Cheesie announces Volume 4 with a tantalizing list of what to expect, so the fun’s not over yet.

CHEESIE MACK IS RUNNING LIKE CRAZY!

From the Cheesie Mack series , Vol. 3

Middle school has Cheesie Mack on the run.

List-loving, 11-year-old Ronald “Cheesie” Mack is back for his third outing, and this time, he’s embarking on the grand adventure of sixth grade at a new school…one he must, unfortunately, share with his eighth-grade sister June (Goon). Cheesie decides to run for class president and then decides his best friend (since kindergarten) Georgie should run instead. As they mount the strangest campaign ever, Cheesie continues his epic Point Battle against his sister (a secret game in which they score points for embarrassing or pranking each other). He also discovers track and field, kind of decides that girls are OK to hang out with and does a (sort of) good deed for Goon. Fans of teacher and children’s entertainer Cotler’s chatty, engaging Cheesie titles will be overjoyed with Cheesie’s evolving character and continued good humor and imagination. This stands alone, but events of the first two are referenced; as with the previous volumes, he invites readers to interact on his website. New-to-this-volume illustrator Holgate’s frequent black-and-white illustrations, often labeled by Cheesie, add to the fun.

Cheesie announces Volume 4 with a tantalizing list of what to expect, so the fun’s not over yet. (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: June 25, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-307-97713-7

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: April 3, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2013

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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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  • New York Times Bestseller

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BROWN GIRL DREAMING

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 25, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2014

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NIGHTBIRD

There’s a monster in Sidwell, Massachusetts, that can only be seen at night or, as Twig reveals, if passersby are near her house.

It’s her older brother, James, born with wings just like every male in the Fowler line for the last 200 years. They were cursed by the Witch of Sidwell, left brokenhearted by their forebear Lowell Fowler. Twig and James are tired of the secret and self-imposed isolation. Lonely Twig narrates, bringing the small town and its characters to life, intertwining events present and past, and describing the effects of the spell on her fractured family’s daily life. Longing for some normalcy and companionship, she befriends new-neighbor Julia while James falls in love with Julia’s sister, Agate—only to learn they are descendants of the Witch. James and Agate seem as star-crossed as their ancestors, especially when the townspeople attribute a spate of petty thefts and graffiti protesting the development of the woods to the monster and launch a hunt. The mix of romance and magic is irresistible and the tension, compelling. With the help of friends and through a series of self-realizations and discoveries, Twig grows more self-assured. She is certain she knows how to change the curse. In so doing, Twig not only changes James’ fate, but her own, for the first time feeling the fullness of family, friends and hope for the future.

Enchanting. (Magical realism. 9-12)

Pub Date: March 10, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-385-38958-7

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Wendy Lamb/Random

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

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