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New York: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best kids books about New York?

New York is a magical place. There is a feeling of determination in the air. Now you will be able to share this with your children whether they are newborn or reading chapter books on their own. We hope you enjoy the enthusiasm you’ll find here as much as we do.

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Top 10 Books About New York

#1
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Stuart Little
Written & illustrated by E.B. White
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

A hardcover edition of this treasured story, for which Garth Williams’s original black-and-white line drawings for the jacket of Stuart Little have been colorized by the celebrated illustrator Rosemary Wells. Stuart Little is no ordinary mouse. Born to a family of humans, he lives in New York City with his parents, his older brother George, and Snowbell the cat. Though he’s shy and thoughtful, he’s also a true lover of adventure. Stuart’s greatest adventure comes when his best friend, a beautiful little bird named Margalo, disappears from her nest. Determined to track her down, Stuart ventures away from home for the very first time in his life. He finds adventure aplenty. But will he find his friend?

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#2
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From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
Written by E.L. Konigsburg
Thoughts from The Goodfather
I have fond memories of this book from my own elementary days and look forward to sharing it with my own kids. The setting of the story in New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art makes it especially attractive to any readers who love the city.
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

2017 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the beloved classic From the Mixed-up files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.

In this winner of the Newbery Medal from E.L. Konigsburg, when suburban Claudia Kincaid decides to run away, she knows she doesn’t just want to run from somewhere, she wants to run to somewhere—to a place that is comfortable, beautiful, and, preferably, elegant.

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#3
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Twenty-one Elephants and Still Standing
Written by April Jones Prince & illustrated by Francois Roca
Thoughts from The Goodfather
This story memorably presents such an inspiring moment in the history of the Brooklyn Bridge. It also touches on the general history of the bridge. The soft illustration style helps create the memorable and inspiring feel of the story. This is a great book about New York City!
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

After fourteen years of construction, the Brooklyn Bridge was completed, much to the delight of the sister cities it connected: Brooklyn and New York City.

Fireworks and top hats filled the air in celebration when the magnificent bridge opened in 1883. But some wondered just how much weight the new bridge could hold. Was it truly safe?

One man seized the opportunity to show people in Brooklyn, New York and the world that the Brooklyn Bridge was in fact strong enough to hold even the heaviest of passengers. P. T. Barnum, creator of “The Greatest Show on Earth,” would present a show too big for the Big Top and too wondrous to forget.

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#4
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Her Right Foot
Written by Dave Eggers & illustrated by Shawn Harris
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm
I love this book about the statue of liberty! The illustrations are completely gorgeous, and the book is fact-filled and full of great vocabulary. While some of the words might go over the heads of little ones, I really like the diction choice to help introduce new words. The story tells a lot of the history and meaning behind the statue, and I learned a lot of new things from this book, myself. The story starts with the history of the statue, moves towards more facts and details about the building of the statue, and ends with what the statue represents about freedom, liberty, and immigration.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

If you had to name a statue, any statue, odds are good you’d mention the Statue of Liberty. Have you seen her? She’s in New York. She’s holding a torch. And she’s taking one step forward. But why? In this fascinating, fun take on nonfiction, uniquely American in its frank tone and honest look at the literal foundation of our country, Dave Eggers and Shawn Harris investigate a seemingly small trait of America’s most emblematic statue. What they find is about more than history, more than art. What they find in the Statue of Liberty’s right foot is the powerful message of acceptance that is essential to an entire country’s creation. Can you believe that?

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#5
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Little Elliot, Big City
Written & illustrated by Mike Curato
Thoughts from Mom of Boys
This book has beautiful illustrations. It is very fun as it is set in New York City. The story is darling about a little elephant that feels small until he finds someone even smaller than himself that he can help. It turns the story around to show how helping others and friendship can make our life meaningful.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Elliot the little elephant has a hard time with a lot of things in the city he loves until he meets Mouse, who is even smaller–and hungrier.

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#6
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Blackout
Written & illustrated by John Rocco
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

When a busy family’s activities come to a halt because of a blackout, they find they enjoy spending time together and not being too busy for once.

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#7
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My Little Cities: New York
Written by Jennifer Adams & illustrated by Greg Pizzoli
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

In this delightful series written by BabyLit author Jennifer Adams and illustrated by kidlit darling Greg Pizzoli, each book showcases a different city with lighthearted baby-appropriate text and ridiculously charming illustrations. Take a whirlwind tour of the Big Apple: cheer with the roaring crowds at Yankee Stadium, chug along peacefully on the Staten Island Ferry, wonder at the bright lights of Times Square, and say good night to the famous New York City skyline.

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#8
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The Cricket in Times Square
Written by George Selden & illustrated by Garth Williams
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Tucker is a streetwise city mouse. He thought he’d seen it all. But he’s never met a cricket before, which really isn’t surprising, because, along with his friend Harry Cat, Tucker lives in the very heart of New York City—the Times Square subway station. Chester Cricket never intended to leave his Connecticut meadow. He’d be there still if he hadn’t followed the entrancing aroma of liverwurst right into someone’s picnic basket. Now, like any tourist in the city, he wants to look around. And he could not have found two better guides—and friends—than Tucker and Harry. The trio have many adventures—from taking in the sights and sounds of Broadway to escaping a smoky fire. Chester makes a third friend, too. It is a boy, Mario, who rescues Chester from a dusty corner of the subway station and brings him to live in the safety of his parents’ newsstand. He hopes at first to keep Chester as a pet, but Mario soon understands that the cricket is more than that. Because Chester has a hidden talent and no one—not even Chester himself—realizes that the little country cricket may just be able to teach even the toughest New Yorkers a thing or two. The Cricket in Times Square is a 1961 Newbery Honor Book.

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#9
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New York Baby
Written by Puck & illustrated by Violet Lemay
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

A fast-paced tour of the Big Apple from the viewpoint of local babies showcases where they live and play while introducing famed attractions and iconic landmarks. By the author of the Cool Counting Books series.

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#10
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Freddie Ramos Rules New York
Written by Jacqueline Jules & illustrated by Miguel Benitez
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

Freddie and his mom are visiting Uncle Jorge in New York City! Just before they leave, Mr. Vaslov gives Freddie a new pair of zapatos to replace the ones that were getting too small. But Freddie worries if his new zapatos will work as well as his old ones. Will Freddie be able to save the day when Uncle Jorge misplaces an engagement ring in the middle of a New York City traffic jam?

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Table of Contents
Scroll to books about New York and...

Books About New York and Lifestyles

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Little Elliot, Big City
Written & illustrated by Mike Curato
Thoughts from Mom of Boys
This book has beautiful illustrations. It is very fun as it is set in New York City. The story is darling about a little elephant that feels small until he finds someone even smaller than himself that he can help. It turns the story around to show how helping others and friendship can make our life meaningful.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Elliot the little elephant has a hard time with a lot of things in the city he loves until he meets Mouse, who is even smaller–and hungrier.

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The Cricket in Times Square
Written by George Selden & illustrated by Garth Williams
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Tucker is a streetwise city mouse. He thought he’d seen it all. But he’s never met a cricket before, which really isn’t surprising, because, along with his friend Harry Cat, Tucker lives in the very heart of New York City—the Times Square subway station. Chester Cricket never intended to leave his Connecticut meadow. He’d be there still if he hadn’t followed the entrancing aroma of liverwurst right into someone’s picnic basket. Now, like any tourist in the city, he wants to look around. And he could not have found two better guides—and friends—than Tucker and Harry. The trio have many adventures—from taking in the sights and sounds of Broadway to escaping a smoky fire. Chester makes a third friend, too. It is a boy, Mario, who rescues Chester from a dusty corner of the subway station and brings him to live in the safety of his parents’ newsstand. He hopes at first to keep Chester as a pet, but Mario soon understands that the cricket is more than that. Because Chester has a hidden talent and no one—not even Chester himself—realizes that the little country cricket may just be able to teach even the toughest New Yorkers a thing or two. The Cricket in Times Square is a 1961 Newbery Honor Book.

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Good Morning, City
Written by Pat Kiernan & illustrated by Pascal Campion
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

It’s dark and quiet.

The moon still glimmers in the sky.

While the baker, the ferry boat captain, and the TV anchorman are busy at work, most people are cozily snuggled in bed. Then dawn’s first light peeks through the tree branches. Wake up, city! There is much to be done in neighborhoods all across the metropolis. As the morning gets brighter, the city streets bustle with people ready to begin the day. GOOD MORNING, CITY, by morning news anchor Pat Kiernan, is sure to start the day off right.

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Honorable Mentions
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  1. A New Home - As a girl in Mexico City and a boy in New York City ponder moving to each other’s locale, it becomes clear that the two cities – and the two children – are more alike than they might think. But I’m not sure I want to leave my home. I’m going to miss so much. Moving to a new city can be exciting. But what if your new home isn’t anything like your old home? Will you make friends? What will you eat? Where will you play? In a cleverly combined voice – accompanied by wonderfully detailed illustrations depicting parallel urban scenes – a young boy conveys his fears about moving from New York City to Mexico City while, at the same time, a young girl expresses trepidation about leaving Mexico City to move to New York City. Tania de Regil offers a heartwarming story that reminds us that home may be found wherever life leads. Fascinating details about each city are featured at the end.

  2. My First Book of New York - See all the best-loved sites of New York City in this stylish big picture book by Ingela P. Arrhenius. Visit the Statue of Liberty, climb the Empire State Building, catch a show on Broadway – there’s so much to do in New York City! Take a taxi to Times Square, check out the Apollo Theater, cross the Brooklyn Bridge, and stroll in Central Park in this big word book about the Big Apple. With colorful, graphic illustrations of everything from iconic landmarks to mah-jongg players in Chinatown, this is a beautifully designed gift for New York lovers of all ages – the first in a series about the great cities of the world.

  3. When You Reach Me - “Like A Wrinkle in Time (Miranda’s favorite book), When You Reach Me far surpasses the usual whodunit or sci-fi adventure to become an incandescent exploration of ‘life, death, and the beauty of it all.’” —The Washington Post This Newbery Medal winner that has been called “smart and mesmerizing,” (The New York Times) and “superb” (The Wall Street Journal) will appeal to readers of all types, especially those who are looking for a thought-provoking mystery with a mind-blowing twist. Shortly after a fall-out with her best friend, sixth grader Miranda starts receiving mysterious notes, and she doesn’t know what to do. The notes tell her that she must write a letter—a true story, and that she can’t share her mission with anyone. It would be easy to ignore the strange messages, except that whoever is leaving them has an uncanny ability to predict the future. If that is the case, then Miranda has a big problem—because the notes tell her that someone is going to die, and she might be too late to stop it. Winner of the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award for Fiction A New York Times Bestseller and Notable Book Five Starred Reviews A Junior Library Guild Selection “Absorbing.” —People “Readers … are likely to find themselves chewing over the details of this superb and intricate tale long afterward.” —The Wall Street Journal “Lovely and almost impossibly clever.” —The Philadelphia Inquirer “It’s easy to imagine readers studying Miranda’s story as many times as she’s read L’Engle’s, and spending hours pondering the provocative questions it raises.” —Publishers Weekly, Starred review

  4. Nelly Takes New York - The Big Apple may be hiding in the place you least expect it in this spunky introduction to the best parts of New York. Nelly lives in New York, the greatest city in the world. Every morning, she wakes up to the rumble of the subways and the honking of cars. Every morning, she can smell the food cart downstairs and hear the rat-a-tat-tat of the street musicians outside. Every morning, she goes outside to be in the city she knows like the back of her hand—or does she? One morning, Nelly and her dog Bagel decide to find out what New York is really about—or more specifically, why a city that has nothing to do with apples is the Biggest Apple of them all. Could there really be a giant apple somewhere in New York? And where is it hiding?

