Teacher’s Guide : Bringing Down A President

Bringing Down A President: The Watergate Scandal by Andrea Balis and Elizabeth Levy

A middle-grade retelling of Richard Nixon’s downfall, Bringing Down A President: The Watergate Scandal is an inventive and timely look at one of the biggest scandals to ever rock our nation by Andrea Balis and Elizabeth Levy, featuring graphic novel style illustrations by Tim Foley.

Comprised almost completely of primary source quotes (good thing Nixon’s recorder was on) and interspersed with contextual narrative, this captivating account of the trials and tribulations of the Nixon Administration has been rendered screenplay style offering an extraordinarily immediate narrative of one of America’s most turbulent eras.

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Teacher’s Guide: The Startup Squad

The Startup Squad by Brian Weisfeld and Nicole C. Kear

Girls mean business in a brand-new middle grade series about friendship and entrepreneurship!

All the great leaders had to start somewhere. And Theresa (“Resa” for short) is starting with the lemonade stand competition her teacher assigned to the class—but making it a success is going to be a lot harder than Resa thinks.

The prize: line-skipping tickets to Adventure Central. The competition: Val, Resa’s middle school nemesis. And the biggest obstacle to success: Resa’s own teammates. Harriet is the class clown, Amelia is the new girl who thinks she knows best, and Didi is Resa’s steadfast friend—who doesn’t know the first thing about making or selling lemonade. The four of them quickly realize that the recipe for success is tough to perfect—but listening to each other is the first step. And making new friends might be the most important one…

The back of each book features tips from the Startup Squad and an inspirational profile of a girl entrepreneur!

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Teacher’s Guide: The Miraculous

The Miraculous by Jess Redman

In the tradition of heartwrenching and hopeful middle grade novels such as Bridge to Terabithia comes Jess Redman’s stunning debut about a young boy who must regain his faith in miracles after a tragedy changes his world.

Eleven-year-old Wunder Ellis is a miracologist. In a journal he calls The Miraculous, he records stories of the inexplicable and the extraordinary. And he believes every single one. But then his newborn sister dies, at only eight days old. If that can happen, then miracles can’t exist. So Wunder gets rid of The Miraculous. He stops believing.

Then he meets Faye—a cape-wearing, outspoken girl with losses of her own. Together, they find an abandoned house by the cemetery and a mysterious old woman who just might be a witch. The old woman asks them for their help. She asks them to believe. And they go on a journey that leads to friendship, to adventure, to healing—and to miracles.

The Miraculous is Jess Redman’s sparkling debut novel about facing grief, trusting the unknown, and finding brightness in the darkest moments.

“A stunning story expressing the complexities and mysteries of love and death in all of its light and darkness. A beautifully rendered and meaningful read for young readers asking deep questions.” —Veera Hiranandani, Newbery Honor–winning author of The Night Diary

“Filled with longing, love, hope, and wisdom, The Miraculous is a small miracle of a book.” —Alison McGhee, author of Shadow Baby and the #1 New York Times–bestseller Someday

“Exquisitely crafted, serious, yet woven through with wry humor, this story’s miracles are its fierce and tender characters. I loved this extraordinary debut.” —Leslie Connor, National Book Award Finalist author of The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle

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Teacher’s Guide: The Bone Garden

The Bone Garden by Heather Kassner

A spooky and adventurous debut illustrated fantasy novel about a girl made of dust and bone and imagination who seeks the truth about the magic that brought her to life.

“This magical story—and the brave girl in its pages—will haunt you in the best way.” —Natalie Lloyd, New York Times bestselling author of Over the Moon

“Remember, my dear, you do not really and truly exist.”

Irréelle fears she’s not quite real. Only the finest magical thread tethers her to life—and to Miss Vesper. But for all her efforts to please her cruel creator, the thread is unraveling. Irréelle is forgetful as she gathers bone dust. She is slow returning from the dark passages beneath the cemetery. Worst of all, she is unmindful of her crooked bones.

When Irréelle makes one final, unforgivable mistake by destroying a frightful creature just brought to life, Miss Vesper threatens to imagine her away once and for all. Defying her creator for the very first time, Irréelle flees to the underside of the graveyard and embarks on an adventure to unearth the mysterious magic that breathes bones to life, even if it means she will return to dust and be no more.

With echoes of Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book, debut author Heather Kassner’s The Bone Garden is a gorgeously written story–illustrated by Matt Saunders–humming with magic, mystery, and dark imaginings. Perfect for fans of Holly Black, Jonathan Auxier, and Katherine Arden.

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Teacher’s Guide: Secret Soldiers

Secret Soldiers by Keely Hutton

Over a quarter million underage British boys fought on the Allied front lines of the Great War, but not all of them fought on the battlefield—some fought beneath it, as revealed in this middle-grade historical adventure about a deadly underground mission.

