doesn't know what gusto is, but she's pretty sure she has what it takes to pass fairy godmother training with flying colors.

But then Isabelle is assigned a practice princess who is not a princess at all. Nora is just a normal girl -- a normal girl who doesn't believe in fairy godmothers, or wishes come true, or happily ever afters. 

Isabelle has to change Nora's mind about magic and grant a wish for her. If she can't, Isabelle will flunk training and never become a great fairy godmother!



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