Books About New York and Travel

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Good Night New York City
Written by Adam Gamble & illustrated by Joe Veno
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Easy-to-read text introduces the sights of New York City through a full day of sightseeing.

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My Little Cities: New York
Written by Jennifer Adams & illustrated by Greg Pizzoli
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

In this delightful series written by BabyLit author Jennifer Adams and illustrated by kidlit darling Greg Pizzoli, each book showcases a different city with lighthearted baby-appropriate text and ridiculously charming illustrations. Take a whirlwind tour of the Big Apple: cheer with the roaring crowds at Yankee Stadium, chug along peacefully on the Staten Island Ferry, wonder at the bright lights of Times Square, and say good night to the famous New York City skyline.

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New York Baby
Written by Puck & illustrated by Violet Lemay
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

A fast-paced tour of the Big Apple from the viewpoint of local babies showcases where they live and play while introducing famed attractions and iconic landmarks. By the author of the Cool Counting Books series.

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  1. Pop-up New York - Make the city come alive with this bold and beautiful series of pop-up books from Lonely Planet Kids. Classic icons meet modern must-sees in this stunning trip around the city. Gorgeous illustration and clever paper engineering make this the perfect introduction to the wows of New York for any age.

  2. City Trails - New York - Here’s a book about New York that’s seriously streetwise. Discover secrets and stories guaranteed to blow your mind that are definitely off the tourist trail. Find out what’s lurking in the pumpkin garden, why you might find cows underground, how eating hotdogs could make you rich and lots more! For readers aged 8 and up.

  3. Larry Gets Lost in New York City - Follow Larry as he ping-pongs around the city, hitting all five boroughs in a day, and the places and things that make New York City what it is: hot dogs, Times Square, Wall Street, Radio City Music Hall, Coney Island, Madison Square Garden, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Greenwich Village, and Central Park, among others.

  4. Hello, New York! - From bestselling author Christopher Franceschelli comes Hello, New York! and Hello, Paris!, board books about the most visited cities in the world. Each book opens with a simple map that puts all of the city sites in context before taking readers on a journey of the landmarks in each city. Playful die-cuts peek into windows and under bridges on each spread, culminating in an iconic gatefold at the end.

Books About New York and 19th Century

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Her Right Foot
Written by Dave Eggers & illustrated by Shawn Harris
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm
I love this book about the statue of liberty! The illustrations are completely gorgeous, and the book is fact-filled and full of great vocabulary. While some of the words might go over the heads of little ones, I really like the diction choice to help introduce new words. The story tells a lot of the history and meaning behind the statue, and I learned a lot of new things from this book, myself. The story starts with the history of the statue, moves towards more facts and details about the building of the statue, and ends with what the statue represents about freedom, liberty, and immigration.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

If you had to name a statue, any statue, odds are good you’d mention the Statue of Liberty. Have you seen her? She’s in New York. She’s holding a torch. And she’s taking one step forward. But why? In this fascinating, fun take on nonfiction, uniquely American in its frank tone and honest look at the literal foundation of our country, Dave Eggers and Shawn Harris investigate a seemingly small trait of America’s most emblematic statue. What they find is about more than history, more than art. What they find in the Statue of Liberty’s right foot is the powerful message of acceptance that is essential to an entire country’s creation. Can you believe that?

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The Secret Subway
Written by Shana Corey & illustrated by Red Nose Studio
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

“New York City in the 1860s was a mess- crowded, disgusting, filled with garbage. You see, way back in 1860, there were no subways, just cobblestone streets. That is, until Alfred Ely Beach had the idea for a fan-powered train that would travel underground. On February 26, 1870, after fifty-eight days of drilling and painting and plastering, Beach unveiled his masterpiece-and throngs of visitors took turns swooshing down the track. The Secret Subwaywill wow readers, just as Beach’s underground train wowed riders over a century ago.”

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Farmer Boy
Written by Laura Ingalls Wilder & illustrated by Garth Williams
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

While Laura Ingalls grows up in a little house on the western prairie, Almanzo Wilder is living on a big farm in New York State. Here Almanzo and his brother and sisters help with the summer planting and fall harvest. In winter there is wood to be chopped and great slabs of ice to be cut from the river and stored. Time for fun comes when the jolly tin peddler visits, or best of all, when the fair comes to town. This is Laura Ingalls Wilder’s beloved story of how her husband Almanzo grew up as a farmer boy far from the little house where Laura lived.

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  1. A Green Place to Be: the Creation of Central Park - How did Central Park become a vibrant gem in the heart of New York City? Follow the visionaries behind the plan as it springs to green life. In 1858, New York City was growing so fast that new roads and tall buildings threatened to swallow up the remaining open space. The people needed a green place to be – a park with ponds to row on and paths for wandering through trees and over bridges. When a citywide contest solicited plans for creating a park out of barren swampland, Calvert Vaux and Frederick Law Olmsted put their heads together to create the winning design, and the hard work of making their plans a reality began. By winter, the lake opened for skating. By the next summer, the waterside woodland known as the Ramble opened for all to enjoy. Meanwhile, sculptors, stone masons, and master gardeners joined in to construct thirty-four unique bridges, along with fountains, pagodas, and band shells, making New York’s Central Park a green gift to everyone. Included in the end matter are bios of Vaux and Olmsted, a bibliography, and engaging factual snippets.

  2. Caroline's Battle: 1812 - Caroline’s father has just returned when they receive frightening news–British warships are sailing to attack Sackets Harbor. Every grown man, including Papa, has been called to defend the village. Mama and Caroline are left alone to guard Abbott’s Shipyard as the battlefront draws ever closer. Caroline knows she must be brave to keep Papa’s shipyard safe. But when the battle seems lost, Mama gives her a terrible order: burn the shipyard to the ground. Will Caroline really be able to do what must be done? The illustrated “Looking Back” section discusses the writing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” and the burning of the White House during the War of 1812.

  3. A Farmer Boy Birthday - Long, long ago, a little boy named Almanzo Wilder lived on a farm in the New York countryside with his father, his mother, his big brother, Royal, and his big sisters, Eliza Jane and Alice. One special day is Almanzo’s birthday. He gets to stay home from school, and even better, Father gives him a yoke for his calves, Star and Bright, and a beautiful hand-sled. Almanzo spends the morning learning how to break the calves, and then he spends the afternoon flying down the hill in his brand-new sled. Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books have been cherished by generations of readers. Now for the first time, the youngest readers can share Almanzo’s adventures on the farm in these very special picture books adapted from Laura Ingalls Wilder’s beloved storybooks. Jody Wheeler’s warm paintings, inspired by Garth Williams’ classic Little House illustrations, bring Almanzo and his family lovingly to life.

  4. Changes for Caroline - A letter arrives for Caroline, asking her to come help her uncle Aaron and cousin Lydia on their new farm for the summer. Although Caroline is reluctant to leave her family, she’s eager to lend a hand. So when she suspects that a thief has been stealing much-needed food from the farm, Caroline helps keep watch to guard against the uninvited visitor. Then she makes an unexpected discovery–and learns that some things are not as simple as they seem. The illustrated “Looking Back” section explores how America began to change at the end of the War of 1812.

Books About New York and Sleuthing

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Stuart Little
Written & illustrated by E.B. White
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

A hardcover edition of this treasured story, for which Garth Williams’s original black-and-white line drawings for the jacket of Stuart Little have been colorized by the celebrated illustrator Rosemary Wells. Stuart Little is no ordinary mouse. Born to a family of humans, he lives in New York City with his parents, his older brother George, and Snowbell the cat. Though he’s shy and thoughtful, he’s also a true lover of adventure. Stuart’s greatest adventure comes when his best friend, a beautiful little bird named Margalo, disappears from her nest. Determined to track her down, Stuart ventures away from home for the very first time in his life. He finds adventure aplenty. But will he find his friend?

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The Great Shelby Holmes Meets Her Match
Written & illustrated by Elizabeth Eulberg
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Acclaimed author Elizabeth Eulberg continues her hilarious middle-grade twist on Sherlock Holmes as detective duo Shelby and Watson face a culprit who might be able to do the impossible–outsmart Shelby. Eleven-year-old John Watson never expected his first friend in his new Harlem neighborhood to be Shelby Holmes, a nine-year-old, four-foot-tall supersleuth whose incredible smarts are outweighed only by her big attitude. But it turns out that solving mysteries with Shelby is just the adventure that aspiring writer John needs. On John’s very first day of school in New York, Shelby deduces that their new science teacher, Mr. Crosby, is in trouble. But as Shelby and John dig deeper to expose the truth, they discover there might be someone unexpected involved . . . Someone determined to outsmart Shelby Holmes. Can Shelby and John uncover the truth before the case goes from puzzling to downright dangerous? Don’t miss the rest of the Great Shelby Holmes series: The Great Shelby Holmes The Great Shelby Holmes Meets Her Match The Great Shelby Holmes and the Coldest Case

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Harriet The Spy
Written by Louise Fitzhugh
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

“The 50th annivesary edition of Harriet the Spy includes tributes to this timeless coming-of-age story from Judy Blume, Rebecca Stead, and other notable authors.” - Seira Wilson, Amazon Editor

This special 50th Anniversary Edition of the classic and ground-breaking coming-of-age novel, Harriet the Spy, includes tributes by Judy Blume, Meg Cabot, Lois Lowry, Rebecca Stead, and many more, as well as a map of Harriet’s New York City neighborhood and spy route and original author/editor correspondence.

Using her keen observation skills, 11-year-old Harriet M. Welsch writes down in her notebook what she considers the truth about everyone in and around her New York City neighborhood. When she loses track of her notebook, it ends up in the wrong hands, and before she can stop them, her friends read the sometimes awful things she’s observed and written about each of them. How can Harriet find a way to keep her integrity and also put her life and her friendships back together?

