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Middle School January 2019 (1)

August 1st, 2018 | Posted by schliesman in 2018-2019 | 2018-2019 Middle School | Middle School | January - (Comments Off on Middle School January 2019 (1))

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Khan, Hena. Amina’s Voice. Salaam Reads, 2017. 197 pages (978–1–4814–9206–5)

Ages 9-13

Amina is unhappy that her best friend, Soojin, has started inviting Emily, a classmate neither of them has ever liked, to spend time with them. At home, Amina’s family is getting ready for the visit of Thaya Jaan, her father’s older brother, from Pakistan. To impress Thaya Jaan, and support their Imam, Amina’s parents insist Amina and her older brother, Mustafa, complete  in their mosque’s upcoming Quran recitation competition. Mustafa, who wants his parents to let him play high school basketball, agrees willingly. But Amina suffers from serious stage fright—it’s why she never tries out for a solo in her middle school choir, despite her talent and love of singing. A swiftly paced novel showing a Muslim family and community as part of the fabric of American life also includes a hateful attack when vandals break into the mosque. No one is hurt, but the damage is great and the fear and sadness palpable. So, too, is the caring. People both within and outside Amina’s faith community offer solace, support, and help repairing the damage. This welcome story has finely developed primary and secondary characters, from Amina, Soojin, and Emily (whom Amina comes to appreciate) to Amina’s family members, including her at-first intimidating uncle, who proves to have both conservative ideas and an open mind. The novel is set in the Milwaukee-area community of Greendale. ©2018 Cooperative Children’s Book Center

Middle School December 2018

August 1st, 2018 | Posted by schliesman in 2018-2019 | 2018-2019 Middle School | Middle School | December - (Comments Off on Middle School December 2018)

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Cronin, Doreen. Cyclone. A Caitlyn Dlouhy Book / Atheneum, 2017. 336 pages (978–1–4814–3525–3)

Ages 9-13

Nora, 12, is small for her age but finally tall enough to ride the Cyclone roller coaster at Coney Island while visiting her cousin Riley. Riley goes on the ride with Nora and then collapses when they get off: an undiagnosed  medical condition has resulted in a stroke. Riley ends up in the PICU (pediatric intensive care unit) while Nora, at first scared to see Riley, is spending long hours in the hospital waiting room. Monica, a hospital counselor, and Jack, an experienced kid visitor because of his younger brother’s illness, both help Riley navigate the frightening uncertainty, but she can’t bring herself to tell anyone how guilty she feels. It turns out Riley was terrified to go on the roller coaster so Nora blackmailed her, threatening to tell Riley’s mom about an older guy Riley’s  who called Riley the night before. Nora’s engaging, honest voice and compelling extended family dynamics (achingly real and recognizable, and sometimes funny) propel a story that also captures how strangers step up at times of need. Riley’s slow progress by story’s end is all the more satisfying because it shows how the stroke, for all it has changed what Riley is able to do, especially with regard to speaking, has not changed who she is.  ©2018 Cooperative Children’s Book Center

Middle School November 2018

August 1st, 2018 | Posted by schliesman in 2018-2019 | 2018-2019 Middle School | November | Middle School - (Comments Off on Middle School November 2018)

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Rosenberg, Madelyn, and Wendy Wan-Long Shang.
This Is Just a Test. Scholastic Press, 2017. 243 pages (978–1–338–03772–2)

Ages 9-12

A late Cold War, made-for-television movie called The Day After, which imagines what happens in a small U.S. town after a nuclear bomb is dropped, leaves seventh-grader David Horowitz upset and unsettled the fall of 1983. Until the movie, his greatest worry was his upcoming bar mitzvah. Now it’s the end of the world. Then again, he’s sometimes just as worried about things exploding in his own home, where his Chinese maternal grandmother, Wai Po, who lives with his family, and his Jewish paternal grandmother, who moved from New Jersey to around the corner after Wai Po moved in, are often at odds in quietly cutting ways. David’s also trying to navigate a new friendship with Scott, a boy who teamed up with David and David’s longtime best friend, Hector, for a trivia contest. They won. Now Scott, who also saw The Day After, has invited David to help him dig a fall-out shelter, and has made it patently clear Hector, who is far from being a cool kid, is not included. Authentic characters, genuine relationships (for better and worse), tension, and humor all combine to make this story about family and friendship and David’s struggle for peace in his own life pleasurable, poignant, and immensely satisfying.  ©2018 Cooperative Children’s Book Center

Middle School October 2018

August 1st, 2018 | Posted by schliesman in 2018-2019 | 2018-2019 Middle School | October | Middle School - (Comments Off on Middle School October 2018)

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Reynolds, Jason.
Miles Morales: Spider-Man. Marvel Press, 2017. 261 pages (978–148478748–9)

