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Sequoyah Book Awards Masterlist 2020

Description: The Sequoyah Book Awards are selected by Oklahoma students annually. Eligibility to vote for the Sequoyah Book Award requires all students to have read or heard at least three books from the current Masterlist. #kids #teens #teachers


Showing 1 through 25 of 38 results
 

The Art of the Swap

by Jen Malone and Kristine Asselin

Freaky Friday meets Downton Abbey in this middle grade mystery that features a modern day twelve-year-old switching bodies with a Gilded Age heiress in order to solve a famous art heist.

Hannah Jordan lives in a museum…well, sort of. She is the daughter of the caretaker for mansion-turned-museum The Elms in Newport, Rhode Island. Hannah’s captivated by stories of The Elms’s original occupants, especially Maggie Dunlap, the tween heiress subject of a painting that went missing during a legendary art heist in 1905. But when a mysterious mirror allows Hannah and Maggie to switch places in time, suddenly Hannah is racing to stop the heist from happening, while Maggie gets an introduction to iPhones, soccer (which girls can play!), and freedoms like exploring without supervision. Not to mention the best invention of all: sweatpants (so long, corsets!). As the hours tick off to the art heist, something’s not adding up.

Can the girls work together against time—and across it—to set things right? Or will their temporary swap become a permanent trade?

Date Added: 10/21/2019


Category: Children's

Sweep

by Jonathan Auxier

A brand-new novel by one of today's most powerful storytellers, Sweep is a heart-rending adventure about the everlasting gifts of friendship and hope.For nearly a century, Victorian London relied on "climbing boys"--orphans owned by chimney sweeps--to clean flues and protect homes from fire. The work was hard, thankless and brutally dangerous. Eleven-year-old Nan Sparrow is quite possibly the best climber who ever lived--and a girl. With her wits and will, she's managed to beat the deadly odds time and time again. But when Nan gets stuck in a deadly chimney fire, she fears her time has come. Instead, she wakes to find herself in an abandoned attic. And she is not alone. Huddled in the corner is a mysterious creature--a golem--made from ash and coal. This is the creature that saved her from the fire. Sweep is the story of a girl and her monster. Together, these two outcasts carve out a life together--saving one another in the process.

Date Added: 10/21/2019


Category: Children's, Intermediate

The Extraordinary Colors of Auden Dare

by Zillah Bethell

A beautiful friendship and coming-of-age story in middle-grade, The Extraordinary Colors of Auden Dare by Zillah Bethell is lightly futuristic, and deeply compelling. Auden Dare is colorblind and lives in a world where water is scarce and families must live on a weekly, allocated supply. When Auden’s uncle, the scientist Dr. Bloom, suddenly dies, he leaves a note to Auden and to his classmate Vivi Rookmini. Together, the notes lead them to Paragon—a robot. As Auden, Vivi, and Paragon try to uncover Paragon’s purpose and put together the clues Dr. Bloom left behind, they find out that Dr. Bloom's death was anything but innocent, that powerful people are searching for Paragon—and that it's up to Auden and Vivi to stop them.

Date Added: 10/21/2019


Category: Children's

The Rhino in Right Field

by Stacy DeKeyser

A boy who loves baseball must get past his hard-working immigrant parents—and the rhino in the outfield—to become a batboy in this laugh-out-loud middle grade novel in the tradition of The Sandlot.

Nick wants to change his life. For twelve whole years, he’s done what his hard-working, immigrant parents want him to do. Now he’s looking for his own American dream and he thinks he’s found it. The local baseball team is having a batboy contest. Nick’s goal—to be a Mudpuppy for a day! But the contest is on a Saturday—the day Nick has to work in his father’s shop. There’s one other tiny—well, not so tiny—problem. A 2,000-pound rhinoceros named Tank. Nick and his friends play ball right in the city zoo—and Tank lives just beyond the right field fence. Nick’s experience getting the ball out of Tank’s pen has left him frozen with fear whenever a fly ball comes his way. How’s a lousy fielder going to win the contest? One thing Nick knows how to do is work hard, and he practices every day with his best friend, Ace, and a new girl named Penny, who has an impressive throwing arm! But that’s not enough—to get to the contest, Nick resorts to a plan that has him lying to his parents and blackmailing his uncle. All while dodging the school bully, who’s determined to win even by playing dirty.