“I don’t know of a better novel about the costs and rewards of being a truth teller, nor of any book that made more readers of my generation want to become fiction writers. I love the story of Harriet so much I feel as if I lived it.” —Jonathan Franzen, author of Freedom and The Corrections

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  1. Mystery of the brass-bound trunk - From the moment Nancy Drew boards an ocean liner leaving for New York, she becomes involved in a new and dangerous mystery. A man on the pier gestures to someone on board in sign language. BEWARE OF NANCY DREW AND NE, he signals. Who is NE? Can it be Nelda Detweiler, a young woman who shares a cabin with Nancy, Bess, and George? Mystery and intrigue follow the girls across the ocean; but with her usual ingenuity Nancy solves the mystery and defeats her enemies before the ship reaches New York.

  2. The Secret of Mirror Bay - Aunt Eloise Drew invited Nancy and her friends to Mirror Bay Bide-a-Wee cabin near Cooperstown, New York, for a visit and a chance to solve the mystery of the woman who glides across the water. Upon their arrival, Nancy becomes mixed up in a vacation hoax and is nearly arrested for fraud. On the wooded mountain near the cabin further exciting events await Nancy and the other girls. In the deep forest, a weird luminescent green sorcerer appears who threatens to cast an evil spell on anyone investigating his strange activities. In a dangerous twist of circumstances Nancy finds that solving one mystery helps to solve another. What happens when the young detective and her friends uncover a cleverly concealed criminal operation?

  3. The Story Collector - Eleven-year-old Viviani Fedeler grew up surrounded by books, but now she’s ready for her own story to begin. As thedaughter of the Library superintendent, Viviani has explored every nook, cranny, and room—except the ones her father keeps locked.When Viviani suspects that the Library is haunted, she decides to spook her friends and new girl Merit Mubarak with a harmless little prank. But what begins as a joke quickly gets out of hand. Soon Viviani and her friends have to solve two big mysteries: Is there really a ghost in the Library?And who stole the expensive stamp collection?

  4. The Jungle Pyramid - A million dollars’ worth of gold bullion has been stolen from the Wakefield Mint under strange circumstances. Mr. hardy is asked to investigate but before long his life is threatened, and he asks Frank and Joe to help him. The boys fly to Zurich, Switzerland, hoping to get information at the Swiss Gold Syndicate and to find the man who has stolen a valuable ancient gold figurine from a New York museum. Their search on both counts seems futile as they return to the United States where they uncover clues that lead them to an adventure in the Yucatán jungle. But the Hardy’s travels lead to nothing but new doubts and nagging suspicions. And now their lives are in danger.

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Books About New York and Artists

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From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
Written by E.L. Konigsburg
Thoughts from The Goodfather
I have fond memories of this book from my own elementary days and look forward to sharing it with my own kids. The setting of the story in New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art makes it especially attractive to any readers who love the city.
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

2017 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the beloved classic From the Mixed-up files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.

In this winner of the Newbery Medal from E.L. Konigsburg, when suburban Claudia Kincaid decides to run away, she knows she doesn’t just want to run from somewhere, she wants to run to somewhere—to a place that is comfortable, beautiful, and, preferably, elegant.

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Take a Picture of Me, James Van Der Zee!
Written by Andrea J Loney & illustrated by Keith Mallett
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

James Van Der Zee was just a young boy when he saved enough money to buy his first camera. He took photos of his family, classmates, and anyone who would sit still for a portrait. By the fifth grade, James was the school photographer and unofficial town photographer. Eventually he outgrew his small town and moved to the exciting, fast-paced world of New York City. After being told by his boss that no one would want his or her photo taken -by a black man, - James opened his own portrait studio in Harlem. He took photographs of legendary figures of the Harlem Renaissance–politicians such as Marcus Garvey, performers including Florence Mills, Bill -Bojangles- Robinson, and Mamie Smith–and ordinary folks in the neighborhood too. Everyone wanted fancy portraits by James Van Der Zee. Winner of Lee & Low’s New Voices Award, Take a Picture of Me, James Van Der Zee! tells the story of a groundbreaking artist who chronicled an important era in Harlem and showed the beauty and pride of its people.

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Polka Dot Parade
Written by Deborah Blumenthal & illustrated by Masha D'yans
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

“Beautifully rendered and told, the book brings to life the work of a gifted 20th-century artist whose creative vision will always be in vogue.” Kirkus Reviews, Starred review This is a moving and impassioned picture book about the iconic fashion photographer Bill Cunningham that will inspire young readers to go discover their own ideas of beauty and embolden the world with their own creativity! He found “sheer poetry” in the drape of an evening dress, delight in the swoosh of a knife-pleated skirt, and sartorial splendor in Jazz Age garb. Every day, Bill Cunningham pedaled his bike through New York City searching for beauty. As he took picture after picture, Bill found beauty not in people, but in their clothes. Drawn to bold and creative choices, Bill’s photos captured the attention of the New York Times. He traveled to Paris for Fashion Week, and admiration for his work grew. With his sense of creativity and daringness, his own personal style of photography came to be known as street art photography. His photos left a lasting impression on all those who came across his work and they continue to inspire creativity today. This is the story of the legend who created street fashion photography and left behind a legacy of glorious pictures. Bill Cunningham used his passion and talent to capture the beauty he saw in fashion and the ultimate freedom that it represents to each and every person. This is an inspiring picture book about finding your path and being creative.

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  1. Masterpiece - Marvin lives with his family under the kitchen sink in the Pompadays’ apartment. He is very much a beetle. James Pompaday lives with his family in New York City. He is very much an eleven-year-old boy.After James gets a pen-and-ink set for his birthday, Marvin surprises him by creating an elaborate miniature drawing. James gets all the credit for the picture and before these unlikely friends know it they are caught up in a staged art heist at the Metropolitan Museum of Art that could help recover a famous drawing by Albrecht Dürer. But James can’t go through with the plan without Marvin’s help. And that’s where things get really complicated (and interesting!). This fast-paced mystery will have young readers on the edge of their seats as they root for boy and beetle. In Shakespeare’s Secret Elise Broach showed her keen ability to weave storytelling with history and suspense, and Masterpiece is yet another example of her talent. This time around it’s an irresistible miniature world, fascinating art history, all wrapped up in a special friendship– something for everyone to enjoy. Masterpiece is a 2009 Bank Street - Best Children’s Book of the Year.

  2. Radiant Child - A visually stunning picture book biography about modern art phenomenon Jean-Michel Basquiat, written and illustrated by Coretta Scott King Award winner Javaka Steptoe. Jean-Michael Basquiat and his unique, collage-style paintings rocked to fame in the 1980s as a cultural phenomenon unlike anything the art work had ever seen. But before that, he was a little boy who saw art everywhere: in poetry books and museums, in games and in the words that we speak, and in the pulsing energy of New York City. Now, award-winning illustrator Javaka Steptoe’s vivid text and bold artwork echoing Basquiat’s own introduce young readers to the powerful message and art doesn’t always have to be neat or clean–and definitely not inside the lines–to be beautiful.

  3. All the Greys on Greene Street - SoHo, 1981. Twelve-year-old Olympia is an artist–and in her neighborhood, that’s normal. Her dad and his business partner Apollo bring antique paintings back to life, while her mother makes intricate sculptures in a corner of their loft, leaving Ollie to roam the streets of New York with her best friends Richard and Alex, drawing everything that catches her eye. Then everything falls apart. Ollie’s dad disappears in the middle of the night, leaving her only a cryptic note and instructions to destroy it. Her mom has gone to bed, and she’s not getting up. Apollo is hiding something, Alex is acting strange, and Richard has questions about the mysterious stranger he saw outside. And someone keeps calling, looking for a missing piece of art. . . . Olympia knows her dad is the key–but first, she has to find him, and time is running out.

  4. Pictures of Hollis Woods - This Newbery Honor book about a girl who has never known family fighting for her first true home "will leave readers . . . satisfied" (Kirkus Reviews). Hollis Woods
    is the place where a baby was abandoned
    is the baby's name
    is an artist
    is now a twelve-year-old girl
    who's been in so many foster homes she can hardly remember them all. When Hollis is sent to Josie, an elderly artist who is quirky and affectionate, she wants to stay. But Josie is growing more forgetful every day. If Social Services finds out, they'll take Hollis away and move Josie into a home. Well, Hollis Woods won't let anyone separate them. She's escaped the system before; this time, she's taking Josie with her. Still, even as she plans her future with Josie, Hollis dreams of the past summer with the Regans, fixing each special moment of her days with them in pictures she'll never forget. Patricia Reilly Giff captures the yearning for a place to belong in this warmhearted story, which stresses the importance of artistic vision, creativity, and above all, family.

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Books About New York and Performing Arts

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Nova in New York
Written & illustrated by Katherine Richards
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Seventeen-year-old Nova Abbott grew up dancing barefoot in the backyard with her aunt Ivy, whose dreams of becoming a professional ballerina were cut short by cystic fibrosis. Nova is invited to attend a prestigious ballet school’s summer intensive program. She is a bit overwhelmed by New York City: the bustle of people, the talent of the other dancers, the demands of the instructors and being separated from her beloved aunt, whose health is deteriorating rapidly. With a coveted apprenticeship up for grabs, Nova isn’t sure she’ll make it in the big leagues, and now she’s not even sure she wants to.

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Hosea Plays On
Written by Kathleen M. Blasi & illustrated by Shane W. Evans
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-9

This heartwarming picture book (based on a true story) depicts a day in the life of Hosea Taylor, a musician who—with his charm, talent, and generosity—brought joy to everyone he met.

Every day, Hosea takes the Number 42 bus into the city to play his shiny brass saxophone—and to hopefully earn enough money. Setting up in his favorite place, Hosea makes sweet music as people greet him with a smile, a little girl dances, and crowds surround him. A surprise ending reveals what the money is really for. Kathleen Blasi’s delightful text and Shane Evan’s colorful images capture the real-life closeness between the much-loved Hosea—who shared his passion for music and life with everyone—and his community.

An Author’s Note explains how Blasi learned about Hosea Taylor (1948-2016), and what compelled her to write his story.

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King of the Tightrope: When the Great Blondin Ruled Niagara
Written by Donna Janell Bowman & illustrated by Adam Gustavson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

In 1859, Jean-Francois Gravelet, known as The Great Blondin, walked across the Niagara River on a tightrope. What kind of man would do something like that? And more importantly, how do you become that man?

At the age of four, Jean-Francois Gravelet walked across his first balance beam. Later, he took to the tightrope like a spider to its web, and with his family troupe, he climbed toward stardom. Though his feats became more and more marvelous, he grew bored. That is, until he visited Niagara Falls and imagined doing something that no one else had ever accomplished. To cross the raging river, The Great Blondin needed an engineering process, determination, and a belief that what he could imagine, he could accomplish. In 1859, with all of the work completed, Blondin would step out onto the most dangerous tightrope walk he’d ever faced.

Author Donna Janell Bowman’s trademark in-depth research gives readers a clear and exciting look into the accomplishments of The Great Blondin, as well as the hard work, determination, and meticulous mathematic and scientific planning it took to cross Niagara Falls on a tightrope. Adam Gustavson’s detailed illustrations turn this book into an experience that will inspire readers of all ages.

