Half-Japanese, half-black, Mimi Yoshiko Oliver loves looking at the moon and wants to be an astronaut. In January 1969, she moves from California to the frosty Vermont town of Hillsborough, an unwelcoming place. The farmer next door is always rude, and Mimi is teased at school. Even after she forms a tentative friendship with a girl named Stacey, she’s not invited to Stacey’s home. Then there’s the matter of shop class. Mimi would rather take shop than home ec so she can use power tools to work on her science project, but girls are supposed to “learn how to cook and sew so they can be good homemakers.”
Fannie Lou Hamer was a tireless champion of civil rights, from the moment she attempted to register to vote in 1962 until her death in 1977. Malcolm X called her “the country’s number one freedom-fighting woman.” In 1964, Hamer came to prominence at the Democratic National Convention, where she delivered a speech that aired on national television. An older white man once expressed what many felt, telling her that she did “what he was afraid to do.”
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.
Move over, Mary Poppins, and make way for Ms. Rapscott, Headmistress of the Great Rapscott School for Girls of Busy Parents. Elise Primavera, creator of the popular Auntie Claus books, offers a whimsical tale of a most unusual teacher and her school for girls whose parents are much too busy to be, well, parents. In fact, there’s no need for moms or dads to even bother bringing the girls to school, as the admissions materials include a self-addressed box for safely mailing daughters to campus.
The indefatigable Mary Pope Osborne returns with a new title in her popular Magic Tree House series. Set in occupied France during World War II, Danger in the Darkest Hour, the first Magic Tree House Super Edition, provides the same reading level as the Merlin Missions (books 29 through 52) but with a longer story and more complex plot.
Sam Angus, author of the World War I historical novel Soldier Dog, takes readers to World War II-era Great Britain in her new novel. Like other children, Wolfie and his older sister Dodie have been sent by their caretaker to the countryside to protect them from London bombing raids. Their beloved Pa has returned safely from the war, but their joy is short-lived, as Pa is being held and tried for cowardice.
From the title of Jonathan Auxier’s fascinating, original (and more than a little creepy) version of a Victorian ghost story, one might suppose that The Night Gardener is, like The Secret Garden, a sweet, perhaps a bit sentimental, coming-of-age story. And while the novel does share some elements with the classic tale, including orphans (Molly and her little brother Kip); a creepy mansion; spoiled children (Penny and Alistair Windsor); and somewhat magical growing things, The Night Gardener is decidedly darker—in the most delicious and delightful way.
Suzy’s summer begins with an emergency: Mrs. Harden, her neighbor and honorary grandmother, suddenly collapses. Thanks to the quick thinking of Suzy's little brother, Parker, who calls 911, Mrs. Harden is whisked to the hospital and is soon on her way to a full recovery.
During school vacation, Nell is sent to stay with her aunt Liv and her two little cousins (along with some chickens, ducks and Maggie the pig) at Lemon Cottage. On the day Nell arrives, a mysterious girl on a magnificent black and white horse nearly runs her down. The mystery girl also steals Nell’s prized possession: a mechanical music box with a carousel and 16 horses, made by her dad...
One day, a young couple named Marta and John find a boy asleep in an old chair on their front porch. His arrival is as mysterious as can be. They didn’t hear anyone come down the dirt road to their small farm, and the boy, who looks to be about 6, doesn’t speak. There’s just one clue. Tucked in his pocket is a scribbled note that reads: “Plees taik kair of Jacob. . . ....