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Steve and Laurie Augustino Instructional Media Center: Black-Eyed Susan

The Black Eyed Susan Book Award

Update: Students Great News! 

2019-2020 Black-Eyed Susan Award Winners

The results are in!  Thousand of students from across the state have selected their favorite books as part the Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Book Award program.  The student selections are:

Picture Book –  Are You Scared, Darth Vader? by Adam Rex

Grades 4-6 –  Front Desk by Kelly Yang

Graphic Novels Grades 4-6 – Sparks! by Ian Boothby; illustrated by Nina Matsumoto

Grades 6-9 – Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes

Graphic Novels Grades 6-9 – Crush by Svetlana Chmakova

High School – Hey, Kiddo by Jarrett Krosoczka

Video presentation by the Maryland Association of School Librarians: https://youtu.be/QujGl72pb7o

Gelder, D. V. (n.d.). Most Recent Winners. Retrieved from https://www.maslmd.org/most-recent-winners


What is the Black-Eyed Susan Book Award?

The Black-Eyed Susan Reading Program (BES) is a student choice award for the state of Maryland. The BES Award honors outstanding nominees comprising of 10 chapter books for grades 6-9, 10 chapter books for HS, and 10 graphic novels. Students in the state of Maryland vote for the winning book in each category. Students actually pick the winners!

Participation in this reading program is voluntary and fun!  After reading at least 3 of the nominated books in a category, a student is eligible to cast one vote for the book he or she considers to be the most outstanding in that category.  Votes from across the state are sent to the Black-eyed Susan committee and tallied to determine the winner in each grade-level category.  The winning authors and illustrators receive a pewter plate engraved with the year and the Black-eyed Susan Award logo.  Authors, illustrators, and publishers recognize the Black-eyed Susan Book Award as an honor bestowed by Maryland students.  

Use Sora to access Black-Eyed Susan e-books and audiobooks! Click the following link for detailed instructions: Learn how to access the Sora online e-reader
 

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New Black Eyed Susan 2020-2021 Nominees

20-21 Grade 6-9 Nominees

Journey of the Pale Bear

A runaway boy befriends a polar bear that's being transported from Norway to London in this lyrical and timeless adventure story about freedom, captivity, and finding a family. The polar bear is a royal bear, a gift from the King of Norway to the King of England. The first time Arthur encounters the bear, he is shoved in her cage as payback for stealing food. Restless and deadly, the bear terrifies him. Yet, strangely, she doesn't harm him--though she has attacked anyone else who comes near. That makes Arthur valuable to the doctor in charge of getting the bear safely to London. So Arthur, who has run away from home, finds himself taking care of a polar bear on a ship to England. Tasked with feeding and cleaning up after the bear, Arthur's fears slowly lessen as he begins to feel a connection to this bear, who like him, has been cut off from her family. But the journey holds many dangers, and Arthur knows his own freedom--perhaps even his life--depends on keeping the bear from harm. When pirates attack and the ship founders, Arthur must make a choice--does he do everything he can to save himself, or does he help the bear to find freedom? Based on the real story of a polar bear that lived in the Tower of London, this timeless adventure story is also a touching account of the bond between a boy and a bear.

The Missing Piece of Charlie O'Reilly

"As puzzle pieces click into place, The Missing Piece of Charlie O'Reilly reveals that it's stories--and family--that make us whole. A deeply satisfying and beautiful book." --Elana K. Arnold, National Book Award finalist and author of The Question of Miracles Charlie O'Reilly is an only child. Which is why it makes everyone uncomfortable when he talks about his brother. Liam. His eight-year-old kid brother, who, up until a year ago, slept in the bunk above Charlie, took pride in being as annoying as possible, and was the only person who could make Charlie laugh until it hurt. Then came the morning when the bunk, and Liam, disappeared forever. No one even remembers him--not Charlie's mother, who has been lost in her own troubles; and not Charlie's father, who is gone frequently on business trips. The only person who believes Charlie is his best friend, Ana--even if she has no memory of Liam, she is as determined as Charlie is to figure out what happened to him. The search seems hopeless--until Charlie receives a mysterious note, written in Liam's handwriting. The note leads Charlie and Ana to make some profound discoveries about a magic they didn't know existed, and they soon realize that if they're going to save Liam, they may need to risk being forgotten themselves, forever. Rebecca K.S. Ansari's debut novel is a stunning contemporary fantasy about love, loss, and the power to forgive that we all have inside us--even if we sometimes forget that it's there.