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  1. The Man Who Walked Between the Towers - A lyrical evocation of Philippe Petit’s 1974 tightrope walk between the World Trade Center towers.

  2. New York Melody - Soar through New York and discover its magic and monuments in this evocatively illustrated children’s book enriched by intricate lasercut pages. A musical note filled with wanderlust breaks away from its sheet music to roam all around New York City. It visits Carnegie Hall, the bright lights of Broadway, and a hidden jazz club. It soars between skyscrapers, flies into a bass, improvises in a trumpet, and dances a little swing with a trombone, until it finally finds its place in a guitar playing in Central Park. There, it makes all the difference, and the guitar’s melody becomes a song that enchants passersby. Beautifully crafted with He´le`ne Druvert’s intricate lasercuts, New York Melody is a wonderfully imaginative introduction to New York and its many unique rhythms for young children.

  3. A Dance Like Starlight - Little ballerinas have big dreams. Dreams of pirouettes and grande jetes, dreams of attending the best ballet schools and of dancing starring roles on stage. But in Harlem in the 1950s, dreams don’t always come true—they take a lot of work and a lot of hope. And sometimes hope is hard to come by. But the first African-American prima ballerina, Janet Collins, did make her dreams come true. And those dreams inspired ballerinas everywhere, showing them that the color of their skin couldn’t stop them from becoming a star. In a lyrical tale as beautiful as a dance en pointe, Kristy Dempsey and Floyd Cooper tell the story of one little ballerina who was inspired by Janet Collins to make her own dreams come true.

  4. Better Nate Than Ever - An eighth-grader who dreams of performing in a Broadway musical devises a plan to run away to New York and audition for the role of Elliot in the musical version of E.T.

Books About New York and Transportation

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Overground Railroad
Written by Lesa Cline-Ransome & illustrated by James E. Ransome
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

**A window into a child’s experience of the Great Migration from the award-winning creators of Before She Was Harriet and Finding Langston**.**

As she climbs aboard the New York bound Silver Meteor train, Ruth Ellen embarks upon a journey toward a new life up North– one she can’t begin to imagine. Stop by stop, the perceptive young narrator tells her journey in poems, leaving behind the cotton fields and distant Blue Ridge mountains.

Each leg of the trip brings new revelations as scenes out the window of folks working in fields give way to the Delaware River, the curtain that separates the colored car is removed, and glimpses of the freedom and opportunity the family hopes to find come into view. As they travel, Ruth Ellen reads from Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, reflecting on how her journey mirrors her own– until finally the train arrives at its last stop, New York’s Penn Station, and the family heads out into a night filled with bright lights, glimmering stars, and new possiblity.

James Ransome’s mixed-media illustrations are full of bold color and texture, bringing Ruth Ellen’s journey to life, from sprawling cotton fields to cramped train cars, the wary glances of other passengers and the dark forest through which Frederick Douglass traveled towards freedom. Overground Railroad is, as Lesa notes, a story “of people who were running from and running to at the same time,” and it’s a story that will stay with readers long after the final pages.

A Junior Library Guild Selection

Praise for Lesa Cline-Ransome and James Ransome’s Before She Was Harriet**, a Coretta Scott King Honor Book and winner of the Christopher Award**

* “Ransome’s lavishly detailed and expansive double-page spreads situate young readers in each time and place as the text takes them further into the past.”–Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

* “a powerful reminder of how all children carry within them the potential for greatness.”–Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

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When Jackie Saved Grand Central
Written by Natasha Wing & illustrated by Alexandra Boiger
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Before she was an iconic First Lady of the United States, Jackie Kennedy was a born-and-raised New Yorker. She loved everything about her city, from the natural beauty of the parks to the architectural history of the buildings. So when the owners of Grand Central wanted to build a skyscraper on top of the famous train station, Jackie knew they had to be stopped. She helped inspire thousands of people to come together and fight to protect the historic landmark. From letter-writing campaigns all the way to the Supreme Court, this little-known story celebrates winning in the face of immeasurable odds and how one person can make a big difference.

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Mr. Boddington's Studio: NYC ABCs
Written & illustrated by Mr. Boddington's Studio
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Based on the beautiful designs of Mr. Boddington’s Studio, this board book is the perfect introduction to the ABCs of NYC. This board book teaches the letters of the alphabet with illustrations of people, places, and things unique to the greatest city in the world. It is the perfect gift for anyone who loves New York!

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  1. Old Penn Station - An illustrated account of the construction, history, and demolition of one of the most famous railroad stations in America– New York City’s Penn Station.

  2. River - Caldecott Honor winner Elisha Cooper invites readers to grab their oars and board a canoe down a river exploration filled with adventure and beauty.

  3. New York - Introducing Hello, World, an exciting new book series that pairs early learning concepts with colorful, stylish illustrations of cities around the world. In New York City, you can visit the green Statue of Liberty, hail a yellow taxi, and see blue lights in Times Square. Explore colors all over New York City in this gorgeous board book!

  4. Subway - A father. Two children. And more than 840 miles of track. What does it addup to? Something thrilling. Are you ready for Subway?

Books About New York and Holidays

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Balloons Over Broadway
Written & illustrated by Melissa Sweet
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Presents a tribute to the creator of the giant balloons that fill the sky during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, tracing the work of artist Tony Sarg, whose innovative “upside-down puppet” creations have become the parade’s trademark.

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Red and Lulu
Written & illustrated by Matt Tavares
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Separation and miles cannot keep a determined cardinal from his loved one in this heart-tugging story combining the cheer of Christmas, the magic of New York City, and the real meaning of the holiday season: how important it is to be surrounded by love. Full color.

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Rachel's Roses
Written by Ferida Wolff & illustrated by Margeaux Lucas
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

Rachel Berger needs twenty-five cents to make her dream come true. But for Rachel, twenty-five cents is a fortune–and she’s running out of time. Third-grader Rachel Berger longs to be different. At the very least, she’d like to be set apart from her copycat little sister, Hannah. The second Rachel spots the glass rose buttons at Mr. Solomon’s button shop, her heart stops. They’ll be the perfect, unique touch on the skirt her mother is making her for Rosh Hashanah. There’s just one problem: Rachel can’t afford them. With her focus set on earning enough to buy them before the holiday, will Rachel lose sight of what’s really important? Themes of sisterhood, sibling rivalry, and strong family values are organically woven in to this charmingly illustrated chapter book set on the Lower East Side of Manhattan in the early twentieth century.

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  1. Merry Christmas, Little Elliot - Best friends Little Elliot and Mouse are back for another adventure—and this time, they’re looking for Christmas spirit! Little Elliot the elephant isn’t quite sure what Christmas spirit is, but he suspects he doesn’t have it. Not even a visit to Santa Claus can put Elliot in the right mood. But when chance blows a letter for Santa into Elliot and Mouse’s path, the two friends discover what Christmas is all about—and make a new friend, too. A heartfelt celebration of the season of giving! Perfect for sharing around the holidays. Godwin Books

  2. The Hula Hoopin' Queen - A spunky girl has a hula-hooping competition with her friends in Harlem, and soon everyone in the neighborhood—young and old alike—joins in on the fun. Kameeka is confident that today she will finally beat her rival, Jamara, and become the Hula-Hoopin’ Queen of 139th Street. But then Mama reminds her that today is their neighbor Miz Adeline’s birthday, and Kameeka has a ton of chores to do to get ready for the party they are hosting. Kameeka’s disappointed to be stuck at home and can only think about the hoopin’ competition. Distracted, Kameeka accidentally ruins Miz Adeline’s birthday cake, and has to confess to her that there won’t be a cake for her special day. But then Miz Adeline’s confesses something too: she’s also got the itch—the hula-hoopin’ itch! Her fingers start snappin’. Her hips start swingin’. Soon everyone’s hips are swinging as the party spills out onto the street. The whole neighborhood’s got the itch—the hula-hoopin’ itch! With vibrant illustrations by Vanessa Brantley-Newton, The Hula-Hoopin’ Queen is a charming celebration of family and community ties. Set in Harlem, this intergenerational story shows the importance of staying young at heart.

  3. Miracle on 34th Street - For a little girl named Susan, Christmas could be any other day. She doesn’t believe in Santa Claus or magic or miracles of any kind. Then one day she meets Kriss Kringle. As she doubtfully tells him the gifts she most wishes for, deep down Susan finds herself hoping that just maybe, he is the real thing. Based on the original holiday classic, Miracle on 34th Street is a heartwarming story about generosity, imagination, and the spirit of Christmas.

  4. Lady Liberty's Holiday - The Statue of Liberty is feeling a little blue, despite being green. As much as she loves welcoming people to America, standing still for over a hundred years has left her with a stiff neck, aching arms, and a cramp in her leg. This lady could use a vacation!

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Books About New York and City Life And Urban Living

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Blackout
Written & illustrated by John Rocco
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

When a busy family’s activities come to a halt because of a blackout, they find they enjoy spending time together and not being too busy for once.

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Bolivar
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

What would you do if your neighbor was a dinosaur? <p/>Going extinct isn’t for everyone. <p/> Sybil knows that there is something off about her next door neighbor, but she can’t seem to get anyone to believe her. Everyone is so busy going about their days in the busy streets of New York City that they don’t notice Bolivar. They don’t notice his odd height, his tiny arms, or his long tail. No one but Sybil sees that Bolivar is a dinosaur. <p/> When an unlikely parking ticket pulls Bolivar into an adventure from City Hall to New York’s Natural History Museum, he must finally make a choice: continue to live unnoticed, or let the city see who he really is. <p/><b><i>School Library Journal</i> says…</b><br> “<i>Bolivar the dinosaur speaks to the introvert in all of us. That part deep down inside that encourages us to hide away from the world, keep to ourselves, and avoid any and all connections for fear of getting hurt. Dinosaurs may not be around anymore but Bolivars abound. Even little Bolivars who will pick up this book and instantly connect with someone just like them. So for the Bolivars and the Manhattan-lovers, the graphic novel enthusiasts and the parents just looking for a good bedtime story, </i>Bolivar <i>the book is the place to go. Dino-mite stuff.</i>”

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How Little Lori Visited Times Square
Written by Amos Vogel & illustrated by Maurice Sendak
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A Sendak treasure long out of print available for the first time in decades.

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  1. Adventures of Taxi Dog - Maxi, a homeless mutt in New York City, has always fended for himself. Then one day a kind taxi driver named Jim offers him friendship, a home, and a place in the front seat! From that moment on, Maxi and Jim revel in the sights and sounds of the city, and share all sorts of wild adventures-from rushing two clowns and a chimp to the circus, to singing duets with an opera diva! These and other adventures are brilliantly depicted in Mark Buehner’s witty, detail-packed oil paintings.

