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Your favorite author of mythology-fueled fantasy has launched another new series in his new imprint, Rick Riordan Presents!

Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee (January 15, 2019)
Thirteen-year-old Min comes from a long line of fox spirits, but you'd never know it by looking at her. To keep the family safe, Min's mother insists that none of them use any fox-magic, such as Charm or shape-shifting. They must appear human at all times.  Min feels hemmed in by the household rules and resents the endless chores, the cousins who crowd her, and the aunties who judge her. She would like nothing more than to escape Jinju, her neglected, dust-ridden, and impoverished planet. She's counting the days until she can follow her older brother, Jun, into the Space Forces and see more of the Thousand Worlds.  When word arrives that Jun is suspected of leaving his post to go in search of the Dragon Pearl, Min knows that something is wrong. Jun would never desert his battle cruiser, even for a mystical object rumored to have tremendous power. She decides to run away to find him and clear his name.

Min's quest will have her meeting gamblers, pirates, and vengeful ghosts. It will involve deception, lies, and sabotage. She will be forced to use more fox-magic than ever before, and to rely on all of her cleverness and bravery. The outcome may not be what she had hoped, but it has the potential to exceed her wildest dreams.  This sci-fi adventure with the underpinnings of Korean mythology will transport you to a world far beyond your imagination.

Don't miss the other series launches from Rick Riordan Presents!
Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi (#2 Aru Shah and the Song of Death coming April 30, 2019)
The Storm Runner by J.C. Cervantes 

This is one of the hardest lists to compile because there are so many amazing nonfiction titles published each year.  We managed to narrow it down to our favorite 73 books.  You'll find everything from animals to history, poetry to space.  Access the printable list by clicking here.

1,000 Facts About Insects by Nancy Honovich
Action Presidents: George Washington by Fred Van Lente
Alabama Spitfire: The Story of Harper Lee and To Kill a Mockingbird by Bethany Hegedus
Around the World in 50 Ways: Canoe, Camel, or Cable Car . . . You Choose! by Dan Smith
The Atlas Obscura Explorer's Guide for the World's Most Adventurous Kid by Dylan Thuras
Backyard Bears: Conservation, Habitat Changes, and the Rise of Urban WIldlife by Amy Cherrix
Between the Lines: How Ernie Barnes Went from the Football Field to the Art Gallery by Sandra Neil Wallace
Bold & Brave: Ten Heroes Who Won Women the Right to Vote by Kristen Gillibrand
Boots on the Ground: America's War in Vietnam by Elizabeth Partridge
The Brilliant Deep: Rebuilding the World's Coral Reefs by Kate Messner
Camp Panda: Helping Cubs Return to the Wild by Catherine Thimmesh
Can I Touch Your Hair?: Poems of Race, Mistakes, and Friendship by Irene Latham & Charles Waters
Champion: The Comeback Tale of the American Chestnut Tree by Sally M. Walker
The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs by America's Test Kitchen Kids
Countdown: 2979 Days to the Moon by Suzanne Slade
Counting on Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Saved Apollo 13 by Helaine Becker
Crash: The Great Depression and the Fall and Rise of America by Marc Favreau
The Creativity Project: An Awesometastic Story Collection by Colby Sharp
Drawn from Nature by Helen Ahpornsiri

From past to present, from this world to worlds fantastic, our favorite fiction books were the ones that best captured what it means to be human.  Access the printable list by clicking here.

JUVENILE FICTION
24 Hours in Nowhere by Dusti Bowling
Baby Monkey, Private Eye by Brian Selznick
Be Prepared by Vera Brosgol
Betty Before X by Ilyasah Shabazz & Reneé Watson
Bob by Wendy Mass & Rebecca Stead
Breakout by Kate Messner
The Cardboard Kingdom by Chad Sell
City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab
The Colors of the Rain by R.L. Toalson
Dear Sister by Alison McGhee
Drum Roll, Please by Lisa Jenn Bigelow
Endling: The Last by Katherine Applegate
Finding Langston by Lesa Cline-Ransome
Front Desk by Kelly Yang
Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes
Granted by John David Anderson
Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson
Heartseeker by Melinda Beatty
The House That Lou Built by Mae Respicio
I'm Ok by Patti Kim
It Wasn't Me by Dana Alison Levy 
The Journey of Little Charlie by Christopher Paul Curtis
The Length of a String by Elissa Brent Weissman
The Lifters by Dave Eggers
Marcus Vega Doesn't Speak Spanish by Pablo Cartaya
Mascot by Antony John
Megabat by Anna Humphrey
Merci Suárez Changes Gears by Meg Medina

Themes of kindness and finding your place in the larger world are woven throughout many of our favorite picture books this year.  We also clearly love to laugh when we read.  And be blown away by amazing art.  The list is long.  100 titles exactly.  View the printable list here.

