MVE Library Bluebonnet Books

2021-2022 List

Act

Author: Kayla Miller

Genre: Graphic Novels


Summary

Act is the funny and honest follow-up to the middle school graphic novel sensations Click and Camp. Perfect for fans of Raina Telgemeier, Shannon Hale, and Victoria Jamieson.

How do you know when the person who can make the difference . . . is you?

Olive is excited to start sixth grade: new teachers, new experiences, and a field trip to the big city with her best buds!

But when Olive finds out that a school policy is keeping some kids from going on the trip, she decides to act. She's prepared to do whatever it takes to be heard—even if it means running against Trent and Sawyer, two of her closest friends, in the student council election! With intense campaign competition and emotions running high, can Olive make a big change and keep her friends?

New York Times bestselling author-illustrator Kayla Miller crafts a genuine and inspiring story about evolving friendships, supportive family, and finding out that you—yes, you—have the power to make a difference.

The Best of Iggy

Author: Annie Barrows

Genre: Humor


Summary

From the New York Times bestselling author of Ivy + Bean comes a hilarious new series featuring a high-energy, lovable troublemaker.

Meet 9-year-old Iggy Frangi. He's not a bad kid, he's really not. Okay, so he's done a few (a few is anything up to 100) bad things. And okay, he's not very sorry about most of them. People make a big deal about nothing. What's a little pancake here and there? Is that something to get mad about? Iggy doesn't think so. No one got hurt, so there's no problem. No one got hurt except for that one time, that one time when the Best Idea Ever turned into the Worst Idea of All Time.

Iggy is sorry he did it. He is really, really, really sorry.

"For what?" you might ask. "What did he do?"

Well, you'll have to read the book to find out.

Things Iggy will NOT do in this book:

  • Be the most polite kid ever.
  • Play the cello.
  • Think before acting.
  • Learn a lesson.
  • Regret his actions. (Most of them, anyway.)

Black Brother, Black Brother

Author: Jewell Parker Rhodes

Genre: Sports


Summary

From award-winning and bestselling author, Jewell Parker Rhodes comes a powerful coming-of-age story about two brothers, one who presents as white, the other as black, and the complex ways in which they are forced to navigate the world, all while training for a fencing competition.


Framed. Bullied. Disliked. But I know I can still be the best.

Sometimes, 12-year-old Donte wishes he were invisible. As one of the few black boys at Middlefield Prep, most of the students don't look like him. They don't like him either. Dubbing him "Black Brother," Donte's teachers and classmates make it clear they wish he were more like his lighter-skinned brother, Trey.

When he's bullied and framed by the captain of the fencing team, "King" Alan, he's suspended from school and arrested.

Terrified, searching for a place where he belongs, Donte joins a local youth center and meets former Olympic fencer Arden Jones. With Arden's help, he begins training as a competitive fencer, setting his sights on taking down the fencing team captain, no matter what.

As Donte hones his fencing skills and grows closer to achieving his goal, he learns the fight for justice is far from over. Now Donte must confront his bullies, racism, and the corrupt systems of power that led to his arrest.

Powerful and emotionally gripping, Black Brother, Black Brother is a careful examination of the school-to-prison pipeline and follows one boy's fight against racism and his empowering path to finding his voice.

The Canyon's Edge

Author: Dusti Bowling

Genre: Realistic Fiction


Summary

Hatchet meets Long Way Down in this heartfelt and gripping novel in verse about a young girl's struggle for survival after a climbing trip with her father goes terribly wrong.

One year after a random shooting changed their family forever, Nora and her father are exploring a slot canyon deep in the Arizona desert, hoping it will help them find peace. Nora longs for things to go back to normal, like they were when her mother was still alive, while her father keeps them isolated in fear of other people. But when they reach the bottom of the canyon, the unthinkable happens: A flash flood rips across their path, sweeping away Nora's father and all of their supplies.

Suddenly, Nora finds herself lost and alone in the desert, facing dehydration, venomous scorpions, deadly snakes, and, worst of all, the Beast who has terrorized her dreams for the past year. If Nora is going to save herself and her father, she must conquer her fears, defeat the Beast, and find the courage to live her new life.

Efren Divided

Author: Ernesto Cisneros

Genre: Realistic Fiction


Summary

Efrén Nava’s Amá is his Superwoman—or Soperwoman, named after the delicious Mexican sopes his mother often prepares. Both Amá and Apá work hard all day to provide for the family, making sure Efrén and his younger siblings Max and Mía feel safe and loved.

But Efrén worries about his parents; although he’s American-born, his parents are undocumented. His worst nightmare comes true one day when Amá doesn’t return from work and is deported across the border to Tijuana, México.

Now more than ever, Efrén must channel his inner Soperboy to help take care of and try to reunite his family.

A glossary of Spanish words is included in the back of the book.

