Gā's Reviews

Ten-year-old Raymie’s dad has run away with a dental hygienist. Raymie can’t make him return unless, she reasons, he sees her photo in the paper as the baton-twirling winner (she’s never twirled a baton) of the Miss Central Florida Tire Competition of 1975. Two other girls covet this prize, each for their own similarly unreasoned reasons. The three girls become loyal friends and, without winning a contest, win a respite by rescuing each other. Droll, heartbreaking, and ultimately triumphant. Grades 4–7. - Ga

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Raymie Nightingale Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9780763696917
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Candlewick Press (MA) - April 10th, 2018

Clayton Byrd yearns to be, like the grandfather he misses, “a true bluesman among bluesmen.” Musical in its language, this novel is both an homage to the blues and an exploration of familiar territory for Williams-Garcia, asking (as she did in the just-about-perfect One Crazy Summer) if a person can be singularly devoted to their art and still be a responsible and loving parent. An interesting examination of an artist’s life and choices. Grades 4–7. - Ga

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Clayton Byrd Goes Underground Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062215918
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Published: Amistad - May 9th, 2017

Young Cora is queen-in-training and her parents are diligent. Dull academic exercises followed by dull physical exercises and three baths a day leave Cora fervently wishing for a dog and a day off (to roam and ponder). Her fairy godmother grants her a crocodile instead. When the princess and the crocodile swap places, the crocodile behaves wholly inappropriately and the princess learns wisdom (and how to assert herself) in this sly, well-written, amusing, and very inviting early chapter book. Grades 1–3. - Ga

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Princess Cora and the Crocodile Cover Image
By Laura Amy Schlitz, Brian Floca (Illustrator)
$16.99
ISBN: 9780763648220
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Candlewick Press (MA) - March 28th, 2017

Atkins chose to write this searing biographical novel as a window into the difficult life of neoclassicist sculptor Edmonia Lewis. A woman of African-Haitian and Ojibwe descent, she attended Oberlin College in 1862, was expelled on trumped-up charges and, while working as a housekeeper in Boston, apprenticed to a sculptor. She studied in Italy and tenaciously worked toward artistic perfection in stone. Ages 13 and up. - Ga

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Stone Mirrors: The Sculpture and Silence of Edmonia Lewis Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781481459051
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Atheneum Books for Young Readers - January 10th, 2017

During winter break her college freshman year, alone in upstate New York (instead of home in San Francisco), our hero muses and slowly, gently reveals her past. Here is an exploration of grief, betrayal and, most importantly, reconciliation. Exquisitely written and, for me, one of the year’s most deeply affecting YA novels. Grades 8 and up. - Ga

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We Are Okay Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780525425892
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Published: Dutton Books for Young Readers - February 14th, 2017

Funny and raunchy and hip-hop and tragic—can you say a Greek myth is timely? My gods, is it! This retelling of the minotaur story has the sea god Poseidon as our derisive, manipulative, gleeful narrator. But our sympathies lie with the physically deformed Asterion (our bull-headed boy) whose sensitivity, intelligence, and hope are over years eroded until, trapped in a maze, isolated, he falls into despair and violence. Expertly written, cleverly paced, and so effective. Ages 14 and up. - Ga

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Bull Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780544610606
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Published: Houghton Mifflin - March 28th, 2017

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter narrates, speaking in an authentic and moving way about the difficulty in reconciling what she knows to be true about herself, her loving family, and her friends with the way others view them. “Wake up wake up,” said the poet Rumi. That’s what this book does for its readers. Ages 14 and up. - Ga

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The Hate U Give Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780062498533
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Published: Balzer + Bray - February 28th, 2017

Born in the U.S., having lived her 17 years in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Fabiola Toussaint finds herself with her manman’s sister’s family in Detroit at the ironic intersection of American Street and Joy Road. This chilling, evocative, achingly tender, remarkable debut by Zoboi is my favorite YA novel this year. For young adults and adults. - Ga

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American Street Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062473042
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Published: Balzer + Bray - February 14th, 2017

This sea salt-skinned, sun-limned historical novel (1920s Cape Cod) is comforting and dangerous in equal measure. Crow’s contentment living on the island with the painter Osh (and neighbor Miss Maggie) is unmistakable. Osh rescued Crow when she skiffed ashore as a newborn 12 years prior, and only recently is Crow asking herself, “From where?” An abandoned leper colony, a treasure, and an unconscionable thief are all part of the answer in this possible Newbery contender. Grades 4–8. - Ga

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Beyond the Bright Sea Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781101994856
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Published: Dutton Books for Young Readers - May 2nd, 2017

A plane crashes in the Amazon rainforest, and four children pull together to survive in this lush world, utterly alien to them. The flora and fauna, along with the smells, tastes, and sounds of the jungle, are vivid and sometimes terrifying. A secondary theme, winding like the river the children raft, examines the nature of curiosity, exploration, and imperialism. An environmentally aware, Amazonian adrenaline story for fans of Hatchet. Grades 4–8. - Ga

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The Explorer Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781481419451
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - September 12th, 2017

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