Updated: May 29, 2020
Henry's Freedom Box by Ellen Levine
Henry Brown doesn't know how old he is. Nobody keeps records of slaves' birthdays. All the time he dreams about freedom, but that dream seems farther away than ever when he is torn from his family and put to work in a warehouse. Henry grows up and marries, but he is again devastated when his family is sold at the slave market. Then one day, as he lifts a crate at the warehouse, he knows exactly what he must do: He will mail himself to the North. After an arduous journey in the crate, Henry finally has a birthday -- his first day of freedom.
Things Hoped For by Andrew Clement
Seventeen-year-old Gwen is preparing to audition for New York City’s top music schools when her grandfather mysteriously disappears, leaving Gwen only a phone message telling her not to worry. But there’s nothing more stressful than practicing for her auditions, not knowing where her grandfather is, and being forced to lie about his whereabouts when her insistent great-uncle demands an audience with him. Then Gwen meets Robert, also in town for music auditions, and the two pair up to brave the city without supervision. As auditions approach and her great-uncle becomes more aggressive, Gwen and Robert make a startling discovery. Suddenly Gwen’s hopes are turned upside down, and she and Robert are united in ways neither of them could have foretold. . . .
Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon
Camilla Cream loves lima beans, but she never eats them. Why? Because the other kids in her school don't like them. And Camilla Cream is very, very worried about what other people think of her. In fact, she's so worried that she's about to break out in...a bad case of stripes!
Things Not Seen by Andrew Clement
Things Not Seen is about a 15-year-old boy, Bobby Phillips. One night, Bobby goes to bed snuggling under his electric blanket in his Chicago home. He wakes up the next morning as an invisible person. Bobby tells his parents that he is invisible right away. His mom, a literature professor and his dad, a physicist, both try to figure out how this could have happened to their son, but have no clue where to start searching for the solution to what seems like an impossible problem.
Troublemaker by Andrew Clement
Clayton Hensley is accustomed to trouble: There's a folder of incident reports in Principal Kelling's office that's as thick as a phonebook and growing daily. Most recently, Clay's art teacher told the class to spend the period drawing anything they wanted, and Clay decided to be extra "creative" by drawing a spot-on portrait of Principal Kelling...as a donkey. It's a pretty funny joke, but Clay is coming to realize that the biggest joke of all may be on him. When his big brother, Mitchell, gets in some serious trouble, Clay decides to change his own mischief-making ways...but he can't seem to shake his reputation as a troublemaker. From the master of the school story comes a book about the fine line between good-humored mischief and dangerous behavior--and how everyday choices can close or open doors.
Thank You Mr. Falker by Patricia Polaccio
It's the true story of how this award-winning author-illustrator learned to read. The book is a tribute to Mr. Falker, her teacher -- the one who FINALLY took the time to help a persecuted little Patricia overcome her dyslexia (or whatever it was that caused such tremendous reading difficulties).
Emmanuel's Dream by Laurie Thompson
This inspiring picture book by author Laurie Ann Thompson tells the moving true story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah, a young man born with a severe disability in rural Ghana who nonetheless bicycled across the entire country, raising awareness for disabled people throughout Africa and around the world.
Boxes For Katje by Candace Fleming
After World War II there is little left in Katje's town of Olst in Holland. Her family, like most Dutch families, must patch their old worn clothing and go without everyday things like soap and milk. Then one spring morning when the tulips bloom "thick and bright," Postman Kleinhoonte pedals his bicycle down Katje's street to deliver a mysterious box—a box from America! Full of soap, socks, and chocolate, the box has been sent by Rosie, an American girl from Mayfield, Indiana. Her package is part of a goodwill effort to help the people of Europe. What's inside so delights Katje that she sends off a letter of thanks: beginning an exchange that swells with so many surprises that the girls, as well as their townspeople, will never be the same.
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