The 2013-2014 Texas Bluebonnet Books Are Now Available

Books for the Bluebonnet Award List 2013-2014 are now available at HCPL locations.
According to the Texas Library Association, "The Texas Bluebonnet Award reading program encourages Texas children to read more books, explore a variety of current books, develop powers of discrimination, and identify their favorite books."  These books are recommended  for grades 3-6.

 

Giants Beware! Jorge Aguirre

Claudette wants nothing more than to slay a giant but her little village is too safe and quiet.

 The One and Only Ivan Katherine Applegate

Ivan is an easygoing gorilla. Living at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade, he has grown accustomed to humans watching him through the glass walls of his domain. He rarely misses his life in the jungle. In fact, he hardly ever thinks about it at all. Instead, Ivan thinks about TV shows he's seen and about his friends Stella, an elderly elephant, and Bob, a stray dog. But mostly Ivan thinks about art and how to capture the taste of a mango or the sound of leaves with color and a well-placed line. Then he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from her family, and she makes Ivan see their home, and his own art, through new eyes. When Ruby arrives, change comes with her, and it's up to Ivan to make it a change for the better. Katherine Applegate blends humor and poignancy to create Ivan's unforgettable first-person narration in a story of friendship, art, and hope.

Laugh with the Moon  Shana Burg.

Thirteen-year-old Clare Silver is stuck. Stuck in denial about her mother's recent death. Stuck in the African jungle for sixty-four days without phone reception. Stuck with her father, a doctor who seems able to heal everyone but Clare. Clare feels like a fish out of water at Mzanga Full Primary School, where she must learn a new language. Soon, though, she becomes immersed in her new surroundings and impressed with her fellow students, who are crowded into a tiny space, working on the floor among roosters and centipedes. When Clare's new friends take her on an outing to see the country, the trip goes horribly wrong, and Clare must face another heartbreak head-on. Only an orphan named Memory, who knows about love and loss, can teach Clare how to laugh with the moon. Told from an American girl's perspective, this story about how death teaches us to live and how love endures through our memories will capture the hearts of readers everywhere.

Coral Reefs  Jason Chin.

During an ordinary visit to the library, a girl pulls a not-so-ordinary book from the shelves. As she turns the pages in this book about coral reefs, the city around her slips away and she finds herself surrounded by the coral cities of the sea and the mysterious plants and animals that live, hunt, and hide there. Jason Chin's follow-up to his critically acclaimed book, Redwoods , is a bold and beautiful picture storybook filled to the brim with fascinating facts about the coral reefs.

Freaky Fast Frankie Joe  Lutricia Clifton.

Twelve-year-old Frankie Joe Huckaby, forced to live with the father he never knew, a stepmother, and four half-brothers in Illinois, starts a delivery service to finance his escape back to his mother in Texas, not realizing he is making a better life for himself than he ever had with her. In this heart-warming debut novel, resourceful Frankie Joe needs all his incredible resilience and the loving support of his new, blended family to survive.

Barnum's Bones: How Barnum Brown Discovered the Most Famous Dinosaur in the World   Tracey Fern

Documents the work of an early twentieth-century paleontologist, named after the famous circus icon by his ambitious parents, who grew up to work for the American Museum of Natural History and discovered the first documented skeletons of the Tyrannosaurus Rex and other noteworthy species.

Ten Rules You Absolutely Must Not Break If You Want to Survive the School Bus John Grandits 
Kyle is dreading his first trip aboard the school bus. Luckily, his big brother, James, is a school bus expert. James gives Kyle ten rules for riding the bus that he absolutely, positively must obey if he wants to avoid getting laughed at or yelled at, pushed around, or even pounded. During his fateful ride, Kyle grapples with each unbreakable rule. Along the way, he discovers that the school bus isn "t so bad, and he may even have a thing or two to teach his brother.

Tua and The Elephant  R.P. Harris 

Ten-year-old Tua--Thai for "peanut"-has everything she needs at home in Chiang Mai, Thailand, except for one thing she's always wanted: a sister. In the market one day, Tua makes an accidental acquaintance, one with wise, loving eyes, remarkable strength, and a very curious trunk. And when Tua meets Pohn-Pohn, it's clear this elephant needs her help. Together, the unusual team sets off on a remarkable journey to escape from Pohn-Pohn's vile captors. From the bustling night market to the hallowed halls of a Buddhist temple and finally, to the sanctuary of an elephant refuge, this clever girl and her beloved companion find that right under their noses is exactly what each has been searching for: a friend.

 Looking at Lincoln Maira Kalman.

Abraham Lincoln is one of the first giants of history children are introduced to, and now Maira Kalman brings him to life with her trademark style and enthusiasm. Lincoln's legacy is everywhere;  there he is on your penny and five dollar bill. And we are still the United States because Lincoln helped hold them together. But who was he, really? The little girl in this book wants to find out. Among the many other things, she discovers our sixteenth president was a man who believed in freedom for all, had a dog named Fido, loved Mozart, apples, and his wife's vanilla cake, and kept his notes in his hat. From his boyhood in a log cabin to his famous presidency and untimely death, Kalman shares Lincoln's remarkable life with young readers in a fresh and exciting way.

