Past BES Books
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Past BES Books
Past Nominees for the Black-Eyed Susan Award
Curated by Tricia Lige
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"Here Lies Linc" by Delia Ray -- Click to read an excerpt

"Here Lies Linc" by Delia Ray -- Click to read an excerpt | Past BES Books | Scoop.it

Graveyards can be scary and sinister places indeed, but to twelve-year-old Lincoln Crenshaw, they’re practically home. His absentminded-professor mother, Lottie, is an expert in the history of burial customs. Which means that year after year, Linc’s been dragged to more cemeteries than he can remember.

 

But this year is going to be different. Linc’s leaving his tiny private school and starting public school, and he’s determined to be just a normal kid with a normal social life. And everything goes according to plan until he gets his first research assignment: a mandatory class trip . . . to the local cemetery . . . to study graves.

 

Then everything changes. As Linc unearths the truth about a grave that local legend claims is cursed, he starts to unravel secrets about his own family. Big secrets. Life-changing secrets.

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Rescooped by Tricia Lige from Black-Eyed Susan Books 2014-15 Grades 4-6
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"Summer at Forsaken Lake " by Michael D. Beil  

"Summer at Forsaken Lake " by Michael D. Beil   | Past BES Books | Scoop.it

City-kids Nicholas and younger twin sisters Hayley and Hetty are off to spend the summer with their Great-Uncle Nick at his house on Forsaken Lake.

 

The summer takes a turn toward the mysterious, though, when Nicholas discovers an old movie that his father made as a boy: it tells the story of the local legend, The Seaweed Strangler, but was never finished. Before long Nicholas wants answers both about the legend, and about the movie. Together, he and his new friend Charlie work to uncover the truth and discover some long-buried family secrets along the way.

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Tricia Lige's curator insight, May 9, 2013 10:56 AM

Visit the author's website to read about his inspiration for this novel and to watch the original movie "The Seaweed Strangler."

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"Looking for Me" by Betsy R. Rosenthal

"Looking for Me" by Betsy R. Rosenthal | Past BES Books | Scoop.it

One of 12 siblings growing up in depression-era Baltimore, Edith isn't quite sure of who she is. Between working at her father’s diner, taking care of her younger siblings, and living in the shadow of her more mature sisters, Edith feels lost in a sea of siblings. When a kind teacher encourages Edith to be a teacher herself one day, Edith sees prospects for a future all her own. Full of joy, pain, humor, and sadness, this novel in verse is a wonderful look at the life of Edith Paul, the author's mother, and is an enduring portrait (complete with family photos and an author's note at the end) of one family's pursuit of the American dream.

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Tricia Lige's curator insight, May 10, 2013 9:56 AM

Written in verse, this book is set right here in Baltimore!

Rescooped by Tricia Lige from Black-Eyed Susan Books 2014-15 Grades 4-6
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"The Great Wall of Lucy Wu" by Wendy Shang

"The Great Wall of Lucy Wu" by Wendy Shang | Past BES Books | Scoop.it

Lucy Wu, aspiring basketball star and interior designer, is on the verge of having the best year of her life. She's ready to rule the school as a sixth grader and take over the bedroom she has always shared with her sister. In an instant, though, her plans are shattered when she finds out that Yi Po, her beloved grandmother's sister, is coming to visit for several months -- and is staying in Lucy's room. Lucy's vision of a perfect year begins to crumble, and in its place come an unwelcome roommate, foiled birthday plans, and Chinese school with the awful Talent Chang.

 

Her plans are ruined -- or are they? Like the Chinese saying goes: Events that appear to be good or bad luck often turn out to be quite the opposite, and Lucy finds that while she may not get the "perfect" year she had in mind, she can create something even better.

