The Duel: The Parallel Lives of Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr

duel.jpgThe Duel: The Parallel Lives of Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr
Author: Judith St. George
Grade: 8
F&P Level: Z
Lexile: 1040L

In curiously parallel lives, Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr were both orphaned at an early age. Both were brilliant students who attended college–one at Princeton, the other at Columbia–and studied law. Both were young staff officers under General George Washington, and both became war heroes. Politics beckoned them, and each served in the newly formed government of the fledgling nation. Why, then, did these two face each other at dawn in a duel that ended with death for one and harsh criticism for the other?

Pages: 112

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World Without Fish

world without fishWorld Without Fish
Authors: Mark Kurlansky and Frank Stockton
Grade: 7
F&P Level: Y
Lexile: 1160L

“Can you imagine a world without fish? It’s not as crazy as it sounds. But if we keep doing things the way we’ve been doing things, fish could become extinct within fifty years. So let’s change the way we do things!”

Announcing the paperback edition of World Without Fish, the uniquely illustrated narrative nonfiction account—for kids—of what is happening to the world’s oceans and what they can do about it. Written by Mark Kurlansky, the bestselling author of Cod, Salt, The Big Oyster, and many other books, World Without Fish has been praised as “urgent” (Publishers Weekly) and “a wonderfully fast-paced and engaging primer on the key questions surrounding fish and the sea” (Paul Greenberg, author of Four Fish).?It has also been included in the New York State Expeditionary Learning English Language Arts Curriculum.

Written by a master storyteller, World Without Fish connects all the dots—biology, economics, evolution, politics, climate, history, culture, food, and nutrition—in a way that kids can really understand. It describes how the fish we most commonly eat, including tuna, salmon, cod, swordfish—even anchovies— could disappear within fifty years, and the domino effect it would have: the oceans teeming with jellyfish and turning pinkish orange from algal blooms, the seabirds disappearing, then reptiles, then mammals. It describes the back-and-forth dynamic of fishermen, who are the original environmentalists, and scientists, who not that long ago considered fish an endless resource. It explains why fish farming is not the answer—and why sustainable fishing is, and how to help return the oceans to their natural ecological balance.

Interwoven with the book is a twelve-page full-color graphic novel. Each beautifully illustrated chapter opener links to the next to form a larger fictional story that perfectly complements the text.

Pages: 208

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Steve Jobs: The Man Who Thought Different: A Biography

steve jobsSteve Jobs: The Man Who Thought Different: A Biography
Author: Karen Blumenthal
Grade: 7
F&P Level: Y
Lexile: 1110L

“Your time is limited…have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.” ―Steve Jobs

From the start, his path was never predictable. Steve Jobs was given up for adoption at birth, dropped out of college after one semester, and at the age of twenty, created Apple in his parents’ garage with his friend Steve Wozniack.

Then came the core and hallmark of his genius―his exacting moderation for perfection, his counterculture life approach, and his level of taste and style that pushed all boundaries. A devoted husband, father, and Buddhist, he battled cancer for over a decade, became the ultimate CEO, and made the world want every product he touched, from the Macintosh to the iPhone, from iTunes and the iPod to the Macbook.

Critically acclaimed author Karen Blumenthal takes us to the core of this complicated and legendary man while simultaneously exploring the evolution of computers. Framed by Jobs’ inspirational Stanford commencement speech and illustrated throughout with black and white photos, this is the story of the man who changed our world.

Pages: 320

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The Notorious Benedict Arnold: A True Story of Adventure, Heroism & Treachery

notorious.jpgThe Notorious Benedict Arnold: A True Story of Adventure, Heroism & Treachery
Author: Steve Sheinkin
Grade: 7
F&P Level: Y
Lexile: 990L

Most people know that Benedict Arnold was America’s first, most notorious traitor. Few know that he was also one of its greatest war heroes. This accessible biography introduces young readers to the real Arnold: reckless, heroic, and driven. Packed with first-person accounts, astonishing battle scenes, and surprising twists, this is a gripping and true adventure tale.

