The View From Monday: New Titles Available in January
This is so exciting! Today we are sharing some of the first new titles of 2013 with you! They will be available in your favorite bookstore or library in January. Get ready to venture out into the new year and bring some of these books home to your most comfy chair!
A SPLASH OF RED: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin by Jen Bryant, Illustrated by Melissa Sweet
Horace Pippin was a self-taught African-American artist who was born in the late 19th century and did not achieve fame for his work until later in his life. In fact, although he was drawing from the time he could walk, he did not submit his first work, an oil painting, until he was forty. The main reason: Horace suffered a serious injury to his right arm while serving his country during WWI. After he returned home from the war to Philadelphia, his injury hampered his ability to find work and to do what he loved most: create beautiful art. It was only after years of perseverance building up strength in his arm that he was able to create works for which he is best known. Horace’s masterworks, a mix of folk and primitive styles based on everyday objects, family memories, biblical stories etc. now hang in museums throughout America.
Horace’s inspirational life story needs a wider audience and I’m confident that Jen Bryant’s stirring narrative–combined with Melissa Sweet’s brilliant and vibrant re-creation of his artwork—will draw children, parents and teachers to this magnificent biographical picture book. –Tim
The Passover Lamb by Linda Elovita Marshall, illustrated by Tatjana Mai-Wyss
This delightful story celebrates family, Passover and Spring on the farm. When the birth of newborn triplet lambs takes Miriam’s family by surprise, it looks like they may have to miss out on the Passover Seder. Young Miriam comes up with a clever solution and the celebration is saved. –Kate
You Never Heard of Willie Mays?! by Jonah Winter, illustrated by Terry Widener
Many die-hard baseball fans believe Willie Mays is the greatest baseball player of all time. Second only to Baby Ruth on The Sporting News‘s list of “Baseball’s 100 Greatest Players”, there are still players today aspiring to break his records (he hit 660 home runs (fourth best of all time), had a lifetime batting average of .302), all while the professional baseball leagues were in the early days of integration. Complete with sidebars filled with stats, here is a book for all baseball lovers, young and old. –Kate
Middle Grade & Young Adult
Babymouse # 17: Extreme Babymouse by Jenni Holm, illustrated by Matt Holm
Our favorite sassy mouse is back, and as if she isn’t always a little extreme…extremely FUN, that is! Now she’s trying out the extreme sport of snowboarding. The slopes will never be the same. –Kate
The Terrible Thing that Happened to Barnaby Brocket by John Boyne
John Boyne is a versatile author of children’s and adult novels, best known for the international bestseller The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. His most recent novels for young readers are modern parables about identity and fitting in a complicated world. The Terrible Thing That Happened to Barnaby Brockett is a worthy successor to his other works suitable for middle grade readers. Barnaby, our story’s hero, was plagued at birth by being born into a completely “normal” family in every way. Barnaby is normal according to the standards of society except he “floats” (gravity having little or no effect on him). His parents, Alistair and Eleanor, cannot accept this embarrassing fact about their son and do everything they can to change him or else. A stint at the Graveling Academy of Unwanted Children doesn’t do the trick so Barnaby is banished and forced to reconcile being different in a conformist world.
Barnaby is a prolific reader and identifies appropriately with the fictional heroes of Dickens, Dumas and Jules Verne, among others, all of them too in search of finding out who they are and their place in the world. Barnaby embarks on a quest journey taking him via hot air balloon and other means from his home in Sydney Australia to Brazil, Canada, Ireland and other outposts far from home. He meets up with all sorts of diverse characters, many of them worse off, and realizes being different is the real “normal”.
This story works on so many levels and, despite the grim circumstances of Barnaby’s life, is often very funny and touching. Kids will appreciate the adventure story itself, but I also think teachers can pull out valuable content pertaining to many of the contemporary social issues reeling communities today. –Tim
Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool
Clare Vanderpool follows up her Newbery Award-Winning Moon Over Manifest with a wonderful stand alone book about two boys on an epic quest on the Appalachian Trail to find a bear, the number pi and maybe even find themselves. –Dandy
One Came Home by Amy Timberlake
When news of her sister’s death reaches Georgie, she refuses to accept it. When no one believes that the body brought home could not be her sister, she sets out on her own to prove it. Filled with fascinating facts about passenger pigeons and the real dangers of the road, this engaging historical fiction is an exciting read and great classroom tie-in. –Deanna
Hokey Pokey by Jerry Spinelli
The world of Hokey Pokey is every kid’s dream, where they can just be kids, play and have fun all day, every day. For Jack it seems like this blissful life will last forever, until one day his bike is stolen. And now everything is changing, he hears, sees and feels things he’s never experienced before. Is this what growing up feels like? Hokey Pokey is a poignant tale of growing up and leaving the innocence of childhood behind. In many ways as eye-opening for young readers as it is for some of us who aren’t quite so young anymore. –Kate
The Tragedy Paper by Elizabeth LaBan
This novel quickly became a favorite of many of us. A contemporary story set at a private school, romance (and un-, or partially-requited love), intrigue, a mean-spirited teacher who assigns a challenging senior paper, and secrets, so many secrets! Think Thirteen Reasons Why meets Looking for Alaska, with a nod to the classic Ethan Fromm. Whether you’re 14 or 40 you’ll find this one hard to resist. Make sure you check our recent Q&A with Elizabeth LaBan here. –Kate
Thanks for joining us today at Random Acts of Reading. Happy New Reading Year!
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