January 16, 2020

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Each Little Bird That Sings

By: Deborah Wiles
Recommended for grade(s): 4, 5
Ten-year-old Comfort Snowberger has attended 247 funerals. But that's not surprising, considering that her family runs the town funeral home. And even though Great-uncle Edisto keeled over with a heart attack and Great-great-aunt Florentine dropped dead—just like that—six months later, Comfort knows how to deal with loss, or so she thinks. She's more concerned with avoiding her crazy cousin Peach and trying to figure out why her best friend, Declaration, suddenly won't talk to her. Life is full of surprises. And the biggest one of all is learning what it takes to handle them. National Book Award Finalist. —from the website at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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I come from a family with a lot of dead people. Great-uncle Edisto keeled over with a stroke on a Saturday morning after breakfast last march. Six months later, Great-great-aunt Florentine died--just like that--in the vegetable garden. And, of course, there are all the dead people who rest temporarily downstairs, until they go off to the Snapfinger Cemetery.
  • All My Friends Are Dead
    Avery Monsen, Jory John

    All My Friends Are Dead

    By: Avery Monsen, Jory John
    Recommended for grade(s): 9, 10

    If you're a dinosaur, all of your friends are dead. If you're a pirate, all of your friends have scurvy. If you're a tree, all of your friends are end tables. Each page of this laugh-out-loud illustrated humor book showcases the downside of being everything from a clown to a cassette tape to a zombie. Cute and dark all at once, this hilarious children's book for adults teaches valuable lessons about life while exploring each cartoon character's unique grievance and wide-eyed predicament. From the sock whose only friends have gone missing to the houseplant whose friends are being slowly killed by irresponsible plant owners (like you), All My Friends Are Dead presents a delightful primer for laughing at the inevitable. --from Chronicle Books.

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  • Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic
    Alison Bechdel

    Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic

    By: Alison Bechdel
    Recommended for grade(s): College Plus

    A fresh and brilliantly told memoir from a cult favorite comic artist, marked by gothic twists, a family funeral home, sexual angst, and great books. Meet Alison's father, a historic preservation expert and obsessive restorer of the family's Victorian home, a third-generation funeral home director, a high school English teacher, an icily distant parent, and a closeted homosexual who, as it turns out, is involved with his male students and a family babysitter. Through narrative that is alternately heartbreaking and fiercely funny, we are drawn into a daughter's complex yearning for her father. And yet, apart from assigned stints dusting caskets at the family-owned "fun home," as Alison and her brothers call it, the relationship achieves its most intimate expression through the shared code of books. When Alison comes out as homosexual herself in late adolecence, the denouement is swift, graphic — and redemptive. —from the website at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

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  • Each Little Bird That Sings
    Deborah Wiles

    Each Little Bird That Sings

    By: Deborah Wiles
    Recommended for grade(s): 4, 5

    Ten-year-old Comfort Snowberger has attended 247 funerals. But that's not surprising, considering that her family runs the town funeral home. And even though Great-uncle Edisto keeled over with a heart attack and Great-great-aunt Florentine dropped dead—just like that—six months later, Comfort knows how to deal with loss, or so she thinks. She's more concerned with avoiding her crazy cousin Peach and trying to figure out why her best friend, Declaration, suddenly won't talk to her. Life is full of surprises. And the biggest one of all is learning what it takes to handle them. National Book Award Finalist. —from the website at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

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  • Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer
    Katie Alender

    Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer

    By: Katie Alender
    Recommended for grade(s): 7

    21st century girl. 18th century ghost. Heads will roll! The city of light just got a little darker. . . .Colette Iselin is excited to go to Paris on a class trip. She'll get to soak up the beauty and culture, and maybe even learn something about her family's French roots. But a series of gruesome murders are taking place across the city, putting everyone on edge. And as she tours museums and palaces, Colette keeps seeing a strange vision: a pale woman in a ball gown and powdered wig, who looks suspiciously like Marie Antoinette. Colette knows her popular, status-obsessed friends won't believe her, so she seeks out the help of a charming French boy. Together, they uncover a shocking secret involving a dark, hidden history. When Colette realizes she herself may hold the key to the mystery, her own life is in danger. . . .Acclaimed author Katie Alender brings heart-stopping suspense to this tale of revenge, betrayal, intrigue -- and one killer queen. -- From Scholastic UK

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