Marcus Vega Doesn't Speak Spanish

One boy's search for his father leads him to Puerto Rico in this moving middle-grade novel, for fans of Ghost and See You in the Cosmos. Marcus Vega is six feet tall, 180 pounds, and the owner of a premature mustache. When you look like this and you're only in the eighth grade, you're both a threat and a target. After a fight at school leaves Marcus facing suspension, Marcus's mom decides it's time for a change of environment. She takes Marcus and his younger brother to Puerto Rico to spend a week with relatives they don't remember or have never met. But Marcus can't focus knowing that his father--who walked out of their lives ten years ago--is somewhere on the island. So begins Marcus's incredible journey, a series of misadventures that take him all over Puerto Rico in search of his elusive namesake. Marcus doesn't know if he'll ever find his father, but what he ultimately discovers changes his life. And he even learns a bit of Spanish along the way.

Maybe He Just Likes You

A 2020 ALA Notable Children's Book A Washington Post Best Children's Book of 2019 Barbara Dee explores the subject of #MeToo for the middle grade audience in this heart-wrenching--and ultimately uplifting--novel about experiencing harassment and unwanted attention from classmates. For seventh-grader Mila, it starts with some boys giving her an unwanted hug on the school blacktop. A few days later, at recess, one of the boys (and fellow trumpet player) Callum tells Mila it's his birthday, and asks her for a "birthday hug." He's just being friendly, isn't he? And how can she say no? But Callum's hug lasts a few seconds too long, and feels...weird. According to her friend, Zara, Mila is being immature and overreacting. Doesn't she know what flirting looks like? But the boys don't leave Mila alone. On the bus. In the halls. During band practice--the one place Mila could always escape. It doesn't feel like flirting--so what is it? Thanks to a chance meeting, Mila begins to find solace in a new place: karate class. Slowly, with the help of a fellow classmate, Mila learns how to stand her ground and how to respect others--and herself. From the author of Everything I Know About You, Halfway Normal, and Star-Crossed comes this timely story of a middle school girl standing up and finding her voice."

The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise

"Sometimes a story comes along that just plain makes you want to hug the world.The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise is Dan Gemeinhart's finest book yet -- and that's saying something. Your heart needs this joyful miracle of a book." --Katherine Applegate, acclaimed author ofThe One and Only IvanandWishtree A 2020 ILA Teachers' Choice A 2019 Parents' Choice Award Gold Medal Winner Winner of the 2019 CYBILS Award for Middle Grade Fiction An Amazon Top 20 Children's Book of 2019 A Junior Library Guild Selection Five years. That's how long Coyote and her dad, Rodeo, have lived on the road in an old school bus, criss-crossing the nation. It's also how long ago Coyote lost her mom and two sisters in a car crash. Coyote hasn't been home in all that time, but when she learns that the park in her old neighborhood is being demolished--the very same park where she, her mom, and her sisters buried a treasured memory box--she devises an elaborate plan to get her dad to drive 3,600 miles back to Washington state in four days...without him realizing it. Along the way, they'll pick up a strange crew of misfit travelers. Lester has a lady love to meet. Salvador and his mom are looking to start over. Val needs a safe place to be herself. And then there's Gladys... Over the course of thousands of miles, Coyote will learn that going home can sometimes be the hardest journey of all...but that with friends by her side, she just might be able to turn her "once upon a time" into a "happily ever after." This title has common core connections.