Nick will need to keep his eye on the ball and find the courage to face his fears—oh yeah, and stay one step ahead of Tank—in this fast, funny story about a game that can throw you some curveballs—just like life!

Date Added: 10/21/2019


Category: Children's

Journey of the Pale Bear

by Susan Fletcher

A runaway boy befriends a polar bear that’s being transported from Norway to London in this lyrical and timeless adventure story about freedom, captivity, and finding a family.

The polar bear is a royal bear, a gift from the King of Norway to the King of England. The first time Arthur encounters the bear, he is shoved in her cage as payback for stealing food. Restless and deadly, the bear terrifies him. Yet, strangely, she doesn’t harm him—though she has attacked anyone else who comes near. That makes Arthur valuable to the doctor in charge of getting the bear safely to London. So Arthur, who has run away from home, finds himself taking care of a polar bear on a ship to England. Tasked with feeding and cleaning up after the bear, Arthur’s fears slowly lessen as he begins to feel a connection to this bear, who like him, has been cut off from her family. But the journey holds many dangers, and Arthur knows his own freedom—perhaps even his life—depends on keeping the bear from harm. When pirates attack and the ship founders, Arthur must make a choice—does he do everything he can to save himself, or does he help the bear to find freedom?

Based on the real story of a polar bear that lived in the Tower of London, this timeless adventure story is also a touching account of the bond between a boy and a bear.

Date Added: 10/21/2019


Category: Children's

Winterhouse

by Ben Guterson and Chloe Bristol

An enchanting urban fantasy middle-grade debut—the first book in a trilogy—set in a magical hotel full of secrets.Orphan Elizabeth Somers’s malevolent aunt and uncle ship her off to the ominous Winterhouse Hotel, owned by the peculiar Norbridge Falls. Upon arrival, Elizabeth quickly discovers that Winterhouse has many charms—most notably its massive library. It’s not long before she locates a magical book of puzzles that will unlock a mystery involving Norbridge and his sinister family. But the deeper she delves into the hotel’s secrets, the more Elizabeth starts to realize that she is somehow connected to Winterhouse. As fate would have it, Elizabeth is the only person who can break the hotel’s curse and solve the mystery. But will it be at the cost of losing the people she has come to car for, and even Winterhouse itself? Mystery, adventure, and beautiful writing combine in this exciting debut richly set in a hotel full of secrets.A Christy Ottaviano Book

Date Added: 10/21/2019


Category: Children's

Lifeboat 12

by Susan Hood

In the tradition of The War That Saved My Life and Stella By Starlight, this poignant novel in verse based on true events tells the story of a boy’s harrowing experience on a lifeboat after surviving a torpedo attack during World War II.

With Nazis bombing London every night, it’s time for thirteen-year-old Ken to escape. He suspects his stepmother is glad to see him go, but his dad says he’s one of the lucky ones—one of ninety boys and girls to ship out aboard the SS City of Benares to safety in Canada.

Life aboard the luxury ship is grand—nine-course meals, new friends, and a life far from the bombs, rations, and his stepmum’s glare.

And after five days at sea, the ship’s officers announce that they’re out of danger. They’re wrong. Late that night, an explosion hurls Ken from his bunk. They’ve been hit. Torpedoed!

The Benares is sinking fast. Terrified, Ken scrambles aboard Lifeboat 12 with five other boys. Will they get away? Will they survive?