The Elephant's Girl

Author: Celesta Rimington

Genre: Fantasy


Summary

A magical adventure about a girl with a mysterious connection with the elephant who saved her life, for fans of Katherine Applegate and Jennifer Holm.

An elephant never forgets, but Lexington Willow can't remember what happened before a tornado swept her away when she was a toddler. All she knows is that it landed her near an enclosure in a Nebraska zoo; and there an elephant named Nyah protected her from the storm. With no trace of her birth family, Lex grew up at the zoo with Nyah and her elephant family; her foster father, Roger; her best friend, Fisher; and the wind whispering in her ear.

Now that she's twelve, Lex is finally old enough to help with the elephants. But during their first training session, Nyah sends her a telepathic image of the woods outside the zoo. Despite the wind's protests, Lex decides to investigate Nyah's message and gets wrapped up in an adventure involving ghosts, lost treasure, and a puzzle that might be the key to finding her family. As she hunts for answers, Lex must summon the courage to leave the secure borders of her zoo to discover who she really is--and why the tornado brought her here all those years ago.

Follow Those Zebras: Solving a Migration Mystery

Author: Sandra Markle

Genre: Nonfiction Picture Book


Summary

Every year in Namibia, about two thousand zebras suddenly disappear from their grazing area along the Chobe River. Months later, the herd returns. Where do they go? And why? Thanks to satellite-tracking collars, scientists were able to solve the mystery, but several questions remain. Award-winning science author Sandra Markle reveals the process scientists used to study the zebras, and she also delves into the science of migration, exploring how animals know where to go, how to get there, and when to leave.

A Hatful of Dragons: and More Than 13.8 Billion Other Funny Poems

Author: Vikram Madan

Genre: Poetry


Summary

Ideal for fans of Jack Prelutsky and Shel Silverstein, this collection of hilarious poems features delicious vocabulary and a wide range of subjects, as well as recurring characters and subplots in the art that weave the poems together and add to the merriment.

This funny poetry book is chockful of unusual characters: panda and pangolin musicians, mail-order eggs that hatch (surprise!) dinosaurs, ten aliens with a garden-gnome pal, a robot uncle, lots and lots of dragons, and a professor who uses his Page Machine to travel to multiple pages within the book. Vikram Madan's ingenious poems take many forms, from limerick to rebus to a fill-in-the-blank poem that offers more than 13.8 billion funny combinations. All feature clever wordplay, impeccable rhythm and rhyme, and riotous punchlines. This is a quirky collection of poems that readers will laugh their way through again and again.

Honeybee: The Busy Life of Apis Mellifera

Author: Candace Fleming

Genre: Nonfiction Picture Book


Summary

A tiny honeybee emerges through the wax cap of her cell. Driven to protect and take care of her hive, she cleans the nursery and feeds the larvae and the queen. But is she strong enough to fly? Not yet!

Apis builds wax comb to store honey, and transfers pollen from other bees into the storage. She defends the hive from invaders. And finally, she begins her new life as an adventurer.

The confining walls of the hive fall away as Apis takes to the air, finally free, in a brilliant double-gatefold illustration where the clear blue sky is full of promise-- and the wings of dozens of honeybees, heading out in search of nectar to bring back to the hive.

Eric Rohmann's exquisitely detailed illustrations bring the great outdoors into your hands in this poetically written tribute to the hardworking honeybee. Award-winning author Candace Fleming describes the life cycle of the honeybee in accessible, beautiful language. Similar in form and concept to the Sibert and Orbis Pictus award book Giant Squid, Honeybee also features a stunning gatefold and an essay on the plight of honeybees.

The Incredibly Dead Pets of Rex Dexter

Author: Aaron Reynolds

Genre: Humor


Summary

As the name of the town suggests, life in Middlington Falls is unremarkable. That is, until Rex Dexter tangles with a wish-granting grim reaper, in the form of a vintage arcade game. Unfortunately, Rex loses the game, and instead of walking away with a real live pet (please be a chocolate Lab!), he is cursed with the ability to see and speak to dead animals—including his rooster “practice pet,” which just got flattened in the parking lot. Narrating with unchecked confidence and sarcasm, Rex comes to understand that the incorporeal zoo animals now appearing in his bedroom—a charred rhino, a drowned gorilla, a squashed elephant, and a zapped panda—need his help to solve the mystery of their untimely deaths. Picture-book author Reynolds brings his knack for off-kilter comedy to his first novel in a gleefully entertaining fashion. While Rex recklessly leads with self-ascribed “charm,” he is balanced by his intelligent, good-natured friend Darvish. The zany animal cast adds to the fun of this series starter, perfect for fans of Stuart Gibbs’ FunJungle mysteries.