Allies

Alan Gratz, bestselling author of Refugee, weaves a stunning array of voices and stories into an epic tale of teamwork in the face of tyranny -- and how just one day can change the world. June 6, 1944: The Nazis are terrorizing Europe on their evil quest to conquer the world. The only way to stop them? The biggest, most top-secret operation ever, with the Allied nations coming together -- by land, sea, and air -- to storm German-occupied France. Welcome to D-Day. Dee Carpenter, a young U.S. soldier, is on a boat racing toward the French coast. Dee -- along with his brothers-in-arms -- is terrified. He feels the weight of World War II on his shoulders. But Dee is not alone. Behind enemy lines in France, a girl named Samira works as a spy, trying to sabotage the German army -- and find her mother. At the same time, a paratrooper named James leaps from a plane to take part in a daring midnight raid. During the beach invasion, Henry, a medic, goes out into the bullets and bombs, searching for soldiers to save. In a breathtaking race against time, each of them must fight to complete their high-stakes missions. But with betrayals and deadly risks at every turn, can the Allies do what it takes to win?

The Dollar Kids

"A skillfully written and heartfelt novel about a family making a new home, recovering from grief, and the town full of people who join them on their journey." -- School Library Journal (starred review) Twelve-year-old Lowen Grover, a budding comic-book artist, is still reeling from the shooting death of his friend Abe when he stumbles across an article about a former mill town giving away homes for just one dollar. It not only seems like the perfect escape from the city and all of the awful memories associated with it, but an opportunity for his mum to run her very own business. But is the Dollar Program too good to be true? The homes are in horrible shape, and the locals are less than welcoming. Will the Grovers find they've traded one set of problems for another? From the author of Small as an Elephant and Paper Things comes a heart-tugging novel about guilt and grief, family and friendship, and, above all, community.

All the Impossible Things

A bit of magic, a sprinkling of adventure, and a whole lot of heart collide inAll the Impossible Things, Lindsay Lackey's extraordinary middle-grade novel about a young girl navigating the foster care system in search of where she belongs. "Wise and wondrous, this is truly a novel to cherish." --Katherine Applegate,New York Times-bestselling author ofWishtree An Indies Introduce Selection Red's inexplicable power over the wind comes from her mother. Whenever Ruby "Red" Byrd is scared or angry, the wind picks up. And being placed in foster care, moving from family to family, tends to keep her skies stormy. Red knows she has to learn to control it, but can't figure out how. This time, the wind blows Red into the home of the Grooves, a quirky couple who run a petting zoo, complete with a dancing donkey and a giant tortoise. With their own curious gifts, Celine and Jackson Groove seem to fit like a puzzle piece into Red's heart. But just when Red starts to settle into her new life, a fresh storm rolls in, one she knows all too well: her mother. For so long, Red has longed to have her mom back in her life, and she's quickly swept up in the vortex of her mother's chaos. Now Red must discover the possible in the impossible if she wants to overcome her own tornadoes and find the family she needs.

It Wasn't Me

"Every reader will find some piece of themselves in Levy's sharp, humorous, and heartfelt novel. A twisty mystery with quirky, unforgettable characters and a positive message to boot." --JOHN DAVID ANDERSON, the critically acclaimed author of Ms. Bixby's Last Day and Posted The Breakfast Club meets middle school with a prank twist in this hilarious and heartwarming story about six very different seventh graders who are forced to band together after a vandalism incident. When Theo's photography project is mysteriously vandalized at school there are five suspected students who all say "it wasn't me." Theo just wants to forget about the humiliating incident but his favorite teacher is determined to get to the bottom of it and has the six of them come into school over vacation to talk. She calls it "Justice Circle." The six students--the Nerd, the Princess, the Jock, the Screw Up, the Weirdo, and the Nobody--think of it as detention. AKA their worst nightmare. That is until they realize they might get along after all, despite their differences. But what is everyone hiding and will school ever be the same? *PW Best Books *Winter Kids' Indie Next List * JLG selection * Three starred reviews "What at first seems like a novel solely about bullying becomes a story about six kids who find their way to true friendship and fierce loyalty, and why restorative justice is worth the time and effort it takes." --Publishers Weekly, starred review "A timely, introspective whodunit with a lot of heart." --Kirkus Reviews, starred review "Levy writes in an easy style with laugh-out-loud humor, offering characters that slowly reveal deeper complexity." --School Library Journal, starred review