  2. Pale Male: Citizen Hawk of New York City - The birdwatchers of Central Park were buzzing–a young red-tailed hawk had been spotted, would he stay? The bird they dubbed Pale Male not only stayed, he became one of New York City’s most famous residents. Pale Male and his mate built their nest near the top of one of Fifth Avenue’s swankiest apartment buildings. Nine years and 23 chicks later, Pale Male’s fame had grown so large that a CBS newsman named him Father of the Year! But Pale Male was less beloved by the residents of the building, and in 2004 the owners suddenly removed the nest–setting off an international outcry on behalf of the birds.

  3. Uptown - Discover the vibrant world of Harlem, New York, as seen through the eyes of one little boy who lives there.

  4. When This World Was New - An uplifting story about a young boy overcoming his fears and embracing his new home in America.

Books About New York and Multicultural

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Absolutely Almost
Written by Lisa Graff
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Ten-year-old Albie has never been the smartest, tallest, most athletic, greatest artist, or most musical in his class, as his parents keep reminding him, but new nanny Calista helps him uncover his strengths and take pride in himself. Simultaneous eBook.

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Olive Becomes Famous (and Hopes She Can Become Un-Famous)
Written by Megan Atwood & illustrated by Kim Barnes and Gareth Llewhellin
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

Olive is going to be in a commercial! The only problem is that Olive can’t land the gymnastics stunt for it, and she is afraid to tell the truth. Meanwhile, her cross-country pen pal, Molly, has started taken acting classes and is super jealous of Olive, but doesn’t want to tell her. Molly goes on a mission to get on a commercial, too, with her new friend from class. Follow the secrets and threatened friendship through reading the jealous emails and alternating first-person points of view to discover Olive’s plan to make everything right.

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The Vanderbeekers to the Rescue
Written by Karina Yan Glaser
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

A New York Times best-selling series! Harlem’s favorite family returns in the third installment in the Vanderbeerkers series, wherein the Vanderbeeker kids find themselves racing to save their mother’s baking business from city closure. Illustrated with delightful black and white illustrations.

For the Vanderbeeker kids of Harlem’s 141st Street, spring break couldn’t be off to a better start. Isa’s back from band camp, Oliver’s building his first-ever treehouse in the backyard of the brownstone, and Laney, Jess, and Hyacinth are excited to help their mother when she gets the once-in-a-lifetime chance to star in a cooking magazine.

But the Vanderbeekers’ plans go off the rails when an unexpected visit from city officials puts their mother’s bakery in jeopardy. Now they’ll have to band together to save the day before they’re out of business. Perfect for fans of The Penderwicks _and _Front Desk.

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  1. I Can Write the World - “Lovely and timely. So glad Joshunda is telling our stories.” - Jacqueline Woodson Eight-year-old Ava Murray wants to know why there’s a difference between the warm, friendly Bronx neighborhood filled with music and art in which she lives and the Bronx she sees in news stories on TV and on the Internet. When her mother explains that the power of stories lies in the hands of those who write them, Ava decides to become a journalist. I Can Write the World follows Ava as she explores her vibrant South Bronx neighborhood - buildings whose walls boast gorgeous murals of historical figures as well as intricate, colorful street art, the dozens of different languages and dialects coming from the mouths of passersby, the many types of music coming out of neighbors’ windows and passing cars. In reporting how the music and art and culture of her neighborhood reflect the diversity of the people of New York City, Ava shows the world as she sees it, revealing to children the power of their own voice.

  2. Emma's Poem: The Voice of the Statue of Liberty - A celebration of our nation's melting pot, this beautifully illustrated origin story of the Statue of Liberty honors a poet who has advocated for the voiceless.

  3. A Moon for Moe and Mo - An interfaith friendship develops when Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, overlaps with the Muslim holiday of Ramadan–an occurence that happens only once every thirty years or so. Moses Feldman, a Jewish boy, lives at one end of Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn, New York, while Mohammed Hassan, a Muslim boy, lives at the other. One day they meet at Sahadi’s market while out shopping with their mothers and are mistaken for brothers. A friendship is born, and the boys bring their families together to share rugelach and date cookies in the park as they make a wish for peace.

  4. The Great Shelby Holmes and the Coldest Case - Acclaimed author Elizabeth Eulberg continues her hilarious middle-grade twist on Sherlock Holmes as detective duo Shelby and Watson tackle their trickiest case yet–going undercover . . . as figure skaters! Being friends with a super sleuth isn’t easy, especially when she’s nine years old, four feet tall, and full of attitude. But for eleven-year-old John Watson, being friends with Shelby Holmes is just the adventure he’s looking for. After Watson’s online journal chronicling his and Shelby’s case-closing abilities attracts the attention of a newspaper reporter, the pair becomes a small “media sensation” in their Harlem neighborhood. So it’s no surprise (at least, to Shelby!) when the article lands them a new client–a figure skating coach whose star athlete, Jordan Nelson, is receiving strange, threatening messages, written entirely in code. There’s no one better to crack the cipher than dynamic duo Shelby and Watson! But to gather information, Shelby decides that they’ll have to go undercover . . . as an award-winning pair skating team. Can they use the laws of physics and their acting skills to maintain their covers and figure out who’s sending Jordan such strange messages before it’s too late?

Books About New York and Bears

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Ida, Always
Written by Caron Levis & illustrated by Charles Santoso
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A beautiful, honest portrait of loss and deep friendship told through the story of two iconic polar bears.

Gus lives in a big park in the middle of an even bigger city, and he spends his days with Ida. Ida is right there. Always.

Then one sad day, Gus learns that Ida is very sick, and she isn’t going to get better. The friends help each other face the difficult news with whispers, sniffles, cuddles, and even laughs. Slowly Gus realizes that even after Ida is gone, she will still be with him—through the sounds of their city, and the memories that live in their favorite spots.

Ida, Always is an exquisitely told story of two best friends—inspired by a real bear friendship—and a gentle, moving, needed reminder that loved ones lost will stay in our hearts, always.

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The Berenstain Bears Visit Big Bear City
Written & illustrated by Mike Berenstain
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
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Inside Outside Upside Down
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Illus. in full color. A bear explores a carton on a truck and gets carried away. By the time he has returned, the reader will be exposed to the concepts of -inside, outside, upside down.-

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  1. The Bear Who Couldn't Sleep - There’s no place like home when it’s time for bed. When Bear can’t sleep, he goes on an adventure and discovers the wonders of New York City—a parade, Central Park, hot dogs, and more! But when he finally gets tired and looks for a place to rest . . . he learns why it’s called the city that never sleeps. What’s a bear to do? Caroline Nastro’s gentle adventure and Vanya Nastanlieva’s engaging illustrations are sure to comfort and delight!

  2. Hello, Adirondacks! - Welcome to the Adirondacks! In this board book from bestselling children's author-illustrator Martha Day Zschock, a parent and child bear explore the Adirondacks, upper New York State's 6 million acres of wild beauty and cultural significance. Join them as they discover mountains, lakes, and forests. Come along as they meet some new friend: moose, deer, fox, coyotes and all kinds of birds. They have fun-filled days all year round'Äîhiking, canoeing, swimming, fishing, skiing, snowshoeing, and camping under the stars. They see Olympic Center, the Great Camps, and the sights in Glens Falls and Fort Ticonderoga too! For ages 2-5. Made in the USA.

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Books About New York and Girls And Women

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Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré
Written by Anika Denise & illustrated by Paola Escobar
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

An inspiring picture book biography of storyteller, puppeteer, and New York City’s first Puerto Rican librarian, who championed bilingual literature. When she came to America in 1921, Pura Belpré carried the cuentos folklóricos of her Puerto Rican homeland. Finding a new home at the New York Public Library as a bilingual assistant, she turned her popular retellings into libros and spread story seeds across the land. Today, these seeds have grown into a lush landscape as generations of children and storytellers continue to share her tales and celebrate Pura’s legacy. Brought to colorful life by Paola Escobar’s elegant and exuberant illustrations and Anika Aldamuy Denise’s lyrical text, this gorgeous book is perfect for the pioneers in your life. Informative backmatter and suggested further reading included.

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Molly, by Golly!
Written by Dianne Ochiltree & illustrated by Kathleen Kemly
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Introduces the first known female firefighter, Molly Williams, an African American cook for New York City’s Fire Company 11, who one winter day in 1818 with many volunteers sick with influenza jumped into action to stop a house fire.

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Lizzie Demands a Seat!: Elizabeth Jennings Fights for Streetcar Rights
Written by Beth Anderson & illustrated by E. B. Lewis
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

In 1854, Elizabeth “Lizzie” Jennings, an African American schoolteacher, fought back when she was unjustly denied entry to a New York City streetcar, sparking the beginnings of the long struggle to gain equal rights on public transportation.

One hundred years before Rosa Parks took her stand, Elizabeth “Lizzie” Jennings tried to board a streetcar in New York City on her way to church. Though there were plenty of empty seats, she was denied entry, assaulted, and threatened all because of her race–even though New York was a free state at that time. Lizzie decided to fight back. She told her story, took her case to court–where future president Chester Arthur represented her–and won! Her victory was the first recorded in the fight for equal rights on public transportation, and Lizzie’s case set a precedent. Author Beth Anderson and acclaimed illustrator E. B. Lewis bring this inspiring, little-known story to life in this captivating book.

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  1. Before the Devil Breaks You - The Diviners are back in this thrilling and eerie third installment by #1 New York Times bestselling author Libba Bray. New York City.1927.Lights are bright.Jazz is king.Parties are wild.And the dead are coming… After battling a supernatural sleeping sickness that early claimed two of their own, the Diviners have had enough of lies. They’re more determined than ever to uncover the mystery behind their extraordinary powers, even as they face off against an all-new terror. Out on Ward’s Island, far from the city’s bustle, sits a mental hospital haunted by the lost souls of people long forgotten–ghosts who have unusual and dangerous ties to the man in the stovepipe hat, also known as the King of Crows. With terrible accounts of murder and possession flooding in from all over, and New York City on the verge of panic, the Diviners must band together and brave the sinister ghosts invading the asylum, a fight that will bring them fact-to-face with the King of Crows. But as the explosive secrets of the past come to light, loyalties and friendships will be tested, love will hang in the balance, and the Diviners will question all that they’ve ever known. All the while, malevolent forces gather from every corner in a battle for the very soul of a nation–a fight that could claim the Diviners themselves. Heart-pounding action and terrifying moments will leave you breathless in the third book of the four-book Diviners series by #1 New York Times bestselling author Libba Bray.

  2. Dr. Jo: How Sara Josephine Baker Saved the Lives of America's Children - This thoughtful and beautifully illustrated picture book shares the story of a trailblazer who has inspired generations of girls to change the world.

  3. Born to Ride - Louise Belinda Bellflower lives in Rochester, New York, in 1896. She spends her days playing with her brother, Joe. But Joe gets to ride a bicycle, and Louise Belinda doesn’t. In fact, Joe issues a solemn warning: If girls ride bikes, their faces will get so scrunched up, eyes bulging from the effort of balancing, that they’ll get stuck that way FOREVER! Louise Belinda is appalled by this nonsense, so she strikes out to discover the truth about this so-called “bicycle face.” Set against the backdrop of the women’s suffrage movement, Born to Ride is the story of one girl’s courageous quest to prove that she can do everything the boys can do, while capturing the universal freedom and accomplishment children experience when riding a bike.