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Rescooped by Tricia Lige from Black-Eyed Susan Books 2014-15 Grades 4-6
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"The PS Brothers" by Maribeth Boelts

"The PS Brothers" by Maribeth Boelts | Past BES Books | Scoop.it

Russell and Shawn call themselves the PS Brothers: P is for poop, S is for scoop, and Brothers is because they’re best friends. Scooping poop is the fastest way to earn money to buy a puppy. These two are crazy about dogs. And they’re sure that once their puppy grows into a tough dog, no one will ever pick on them for being weak or poor again. Unfortunately, getting a puppy is not that easy. Russell and Shawn don’t count on uncovering a dog-fighting ring—and that can bust apart a dream faster than a dog can sniff out a bone.

 

But doing the right thing might still get them what they want—and maybe even more.

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"Glory Be" by Augusta Scattergood

"Glory Be" by Augusta Scattergood | Past BES Books | Scoop.it

A Mississippi town in 1964 gets riled when tempers flare at the segregated public pool.

As much as Gloriana June Hemphill, or Glory as everyone knows her, wants to turn twelve, there are times when Glory wishes she could turn back the clock a year. Jesslyn, her sister and former confidante, no longer has the time of day for her now that she’ll be entering high school. Then there’s her best friend, Frankie. Things have always been so easy with Frankie, and now suddenly they aren’t. Maybe it’s the new girl from the North that’s got everyone out of sorts. Or maybe it’s the debate about whether or not the town should keep the segregated public pool open.

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"Hidden" by Helen Frost (Click to read an excerpt)

"Hidden" by Helen Frost (Click to read an excerpt) | Past BES Books | Scoop.it

When Wren and Darra meet at age fourteen, they recognize each other instantly, though they’ve never actually met. It has been six years since something happened that affected each of them profoundly: Darra’s father stole a car and drove it home, not knowing that Wren was hiding in the back. Darra was the only one who guessed that Wren stayed hidden in their locked garage—how could she help Wren and still protect her father?

 

For Wren, hungry, thirsty, trapped and terrified, not knowing who to trust, the hours dragged on as she searched for a way out.

 

Now, in Cabin Eight at Camp Oakwood, each girl knows the other’s most private secret—and neither of them wants to talk about what happened.

 

For the most part, they manage to avoid each other—until their Lifesaving teacher introduces a game called “Drown Last,” and Wren and Darra meet underwater in an intense encounter that leaves them both gasping for air—and answers—when they surface.

 

**Summary from http://www.helenfrost.net/item.php?postid=30

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"On the Blue Comet" by Rosemary Wells

"On the Blue Comet" by Rosemary Wells | Past BES Books | Scoop.it

Trains and time travel spur one boy's thrilling adventure as he seeks to rejoin his father in a new classic from Rosemary Wells and Bagram Ibatoulline.

 

One day in a house at the end of Lucifer Street, on the Mississippi River side of Cairo, Illinois, eleven-year-old Oscar Ogilvie's life is changed forever. The Crash of 1929 has rippled across the country, and Oscar's dad must sell their home--with all their cherished model trains--and head west in search of work. Forced to move in with his humorless aunt, Carmen and his teasing cousin, Willa Sue, Oscar is lonely and miserable--until he meets a mysterious drifter and witnesses a crime so stunning it catapults Oscar on an incredible train journey from coast to coast, from one decade to another.

 

Filled with suspense and peppered with witty encounters with Hollywood stars and other bigwigs of history, this captivating novel by Rosemary Wells, gorgeously illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline, resonates with warmth, humor, and the true magic of a timeless adventure.

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"Ninth Ward" by Jewell Parker Rhodes -- Click to learn about the real 9th Ward in New Orleans

"Ninth Ward" by Jewell Parker Rhodes -- Click to learn about the real 9th Ward in New Orleans | Past BES Books | Scoop.it

Twelve-year-old Lanesha lives in a tight-knit community in New Orleanes’ Ninth Ward. She doesn’t have a fancy house like her uptown family or lots of friends like other kids on her street. But what she does have is Mama Ya-Ya, her fiercely loving caretaker, wise in the ways of the world and able to predict the future. So when Mama Ya-Ya’s visions show a powerful hurricane–Katrina–fast approaching, it’s up to Lanesha to call upon the hope and strength Mama Ya-Ya has given her to help them both survive the storm.

