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The Best Michigan Kids Books

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Christmas Tapestry
Written by Patricia Polacco
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

When a leak ruins the sacristy wall in his father’s church, Jonathan Jefferson Weeks thinks Christmas Eve service will be ruined. Luckily he and his father find a beautiful tapestry, perfect for covering the damaged wall and giving the church a festive look! But then, an old Jewish woman recognizes the beautiful cloth. Her discovery leads to a real miracle on Christmas Eve.

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The Mermaid's Purse
Written & illustrated by Patricia Polacco
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

“Stella loves books so much, she starts her own library–but then a storm threatens to destroy everything”–

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Bud, Not Buddy
Written & illustrated by Christopher Paul Curtis
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

The Newbery Medal and Coretta Scott King Award-winning classic about a boy who decides to hit the road to find his father—from Christopher Paul Curtis, author of The Watsons Go To Birmingham—1963, a Newbery and Coretta Scott King Honoree.

It’s 1936, in Flint Michigan. Times may be hard, and ten-year-old Bud may be a motherless boy on the run, but Bud’s got a few things going for him:

  1. He has his own suitcase full of special things.
  2. He’s the author of Bud Caldwell’s Rules and Things for Having a Funner Life and Making a Better Liar Out of Yourself.
  3. His momma never told him who his father was, but she left a clue: flyers advertising Herman E. Calloway and his famous band, the Dusky Devastators of the Depression!!!!!!

Bud’s got an idea that those flyers will lead him to his father. Once he decides to hit the road to find this mystery man, nothing can stop him—not hunger, not fear, not vampires, not even Herman E. Calloway himself.

AN ALA BEST BOOK FOR YOUNG ADULTS AN ALA NOTABLE CHILDREN’S BOOK AN IRA CHILDREN’S BOOK AWARD WINNER NAMED TO 14 STATE AWARD LISTS

“The book is a gem, of value to all ages, not just the young people to whom it is aimed.” —The Christian Science Monitor

“Will keep readers engrossed from first page to last.” —Publishers Weekly, Starred

“Curtis writes with a razor-sharp intelligence that grabs the reader by the heart and never lets go. . . . This highly recommended title [is] at the top of the list of books to be read again and again.” —Voice of Youth Advocates, Starred

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Drum Roll, Please
Written by Lisa Jenn Bigelow
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Find the confidence to rock out to your own beat in this big-hearted middle grade novel. Not to be missed by fans of Raina Telgemeier’s Drama and Tim Federle’s Better Nate Than Ever! Melly only joined the school band because her best friend, Olivia, begged her to. But to her surprise, quiet Melly loves playing the drums. It’s the only time she doesn’t feel like a mouse. Now she and Olivia are about to spend the next two weeks at Camp Rockaway, jamming under the stars in the Michigan woods. But this summer brings a lot of big changes for Melly: her parents split up, her best friend ditches her, and Melly finds herself unexpectedly falling for another girl at camp. To top it all off, Melly’s not sure she has what it takes to be a real rock n’ roll drummer. Will she be able to make music from all the noise in her heart? Ami Polonsky, acclaimed author of Gracefully Grayson, raved, “Drum Roll, Please is a perfect middle-grade love story. Bigelow delivers a mighty message to turn up the volume on your inner drumbeat.”

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Chasing Helicity
Written by Ginger Zee
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Helicity is well aware that her name is unusual - kind of like Helicity herself. The word Helicity means to spin, and for as long as she can remember, Helicity has been fascinated by the weather. The weather is Helicity’s escape from her own reality - may that be school, her father’s strict discipline, or her brother’s imminent departure for college where he’s all set to play football. One fateful day, Helicity and her horse head out on a long ride to take a break from life at home. Even with her vast experience with weather, Helicity is unprepared for the elements she faces. The choices Helicity makes before, during, and after that storm will have a lasting effect on her family and her future.

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  • January's Sparrow - Patricia Polacco’s most powerful book since <i>Pink and Say.</i><p> In the middle of the night, The Crosswhites?including young Sadie?must flee the Kentucky plantation they work on. Dear January has been beaten and killed by the plantation master, and they fear who may be next. But Sadie must leave behind her most valuable possession, the wooden sparrow carved for her by January. Through the Underground Railroad, the Crosswhites make the slow and arduous journey to Marshall, Michigan, where they finally live in freedom. And there they stay, happily, until the day a mysterious package shows up on their doorsteps. It is January’s sparrow, with a note that reads, ?I found you.?<p> How the Crosswhites, and the whole town of Marshall, face this threat will leave readers empowered and enthralled. This is a Polacco adventure that will live in the minds of children for years. <p/></p></p>

  • Treasures from Grandma's Attic - Journey back to Grandma's childhood on a Michigan farm in the 1800s for heartwarming stories that inspire faith and godly character. Arleta Richardson's beloved series, Grandma's Attic, returns with Treasures from Grandma's Attic, the fourth in the refreshed classic collection for girls 8 to 12. This compilation of tales recounts humorous and poignant memories from Grandma Mabel's childhood on a Michigan farm in the late 1800s. Combining the warmth and spirit of Little House on the Prairie with a Christian focus, this book transports readers back to a simpler time to learn lessons surprisingly relevant in today's world. Richardson's wholesome stories have reached more than two million readers worldwide. Parents appreciate the godly values and character they promote. Children love the captivating storytelling that recounts childhood memories of mischief and joy. Ideal for home, school, or church libraries, or to give as a gift certain to be treasured.

  • In Grandma's Attic - A young girl delights in her grandmother's stories of days gone by, sparked by keepsakes and simple questions, Grandma shares marvelous stories of mischief, discovery, and laughter, such as the time she accidentally lost the family buggy. Part of the bestselling Grandma's Attic series, these charming tales--updated with delightful new illustrations--will whisk you away to another time and place. And you'll find something worth far more than any treasure or keepsake...timeless lessons of life and faith!

  • More Stories from Grandma's Attic - A young girl delights in her grandmother's stories of days gone by, sparked by keepsakes and simple questions, Grandma shares marvelous stories of mischief, discovery, and laughter, such as a beautiful heart-shaped locket and a curl that cost Grandma more than a lock of hair. Part of the bestselling Grandma's Attic series, these charming tales--updated with delightful new illustrations--will whisk you away to another time and place. And you'll find something worth far more than any treasure or keepsake...timeless lessons of life and faith!

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Mrs Mack
Written & illustrated by Patricia Polacco
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Patricia is thrilled when her father decides that she’s finally old enough to learn to ride. But her dreams of having a beautiful horse of her own are dashed when he takes her to a stable in Dogpatch, the rundown section of town. Patricia is sure that she’ll never learn anything in a place like that. But it’s in Dogpatch that Patricia meets two individuals–kind, patient Mrs. Mack and a glorious chestnut mare named Penny–who help her overcome her fears, and change her life forever. Powerfully written, beautifully told, and brought to life with rich watercolor illustrations, this is a story that will touch the heart of everyone who reads it.

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