20-21 Graphic Novels

Teen Titans: Raven

A New York Times bestseller! USA Today and Publishers Weekly bestseller! When a tragic accident takes the life of 17-year-old Raven Roth's foster mom--and Raven's memory--she moves to New Orleans to recover and finish her senior year of high school. Starting over isn't easy. Raven remembers everyday stuff like how to solve math equations and make pasta, but she can't remember her favorite song or who she was before the accident. And when impossible things start happening, Raven begins to think it might even be better not to know who she was before. But as she grows closer to her new friends, her foster sister, Max, and Tommy Torres, a guy who accepts her for who she is now, Raven has to decide if she's ready to face what's buried in the past...and the darkness building inside her. From #1 New York Times bestselling author Kami Garcia and first-time graphic novel artist Gabriel Picolo comes this riveting tale of finding the strength to face who you are and learning to trust others--and yourself.

Grimoire Noir

Bucky Orson is a bit gloomy, but who isn't at fifteen? His best friend left him to hang out with way cooler friends, his cop dad is always in his business, and wait for it--he lives in Blackwell, a town where all the girls are witches. But when his little sister is kidnapped because of her extraordinary power, Bucky has to get out of his own head and go on a strange journey to investigate the small town that gives him so much grief. And in the process he uncovers the town's painful history and a conspiracy that will change it forever.Beautiful, spooky, and utterly enchanting, Grimoire Noir is a magical coming-of-age story of overcoming your limits to protect those dear to you.

Almost American Girl

A powerful and moving teen graphic novel memoir about immigration, belonging, and how arts can save a life--perfect for fans of American Born Chinese and Hey, Kiddo. This nonfiction graphic novel is an excellent choice for accelerated tween readers in grades 7 to 8, especially during homeschooling. It's a fun way to keep your child entertained and engaged while not in the classroom. For as long as she can remember, it's been Robin and her mom against the world. Growing up as the only child of a single mother in Seoul, Korea, wasn't always easy, but it has bonded them fiercely together. So when a vacation to visit friends in Huntsville, Alabama, unexpectedly becomes a permanent relocation--following her mother's announcement that she's getting married--Robin is devastated. Overnight, her life changes. She is dropped into a new school where she doesn't understand the language and struggles to keep up. She is completely cut off from her friends in Seoul and has no access to her beloved comics. At home, she doesn't fit in with her new stepfamily, and worst of all, she is furious with the one person she is closest to--her mother. Then one day Robin's mother enrolls her in a local comic drawing class, which opens the window to a future Robin could never have imagined.  

Persephone

An adaptation of the Greek myth of Demeter and her daughter Persephone, in an exciting universe that blends high fantasy adventure with visuals reminiscent of Japanese anime and 1950s American-style comics. Persephone is an ordinary girl, which is exactly what is bothering her. She may be the adopted daughter of the famous magician Demeter, but Persephone struggles to find her place alongside such a force of nature. Driven by recurring nightmares as well as a budding curiosity, Persephone decides to explore the secrets of her birth, which everyone seems rather intent on keeping from her. With or without help, Persephone will embark on an epic adventure deep into the Underworld where she'll discover far more than she bargained for. Storyteller Loïc Locatelli-Kournwsky weaves a story of magic and intrigue in this stunningly rendered modern retelling of the Greek myth of Goddess Demeter and her daughter, Persephone.

Operatic

Somewhere in the universe, there is the perfect tune for you. It's almost the end of middle school, and Charlie has to find her perfect song for a music class assignment. The class learns about a different style of music each day, from hip-hop to metal to disco, but it's hard for Charlie to concentrate when she can't stop noticing her classmate Emile, or wondering about Luka, who hasn't been to school in weeks. On top of everything, she has been talked into participating in an end-of-year performance with her best friends. Then, the class learns about opera, and Charlie discovers the music of Maria Callas. The more she learns about Maria's life, the more Charlie admires her passion for singing and her ability to express herself fully through her music. Can Charlie follow the example of the ultimate diva, Maria Callas, when it comes to her own life? This evocatively illustrated graphic novel brilliantly captures the high drama of middle school by focusing on the desire of its finely drawn characters to sing and be heard.