Award-winning author Susan Hood brings this little-known World War II story to life in a riveting novel of courage, hope, and compassion. Based on true events and real people, Lifeboat 12 is about believing in one another, knowing that only by banding together will we have any chance to survive.

Date Added: 10/21/2019


Category: Children's

The Doughnut Fix

by Jessie Janowitz

Superfudge meets The Lemonade War in this funny, heartwarming series debut about change, adventure, family, and of course, doughnuts. Tristan isn't Gifted or Talented like his sister Jeanine, and he's always been okay with that because he can make a perfect chocolate chip cookie and he lives in the greatest city in the world. But his life takes a turn for the worse when his parents decide to move to middle-of-nowhere Petersville—a town with one street and no restaurants. It's like suddenly they're supposed to be this other family, one that can survive without bagels and movie theaters.His suspicions about his new town are confirmed when he's tricked into believing the local general store has life-changing chocolate cream doughnuts, when in fact the owner hasn't made them in years. And so begins the only thing that could make life in Petersville worth living: getting the recipe, making the doughnuts, and bringing them back to the town through his very own doughnut stand. But Tristan will soon discover that when starting a business, it helps to be both Gifted and Talented, and It's possible he's bitten off more than he can chew...

Date Added: 10/21/2019


Category: Children's

The Unforgettable Guinevere St. Clair

by Amy Makechnie

A ten-year-old girl is determined to find her missing neighbor, but the answers lead her to places and people she never expected—and maybe even one she’s been running away from—in this gorgeous debut novel that’s perfect for fans of The Thing About Jellyfish.Guinevere St. Clair is going to be a lawyer. She was the fastest girl in New York City. She knows everything there is to know about the brain. And now that she’s living in Crow, Iowa, she wants to ride into her first day of school on a cow named Willowdale Princess Deon Dawn. But Gwyn isn’t in Crow, Iowa, just for royal cows. Her family has moved there, where her parents grew up, in the hopes of jogging her mother Vienna’s memory. Vienna has been suffering from memory loss since Gwyn was four. She can no longer remember anything past the age of thirteen, not even that she has two young daughters. Gwyn’s father is obsessed with finding out everything he can to help his wife, but Gwyn’s focused on problems that seem a little more within her reach. Like proving that the very strange Gaysie Cutter who lives next door is behind the disappearance of her only friend, Wilbur Truesdale. Gwyn is sure she can crack the case, but when she does she finds that not all of her investigations lead her to the places she would have expected. In fact they might just lead her to learn about the mother she’s been doing her best to forget.

Date Added: 10/21/2019


Category: Children's

Bob

by Wendy Mass and Rebecca Stead and Nicholas Gannon

It’s been five years since Livy and her family have visited Livy’s grandmother in Australia.

Now that she’s back, Livy has the feeling she’s forgotten something really, really important about Gran’s house.

It turns out she’s right.

Bob, a short, greenish creature dressed in a chicken suit, didn’t forget Livy, or her promise.

He’s been waiting five years for her to come back, hiding in a closet like she told him to.

He can’t remember who—or what—he is, where he came from, or if he even has a family.

But five years ago Livy promised she would help him find his way back home. Now it’s time to keep that promise.

Clue by clue, Livy and Bob will unravel the mystery of where Bob comes from, and discover the kind of magic that lasts forever.

Wendy Mass and Rebecca Stead, two masterminds of classic, middle-grade fiction come together to craft this magical story about the enduring power of friendship.

This title has Common Core connections.

