BOOKS

 
 

IBHUBESI: THE LION  (ih-boo-BAY-zee)

THE ABSOLUTE VALUE OF MIKE


1 teenage boy + 1 crazy town + 3 weeks - $40,000.  You do the math. 


Mike tries so hard to please his father but the only language Dad seems to speak is calculus.  And for a boy with a math learning disability, nothing could be more difficult.  When his dad sends him to live with distant relatives in rural Pennsylvania for the summer to work on an engineering project, Mike figures this is his big chance to buckle down and prove himself.  But when he gets there, nothing is what he thought it would be -- not the project, not the relatives, not even the town.  Mike may not learn anything about engineering, but what he does learn is far more valuable.

QUAKING

After years of being batted around, fourteen year old Matt has learned to rely on herself at school and everywhere.  “Biology is good.   I am an expert.   We are studying morphing, but I have already morphed.  I have my own exoskeleton.  . . I have spent years developing my armor and I will not let it be pierced.”  She must call on all of her resources to handle Mr. Warhead, the Rat, and the Wall at her new school, not to mention the Beast in her head.  But somehow it is even more difficult to cope with the warm Quaker family, her "last chance," who has taken her in.  Why does Jessica insist on acting like a mom, for God's sake?  Why can't their little boy with his gack covered fingers just leave her alone?  And why does Sam have to care about her--and everything--so much?  Doesn't he realize that only gets you hurt?  And even though Matt knows that pain very well, why is she finally letting down her armor and allowing herself to care? 

Spring, 1968.  A time of turmoil in the United States and throughout the world.  John Pedersen, son of a tyrannical American diplomat, is stuck in apartheid South Africa.  In secret defiance of apartheid and his father's orders, John strikes up a forbidden friendship with the family's black servant, Solomon.  Through Solomon, John learns the language and plight of the Zulu people.  He sees how apartheid destroys a society and how his own father's racism and fanaticism are destroying the family.  He realizes the behavior is based on fear and that, as Solomon says, "the fear is killing us all."  But will John face his own fear and stand up to his father?  Can he protect his younger brother and sister and - literally - stand in the line of fire to save Solomon?  Is he brave enough to deserve the nickname Ibhubesi, Lion, and choose his own path . . . freedom?

IBHUBESI: THE LION

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Amazon

SEEING RED


Life will never be the same for Red Porter. He’s a kid growing up around black car grease, white fence paint, and the backward attitudes of the folks who live in his hometown, Stony Gap, Virginia.

Red’s daddy, his idol, has just died, leaving Red and Mama with some hard decisions and a whole lot of doubt.  Should they sell the Porter family business, a gas station, repair shop, and convenience store, rolled into one, where the slogan  — “Porter’s: We Fix It Right!” — has been shouting the family’s pride for as long as anyone can remember?

With Daddy gone, everything’s different. Through his friendship with Thomas, Beau, Rosie, and Miss Georgia, Red starts to see there’s a lot more than car motors and rusty fenders that need fixing in his world.

When Red discovers the injustices that have been happening in Stony Gap since before he was born, he’s faced with unsettling questions about his family’s legacy.

DISCUSSION GUIDE with Common Core links!

MOCKINGBIRD  (National Book Award, 2010)


In Caitlin’s world, everything is black or white.  Things are good or bad.  Anything in between is confusing.  That’s the stuff Caitlin’s older brother, Devon, has always explained.  But now Devon’s dead, and her father cries a lot.  Caitlin wants to get over it, but as an eleven-year-old girl with Asperger’s, she doesn’t know how.  When she reads the definition of “closure” in the dictionary, she realizes that is what she and her father need.  In her search for Closure, Caitlin discovers that not everything is black and white--the world is full of colors--messy and beautiful, and it is through this discovery that she embarks on a road which leads her to find both healing and Closure.


 

THE ABSOLUTE VALUE OF MIKE

Order from

Indiebound

Barnes & Noble

Amazon

SEEING RED

Order from

Indiebound

Barnes & Noble

Amazon

THE BADGER KNIGHT


An adventure story set in the Middle Ages about a small, sickly 13 year old boy with albinism who runs off to battle to prove he's a man -- which he succeeds in doing, but not in the way he thought.