Age 11 and older

Half Black, half Puerto Rican, Miles Morales is comfortable in his own skin, even if some people aren’t always comfortable with his skin. But the same can’t be said for how Miles feels about other aspects of his identity. He’s a scholarship student from a poor Brooklyn neighborhood attending an elite prep school and he wants to do well for himself, his family, and community, but it’s a lot of pressure. And then there’s the fact that he’s Spider-Man. Only his best friend, Ganke, knows this truth. It was on a visit to his late Uncle Aaron, an ex-con his parents had forbidden him to see, that Miles was bitten by the spider that transformed him. Aaron has been on Miles’s mind a lot lately. For all that he has superpowers, Miles wonders if he has the same bad blood that made his uncle turn to crime. And being a superhero doesn’t mean Miles can solve the challenges in his neighborhood, let alone the world; he can’t even challenge a racist teacher without getting suspended. There is a superhero storyline here as Miles comes to understand and confronts a threat to the world—full of the action and moments of humor expected in the genre—but it’s deftly wrapped inside a vivid work of relatable, contemporary realistic fiction. ©2018 Cooperative Children’s Book Center

Middle School September 2018

August 1st, 2018 | Posted by schliesman in 2018-2019 | 2018-2019 Middle School | September | Middle School - (Comments Off on Middle School September 2018)

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Jamieson, Victoria.
All’s Faire in Middle School. Dial, 2017. 248 pages (978–0–525–42998–2)

Ages 8-12

Imogene has been home-schooled her entire life and has also spent eight weeks every year with her family at the Renaissance Faire in her Florida community. Now she’s finally getting the chance to play a part in the Faire as a squire to her dad’s villainous knight. Imogene is also starting public school—her own choice—for the first time. Imogene’s trials and tribulations as she navigates middle school are framed in terms of a Medieval drama at the start of every chapter of this graphic novel. (“Our heroine’s journey through the halls of middle school winds through unknown lands and uncharted territories.”) The false face and slings and arrows of one popular girl in particular are a challenge, but not as painful as discovering she, herself, is not above treachery as she tries to position herself in the social strata. Her behavior isn’t very noble at home, either. Luckily her family is marvelously grounded, not to mention wonderfully realistic. Life isn’t all Faires and fun, after all: Her dad sells pools and spas as his day job while everyone pitches in at home, whether helping make crafts for the shop her mom runs at the Faire, or watching her little brother. Imogene’s dad is brown-skinned, her mom white, in this entertaining and highly relatable quest in which Imogene emerges the hero of her own story—what every kid can be. ©2018 Cooperative Children’s Book Center

Middle School Summer 2019 (3)

August 1st, 2018 | Posted by schliesman in 2018-2019 | 2018-2019 Middle School | Middle School | Summer - (Comments Off on Middle School Summer 2019 (3))

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Thimmesh, Catherine. Team Moon: How 400,000 People Landed Apollo 11 on th Moon. 
Houghton Mifflin, 2006. 80 pages (0-618-50757-4)

Ages 10-15

A vast army of workers comprised the team that sent astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins to the moon in 1969. The accomplishments of the individuals behind the scenes, from engineers to space suit seamstresses, were integral components in the Apollo 11 mission, yet their stories are rarely told. Author Catherine Thimmesh describes the vital and varied work of many, while outlining the chronology of the space mission from conception through splash-down. Despite knowing the outcome of these historic events, readers will be on the edge of their seats as potential disasters loom and are conquered by the team, sometimes with mere seconds to spare. Powerful photographs and frequent quotes from the many individuals involved add to the depth of this fascinating work. (MVL) ©2006 Cooperative Children’s Book Center

 

Middle School Summer 2019 (2)

August 1st, 2018 | Posted by schliesman in 2018-2019 | 2018-2019 Middle School | Middle School | Summer - (Comments Off on Middle School Summer 2019 (2))

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Moore, David Barclay.
The Stars Beneath Our Feet. Alfred A. Knopf, 2017.  294 pages (978–1–5247–0124–6)

Ages 9-13

On the edge of young adulthood, Lolly has the support of his hardworking, no nonsense mom and her girlfriend; his dad, who isn’t a daily presence in his life but whose love is never in doubt; staff at the community center; and his best friend, Vega. He’s also keenly aware that the freedom with which he moved through Harlem when he was young has changed now that he’s 12; now that he’s eyed by various crews of older boys and young men as being either with them or against them. The threat feels all the more real since his big brother Jermaine was recently shot and killed, and Lolly’s grief is complicated by the fact his brother, so often his protector, was mad at him for refusing to get involved in Jermaine’s dubious business. But Lolly’s sense of himself and the world and possibilities begins expanding after receiving an architecture book as a gift. Inspired to begin constructing an elaborate city out of Lego bricks, his efforts lead to a surprising new friendship with Rose, a girl most kids shun, who is navigating struggles of her own, and to exploring the real places pictured in the book. Lolly and his family, friends, and neighbors are vivid and alive in a story featuring exceptional characterizations and dialogue. The complexities of family and friendships come into full relief in a story celebrating the power of creativity and community in a child’s life. ©2018 Cooperative Children’s Book Center

