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FROM THE DESK OF ZOE WASHINGTON

by

Janae Marks

January 14, 2020

Unaware that her incarcerated father has been writing her letters every year on her birthday, Zoe Washington intercepts the mail upon turning 12. After beginning a secret correspondence with the help of her grandmother, Zoe realizes that not only is the man she's never met kind and caring, but he may be innocent of his crime.

THAT'S WHAT FRIENDS DO

by

Cathleen Barnhart

January 28, 2020

Samantha Goldstein and David Fisher have been friends ever since they met on their town’s Little League baseball team. But when a new kid named Luke starts hanging out with them, what was a comfortable pair becomes an awkward trio. Luke’s comments make Sammie feel uncomfortable—but all David sees is how easily Luke flirts with Sammie, and so David decides to finally make a move on the friend he’s always had a crush on. Soon things go all wrong and too far, and Sammie and David are both left feeling hurt, confused, and unsure of themselves, without anyone to talk to about what happened. As rumors start flying around the school, David must try to make things right (if he can) and Sammie must learn to speak up about what’s been done to her.

 

MINDY KIM AND THE YUMMY SEAWEED BUSINESS

by

Lyla Lee

February 4, 2020

Korean American second grader moves to a mostly Caucasian Florida community. In an effort to adjust to her new school, she starts a snack trading ring with the Korean food from her lunch to make new friends.

96 MILES

by

J.L. Esplin

February 11, 2020

Dad always said if things get desperate, it’s okay to drink the water in the toilet. I never thought it would come to that. I thought I’d sooner die than let one drop of toilet water touch my lips. Yet here I am, kneeling before a porcelain throne, holding a tin mug for scooping in one hand, and my half-gallon canteen in the other. The Lockwood brothers are supposed to be able to survive anything. Their dad, a hardcore survivalist, has stockpiled enough food and water on their isolated Nevada ranch to last for months. But when they are robbed at gunpoint during a massive blackout while their dad is out of town, John and Stew must walk 96 miles in the stark desert sun to get help--and they have only 3 days before their time runs out.... For fans of Gary Paulsen’s classic Hatchet and Lauren Tarshis’s bestselling I Survived series, a story of survival and desperation as two young brothers confront the worst in humanity―and themselves.

GET A GRIP, VIVY COHEN

by

Sarah Kapit

February 25, 2020

Vivy Cohen wants to play baseball. Ever since her hero, Major League star pitcher VJ Capello, taught her how to throw a knuckleball at a family fun day for kids with autism, she's been perfecting her pitch. And now she knows she's ready to play on a real team. When her social skills teacher makes her write a letter to someone she knows, she writes to VJ and tells him everything about how much she wants to pitch, and how her mom says she can't because she's a girl and because she has autism. And then two amazing things happen: Vivy meets a Little League coach who invites her to join his team, the Flying Squirrels. And VJ starts writing back. (less)

 

COO

by

Kaela Noel

March 3, 2020

Ten years ago, an impossible thing happened: a flock of pigeons picked up a human baby who had been abandoned in an empty lot and carried her, bundled in blankets, to their roof. Coo has lived her entire life on the rooftop with the pigeons who saved her. It's the only home she's ever known. But then a hawk nearly kills Burr, the pigeon she loves most, and leaves him gravely hurt. Coo must make a perilous trip to the ground for the first time to find Tully, a retired postal worker who occasionally feeds Coo's flock and can heal injured birds. Tully mends Burr's broken wing and coaxes Coo from her isolated life. Living with Tully, Coo experiences warmth, safety, and human relationships for the first time. But just as Coo is beginning to blossom, she learns that the human world is infinitely more complex—and cruel—than she could have imagined.

THE LONELY HEART OF MAYBELLE LANE

by

Kate O'Shaughnessy

March 3, 2020

Eleven-year-old Maybelle Lane collects sounds. She records the Louisiana crickets chirping, Momma strumming her guitar, their broken trailer door squeaking. But the crown jewel of her collection is a sound she didn't collect herself: an old recording of her daddy's warm-sunshine laugh, saved on an old phone's voicemail. It's the only thing she has of his, and the only thing she knows about him. Until the day she hears that laugh--his laugh--pouring out of the car radio. Going against Momma's wishes, Maybelle starts listening to her radio DJ daddy's new show, drinking in every word like a plant leaning toward the sun. When he announces he'll be the judge of a singing contest in Nashville, she signs up. What better way to meet than to stand before him and sing with all her heart? But the road to Nashville is bumpy. Her starch-stiff neighbor Mrs. Boggs offers to drive her in her RV. And a bully of a boy from the trailer park hitches a ride too. These are not the people May would have chosen to help her, but it turns out they're searching for things too. And the journey will bond them into the best kind of family--the kind you choose for yourself.