  4. Anna Strong: A Spy During the American Revolution - The thrilling true story of the female spy who helped save the American Revolution Anna Smith Strong (1790–1812) was a fearless woman who acted as a spy for George Washington during the Revolutionary War. Recruited by Washington’s spymaster, Major Benjamin Tallmadge, she joined the Culper Ring, a group of American spies. General Washington placed a huge amount of trust in his spies, and Anna helped pass him important messages at a great risk to herself and her family. One of her cleverer devices was to hang laundry on the line in a planned fashion so that other spies could read the “message.” Had she been discovered by the British, she would have faced jail or execution. Thrilling and dramatic, Anna Strong tells the story of how one brave woman helped change the course of American history. The book includes an author’s note, a bibliography, an index, and a spy code so kids can get involved in the action.

Books About New York and Family Life

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Raffie on the Run
Written by Jacqueline Resnick & illustrated by Joe Sutphin
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

“The Cricket in Times Square” meets “Finding Nemo” in this Pixar-style adventure in which a subway rat must cross New York City to bring his lost little brother home. Illustrations.

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All-of-a-kind Family
Written by Sydney Taylor & illustrated by Helen John
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Portrays the joys and troubles of five high-spirited Jewish sisters as they grow up in New York City.

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The Relatives Came
Written by Cynthia Rylant & illustrated by Stephen Gammell
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

The relatives come to visit from Virginia and everyone has a wonderful time.

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  1. Liar & Spy - Seventh-grader Georges adjusts to moving from a house to an apartment, his father’s efforts to start a new business, his mother’s extra shifts as a nurse, being picked on at school, and Safer, a boy who wants his help spying on another resident of their building.

  2. Then Again, Maybe I Won't - Get a guy’s perspective on adolescent hang-ups in this classic Judy Blume novel, now with a fresh new look. “That’s an interesting way to solve the problem, Tony.” Miss Tobin is talking about a math problem on the blackboard, but Tony is thinking about real problems. If his parents or his friend Joel or Joel’s sixteen-year-old sister Lisa knew what Tony was thinking about a lot of the time, they’d probably freak out. About snitching on Joel, who Tony knows is a shoplifter. About watching Lisa undress each night and liking what he sees. About money and the changes money makes in people (especially his mother). Hung up at thirteen. That’s Tony Miglione—especially this morning in math class in front of Miss Tobin, for everyone to see…

Books About New York and School

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Harlem Grown: How One Big Idea Transformed a Neighborhood
Written by Tony Hillery & illustrated by Jessie Hartland
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

“An inspiring picture book for youngsters with meaningful ties to the environment, sustainability, and community engagement.” —Booklist
“Hartland’s gouache illustrations wobble endearingly, colorfully capturing the children’s triumph, and the kinetic energy and colorful vibrancy of the city neighborhood.” —Publishers Weekly

Discover the incredible true story of Harlem Grown, a lush garden in New York City that grew out of an abandoned lot and now feeds a neighborhood.

Once
In a big city called New York
In a bustling neighborhood
There was an empty lot.
Nevaeh called it the haunted garden.

Harlem Grown tells the inspiring true story of how one man made a big difference in a neighborhood. After seeing how restless they were and their lack of healthy food options, Tony Hillery invited students from an underfunded school to turn a vacant lot into a beautiful and functional farm. By getting their hands dirty, these kids turned an abandoned space into something beautiful and useful while learning about healthy, sustainable eating and collaboration.

Five years later, the kids and their parents, with the support of the Harlem Grown staff, grow hundreds of pounds of fruits and vegetables a year. All of it is given to the kids and their families. The incredible story is vividly brought to life with Jessie Hartland’s “charmingly busy art” (Booklist) that readers will pore over in search of new details as they revisit this poignant and uplifting tale over and over again.

Harlem Grown is an independent, not-for-profit organization. The author’s share of the proceeds from the sale of this book go directly to Harlem Grown.

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Echo's Sister
Written by Paul Mosier
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

From critically acclaimed author Paul Mosier, a Publishers Weekly Flying Start, comes a stunning story about the beauty of family, the power of community, and ultimately the strength of the human spirit. Twelve-year-old El has planned on making her first week at a new school fantastic. She won’t go by her given name, Laughter. She’ll sit in the back of the classroom where she can make new friends. She won’t even have time to think about all the fun her old friends are having without her. Everything will be great. But when her dad picks her up after school and tells her that her younger sister, Echo, has a life-threatening illness, her world is suddenly turned upside down. And with her parents now pressed for time and money, El feels lost and powerless. Then she befriends Octavius, the only other kid in school who gets what she’s going through. As El begins to adjust to her new life, she soon finds that maybe a little hope and a lot of love can overcome any obstacle.

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All Four Stars
Written & illustrated by Tara Dairman
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

A zesty new series for fans of MasterChef Jr. and Kids Cook-off! It’s “lights, camera, cook!” for four tween contestants–energetic Tate, charming Rae, worldly Caroline, and hyper-competitive Oliver–who are all about to enter a televised cooking competition. What will the kids cook up? How will they all get along on and off camera? Which junior chef will have the grit–and maybe the grits–to make it through each elimination challenge? And which junior chef will have to hang their apron up for good?

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  1. The Wednesday Wars - During the 1967 school year, on Wednesday afternoons when all his classmates go to either Catechism or Hebrew school, seventh-grader Holling Hoodhood stays in Mrs. Baker’s classroom where they read the plays of William Shakespeare and Holling learns muchof value about the world he lives in.

  2. The Tapper Twins Go to War - This bestselling first book in the Tapper Twins series is a hilariously authentic showcase of what it’s like to be in middle school in our digitally-saturated world, told as a colorful “oral history” with photos, screenshots, text messages, chat logs, and online gaming digital art. Twelve-year-old twins, Claudia and Reese, who couldn’t be more different…except in their determination to come out on top in a vicious prank war. But when the competition escalates into an all-out battle that’s fought from the cafeteria of their New York City private school all the way to the fictional universe of an online video game, the twins have to decide if their efforts to destroy each other are worth the price.

  3. Goodbye Stranger - This brilliant, New York Times bestselling novel from the author of the Newbery Medal winner When You Reach Me explores multiple perspectives on the bonds and limits of friendship. Long ago, best friends Bridge, Emily, and Tab made a pact: no fighting. But it’s the start of seventh grade, and everything is changing. Emily’s new curves are attracting attention, and Tab is suddenly a member of the Human Rights Club. And then there’s Bridge. She’s started wearing cat ears and is the only one who’s still tempted to draw funny cartoons on her homework. It’s also the beginning of seventh grade for Sherm Russo. He wonders: what does it mean to fall for a girl—as a friend? By the time Valentine’s Day approaches, the girls have begun to question the bonds—and the limits—of friendship. Can they grow up without growing apart? “Sensitively explores togetherness, aloneness, betrayal and love.” —The New York Times A Boston Globe–Horn Book Honor Book for Fiction Named a Best Book of the Year by The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, The Guardian, NPR, and more!

  4. Drita, My Homegirl - A poignant story about the difficulties of leaving everything behind and the friendships that help you get through it. <p> Fleeing war-torn Kosovo, ten-year-old Drita and her family move to America with the dream of living a typical American life. But with this hope comes the struggle to adapt and fit in. How can Drita find her place at school and in her new neighborhood when she doesn’t speak any English? Meanwhile, Maxie and her group of fourth-grade friends are popular in their class, and make an effort to ignore Drita. So when their teacher puts Maxie and Drita together for a class project, things get off to a rocky start. But sometimes, when you least expect it, friendship can bloom and overcome even a vast cultural divide. <p/></p>

Books About New York and Multigenerational

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Calling the Water Drum
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

The story of a young Haitian boy who loses his parents as they attempt to flee Haiti in a boat, and after this loss can only communicate with the outside world through playing his drum.

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Some Places More Than Others
Written & illustrated by Renee Watson
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

All Amara wants for her birthday is to visit her father’s family in New York City–Harlem, to be exact. She can’t wait to finally meet her Grandpa Earl and cousins in person, and to stay in the brownstone where her father grew up. Maybe this will help her understand her family–and herself–in new way.

But New York City is not exactly what Amara thought it would be. It’s crowded, with confusing subways, suffocating sidewalks, and her father is too busy with work to spend time with her and too angry to spend time with Grandpa Earl. As she explores, asks questions, and learns more and more about Harlem and about her father and his family history, she realizes how, in some ways more than others, she connects with him, her home, and her family.

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Skylark and Wallcreeper
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

While helping her granny Collette evacuate to a makeshift shelter in Brooklyn during Superstorm Sandy, Lily uncovers secrets of her grandmother’s past as a member of the French Resistance during WWII. Queens, 2012. Hurricane Sandy is flooding New York City, and Lily is at a nursing home with her grandmother, Collette. Lily visits Collette often, as she is beginning to lose her memories. When the National Guard shows up to evacuate the building and take them to safety at the Park Slope armory in Brooklyn, Lily’s granny suddenly produces a red box she’s hidden in a closet for years. Once they get to safety, Lily opens the box, where she finds an old, beautiful Montblanc pen. Granny tells Lily that the pen is very important and that she has to take care of it, as well as some letters written in French. But Lily loses the pen in the course of helping other nursing home residents, and as she searches the city trying to find it, she learns more about her grandmother’s past in France and begins to uncover the significance of the pen with the help of her best friend, a quirky pen expert, and a larger-than-life, off-Broadway understudy. Told in alternating sections (2012 and 1944), this engaging book explores a deep friendship during difficult times and the importance of family.

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  1. When Jessie Came Across the Sea - "Hest simply and faithfully holds a mirror to the milestone event for millions of turn-of-the-century immigrants." -- Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  2. P.S. Be Eleven - The Gaither sisters are at it again! A sequel to the Newbery Honor Book One Crazy Summer, this Coretta Scott King Award-winning novel will find a home in the hearts of readers who loved Brown Girl Dreaming and As Brave as You. After spending the summer in Oakland, California, with their mother and the Black Panthers, Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern arrive home with a newfound streak of independence. That doesn’t sit well with Big Ma, who doesn’t like the way things are changing. Neither does Delphine. Pa has a new girlfriend. Uncle Darnell comes home from Vietnam, but he’s not the same. And her new sixth-grade teacher isn’t the fun, stylish Miss Honeywell—it’s Mr. Mwila, a stern exchange teacher from Zambia. But the one thing that doesn’t change during this turbulent year is the advice that Delphine receives from her mother, who reminds her not to grow up too fast. To be eleven while she can.