White Bird: a Wonder Story

Inspired by her blockbuster phenomenon Wonder, R. J. Palacio makes her graphic novel debut with an unforgettable, Sydney Taylor Book Award-winning story of the power of kindness and unrelenting courage in a time of war.  "I was captivated by White Bird. It tells the hardest truths with honesty and calm (so that young readers can hear them). R.J. Palacio brings to life the nature of heroism and the real risks we face today." --Meg Medina, Newbery award-winning author of Mercy Suarez Changes Gears In R. J. Palacio's bestselling collection of stories Auggie & Me, which expands on characters in Wonder, readers were introduced to Julian's grandmother, Grandmère. Here, Palacio makes her graphic novel debut with Grandmère's heartrending story: how she, a young Jewish girl, was hidden by a family in a Nazi-occupied French village during World War II; how the boy she and her classmates once shunned became her savior and best friend. Sara's harrowing experience movingly demonstrates the power of kindness to change hearts, build bridges, and even save lives. As Grandmère tells Julian, "It always takes courage to be kind, but in those days, such kindness could cost you everything." With poignant symbolism and gorgeous artwork that brings Sara's story out of the past and cements it firmly in this moment in history, White Bird is sure to captivate anyone who was moved by the book Wonder or the blockbuster movie adaptation and its message. Praise for Wonder: #1 New York Times bestseller USA Today bestseller Time Magazine's 100 Best Young Adult Books of All Time "In a wonder of a debut, Palacio has written a crackling page-turner filled with characters you can't help but root for." --Entertainment Weekly "Rich and memorable." --The New York Times "A beautiful, funny and sometimes sob-making story of quiet transformation." --The Wall Street Journal

Animus

The residents of a quiet Japanese neighborhood have slowly come to realize that inauspicious, paranormal forces are at play in the most unlikely of places: the local playground. Two friends, a young boy and girl, resolve to exorcise the evil that inhabit it, including a snaggle-toothed monster.In Animus, a beautiful but spooky young adult graphic novel of everyday hauntings, Antoine Revoy delivers an eerie tale inspired by the Japanese and French comics of his childhood.

Witch Hat Atelier 1

Best of 2019 -- AV Club, New York Public Library, Nerdist, SYFY Wire, Chicago Public Library "Harry Potter meets Kiki's Delivery Service!" -AV Club A beautifully-illustrated story about a girl who longs for magic in her life and learns that, on the inside, she already is what she wishes she could be. Reminiscent of Studio Ghibli, this lushly-drawn story has captured the hearts of fantasy fans worldwide. In a world where everyone takes wonders like magic spells and dragons for granted, Coco is a girl with a simple dream: She wants to be a witch. But everybody knows magicians are born, not made, and Coco was not born with a gift for magic. Resigned to her un-magical life, Coco is about to give up on her dream to become a witch...until the day she meets Qifrey, a mysterious, traveling magician. After secretly seeing Qifrey perform magic in a way she's never seen before, Coco soon learns what everybody "knows" might not be the truth, and discovers that her magical dream may not be as far away as it may seem...