Middle School Summer 2019 (1)

August 1st, 2018 | Posted by schliesman in 2018-2019 | 2018-2019 Middle School | Middle School | Summer - (Comments Off on Middle School Summer 2019 (1))

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Anderson, Jodi Lynn.
Midnight at the Electric. HarperTeen, 2017. 257  pages (978–0–06–239354–8)

Age 12 and older

In 2065, Adri moves in with her newly discovered cousin, Lily, while she trains for her future life as a settler on Mars. Loner Adri worries living with elderly, open-hearted Lily will be hard, but Lily is respectful of Adri’s privacy and Galapagos, a giant tortoise on Lily’s Kansas farm, is a peaceful companion. In 1934 Catherine lives with her mother, little sister, and a tortoise named Galapagos on their Kansas farm, where the dust storms ravaging the Plains threaten her little sister’s health. Learning the boy she loves also loves her is bittersweet when Catherine, debating something drastic to save her sister, discovers a secret about the past that raises huge questions about her family. In 1919, Lenore lives in England, mourning the loss of a beloved brother in the Great War. Lenore wants to visit her best friend, Beth, in America. In the meantime, she forges a friendship with James, a disfigured young man who tests her understanding of compassion and acceptance while spinning impossible stories about his life. For Adri, who’s never relied on anyone but herself and is struggling to connect with others on her team, the old letters and journals in Lily’s house leading her to Catherine’s and Lenore’s stories hold surprising fascination. Family, friendship, and the family that friendship can be are the gifts Catherine, Lenore, and especially Lily give Adri as she prepares for her journey in this singular novel graced by complex, poignant characters and relationships. ©2018 Cooperative Children’s Book Center

Middle School May 2019

August 1st, 2018 | Posted by schliesman in 2018-2019 | 2018-2019 Middle School | Middle School | May - (Comments Off on Middle School May 2019)

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Cartaya, Pablo.
The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora. Viking, 2017. 236 pages (978–1–101–99723–9)

Ages 10-13

Arturo lives in an apartment complex in Miami along with most of the rest of his extended, closeknit, sometimes chaotic Cuban American family. At the center of their lives are Abuela and La Cocina de la Isla, the restaurant she began with Arturo’s late grandfather. With Abuela’s health in question, no one wants to tell her about the threat to the proposed expansion of the restaurant into the empty lot next door: a new, buffoonish developer in town has plans for an upscale high-rise. At the heart of this lively story are important questions: How do communities shape and value individuals? How do individuals shape communities? How do differing ideas of what constitutes “progress,” including gentrification, impact community, and the family that community can be? They are explored in a blithe narrative featuring a slightly lovesick middle schooler (Arturo is trying to figure out if visiting Carmen likes him the same way he likes her) trying to help his family convince the city council to vote in favor of their restaurant’s proposal. Arturo finds inspiration for both his ideals and love in the poetry of Jose Martí, the Cuban poet and activist whom, he learns, his late grandfather loved (and Carmen does, too). ©2018 Cooperative Children’s Book Center

We’ve just finalized the Read On Wisconsin reading lists for 2018-2019.  Check out the selections below!  Watch for additional information about the titles in the coming month.
Complete list of 2018-2019 ROW books (pdf).

Icon for Babies Toddlers & PreschoolersBabies, Toddlers and Preschoolers

(pdf of BTP list)

 

September:

Baby’s First Words
by Stella Backstone and Sunny Scribbens. Illustrated by Christiane Engel. Barefoot Books, 2017. 20 pages (978-1-78285-321-3)
My Autumn Book by Wong Herbert Yee. Christy Ottaviano Books / Henry Holt, 2015 32 pages. (978–0–8050–9922–5)

October:

Herbert’s First Halloween by Cynthia Rylant. Illustrated by Steven Henry. Chronicle, 2017. 28 pages (978-1-4521-2533-6)

I Want To Be in a Scary Story by Sean Taylor. Illustrated by Jean Jullien. Candlewick Press, 2017. 48 pages (978-0-7636-8953-7)

November:

Hooray for Birds! by Lucy Cousins. U.S. edition: Candlewick Press, 2017. 32 pages (978-0-7636-9265-0)
Owl Bat Bat Owl by Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick. U.S. edition: Candlewick Press, 2017. 32 pages (978-0-7636-9161-5)

December:

Baby Goes to Market by Atinuke. Illustrated by Angela Brooksbank. Candlewick Press, 2017. 32 pages (978-0-7636-9570-5)
Blocks by Irene Dickson. Nosy Crow / Candlewick Press, 2016. 24 pages (978–0–7636–8656–7)

 

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