  3. Boy in the Black Suit - A 2016 Coretta Scott King Author Honor book. <p/>Just when seventeen-year-old Matt thinks he can’t handle one more piece of terrible news, he meets a girl who’s dealt with a lot more–and who just might be able to clue him in on how to rise up when life keeps knocking him down–in this “vivid, satisfying, and ultimately upbeat tale of grief, redemption, and grace” (<i>Kirkus Reviews</i>) from the Coretta Scott King - John Steptoe Award-winning author of <i>When I Was the Greatest</i>. <p/>Matt wears a black suit every day. No, not because his mom died–although she did, and it sucks. But he wears the suit for his gig at the local funeral home, which pays way better than the Cluck Bucket, and he needs the income since his dad can’t handle the bills (or anything, really) on his own. So while Dad’s snagging bottles of whiskey, Matt’s snagging fifteen bucks an hour. Not bad. But everything else? Not good. Then Matt meets Lovey. Crazy name, and she’s been through more crazy stuff than he can imagine. Yet Lovey never cries. She’s tough. Really tough. Tough in the way Matt wishes he could be. Which is maybe why he’s drawn to her, and definitely why he can’t seem to shake her. Because there’s nothing more hopeful than finding a person who understands your loneliness–and who can maybe even help take it away.

  4. Rivka's First Thanksgiving - More than anything, Rivka wants to celebrate Thanksgiving. She has learned all about the holiday in school and knows her family has a lot to be thankful for in America. But Rivka’s parents are Jewish immigrants from Poland, and they wonder what Pilgrims and Indians have to do with them. Is Thanksgiving really a holiday for Jews? Rivka’s grandmother, Bubbeh, decides to take over: She will bring Rivka to see the Rabbi Yoshe Preminger – and whatever the Rabbi concludes, Rivka will have to live with. Rivka knows that Thanksgiving is a holiday for all Americans, from all backgrounds and religions. But how can she convince the esteemed Rabbi Preminger? Elsa Okon Rael and Maryann Kovalski bring the bustling Lower East Side to life in this heartwarming story. Set in the 1910s, “Rivka’s First Thanksgiving” is about respecting old traditions while embracing new ones, about giving thanks and celebrating freedom in America. Perhaps most important, Rivka’s story teaches us that even the wisest adults have something to learn from children.

Books About New York and 21st Century

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Fireboat: The Heroic Adventures of the John J. Harvey
Written & illustrated by Maira Kalman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

The John J. Harvey fireboat was the largest, fastest, shiniest fireboatof its time, but by 1995, the city didn’t need old fireboats anymore. So the Harvey retired, until a group of friends decided to save it from the scrap heap. Then, one sunny September day in 2001, something so horrible happened that the whole world shook. And a call came from the fire department, asking if the Harvey could battle the roaring flames. In this inspiring true story, Maira Kalman brings a New York City icon to life and proves that old heroes never die.

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I Survived the Attacks of September 11th, 2001
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-11
On the day that shocks the world, one boy just wants to find his family. A powerful addition to the gripping I Survived series.
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September Roses
Written & illustrated by Jeanette Winter
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-12

A tribute to the memory of September 11

On September 11, 2001, two sisters from South Africa are flying to New York City with 2,400 roses to be displayed at a flower show. As their plane approaches the airport, a cloud of black smoke billows over the Manhattan skyline. When they land, they learn of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. All flights are canceled; the sisters cannot go home, and they are stranded with boxes and boxes of roses.

In the days that followed September 11, Jeanette Winter was drawn to Union Square and saw, among the hundreds of memorial offerings, twin towers made of roses. In the pages of this small and vibrant book, she tells a moving story.

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  1. True Story of Zippy Chippy: The Little Horse That Couldn't - Zippy Chippy is descended from the leading legends of horse racing. He is destined for greatness and glory. But . . . when the starting bell rings, it’s anybody’s guess what Zippy will do. Will Zippy go for a gentle trot around the track or stop and smell the roses? Or, perhaps, never even leave the starting gate?! With mischief in his makeup, he’s known to stick his tongue out at people and chew up the hats of passersby. And he’s always trying to break out of his stall. What’s an owner to do? Try and try again! After all, he believes in Zippy–and, besides, the horse is now a part of the family. But as Zippy’s losses mount, a funny thing happens. People start to take notice of the hapless, cupcake-eating horse. Could it be that they’re betting on Zippy to win? This remarkable story of the famed racehorse who lost every race is sure to win your heart!

  2. Magic in Changing Your Stars - Can you change your fate

Books About New York and 1900-1949

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The Story Seeker
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Viviani Fedeler, proud resident of the New York Public Library, has set her sights on becoming a star reporter. She’s thrilled when Miss Hutch announces a story contest where the winner gets their essay printed in The New York Times!

But when it’s time to write, Viviani is out of stories. As she struggles to find inspiration, the library is struck with a string of mysterious disappearances. Rare medical texts keep vanishing off the shelves, nowhere to be found! Will Viviani be able to return the books to their rightful shelves and find the perfect story to impress the Times?

The Story Seeker delivers an unforgettable mystery adventure set in the iconic New York Public Library during the Roaring Twenties.

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Gittel's Journey
Written by Leslea Newman & illustrated by Amy June Bates
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Gittel and her mother were supposed to immigrate to America together, but when her mother is stopped by the health inspector, Gittel must make the journey alone. Her mother writes her cousin’s address in New York on a piece of paper. However, when Gittel arrives at Ellis Island, she discovers the ink has run and the address is illegible! How will she find her family? Both a heart-wrenching and heartwarming story, Gittel’s Journey offers a fresh perspective on the immigration journey to Ellis Island. The book includes an author’s note explaining how Gittel’s story is based on the journey to America taken by Lesléa Newman’s grandmother and family friend.

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Blizzard of the Blue Moon [With Sticker]
Written by Mary Pope Osborne & illustrated by Sal Murdocca
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-9

The #1 bestselling chapter book series of all time celebrates 25 years with new covers and a new, easy-to-use numbering system! <p/> Jack and Annie must rescue a beautiful magical creature–the unicorn. But when they land in New York City during the Depression of the 1930s, Jack and Annie are confused. Where will they find a unicorn in a big city? <p/>Formerly numbered as Magic Tree House #36, the title of this book is now Magic Tree House Merlin Mission #8: <i> Blizzard of the Blue Moon</i>. <p/> Did you know that there’s a Magic Tree House book for every kid? <p/> Magic Tree House: Adventures with Jack and Annie, perfect for readers who are just beginning chapter books<br> <b>Merlin Missions: More challenging adventures for the experienced reader</b><br> Super Edition: A longer and more dangerous adventure<br> Fact Trackers: Nonfiction companions to your favorite Magic Tree House adventures <p/> Have more fun with Jack and Annie at MagicTreeHouse.com!

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  1. Sugar Hill - Take a walk through Harlem’s Sugar Hill and meet all the amazing people who made this neighborhood legendary. With upbeat rhyming, read-aloud text, Sugar Hill celebrates the Harlem neighborhood that successful African Americans first called home during the 1920s. Children raised in Sugar Hill not only looked up to these achievers but also experienced art and culture at home, at church, and in the community. Books, music lessons, and art classes expanded their horizons beyond the narrow limits of segregation. Includes brief biographies of jazz greats Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Sonny Rollins, and Miles Davis; artists Aaron Douglas and Faith Ringgold; entertainers Lena Horne and the Nicholas Brothers; writer Zora Neale Hurston; civil rights leader W. E. B. DuBois and lawyer Thurgood Marshall.

  2. The Storyteller's Candle / La Velita de Los Cuentos - Bilingual English/Spanish. A bilingual biography of Pura Belpré, New York City's first Latina librarian.

  3. The Doll Shop Downstairs - Nine-year-old Anna and her sisters love to play with the dolls in their parents’ doll repair shop. But when World War I begins, an embargo on German-made goods-including the parts Papa needs to repair the dolls-threatens to put the family’s shop out of business. Fortunately, Anna has an idea that just might save the day. Inspired by the true story of Madame Alexander, this is a timeless tale of family and imagination. This beautiful gift edition of The Doll Shop Downstairs, featuring an eye-catching foil embossed cover, will make a perfect holiday present for dreamers and doll lovers everywhere.

  4. Harlem Hellfighters - They went by many names, but the world came to know them best as the Harlem Hellfighters. Two thousand strong, these black Americans from New York picked up brass instruments—under the leadership of famed bandleader and lieutenant James Reese Europe—to take the musical sound of Harlem into the heart of war. From the creators of the 2012 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award Honor Book, And the Soldiers Sang, this remarkable narrative nonfiction rendering of WWI – and American – history uses free-verse poetry and captivating art to tell century-old story of hellish combat, racist times, rare courage, and inspired music.

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Books About New York and Siblings

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Worlds Collide
Written by Chris Colfer & illustrated by Brandon Dorman
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12
The epic conclusion to Chris Colfer's #1 New York Times bestselling series The Land of Stories!
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The Vanderbeekers Lost and Found
Written by Karina Yan Glaser
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

New York Times best-seller Karina Yan Glaser brings everyone’s favorite Harlem family back in this poignant fourth novel in the “delightful and heartwarming” (New York Times Book Review) Vanderbeekers series.

When autumn arrives on 141st Street, the Vanderbeekers are busy helping Mr. Beiderman get ready for the New York City Marathon and making sure the mysterious person sleeping in the community garden gets enough to eat. But when they discover the true identity of the person making a home in the community garden’s shed, their world turns upside down as they learn what it means to care for someone in an impossible situation.

In this fourth book in the Vanderbeekers series, return to 141st Street with Isa, Jessie, Oliver, Hyacinth, and Laney as they attempt to make their neighborhood a better place, one heartfelt plan at a time.

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York: The Clockwork Ghost
Written & illustrated by Laura Ruby
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

National Book Award finalist Laura Ruby returns with the middle chapter in her epic alternate-history adventure—a journey that will test Tess, Theo, and Jaime and change their lives forever. It was only a few weeks ago that the Biedermann twins, Tess and Theo, along with their friend Jaime Cruz, followed the secrets of the Morningstarrs’ cipher further than anyone had in its century-and a-half history—and destroyed their beloved home in the process. But the Old York Cipher still isn’t solved. The demolition of 354 W. 73rd Street only revealed the next clue in the greatest mystery of the modern world, and if Tess, Theo, and Jaime want to discover what lies at the end of the puzzle laid into the buildings of New York by its brilliant, enigmatic architects, they will need to press on. But doing so could prove even more dangerous than they know. It is clear that the Morningstarr twins marshaled all the strange technology they had spent their lives creating in the construction of the Cipher, and that technology has its own plans for those who pursue it. It’s also clear that Tess, Theo, and Jaime are not the only ones on the trail of the treasure. As enemies both known and unknown close in on them from all sides and the very foundations of the city seem to crumble around them, they will have to ask themselves how far they will go to change the unchangeable—and whether the price of knowing the secrets of the Morningstarrs is one they are willing to pay.

