The Wild Girls Mother-Daughter Book Club
Come get to know other 9-12 year old girls and their moms at this monthly book club at Books Inc. Laurel Village. Named after our first selection, The Wild Girls by Pat Murphy, this club meets on the 2nd Sunday of each month at 1PM. Don't worry, it'll be just us girls!
Books Inc. in Laurel Village
3515 California Street
January 2018 Selection: Priyanka Das has so many unanswered questions: Why did her mother abandon her home in India years ago? What was it like there? And most importantly, who is her father, and why did her mom leave him behind? But Pri's mom avoids these questions--the topic of India is permanently closed.
For Pri, her mother's homeland can only exist in her imagination. That is, until she find a mysterious pashmina tucked away in a forgotten suitcase. When she wraps herself in it, she is transported to a place more vivid and colorful than any guidebook or Bollywood film. But is this the real India? And what is that shadow lurking in the background? To learn the truth, Pri must travel farther than she's ever dared and find the family she never knew.
In this heartwarming graphic novel debut, Nidhi Chanani weaves a tale about the hardship and self-discovery that is born from juggling two cultures and two worlds.
This title has Common Core connections.
November 2017 Selection: Welcome to Miss Qiunzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet's Camp for Hardcore Lady Types. The five scouts of Roanoke cabin--Jo, April, Molly, Mal, and Ripley--love their summers at camp. They get to hang out with their best friends, earn Lumberjane scout badges, annoy their no-nonsense counselor Jen . . . and go on supernatural adventures. That last one? A pretty normal occurrence at Miss Qiunzella's, where the woods contain endless mysteries.
Today is no exception. When challenge-loving April leads the girls on a hike up the TALLEST mountain they've ever seen, things don't go quite as planned. For one, they didn't expect to trespass into the lands of the ancient Cloud People, and did anyone happen to read those ominous signs some unknown person posted at the bottom of the mountain? Also, unicorns.
This hilarious, rollicking adventure series brings the beloved Lumberjanes characters into a novel format with brand-new adventures.
October 2017 Selection: Eleven-year-old Imogene (Impy) has grown up with two parents working at the Renaissance Faire, and she's eager to begin her own training as a squire. First, though, she'll need to prove her bravery. Luckily Impy has just the quest in mind--she'll go to public school after a life of being homeschooled! But it's not easy to act like a noble knight-in-training in middle school. Impy falls in with a group of girls who seem really nice (until they don't) and starts to be embarrassed of her thrift shop apparel, her family's unusual lifestyle, and their small, messy apartment. Impy has always thought of herself as a heroic knight, but when she does something really mean in order to fit in, she begins to wonder whether she might be more of a dragon after all.
As she did in Roller Girl, Victoria Jamieson perfectly--and authentically--captures the bittersweetness of middle school life with humor, warmth, and understanding.
August 2017 Selection: The search for Bigfoot gets juicy in this funny and touching story that's perfect for fans of Kate DiCamillo's Flora & Ulysses and Katherine Applegate's Crenshaw!
Lemonade Liberty Witt's mama always told her: When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. But Lem can't possibly make lemonade out of her new life in Willow Creek, California--the Bigfoot Capital of the World--where she's forced to live with a grandfather she's never met after her mother passes away.
Then she meets eleven-year-old Tobin Sky, the CEO of Bigfoot Detectives Inc., who is the sole Bigfoot investigator for their small town. After he invites Lem to be his assistant for the summer, they set out on an epic adventure to capture a shot of the elusive beast on film. But along the way, Lem and Tobin end up discovering more than they ever could have imagined. And Lem realizes that maybe she can make lemonade out of her new life after all.
May 2017 Selection: A Pakistani-American Muslim girl struggles to stay true to her family's vibrant culture while simultaneously blending in at school after tragedy strikes her community in this sweet and moving middle grade novel from the award-winning author of It's Ramadan, Curious George and Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns.
Amina has never been comfortable in the spotlight. She is happy just hanging out with her best friend, Soojin. Except now that she's in middle school everything feels different. Soojin is suddenly hanging out with Emily, one of the "cool" girls in the class, and even talking about changing her name to something more "American." Does Amina need to start changing too? Or hiding who she is to fit in? While Amina grapples with these questions, she is devastated when her local mosque is vandalized.
Amina's Voice brings to life the joys and challenges of a young Pakistani American and highlights the many ways in which one girl's voice can help bring a diverse community together to love and support each other.