Lexi Magill and the Teleportation Tournament

Author: Kim Long

Genre: Science Fiction


Summary

For fans of The Amazing Race, Lexi Magill and the Teleportation Tournament is the perfect adventure for middle grade readers who like scavenger hunts and puzzle-solving.

Twelve-year-old physics whiz Lexi Magill won't let anything stop her from winning Wisconsin's Teleportation Tournament--the annual competition where teams teleport around the world to solve science-based puzzles. She needs the prize money if she wants to re-enroll in the science academy her parents can no longer afford. Added bonus: she'll be able to reconnect with her best friend Haley.

But Lexi's two teammates put a wrench in her plans. When one misreads a clue that lands the team in a castle in Germany, and the other loses her teleportation medallion in Poland, Lexi wonders what she's gotten herself into. Struggling to keep her team under control as the race rages on, Lexi not only has to figure out how to get back on course (literally), but she must decide how far she's willing to go to win, and who her real friends are. With riddles to solve and messages to decode, this interactive read won't disappoint!

The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned to Read

Author: Rita Lorraine Hubbard

Genre: Biography


Summary

Imagine learning to read at the age of 116! Discover the true story of Mary Walker, the nation's oldest student who did just that, in this picture book from a Caldecott Honor-winning illustrator and a rising star author.

In 1848, Mary Walker was born into slavery. At age 15, she was freed, and by age 20, she was married and had her first child. By age 68, she had worked numerous jobs, including cooking, cleaning, babysitting, and selling sandwiches to raise money for her church. At 114, she was the last remaining member of her family. And at 116, she learned to read. From Rita Lorraine Hubbard and rising star Oge More comes the inspirational story of Mary Walker, a woman whose long life spanned from the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement, and who--with perseverance and dedication--proved that you're never too old to learn.

Our Friend Hedgehog: The Story of Us

Author: Lauren Castillo

Genre: Everybody Picture Book


Summary

Hedgehog lives on a teeny-tiny island with only her stuffed dog, Mutty, for company. When a great storm carries Mutty away, she embarks on a quest to find her friend. Following the trail of clues Mutty left behind, brave Hedgehog meets a wiggly Mole, a wordy Owl, a curmudgeonly Beaver, a scatterbrained Hen and Chicks, and a girl who's new to the neighborhood, Annika May. With bravery and teamwork, there's nothing that can stop these seven from finding Mutty, but along the way they discover something even more important: each other.

The first book in a new series from Caldecott Honor winner Lauren Castillo, Our Friend Hedgehog: The Story of Us has the feel of a timeless classic, introducing an unforgettable cast of characters who will star in many more adventures to come.

Scary Stories for Young Foxes

Author: Christian McKay Heidicker

Genre: Scary


Summary

The haunted season has arrived in the Antler Wood. No fox kit is safe.

When Mia and Uly are separated from their litters, they discover a dangerous world full of monsters. In order to find a den to call home, they must venture through field and forest, facing unspeakable things that dwell in the darkness: a zombie who hungers for their flesh, a witch who tries to steal their skins, a ghost who hunts them through the snow . . . and other things too scary to mention.

Featuring eight interconnected stories and sixteen hauntingly beautiful illustrations, Scary Stories for Young Foxes contains the kinds of adventures and thrills you love to listen to beside a campfire in the dark of night. Fans of Neil Gaiman, Jonathan Auxier, and R. L. Stine have found their next favorite book.

The Secret Garden of George Washington Carver

Author: Gene Barretta

Genre: Biography


Summary

When George Washington Carver was just a young child, he had a secret: a garden of his own.

Here, he rolled dirt between his fingers to check if plants needed more rain or sun. He protected roots through harsh winters, so plants could be reborn in the spring. He trimmed flowers, spread soil, studied life cycles. And it was in this very place that George’s love of nature sprouted into something so much more—his future.

Gene Barretta’s moving words and Frank Morrison’s beautiful paintings tell the inspiring life and history of George Washington Carver, from a baby born into slavery to celebrated botanist, scientist, and inventor. His passion and determination are the seeds to this lasting story about triumph over hardship—a tale that begins in a secret garden.

Sharuko: El Arqueólogo Peruano Julio C. Tello / Peruvian Archaeologist Julio C. Tello

Author: Monica Brown

Genre: Biography


Summary

A fascinating bilingual picture book biography of Peruvian archaeologist and national icon Julio C. Tello, who unearthed Peru's ancient cultures and fostered pride in the country's Indigenous history.


Growing up in the late 1800s, Julio Tello, an Indigenous boy, spent time exploring the caves and burial grounds in the foothills of the Peruvian Andes. Nothing scared Julio, not even the ancient human skulls he found. His bravery earned him the boyhood nickname Sharuko, which means brave in Quechua, the language of the Native people of Peru.


