From two-time Caldecott winner
Chris Van Allsburg, creator of Jumanji and The Polar Express, comes a poignant story of one hamster's struggle with destiny. Being a
pet store hamster isn't much fun for Sweetie Pie, but life in human
homes proves downright perilous. As Sweetie Pie longingly gazes out of
his cage at the squirrels frolicking in the trees, he wonders if he'll
ever have the chance to feel the wind in his fur. Allsburg's expressive,
soft-hued illustrations artfully capture a hamster's-eye view of the
wide and wonderful world where maybe, just maybe, Sweetie Pie could
someday run free.
*Chris Van Allsburg will also join us on Thacker Mountain Radio at 6 p.m.
Her risky and often surreal encounters with the people and wildlife of New Zealand propel Elyria deeper into her deteriorating mind. Haunted by her sister’s death and consumed by an inner violence, her growing rage remains so expertly concealed that those who meet her sense nothing unwell. This discord between her inner and outer reality leads her to another obsession: If her truest self is invisible and unknowable to others, is she even alive?
The risks Elyria takes on her journey are paralleled by the risks Catherine Lacey takes on the page. In urgent, spiraling prose she whittles away at the rage within Elyria and exposes the very real, very knowable anxiety of the human condition. And yet somehow Lacey manages to poke fun at her unrelenting self-consciousness, her high-stakes search for the dark heart of the self. In the spirit of Haruki Murakami and Amelia Gray, Nobody Is Ever Missing is full of mordant humor and uncanny insights, as Elyria waffles between obsession and numbness in the face of love, loss, danger, and self-knowledge.
In true southern style, Goodnight Ole Miss introduces readers of all ages to this historic University, which opened its doors to students in 1848. Colorful illustrations and rhymes give a glimpse of the intangible spirit and love of tradition at Ole Miss. Notable alumni include William Faulkner, Archie and Eli Manning and Michael Oher of The Blind Side.
It's 1964, and Sunny's town is
being invaded. Or at least that's what the adults of Greenwood,
Mississippi are saying. All Sunny knows is that people from up north are
coming to help people register to vote. They're calling it Freedom
Meanwhile, Sunny can't help but feel like her house is being invaded, too. She has a new stepmother, a new brother, and a new sister crowding her life, giving her little room to breathe. And things get even trickier when Sunny and her brother are caught sneaking into the local swimming pool -- where they bump into a mystery boy whose life is going to become tangled up in theirs.
As she did in her groundbreaking documentary novel COUNTDOWN award-winning author Deborah Wiles uses stories and images to tell the riveting story of a certain time and place -- and of kids who, in a world where everyone is choosing sides, must figure out how to stand up for themselves and fight for what's right.
Deborah Wiles was born in Alabama and grew up in an Air Force family, moving many times but digging deep roots into the Mississippi soil of her extended family. She still travels "down South" today from her longtime home in Frederick, Maryland, where she lives with her family and works as a freelance writer. She also teaches writing and oral history workshops--sharing with children how all history is really biography, and how every person's story is important. Freedom Summer is her first book.
In this latest entry in the #1 New
York Times-bestselling series, Skippyjon Jones, the Siamese cat that
thinks he's a Chihuahua dog, stars in a Snow White-esque fairy tale set
in the winter wonderland of his imagination. Includes a bonus CD. Full
A LITTLE ABOUT JUDY
“I was the last child and only daughter born to Edward and Mary Francis Byron on August 20th, 1951 in the city of Waltham, Massachusetts. My oldest brother Ted was very good at art and my middle brother Kevin kept me laughing with his funny stories.
Growing up we didn’t have much money. My mother was very ill, and to make matters worse, I was extremely shy. All my teachers complained that “Judith needs to speak up in class, Judith needs to improve in arithmetic, and Judith needs to finish her work on time.” But no one complained about my artwork. On paper I drew myself a world where mothers were healthy and teachers were kind. My life was perfection in pencil.
In 1969, Massachusetts College of Art accepted me as a student despite my poor SAT scores. I graduated in 1973 with a BFA in illustration and went straight into the greeting card factories which included a stint at Hallmark. For five years I designed cute cards, sad cards, funny cards, and wedding cards. I was not having fun; in fact I never wanted to pick up a paintbrush again.
Then I met my husband, Bob, and for the first time in many years I could step off the 9 to 5 treadmill and devote all my energy to creating a portfolio of children’s book art. That was until two little baby girls were born. Then motherhood became my favorite new job.
Over the years I read hundreds of books to my daughters. Inspired by the art and words, I was moved once again to finish my portfolio and take it on the road to New York. That’s when I met Lucia Monfried.
The most important relationship in publishing is that of the author/illustrator and her editor. I am most lucky to have Lucia. With her gentle encouragement and wisdom she took me by the hand and helped me accomplish the impossible. In 1995 I not only illustrated my first picture book but I wrote it too. Willy and May was published to wonderful reviews and no one ever suspected my fear of semi-colons.
The great thing about my job is that one day I can be writing about history, as I did in Mr. Emerson’s Cook. The next day I’m drawing a wacky old woman for I Know An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie. Or I can bring to life a beloved pet cat in my book The Grannyman. I live in a constant state of 3rd grade bliss – making up stories and drawing pictures. Isn’t that what we all did as children?
Several years ago the great author Lloyd Alexander stood in my back yard admiring my daughters’ Viking ship (that’s another story.) Never in my wildest fantasies did I ever think that my art would inhabit his world of words. How the Cat Swallowed Thunder proves that dreams really do come true.”
Multiple award-winning author Jon Scieszka grew up in Flint, Michigan, the second oldest and the nicest of six boys. Jon went to school at Culver Military Academy in Indiana where he was a Lieutenant; Albion College in Michigan where he studied to be a doctor; and Columbia University in New York, where he received an M.F.A. in fiction. He taught elementary school in New York for ten years in a variety of positions. He is the author of many books for children including the New York Times Best Illustrated Book The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales (illustrated by Lane Smith), the Caldecott Honor book The True Story of the Three Little Pigs (illustrated by Lane Smith), and Math Curse (illustrated by Lane Smith). In addition to his work as an author, Jon also runs a web-based literacy program called "Guys Read" that is designed to encourage boys, particularly reluctant readers, to get involved with books. In 2008, Jon was named the country's first National Ambassador for Young People's Literature, a joint effort of the Library of Congress and the Children's Book Council. During his two-year role as Ambassador, he acted as a spokesperson for children's literature, speaking to groups of parents, teachers, and children to encourage the importance of reading.
In an alternate 1875 America electricity is forbidden, Native Americans and Yankees are united, and eldritch evil lurks in the shadows. Young Archie Dent knows there really are monsters in the world. His parents are members of the Septemberist Society, whose job it is to protect humanity from hideous giants called the Mangleborn. Trapped in underground prisons for a thousand years, the giant monsters have been all but forgotten—but now they are rising again as the steam-driven America of 1875 rediscovers electricity, the lifeblood of the Mangleborn. When his parents and the rest of the Septemberists are brainwashed by one of the evil creatures, Archie must assemble a team of seven young heroes to save the world.
About the Author
ALAN GRATZ is the author of Samurai Shortstop, an ALA 2007 Top Ten Book for Young Adults. He began writing The League of Seven by listing all the things that ten-year-old Alan would have thought were awesome, including brass goggles, airships, tentacled monsters, brains in jars, windup robots, secret societies, and super powers. (In fact, he still thinks all those things are awesome.) He lives in North Carolina with his wife and daughter.