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Youth Biography Review: Whoosh! by Chris Barton

Looking for a book to cool off with during this heat wave? Whoosh! by Chris Barton is the true story of a hard-working scientist who refused to give up on his dream and ultimately made a big splash with an innovative idea. Lonnie Johnson overcame prejudice, discouraging test results, and...

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Youth Nonfiction Review: A Friend for Lakota by Jim and Jamie Dutcher

Gentle Lakota is always getting picked on by the other wolves, until one brave pack-mate stands up to the bullies and becomes his friend. A Friend for Lakota is a touching, true story based on the authors' observations of life among a pack of wolves in Idaho. A perfect nonfiction pick for kids in...

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Youth Fiction Review: Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo

10-year-old Raymie Clarke isn't having the best summer so far: her father just skipped town with a dental hygeniest. But Raymie has a plan: if she masters baton twirling and gets crowned 1975's Little Miss Central Florida Tire, her father will see her picture in the paper and come home. It's a good...

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Youth Fiction Review: The Wild Robot by Peter Brown

After a hurricane wrecks havoc on a ship, a single undamaged crate washes ashore on a remote island. Curious otters accidentally activate the robot inside, booting up ROZZUM unit 7134. Roz may not have been designed for life in the great outdoors, but her robot brain is capable of observing,...

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Youth Fiction Review: All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook by Leslie Connor

Perry T. Cook is pretty average, as far as 11-year-olds go. He looks forward to favorite meals (especially toasted egg and cheese sandwiches), shares jokes with his mom, and worries about whether or not he'll be able to best the school bully in the mile run for the second year in a row. But unlike...

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Picture Book Review: The House That Zack Built by Alison Murray

A classic rhyme gets a fresh twist in The House That Zack Built, a cumulative tale that uses bouncing verse and bright illustrations to unfold delightful mayhem on a farm. Fans of the author's previous book (Hickory Dickory Dog) may recognize Zack and his canine sidekick, Rufus, but The House That...

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Picture Book Review: When Spring Comes by Kevin Henkes

Goodbye, snow; hello, sunshine! Using simple text and thick-lined, brightly colored acrylic illustrations, When Spring Comes describes the subtle changes that herald springtime. This sweet story perfectly captures the magic of shifting seasons, describing sights, sounds, scents, and sensory...

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Youth Fiction Review: Pax by Sara Pennypacker

Pax is a moving middle-grade novel, told from alternate perspectives and set in an unspecified time and place. War is coming, and 12-year-old Peter's whole world is braced for change. When his father leaves for the frontlines, Peter moves in with his grandfather but must leave Pax--Peter's beloved...

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Youth Fiction Review: Soar by Joan Bauer

Soar, the latest novel by the Newbery Honor-winning Joan Bauer, is a smartly narrated feel-good sports story about the power of perseverance and optimism. 12-year-old Jeremiah hasn't had it easy, but he's learned to turn adversity into opportunity. His mother abandoned him when he was just 9 months...

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Youth Fiction Review: A Blind Guide to Stinkville by Beth Vrabel

12-year-old Alice isn't thrilled about moving from Seattle, Washington to Sinkville, South Carolina. In Seattle, Alice never thought twice about the fact that she was born with albinism and severely impaired vision. Everyone--childhood playmates, kids at school, neighbors--already knew about her...

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