At the age of twelve, Julio moved to Lima to continue his education. While in medical school, he discovered an article about the skulls he had found. The skulls had long ago been sent to Lima to be studied by scientists. The article renewed Julio's interest in his ancestry, and he decided to devote his medical skills to the study of Peru's Indigenous history.


Over his lifetime, Julio Tello made many revolutionary discoveries at archaeological sites around Peru, and he worked to preserve the historical treasures he excavated. He showed that Peru's Indigenous cultures had been established thousands of years ago, disproving the popular belief that Peruvian culture had been introduced more recently from other countries. He fostered pride in his country's Indigenous ancestry, making him a hero to all Peruvians. Because of the brave man once known as Sharuko, people around the world today know of Peru's long history and its living cultural legacy.

Someplace to Call Home

Author: Sandra Dallas

Genre: Historical Fiction


Summary

In 1933, what's left of the Turner family--twelve-year-old Hallie and her two brothers--finds itself driving the back roads of rural America. The children have been swept up into a new migratory way of life. America is facing two devastating crises: the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl. Hundreds of thousands of people in cities across the country have lost jobs. In rural America it isn't any better as crops suffer from the never-ending drought. Driven by severe economic hardship, thousands of people take to the road to seek whatever work they can find, often splintering fragile families in the process. As the Turner children move from town to town, searching for work and trying to cobble together the basic necessities of life, they are met with suspicion and hostility. They are viewed as outsiders in their own country. Will they ever find a place to call home? New York Times-bestselling author Sandra Dallas gives middle-grade readers a timely story of young people searching for a home and a better way of life.

Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky

Author: Kwame Mbalia

Genre: Fantasy


Summary

Best-selling author Rick Riordan presents Kwame Mbalia's epic fantasy, a middle grade American Gods set in a richly-imagined world populated with African American folk heroes and West African gods.


Seventh grader Tristan Strong feels anything but strong ever since he failed to save his best friend when they were in a bus accident together. All he has left of Eddie is the journal his friend wrote stories in. Tristan is dreading the month he's going to spend on his grandparents' farm in Alabama, where he's being sent to heal from the tragedy.


But on his first night there, a sticky creature shows up in his bedroom and steals Eddie's notebook. Tristan chases after it--is that a doll?--and a tug-of-war ensues between them underneath a Bottle Tree. In a last attempt to wrestle the journal out of the creature's hands, Tristan punches the tree, accidentally ripping open a chasm into the MidPass, a volatile place with a burning sea, haunted bone ships, and iron monsters that are hunting the inhabitants of this world.


Tristan finds himself in the middle of a battle that has left black American folk heroes John Henry and Brer Rabbit exhausted. In order to get back home, Tristan and these new allies will need to entice the god Anansi, the Weaver, to come out of hiding and seal the hole in the sky. But bartering with the trickster Anansi always comes at a price.


Can Tristan save this world before he loses more of the things he loves?

Ways to Make Sunshine

Author: Renee Watson

Genre: Realistic Fiction


Summary

From Newbery Honor and Coretta Scott King Author Award winner Renée Watson comes the first book in a young middle grade series about Ryan Hart, a ten-year-old girl who is pure spirit, kindness, and sunshine.

Ryan Hart has a lot on her mind--school, self-image, and especially family. Her dad finally has a new job, but money is tight. That means some changes, like selling their second car and moving into a new (old) house. But Ryan is a girl who knows how to make sunshine out of setbacks. As her brother says when he raps about her, she’s got the talent that matters most: it’s a talent that can’t be seen, she’s nice, not mean!

Ryan is all about trying to see the best in people, to be a good daughter, a good sister, a good friend. But even if her life isn’t everything she would wish for, when her big brother is infuriating, her parents don’t quite understand, and the unexpected happens, she always finds a way forward, with grace and wit. And plenty of sunshine.

Acclaimed author Renée Watson writes her own version of Ramona Quimby, one starring a Black girl and her family, in this start to a charming new series.

Words on Fire

Author: Jennifer A. Nielsen

Genre: Historical Fiction


Summary

New York Times bestselling author Jennifer A. Nielsen transports readers to a corner of history with this inspiring story of a girl who discovers the strength of her people united in resisting oppression.

Danger is never far from Audra's family farm in Lithuania. She always avoids the occupying Russian Cossack soldiers, who insist that everyone must become Russian -- they have banned Lithuanian books, religion, culture, and even the language. But Audra knows her parents are involved in something secret and perilous.

In June 1893, when Cossacks arrive abruptly at their door, Audra's parents insist that she flee, taking with her an important package and instructions for where to deliver it. But escape means abandoning her parents to a terrible fate.

As Audra embarks on a journey to deliver the mysterious package, she faces unimaginable risks, and soon she becomes caught up in a growing resistance movement. Can joining the underground network of book smugglers give Audra a chance to rescue her parents?