Meena and River have a lot in common: fathers forced to work away from home to make ends meet, grandmothers who mean the world to them, and faithful dogs. But Meena is an Indian immigrant girl living in New York City’s Chinatown, while River is a Kentucky coal miner’s son. As Meena’s family studies for citizenship exams and River’s town faces devastating mountaintop removal, this unlikely pair become pen pals, sharing thoughts and, as their camaraderie deepens, discovering common ground in their disparate experiences.
August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school - until now. He’s about to enter fifth grade at Beecher Prep, and if you’ve ever been the new kid, then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie’s just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he’s just like them, despite appearances?R. J. Palacio has crafted an uplifting novel full of wonderfully realistic family interactions, lively school scenes, and writing that shines with spare emotional power.
"Everyone deserves a standing ovation at least once"
Tired of dodging fishwives’ brooms and carriage wheels, alley cat Skilley yearns for the comfort of Ye olde Cheshire Cheese, a popular London inn. When he hears that the innkeeper is in need of a mouser, he hatches a scheme so audacious it will surely set him up for the rest of his nine lives. Once installed at the Cheese, Skilley looks forward to a life of ease. But a resident mouse named Pip uncovers Skilley’s scandalous secret, and the desperate cat is forced to make a pact with him.
"Entertaining and delightful"
Set against the burgeoning Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, and then just before the outbreak of the Civil War, The Freedom Maze explores both political and personal liberation, and how the two intertwine. In 1960, 13-year-old Sophie isn't happy about spending the summer at her grandmother's old house in the Bayou. But the house has a maze Sophie can't resist exploring once she finds it has a secretive and mischievious inhabitant.
Newbery Medal winner Laura Amy Schlitz's gothic novel in the grand Victorian tradition, Spledors and Glooms, is set in London and centered around the disappearance of a 12-year-old girl, who goes missing. Two children realize it is their guardian, a Venetian-born puppeteer and magician, who has kidnapped her and used his dark powers to imprison her mind and body in the form of a puppet and strive to return her to human form.
"Yawn turned into a dropped jaw"
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