All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold
Alma and How She Got Her Name by Juana Martinez-Neal
Are You Scared, Darth Vader? by Adam Rex
The Backup Bunny by Abigail Rayner
Be Kind by Pat Zietlow Miller
Bear and Wolf by Daniel Salmieri
The Big Bed by Bunmi Laditan
Big Bunny by Rowboat Watkins 
The Big Umbrella by Amy June Bates
Bob's Blue Period by Marion Denchers
The Boy and the Giant by David Litchfield
A Busy Creature's Day Eating by Mo Willems
Can I Be Your Dog? by Troy Cummings
Cock-a-doodle-poo! by Steve Smallman
A Couch for Llama by Leah Gilbert
Crash, Splash, or Moo? by Bob Shea
Crunch, the Shy Dinosaur by Cirocco Dunlap
The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson
Dino Duckling by Alison Murray
A Dog Called Bear by Diane Fox
Drawn Together by Minh Lê
Dreamers by Yuyi Morales
Dude! by Aaron Reynolds
The Epic Adventures of Huggie and Stick by Drew Daywalt
Every Color Soup by Jorey Hurley
Everything You Need for a Treehouse by Carter Higgins

Beloved and bestselling author Gordan Korman has a hilarious new novel about what happens when the worst class of kids in school is paired with the worst teacher.

The Unteachables (01/08/19)
The Unteachables are a notorious class of misfits, delinquents, and academic train wrecks. Like Aldo, with anger management issues; Parker, who can’t read; Kiana, who doesn’t even belong in the class—or any class; and Elaine (rhymes with pain). The Unteachables have been removed from the student body and isolated in room 117.

Their teacher is Mr. Zachary Kermit, the most burned-out teacher in all of Greenwich. He was once a rising star, but his career was shattered by a cheating scandal that still haunts him. After years of phoning it in, he is finally one year away from early retirement. But the superintendent has his own plans to torpedo that idea—and it involves assigning Mr. Kermit to the Unteachables.

The Unteachables never thought they’d find a teacher who had a worse attitude than they did. And Mr. Kermit never thought he would actually care about teaching again. Over the course of a school year, though, room 117 will experience mayhem, destruction—and maybe even a shot at redemption.

Compete in breathtaking challenges and put your lungs to the test at Full S.T.E.A.M. Ahead: Iron Lungs on Tuesday, January 22, 2019 at 4 p.m.  Kids ages 7-12 will move pom poms through a tunnel obstacle course and try to keep a pom pom floating in the air.  They'll also use their powerful breath to propel an object along a zipline.  Registration for this event is open!  You can sign up online or by phone (444-7830).

Want to learn more about breathing?  Browse the respiratory system books under Dewey Decimal Number 612.2 in the Kid Zone nonfiction section.

Watch the official book trailer for the new thriller by Karen M. McManus, the author of One of Us Is Lying.

Two Can Keep a Secret (January 8, 2019)
Echo Ridge is small-town America. Ellery’s never been there, but she’s heard all about it. Her aunt went missing there at age seventeen. And only five years ago, a homecoming queen put the town on the map when she was killed. Now Ellery has to move there to live with a grandmother she barely knows.

The town is picture-perfect, but it’s hiding secrets. And before school even begins for Ellery, someone has declared open season on homecoming, promising to make it as dangerous as it was five years ago. Then, almost as if to prove it, another girl goes missing.

Ellery knows all about secrets. Her mother has them; her grandmother does too. And the longer she’s in Echo Ridge, the clearer it becomes that everyone there is hiding something. The thing is, secrets are dangerous—and most people aren’t good at keeping them. Which is why in Echo Ridge, it’s safest to keep your secrets to yourself.

It's natural for children to worry at times, and some may worry more than others.  Some worries are more likely to occur at certain developmental stages or in certain situations.  Learn how to help your child (and when you may need to seek professional guidance) at Practical Parenting: Taming the Worry Monster on Monday, January 14, 2019 at 6:30 p.m.  Our guest speakers will be Sarah Cable and Kathryn Thompson.  Both are advanced graduate students in the UAB Medical/Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program.  You do not have to sign up for this event.  Simply follow the stars through the Kid Zone to our Youth Program Room.

2-4-6-8! Which books did we think were great? Find out at our Best Books of 2018: Championship Tailgate Party on Tuesday, January 15, 2018 at 4 p.m. Cheer for book talks of our team's favorite titles for kids and teens. Eat terrific tailgating food and win door prizes! (Yes, the prizes are brand new copies of our favorite books!) This event is geared for parents, teachers and fellow librarians, but everyone is welcome. You do not have to register for our tailgate party. Simply follow the stars (and cheers and delicious food smells).

HEADS UP!
We will begin posting our Staff Picks 2018 blog series that same week! There will be three posts in the series -- picture books, juvenile & teen fiction, and juvenile & teen nonfiction.

Meet Mary Poppins for a morning of whimsical fun at A Practically Perfect Party on Saturday, January 12, 2019 at 10:30 a.m.  Create chalk art on our indoor side walk, and make a paper kite.  Play Chimney Sweep Hockey: try to sweep great balls of ash back into the fire place, if you can get it past the Chimney Sweep.  Put your moves to the test against our bow-⁠tied penguin friend in a Penguin Dance Off.  Then it's Clean Up Time! Toss toys into Mary Poppins Magic bag as quickly as you can.  Poppins-inspired party snacks will also be served.  You do not have to register to be part of this Jolly Holiday.  Simply follow the stars to Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious fun!

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