Cornelius takes great pride in his work sweeping streets and tossing bags onto his big garbage truck. The pleasure his job affords him is evident as he sings, dances, and greets the people he meets along his route in New Orleans’s French Quarter. After Hurricane Katrina hits his beloved city, Cornelius’s tireless spirit inspires others to help clean up their neighborhoods. Author Phil Bildner learned about the real man who inspired Marvelous Cornelius (Chronicle, $16.99) while working to restore post-hurricane New Orleans. The lively text uses alliteration to recreate the sounds of the city, and together with John Parra’s stylized, highly textured illustrations makes a fitting tribute to the enduring strength of one of our country’s great cities. Ages 4-8

Marvelous Cornelius: Hurricane Katrina and the Spirit of New Orleans Cover Image
By Phil Bildner, John Parra (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781452125787
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Chronicle Books - August 4th, 2015

The captain and first mate of the Cuffee are father and daughter, continuing the tradition of their seafaring family. Instead of hunting whales like their ancestors, however, the duo takes passengers out to watch and admire these majestic creatures. The young first mate compares past and present while educating her audience in Whale Trails, Before and Now (Henry Holt, $17.99). For example, did you know that children were once taught that whales were dangerous and only useful for their blubber and baleen? Lesa Cline-Ransome’s engaging narrative contains many such fascinating facts, while G. Brian Karas juxtaposes “now” and “before now” by using full color and sepia tones, respectively, in his delightful illustrations. Readers will enjoy the author’s note describing the book’s genesis as well as suggested additional books. Ages 6-9

Whale Trails, Before and Now Cover Image
ISBN: 9780805096422
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) - January 20th, 2015

Someone is watching from the edge of the woods as a new family from Connecticut moves into a rundown farmhouse in Woodville, West Virginia. Seventh-grader Daniel and his little sister, Erica, have a sense of foreboding when they see it, but their parents remain oblivious. Since their father lost his job, their lives have turned upside down, prompting the adults to start afresh. Little does anyone realize that the secrets of Woodville will threaten Erica and change all of their lives. Daniel’s narration is interspersed with another perspective: that of old Auntie, a “conjure woman” accompanied by an enormous hog known as Bloody Bones. Daniel’s disbelief in the tales about old Auntie is gradually reversed as he works to save his kidnapped sister and forever bury the evil that Took (Clarion, $16.99) her. Mary Downing Hahn’s atmospheric novel evokes the spirit of traditional Appalachian folktales and is sure to satisfy anyone looking for a scare. Ages 10-12

Took: A Ghost Story Cover Image
ISBN: 9780544551534
Availability: Out of Print in This Format
Published: Clarion Books - September 15th, 2015