Sunday, May 24, 2009

Bridget Zinn Auction: Overlooked Gems #3

The response to our appeal to help librarian and YA author Bridget Zinn has been truly outstanding. But there are still a few gems on the auction block that have not received the attention they deserve! I'll be spotlighting a few in the run-up to the auction's completion on May 30.

Overlooked Gem #3:


Something for everyone in this book basket. Thank you to e.E. Charlton-Trujillo for donating these fabulous books.
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Prizefighter En Mi Casa
e.E. Charlton-Trujillo (author)
Random House 2006
Edition: Hardback, 1st Edition, Signed
Website: http://www.bigdreamswrite.com

Twelve-year-old Chula Sanchez isn’t thin, isn’t beautiful, and because she’s Mexican, isn’t popular in her south Texas town. And now that a car accident has left her father paralyzed and her plagued with seizures, she is poor. But Chula’s father is determined to pull his family out of debt. He sends for El Jefe—the most revered prizefighter in Mexico. Chula’s father hopes that with steel-pipe arms and fists like pit bulls, El Jefe will win the local illegal boxing matches and bring home much-needed money. But El Jefe—a man who many see as a monster—only brings confusion to a home that is already filled with problems. And now Chula must decide for herself whether good and bad can reside in one person and whether you can have strength in your heart when your fists have none.

“At a breakneck pace, the protagonist faces challenges from homework to hiding her brother from the police, and, through it all, shines as she listens to and learns from each person, especially the mythic and troubled El Jefe. Searching for strength and courage in others, Chula finds them in herself.” (School Library Journal)

“When the book begins you’re vaguely aware that a horrible thing occurred sometime in the past and it’s created a hole in the family structure. Then, with a meticulousness Tennessee Williams or Arthur Miller would been proud of, the true tale comes to light, tying together the past and the present.” (E.R. Bird, Newberry Judge 2007)

Accolades:
The Delacorte Dell Yearling Award for First Middle Grade Novel 2004
The Parents’ Choice Silver Honor Award 2006
Flamingnet Top Choice Award 2006
National Council for the Social Studies Notable Book 2007
New York Public Library List for Teens 2007

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Feels Like Home

e.E. Charlton-Trujillo (author)
Random House 2007
Edition: Hardback, 1st Edition, Signed
Website: http://www.bigdreamswrite.com

Publishers Weekly (2007)
For fans of S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders, here’s a story that is as cinematic as the book it emulates. Full of grit and poetry for the rebel with a romantic heart, Charlton-Trujillo’s (Prizefighter en Mi Casa)throwback novel packs an emotional punch to the gut without overdoing it. The book opens in Three Rivers, Tex., population 4,043, as Michelle (Mickey) Owens witnesses her alcoholic father’s funeral. Michelle’s father was abusive, which led her mother to abandon them and her golden boy-turned-bad older brother, Danny, who ran off when Mickey was 13, after the accident that killed his best friend Roland. Now Danny has returned to pick up the pieces after six years, and the embittered Mickey, who has been marked an outcast by association, must decide if she’s able to forgive him for leaving and come to terms with what happened to Roland. Mickey’s internal battles feel honest, and it’s easy to empathize with the litany of emotions she trudges through, though outwardly she acts headstrong and sullen. Charlton-Trujillo has created a roster of multidimensional characters; readers will hold their breath with each interactions-especially the romantic scenes between Mickey and her crush, Ricky, and her banter with her Latina best friend, Christina. Even if teens are unable to relate to the specifics of Mickey’s situation, they will surely be taken by the story’s winning mix of tragedy, romance and chemistry. Ages 12-up.

Accolades:
Texas Lonestar Nominee 2008
New York Public Library List for Teens 2008
Lee & Low Books Inc. (2008)
Edition: Hardback, 1st Edition, Signed

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No Mush Today

Sally Derby (author)
Nicole Tadgell (illustrations)

Children’s Literature
Nonie has had it with her family—a squalling baby brother and mush for breakfast again. It is just too much. She goes next door to live with Grandma. Grandma listens when Nonie is talking, and she does not serve mush! Her wise grandmother just nods and takes her hand as they walk to church together. Nonie stays solemn and does not smile when Daddy passes the collection plate, but perks up when she hears about the church picnic that afternoon. After eating, Grandma just wants to rest her bones on a bench, but Daddy is ready for a boat ride and time on the swings. By the end of the afternoon, Nonie knows where she belongs. She goes home where her smiling momma and her baby brother greet her. Softly colored pastel illustrations depict a loving African-American family. This book would be a good choice for sharing with children experiencing the arrival of new siblings in their families.

Accolade:
Best Children’s Books of the Year:
Bank Street College of Education

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Maggie’s Monkeys

Linda Sanders-Wells (author)
Abby Carter (illustrations)
Candlewick (2009)
Edition: Hardback, 1st Edition, Signed

A family of monkeys has moved into the refrigerator! At least, that’s what Maggie says. Of course, no one else can see them, but that doesn’t stop Mom and Dad from playing along, even going out of their way to accommodate the invisible visitors. An extra bowl of pudding at the table? A DO NOT DISTURB sign on the fridge? What’s a rustrated, reality obsessed brother to do? Readers will hoot with laughter at this warm, witty, wildly imaginative story of sibling love and loyalty.

“This splendidly crafted tale of imagination and family love may start discussions about what is real, what is not, and the power of persuasion.” (School Library Journal, 2009)

Accolade:
Junior Library Guild Selection 2009

Value: $100

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