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Heart and Soul: the Story of America and African Americans, by Kadir Nelson

Summary:  An simple introduction to African-American history, from Revolutionary-era slavery up to the election of President Obama.

Balzer + Bray

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The Last Musketeer, by Stuart Gibbs

Summary:  In Paris with his parents to sell family heirlooms, fourteen-year-old Greg Rich suddenly finds himself four hundred years in the past, and is aided by boys who will one day be known as “The Three Musketeers.”


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A Month of Sundays, by Ruth White

Summary:  In the summer of 1956 while her mother is in Florida searching for a job, fourteen-year-old April Garnet Rose, who has never met her father, stays with her terminally ill aunt in Virginia and accompanies her as she visits different churches, looking for God.


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Never Forgotten, by Patricia McKissack

Summary:  In eighteenth-century West Africa, a boy raised by his blacksmith father and the Mother Elements–Wind, Fire, Water, and Earth–is captured and taken to America as a slave.

Schwartz & Wade

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Nicholas St. North and the battle of the Nightmare King, by William Joyce

Summary:  Nicholas St. North, a daredevil swordsman seeking treasure in the fiercely guarded village of Santoff Claussen finds, instead, the great wizard Ombric Shalazar and a battle against the Nightmare King and his evil Fearlings–a battle Nicholas can win only if he finds five other Guardians in time.


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Secrets at Sea, by Richard Peck

Summary:  In 1887, the social-climbing Cranstons voyage from New York to London, where they hope to find a husband for their awkward older daughter, secretly accompanied by Helena and her mouse siblings, for whom the journey is both terrifying and wondrous as they meet an array of titled humans despite their best efforts at remaining hidden.


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The Underdogs, by Mike Lupica

Summary:  Small but fast twelve-year-old Will Tyler, an avid football player in the down-and-out town of Forbes, Pennsylvania, takes matters into his own hands to try and finance the city’s football team, giving the whole community hope in the process.


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