New Releases

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Keepers of the

Secret Code

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KJ Williams,

author

Peter Farrow is a slave on Dover Plantation, South Carolina. He does small jobs and helps around the big house and the dairy. When he’s not working, Peter likes to play with the other enslaved children, or go fishing with the master’s daughter, Emily.  Sometimes, he even gets to sit in on Emily’s school lessons and learn to read.

At almost twelve years old, it’s time Peter learns a trade. The master has agreed for Peter to apprentice with Samuel, the plantation’s carpenter. But John, the cruel overseer, has other plans. He wants Peter out in the fields, close enough to feel his whip and doing the backbreaking work of a grownup slave. So when Peter comes between Samuel and the overseer’s whip, he makes a terrible enemy.

Will Peter be allowed to apprentice with Sam?

Or will he end up in the fields, at the mercy of Overseer John?

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Teresa R. Kemp,

author

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Mighty Mahi

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Based on a true story: When a green sea turtle spots some fishing line, he swims over to investigate the shiny, sparkly thing. But the stringy stuff wraps around one of his flippers, and the more he struggles, the tighter it becomes. He can’t get loose! Soon he is too weak to dive for food, or swim to the ocean surface for air. Exhausted, the young sea turtle struggles onto the beach to rest.

However, much larger obstacles and challenges await him outside of his ocean home. His injured fin is so damaged it must be removed. With the help of veterinarians at a nearby aquatic center, who name him Mahi, he is slowly nursed back to health. The staff name him Mahi, which means “mighty”. They help Mahi relearn to dive and eat with only three flippers. After two years, he finally heals completely and is released back into the ocean.

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Suzanne Jacobs Lipshaw,

author

Dorothy Shaw,

illustrator

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2022 winner OWFI Best Juvenile Book
(published)

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Shelley Anne Richter, author

Bigfoot and the Gold Star Kid

 

Heistin’s father was killed in Iraq. Now it’s just him and his mom, a Gold Star family, living on the edge of a swamp. Mom must work, so Heistin stays home by himself a lot. One night he hears a loud noise, and someone jiggles the doorknob.

     When Heistin peeks out the window and sees a huge, hairy, man-ape, he panics and calls his best friend, Jax. Jax’s grandfather comes along to help figure out what happened, and he tells the boys about a creature called Bigfoot who once rescued a local soldier from a hunter’s trap.

     Day after day Bigfoot returns. Knowing no one will believe him, Heistin struggles to keep Bigfoot a secret from his mom and his best friend. But one day everything changes. A hunter shows up on the edge of the swamp and wants to prove Bigfoot exists. Needing to warn the gentle man-ape, Heistin conquers his fear and enters the ominous swamp where Bigfoot introduces him to his world, filled with insects, birds, and alligators.

     Heistin asks Bigfoot if he will ever see him again. The man-ape replies with a special word shared by Heistin and his dad. The mystery of why Bigfoot keeps an eye on Heistin and his mom is solved--Bigfoot had saved Heistin’s dad from a hunter’s trap years ago and had befriended the injured soldier. Bigfoot now wants to protect the soldier’s wife and son.

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Tony loves to help. He delivers groceries and firewood, and even helps vehicles stuck in the snow. This year, he gets to deliver a Christmas tree to the Children’s Hospital.

But when heavy snow traps Tony in the garage, he tries to jump over the snow, push through it, and finally, squeeze around it. Nothing works.

Then he hears the RUMBLE RUMBLE of his friends, Sarah the snowplow, Felicity the front loader, and Road Assistant Rosco. With a little help from his pals, Tony escapes the garage delivers the tree to the Children’s Hospital in time for Christmas.

Tony the Truck and the Christmas Delivery

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David Barrow, Illustrator

M. Jane Hawkins, author

Billy Bob Flybottom

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David Barrow,

illustrator

Come on 'round and hear the tall tale of Billy Bob Flybottom from Hoop ‘n Yoller Holler. Billy Bob is as tough as a cedar tree and as strong as a team of mules. He can out-chop, out-plow and out-hoe anyone in the Appalachian Mountains.

When the tales of his incredible exploits travel to nearby Corn Pone Holler, bully Jimmy John Rockriler gets jealous. He wants to fight!

Billy Bob must get creative and outwit the bully from the neighboring “holler”!

A humorous folktale set in the Appalachian mountains.

Susan Kite, author