Date Added: 10/21/2019


Category: Children's

The Spirit of Cattail County

by Victoria Piontek

Sparrow doesn't have many friends. Some kids believe her house near the swamp is haunted. Others think there's something "unusual" about her. But Sparrow's not lonely -- she has a best friend who's always with her. He sits with Sparrow on her porch swing. He makes her smile by playing pranks in church. Yet Sparrow is the only one who can see him . . . because the Boy is a ghost. So when her mama passes away, Sparrow doesn't give up hope. After all, if the Boy can linger after death, then surely Mama can return as well. But the Boy has a secret of his own, one that Sparrow will need to uncover before the ghost will lead her to Mama. To solve the mystery, Sparrow joins forces with some unlikely allies -- Maeve and Johnny, siblings from a family of town outcasts --and Elena, a visiting child fortune-teller.With its loving depiction of small town life, and characters who feel like old friends, this magical debut will enchant you, dazzle you. . . and make you feel at home.

Date Added: 10/21/2019


Category: Children's

Grump

by Liesl Shurtliff

From the New York Times bestselling author of Rump, comes the true story behind another unlikely hero: a grumpy dwarf who gets tangled up in Snow White's feud with the wicked queen.Ever since he was a dwarfling, Borlen (nicknamed "Grump") has dreamed of visiting The Surface, so when opportunity knocks, he leaves his cavern home behind. At first, life aboveground is a dream come true. Queen Elfrieda Veronika Ingrid Lenore (E.V.I.L.) is the best friend Grump always wanted, feeding him all the rubies he can eat and allowing him to rule at her side in exchange for magic and information. But as time goes on, Grump starts to suspect that Queen E.V.I.L. may not be as nice as she seems. . . . When the queen commands him to carry out a horrible task against her stepdaughter Snow White, Grump is in over his head. He's bound by magic to help the queen, but also to protect Snow White. As if that wasn't stressful enough, the queen keeps bugging him for updates through her magic mirror! He'll have to dig deep to find a way out of this pickle, and that's enough to make any dwarf Grumpy indeed."Liesl Shurtliff writes the perfect middle-grade page-turners that fourth graders can gobble down on the plane, train, and automobile trips ahead this summer. . . . [she] excels at turning familiar worlds on their heads. --The New York Times Book Review"Hilarious and heartfelt . . . Lovable Borlen's grumpy first-person narration explores themes of belonging, friendship, and doing the right thing. Sure to please fans of reimagined fairy tales." --Kirkus"A hilarious reimagining of its origin story with a wonderfully detailed world and interesting twists on classic characters. Sure to be a hit with fantasy fans looking for comedy." --Booklist"The story moves at a fast pace and deftly balances lighthearted humor with emotional weight. . . .a sure hit for Shurtliff's fans." --School Library Journal

Date Added: 10/21/2019


Category: Children's

Spindrift and the Orchid

by Emma Trevayne

A girl finds herself entrenched in a dark mystery after the deaths of her parents in this fantastical novel from the author of The House of Months and Years.

When a man walks into her grandfather’s curiosity shop and asks about a black orchid, Spindrift turns him away. She’s never seen such a thing. Until one night it appears. Spindrift, an orphan, has one keepsake from her parents…a clear glass orb. Except it’s not quite clear anymore. She watches as a black orchid forms inside the crystal. Then the flower blooms into a towering woman in a dress of midnight silk and air, a woman with the power to grant wishes. It’s fun, at first. But having everything you want is hard to hide. And soon, Spindrift—and her orchid—are being hunted. Left running for her life, Spindrift must ask herself who her parents really were, and whether a wish is really just a curse in disguise.

Date Added: 10/21/2019


Category: Children's

The Story Collector

by Kristin O'Donnell Tubb and Iacopo Bruno

"For every book lover who fantasized about getting locked in the library overnight, The Story Collector is a dream come true!" —New York Times-bestselling author Alan GratzIn the tradition of E. L. Konisburg, this middle-grade mystery adventure is inspired by the real life of Viviani Joffre Fedeler, born and raised in the New York Public Library. Eleven-year-old Viviani Fedeler has spent her whole life in the New York Public Library. She knows every room by heart, except the ones her father keeps locked. When Viviani becomes convinced that the library is haunted, new girl Merit Mubarak makes fun of her. So Viviani decides to play a harmless little prank, roping her older brothers and best friend Eva to help out.But what begins as a joke quickly gets out of hand, and soon Viviani and her friends have to solve two big mysteries: Is the Library truly haunted? And what happened to the expensive new stamp collection? It's up to Viviani, Eva, and Merit (reluctantly) to findout.