April 2017 Selection: Laura Shovan's engaging, big-hearted debut is a time capsule of one class's poems during a transformative school year. Families change and new friendships form as these terrific kids grow up and move on in this whimsical novel-in-verse about finding your voice and making sure others hear it.
one year of poems,
one school set to close.
Two yellow bulldozers
ready to eat the building
in one greedy gulp.
But look out, bulldozers.
Ms. Hill's fifth-grade class
has plans for you.
They're going to speak up
and work together
to save their school.
March 2017 Selection: In this heartwarming and funny middle-grade novel by the New York Times bestselling author of Counting by 7s, Julia grows into herself while playing a Munchkin in The Wizard of Oz
Julia is very short for her age, but by the end of the summer run of The Wizard of Oz, she'll realize how big she is inside, where it counts. She hasn't ever thought of herself as a performer, but when the wonderful director of Oz casts her as a Munchkin, she begins to see herself in a new way. As Julia becomes friendly with the poised and wise Olive--one of the adults with dwarfism who've joined the production's motley crew of Munchkins--and with her deeply artistic neighbor, Mrs. Chang, Julia's own sense of self as an artist grows. Soon, she doesn't want to fade into the background--and it's a good thing, because her director has more big plans for Julia!
Bubbling over with humor and tenderness, this is an irresistible story of self-discovery and of the role models who forever change us.
February 2017 Selection: Noah Keller has a pretty normal life, until one wild afternoon when his parents pick him up from school and head straight for the airport, telling him on the ride that his name isn t really Noah and he didn t really just turn eleven in March. And he can t even ask them why not because of his Astonishing Stutter, but because asking questions is against the newly instated rules. (Rule Number Two: Don t talk about serious things indoors, because Rule Number One: They will always be listening). As Noah now "Jonah Brown" and his parents head behind the Iron Curtain into East Berlin, the rules and secrets begin to pile up so quickly that he can hardly keep track of the questions bubbling up inside him: Who, exactly, is listening and why? When did his mother become fluent in so many languages? And what really happened to the parents of his only friend, Cloud-Claudia, the lonely girl who lives downstairs? In an intricately plotted novel full of espionage and intrigue, friendship and family, Anne Nesbet cracks history wide open and gets right to the heart of what it feels like to be an outsider in a world that s impossible to understand.
January 2017 Selection: Inspired by her childhood love of books like A Secret Gardenand The Chronicles of Narnia, bestselling author Tahereh Mafi crafts a spellbinding new world where color is currency, adventure is inevitable, and friendship is found in the most unexpected places.
There are only three things that matter to twelve-year-old Alice Alexis Queensmeadow: Mother, who wouldn t missher;magic and color, whichseem to elude her; and Father, who always loved her.The day Father disappears fromFerenwood hetakes nothing but a ruler with him. But it sbeen almost three years sincethen, and Alice is determinedto find him. She loves her father even morethan she loves adventure, and she s abouttoembark on one to find the other.
But bringing Father home is no small matter. In order to find himshe ll have totravel through the mythical, dangerousland ofFurthermore, wheredown can be up, paper is alive, and left can be both right and very, very wrong. It will take all of Alice's wits (and every limbshe'sgot) tofind Father and returnhome to Ferenwood in one piece. On her quest to find Father, Alice must first find herself and hold fast to the magicoflove in the face of loss.
End-Of-Year Extravaganza meeting!
November 2016 Selection: Catrina and her family are moving to the coast of Northern California because her little sister, Maya, is sick. Cat isn't happy about leaving her friends for Bahia de la Luna, but Maya has cystic fibrosis and will benefit from the cool, salty air that blows in from the sea. As the girls explore their new home, a neighbor lets them in on a secret: There are ghosts in Bahia de la Luna. Maya is determined to meet one, but Cat wants nothing to do with them. As the time of year when ghosts reunite with their loved ones approaches, Cat must figure out how to put aside her fears for her sister's sake -- and her own.
Raina Telgemeier has masterfully created a moving and insightful story about the power of family and friendship, and how it gives us the courage to do what we never thought possible.
October 2016 Selection: With the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks approaching, Dejaas fifth-grade teacher draws the studentsa attention to the skyline outside their classroom window, pointing out where the towers once stood. At first, Deja is unable to fathom how something that happened so long ago could have any bearing on her, especially when she has more immediate problemsa her family is currently living in a shelter. But she learns that the events of 9/11 have a long reach, affecting those closest to her in ways large and small. Rhodes ("Sugar" gives readers an approachable entry point to consider the terrorist attacks of 9/11, as well as homelessness, discrimination, divorce, and other subjects. Through Dejaas interactions with classmates from a range of backgrounds (Deja is African-American, and her new friends Sabeen and Ben have Turkish and Mexican heritage, respectively), readers will develop a richer understanding of what it means to be American, as well as the interconnectedness of the present and past. Rhodes approaches a complex, painful topic with insight and grace, providing context to an event distant to the book's audience.