STAND UP, YUMI CHUNG!

by

Jessica Kim

March 17, 2020

On the outside, Yumi Chung suffers from #shygirlproblems, a perm-gone-wrong, and kids calling her "Yu-MEAT" because she smells like her family's Korean barbecue restaurant. On the inside, Yumi is ready for her Netflix stand-up special. Her notebook is filled with mortifying memories that she's reworked into comedy gold. All she needs is a stage and courage. Instead of spending the summer studying her favorite YouTube comedians, Yumi is enrolled in test-prep tutoring to qualify for a private school scholarship, which will help in a time of hardship at the restaurant. One day after class, Yumi stumbles on an opportunity that will change her life: a comedy camp for kids taught by one of her favorite YouTube stars. The only problem is that the instructor and all the students think she's a girl named Kay Nakamura--and Yumi doesn't correct them. As this case of mistaken identity unravels, Yumi must decide to stand up and reveal the truth or risk losing her dreams and disappointing everyone she cares about.

DERBY DAREDEVILS

by

Kit Rosewater

March 24, 2020

Ever since they can remember, fifth-graders Kenzie (aka Kenzilla) and Shelly (aka Bomb Shell) have dreamed of becoming roller derby superstars. When Austin’s city league introduces a brand-new junior league, the dynamic duo celebrates! But they’ll need to try out as a five-person team. Kenzie and Shelly have just one week to convince three other girls that roller derby is the coolest thing on wheels. But Kenzie starts to have second thoughts when Shelly starts acting like everyone’s best friend . . . Isn’t she supposed to be Kenzie’s best friend? And things get really awkward when Shelly recruits Kenzie’s neighbor (and secret crush!) for the team. With lots of humor and an authentic middle-grade voice, book one of this illustrated series follows Kenzie, Shelly, and the rest of the Derby Daredevils as they learn how to fall—and get back up again.

MY LIFE AS A POTATO

by

Arianne Costner

March 24, 2020

Ben Hardy believes he's cursed by potatoes. And now he's moved to Idaho, where the school's mascot is Steve the Spud! Yeah, this cannot be good. After accidentally causing the mascot to sprain an ankle, Ben is sentenced to Spud duty for the final basketball games of the year. But if the other kids know he's the Spud, his plans for popularity are likely to be a big dud! Ben doesn't want to let the team down, so he lies to his friends to keep it a secret. No one will know it's him under the potato suit . . . right?

HOW TO MAKE FRIENDS WITH THE SEA

by

Tanya Guerrero

March 31, 2020

Pablo is homesick. He’s only twelve years old, but he’s lived in more countries than he can count. After his parents divorced, he and his mother have moved from place to place for years, never settling anywhere long enough to call it home. And along the way, Pablo has collected more and more fears: of dirt, of germs, and most of all, of the ocean. Now they’re living in the Philippines, and his mother, a zoologist who works at a local wildlife refuge, is too busy saving animals to notice that Pablo might need saving, too. Then his mother takes in Chiqui, an orphaned girl with a cleft lip—and Pablo finds that through being strong for Chiqui, his own fears don’t seem so scary. He might even find the courage to face his biggest fear of all…and learn how to make friends with the sea.

EFRÉN DIVIDED

by

Ernesto Cisneros

March 31, 2020

Middle schooler Efrén takes on increased home responsibilities, while also dealing with a contentious school election and a fight with his best friend, after his mother is deported to Mexico and his father takes on a second job to earn the money to bring her back to the U.S.

WHAT STARS ARE MADE OF

by

Sarah Allen

March 31, 2020

Twelve-year-old Libby Monroe is great at science, being optimistic, and talking to her famous, accomplished friends (okay, maybe that last one is only in her head). She’s not great at playing piano, sitting still, or figuring out how to say the right thing at the right time in real life. Libby was born with Turner Syndrome, and that makes some things hard. But she has lots of people who love her, and that makes her pretty lucky. When her big sister Nonny tells her she’s pregnant, Libby is thrilled―but worried. Nonny and her husband are in a financial black hole, and Libby knows that babies aren’t always born healthy. So she strikes a deal with the universe: She’ll enter a contest with a project about Cecelia Payne, the first person to discover what stars are made of. If she wins the grand prize and gives all that money to Nonny’s family, then the baby will be perfect. Does she have what it takes to care for the sister that has always cared for her? And what will it take for the universe to notice

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