Your school librarian Mrs. Overstreet gives a book talk on “White Bird” by R.J. Palacio!
By Ibi Zoboi
Balzer + Bray. 2018 – 304 Pages – Genre: Urban fiction; Young Adult fiction; Chick-lit Fiction
Review by PWBHS librarian, Shelley Dorrill
“Late June in Brooklyn is like the very beginning of a party-when the music is really good, but you know that it’s about to get way better, so you just do a little two-step before the real turn-up starts.”
In this urban fiction retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice, Ibi Zoboi brings a modern take to the classic, romantic comedy of manners. Think of it like a hip-hop remix of a beloved rock-n-roll classic. In Pride, we meet Brooklyn native Zuri Benitez and her large family full of sisters. Their neighborhood is like family; comfortable and a little lived-in. However, when the run-down mansion across the street to her family’s more humble apartment is purchased and renovated by the Darcy’s, a wealthy African-American family from Manhatten, her neighborhood and her world begin to change. Gentrification is coming and with it the end to Zuri’s worn community, but Zuri is proud of her broken neighborhood and proud of her Afro-Latino culture. She has little patience or time for the Darcy family and particularly Darius, the seemingly arrogant (and handsome) son. However, his brother Ainsley and Zuri’s older sister Janae are instantly attracted to each other and keep bringing Zuri’s world into contact with Darius and his wealthier culture. Adding Zuri’s three younger sisters into this mix of neighborhood drama, you have a setting for sparks of all kinds. Will the fierce pride Zuri holds for her own way of life create animosity against any other way of living? Will the neighborhood survive or be lost forever? Ultimately, will any blossoming love prove more powerful even than the pride and prejudice that oppose it?
Available through SORA as an e-book and audio book.
Your school librarian Mrs. Overstreet reads the first chapter of “The Last Dragonslayer” by Jasper Fforde!
Special thanks to the publisher for allowing us to read this book!
Published by HMH Books for Young Readers
Jul 2, 2013 | 306 Pages | YA
The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street
by Karina Yan Glaser
Houghton Mifflin – 297 Pages – Genre: Chapter book; realistic fiction
Review by Verner Elementary student C.H.
“The Vanderbeekers is an awesome book! It is about four siblings who are trying to make their grumpy landlord renew their lease. Will they save it or will they fail? Fans of the Penderwicks and The Boxcar Children are sure to love this book!”
The Girl in the Locked Room
by Mary Downing Hahn
Scholastic – 193 Pages – Genre: Chapter book
Review by Verner Elementary student S.L.S.
“I think it was really good, I loved this book, but it could’ve been scary. I love scary books and really recommend this book for children who love scary things, and mysteries. I love how detailed this book is!”
Diary of a Wimpy Kid #6: Cabin Fever
by Jeff Kinney
Puffin – 234 Pages – Genre: Chapter book, Illustrated books
Review by Verner Elementary student O.M.G.
“I liked this book because it was funny and creative. The main character, Greg Heffley, tells the story through the book. He has a pesky little brother and a mean older brother. The story tells about funny things that happen in his life with his family and friends. My favorite part of the book is when he talks about a doll named Alfredo. It made me laugh.”
Geronimo Stilton #39: Singing Sensation
by Geronimo Stilton
Scholastic – 128 Pages – Genre: Chapter book
Review by Verner Elementary student J.M.L.
“I like this book because in every book there is an adventure. My favorite book from Geronimo Stilton is Singing Sensation. I like the book because he’s acts like me in the book. First, he doesn’t want to sing in front of everyone, next his friend makes him do it , lastly, he he ends up swinging in front of everyone.”
Deep and Dark and Dangerous
by Mary Downing Hahn
Scholastic – 187 Pages – Genre: Chapter book
Review by Verner Elementary student E.C.
“Just before summer begins, thirteen-year-old Ali finds an old photograph. She recognizes the two children. One’s her mother, the other her aunt Dulcie…but who is the third person, the one who’s been torn out of the picture? Ali will have two months to figure it out, since she’s spending the summer with her aunt and her cousin in the same house her mom and aunt used to visit when they were kids. Then Ali meets Sissy. Sissy is mean, spiteful, and determined to ruin Ali’s summer. Sissy also has a secret. Could it have something to do with the old photo? Ali is dying to find out. Though, if she’s not careful, that’s exactly what might happen to her—die, that is.”
Never Girls #4: From the Mist
by Kiki Thorpe
Disney – 128 Pages – Genre: Chapter book
Review by Verner Elementary student K.
“There is a girl named Kate who craves adventure and excitement. And there are the’s mist horses. Kate jumps on one. An old legend worries the fairies. When the mist falls will it take Kate with it too?”
Maybe He Just Likes You
by Barbara Dee
Aladdin 2019 – 304 pages – Genre: Realistic fiction
Seventh grader Mila has a solid group of friends and a loving, but overworked and underpaid mom. The trouble starts with a group of boys that suddenly start paying extra attention to Mila. It begins with unwanted hugs and shoulder squeezes and escalates from there. Mila is afraid to tell her friends and tries to protect her mom, who is trying so hard to keep her job. Who can she talk to? Who will believe her?
I have to admit, this was a difficult book to read. That doesn’t mean you should avoid it. Sexual harassment is real and destructive. It can also be very subtle, with the harasser making you feel like you’re overreacting or it’s all in your head. This book is so important! Read it, learn from it, and please reach out to a trusted adult if you are harassed.
Available as an ebook and audiobook in Sora (Tuscaloosa Public Library).