When Burdock—a one-eyed cat named for the prickly burr seeds that inspired Velcro—discovers that Dewey Baxter is planning to burn down his barn, it becomes his mission to save the barn’s inhabitants. It isn’t long before the whole farm—workhorses Tug and Pull, Fluff the sheep, Figgy the pig, Mrs. Brown the cow, Nanny the goat and her kid, Tick—work with Burdock to concoct an escape plan.
Tamara Ellis Smith’s first novel sweeps readers up in a tale imbued with magical realism, a definitive mix of gritty realism and magic that allows the possibility for life-affirming choices.
Calpurnia fans, rejoice! Callie Vee, heroine of Jacqueline Kelly’s Newbery Honor winner, The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate, is back. The sequel picks up in the year 1900, just after a rare snowfall in central Texas fulfills one of the budding young scientist’s dreams.
In the author’s note of The Night World, author-illustrator Mordicai Gerstein writes, “I’ve . . . been a great watcher of sunrises; to me, they are like watching the creation of the world.”
Graphic novels are all the rage with young readers these days, but this fact can be frustrating for adults who are trying to encourage kids to read more complex material. Thank goodness veteran comic-book creators Robert Venditti and Dusty Higgins have created a hybrid sure to satisfy both camps in Miles Taylor and the Golden Cape: Attack of the Alien Horde. Sixty-five of the 304 pages are comic panels drawn by Higgins, while the rest is prose written by Venditti.
In Ruby on the Outside, Nora Raleigh Baskin gives readers a serious, relatable look into the criminal justice system and its ripple effects. The story of Ruby, her aunt and her mother contributes to the growing body of children’s literature highlighting nontraditional family structures.
Nearly every person, no matter what age, has experienced the sting of knowing a friend said something behind her back. And all of us know what it’s like to misunderstand something and let a situation get out of hand. This is the drama at the heart of Liz Rosenberg’s What James Said, where one elementary-age girl tells readers how she refuses to talk to her friend James. “We are in a fight,” she declares. Word has gotten around, you see, that James said that he thinks our narrator thinks she is perfect.
A rambunctious preschooler can be a hard trial for even the most patient canine. After all, sometimes all a dog wants is a nap—a nice, long, uninterrupted nap.
When author Jen White was 12, she and her sister and cousin were mistakenly left behind at a gas station for six hours during a family camping trip―no one had seen the girls get out of the camper. Years later, White’s first novel, Survival Strategies of the Almost Brave, begins with 12-year-old Liberty being abandoned by her father at a gas station along with her 8-year-old sister, Billie.
Behold! a Baby by Stephanie Watson tackles the age-old theme of sibling rivalry and manages to solve one family’s conflict within the colorful pages of an appealing picture book.