Books

 

 

Maybe a Fox

Worlds collide in a spectacular way when Newbery and National Book Award finalist Kathi Appelt and Pulitzer Prize nominee and #1 New York Times bestseller Alison McGhee team up to create a fantastical, heartbreaking, and gorgeous tale about two sisters, a fox cub, and what happens when one of the sisters disappears forever.

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Counting Crows

Help hungry crows avoid a feline foe in this clever concept book from the author of The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp and The Underneath.

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When Otis Courted Mama
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When Otis Courted Mama

When Otis Courted Mama

Apart from sticker burrs and sand fleas, Cardell’s life is mostly wonderful. He knows he’s loved through and through by his perfectly good mama and his perfectly good daddy. They live in different parts of the desert, but that’s okay—Cardell is mostly used to it. Then Otis comes calling, and Cardell feels a grrr form in his throat. Otis can’t make jalapeño flapjacks or play Zig-the-Zag anything like Cardell’s daddy. And so Cardell waits for Mama to say “Adiós, Otis.” But what will happen if she doesn’t?

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Mogie - The Heart of the House
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Mogie – The Heart of the House

Mogie – The Heart of the House

Mogie is a real-life Labradoodle with a special talent: he always knows just what a sick kid needs! Get to know this passionate pup with this story by a Newbery Honoree.

Give that dog a puddle and he’d splash. Give him a whistle and he’d roll over. Give him a rule and he’d break it.

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True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp

True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp

Raccoon brothers Bingo and J’miah are the newest recruits of the Official Sugar Man Swamp Scouts. The opportunity to serve the Sugar Man—the massive creature who delights in delicious sugar cane and magnanimously rules over the swamp—is an honor, and also a big responsibility, since the rest of the swamp critters rely heavily on the intel of these hardworking Scouts.

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Merry Christmas, Merry Crow

Merry Christmas, Merry Crow

A broken chain, a piece of string, a bottle cap . . . To most people, these things are useless trash. But to a clever crow, they’re just what he needs to create a special surprise–a beautiful Christmas tree that everyone can treasure.

Told in jaunty rhyme by Kathi Appelt and lavishly illustrated by Jon Goodell, this heartwarming story of people brought together by a very unexpected artist has all the makings of a Christmas classic.

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Brand New Baby Blues

Brand New Baby Blues

The good ol’ days are over.
It’s official, it’s the news!
With my brand-new baby brother
came the brand-new baby blues!

When a new bab’s wears her old pajamas, sleeps in her old bed, and seems to get all her parents’ attention, a girl’s bound to sing the blues. Is there anything a baby brother can do to change her tune?

Kissing Tennessee

Kissing Tennessee: And Other Stories from the Stardust Dance, Harcourt Brace, 2000.

Step into the Dogwood Junior High School cafeteria. Tonight, this one night of the year, it isn’t a cafeteria at all. It’s the Stardust Dance. And there are stories here. Mason Hatfield and Carrie Marie Jorgensen can’t summon the courage to ask each other to dance. Becca Scott has locked herself in a bathroom stall after something unthinkable has happened with her boyfriend. Cub Tanner is struggling with the feelings he has for Trent Davis. Peggy Lee Dixon has grown up with Tennessee Jones–can she ever see him as more than a friend? The doors are opening. The candles are lit. There is glitter everywhere. Hurry, it’s about to begin . . .

Just People

Just People & Paper/Pen/Poem, photographs Ken Appelt, Absey & Co., 1997.

Selected as a “Best Book for Young Adults,”by the American Library Association, this book is two-in-one. The first section is a collection of verse, illustrated with black and white photographs by the author’s husband. The second section consists of the author’s anecdotes about what inspired her to write each poem, followed by a list of “invitations”to young writers. Combined, the two make a powerful handbook for teenage readers and writers who are looking for their own voices.

