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People of Color

Nine Pound Hammer by John Claude Bemis


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The Featured Book of the Day is John Claude Bemis’ Nine Pound Hammer.

We all know the tall tales of John Henry and Johnny Appleseed, legends that are fun to tell, but of course never happened. Or did they? Twelve year old Ray has the strangest memories about his father…and he has weirdest feeling that his dad was able to talk to animals. Ray needs to find out what happened to his father and decides to go on a long journey to find him.

Ray encounters a group of sideshow performers and travels with them in an old train, but notices that something odd is going on. There is a locked train car, and he’s been hearing singing at night. He soon learns that the legends he read about at a young age are, in fact, true and now the evil that these old mythical characters have fought in the past is returning, and Ray must help put a stop to it before it is too late.

The Poet Slave of Cuba: A Biography of Juan Francisco Manzano by Margarita Engle

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Today’s Featured Book of Color is The Poet Slave of Cuba: A Biography of Juan Francisco Manzanao by Margarita Engle.

Cuban poet Juan Francisco Manzano was born into a slave owner’s household in 1797. From the time of his birth, his life was not his own. He was forced to call a woman “Mama,” who wasn’t his real mother. And even though he was not allowed to go to school, he still had a remarkable way with words, and his talent showed through in his poetry.

As a poet slave, Manzano wrote many beautiful poems with haunting imagery to showcase the cruelty he went through as a slave. His poetry would help him out of many punishments and he would perform his poems in front of his mistress’guests. Learn more about Manzano’s rough life with Engle’s free verse book.

Red Glass by Laura Resau


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Today’s Featured Book of Color is Red Glass by Laura Resau.

Pablo a 6-year-old Mexican boy is facing dehydration in a hospital room after attempting to cross into the Arizona border with his family. The only problem is his family didn’t survive and he’s now an orphan, but there is hope in a business card he is holding.

Sophie’s stepfather is called into the hospital, but he does not recognize the little boy. Pablo comes to live with the family anyway, including Sophie’s Aunt Dika, a refugee from Bosnia.

A year goes by, and the family gets in contact with Pablo’s extended family in Mexico, and now Pablo must make a decision on who he wants to remain with. Sophie loves Pablo and is torn up inside about what will happen; she must learn that life is still beautiful even when tragedies occur.

Ring of Fire by P.D. Baccalario


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Today’s Featured Book of the Day is Ring of Fire by P.D. Baccalario.

Sometimes, it takes a child to solve the toughest mystery. In Ring of Fire, the first in the Century Quartet series, four kids find themselves in the midst of a mystery in foreign Rome, Italy, and prove themselves as top notch detective.

Due to a mix-up in hotel reservations, four children from around the world are forced to stay together in the same hotel room: Harvey from New York, Mistral from Paris, Sheng from Shanghai, and Elettra, the hotel owner’s daughter. It isn’t long before they realize that they were all born on Leap Day, February 29, making them quick friends.

One night, a mysterious man comes to visit them and gives them a briefcase to take care of until he returns for it. There is just one problem, the man is murdered. Now, the kids need to solve a mystery that will take them all over Rome to search for the Ring of Fire, an ancient object that is extremely difficult to control.

Riot by Walter Dean Meyers


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Today’s Featured Book of Color, Pick of the Day is Riot by Walter Dean Meyers.

Sine 1863, New York City has been the setting of some of the worst race riots in American history, partly due to Abraham Lincoln’s draft allowing anyone who can pay a fee of $300 to avoid fighting in the war. In Riot, New York becomes the scene of one such violent uprising in which many African-Americans are beaten and murdered. Despite the return of soldiers to enforce some peace, it seems as if there is no hope left in the world. And, right in the middle, is teenage Claire.

As the daughter of an Irish mother and black father, Claire cannot pick sides and is torn between her two identities. Claire needs to find the courage inside of her to figure out who she is while also trying to fit back into her war torn community.

A Season of Gifts by Richard Peck

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A Season of Gifts is today’s featured book of the day.

Grandma Dowdel is back and she’s ready to help out the new family that has just moved next door…even if they believe or want the help of their older and much wiser neighbor.

It’s Christmas season in 1958 and Mrs. Dowdel is ready to give some special gifts to the her new neighbors: a young minister and his wife. All of them need her help, including their children. Bob, the boy, isn’t brave enough to defend himself against the school bullies. Phyllis, the oldest, is in love with Elvis Presley and Ruth Ann, the youngest, needs a role moder.

Mrs. Dowdel will find a way into their hearts and make them realize just how great a neighbor she is.

Solace of the Road – Siobhan Dowd


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Siobhan Dowd’s Solace of the Road is today’s featured book of the day.
Holly Hogan is tired of her life as a foster child. She no longer wants to deal with social workers, or rules, reports, and reviews. She is done with all of it. And so, she packs her things and decides to ditch town and the old Holly Hogan.

Holly puts on a blonde wig, stands tall, and checks herself out in her mirror. She blows her old self a kiss goodbye. Now, she is Solace, Solace of the road and she is determined to find her birth mother. Join Holly on an adventure of lifetime in Siobhan Dowd’s last novel before her death in 2007.

The Indigo Notebook by Laura Resau

The Indigo Notebook by Laura Resau is today’s Featured Book of The Day.


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Zeeta only wants one thing, to live an ordinary life without having to move every year with her eccentric English-teaching mother. A mother who is friends with poor artists, quotes poetry, and is a free spirit everywhere they go. Each year Zeeta finds herself in a different country and this time it’s the Ecuadoran Andes.

There she meets an American teenager, Wendell, who asks Zeeta to help him find his birth parents. Together they embark on a journey that brings them closer to their dreams as well as each other. But, they will also have to face many dangers including venomous creatures, caves, and other exotic places. Will the reality of their fantasies be everything they hoped they for, or will they realize another form of happiness?

Skellig by David Almond


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Today’s Featured Book of the Day is Skellig by David Almond. For Michael, after moving into his new home, life takes a frantic turn. His younger sister becomes severely ill and close to death. His parents are frantic and worried about what will happen to their daughter. At just ten, Michael feels as though he cannot do anything to help out.

To get out of the way, Michael explores the old garage and sees a strange being hiding beneath cobwebs and dirt. He confides in his friend Mina and together they bring the mysterious creature out into the sunlight, which will change their lives forever.

The audio book includes two pieces from the opera inspired by the book, Skellig.

Parvana’s Journey by Deborah Ellis


Parvana23FC.jpgToday’s Featured Book of Color is Parvana’s Journey, Deborah Ellis’ sequel to her bestselling Breadwinner. Parvana’s Journey follows Parvana as she travels alone across war-ridden Afghanistan in search of her mother and sisters. Having lost her father, Parvana encounters many different people, including an orphaned baby and another girl traveling alone.

With their help, it might be possible for Parvana to reunite with her family. Although many an untold danger lies in wait, a child’s courage should never be underestimated and Parvana discovers that she is capable of many things.

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