Monday, October 16, 2017

This Librarian's Quick Picks: All's Faire in Middle School

All's Faire in Middle School
by Victoria Jamieson
Dial Books (2017)
Graphic Novel

What It's All About:

Homeschooled by Renaissance Fair enthusiasts, eleven-year-old Imogene has a hard time fitting in when her wish to enroll in public school is granted.

Why You'll Love It:

  • Jamieson masterfully taps into the voice and concerns of middle-schoolers, and the offbeat setting of the Renaissance faire adds some lively texture.
  • Jamieson’s appealing, naturalistic artwork, full of warm tones, realistic-looking characters, and saturated colors, playfully incorporates medieval imagery along with Imogene’s more mundane homelife, particularly when Imogene fears that her misbehavior at home, thanks to frustrations at school, makes her more of a dragon than a knight.
  • Jamieson portrays a diverse cast of expressive, naturally posed figures occupying two equally immersive worlds.

Who Should Read It:

Perfect for 4th-8th graders...and here's the book trailer!

What Else You Should Read:

  • Drama by Raina Telgemeier
  • Chiggers by Hope Larson
  • Sunny Side Up by Jennifer Holm

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

This Librarian's Quick Picks: The Stars Beneath Our Feet

The Stars Beneath Our Feet
by David Barclay Moore
Knopf (2017)
Realistic Fiction

What It's About:

It’s Christmas Eve in Harlem, but twelve-year-old Lolly Rachpaul and his mom aren’t celebrating. They’re still reeling from his older brother’s death in a gang-related shooting just a few months earlier.

Why You'll Love It:

  • These characters are vibrantly alive, reconstituting the realness that is needed to bring diverse, complicated stories to the forefront of our shelves.
  • Moore delivers a realistic and at times brutal portrait of life for young people of color who are living on the edge of poverty, while at the same time infuses the story with hope and aspiration, giving Lolly the chance to find salvation through creativity.
  • The cover art. Seriously.

Who Should Read It:

Great for 6th-8th graders. Also, here's an interview with author Moore.

What Else You Should Read:

  • Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
  • Into the Dangerous World by Julie Chibbaro
  • Finding Mighty by Sheela Chari

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