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All book summaries courtesy of RICBA committee members and Follett. Thanks to Katie Tanner and Sue Rose for collecting them and creating LibGuide boxes I was able to reuse here. If the title of a book is blue, you can click on it to watch a book trailer (we're missing Curse of the Boggin / Surrender the Key, The Marvelwood Magicians, The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet!, and The Trail). Thanks to Carolyn Steward for collecting many of the trailers.
You can print out this chart of book covers and keep track of which ones you've read.
A Boy Called Bat by
For Bixby Alexander Tam (nicknamed Bat), life tends to be full of surprises--some of them good, some not so good. Today, though, is a good-surprise day. Bat's mom, a veterinarian, has brought home a baby skunk, which she needs to take care of until she can hand him over to a wild-animal shelter. But the minute Bat meets the kit, he knows they belong together. And he's got one month to show his mom that a baby skunk might just make a pretty terrific pet.
Chef Roy Choi and the Street Food Remix by
Chef Roy Choi calls himself a "street cook," making food cooked with care, with love, with sohn maash. It is the love and cooking talent that Korean mothers and grandmothers mix into their handmade foods. For Chef Roy Choi, food means love. It also means culture, not only of Korea where he was born, but the many cultures that make up the streets of Los Angeles, where he was raised. So remixing food from the streets, just like good music--and serving it up from a truck--is true to L.A. food culture.
The Library: Curse of the Boggin / Surrender the Key (Book 1) by
There's a place beyond this world where spirits tell their tales--stories that ended too soon, or don't end at all. It's a place for unexplainable things: mysteries without solutions. Ghosts. Boogeymen. They all have a story. Marcus and his friends have found the key to unlock the Library. And they need to use it, because, clearly, something is up. Some strange guy in a bathrobe haunts them; fires rage and flare out in an instant; a creepy old lady shows up at Marcus's house. . . . At first Marcus thinks he's going nuts, until the terror gets real.
Dream Jumper: Nightmare Escape by
Ben has a problem. When he sleeps he dreams, and when he dreams, they're all nightmares! But he can also jump into other people's dreams. So when his friends start falling victim to an evil dream-monster that prevents them from waking, Ben knows he has to help them. Easier said than done when dreams can shift and the monster knows his way around the ever-changing landscape of the mind! With help from a talking rabbit-companion who has a mysterious past, Ben might just be able to defeat the monster and save his friends . . . if he can figure out how to use the power within him against his enemies.
Her Right Foot by
If you had to name a statue, any statue, odds are good you'd mention the Statue of Liberty. Have you seen her? She's in New York. She's holding a torch. And she's in mid-stride, moving forward. But why? In this fascinating and fun take on nonfiction, Dave Eggers and Shawn Harris investigate a seemingly small trait of America's most emblematic statue. What they find is about more than history, more than art. What they find in the Statue of Liberty's right foot is the powerful message of acceptance that is essential of an entire country's creation.
I'm Just No Good at Rhyming by
Meet Chris Harris, the 21st-century Shel Silverstein! Harris's hilarious debut molds wit and wordplay, nonsense and oxymoron, and visual and verbal sleight-of-hand in masterful ways that make you look at the world in a whole new wonderfully upside-down way. Adding to the fun: Lane Smith, bestselling creator of beloved hits like It's a Book and The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales, has spectacularly illustrated this extraordinary collection with nearly one hundred pieces of appropriately absurd art. It's a mischievous match made in heaven!
Keith Haring by
This one-of-a-kind book explores the life and art of Keith Haring from his childhood through his meteoric rise to fame. It sheds light on this important artist's great humanity, his concern for children, and his disregard for the establishment art world. Reproductions of Keith's signature artwork appear in scenes boldly rendered by Robert Neubecker. This is a story to inspire, and a book for Keith Haring fans of all ages to treasure.
The Losers Club by
Sixth grader Alec can't put a good book down. So when Principal Vance lays down the law--pay attention in class, or else--Alec takes action. He can't lose all his reading time, so he starts a club. A club he intends to be the only member of. After all, reading isn't a team sport, and no one would want to join something called the Losers Club, right? But as more and more kids find their way to Alec's club--including his ex-friend turned bully and the girl Alec is maybe starting to like--Alec notices something. Real life might be messier than his favorite books, but it's just as interesting.
The Marvelwood Magicians by
Eleven-year-old Mattie Marvelwood comes from a family of traveling performers. Her dad is an illusionist; her mom is a fortune-teller; her brother has a vanishing act; and she herself is a mind-reader. But the Marvelwoods have a deep secret. The acts they perform at carnivals, fairs, and circuses are not just acts. Their powers are real. In all their wanderings, the Marvelwoods have never met another performer with gifts like theirs--until they join Master Morogh's Circus of Wonders! But it turns out that Master Morogh's true talent is stealing the gifts of others.