Sleepless Volume 1

Pyppenia, or Poppy, illegitimate daughter of the king of Harbeny, is the only living child of the monarch when he dies. Although the throne passes instead to her uncle Surno, Poppy is still the target of multiple assassination attempts. She's guarded by Cyrenic, an elite member of the Sleepless Order, a prestigious order of knights who vow never to sleep. When Surno orders Poppy to remain in Harbeny despite the attempts on her life, Poppy and Cyrenic set out to uncover who is trying to kill her while Cyrenic struggles with a life-changing dilemma. This riveting medieval fantasy is refreshing in its inclusion of people of color in a typically white European setting. The striking and sophisticated imagery evokes the creamy, floral designs of illuminated manuscripts, particularly surrounding chapter headings. Elsewhere, the subdued and occasionally dark color scheme is coupled with intricate line work and expressive characters. The story touches on themes of loyalty and greed, and there is plenty of trickery to engage readers, though Vaughn doesn't explain precisely how the Sleepless go without rest. There is also romantic tension, as well as minimal references to sex. A tantalizing cliff-hanger ending will leave readers eager for more. VERDICT Teens interested in royal fantasies will revel in this lavish setting that pays homage to Arthurian literature. For all graphic novel collections.-Alea Perez, ­Westmont Public Library, ILα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Mooncakes

"This sweet, spellbinding story will appeal to fans of magic and romance." -- School Library Journal (starred review)   A story of love and demons, family and witchcraft. Nova Huang knows more about magic than your average teen witch. She works at her grandmothers' bookshop, where she helps them loan out spell books and investigate any supernatural occurrences in their New England town. One fateful night, she follows reports of a white wolf into the woods, and she comes across the unexpected: her childhood crush, Tam Lang, battling a horse demon in the woods. As a werewolf, Tam has been wandering from place to place for years, unable to call any townhome. Pursued by dark forces eager to claim the magic of wolves and out of options, Tam turns to Nova for help. Their latent feelings are rekindled against the backdrop of witchcraft, untested magic, occult rituals, and family ties both new and old in this enchanting tale of self-discovery.

20-21 High School

With the Fire on High

From the New York Times bestselling author of the National Book Award-winning title The Poet X comes a dazzling novel in prose about a girl with talent, pride, and a drive to feed the soul that keeps her fire burning bright. Ever since she got pregnant freshman year, Emoni Santiago's life has been about making the tough decisions--doing what has to be done for her daughter and her abuela. The one place she can let all that go is in the kitchen, where she adds a little something magical to everything she cooks, turning her food into straight-up goodness. Even though she dreams of working as a chef after she graduates, Emoni knows that it's not worth her time to pursue the impossible. Yet despite the rules she thinks she has to play by, once Emoni starts cooking, her only choice is to let her talent break free.

What If It's Us

A New York Times, USA Today, and Indie bestseller! Critically acclaimed and bestselling authors Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera combine their talents in this smart, funny, heartfelt collaboration about two very different boys who can't decide if the universe is pushing them together--or pulling them apart. ARTHUR is only in New York for the summer, but if Broadway has taught him anything, it's that the universe can deliver a showstopping romance when you least expect it. BEN thinks the universe needs to mind its business. If the universe had his back, he wouldn't be on his way to the post office carrying a box of his ex-boyfriend's things. But when Arthur and Ben meet-cute at the post office, what exactly does the universe have in store for them . . . ? Maybe nothing. After all, they get separated. Maybe everything. After all, they get reunited. But what if they can't nail a first date even after three do-overs? What if Arthur tries too hard to make it work and Ben doesn't try hard enough? What if life really isn't like a Broadway play? But what if it is? What if it's us? Plus don't miss Yes No Maybe So, Becky Albertalli's and Aisha Saeed's heartwarming and hilarious new novel, or Infinity Son, the first book in Adam Silvera's epic new fantasy series, both coming in 2020!

Ordinary Hazards

"This powerful story, told with the music of poetry and the blade of truth, will help your heart grow."--Laurie Halse Anderson, author of Speak and Shout " A testimony and a triumph."--Jason Reynolds, author of Long Way Down In her own voice, acclaimed author and poet Nikki Grimes explores the truth of a harrowing childhood in a compelling and moving memoir in verse. Growing up with a mother suffering from paranoid schizophrenia and a mostly absent father, Nikki Grimes found herself terrorized by babysitters, shunted from foster family to foster family, and preyed upon by those she trusted. At the age of six, she poured her pain onto a piece of paper late one night - and discovered the magic and impact of writing. For many years, Nikki's notebooks were her most enduing companions. In this accessible and inspiring memoir that will resonate with young readers and adults alike, Nikki shows how the power of those words helped her conquer the hazards - ordinary and extraordinary - of her life.

