|In This Article|
|Adult Books 4 Teens|
ADOFF, Arnold. Roots and Blues: A Celebration . illus. by R. Gregory Christie. Clarion. RTE $17.99. ISBN 978-0-547-23554-7.
Gr 5 Up–This aptly named collection honors the tradition of blues music and its foundation in African-American history. The rhythmic poems take readers on a melodious journey from a slave ship in “Chained” to a Chicago train station in “Muddy Waters Steps Down.” The accompanying vibrant paintings are in turn joyful and affecting. (Feb.)
BLUMENTHAL, Karen. Bootleg: Murder, Moonshine, and the Lawless Years of Prohibition . Roaring Brook/Flash Point. Tr $18.99. ISBN 978-1-59643-449-3.
Gr 7-10–Social reformers thought the 18th Amendment would curtail drunkenness, but it inadvertently created a culture of crime. This enthralling text traces the nation’s relationship with alcohol from our earliest settlers to contemporary crusaders against drunk driving, creating a rich portrait of a volatile and fascinating chapter of American history. (July)
BROWN, Don. America Is Under Attack: September 11, 2001: The Day the Towers Fell. illus. by author. Roaring Brook. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-1-59643-694-7.
Gr 2-4–The events of that fateful September day are told through solid factual reporting and stylized watercolors. Brown’s art vividly conveys the devastation and horrific loss, as well as the selfless heroism and valor of the responders and everyday citizens in this moving, accessible account for young readers. (Sept.)
De LA PEÑA, Matt. A Nation’s Hope: The Story of Boxing Legend Joe Louis. illus. by Kadir Nelson. Dial. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-0-8037-3167-7.
Gr 3-5–Stirring verse and incandescent oil paintings trace Louis’s childhood and career, culminating with his historic 1938 matchup against Max Schmeling. Solidly set in Jim Crow America, this story tells how one individual, through courage and determination, transcended long-entrenched social boundaries and united a nation. (Feb.)
DENENBERG, Barry. Titanic Sinks!: Experience the Titanic’s Doomed Voyage in This Unique Presentation of Fact and Fiction. Viking. Tr $19.99. ISBN 978-0-670-01243-5.
Gr 3-8–Designed as a “special edition magazine,” this arresting work covers the ship’s construction, voyage, and catastrophic fate. Photographs, sepia-toned oversize pages, and an eye-catching format offer readers an unusual approach to a historical tragedy. The informative text raises important questions, such as those about the fates of so many third-class passengers. (Nov.)
DRUMMOND, Allan. Energy Island: How One Community Harnessed the Wind and Changed Their World. illus. by author. Farrar/Frances Foster Bks. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-0-374-32184-0.
Gr 2-6–On a windy island off the coast of Denmark where oil tankers once docked, today’s visitors will find turbines, solar panels, biomass furnaces, and electric cars. Breezy watercolor panels filled with amusing details tell the story of an indefatigable teacher (and a storm) that convinced the community to move from nonrenewable fuel sources to energy independence. (Mar.)
EVANS, Shane W. Underground: Finding the Light to Freedom . illus. by author. Roaring Brook/A Neal Porter Bk. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-1-59643-538-4.
PreS-Gr 3–In this visual tour de force, darkness becomes a protective blanket, hiding “passengers” on the Underground Railroad as they huddle, crawl, and flee to safety. The family members’ fear and determination are palpable as is the warming glow of the sun at journey’s end. (Jan.)
FLEMING, Candace. Amelia Lost: The Life and Disappearance of Amelia Earhart. Random/Schwartz & Wade Bks. Tr $18.99. ISBN 978-0-375-84198-9; PLB $21.99. ISBN 978-0-375-94598-4.
Gr 4-7–This captivating biography of a brave, talented, and savvy celebrity examines both the myths (some Earhart perpetuated herself) and the facts about a woman whose boundless ambition fueled her determination to fly around the world. This riveting look at an aviatrix who soared high in pursuit of her dreams is solidly grounded by impeccable scholarship, insightful writing, and well-chosen period photos. (Mar.)
GEORGE, Kristine O’Connell. Emma Dilemma: Big Sister Poems. illus. by Nancy Carpenter. Clarion. RTE $17. ISBN 978-0-618-42842-7.
