New Books for Girls

The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights by Steve Sheikin

Reading Level: Ages 10 - 14

On July 17, 1944, an explosion at the Port Chicago naval base in California killed over 300 people and sank two ships.  All the men loading bombs and ammunition onto ships were black.  All supervising officers were white.  Black sailors who had never received proper training in the handling of munitions were afraid and refused to go back to work on the docks.  Some gave in under pressure from the navy until only 50 men held fast.  They were brought up on charges of mutiny, a charge that could mean the death penalty.  Sheinkin has crafted another book that brings history to life.  You'll be outraged, but you'll cheer for 50 new heroes in the fight for equal rights.

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Nick and Tesla's High-Voltage Danger Lab: A Mystery With Eletromagnets, Burglar Alarms, and Other Gadgets You Can Build Yourself by "Science Bob" Pflugfelder, Steve Hockensmith

Reading Level:  Ages 9 - 12

Eleven-year-old twins, Nick and Tesla, are sent to spend the summer with their comical, mad scientist uncle while their parents are out of the country.   Instead of the boring time they expect, they encounter a spooky deserted mansion guarded by ravenous dogs, a mysterious girl at the window holding a "GO AWAY" sign, ill-tempered construction workers, and black van that keeps following them.  The twins are science geeks themselves who use everyday objects to build what they need to solve the mystery and survive.  Interspersed in the book are great directions for building the gadgets.  Have fun!

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Enrique's Journey: The True Story of a Boy Determined to Reunite with His Mother by Sonia Nazario

Reading Level: grade 7 & up

Pulitzer Prize winning author, Sonia Nazario had adapted her adult book for teens.  It's the story of sixteen-year-old Enrique whose mother left her children in Honduras to come to the U.S. 12 years earlier with the promise she would return. When she doesn't, Enrique decides he will go to his mother.  The journey is fraught with danger as he rides the tops of trains while hiding from the authorities, thugs, and bandits.  Enrique's journeys across Central America and Mexico are a study in determination and the strength of love.  His story will give readers a new perspective on illegal immigration and some things to think about.  WARNING;  Nazario does not gloss over beatings, rapes, maimings, and even murder. 

 

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Books by Sonia Nazario

The Great Trouble: a Mystery of London, the Blue Death, and a Boy Called Eel by Deborah Hopkinson

Reading Level: Ages 9 - 12

In 1854 there was a cholera outbreak in London. Hundreds died. There was no cure and no one knew the cause of cholera.   Hopkinson 's hero is a thirteen-year-old orphan, Eel,  who scavenges the filthy Thames River and works odd jobs.  One job brings him in contact with Dr. Snow, a real historical figure who was an early epidemiologist.  The fast-paced novel combines a medical mystery, a race against the clock, evil child snatchers, and an assortment of characters.  You'll love Eel and his friends and want to them to triumph.

 

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