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HUMMINGBIRD

A spirited tale of self-belief.

Wildwood, Tennessee’s own Olive Miracle Martin is a girl of great, sparkly confidence and passions.

She loves her oddball family, church, writing, birding, her wheelchairs, and the idea of attending Macklemore Middle School after years of being home-schooled. Macklemore is the land of her hopes, full of potential friends and wild adventures, yet her osteogenesis imperfecta makes the prospect a challenge. While navigating new social mores and finding her niche within the quirky theater crowd, Olive and intrepid new friend Grace Cho hunt for the local hummingbird said to grant one fantastical wish. In a town where vividly described magic is taken as a point of fact and white feathers fall from the sky like snow, Olive’s fairy-tale wish is for bones like steel, not glass. Now she must contend with the question of whether she should—or even wants to—be anyone but who she already is. Olive can lean a tad pitch-perfect, and the world Lloyd builds is at times saccharine, but the energetic first-person narration, interspersed with Olive’s thoughts in free verse, is full of bold personality. Refreshingly, her obstacles don’t come from being a wheelchair user but from navigating an inaccessible world. Her grappling with fears and bold dreams offers a rare depiction of physical disability that is allowed to be both complicated and empowering. The book follows a White default; Grace is described as East Asian.

A spirited tale of self-belief. (author's note) (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 2, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-338-65458-5

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 9, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2022

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CHARLOTTE'S WEB

The three way chats, in which they are joined by other animals, about web spinning, themselves, other humans—are as often...

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A successful juvenile by the beloved New Yorker writer portrays a farm episode with an imaginative twist that makes a poignant, humorous story of a pig, a spider and a little girl.

Young Fern Arable pleads for the life of runt piglet Wilbur and gets her father to sell him to a neighbor, Mr. Zuckerman. Daily, Fern visits the Zuckermans to sit and muse with Wilbur and with the clever pen spider Charlotte, who befriends him when he is lonely and downcast. At the news of Wilbur's forthcoming slaughter, campaigning Charlotte, to the astonishment of people for miles around, spins words in her web. "Some Pig" comes first. Then "Terrific"—then "Radiant". The last word, when Wilbur is about to win a show prize and Charlotte is about to die from building her egg sac, is "Humble". And as the wonderful Charlotte does die, the sadness is tempered by the promise of more spiders next spring.

The three way chats, in which they are joined by other animals, about web spinning, themselves, other humans—are as often informative as amusing, and the whole tenor of appealing wit and pathos will make fine entertainment for reading aloud, too.

Pub Date: Oct. 15, 1952

ISBN: 978-0-06-026385-0

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 14, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1952

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  • Newbery Honor Book


  • National Book Award Winner


  • Coretta Scott King Book Award Winner

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BROWN GIRL DREAMING

For every dreaming girl (and boy) with a pencil in hand (or keyboard) and a story to share. (Memoir/poetry. 8-12)

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A multiaward–winning author recalls her childhood and the joy of becoming a writer.

Writing in free verse, Woodson starts with her 1963 birth in Ohio during the civil rights movement, when America is “a country caught / / between Black and White.” But while evoking names such as Malcolm, Martin, James, Rosa and Ruby, her story is also one of family: her father’s people in Ohio and her mother’s people in South Carolina. Moving south to live with her maternal grandmother, she is in a world of sweet peas and collards, getting her hair straightened and avoiding segregated stores with her grandmother. As the writer inside slowly grows, she listens to family stories and fills her days and evenings as a Jehovah’s Witness, activities that continue after a move to Brooklyn to reunite with her mother. The gift of a composition notebook, the experience of reading John Steptoe’s Stevie and Langston Hughes’ poetry, and seeing letters turn into words and words into thoughts all reinforce her conviction that “[W]ords are my brilliance.” Woodson cherishes her memories and shares them with a graceful lyricism; her lovingly wrought vignettes of country and city streets will linger long after the page is turned.

For every dreaming girl (and boy) with a pencil in hand (or keyboard) and a story to share. (Memoir/poetry. 8-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 28, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-399-25251-8

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2014

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