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Read This
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The Canyon’s Edge by  Dusti Bowling

What would you do if you were alone at the bottom of a canyon without supplies? Eleanor is hiking with her dad when a flash flood separates the two, leaving Eleanor alone. With only her wits and the survival skills taught by her parents, Eleanor must find a way to get back to her dad. This adventurous story is best for kids in grades 5-8.

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Ophie’s Ghosts by

Justina Ireland 

Jonny Jakes

It is 1920, and 12-year-old Ophie can speak to ghosts. When she and her mother move to Pittsburgh they both find work as a maid at Daffodil Manor, an oppressive mansion. It is also very haunted. Clara uses her ability to bring peace to the ghosts she meets there, as well solve the mystery surrounding a ghost named Clara. Was there a murder at the manor? This historical and spooky mystery is a great pick for kids in grades 5-8.

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Crossing on Time by David Macaulay
Plants Can't Sit Still

In 1957, author David Macaulay and his family immigrated to the United States from England on the steamship the SS United States. While this book is not about that journey, it is a very detailed look at the history of ships and engines, complete with beautifully detailed cross sections of every part of a steamship. As both a history of sea travel and a look at how that’s possible, this is an excellent choice for curious kids ages 11-14.

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Breaking the News by Robin Terry Brown

An excellent source for determining what news comes from real, credible sources, and what news is not. It also provides an overview of the history of news, from the printing press to the internet. Intelligently designed, this is an easy to digest guide on how to get your news and is a good fit for kids ages 10-16.

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Picture Books

The Little Spacecraft That Could by Richard Ho
Illustrations by Jessica Lanan

How do the packages we send out get to where they need to go? This lovely picture book tells the story of a package sent with love and how it ended up in the right person’s hands. The package’s journey is surprising and heartwarming, and is perfectly complemented by delicate watercolor illustrations. A great choice for sharing with children ages 4-7.

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The Oboe Goes Boom Boom Boom by Colleen AF Venable
Illustrations by Lian Cho
Jonny Jakes

A delightful introduction to common instruments found in any school band. When band director Mr. V wants to show off the sound of his instruments, eager Felicity keeps interrupting with the “BOOM BOOM BOOM” of her drum. Will Felicity ever be tempted away from her drum? Both funny and informative, this is a good choice for children ages 4-8.

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Graphic Novels

Blancaflor by  Nadja Spiegelman and Sergio García Sánchez

In this folktale from Latin America, a magical maiden named Blancaflor and a silly prince fall in love. When the girl’s father tries to trick the prince and kill him, Blancaflor uses her powers to save him. Vivid and expressive art add to this folktale, and the result is delightful. A good pick for fans of fairy tales in grades 4-8.

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Saving Sorya by Trang Nguyen and illustrated by Jeet Zdung
Dog Man Unleashed

Based on author Trang Nguyen’s real life experiences as a conservationist, this is the story of one girl’s work to rehabilitate a sun bear and find her a new home. Interspersed with facts about conservation, this is a beautiful and moving story. An excellent choice for animal lovers in grades 4-6.

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