Mustaches for Maddie by
When twelve-year-old Maddie starts tripping when she walks and her hand starts curling up at her side, her mom takes her to the doctor, who confirms Maddie has a brain tumor. In an instant, her world is turned upside down. As Maddie's surgery approaches, she wonders if her illness is giving her super powers because her imagination is bigger than ever, her courage is stronger than ever, and her compassion is about to be felt by more people than she ever imagined.
The Real McCoys by
Her name's Moxie. Moxie McCoy.Bold, opinionated, and haplessly self-confident, she's the world's greatest fourth-grade detective! When someone kidnaps the beloved school mascot, Eddie the Owl, Moxie is on the case--but she is forced to fly solo since her best friend (and crime-solving partner) has recently moved away. Moxie must interview her classmates--both as potential new best friends, and as possible suspects. She finds clues and points fingers but can't save the owl on her own. Enter Moxie's little brother, Milton.
The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet! by
La Paz is a happy, but noisy village. A little peace and quiet would make it just right. So the villagers elect the bossy Don Pepe as their mayor. Before long, singing of any kind is outlawed. Even the teakettle is afraid to whistle! But there is one noisy rooster who doesn't give two mangos about this mayor's silly rules. Instead, he does what roosters were born to do. He sings: "Kee-kee-ree-KEE!" Carmen Deedy's masterfully crafted allegory and Eugene Yelchin's bright, whimsical mixed-media paintings celebrate the spirit of freedom -- and the courage of those who are born to sing at any cost.
Sergeant Reckless by
When a group of US Marines fighting in the Korean War found a bedraggled mare, they wondered if she could be trained to as a packhorse. They had no idea that the skinny, underfed horse had one of the biggest and bravest hearts they'd ever known. As cannons thundered and shells flew through the air, she marched into battle--again and again--becoming the only animal ever to officially hold military rank--becoming Sgt. Reckless--and receive two Purple Hearts.
To Joseph Friedman, middle school might as well be the Running of the Bulls. He's friendless and puny, with ADD to boot, so he spends most of his time avoiding class bully Charlie Kastner and hiding out in the Resource Room, a safe place for misfit kids like him. But then, on the first day of seventh grade, two important things happen. First, his Resource Room teacher Mrs. T encourages (i.e., practically forces) him to join the school track team, and second, he meets Heather, a tough, athletic new girl who isn't going to be pushed around by Charlie Kastner--or anybody else.
Stef Soto, Taco Queen by
Estefania "Stef" Soto is itching to shake off the onion-and-cilantro embrace of Tia Perla, her family's taco truck. She wants nothing more than for Papi to get a normal job and for Tia Perla to be a distant memory. Then maybe everyone at school will stop seeing her as the Taco Queen. But when her family's livelihood is threatened, and it looks like her wish will finally come true, Stef surprises everyone (including herself) by becoming the truck's unlikely champion.
The Time Museum by
The internship program at the Time Museum is a little unusual. For one thing, kids as young as twelve get to apply for these prestigious summer jobs. And as for the applicant pool . . . well, these kids come from all over history. When Delia finds herself working at the Time Museum, the last thing she expects is to be sent on time-traveling adventures with an unlikely gang of kids from across the eons.
The Trail by
The List is a compilation of brave, daring, totally awesome things that he and his best friend, Lucas, planned to do together, and the only item left is to hike the Appalachian Trail. But now Lucas isn't there to do it with him. Toby's determined to hike the trail alone and fulfill their pact. When a storm comes, Toby finds himself tangled up in someone else's mess: Two boys desperately need his help. But does Toby have any help to give?
Walking with Miss Millie by
Alice is angry at having to move to Rainbow, Georgia-a too small, too hot, dried-up place she's sure will never feel like home. Then she gets put in charge of walking her elderly neighbor's dog. Miss Millie shares her family's story with Alice, showing her the painful impact segregation has had on their town. And with Miss Millie, Alice is finally able to express her own heartache over why her family had to move there in the first place.
The Wizard's Dog by
Meet Nosewise. He's spunky. He's curious. And he's a dog who can't understand why his pack mates Merlin and Morgana spend all day practicing magic tricks. If it's a trick they want, he's the dog to ask! He can already Sit!, Stay!, and Roll Over! But there's no way Nosewise is Stay!ing when his master and best friend, Merlin, is kidnapped.
The Youngest Marcher by
Nine-year-old Audrey Faye Hendricks intended to go places and do things like anybody else. So when she heard grown-ups talk about wiping out Birmingham's segregation laws, she spoke up. As she listened to the preacher's words, smooth as glass, she sat up tall. And when she heard the plan--picket those white stores! March to protest those unfair laws! Fill the jails!--she stepped right up and said, I'll do it! She was going to j-a-a-il!
V. A. 1: Reading widely and deeply in multiple formats and write and create for a variety of purposes.