September 2016 Selection: A tender and compelling contemporary novel for young readers about facing loss and finding friendship, from Ally Condie, international bestselling author of the Matched series.
Kids are awesome. And they are diverse. There are children with different abilities and backgrounds and experiences, and every one of them deserves to find themselves in children's literature and to know that they matter. Ally Condie, on "Summerlost"
Sometimes it takes a new friend to bring you home." "It's the first real summer since the accident that killed Cedar's father and younger brother, Ben. Cedar and what s left of her family are returning to the town of Iron Creek for the summer. They re just settling into their new house when a boy named Leo, dressed in costume, rides by on his bike. Intrigued, Cedar follows him to the renowned Summerlost theatre festival. Soon, she not only has a new friend in Leo and a job working concessions at the festival, she finds herself surrounded by mystery. The mystery of the tragic, too-short life of the Hollywood actress who haunts the halls of Summerlost. And the mystery of the strange gifts that keep appearing for Cedar.
Infused with emotion and rich with understanding, "Summerlost"is the touching new novel from Ally Condie, the international bestselling author of the Matched series that highlights the strength of family and personal resilience in the face of tragedy.
May 2016 Selection: A girl and the wolves who love her embark on a rescue mission through Russian wilderness in this lyrical tale from the author of the acclaimed "Rooftoppers "and "Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms."
Feo s life is extraordinary. Her mother trains domesticated wolves to be able to fend for themselves in the snowy wilderness of Russia, and Feo is following in her footsteps to become a wolf wilder. She loves taking care of the wolves, especially the three who stay at the house because they refuse to leave Feo, even though they ve already been wilded. But not everyone is enamored with the wolves, or with the fact that Feo and her mother are turning them wild. And when her mother is taken captive, Feo must travel through the cold, harsh woods to save her and learn from her wolves how to survive.
From the author of "Rooftoppers," which "Booklist "called a glorious adventure, and "Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms," which "VOYA "called a treasure of a book, comes an enchanting novel about love and resilience."
April 2016 Selection: It's 1969, and the Apollo 11 mission is getting ready to go to the moon. But for half-black, half-Japanese Mimi, moving to a predominantly white Vermont town is enough to make her feel alien. Suddenly, Mimi's appearance is all anyone notices. She struggles to fit in with her classmates, even as she fights for her right to stand out by entering science competitions and joining Shop Class instead of Home Ec. And even though teachers and neighbors balk at her mixed-race family and her refusals to conform, Mimi s dreams of becoming an astronaut never fade no matter how many times she s told no.
This historical middle-grade novel is told in poems from Mimi's perspective over the course of one year in her new town, and shows readers that positive change can start with just one person speaking up."
March 2016 Selection: Pax and Peter have been inseparable ever since Peter rescued him as a kit. But one day, the unimaginable happens: Peter's dad enlists in the military and makes him return the fox to the wild.
At his grandfather's house, three hundred miles away from home, Peter knows he isn't where he should be with Pax. He strikes out on his own despite the encroaching war, spurred by love, loyalty, and grief, to be reunited with his fox.
Meanwhile Pax, steadfastly waiting for his boy, embarks on adventures and discoveries of his own.
February 2016 Selection: An exceptionally moving story of triumph against all odds set during World War 2, from the acclaimed author of "Jefferson s Sons" and for fans of "Number the Stars."
Nine-year-old Ada has never left her one-room apartment. Her mother is too humiliated by Ada s twisted foot to let her outside. So when her little brother Jamie is shipped out of London to escape the war, Ada doesn t waste a minute she sneaks out to join him.
So begins a new adventure of Ada, and for Susan Smith, the woman who is forced to take the two kids in. As Ada teaches herself to ride a pony, learns to read, and watches for German spies, she begins to trust Susan and Susan begins to love Ada and Jamie. But in the end, will their bond be enough to hold them together through wartime? Or will Ada and her brother fall back into the cruel hands of their mother?
This masterful work of historical fiction is equal parts adventure and a moving tale of family and identity a classic in the making."