Aurora Rising

From the New York Times and internationally bestselling authors of the Illuminae Files comes a new science-fiction epic. . . . The year is 2380, and the graduating cadets of Aurora Academy are being assigned their first missions. Star pupil Tyler Jones is ready to recruit the squad of his dreams, but his own boneheaded heroism sees him stuck with the dregs nobody else in the academy would touch . . . A cocky diplomat with a black belt in sarcasm A sociopath scientist with a fondness for shooting her bunkmates A smart-ass tech whiz with the galaxy's biggest chip on his shoulder An alien warrior with anger-management issues A tomboy pilot who's totally not into him, in case you were wondering And Ty's squad isn't even his biggest problem--that'd be Aurora Jie-Lin O'Malley, the girl he's just rescued from interdimensional space. Trapped in cryo-sleep for two centuries, Auri is a girl out of time and out of her depth. But she could be the catalyst that starts a war millions of years in the making, and Tyler's squad of losers, discipline cases, and misfits might just be the last hope for the entire galaxy. NOBODY PANIC.

A Very Large Expanse of Sea

Longlisted for the National Book Award for Young People's Literature! From the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Shatter Me series comes a powerful, heartrending contemporary novel about fear, first love, and the devastating impact of prejudice. This young adult novel is an excellent choice for accelerated tween readers in grades 7 to 8, especially during homeschooling. It's a fun way to keep your child entertained and engaged while not in the classroom. It's 2002, a year after 9/11. It's an extremely turbulent time politically, but especially so for someone like Shirin, a sixteen-year-old Muslim girl who's tired of being stereotyped. Shirin is never surprised by how horrible people can be. She's tired of the rude stares, the degrading comments--even the physical violence--she endures as a result of her race, her religion, and the hijab she wears every day. So she's built up protective walls and refuses to let anyone close enough to hurt her. Instead, she drowns her frustrations in music and spends her afternoons break-dancing with her brother. But then she meets Ocean James. He's the first person in forever who really seems to want to get to know Shirin. It terrifies her--they seem to come from two irreconcilable worlds--and Shirin has had her guard up for so long that she's not sure she'll ever be able to let it down.

Two Can Keep a Secret

"When it comes to YA suspense, Karen M. McManus is in a league of her own. Fresh off her best-selling breakout One of Us Is Lying . . . the author has returned with a juicy second novel. It's even better than what came before." --EW The "must-read YA thriller" (Bustle) from #1 New York Times bestselling author of One of Us Is Lying! Echo Ridge is small-town America. Ellery's never been there, but she's heard all about it. Her aunt went missing there at age seventeen. And only five years ago, a homecoming queen put the town on the map when she was killed. Now Ellery has to move there to live with a grandmother she barely knows. The town is picture-perfect, but it's hiding secrets. And before school even begins for Ellery, someone has declared open season on homecoming, promising to make it as dangerous as it was five years ago. Then, almost as if to prove it, another girl goes missing. Ellery knows all about secrets. Her mother has them; her grandmother does too. And the longer she's in Echo Ridge, the clearer it becomes that everyone there is hiding something. The thing is, secrets are dangerous--and most people aren't good at keeping them. Which is why in Echo Ridge, it's safest to keep your secrets to yourself. 2 STARRED REVIEWS! Praise for Karen M. McManus's One of Us Is Lying A New York Times Bestseller An EW.com Best YA Book of the Year A Buzzfeed Best YA Book of the Year A Popcrush Best Young Adult Book of the Year "Pretty Little Liars meets The Breakfast Club....so make room for One of Us Is Lying in your bags, because this is one carry-on you won't want to put down." --EW.com "A whodunit with a Breakfast Club twist...following four unique voices on a chase to find the killer, this one will keep you guessing until the very, very end." --Popcrush "This is no ordinary whodunit...surprising and relevant."--USA Today