Date Added: 10/21/2019


Category: Children's

March Forward, Girl

by Melba Pattillo Beals and Frank Morrison

From the legendary civil rights activist and author of the million-copy selling Warriors Don't Cry comes an ardent and profound childhood memoir of growing up while facing adversity in the Jim Crow South. Long before she was one of the Little Rock Nine, Melba Pattillo Beals was a warrior. Frustrated by the laws that kept African-Americans separate but very much unequal to whites, she had questions. Why couldn’t she drink from a "whites only" fountain? Why couldn’t she feel safe beyond home—or even within the walls of church? Adults all told her: Hold your tongue. Be patient. Know your place. But Beals had the heart of a fighter—and the knowledge that her true place was a free one. Combined with emotive drawings and photos, this memoir paints a vivid picture of Beals’ powerful early journey on the road to becoming a champion for equal rights, an acclaimed journalist, a best-selling author, and the recipient of this country’s highest recognition, the Congressional Gold Medal.

Date Added: 10/21/2019


Category: Intermediate

Ivy Aberdeen's Letter to the World

by Ashley Herring Blake

In the wake of a destructive tornado, one girl develops feelings for another in this stunning, tender novel about emerging identity, perfect for fans of The Thing About Jellyfish.

When a tornado rips through town, twelve-year-old Ivy Aberdeen's house is destroyed and her family of five is displaced. Ivy feels invisible and ignored in the aftermath of the storm--and what's worse, her notebook filled with secret drawings of girls holding hands has gone missing.

Mysteriously, Ivy's drawings begin to reappear in her locker with notes from someone telling her to open up about her identity. Ivy thinks--and hopes--that this someone might be her classmate, another girl for whom Ivy has begun to develop a crush. Will Ivy find the strength and courage to follow her true feelings?

Ivy Aberdeen's Letter to the World exquisitely enriches the rare category of female middle-grade characters who like girls--and children's literature at large.

Date Added: 10/21/2019


Category: Intermediate

The Benefits of Being an Octopus

by Ann Braden

"This is a compassionate look at poverty, hard choices, and defending one's right to be treated humanely. A very fine first novel, written with a deft hand.” — Karen Hesse, Newbery award winning author of Out of the DustSome people can do their homework. Some people get to have crushes on boys. Some people have other things they've got to do.Seventh-grader Zoey has her hands full as she takes care of her much younger siblings after school every day while her mom works her shift at the pizza parlor. Not that her mom seems to appreciate it. At least there's Lenny, her mom's boyfriend—they all get to live in his nice, clean trailer. At school, Zoey tries to stay under the radar. Her only friend Fuchsia has her own issues, and since they're in an entirely different world than the rich kids, it's best if no one notices them. Zoey thinks how much easier everything would be if she were an octopus: eight arms to do eight things at once. Incredible camouflage ability and steady, unblinking vision. Powerful protective defenses. Unfortunately, she's not totally invisible, and one of her teachers forces her to join the debate club. Even though Zoey resists participating, debate ultimately leads her to see things in a new way: her mom’s relationship with Lenny, Fuchsia's situation, and her own place in this town of people who think they're better than her. Can Zoey find the courage to speak up, even if it means risking the most stable home she's ever had? This moving debut novel explores the cultural divides around class and the gun debate through the eyes of one girl, living on the edges of society, trying to find her way forward.

Date Added: 10/21/2019


Category: Intermediate

Marcus Vega Doesn't Speak Spanish

by Pablo Cartaya

One boy's search for his father leads him to Puerto Rico in this moving middle grade novel, for fans of Ghost and See You in the Cosmos.

