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Every year the School Library Journal lists the best books from the previous year. We’ve added these titles from the list into our collection. They range from picturebooks to serious young adult novels. Is there one that appeals to you? Take a look. These titles are housed in Cedar Rapids, but you can request them to be delivered to any of the other centers at any time.

Picture Books

Call Number: Easy Reading 811.6 F656w Title: When Green Becomes Tomatoes: Poems for All Season Author: Julie Folgliano
The seasons come to life in this gorgeous and comprehensive book of poetry.

Call Number: Easy Reading 813.6 B674W Title: The White Cat and the Monk Author: JoEllen Bogart
A monk leads a simple life. He studies his books late into the evening and searches for truth in their pages. His cat, Pangur, leads a simple life, too, chasing prey in the darkness. As night turns to dawn, Pangur leads his companion to the truth he has been seeking.

Call Number: Easy Reading 813.6 I74i Title: I Hear a Pickle (and Smell, See, Touch, and Taste It, Too!) Author: Rachel Isadora
Hearing, smelling, seeing, touching, tasting–our five senses allow us to experience the world in so many ways! With our ears we hear the birds sing; with our nose we smell the stinky cheese; with our eyes we see the moon and stars (and sometimes glasses help us see even better!); with our skin we feel the rain (and learn not to touch the hot stove!); and with our tongue we can taste our favorite foods.

Call Number: Easy Reading 813.6 K634w Title: We Found A Hat Author: Jon Klassen
Two turtles have found a hat. The hat looks good on both of them. But there are two turtles. And there is only one hat. . . .

Call Number: Easy Reading 813.6 M297s Title: The Summer Nick Taught His Cats to Read Authors: Curtis Manley and Kate Berube
It’s not easy to teach a cat to read, but one boy tries to anyway.

Call Number: Easy Reading 813.6 M491o Title: 1 Big Salad: A Delicious Counting Book Author: Juana Medina
One avocado deer saunters across the spread, two radish mice scurry by, until finally ten watercress seahorses swim onto the scene – all of the ingredients in one big salad!

Call Number: Easy Reading 813.6 M828r Title: Rudas Nino’s Horrendous Hermanitas Author: Yuyi Morales
No opponent is too big a challenge for the cunning skills of Las Hermanitas, Lucha Queens! But what happens when Niño comes after them with a move of his own? Watch the tables turn.

Call Number: Easy Reading 813.6 R987t Title: This Is Not a Picture Book! Author: Sergio Ruzzier
Duck learns that even books without pictures can be fun. While he and his friend Bug may struggle at first to decipher their book, they stick with it, and before long they discover that not only can they read it, but it deserves a place on the shelf with all their favorite picture books.

Call Number: Easy Reading 813.6 S228j Title: The Journey Author: Francesca Sanna
It explores the unimaginable decisions made as a family leave their home and everything they know to escape the turmoil and tragedy brought by war.

Call Number: Easy Reading 813.6 W482t Title: They All Saw A Cat Author: Brendan Wenzel
The many lives of one cat, and how perspective shapes what we see. When you see a cat, what do you see?


Call Number: PB AND Title: Ashes (Seeds of America Trilogy) Author: Laurie Halse Anderson
As the Revolutionary War rages on, Isabel and Curzon have narrowly escaped Valley Forge—but their relief is short-lived. Before long they are reported as runaways, and the awful Bellingham is determined to track them down. With purpose and faith, Isabel and Curzon march on, fiercely determined to find Isabel’s little sister Ruth, who is enslaved in a Southern state.

Call Number: PB BER Title: The Passion of Dolssa: A Novel Author: Julie Berry
Dolssa is an upper-crust city girl who’s been branded a heretic, on the run from the friar who condemned her mother to death by fire and wants Dolssa executed, too. Botille is a matchmaker and a tavern-keeper, struggling to keep herself and her sisters on the right side of the law in their seaside town. When their lives collide by a dark riverside, Botille rescues a dying Dolssa and conceals her in the tavern, where an unlikely friendship blooms. Aided by her sisters and Symo, her surly but loyal neighbor, Botille nurses Dolssa back to health and hides her from her pursuers. But all of Botille’s tricks, tales, and cleverness can’t protect them forever, and when the full wrath of the Church bears down upon them, Dolssa’s passion and Botille’s good intentions could destroy the entire village.

