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111 Trees: How One Village Celebrates the Birth of Every Girl

Growing up as a young boy in the Indian state of Rajasthan, Sundar Paliwal experienced several difficult things such as hunger, poverty and the loss of his mother at a young age. He continues to look at his community as he grows up, gets married and eventually has his own two daughters and one son. He teaches his children about the beauty and importance of all living things. But Sundar’s community and land is being destroyed by mining companies, where he works.

Sundar knows he must make change in his community and for the land around them. He quits his mining job and becomes an activist and local leader. However, when tragedy strikes yet again in Sundar’s life, he imagines an inspiring plan that will not only replenish the environment but also highlight the need for equality amongst girls and boys in his village. In honor of every girl born in the village, 111 trees will be planted!

Snapdragon

Snapdragon, who goes by Snap, is kind of a loner who doesn't believe in witches and magic like other kids in town. But even she's slightly nervous when she visits the Town Witch to rescue her dog. It turns out that the grumpy Town Witch, whose name is actually Jacks, isn't so bad at all and has actually fixed up Snap's dog. Snap is instantly taken with Jacks' mysterious and strange ways and decides to enter into a deal with her. She'll help Jacks in her "work" if Jacks will help Snap care for some baby possums she found. As they spend time together, Snap starts rethinking the possibility of witches and learns that she and Jacks have more in common than she ever could have imagined.

Learning to Hand Stitch

Imagine you’re wearing your favorite shirt. You love this shirt because it makes you feel great! The material is just the right softness, the cut is perfectly loose and comfortable, and when you wear it, you are certain you are taller and more confident. This is a cool shirt! 

Then all of a sudden, you look down and notice the hem is coming loose! What do you do? Is your favorite shirt ruined? No way, you just need to stitch it up!

But how? Well, you’ll need to learn to sew!

 

The Only Black Girls in Town

Until Edie and her mom bought the B&B across the street, Alberta and her two dads were the only Black folks in their neighborhood. Surfer girl Alberta is thrilled to find out that she and the new girl are in the same grade, and expects to immediately be besties, despite how different they are in many ways.

Then, Edie discovers a box of old journals in the attic and recruits Al to help her figure out the mystery of who wrote them, leading to a shocking discovery!

This is an excellent middle grade story about the complexities of Blackness and friendship. Appropriate for ages 8+

Reviewed by Cidne B., Senior Information Assistant

Celebrate Lunar New Year!

IU Asian Culture Center Presents: How to Make Dumplings!

What is Lunar New Year?

In Western countries, we celebrate the New Year on January 1, but in many Asian countries the traditional new year follows the cycles of the moon so they celebrate what we call "Lunar New Year" (sometimes also called "Chinese New Year") and it usually occurs in late January to early February.

For people following the Lunar calendar, years are tracked by animals. For example, this year is the Year of the Ox. There are 12 animals of the Lunar calendar that always appear in this order: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig. This means that the next Year of the Ox won’t be until 2033!

Doodleville

There’s something special about the doodles Drew and her art club pals create - they come to life! The art club crew usually draft friendly characters, though Drew’s doodles are known to get into trouble, like the time they stole a hat out of a painting in the museum. But that was nothing compared to real trouble her newest doodle, Levi, created in Doodleville! With her monster on the loose destroying all of her friends’ creations, Drew feels hopeless. How will Drew ever be able to stop Levi from destroying everything in sight and hold onto her friendships!

With such an imaginative story and a wonderfully racially diverse group whose members display a variety of gender presentations, there's a lot to love about this book. It is the perfect read for fans of Chad Sell’s The Cardboard Kingdom, or Kirsten Gudsnuk’s Making Friends. Recommended ages 8+

Reviewed by Kim B., Librarian

Birdie and Me

Jack and her gender fluid brother, Birdie, are siblings who have to move in with their stoic and no-nonsense uncle after their eccentric uncle proves that he is not a good caretaker after their mother's sudden death. The constant upheaval, new scenery, school, and bullying in their new life throw them through a loop. Through grieving, confronting bullies, and confronting comfort zones -- Birdie, Jack, and both their uncles learn to love and accept each other for who they are. Together, the family creates a new sense of home together. 

Extraordinary: A Story of an Ordinary Princess

We can usually see the benefit of fairy godmothers’ gifts - after all, who wouldn’t like to be graced with the gift of wisdom, beauty, or humor? But what would happen if a fairy godmother gave the gift of being ordinary?

That’s exactly what happens to Princess Basil of Florim. While her five sisters were given perfectly standard fairy godmother gifts, Basil was given the gift of being ordinary. It seemed like no matter what the King and Queen tried, nothing could make Princess Basil anything more than ordinary. Worried that her ordinary daughter would never find a fiance, the Queen carried out a scheme to have Basil captured by a dragon! After all, brave knights are always looking for a Princess to rescue and wed, right?

How will Princess Basil escape capture and prove that she's extraordinary? Read this fun and fast paced graphic novel to find out! 

Race to the Sun

Nizhoni Begay is a young Navajo girl. Her mom left their family when she was just a toddler, leaving Nizhoni, her dad, and her younger brother Mac on their own. Though she has aspirations to become famous and make something of herself, Nizhoni considers herself to be a pretty standard kid—until she begins to see monsters, that is. Things become more dire when Nizhoni sees her dad's new boss for what he truly is—a monster. When her dad disappears suddenly, she, her best friend Davery, and brother Mac must make a run for it. Through their journey to recover their father, Nizhoni and Mac discover their true identity as Monster Slayers.

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