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In Progress List 2018

This list displays the most recent books nominated for Capitol Choices. You can filter by age group by selecting it from the drop-down box and clicking "select."
Lesser Spotted Animals
Scholastic Press
This illustrated collection highlights less-familiar animals such as numbats and long-tailed dunnarts. Brown's brief introductions of each species are peppered with humor and snark, and his drawings give the animals a distinct personality based on their descriptions. Each animal's "status" is listed, raising awareness for species that are near extinction and making this a great resource for environmental discussions. Meaghan McKeron. Seven to Ten.
Amy Sarig
Scholastic (Arthur A. Levine)
Obe is a loner who cares more about the environment than almost anything else until he "discovers" a very unusual animal that eats "plastic". This is a book about environmental awareness, bullying and friendship, family relation ships and self acceptance. Pretty ambitious but very engaging. The daily school "facts" about environmental dangers will be of interest to young scientists. Edie Ching (10-14)
Simon & Schuster (Caitlin Dlouhy/Atheneum)
What seems like just another construction site/vehicle story becomes more with the "surprise" that keeps little bulldozer from doing the "big" job he set out to do. Rohman's illustrations give personality to each of the vehicles and Fleming's language is lively and both repetative as well as expanding words (hunkered, clattered, grumbled). And rough tough trucks have soft hearts. Edie Ching (up to 7)
Susan Goldman
Holiday House
A book that sheds new light on this famous Supreme Court decision thanks to Rubin's extensive research and interest in the subject. There were many cases combined to go beyond just the concept of separate schools but to look at the larger picture of civil rights and the equality of all people. The background of each case is presented, the sacrifices that many families endured and the problems that followed even after the decision. Edie Ching (10-14)
Macmillan (Roaring Brook)
Zara is in a wheelchair but this is only noted in the illustrations. Her energetic dog Moose hates goodbyes and keeps creating hellos by showing up at school in the classroom, the library, the cafeteria. What to do, Zara sends Moose to therapy school and we see him where he should be at the end of the book, the class reading dog. The language is active, "goodbye is hide without seek, an itch that can't be scratched" and the illustrations capture the moods of dog and children. A subtle story that might create interest in therapy dogs. Edie Ching (up to 7)
Penguin (Listening Library/Random House)
February 28, 2017
This modern, middle-school retelling of Cyrano de Bergerac introduces readers to a group of friends who are making their first forays into the mysterious world of romance. One day Gracie notices her friend A.J. in a new light and is immediately in the midst of her first real crush. However, A.J. is interested in Grace's best friend Sienna. Sienna and A.J. can't seem to communicate without the help of their best friends. On top of all these new complications, Gracie feels constant pressure to be a ray of sunshine for her parents who lost their first child seven years before Gracie was born. Gracie draws readers in with her funny, offbeat inner monologue. The reader brings to life the characters, humor and heart throughout this story. (M. Crews)
HMH (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
April 4, 2017
Lee is a pea, and all his friends are peas, everyone except Colin. Colin is a carrot. He can't do all the same things as peas, but he can do other awesome things. The text and illustrations are sparse but humorous. Each picture is actually a collage composed of recycled plastic bags. While embracing differences is a common theme in picture books, I think the author's humor and illustrations make this one unique and thought-provoking. (M. Crews - Up to Seven).
HMH (Clarion)
March 14, 2017
Charlotte wants to be a serious scientist, but her family's rabbit hole is too crowded for her to properly conduct experiments. One of her siblings is always breaking her beakers or contaminating her samples. To find some peace and quiet, she constructs a ship and flies to the moon. However, she finds that even a serious scientist can become lonely. This book is not only funny and charming, it is also a great introduction to the scientific method for young readers. M. Crews (Up to Seven)
HarperCollins (Balzer + Bray)
Fabiola Toussaint and her mother come to America from Haiti seeking the American dream. Fabiola moves in with her aunt and three powerful female cousins in Detroit after her mother is detained in Immigration. Missing her mother and trying to free her are the backdrop as Fabiola navigates the social hierarchy at school with her queen bee cousins, falls in love with sweet Kasim, and discovers the sources of her family’s income. As she begins to understand the sacrifices that have been made to create this American life, Fabiola must decide what she’ll sacrifice to free her mother. This powerful story, blending a gritty portrayal of urban life and drug culture, magical realism, Vodou culture, and the enduring bond of family, demonstrates that the American dream can sometimes turn into a nightmare. (Lisa Cosgrove-Davies. Fourteen and up.)
R. Gregory
Although it begins with a brief biographical look at John F. Kennedy, the author turns to a look at the Civil Rights Movement and Kennedy’s initial avoidance of the issue. The text shows how Kennedy came around to action and focuses on his challenging speech in 1963. It ends with a challenge to the reader to continue the movement. Nominated by Bridget Harvey (7-10)