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Picture Book Selection: Maps

This collection of 52 detailed illustrated maps details not only geographical features and political borders, but also places of interest, iconic personalities, native animals and plants, local peoples, cultural events, and many more fascinating facts associated with each region of the world.  Recommended for Grades 1 and above.

Picture Book Selection: Lizbeth Lou Got a Rock in Her Shoe

Lizbeth Lou is playing outside when a pebble gets stuck in her shoe.  When she carelessly tosses it away, it sets off a sequence of events that interferes with an entire neighborhood of creatures.  Each creature thinks the pebble is something else.  For example, the cricket thinks the pebble is a boulder that will sink its delicate leaf boat.  The duck is perplexed by the giant raindrop landing on her umbrella.  This is a fun story to read aloud because of the rhyming text.  Recommended for grades K-2.

Juvenile Book Recommendation: The Fingertips of Duncan Dorfman

Duncan has the power to see things with his fingers, which helps him choose needed tiles after he joins the school Scrabble club. Eventually, Duncan ’s skills bring him to the national Scrabble tournament, where he meets two other young Scrabble players - April and Nate.  As the kids get to know each other they take a side trip to a crumbling amusement park, which launches them into an unexpected adventure and reveals a surprise about Duncan's family secret. (Recommended Ages: 5th - 8th)

Juvenile Fiction Selection: The Charming Life of Izzy Malone

Izzy Malone isn't your typical middle schooler.  She's kind of a class outcast, the only girl in her school who isn't interested in clothes or boys.  Instead, she desperately wants to be part of the after school rowing team.  When her temper gets her into trouble, her parents enroll her in Mrs. Whipple's Earn Your Charm School.  She has to complete certain tasks in order to earn “charms” for her charm bracelet.  Unfortunately, her good intentions go vastly awry.  This contemporary realistic novel will leave you with a smile on your face and looking forward to the next book in the series.  Recommended for grades 4-6.

Juvenile Fiction Recommendation: Fish in a Tree

Ally has been smart enough to fool a lot of smart people. Every time she lands in a new school, she is able to hide her inability to read by creating clever yet disruptive distractions.  She is afraid to ask for help; after all, how can you cure dumb? However, her newest teacher Mr. Daniels sees the bright, creative kid underneath the trouble maker. With his help, Ally beings to feel free to be herself and the world starts opening up with possibilities. She discovers that there’s a lot more to her—and to everyone—than a label, and that great minds don’t always think alike. (Grades 4-8)

Dataclysm: Who We Are (When We Think No One's Looking) by Christian Rudder

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Do Equal Opportunity Employers really hire without discrimination? Is Twitter destroying our capacity to write, or improving it? Can Facebook predict if your marriage will last? How is Google fighting the flu?

Christian Rudder, one of the founders of OkCupid, leverages the company’s massive collection of data as a starting point for this examination of human nature. Rudder keeps the text light and readable, skipping wonky details while being sure to note when his conclusions are limited by his data. His insights range from quirky factoids—white men are most likely to read Robert Heinlein while drinking a home-brewed beer, while Asian women would rather snack on macarons and read Norwegian Wood—to sobering insights about racism, sexism, and homophobia. A must-read for anyone interested in social media and what it reveals about our personalities and communities.

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