Marcus Vega is six feet tall, 180 pounds, and the owner of a premature mustache. When you look like this and you're only in the eighth grade, you're both a threat and a target.

After a fight at school leaves Marcus facing suspension, Marcus's mom decides it's time for a change of environment. She takes Marcus and his younger brother to Puerto Rico to spend a week with relatives they don't remember or have never met.

But Marcus can't focus knowing that his father--who walked out of their lives ten years ago--is somewhere on the island.

So begins Marcus's incredible journey, a series of misadventures that take him all over Puerto Rico in search of his elusive namesake. Marcus doesn't know if he'll ever find his father, but what he ultimately discovers changes his life. And he even learns a bit of Spanish along the way.

Date Added: 10/21/2019


Category: Intermediate

Like Vanessa

by Vanessa Brantley-Newton and Tami Charles

Middle graders will laugh and cry with thirteen-year-old Vanessa Martin as she tries to be like Vanessa Williams, the first black Miss America.

In this semi-autobiographical debut novel set in 1983, Vanessa Martin's real-life reality of living with family in public housing in Newark, New Jersey is a far cry from the glamorous Miss America stage.

She struggles with a mother she barely remembers, a grandfather dealing with addiction and her own battle with self-confidence.

But when a new teacher at school coordinates a beauty pageant and convinces Vanessa to enter, Vanessa's view of her own world begins to change.

Vanessa discovers that her own self-worth is more than the scores of her talent performance and her interview answers, and that she doesn't need a crown to be comfortable in her own skin and see her own true beauty.

Date Added: 10/21/2019


Category: Intermediate

The War Outside

by Monica Hesse

A stunning novel of conviction, friendship, and betrayal from Monica Hesse, the Edgar Award-winning and bestselling author of Girl in the Blue CoatIt's 1944, and World War II is raging across Europe and the Pacific.

The war seemed far away from Margot in Iowa and Haruko in Colorado--until they were uprooted to dusty Texas, all because of the places their parents once called home: Germany and Japan.

Haruko and Margot meet at the high school in Crystal City, a "family internment camp" for those accused of colluding with the enemy. The teens discover that they are polar opposites in so many ways, except for one that seems to override all the others: the camp is changing them, day by day and piece by piece. Haruko finds herself consumed by fear for her soldier brother and distrust of her father, who she knows is keeping something from her. And Margot is doing everything she can to keep her family whole as her mother's health deteriorates and her rational, patriotic father becomes a man who distrusts America and fraternizes with Nazis.With everything around them falling apart, Margot and Haruko find solace in their growing, secret friendship. But in a prison the government has deemed full of spies, can they trust anyone--even each other?

Date Added: 10/21/2019


Category: Intermediate

Until Tomorrow, Mr. Marsworth

by Sheila O'Connor

Set against the backdrop of the Vietnam War, one young girl is determined to save her brother from the draft—and gets help from an unlikely source—in this middle-grade tale, perfect for fans of The Wednesday Wars When eleven-year-old Reenie Kelly’s mother passes away, she and her brothers are shipped off to live with their grandmother. Adjusting to life in her parents’ Midwestern hometown isn’t easy, but once Reenie takes up a paper route with her older brother Dare, she has something she can look forward to. As they introduce themselves to every home on their route, Reenie’s stumped by just one—the house belonging to Mr. Marsworth, the town recluse. When he doesn’t answer his doorbell, Reenie begins to leave him letters. Slowly, the two become pen pals, striking up the most unlikely of friendships. Through their letters, Reenie tells of her older brother Billy, who might enlist to fight in the Vietnam War. Reenie is desperate to stop him, and when Mr. Marsworth hears this, he knows he can’t stand idly by. As a staunch pacifist, Mr. Marsworth offers to help Reenie. Together, they concoct a plan to keep Billy home, though Reenie doesn’t know Mr. Marsworth’s dedication to her cause goes far beyond his antiwar beliefs. In this heartwarming piece of historical fiction, critically acclaimed author Sheila O’Connor delivers a tale of devotion, sacrifice, and family.