Pages: 353

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The Great and Only Barnum: The Tremendous, Stupendous Life of Showman P. T. Barnum

great and only.jpgThe Great and Only Barnum: The Tremendous, Stupendous Life of Showman P. T. Barnum
Author: Candace Fleming
Grade: 7
F&P Level: Y
Lexile: 980L

The award-winning author of The Lincolns: A Scrapbook Look at Abraham and MaryOur Eleanor, and Ben Franklin’s Almanac brings us the larger-than-life biography of showman P. T. Barnum. Known far and wide for his jumbo elephants, midgets, and three-ring circuses, here’s a complete and captivating look at the man behind the Greatest Show on Earth. Readers can visit Barnum’s American Museum; meet Tom Thumb, the miniature man (only 39 inches tall) and his tinier bride (32 inches); experience the thrill Barnum must have felt when, at age 60, he joined the circus; and discover Barnum’s legacy to the 19th century and beyond. Drawing on old circus posters, photographs, etchings, ticket stubs—€”and with incredible decorative art by Ray Fenwick—this book presents history as it’€™s never been experienced before—a show-stopping event!

Pages: 160

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Outcasts United: An American Town, a Refugee Team, and One Woman’s Quest to Make a Difference

outcasts united 2Outcasts United: An American Town, a Refugee Team, and One Woman’s Quest to Make a Difference
Author: Candace Fleming
Grade: 7
F&P Level: Y
Lexile: 980L

Clarkston, Georgia, was a typical Southern town until it was designated a refugee settlement center in the 1990s, becoming the first American home for scores of families in flight from the world’s war zones—from Liberia and Sudan to Iraq and Afghanistan. Suddenly Clarkston’s streets were filled with women wearing the hijab, the smells of cumin and curry, and kids of all colors playing soccer in any open space they could find. The town also became home to Luma Mufleh, an American-educated Jordanian woman who founded a youth soccer team to unify Clarkston’s refugee children and keep them off the streets. These kids named themselves the Fugees.

Set against the backdrop of an American town that without its consent had become a vast social experiment, Outcasts United follows a pivotal season in the life of the Fugees and their charismatic coach. Warren St. John documents the lives of a diverse group of young people as they miraculously coalesce into a band of brothers, while also drawing a fascinating portrait of a fading American town struggling to accommodate its new arrivals. At the center of the story is fiery Coach Luma, who relentlessly drives her players to success on the soccer field while holding together their lives—and the lives of their families—in the face of a series of daunting challenges.

This fast-paced chronicle of a single season is a complex and inspiring tale of a small town becoming a global community—and an account of the ingenious and complicated ways we create a home in a changing world.

Pages: 240

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I Will Always Write Back: How One Letter Changed Two Lives

i will alwaysI Will Always Write Back: How One Letter Changed Two Lives
Author: Martin Ganda and Caitlin Alifirenka
Grade: 7
F&P Level: Y
Lexile: 790L

It started as an assignment. Everyone in Caitlin’s class wrote to an unknown student somewhere in a distant place.

Martin was lucky to even receive a pen-pal letter. There were only ten letters, and fifty kids in his class. But he was the top student, so he got the first one.

That letter was the beginning of a correspondence that spanned six years and changed two lives.

In this compelling dual memoir, Caitlin and Martin recount how they became best friends –and better people–through their long-distance exchange. Their story will inspire you to look beyond your own life and wonder about the world at large and your place in it.

Pages: 393

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Escape!: The Story of the Great Houdini

escape.jpgEscape!: The Story of the Great Houdini
Author: Sid Fleischman
Grade: 7
F&P Level: X
Lexile: 940L

How did he walk through walls, escape drowning, and shatter iron chains that were tightly wrapped around him?

The rare photos in this book might help you figure it out. So might the exclusive update about the rumor that Houdini was poisoned. But just remember, a true magician never reveals his tricks…

Pages: 240

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