Flying the Dragon  Natalie Dias Lorenzi.

American-born Skye is a good student and a star soccer player who never really gives any thought to the fact that her father is Japanese. Her cousin, Hiroshi, lives in Japan, and never really gives a thought to his uncle's family living in the United States.

Waiting for the Magic Patricia MacLachlan

When William's father leaves, his mother promptly goes out and adds four dogs and a cat to their lives. William's sure that nothing can fill the hole left by his father, but the new additions to the family are determined to help, and with his sister, Elinor, and his mother, William will learn that "family" can come in all shapes and sizes.

Fairest of All  Sarah Mlynowski.

A fresh, modern spin on a classic fairy tale.  In each book, Abby and her younger brother Jonah visit the magic mirror in their basement at night, and the mirror transports them inside a different fairy tale. In the first magical adventure, Abby and Jonah find themselves tangled in Snow White's story. Once there, they accidentally change key events in the tale! In order for Snow White to get her happy ending, it's up to Abby and Jonah to make things right.

Ghetto Cowboy

Twelve-year-old Cole's behavior causes his mother to drive him from Detroit to Philadelphia to live with a father he has never known, but who soon has Cole involved with a group of African-American "cowboys" who rescue horses and use them to steer youths away from drugs and gangs.

Wonder R.J. Palacio.

I wont describe what I look like. Whatever youre thinking, its probably worse. August Pullman was born with a facial deformity that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid, but his new classmates can't get past Auggie's extraordinary face. This story begins from Auggie's point of view, but soon switches to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others. These perspectives converge in a portrait of one community&'s struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance.   In a world where bullying among young people is an epidemic, this is a refreshing new narrative full of heart and hope. R.J. Palacio has called her debut novel "a meditation on kindness" Indeed, every reader will come away with a greater appreciation for the simple courage of friendship. Auggie is a hero to root for, a diamond in the rough who proves that you can't blend in when you were born to stand out.

The Humming Room Ellen Potter

Twelve-year-old orphan Roo Fanshaw is sent to live with an uncle she never knew in a largely uninhabited mansion on Cough Rock Island and discovers a wild river boy, an invalid cousin, and the mysteries of a hidden garden.

Glory Be Augusta Scattergood.

In the summer of 1964 as she is about to turn twelve, Glory's town of Hanging Moss, Mississippi, is beset by racial tension when town leaders close her beloved public pool rather than desegregating it.

Jangles: A Big Fish Story David Shannon.
Bestselling storyteller and Caldecott Honor artist Shannon instantly hooks readers with this stunning, highly entertaining tour-de-force. Breathtaking oil paintings bursting with energy pull readers along into Big Lake, the home of Jangles, the biggest fish anyone has seen. A father relates to his son the tale of his encounter--and friendship--with a gigantic trout whose enormous jaw is covered with so many lures and fish hooks that he jangles when he swims, but who has never been caught.

Walls Within Walls Maureen Sherry 

After their father, a video-game inventor, strikes it rich, the Smithfork kids find they hate their new life. They move from their cozy Brooklyn neighborhood to a swanky apartment on Manhattan's Fifth Avenue. They have no friends, a nanny who takes the place of their parents, and a school year looming ahead that promises to be miserable. And then, one day, Brid, CJ, and Patrick discover an astonishing secret about their apartment: The original owner, the deceased multimillionaire Mr. Post, long ago turned the apartment itself into a giant puzzle containing a mysterious book and hidden panels-a puzzle that, with some luck, courage, and brainpower, will lead to discovering the Post family fortune. Unraveling the mystery causes them to race through today's New York City-and to uncover some long-hidden secrets of the past. Maureen Sherry's page-turning debut novel is filled with adventure, intrigue, and heart.

 Balloons over Broadway : The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy's Parade    Melissa Sweet

Award-winning artist Sweet tells the story of the puppeteer Tony Sarg, capturing his genius, his dedication, his zest for play, and his long-lasting gift to America--the inspired helium balloons that would become the trademark of Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Bake Sale Sara Varon

Cupcake's life is pretty good. He's got his bakery, and his band, and his best friend, Eggplant. His days are full of cooking, socializing, and playing music. But lately, Cupcake has been struggling in the kitchen. He's sure the solution to all his problems is out there somewhere. But maybe that solution is hiding closer to home. Sara Varon returns with an ageless tale as dreamy and evocative as her break-out hit graphic novel Robot Dreams . At once deeply metaphorical and hilariously literal, Bake Sale is a story for anyone who's ever looked for an easy answer to life's intractable difficulties. It's also a cookbook: Varon includes seven delicious recipes, from classic cupcakes to sugared flower petals to marzipan.