Staff Pick

Around his grandpa, Cool Papa Byrd, “Clayton didn’t feel like a kid. He felt like a person.” Clayton idealizes his grandfather and desperately longs to be a great bluesman just like Papa Byrd. Clayton’s mom, however, doesn’t much like her father or his music. When Papa Byrd dies unexpectedly, Clayton is left struggling with his grief while his mother forbids him from playing the blues. He refuses to accept that decree, so Clayton Byrd Goes Underground (Amistad, $16.99) with his harmonica to form his own band. From award-winning author Rita Williams-Garcia comes a new journey of loss, family, and the rhythm of the blues. Coupled with illustrations by Frank Morrison, Clayton’s story will captivate readers. Ages 9-12.

 

Clayton Byrd Goes Underground Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062215918
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Amistad - May 9th, 2017

Staff Pick

Prez, a young boy living in foster care, is enjoying the relative normalcy of life on a family farm when he receives a not-so-normal visitor. Sputnik is an extraterrestrial who appears as a dog to everyone else, and he tells Prez that the Earth will be destroyed unless the two of them can come up with a list of ten reasons why it should be saved. Thus begins the madcap romp to compile Sputnik’s Guide to Life on Earth (Walden Pond, $16.99). Both humorous and heartfelt, Frank Cottrell Boyce masterfully channels his inner Douglas Adams to create a fun, quirky adventure that also serves as a witty commentary on human relationships and behavior. Ages 9-12. Marc Villa

 

Sputnik's Guide to Life on Earth Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062643629
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Walden Pond Press - June 20th, 2017

Staff Pick

Obe Devlin lives with his family in a farmhouse surrounded by subdivisions. He’s just discovered (and named) Marvin Gardens, an odd creature—dog, pig, algae?—that eats plastic refuse discarded in the creek near Obe’s house. Amy Sarig King’s intriguing and timely middle-grade debut Me and Marvin Gardens (Arthur A. Levine, $16.99) succeeds in tackling bullying, family problems, and environmental issues simultaneously. The hopeful conclusion will reaffirm readers’ faith in science and people. Ages 9-12.

 

Me and Marvin Gardens Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780545870740
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Arthur A. Levine Books - January 31st, 2017

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