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  1. Treasure Hunters - From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Middle School, the Worst Years of My Life and I Funny comes a brilliantly original new adventure series, jam-packed with action, humor, and heart! The Kidd siblings have grown up diving down to shipwrecks and traveling the world, helping their famous parents recover everything from swords to gold doubloons from the bottom of the ocean. But after their parents mysteriously disappear, the kids are suddenly thrust into the biggest treasure hunt of their lives. They’ll have to work together to defeat dangerous pirates and dodge the hot pursuit by an evil treasure hunting rival, all while following cryptic clues to unravel the mystery of what really happened to their parents–and find out if they’re still alive.

  2. The Doughnut Fix - An Amazon Best Book of the Month! Superfudge meets The Lemonade War in this funny, heartwarming series debut about change, adventure, family, and of course, doughnuts. Tristan isn’t Gifted or Talented like his sister Jeanine, and he’s always been okay with that because he can make a perfect chocolate chip cookie and he lives in the greatest city in the world. But his life takes a turn for the worse when his parents decide to move to middle-of-nowhere Petersville―a town with one street and no restaurants. It’s like suddenly they’re supposed to be this other family, one that can survive without bagels and movie theaters. His suspicions about his new town are confirmed when he’s tricked into believing the local general store has life-changing chocolate cream doughnuts, when in fact the owner hasn’t made them in years. And so begins the only thing that could make life in Petersville worth living: getting the recipe, making the doughnuts, and bringing them back to the town through his very own doughnut stand. But Tristan will soon discover that when starting a business, it helps to be both Gifted and Talented, and It’s possible he’s bitten off more than he can chew…

  3. Dactyl Hill Squad - An unforgettable historical, high-octane adventure. -- Dav Pilkey, author-illustrator of the Dog Man series

  4. Vampire Island - In her offbeat portrayal of this not-quite-normal family, the author of Witch Twins uses her unique brand of humor to introduce readers to three vampire siblings who face challenges growing up that most normal kids couldn’t even imagine.

Books About New York and Monsters

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Blue Moon
Written by James Ponti
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

While helping the Omega team track down down the identity of the original thirteen zombies in New York City, Molly tries to keep her mother’s secret and uncovers a sinister plan of the undead.

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Dark Days
Written by James Ponti
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Molly Bigelow and her Omega team have been banned from investigating Marek Blackwell and his plans for New York City. But when they discover that Blackwell is raising money for a zombie army they have to act. But will they be in time?

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Dead City
Written by James Ponti
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Seventh-grader Molly has always been an outsider, even at New York City’s elite Metropolitan Institute of Science and Technology, but that changes when she is recruited to join the Omegas, a secret group that polices and protects zombies.

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  1. Sisters Grimm: The Fairy-Tale Detectives - #1 - Orphaned sisters Sabrina and Daphne are sent to live with their mysterious grandmother, Relda Grimm, who lives in a town in rural New York State that experiences an extraordinary number of unexplained and unusual crimes.

  2. Little Bigfoot, Big City - From #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Weiner comes the second book in the “smartly crafted” (BCCB) and “heartwarming” (School Library Journal) trilogy about friendship, furry creatures, and finding the place where you belong.

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Books About New York and Art

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Sector 7
Written by David Wiesner
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

A 2000 Caldecott Honor Book

Only the person who gave us Tuesday could have devised this fantastic Caldecott Honor-winning tale, which begins with a school trip to the Empire State Building. There a boy makes friends with a mischievous little cloud, who whisks him away to the Cloud Dispatch Center for Sector 7 (the region that includes New York City). The clouds are bored with their everyday shapes, so the boy obligingly starts to sketch some new ones. . . . The wordless yet eloquent account of this unparalleled adventure is a funny, touching story about art, friendship, and the weather, as well as a visual tour de force.

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The inside-outside book of New York City
Written by Roxie Munro
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

Captioned illustrations depict noted sights in New York City, including the American Museum of Natural History, Statue of Liberty, subway at Times Square, and New York Zoological Park. Includes a section of text in the back of the book providing information on each sight.

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Under the Egg
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler meets Chasing Vermeer in this clever middle grade debut
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  1. Harlem Charade - WATCHER. SHADOW. FUGITIVE.<br></br>Harlem is home to all kinds of kids. Jin sees life passing her by from the window of her family’s bodega. Alex wants to help the needy one shelter at a time, but can’t tell anyone who she really is. Elvin’s living on Harlem’s cold, lonely streets, surviving on his own after his grandfather was mysteriously attacked.<br></br>When these three strangers join forces to find out what happened to Elvin’s grandfather, their digging leads them to an enigmatic artist whose missing masterpieces are worth a fortune – one that might save the neighborhood from development by an ambitious politician who wants to turn it into Harlem World, a ludicrous historic theme park. But if they don’t find the paintings soon, nothing in their beloved neighborhood will ever be the same…<br></br>In this remarkable tale of daring and danger, debut novelist Natasha Tarpley explores the way a community defines itself, the power of art to show truth, and what it really means to be home.

  2. Ella and Monkey at Sea - Ella’s best friend, Monkey, doesn’t like good-bye hugs. He doesn’t want to say good-bye to Oma. And he doesn’t want to move away forever. Neither does Ella. But Papa is waiting for them in New York. So Ella and Monkey must board the ship with Mama and leave their old home in Holland for their new home in America. Along the way, there is fish for dinner (Monkey hates fish), a playroom full of new kids (Monkey doesn’t like strangers), and stormy seas that leave everyone feeling sick. Can Ella and Monkey find a way to weather the storm? Will they ever feel at home again? This sweetly illustrated picture book will appeal to anyone who has left home behind— and to children who find creative ways to share their emotions

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How about books about art?

Books About New York and Music

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Old Manhattan Has Some Farms
Written by Susan Lendroth & illustrated by Kate Endle
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

A clever new spin on “Old MacDonald,” this fun book explores the popular trend of urban farming. From rooftop farms and gardens on Manhattan high rises to neighborhood gardens in empty lots in Atlanta to hydroponic gardens in Seattle, growing food locally has become an important part of city-dwelling life.

Set to the tune of the popular children’s song, this bouncy rhyming text will get everyone reading (or singing) out loud. If you’re not comfortable singing aloud, download the free recording of the song created by popular children’s performer Caspar Babypants (aka Chris Ballew, lead singer and songwriter for the band The Presidents of the United States of America). Six North American cities are highlighted, but included in the back matter are tips and tricks on how to alter the text so you can sing about your own hometown gardens.

Back matter also includes more information about the different types of gardens introduced, additional resources, and the sheet music for the song.

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Irving Berlin
Written by Nancy Churnin & illustrated by James Rey Sanchez
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Irving Berlin came to the United States as a refugee from Tsarist Russia, escaping a pogrom that destroyed his village. Growing up on the streets of the lower East Side, the rhythms of jazz and blues inspired his own song-writing career. Starting with his first big hit, Alexander’s Ragtime Band, Berlin created the soundtrack for American life with his catchy tunes and irresistible lyrics. With “God Bless America,” he sang his thanks to the country which had given him a home and a chance to express his creative vision.

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Jazz Day: The Making of a Famous Photograph
Written by Roxane Orgill & illustrated by Francis Vallejo
picture book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

What happens when you invite as many jazz musicians as you can to pose for a photo in 1950s Harlem? Playful verse and glorious artwork capture an iconic moment for American jazz. When Esquire magazine planned an issue to salute the American jazz scene in 1958, graphic designer Art Kane pitched a crazy idea: how about gathering a group of beloved jazz musicians and photographing them? He didn’t own a good camera, didn’t know if any musicians would show up, and insisted on setting up the shoot in front of a Harlem brownstone. Could he pull it off? In a captivating collection of poems, Roxane Orgill steps into the frame of Harlem 1958, bringing to life the musicians’ mischief and quirks, their memorable style, and the vivacious atmosphere of a Harlem block full of kids on a hot summer’s day. Francis Vallejo’s vibrant, detailed, and wonderfully expressive paintings do loving justice to the larger-than-life quality of jazz musicians of the era. Includes bios of several of the fifty-seven musicians, an author’s note, sources, a bibliography, and a foldout of Art Kane’s famous photograph.

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  1. Clayton Byrd Goes Underground - From beloved Newbery Honor winner and three-time Coretta Scott King Award winner Rita Williams-Garcia comes a powerful and heartfelt novel about loss, family, and love that will appeal to fans of Jason Reynolds and Kwame Alexander.

  2. Nutcracker in Harlem - A Bank Street College of Education Best Children's Book of the Year!

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Books About New York and Colonial And Revolutionary Periods

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Sybil's Night Ride
Written by Karen B. Winnick
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

In this true story of bravery and determination, a young girl named Sybil Ludington risks darkness and danger to help the Revolutionary War effort. The British are invading, and it is up to her to muster the troops for defense. Karen B. Winnick skillfully captures the hazards of wartime, Sybil’s courage, and her spirited colt with a suspenseful account and rich illustrations.

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Chains
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-13
If an entire nation could seek its freedom, why not a girl?
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Alexander Hamilton: Little Lion
Written by Ann Hood & illustrated by Denis Zilber
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Now that the twins have begun to settle into their new lives at Elm Medona, they delve deeper into The Treasure Chest and uncover more about the Pickworth family, including the disappearance of their great-uncle Thorne and the theft of priceless family artifacts.

In this adventure, The Treasure Chest transports Felix and Maisie to tropical St. Croix in 1772. There they meet a young man named Alexander Hamilton who is about to embark on a journey to New York. Felix and Maisie aren’t sure why The Treasure Chest has brought them to meet Alexander, but they are determined to not let him out of their sights . . .even if that means stowing away on the very ship he is sailing off on!

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  1. Sophia's War - In 1776, young Sophia Calderwood witnesses the execution of Nathan Hale in New York City, which is newly occupied by the British army. Sophia is horrified by the event and resolves to do all she can to help the American cause. Recruited as a spy, she becomes a maid in the home of General Clinton, the supreme commander of the British forces in America. Through her work she becomes aware that someone in the American army might be switching sides, and she uncovers a plot that will grievously damage the Americans if it succeeds. But the identity of the would-be traitor is so shocking that no one believes her, and so Sophia decides to stop the treacherous plot herself, at great personal peril: She’s young, she’s a girl, and she’s running out of time. And if she fails, she’s facing an execution of her own. Master storyteller Avi shows exactly how personal politics can be in this “nail-biting thriller” (Publishers Weekly) that is rich in historical detail and rife with action.

  2. The Matchlock Gun - A Newbery Medal Winner In 1756, New York State was still a British colony, and the French and the Indians were constant threats to Edward and his family. When his father was called away to watch for a raid from the north, only Edward was left to protect Mama and little Trudy. His father had shown him how to use the huge matchlock gun, an old Spanish gun that was twice as long as he was, but would Edward be able to handle it if trouble actually came? This classic, first published in 1941, has an updated, kid-friendly format that includes the original black-and-white illustrations.

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