Down Cut Shin Creek

Down Cut Shin Creek: The Packhorse Librarians of Kentucky, co-author Jeanne Cannella Schmitzer, HarperCollins, 2001

It’s 4:30 in the morning, and the “book woman” and her horse are already on their way. Hers is an important job, for the folks along her treacherous route are eager for the tattered books and magazines she carries in her saddlebags. During the Great Depression, thousands lived on the brink of starvation. Many perished. In 1935 President Franklin D. Roosevelt created the Works Progress Administration under his 1933 New Deal initiative. The WPA was designed to get people back on their feet. One of its most innovative programs was the Pack Horse Library Project of Eastern Kentucky.

Thoroughly researched and illustrated with period photographs, this is the story of one of the WPA’s greatest successes. People all over the country supported the project’s goals. But it was the librarians themselves — young, determined, and earning just $28 a month — who brought the hope of a wider world to people in the crooks and hollows of Kentucky’s Cumberland Mountains.

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Poems from Homeroom: A Writer’s Place to Start

Poems from Homeroom: A Writer’s Place to Start

Poems from Homeroom: A Writer’s Place to Start, Henry Holt & Company, 2002.

A collection of original poems and creative writing exercises that will inspire teens to write about their own lives.

Since the very beginnings of the human race, we’ve been gathering in circles and telling stories because beyond physical needs, one of our most basic yearnings is to express ourselves.

Recognizing this yearning, Kathi Appelt has written a series of insightful poems that strike at the heart of adolescent longing. The characters are unforgettable — whether they are a flirtatious couple passing notes in history class, a boy tenderly erasing bathroom graffiti about someone he secretly loves, or a fat girl whose name nobody remembers.

Divided into two sections — the first containing Appelt’s own transcendent poems and the second exploring how they were written and how readers can begin poems of their own — this unique book offers teen writers a place to start.

A perfect gift and an excellent classroom resource, this book opens up the world of poetry in a way that is accessible and appealing to teens.

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My Father’s Summers – A Daughter’s Memoir

My Father’s Summers – A Daughter’s Memoir

My Father’s Summers – A Daughter’s Memoir, Henry Holt & Company, 2004.

Told in a series of eloquent prose poems, My Father’s Summers is Kathi Appelt’s memoir of coming-of-age in Houston, Texas. Without a wasted word, she recalls her faraway father, as he first disappears halfway across the world to work in Arabia and then simply across town – to begin a new life with another woman and her sons. There are unknown stepbrothers for Kathi and her sisters, a stepmother who drinks gin and tonic for breakfast, and a painful awareness of their mother’s loneliness.

By turns hearbreaking and achingly funny, through first kisses, best friends, accidental shootings, and all manner of pets, these poignant remembrances communicate the disappointment and the delight of growing up with a loving, imperfect family.

The Underneath

“A mysterious and magical story; poetic yet loaded with suspense.”

-LOUIS SACHAR, Newbery Medal-winning author of Holes

 

“The Underneath is as enchanting as a hummingbird, as magical as the clouds.”

CYNTHIA KADOHATA, Newbery Medal-winning author of Kira-Kira

 

“Rarely do I come across a book that makes me catch my breath, that reminds me why I want to be a writer: to make of life something beautiful, something enduring. The Underneath is a book of ancient themes-love and loss and betrayal and redemption-woven together in language both timeless and spellbinding. A Classic.”

-ALLISON McGHEE, author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Someday

 

Keeper

Keeper was born in the ocean, and she believes she is part mermaid. So as a ten-year-old she goes out looking for her mother—an unpredictable and uncommonly gorgeous woman who swam away when Keeper was three—and heads right for the ocean, right for the sandbar where mermaids are known to gather. But her boat is too small for the surf—and much too small for the storm that is brewing on the horizon.

Kathi Appelt follows her award-winning and New York Times bestselling novel The Underneath with this stunning, mysterious, and breathtaking tale of a girl who outgrows fairy tales just a little too late—and learns in the end that there is nothing more magical and mythical than love itself.

