Teacher’s Guide: Traitor

Poland, 1944. After the Soviet liberation of Lwów from Germany, the city remains a battleground between resistance fighters and insurgent armies, its loyalties torn between Poland and Ukraine.

Seventeen-year-old Tolya Korolenko is half Ukrainian, half Polish, and he joined the Soviet Red Army to keep himself alive and fed. When he not-quite-accidentally shoots his unit’s political officer in the street, he’s rescued by a squad of Ukrainian freedom fighters. They might have saved him, but Tolya doesn’t trust them. He especially doesn’t trust Solovey, the squad’s war-scarred young leader, who has plenty of secrets of his own.

Then a betrayal sends them both on the run. And in a city where loyalty comes second to self-preservation, a traitor can be an enemy or a savior—or sometimes both.

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Discussion Guide: Whose Right Is It? The Second Amendment and the Fight Over Guns

For the majority of the United States’ history, the right to own a gun belonged to a “well regulated militia.” That changed in 2008 with the historic District of Columbia v. Heller case, which ruled that the Second Amendment protected an individual’s right. In the years since, the debate over gun legislation has reached a crescendo. And the issue grows ever relevant to children across America, with an estimated three million exposed to shootings every year. From metal detectors to see-through backpacks to shooting drills, kids face daily reminders of the threat of guns.

Hana Bajramovic’s Whose Right Is It? The Second Amendment and the Fight Over Guns reveals how a once obscure amendment became the focus of daily heated debate. Filled with historical photos and informative graphics, the book will show young readers how gun legislation has always been a part of American history and how money, power, and systemic racism have long dictated our ability to own guns.

“The story is fascinating and, in its evenhanded treatment of the subject, valuable for research and classroom use…Extremely well documented, the book concludes with an epilogue that brings the book up-to-date, making it both important and timely.” —Booklist

“[E]ven readers personally invested in the gun rights position will find the historical context eye-opening.” The Bulletin for the Center of Children’s Books

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Teacher’s Guide: The Skybound Saga

The Skybound Saga by Alex London is a young-adult fantasy trilogy about the memories that haunt us, the histories that hunt us, and the bonds of blood between us.

★“London’s world-building is exceptional, and the story has twists and turns to keep readers engaged . . . A well-crafted fantasy featuring diverse characters, this book is a strong selection for all libraries serving teens.” —School Library Journal, starred review

★“With political intrigue, epic battle sequences, jolts of romance, and strong female and queer characters, there’s a lot to pique readers’ interests here. But it’s the unique world-building and beautifully complex sibling relationship that make this a must-read. Readers will be swept away in this book’s talons.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“With dynamic world building . . . this trilogy opener is a captivating, layered adventure that explores the bonds of siblings in an unforgiving world. Stock up—this one will make the rounds.” —Booklist

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Teacher’s Guide: Welcome to the New World

Welcome to the New World tells the Aldabaans’ story. Resettled in Connecticut with little English, few friends, and even less money, the family of seven strive to create something like home. As a blur of language classes, job-training programs, and the fearsome first days of high school (with hijab) give way to normalcy, the Aldabaans are lulled into a sense of security. A white van cruising slowly past the house prompts some unease, which erupts into full terror when the family receives a death threat and is forced to flee and start all over yet again. The America in which the Aldabaans must make their way is by turns kind and ignorant, generous and cruel, uplifting and heartbreaking.

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Teacher’s Guide: True or False

In True or False, former CIA analyst Cindy Otis will take readers through the history and impact of misinformation over the centuries, sharing stories from the past and insights that readers today can gain from them. Then, she shares lessons learned in over a decade working for the CIA, including actionable tips on how to spot fake news, how to make sense of the information we receive each day, and, perhaps most importantly, how to understand and see past our own information biases, so that we can think critically about important issues and put events happening around us into context.

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Teacher’s Guide: Nowhere Boy by Katherine Marsh

Nowhere Boy by Katherine Marsh
Now Available in Paperback!

A timely, poignant tale of family, sacrifice and the friendship between a young Syrian refugee and an American boy living in Brussels.

Set against the backdrop of the Syrian refugee crisis, award-winning author of Jepp, Who Defied the Stars Katherine Marsh delivers a gripping, heartwarming story of resilience, friendship and everyday heroes. Barbara O’Connor, author of Wish and Wonderland, says “Move Nowhere Boy to the top of your to-be-read pile immediately.”

ALA Notable Children’s Book 2019
Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Books of 2018
New York Times Book Review Notable Children’s Books of 2018
ILA Social Justice Literature Award

★ “This well-crafted and suspenseful novel touches on the topics of refugees and immigrant integration, terrorism, Islam, Islamophobia, and the Syrian war with sensitivity and grace.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

★ “Marsh skillfully weaves the historical parallels with a touching story of friendship. She ratchets up the tension and suspense, until it becomes unbearable; readers will fly through the last hundred pages… Thoughtfully touching on immigration, Islamophobia, and terrorism, this novel is a first-purchase. Hands to fans of Alan Gratz’s Refugee.” —School Library Journal, starred review

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Teacher’s Guide: A Box of Bones

In A Box of Bones by Marina Cohen, twelve-year-old Kallie despises nonsense. She believes there’s a rational explanation for everything, despite the good-natured prodding of her Grandpa Jess, who takes her to frivolous wastes of time like their town’s local Festival of Fools.

There, Kallie meets a faceless man (must be some kind of mask) who gives her a strange wooden puzzle box (must be some kind of gimmick). Intrigued despite herself, Kallie sets to work on unlocking its secrets and…lets something out. From here Kallie’s life begins to entangle with another world, a world where Liah, a young bone carver, journeys with her master to sell wares to a wicked Queen.

The sights, sounds, smells, and spells of Liah’s world are beginning to leak into Kallie’s, and if Kallie can’t decipher the meaning of her own story, “the end” might be far from happy.

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