Gr 1-4–From room-wrecking trespasses and secrets tattle-told to shared giggles and hand-holding moments of comfort, Jessica conveys the frustrations and delights of being older sibling to an exasperating but loving preschooler. The slice-of-life free-verse poems and sherbet-colored illustrations shine with playful humor and heartfelt emotion. (Feb.)
JENKINS, Martin. Can We Save the Tiger? illus. by Vicky White. Candlewick. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-0-7636-4909-8.
PreS-Gr 2–Telling the stories of several critters on the verge of extinction, Jenkins clearly indicates how the actions of humans can cause the demise–and sometimes conservation–of a species. With conversational text and majestic pencil and oil-paint illustrations, this handsome picture book eloquently brings the plight of endangered animals home to young readers. (Mar.)
JURMAIN, Suzanne Tripp. Worst of Friends: Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and the True Story of an American Feud. illus. by Larry Day. Dutton. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-0-525-47903-1.
Gr 2-4–“As different as pickles and ice cream” people said, and they were. But these passionate proponents of American independence were also the best of friends until they disagreed–mightily–on the powers of the new nation’s president. Inviting pencil-and-watercolor artwork, filled with humorous touches, illustrates this lively tale of two men whose bonds outlived their barbs. (Nov.)
KIRKPATRICK, Katherine. Mysterious Bones: The Story of Kennewick Man. illus. by Emma Stevenson. Holiday House. Tr $17.95. ISBN 978-0-8234-2187-9.
Gr 6-9–The discovery in 1996 of a 9500-year-old, nearly complete skeleton set in motion a nine-year legal battle between forensic anthropologists and the Native American community. Source notes, informative sidebars, maps, and clear color photos and paintings support this engrossing study that poses important questions about cultural identity and responsibility. (July)
MCCLAFFERTY, Carla Killough. The Many Faces of George Washington: Remaking a Presidential Icon. Carolrhoda. RTE $20.95. ISBN 978-0-7613-5608-0; ebook $15.71. ISBN 978-0-7613-7157-1.
Gr 6 Up–A fascinating, start-to-finish account of why and how specialists from numerous disciplines came together at Mount Vernon in 2005 to create three full-size statues of Washington at different stages of his life. McClafferty blends thoughtful narration with superb color photographs for a fully absorbing read. (May)
MARRIN, Albert. Flesh & Blood So Cheap: The Triangle Fire and Its Legacy. Knopf/Borzoi. Tr $19.99. ISBN 978-0-375-86889-4; PLB $22.99. ISBN 978-0-375-96889-1.
Gr 6 Up–Social history at its best, this is a powerful account of the devastating 1911 New York City factory fire that defined the workers’ rights movement. Marrin places the event in the context of its time and draws parallels with sweatshops in developing countries today. (May)
NAPOLI, Donna Jo. Treasury of Greek Mythology: Classic Stories of Gods, Goddesses, Heroes & Monsters. illus. by Christina Balit. National Geographic. Tr $24.95. ISBN 978-1-4263-0844-4; PLB $33.90. ISBN 978-1-4263-0845-1.
Gr 5-9–Wise, witty, and thoroughly entrancing, this collection showcases 25 tales sumptuously illustrated with luminous, jewel-toned paintings. At once eloquent and elemental, poetic yet contemporary, these deftly written selections gloriously regale the characters’ legendary adventures while vivifying them with personality. (Oct.)
NELSON, Kadir. Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans. illus. by author. HarperCollins. Tr $19.99. ISBN 978-0-06-173074-0.
Gr 5 Up–An unnamed narrator of a collection of family stories relates stirring accounts of relatives who fought by George Washington’s side, worked in fields and factories, and marched with Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Electrifying portraits shed light on the triumphs and tragedies of our nation’s history as reflected in the faces of its people. (Sept.)
NIVOLA, Claire A. Orani: My Father’s Village. illus. by author. Farrar/Frances Foster Bks. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-0-374-35657-6.
