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Small in the City by Sydney Smith
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Book list A boy feels small in a big city. He gets off a train, and the simple first-person narrative explains that People don't see you and loud sounds can scare you. As he makes his way through the town, he offers advice, which at first seems directed to the reader: alleys can be good shortcuts, if they're not too dark; vents can spew warming air; the church radiates music. But some of the comments seem odd: the fishmongers down the street . ...More

Double Bass Blues by Andrea J. Loney
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Book list Young Nic plays an epic bass solo with his school orchestra and then travels across town to jam with a band made up of older musicians in this briefly worded tale of a boy who loves making music. A growling dog, a couple of teasing kids, a crowded bus, a cloudburst, and a broken elevator are not enough to discourage the boy from reaching his destination. Onomatopoeia and dialogue make up the few words used in the text. Gutierrez's acrylic ...More

Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave by illustrated by Bryan Collier, written by Laban Carrick Hill
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School Library Journal K-Gr 4-The life of an astonishingly prolific and skilled potter who lived and died a slave in 19th-century South Carolina is related in simple, powerful sentences that outline the making of a pot. The movements of Dave's hands are described using familiar, solid verbs: pulling, pinching, squeezing, pounding. Rural imagery-a robin's puffed breast, a carnival wheel-remind readers of Dave's surroundings. The pithy lin...More

The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi
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School Library Journal Adult/High School-In a future Thailand, calories are the greatest commodity. Anderson is a calorie-man whose true objective is to discover new food sources that his company can exploit. His secretary, Hock Seng, is a refugee from China seeking to ensure his future. Jaidee is an officer of the Environmental Ministry known for upholding regulations rather than accepting bribes. His partner, Kanya, is torn between respect for Ja...More

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
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Publishers Weekly Donna Tartt's latest novel clocks in at an unwieldy 784 pages. The story begins with an explosion at the Metropolitan Museum that kills narrator Theo Decker's beloved mother and results in his unlikely possession of a Dutch masterwork called The Goldfinch. Shootouts, gangsters, pillowcases, storage lockers, and the black market for art all play parts in the ensuing life of the painting in Theo's care. Tartt's flair ...More

Sweet Taste of Liberty: A True Story of Slavery and Restitution in America by W. Caleb McDaniel
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Publishers Weekly In this gripping study, Rice University historian McDaniel recounts the painful but triumphant story of one enslaved woman’s long fight for justice. Henrietta Wood, born into bondage, was freed by her owner in 1848. Seven years later, she was kidnapped and reenslaved by Kentucky horse breeder Zebulon Ward, and did not regain her freedom until the end of the Civil War. Wood was determined to gain compensation for her additional year...More

LaRose by Louise Erdrich
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Library Journal Erdrich's most recent novel (after the National Book Award winner The Round House) acquaints us once again with members of the Peace family, though a different branch from the one in A Plague of Doves. The wives in two households, Nola and Emmaline, are half sisters, daughters of retired schoolteacher LaRose Peace. LaRose is an old family name that originally belonged to the family progenitor, a native girl who married a fur trader'...More

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