January 2016 Selection:Nothing exciting happens on the Hill of Dust, in the remote mountains of Mexico in the 1950s. There's no electricity, no plumbing, no cars, just day after day of pasturing goats. And now, without his sister and mother, eleven-year-old Teo's life feels even more barren. And then one day, the mysterious young Esma, who calls herself the Gypsy Queen of Lightning, rolls into town like a fresh burst of color. Against all odds, her caravan's Mistress of Destiny predicts that Teo and Esma will be longtime friends. Suddenly, life brims with possibility. With the help of a rescued duck, a three-legged skunk, a blind goat, and other allies, Teo and Esma must overcome obstacles-even death-to fulfill their impossible destiny. Inspired by true stories derived from rural Mexico, The Lightning Queen offers a glimpse of the encounter between two fascinating but marginalized cultures--the Rom and the Mixtec Indians--while telling the heart-warming story of an unlikely friendship that spans generations.
November 2015 Selection: Do you believe in magic? Micah Tuttle does.
Even though his awful Great-Aunt Gertrudis doesn t approve, Micah believes in the stories his dying Grandpa Ephraim tells him of the magical Circus Mirandus: the invisible tiger guarding the gates, the beautiful flying birdwoman, and the magician more powerful than any other the Man Who Bends Light. Finally, Grandpa Ephraim offers proof. The Circus is real. And the Lightbender owes Ephraim a miracle. With his friend Jenny Mendoza in tow, Micah sets out to find the Circus and the man he believes will save his grandfather. The only problem is, the Lightbender doesn't want to keep his promise. And now it's up to Micah to get the miracle he came for."
October 2015 Selection: A stunning debut about how grief can open the world in magical ways.
After her best friend dies in a drowning accident, Suzy is convinced that the true cause of the tragedy was a rare jellyfish sting. Retreating into a silent world of imagination, she crafts a plan to prove her theory--even if it means traveling the globe, alone. Suzy's achingly heartfelt journey explores life, death, the astonishing wonder of the universe...and the potential for love and hope right next door.
May 2015 Selection: What if your pencil had all the answers? Would you ace every test? Would you know what your teachers were thinking? When Ava Anderson finds a scratched up pencil she doodles like she would with any other pencil. But when she writes a question in the margin of her math quiz, she hears a clear answer in a voice no one else seems to hear.
With the help of her friend Sophie, Ava figures out that the pencil will answer factual questions only - those with definite right or wrong answers - but won't predict the future. Ava and Sophie discover all kinds of uses for the pencil, and Ava's confidence grows with each answer. But it's getting shorter with every sharpening, and when the pencil reveals a scary truth about Ava's family, she realizes that sometimes the bravest people are the ones who live without all the answers...
April 2015 Selection: National Book Award Winner
"Jacqueline Woodson, one of today's finest writers, tells the moving story of her childhood in mesmerizing verse. "
Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement. Touching and powerful, each poem is both accessible and emotionally charged, each line a glimpse into a child's soul as she searches for her place in the world. Woodson's eloquent poetry also reflects the joy of finding her voice through writing stories, despite the fact that she struggled with reading as a child. Her love of stories inspired her and stayed with her, creating the first sparks of the gifted writer she was to become.
Praise for Jacqueline Woodson:
Ms. Woodson writes with a sure understanding of the thoughts of young people, offering a poetic, eloquent narrative that is not simply a story . . . but a mature exploration of grown-up issues and self-discovery."--"The New York Times Book Review"
March 2015 Selection: Going to school and making new friends can be tough. But going to school and making new friends while wearing a bulky hearing aid strapped to your chest? That requires superpowers! In this funny, poignant graphic novel memoir, author/illustrator Cece Bell chronicles her hearing loss at a young age and her subsequent experiences with the Phonic Ear, a very powerful--and very awkward--hearing aid.
The Phonic Ear gives Cece the ability to hear--sometimes things she shouldn't--but also isolates her from her classmates. She really just wants to fit in and find a true friend, someone who appreciates her as she is. After some trouble, she is finally able to harness the power of the Phonic Ear and become "El Deafo, Listener for All." And more importantly, declare a place for herself in the world and find the friend she's longed for.
February 2015 Selection: Armani Curtis can think about only one thing: her tenth birthday. All her friends are coming to her party, her mama is making a big cake, and she has a good feeling about a certain wrapped box. Turning ten is a big deal to Armani. It means she's older, wiser, more responsible. But when Hurricane Katrina hits the Lower Nines of New Orleans, Armani realizes that being ten means being brave, watching loved ones die, and mustering all her strength to help her family weather the storm. A powerful story of courage and survival, Upside Down in the Middle of Nowhere celebrates the miraculous power of hope and love in the face of the unthinkable.