 

Ninth Ward is a celebration of resilience, love, family, and friendship, and a deeply emotional story of transformation.

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"Wild Wings" by Gill Lewis (also known as "Sky Hawk" in the UK)

This is a book trailer for the book Wild Wings by Gill Lewis. View this trailer to learn more about this book...

 

Something lives deep within the forest... something that has not been seen on Callum's farm for over a hundred years. Callum and Iona make a promise to keep their amazing discovery secret. But is it enough to keep their secret safe from harm? From glittering lochs, across wide oceans to far off lands, the pact Callum and Iona make will change lives forever.

 

*Summary from the author's website. Look for "Sky Hawk" at www.gilllewis.com

 

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"Inside Out and Back Again" by Thanhha Lai

"No one would believe me but at times I would choose wartime in Saigon over peacetime in Alabama."

 

For all the ten years of her life, Hà has only known Saigon: the thrills of its markets, the joy of its traditions, the warmth of her friends close by . . . and the beauty of her very own papaya tree.

 

But now the Vietnam War has reached her home. Hà and her family are forced to flee as Saigon falls, and they board a ship headed toward hope. In America, Hà discovers the foreign world of Alabama: the coldness of its strangers, the dullness of its food, the strange shape of its landscape . . . and the strength of her very own family.

 

This is the moving story of one girl's year of change, dreams, grief, and healing as she journeys from one country to another, one life to the next.

 

*Summary from http://www.harpercollinschildrens.com/books/Inside-Out-Back-Again-Thanhha-Lai/

 

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"Born to Fly" by Michael J. Ferrari -- Click here to watch a flight video

"Born to Fly" by Michael J. Ferrari -- Click here to watch a flight video | Past BES Books | Scoop.it

This is the story of eleven-year-old tomboy Bird McGill.

 

Ever since she can remember, Bird has loved flying in small propeller airplanes with her mechanic dad. When the local airstrip is turned into a military flight school, Bird is in heaven.

 

But when a young Japanese American student named Kenji Fujita joins Bird’s class, the entire school seems to be convinced that he’s a spy, or at the very least, that he and his uncle want the Japanese to win.

 

Visit http://michaeljferrari.com, theofficial website of the Delacorte Yearling author Michael J. Ferrari, and his book, Born To Fly for book reviews and more information. 

 

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"May B." by Caroline Starr Rose

"May B." by Caroline Starr Rose | Past BES Books | Scoop.it

I won't go.

 

"It's for the best," Ma says,

yanking to braid my hair,

trying to make something of what's left.

 

Ma and Pa want me to leave

and live with strangers.

 

I won't go.

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Tricia Lige's curator insight, May 9, 2013 10:43 AM

This book is written in verse, which means the author uses poems to tell the story.  May is only supposed to be away from home until Christmas, but something terrible happens. Watch the book trailer from the author's website.

Rescooped by Tricia Lige from Black-Eyed Susan Books 2014-15 Grades 4-6
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"Ungifted" by Gordon Korman

"Ungifted" by Gordon Korman | Past BES Books | Scoop.it

A young struggling student troublemaker is accidentally transferred to a school for highly-gifted genius-level students. To say he doesn't fit in would be a severe understatement. But while Donovan Curtis in no way belongs, he does find things he can contribute.

How long will it take for the school to realize he doesn't belong? How much trouble will he get in as they figure it out? And how many lives will he change in the process? Hard questions to answer without reading the book. Thankfully, it is a fun read, so discovering these answers will be a joy.

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Tricia Lige's curator insight, May 9, 2013 11:00 AM

Read an excerpt from the author's website.

