Staff Pick

When 11 slaveholding states formed the Confederacy in 1861, abolitionists declared that United States laws no longer applied in secessionist lands. This included the Fugitive Slave Law, which required that escaped slaves be returned to their owners. Calico Girl (Simon & Schuster, $16.99) follows twelve-year-old Callie and her family, who flee to a Union Army outpost in Virginia that harbors and educates refugee slaves in defiance of the Confederacy’s continued enforcement of the law. Their sudden independence brings hope and opportunity, but also poses unexpected challenges. Based on true accounts, Jerdine Nolen’s nuanced depiction of the community of Fortress Monroe during the Civil War highlights the power of education and self-determination. Ages 8-12.

 

Calico Girl Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781481459815
Availability: In Stock—Click for Details
Published: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books - February 14th, 2017

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Staff Pick

It’s 1945 in Yuba City, California, and fifth-grader Maria Singh is desperate to play softball on the town’s first-ever girls’ team. Inspired by her teacher, Maria begins her mission by advocating for the preservation of Yuba City’s lone baseball field. She quickly discovers, however, that that’s only the first of many ways she’ll have to challenge authorities. Set in the context of restrictive laws placed on Maria’s Indian-Mexican community, Step Up to the Plate, Maria Singh (Tu, $16.95) showcases vivid scenes of daily life and delves into the discriminatory practices faced by immigrants to the United States. Author Uma Krishnaswami has created a determined, complex character whose spirit and sense of justice will move all readers. Ages 9-11.

 

Step Up to the Plate, Maria Singh Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781600602610
Availability: In Stock—Click for Details
Published: Tu Books - May 1st, 2017

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Staff Pick

Who guides a lost soul? In Hello, Universe (Greenwillow, $16.99), guidance comes in many forms: a wise elder, a mystical friend, an imaginary spirit, a heroic inner strength. Through the eyes of four middle schoolers, Erin Entrada Kelly recounts a mysterious disappearance and the subsequent mission to solve the case. The four children come together using all of the magic, bravery, and intuition at their disposal. Nail-biting suspense is occasionally relieved by the book’s many tender, funny moments. Before the story ends, dreams will come true and unlikely friendships will form. Ages 9-12.

 

Hello, Universe Cover Image
By Erin Entrada Kelly, Isabel Roxas (Illustrator)
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062414151
Availability: In Stock—Click for Details
Published: Greenwillow Books - March 14th, 2017

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