Gr 2-5–The sights, sounds, and sensations experienced during childhood vacations in Sardinia are evoked in this stunning illustrated memoir. From sweeping mountaintop vistas to intimate domestic interiors, Nivola paints a picture of life in a village where small and large events mingled–lively meals with family, a fledging rescue, and three-day-long weddings–and children were part of them all. (June)
PHELAN, Matt. Around the World. illus. by author. Candlewick. Tr $24.99. ISBN 978-0-7636-3619-7.
Gr 3-8–In the late 19th century, adventurous individuals felt inspired to circumnavigate the globe on a tight timetable: via bicycle (Thomas Stevens), by steamer and train (Nellie Bly), or on a 36-foot sloop (Joshua Slocum). In this graphic novel, Phelan deftly records these remarkable journeys in expressive artwork and paneled sequences that capture the travelers’ personalities and propel them toward the next horizon. (Sept.)
ROSS, Stewart. Into the Unknown: How Great Explorers Found Their Way by Land, Sea, and Air. illus. by Stephen Biesty. Candlewick. Tr $19.99. ISBN 978-0-7636-4948-7.
Gr 4-8–From Pytheas the Greek to Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldren, Ross recounts the stories of daring expeditions undertaken by men and women through the ages. An accessible text and superb visuals–foldout diagrams and spectacular physical maps and cross-sections–guarantee hours of enjoyment. (May)
SAY, Allen. Drawing from Memory. illus. by author. Scholastic. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-0-545-17686-6.
Gr 4 Up–Say traces his lifelong love of comics and tells of those who disparaged and those who nurtured his talents, including one of Japan’s most famous cartoonists who became his mentor and spiritual father. This captivating and seamless melding of words and brilliant pictures provides the lens of memory and inspiration. (Sept.)
SCHANZER, Rosalyn Witches!: The Absolutely True Tale of Disaster in Salem. illus. by author. National Geographic. 2011. Tr $16.95. ISBN 978-1-4263-0869-7; PLB $27.90. ISBN 978-1-4263-0870-3; ebook $16.95. ISBN 978-1-4263-0888-8.
Gr 7-9–With text that flows like a dramatic novel, Schanzer brings readers into the famous Salem trials, asking them to ponder the motivations of the accusers and the tribulations of the accused. Black-and-white ink prints with red accents are wonderfully evocative and set an appropriately horrific tone. (Dec.)
SIDMAN, Joyce. Swirl by Swirl: Spirals in Nature. illus. by Beth Krommes. Houghton Harcourt. RTE $16.99. ISBN 978-0-547-31583-6.
PreS-Gr 3–Simple science and stunning artwork spell success in this sensational look at a shape found fairly frequently in nature. From the shell of a snail to the starry arms of a spiral galaxy, the colorful scratchboard spreads capture these micro and macro worlds in show-stopping style. (Sept.)
SILVERSTEIN, Shel. Every Thing On It. illus. by author. HarperCollins. Tr $19.99. ISBN 978-0-06-199816-4.
Gr 4 Up–The titular poem of this posthumous collection recites all the ridiculous things that come on a hot dog ordered with the works (including a flag, a wristwatch, and a frog). Such is the deliciously absurd spirit of this delightful romp. Silverstein’s illustrations are inseparable from the fantastic poems that move seamlessly between humor and profundity. (Sept.)
WARREN, Andrea. Charles Dickens and the Street Children of London. Houghton Harcourt. Tr $18.99. ISBN 978-0-547-39574-6.
Gr 5-8–Abject poverty, an unresponsive government, and an indifferent upper class left thousands of homeless children on the streets of London during the 18th and 19th centuries. Archival images and absorbing prose document the efforts of a few individuals, including a brilliant writer and his sympathetic portrayals of victimized youth, to change a nation’s attitude and galvanize a reform movement. (Aug.)
YOUNG, Ed. The House Baba Built: An Artist’s Childhood in China. as told to Libby Koponen. illus. by author. Little, Brown. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-0-316-07628-9.
Gr 3-8–In this exquisitely designed and illustrated memoir, Young describes his family and the haven his father built in Shanghai for his wife and children but later opened up to refugees fleeing the horrors of World War II. The dynamic, mixed-media art is constructed with inventive foldouts, vibrant color, and layered collage. (Sept.)