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"Saint Louis Armstrong Beach" by Brenda Woods

"Saint Louis Armstrong Beach" by Brenda Woods | Past BES Books | Scoop.it

From "School Library Journal"....Saint Louis Armstrong Beach is an 11-year-old, clarinet-playing resident of Tremé, a neighborhood near the French Quarter in New Orleans. As Saint saves up his street-performing tips for a new clarinet and tries to make sense of his broken relationship with his former best friend, a catastrophic storm gathers. Saint is forced to evacuate the city, but decides to turn back in search of the neighborhood stray dog.

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"The Grave Robber's Apprentice" by Allan Stratton

"The Grave Robber's Apprentice" by Allan Stratton | Past BES Books | Scoop.it

Hans is on the run from his adoptive father, a grave robber who found him as a baby hidden inside a wooden box that washed ashore. Now fate has introduced Hans to Angela von Schwanenberg, a young countess fleeing the evil forces of Archduke Arnulf, who has chosen her to be the next in his long line of brides, and the dreaded Necromancer.

 

Together, Hans and Angela gallop through dark forests, treacherous lands and secret passageways on their quest to uncover the truth about Hans’ shadowy past and save Angela’s parents from the archduke’s monstrous asylum. In this world of highwaymen, hermits and dancing bears, anything is possible—even for a grave robber’s apprentice.

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Tricia Lige's curator insight, May 10, 2013 10:24 AM

Visit this site to watch a book trailer from the publisher!

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"The Mighty Miss Malone" by Christopher Paul Curtis

"The Mighty Miss Malone" by  Christopher Paul Curtis | Past BES Books | Scoop.it

"We are a family on a journey to a place called wonderful" is the motto of Deza Malone's family. Deza is the smartest girl in her class in Gary, Indiana, singled out by teachers for a special path in life. But the Great Depression hit Gary hard, and there are no jobs for black men.

 

When her beloved father leaves to find work, Deza, Mother, and her older brother Jimmie go in search of him, and end up in a Hooverville outside Flint, Michigan. Jimmie's beautiful voice inspires him to leave the camp to be a performer, while Deza and Mother find a new home, and cling to the hope that they will find Father. The twists and turns of their story reveal the devastation of the Depression and prove that Deza truly is the Mighty Miss Malone.

 

Tricia Lige's insight:

Tricia Lige's insight:        

Watch a book trailer from BaldwinBoroLibrary at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TtoahaZiUiE

and watch an interview with the author at

http://bcove.me/19x8eqx1

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Tricia Lige's curator insight, May 10, 2013 10:38 AM

Watch a book trailer from BaldwinBoroLibrary at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TtoahaZiUiE

and watch an interview with the author at

http://bcove.me/19x8eqx1

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"Okay for Now" by Gary D. Schmidt (Click to read book review)

"Okay for Now" by Gary D. Schmidt (Click to read book review) | Past BES Books | Scoop.it

Fourteen-year-old Doug doesn’t have much going for him. He just moved to a new town, has no friends, and his older brother is a jerk. As Doug works hard to be more than the thug that people believe him to be, he finds an unlikely ally named Lil. Since she believes in him, he begins to believe in himself–and learn things about himself that he never knew. Through Lil and a connection he has made at the library, Doug finds the strength to endure his life: a town suspicious of him, an abusive father, and his brother, home from Vietnam and forever scarred. Doug learns not only how to survive his existence–but how to thrive in it.

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"A Tale Dark and Grimm" by Adam Gidwitz (Click to read an excerpt from Chapter 1)

"A Tale Dark and Grimm" by Adam Gidwitz (Click to read an excerpt from Chapter 1) | Past BES Books | Scoop.it

Reader, beware.

 

Warlocks with dark spells, hunters with deadly aim, and bakers with ovens retro-fitted for baking children lurk within these pages.

 

But if you dare,

 

Follow Hansel and Gretel as they walk out of their own story and into the wilds—where magic, terror, and a little bit of humor shine like white pebbles lighting the way.

Come on in. It may be frightening, and it’s certainly bloody, but, unlike those other fairy tales you know, this one is true.

 

Once upon a time, you see, fairy tales were awesome.