The Last to Let Go

A twisted tragedy leaves Brooke and her siblings on their own in this provocative new novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Way I Used To Be. How do you let go of something you've never had? Junior year for Brooke Winters is supposed to be about change. She's transferring schools, starting fresh, and making plans for college so she can finally leave her hometown, her family, and her past behind. But all of her dreams are shattered one hot summer afternoon when her mother is arrested for killing Brooke's abusive father. No one really knows what happened that day, if it was premeditated or self-defense, whether it was right or wrong. And now Brooke and her siblings are on their own. In a year of firsts--the first year without parents, first love, first heartbreak, and her first taste of freedom--Brooke must confront the shadow of her family's violence and dysfunction, as she struggles to embrace her identity, finds her true place in the world, and learns how to let go.

They Called Us Enemy

New York Times Bestseller! A stunning graphic memoir recounting actor/author/activist George Takei's childhood imprisoned within American concentration camps during World War II. Experience the forces that shaped an American icon -- and America itself -- in this gripping tale of courage, country, loyalty, and love. George Takei has captured hearts and minds worldwide with his captivating stage presence and outspoken commitment to equal rights. But long before he braved new frontiers in Star Trek, he woke up as a four-year-old boy to find his own birth country at war with his father's -- and their entire family forced from their home into an uncertain future. In 1942, at the order of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, every person of Japanese descent on the west coast was rounded up and shipped to one of ten "relocation centers," hundreds or thousands of miles from home, where they would be held for years under armed guard. They Called Us Enemy is Takei's firsthand account of those years behind barbed wire, the joys and terrors of growing up under legalized racism, his mother's hard choices, his father's faith in democracy, and the way those experiences planted the seeds for his astonishing future. What does it mean to be American? Who gets to decide? When the world is against you, what can one person do? To answer these questions, George Takei joins co-writers Justin Eisinger & Steven Scott and artist Harmony Becker for the journey of a lifetime.

Laura Dean Keeps Breaking up with Me

Laura Dean, the most popular girl in high school, was Frederica Riley's dream girl: charming, confident, and SO cute. There's just one problem: Laura Dean is maybe not the greatest girlfriend.Reeling from her latest break up, Freddy's best friend, Doodle, introduces her to the Seek-Her, a mysterious medium who leaves Freddy some cryptic parting words: Break up with her. But Laura Dean keeps coming back, and as their relationship spirals further out of her control, Freddy has to wonder if it's really Laura Dean that's the problem. Maybe it's Freddy, who is rapidly losing her friends, including Doodle, who needs her now more than ever. Fortunately for Freddy, there are new friends and the insight of advice columnists like Anna Vice to help her through being a teenager in love.

Frankly in Love

An Instant New York Times Bestseller and #1 Indie Bestseller! A William C. Morris YA Debut Award Finalist   An Asian Pacific American Librarians Association Honor Book Two friends. One fake dating scheme. What could possibly go wrong? Frank Li has two names. There's Frank Li, his American name. Then there's Sung-Min Li, his Korean name. No one uses his Korean name, not even his parents. Frank barely speaks any Korean. He was born and raised in Southern California. Even so, his parents still expect him to end up with a nice Korean girl--which is a problem, since Frank is finally dating the girl of his dreams: Brit Means. Brit, who is funny and nerdy just like him. Brit, who makes him laugh like no one else. Brit . . . who is white. As Frank falls in love for the very first time, he's forced to confront the fact that while his parents sacrificed everything to raise him in the land of opportunity, their traditional expectations don't leave a lot of room for him to be a regular American teen. Desperate to be with Brit without his parents finding out, Frank turns to family friend Joy Song, who is in a similar bind. Together, they come up with a plan to help each other and keep their parents off their backs. Frank thinks he's found the solution to all his problems, but when life throws him a curveball, he's left wondering whether he ever really knew anything about love--or himself--at all. In this moving debut novel--featuring striking blue stained edges and beautiful original endpaper art by the author--David Yoon takes on the question of who am I? with a result that is humorous, heartfelt, and ultimately unforgettable.

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