Date Added: 10/21/2019


Category: Intermediate

Boots on the Ground

by Elizabeth Partridge

America's war in Vietnam. In over a decade of bitter fighting, it claimed the lives of more than 58,000 American soldiers and beleaguered four US presidents. More than forty years after America left Vietnam in defeat in 1975, the war remains controversial and divisive both in the United States and abroad.

The history of this era is complex; the cultural impact extraordinary. But it's the personal stories of eight people—six American soldiers, one American military nurse, and one Vietnamese refugee—that create the heartbeat of Boots on the Ground. From dense jungles and terrifying firefights to chaotic helicopter rescues and harrowing escapes, each individual experience reveals a different facet of the war and moves us forward in time. Alternating with these chapters are profiles of key American leaders and events, reminding us of all that was happening at home during the war, including peace protests, presidential scandals, and veterans' struggles to acclimate to life after Vietnam.

With more than one hundred photographs, award-winning author Elizabeth Partridge's unflinching book captures the intensity, frustration, and lasting impacts of one of the most tumultuous periods of American history.

Date Added: 10/21/2019


Category: Intermediate, High School

After the Shot Drops

by Randy Ribay

A powerful novel about friendship, basketball, and one teen's mission to create a better life for his family.

Bunny and Nasir have been best friends forever, but when Bunny accepts an athletic scholarship across town, Nasir feels betrayed.

While Bunny tries to fit in with his new, privileged peers, Nasir spends more time with his cousin, Wallace, who is being evicted.

Nasir can't help but wonder why the neighborhood is falling over itself to help Bunny when Wallace is in trouble.

When Wallace makes a bet against Bunny, Nasir is faced with an impossible decision—maybe a dangerous one.

Told from alternating perspectives, After the Shot Drops is a heart-pounding story about the responsibilities of great talent and the importance of compassion.

Date Added: 10/21/2019


Category: Intermediate, High School

Amal Unbound

by Aisha Saeed

The compelling story of a girl's fight to regain her life and dreams after being forced into indentured servitude.

Life is quiet and ordinary in Amal's Pakistani village, but she had no complaints, and besides, she's busy pursuing her dream of becoming a teacher one day.

Her dreams are temporarily dashed when--as the eldest daughter--she must stay home from school to take care of her siblings. Amal is upset, but she doesn't lose hope and finds ways to continue learning.

Then the unimaginable happens--after an accidental run-in with the son of her village's corrupt landlord, Amal must work as his family's servant to pay off her own family's debt.

Life at the opulent Khan estate is full of heartbreak and struggle for Amal--especially when she inadvertently makes an enemy of a girl named Nabila.

Most troubling, though, is Amal's growing awareness of the Khans' nefarious dealings.

When it becomes clear just how far they will go to protect their interests, Amal realizes she will have to find a way to work with others if they are ever to exact change in a cruel status quo, and if Amal is ever to achieve her dreams.

Date Added: 10/21/2019


Category: Intermediate

Front Desk

by Kelly Yang

Mia Tang has a lot of secrets.

Number 1: She lives in a motel, not a big house. Every day, while her immigrant parents clean the rooms, ten-year-old Mia manages the front desk of the Calivista Motel and tends to its guests.

Number 2: Her parents hide immigrants. And if the mean motel owner, Mr. Yao, finds out they've been letting them stay in the empty rooms for free, the Tangs will be doomed.

Number 3: She wants to be a writer. But how can she when her mom thinks she should stick to math because English is not her first language?

It will take all of Mia's courage, kindness, and hard work to get through this year. Will she be able to hold on to her job, help the immigrants and guests, escape Mr. Yao, and go for her dreams?

Date Added: 10/21/2019


Category: Intermediate


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