Don’t call me a hero by Ray Villareal; Pinata Press 31 October
“After saving the life of a famous model, a 14-year-old Mexican-American boy learns the pressures of popularity and the definition of true heroism. The third-person narration follows Rawley s journey as he learns who his real friends are and the difference between comic-book and real-world heroes. A good story with some unexpected twists.” —–Kirkus Review
Black and white by Larry Dane Brimner; Boyds Mill Press, 1 Nov
My name is not easy. My name is hard like ocean ice grinding at the shore . . . Luke knows his IÃƒÂƒÃ‚Â±upiaq name is full of sounds white people can t say. So he leaves it behind when he and his brothers are sent to boarding school hundreds of miles away from their Arctic village. At Sacred Heart School, students Eskimo, Indian, White line up on different sides of the cafeteria like there s some kind of war going on. Here, speaking IÃƒÂƒÃ‚Â±upiaq or any native language is forbidden. And Father Mullen, whose fury is like a force of nature, is ready to slap down those who disobey. Luke struggles to survive at Sacred Heart. But he s not the only one. There s smart-aleck Amiq, a daring leader if he doesn t selfdestruct; Chickie, blond and freckled, a different kind of outsider; and small, quiet Junior, noticing everything and writing it all down. They each have their own story to tell. But once their separate stories come together, things at Sacred Heart School and the wider world will never be the same. Review copy received from publisher
The wavering of Haruhi Suzumiya by Nagaru Tanigawa; Little, Brown Books for Young Children, 14 Nov
In Book 6 in the series, readers take a step into a time warp in five short stories. Head back to events from the previous books, and previously unseen scenes and perspectives to uncover mysteries that had been left unanswered.
Loosely inspired by 50 Cent’s own adolescence, and written with his fourteen-year-old son in mind, Playground is sure to captivate wide attention – and spark intense discussion. This devastating yet ultimately redemptive story is told in voice-driven prose and accented with drawings and photographs, making it a natural successor to The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. Available in my school library
Shatter me by Tahereh Mafi; Harper Collins; 15 November
“Mafi combines a psychological opener with an action-adventure denouement in her YA debut. This is a gripping read from an author who’s not afraid to take risks.” (Publishers Weekly )
Luka and the fire of life by Salman Rushdie; Random House, 16 Nov
With the same dazzling imagination and love of language that have made Salman Rushdie one of the great storytellers of our time, Luka and the Fire of Life revisits the magic-infused, intricate world he first brought to life in the modern classic Haroun and the Sea of Stories. This breathtaking new novel centers on Luka, Haroun’s younger brother, who must save his father from certain doom.
Legend by Marie Lu; Putnam, 29 November
What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.
From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths – until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets. Full of nonstop action, suspense, and romance, this novel is sure to move readers as much as it thrills.
Uptown Dreams by Kelli London; KTeen Dafina, November 29, 2011
At the prestigious Harlem Academy of Creative and Performing Arts, students are destined to realize their uptown dreams—as long as friends, haters, and crushes don’t trip them up…
La-La Nolan’s killer voice could make her a superstar, but she’s more focused on scoring the attention of Ziggy Phillip—the cute Jamaican boy in her class. But a singing competition against her arch rival could cost her both Ziggy and her spot at the Academy…
The daughter of the school’s director and voice coach, Reese Allen has to work harder than everyone else to prove herself. But all Reese wants is to be a hip hop producer—a path her mother will never approve of…
Even though it’s clear that Ziggy loves the ladies, he has to keep his passion for dance a secret from his father. But then his brother discovers Ziggy’s ballet shoes and threatens to tell all—unless Ziggy gets him into the Academy too…
No one’s a better actress than Jamaica Kincaid Ellison. She’s even acted her way out of the boarding school her parents think she’s still attending and into the Academy. She’ll do anything to achieve her dream—unless her lies destroy everything…
If that weren’t enough drama, rumor has it that the Academy may close at the end of the year. Can these gifted students put their talents to the test to save it?
Round and round together: Taking a merry go round ride into the Civil Rights Movement by Amy Nathan; Paul Dry Books, November
On August 28, 1963—the day of Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech—segregation ended at Gwynn Oak amusement park in Maryland when eleven-month old Sharon Langley, her dad beside her, became the first black child to ride the park’s famous merry-go-round. As Amy Nathan tells the story of how individuals in Baltimore integrated one amusement park in their town, she also gives an overview of the history of segregation and the civil rights movement. Round and Round Together creates a new civil rights symbol—the Gwynn Oak carousel is now the Smithsonian Carousel which thousands of kids enjoy each year.
Round and Round Together is illustrated with archival photos from newspapers and other sources, as well as personal photos from family albums of individuals interviewed for the book and a timeline of major civil rights events.