Call Number: PB CHEE Title: The Reader (Sea of Ink and Gold) Author: Traci Chee
Sefia knows what it means to survive. After her father is brutally murdered, she flees into the wilderness with her aunt Nin, who teaches her to hunt, track, and steal. But when Nin is kidnapped, leaving Sefia completely alone, none of her survival skills can help her discover where Nin’s been taken, or if she’s even alive. The only clue to both her aunt’s disappearance and her father’s murder is the odd rectangular object her father left behind, an object she comes to realize is a book—a marvelous item unheard of in her otherwise illiterate society. With the help of this book, and the aid of a mysterious stranger with dark secrets of his own, Sefia sets out to rescue her aunt and find out what really happened the day her father was killed—and punish the people responsible.

Call Number: PB LUB Title: Character, Driven: A Novel Author: David Lubar
With only one year left of high school, seventeen-year-old Cliff Sparks is desperate to find a girlfriend and “come of age.” But he’s never had much luck with girls. So when he falls for Jillian, a new classmate, at first sight, all he can do is worship her from afar. At the same time, Cliff has to figure out what to do with the rest of his life, since he’s pretty sure his unemployed father plans to kick him out of the house the minute he turns eighteen. Time is running out. Cliff is at the edge, on the verge, dangling―and holding on for dear life.

Call Number: PB ONE Title: Asking For It Author: Louise O’Neill
Emma O’Donovan is eighteen, beautiful, and fearless. It’s the beginning of summer in a quiet Irish town and tonight she and her friends have dressed to impress. Everyone is at the party, and all eyes are on Emma. The next morning Emma’s parents discover her collapsed on the doorstop of their home, unconscious. She is disheveled, bleeding, and disoriented, looking as if she had been dumped there. To her distress, Emma can’t remember what happened the night before. All she knows is that none of her friends will respond to her texts. At school, people turn away from her and whisper under their breath. Her mind may be a blank as far as the events of the previous evening, but someone has posted photos of it on Facebook under a fake account, “Easy Emma”–photos she will never be able to forget. As the photos go viral and a criminal investigation is launched, the community is thrown into tumult. The media descends, neighbors chose sides, and people from all over the world want to talk about her story. Everyone has something to say about Emma.

Call Number: PB WOL Title: Wolf Hollow Author: Lauren Wolk
Growing up in the shadows cast by two world wars, Annabelle has lived a mostly quiet, steady life in her small Pennsylvania town. Until the day new student Betty Glengarry walks into her class. Betty quickly reveals herself to be cruel and manipulative, and while her bullying seems isolated at first, things quickly escalate, and reclusive World War I veteran Toby becomes a target of her attacks. While others have always seen Toby’s strangeness, Annabelle knows only kindness. She will soon need to find the courage to stand as a lone voice of justice as tensions mount.

Call Number: Children’s Literature 813.6 G862g Title: Garvey’s Choice Author: Nikki Grimes
Poems by a boy who wants to be a poet whose dad wants to be an athlete.

Call Number: 813.6 L735wh Title: When the Sea Turned to Silver Author: Grace Lin
In an oriental land a grandmother tells wonderful stories until she is captured by the Emperor who thinks she can get him something he wants. Can her granddaughter save her?

Call Number: Children’s Literature 813.6 M491j Title: Junana and Lucas Author: Juana Medina
Juana doesn’t like to learn English.

Call Number: 813.6 P416p Title: Pax Author: Sara Pennypacker
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.

Call Number: 940.54 B298s Title: Sabotage: The Mission to Destroy Hitler’s Atomic Bomb Author: Neal Bascomb
The invasion begins at night, with German cruisers slipping into harbor, and soon the Nazis occupy all of Norway. They station soldiers throughout the country. They institute martial rule. And at Vemork, an industrial fortress high above a dizzying gorge, they gain access to an essential ingredient for the weapon that could end World War II: Hitler’s very own nuclear bomb. When the Allies discover the plans for the bomb, they agree Vemork must be destroyed. But after a British operation fails to stop the Nazis’ deadly designs, the task falls to a band of young Norwegian commandos. Armed with little more than skis, explosives, and great courage, they will survive months in the snowy wilderness, elude a huge manhunt, and execute two dangerous missions. The result? The greatest act of sabotage in all of World War II. 

Sarah Uthoff is a reference library at Kirkwood Community College. LIKE the Kirkwood Community College Library on Facebook and find links to Sarah all over the web at her About Me Profile.