January 2015 Selection: This gem of a novel takes place in Pittsburgh in 1952. Franny Katzenback, while recovering from polio, reads and falls in love with the brand-new book "Charlotte's Web." Bored and lonely and yearning for a Charlotte of her own, Franny starts up a correspondence with an eloquent flea named Fleabrain who lives on her dog's tail. While Franny struggles with physical therapy and feeling left out of her formerly active neighborhood life, Fleabrain is there to take her on adventures based on his extensive reading. It's a touching, funny story set in the recent past, told with Rocklin's signature wit and thoughtfulness.
Special guest author Esther Ehrlich will be joining November's group as part of the club's end-of-the-year extravaganza!
November 2014 Selection: For fans of Jennifer Holm ("Penny from Heaven, Turtle in Paradise"), a heartfelt and unforgettable middle-grade novel about an irresistible girl and her family, tragic change, and the healing power of love and friendship. In 1972 home is a cozy nest on Cape Cod for eleven-year-old Naomi "Chirp" Orenstein, her older sister, Rachel; her psychiatrist father; and her dancer mother. But then Chirp's mom develops symptoms of a serious disease, and everything changes.
Chirp finds comfort in watching her beloved wild birds. She also finds a true friend in Joey, the mysterious boy who lives across the street. Together they create their own private world and come up with the perfect plan: Escape. Adventure. Discovery.
" Nest" is Esther Ehrlich's stunning debut novel. Her lyrical writing is honest, humorous, and deeply affecting. Chirp and Joey will steal your heart. Long after you finish "Nest, " the spirit of Chirp and her loving family will stay with you.
October 2014 Selection: Even a life on the untamed plains of Africa can't prepare Wilhelmina for the wilds of an English boarding school in this lovely and lyrical novel from the author of "Rooftoppers," which "Booklist "called "a glorious adventure."
Wilhelmina Silver's world is golden. Living half-wild on an African farm with her horse, her monkey, and her best friend, every day is beautiful. But when her home is sold and Will is sent away to boarding school in England, the world becomes impossibly difficult. Lions and hyenas are nothing compared to packs of vicious schoolgirls. Where can a girl run to in London? And will she have the courage to survive?
From the author of the "witty, inventively poetic" "Rooftoppers "comes an utterly beautiful story that's sure to be treasured.
September 2014 Selection: Turning eleven means it's time to do a lot of things. But, winning Student of the Month for the fifth or sixth time doesn't matter as much as making a new friend or having a crush on the beautiful new boy in town. It also means it's finally time to understand why your cool-dude dad is in a wheelchair, why he had to quit his job, and what you can do to fix him. But she's about to find out the truth is big and complicated - even for an A plus plus student like herself.
May 2014 Selection: Twelve-year-old Grace and her mother have always been their own family, traveling from place to place like gypsies. But Grace wants to finally have a home all their own. Just when she thinks she's found it her mother says it's time to move again. Grace summons the courage to tell her mother how she really feels and will always regret that her last words to her were angry ones.
After her mother's sudden death, Grace is forced to live with a grandmother she's never met. She can't imagine her mother would want her to stay with this stranger. Then Grace finds clues in a mysterious treasure hunt, just like the ones her mother used to send her on. Maybe it "is" her mother, showing her the way to her true home.
Lyrical, poignant and fresh, "The Secret Hum of a Daisy "is a beautifully told middle grade tale with a great deal of heart.
April 2014 Selection: Introducing an extraordinary new voice---a magical debut that will make your skin tingle, your eyes glisten . . .and your heart sing.
Midnight Gulch used to be a magical place, a town where people could sing up thunderstorms and dance up sunflowers. But that was long ago, before a curse drove the magic away. Twelve-year-old Felicity knows all about things like that; her nomadic mother is cursed with a wandering heart.
But when she arrives in Midnight Gulch, Felicity thinks her luck's about to change. A "word collector," Felicity sees words everywhere---shining above strangers, tucked into church eves, and tangled up her dog's floppy ears---but Midnight Gulch is the first place she's ever seen the word "home." And then there's Jonah, a mysterious, spiky-haired do-gooder who shimmers with words Felicity's never seen before, words that make Felicity's heart beat a little faster.
Felicity wants to stay in Midnight Gulch more than anything, but first, she'll need to figure out how to bring back the magic, breaking the spell that's been cast over the town . . . and her mother's broken heart.