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I See the Moon

I See the Moon, ill. Debra Reid Jenkins, Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1997

Sometimes a small child is afraid to go to sleep at night. In this story, a young girl dreams that she’s all alone at sea in a tiny boat. It’s so dark, and the sea is so scary. She feels lost and abandoned until she sees the gentle moon, the first sign of God’s love. The moon, the stars, and at last the sun lend enough light to lead her back to shore, where she realizes she was never alone at all. God has brought her safely home. Kathi Applet’s poetic text, based on an old nursery rhyme, and Debra Reid Jenkins’s beautiful, light-filled paintings combine to make this book a perfect illustration of God’s abiding love.

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Bats Around the Clock

Bats Around the Clock

Bats Around the Clock, ill. Melissa Sweet, HarperCollins, 2000.

At one o’clock Pacific Time
those bats began the shrug.
At 2 p.m. Click Dark said, Stop!
It’s time to jitterbug!

Put on your dancing shoes and get ready to boogie! It’s American Batstand–a twelve-hour rock and roll extravaganza with Click Dark as your host. Decked in go-go boots and bobby sox, the buoyant bats bebop their way around the clock. And there’s a special guest appearance at the end! With their swinging text and groovy illustrations, the creators of Bats on Parade and Bat Jamboree don’t miss a beat when it comes to the basics. Telling time has never been so much fun.

Watermelon Day

Watermelon Day, ill. Dale Gottlieb, Henry Holt, 1996.

There’s a watermelon growing in the corner of the patch where the fence posts meet, and Jesse is waiting for it. Waiting for it to fill up with the cool summer rain and the hot summer sun. Waiting until at last it is ripe and ready for eating. Waiting until it is ready for her family’s annual Watermelon Day. Then when the big day finally arrives, Jesse has more waiting to do while the melon cools down in the icy water of the deep, deep lake. Waiting through more innings of softball and visits with cousins, and peach ice cream. Waiting for the first taste of the biggest, juiciest melon in the whole patch!

Kathi Appelt’s lively story and Dale Gottlieb’s exuberant illustrations combine to create a joyful celebration of gardens, and growing things, summer and family.

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Oh My Baby Little One

Oh My Baby Little One

Oh My Baby, Little One, ill. Jane Dyer, Harcourt Brace, 2000.

When Baby Bird says good-bye to his mama at school each morning, he feels sad. Mama Bird feels sad, too. Sometimes it’s hard to be apart. But as Mama says, the love they share is with them always, keeping them close until the best part of the day–when they are together again. With its lyrical, rhyming verse and sunny, vibrant illustrations, this soothing book will reassure little ones as it celebrates the extraordinary–and abiding–bond of love between parents and their children.

Incredible Me

Incredible Me!, ill. G. Brian Karas, HarperCollins, 2003.

Join a rambunctious child as she exuberantly celebrates all the wonderful qualities that make her special — her nose, her toes, her ears, herself!

Award winners Kathi Appelt and G. Brian Karas team up to create this joyous tribute to the wonders of being … ME!

Miss Lady Bird's Wildflowers
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Miss Lady Bird’s Wildflowers

Miss Lady Bird’s Wildflowers

Bluebonnets and lady’s slippers, larkspurs and blazing stars, black-eyed Susans and Granny’s nightcaps.

From a lonely childhood in the Piney Woods of East Texas to an exciting life in the White House, Lady Bird Johnson loved these wildflowers with all her heart. They were her companions in her youth, greeting her everywhere as she explored wild forests, bayous, and hills. Later, as First Lady, she sought to bring the beauty of wildflowers to America’s cities and highways. She wanted to make sure every child could enjoy the splendor of wildflowers.

In this warm, engaging look at the life of a great First Lady, Kathi Appelt tells the story behind Lady Bird Johnson’s environmental vision. Joy Fisher Hein’s colorful wildflowers burst from every page, inviting us to share in Lady Bird’s love for natural beauty.

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