_______________________

In this mischievous and utterly original debut, Hansel and Gretel walk out of their own story and into eight other classic Grimm-inspired tales. As readers follow the siblings through a forest brimming with menacing foes, they learn the true story behind (and beyond) the bread crumbs, edible houses, and outwitted witches.

 

Fairy tales have never been more irreverent or subversive as Hansel and Gretel learn to take charge of their destinies and become the clever architects of their own happily ever after.

 

**Summary from http://www.adamgidwitz.com/books/a-tale-dark-and-grimm

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"The Storm Before Atlanta" by Karen Schwabach

"The Storm Before Atlanta" by Karen Schwabach | Past BES Books | Scoop.it

Historical Fiction: Civil War Setting

 

At a time when most people have grown weary of the war between the states, two young children are desperate to find their way to the battlefields. Jeremy DeGroot wants nothing more than to join a troop as a drummer boy. For Dulcie, a runaway slave, freedom means she must head directly toward the fighting in the hopes that she'll become "contraband," that is, property of the Union troops. Both Jeremy and Dulcie find a place with the 107th New York Volunteer Regiment and even start to forge a friendship. But all that is threatened when they keep crossing paths with the mysterious Charlie, a young Confederate soldier, who may look like the enemy but feels more like a friend.

 

Young readers who like their fiction filled with exciting historical details, rich characters, and action-packed adventures will be drawn to The Storm Before Atlanta.

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"Eliza's Freedom Road: an Underground Railroad Diary" by Jerdine Nolen

AUTHOR NOLEN JERDINE ON ELIZA'S FREEDOM ROAD

 

It is 1854 in Alexandria, Virginia. Eliza’s mother has been sent away and it is Abbey, the cook, who looks after Eliza, when Eliza isn’t taking care of the Mistress. Eliza has the quilt her mother left her and the memory of the stories she told to keep her close. When her Mistress’s health begins to fail and Eliza overhears the Master talk of Eliza being traded, Eliza takes to the night. She follows the path and the words of the farmhand Old Joe, “ … travel the night … sleep the day. Go East. Your back to the set of the sun until you come to the safe house where the candlelight lights the window.” All the while, Eliza recites the stories her mother taught her along her Freedom Road from Maryland to St. Catherine’s, Canada.

 

*Summary from the author's website. For a map of where Eliza travels and other information, visit http://www.jerdinenolen.com/elizas-freedom-road/

 

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"Jake" by Audrey Couloumbis -- Click on "About the Book" and "Reader's Guide" tabs for more info

"Jake" by  Audrey Couloumbis -- Click on "About the Book" and "Reader's Guide" tabs for more info | Past BES Books | Scoop.it

It's a few days before Christmas when 10-year-old Jake's mom slips and breaks her leg. For as long as Jake can remember, it's just been him and his mom, so with no one else to look after him the hospital contacts the gruff granddad Jake only knows through awkward twice-a-year phone calls. When grandad shows up, he's nothing like Jake expected. But as Jake gets to know his grandfather and a makeshift family of friends and neighbors come together around him and his mom, he realizes that this might not be such a bad Christmas after all.

 

Visit http://libraryvoice.org/2010/06/30/book-review-jake-by-audrey-couloumbis/ for a detailed book review.

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"The Trouble with May Amelia" by Jennifer L. Holm

May Amelia lives in pioneer Washingon State in 1900, and she just can't act the part of a proper young lady. Working a farm on the rainy Nasel River isn't easy - especially when you have seven brothers and a Pappa who proclaims that Girls Are Useless. May Amelia thinks she may have finally earned her father's respect when he asks her to translate for a gentleman who's interested in buying their land and making them rich. But when the deal turns out to be a scam, Pappa places all the blame on May. It's going to take a lot of sisu - that's Finnish for guts - to make things right.

 

*Jennfier L. Holm also wrote "Turtle in Paradise," a 2011-12 Black-Eyed Susan nominee. For more information, visit the author website at http://www.jenniferholm.com/02_mybooks/14_trouble.html

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