Secret Soldiers follows the journey of Thomas, a thirteen-year-old coal miner, who lies about his age to join the Claykickers, a specialized crew of soldiers known as “tunnelers,” in hopes of finding his missing older brother. Thomas works in the tunnels of the Western Front alongside three other soldier boys whose constant bickering and inexperience in mining may prove more lethal than the enemy digging toward them. But as they burrow deeper beneath the battlefield, the boys discover the men they hope to become and forge a bond of brotherhood.

Secret Soldiers is another stunning story of strength, perseverance, and love from Keely Hutton.

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Teacher’s Guide: Pie in the Sky

Pie in the Sky by Remy Lai

A poignant, laugh-out-loud illustrated middle-grade novel about an eleven-year-old boy’s immigration experience, his annoying little brother, and their cake-baking hijinks!

When Jingwen moves to a new country, he feels like he’s landed on Mars. School is torture, making friends is impossible since he doesn’t speak English, and he’s often stuck looking after his (extremely irritating) little brother, Yanghao.

To distract himself from the loneliness, Jingwen daydreams about making all the cakes on the menu of Pie in the Sky, the bakery his father had planned to open before he unexpectedly passed away. The only problem is his mother has laid down one major rule: the brothers are not to use the oven while she’s at work. As Jingwen and Yanghao bake elaborate cakes, they’ll have to cook up elaborate excuses to keep the cake making a secret from Mama.

In her hilarious, moving middle-grade debut, Remy Lai delivers a scrumptious combination of vibrant graphic art and pitch-perfect writing that will appeal to fans of Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham’s Real Friends, Kelly Yang’s Front Desk, and Jerry Craft’s New Kid.

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Teacher’s Guide: The Lost Boy’s Gift

The Lost Boy’s Gift by Kimberly Willis Holt

Kimberly Willis Holt explores themes of divorce, acceptance, intergenerational friendship, and the power that comes with noticing in The Lost Boy’s Gift, an insightful middle-grade novel.

There are places where you want to go and places where you want to leave. There are also places where you want to stay.

Nine-year-old Daniel must move across the county with his mom after his parents’ divorce. He’s leaving behind his whole life—everything—and he’s taking a suitcase of anger with him. But Daniel is in for a surprise when he settles into While-a-Way Lane and meets his new neighbors—the Lemonade Girl, the hopscotching mailman, the tiny creatures, and especially Tilda Butter. Tilda knows how to look and listen closely, and it’s that gift that helps Daniel find his way in that curious placed called While-a-Way Lane.

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Teacher’s Guide: Locked in Ice: Nansen’s Daring Quest for the North Pole

Locked in Ice: Nansen’s Daring Quest for the North Pole by Peter Lourie

A spellbinding biography of Fridtjof Nansen, the pioneer of polar exploration, with a spotlight on his harrowing three-year journey to the top of the world.

An explorer who many adventurers argue ranks alongside polar celebrity Ernest Shackleton, Fridtjof Nansen contributed tremendous amounts of new information to our knowledge about the Polar Arctic. At a time when the North Pole was still undiscovered territory, he attempted the journey in a way that most experts thought was mad: Nansen purposefully locked his ship in ice for two years in order to float northward along the currents. Richly illustrated with historic photographs, this riveting account of Nansen’s Arctic expedition celebrates the legacy of an extraordinary adventurer who pushed the boundaries of human exploration to further science into the twentieth century.

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Teacher’s Guide: Forward Me Back to You

Forward Me Back to You by Mitali Perkins

The award-winning author of You Bring the Distant Near explores identity, homecoming, and the legacy of assault in this personal and ambitious new novel.

Katina King is the reigning teen jujitsu champion of Northern California, but she’s having trouble fighting off the secrets in her past. Robin Thornton was adopted from an orphanage in India and is reluctant to take on his future. If he can’t find his roots, how can he possibly plan ahead?

Robin and Kat meet in the most unlikely of places—a summer service trip to Kolkata to work with survivors of human trafficking. As bonds build between the travelmates, Robin and Kat discover that justice and healing are tangled, like the pain of their pasts and the hope for their futures. You can’t rewind life; sometimes you just have to push play.

In turns heart wrenching, beautiful, and buoyant, Mitali Perkins’s new novel focuses its lens on the ripple effects of violence—across borders and generations—and how small acts of heroism can break the cycle.

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Teacher’s Guide: The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise

The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise
by Dan Gemeinhart

Five years. That’s how long Coyote and her dad, Rodeo, have lived on the road in an old school bus, criss-crossing the nation. It’s also how long ago Coyote lost her mom and two sisters in a car crash.

Coyote hasn’t been home in all that time, but when she learns that the park in her old neighborhood is being demolished—the very same park where she, her mom, and her sisters buried a treasured memory box—she devises an elaborate plan to get her dad to drive 3,600 miles back to Washington state in four days…without him realizing it. Along the way, they’ll pick up a strange crew of misfit travelers. Lester has a lady love to meet. Salvador and his mom are looking to start over. Val needs a safe place to be herself. And then there’s Gladys…

Over the course of thousands of miles, Coyote will learn that going home can sometimes be the hardest journey of all…but that with friends by her side, she just might be able to turn her “once upon a time” into a “happily ever after.”

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