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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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Kissing Tennessee

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 . . .

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Just People

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.

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Down Cut Shin Creek

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.

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The Underneath

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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