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Jazz Owls: A Novel of the Zoot Suit Riots by Margarita Engle - Book Review

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Jazz Owls: A Novel of the Zoot Suit Riots Cover Image
By Margarita Engle, Rudy Gutierrez (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781534409439
Availability: Click Title for IN STOCK Location
Published: Atheneum Books for Young Readers - May 8th, 2018

Get out your drapes and start to jump, leap and swing to the beat! Mexican-American born sisters, 16-year-old Marisela and 14-year-old Lorena just want to dance after a long day working in the cannery. Their 12-year-old brother, Ray (also born in the States, as was their father), chaperones them as their older brother is fighting overseas. As prejudices start to boil over, the same sailors that danced with the girls (girls of Mexican, Cuban, even Chinese heritage) want to show that “uppity Cuban musician” (16-year-old Manolito of Cuba) and the “uppity Zoot-suit wearing Gangsters” (like Ray) a lesson. What would be known as the Zoot Suit Riots (but as the girls point out should have been known as Sailor Riots) explodes with violence, humiliation and arrests of the wrong people. This tells of a probably little-known piece of history, but one that was told throughout the country in various forms. Pieces of historical, music and even a bit of Mexican and Cuban heritage is given as the girls and Ray grow during the years of WW2 in California. ~ Reviewed by Jeanette

Most Marshmallows by Rowboat Watkins - Book Review

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Most Marshmallows: (Children’s Storybook,  Funny Picture Book for Kids) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781452159591
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Published: Chronicle Books - April 30th, 2019

This is completely and totally anti-establishment. DO NOT BE A MARSHMALLOW! Do not stand in straight lines! Do not be squishy! Be free! Do you own thing! Breath fire! (And why not? marshmallows and fire a great combination….) And those darn cute illustrations of marshmallows with faces, marshmallow babies being squished between parent marshmallows, marshmallows looking like acorns hanging from trees, flying marshmallows, and even marshmallows playing soccer are a delightful to the eyes. ~ Reviewed by Jeanette

Saints (Boxers & Saints #2) by Gene Luen Yang - Book Review

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By Gene Luen Yang, Gene Luen Yang (Illustrator), Lark Pien (Inked or colored by)
ISBN: 9781596436893
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: First Second - September 10th, 2013

Saints is the second book in the two book graphic series, Boxer & Saints While it is shorter than Boxers, it still packs a lot of story. We see how Four-Girl (later Vibiana), the unwanted fourth-girl of her family, defies the odds by living and dealing with a strict, old-school Chinese family ruled by her Grandfather. We even see how her story connects with Boa’s in Boxers. A tie-in with Joan of Arc brings this story into the Christian story of the Boxer Rebellion. ~ Reviewed by Jeanette

The Book in the Book in the Book by Julien Baer - Book Review

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By Julien Baer, Simon Bailly (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780823442430
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Published: Holiday House - January 8th, 2019

When Thomas wanders off while spending a day on the beach with his family, he finds a book about a boy named Thomas who is having a day on the wintery slopes. He too, wanders off and finds a book about a boy named Thomas who is a having a day out in outer space.... How long will this go? And will Thomas get back to his family? Like the story itself, the illustrations are an imaginative adventure. They bring to life a familiar tale, with some unfamiliar elements. ~ Reviewed by Jeanette

The Stuff of Stars by Marion Dane Bauer - Book Review

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By Marion Dane Bauer, Ekua Holmes (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780763678838
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Published: Candlewick - September 4th, 2018

Bauer combines science and spiritually. Both story and art create a beautiful way of showing the science of art and the art of science with poetic text and art. The illustrations are bold, rich, deep, abstract and a hit to the gut. The colors blend, melt, splatter and roll off the page. They are dark, with the right amount of light when and where needed. ~ Reviewed by Jeanette

Lu (Track #4) by Jason Reynolds - Book Review

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ISBN: 9781481450249
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Published: Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books - October 23rd, 2018

We follow Lu in the last book of the Track series, as his changes include not being a full-time runner but is also doing the hurdles (which, of course, is a metaphor for his life), learning about his father’s past, his mother’s surprise pregnancy, overcoming bullies and fears he has. Not to mention the day-to-day issues of being an albino. Yet, Lu, while having self-confidence issues, also has a good hold on who he is. That is, until he starts to have the changes occur and he redefines himself. ~ Reviewed by Jeanette


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