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In Progress List 2018

This list displays the most recent books nominated for Capitol Choices. You can filter by age group by selecting it from the drop-down box and clicking "select."
A List of Cages
Disney (Hyperion)
This heart-wrenching novel follows the rekindled friendship between Adam, a popular high school senior, and his former foster brother Julian, a quiet and socially anxious freshman trying to navigate the world years after his parents' death. This was an impressive author debut that explores the difficult themes of death and domestic abuse as well as the life-saving power of kindness and friendship. Meaghan McKeron. 14 and up.
Ellen (editor)
Penguin (Crown/Random House)
Edited by Ellen Oh and dedicated to the memory of Walter Dean Myers, this is a collection of short stories celebrating the diverse stories that everyone needs. Sometimes race is very apparent, see Main Street by Woodson, and sometimes it is just an additional aspect of the character (see Matt da la Pena's first story about friendship and father son relationships. Each character wants to be heard, some shot at us, some whisper. Each story is unique and brings to life a memorable character. Edie Ching (10-14)
Elana K.
HarperCollins (Walden)
Bixby Alexander Tam ("Bat") doesn't always remember the polite things he is supposed to say to his classmates. Bat likes his routines, tolerates the afternoons when his big sister babysits, and navigates their every-other-weekend trips to stay with their dad. When Bat's mom, a veterinarian, brings home a skunk kit from her practice, animal-obsessed Bat sets out to convince her to let Bat care for the baby until it is ready for release to the wild. A third-grader negotiating typical childhood experiences like making a friend and wanting a pet, Bat's vulnerabilities make for a sympathetic, relatable character sure to appeal to early elementary readers. Bat exhibits neuroatypical behaviors often associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder, but no labels are applied here. Simple illustrations interspersed throughout the story capture the warmth of the family. ~ Kit Ballenger
The Inexplicable Logic of my Life
Benjamin Alire
HMH (Clarion)
In this character- and plot-rich story we meet many unforgettable characters who fill up Salvadore Silvia's world. The adopted son of a Mexican-American father who happens to be gay, he has a best friend Sam, a feisty girl with attitude, a loving grandmother and a friend in need, Fito. But all the characters are in need in this book in the way that we are all in need, of self-understanding, companionship, love, families. This is a book that looks at how to live life, face grief, find self-awareness, understand love. Sounds ambitious, yes......and memorable. Edie Ching (14 and up)
The gentle rhymes and vintage-styled illustrations of this tender picture book introduce young readers to an eclectic array of animal babies and the cozy comforts of parenting. From burrows to pouches, under wings and in mouths, baby animals lead us through their habitats to a young boy's bedroom. We find him -- with his parents and a menagerie of stuffed animals -- safe, sound, and ready for sleep. A lovely bedtime story. [Flying Eye Books (Nobrow)]. -Kit Ballenger (up to Seven)
BARKUS (book cover)
Big, brown, and boisterous, Barkus arrives as a gift to young Nicky from her Uncle Everton. Over five silly, self-contained chapters, we see Barkus settle in as a beloved addition to Nicky's life in book one of this new series. With relatable plot lines and a bold palate, this beginning chapter book is an ideal fit for an advanced early reader. -Kit Ballenger (Up to Seven)
HarperCollins (Walden)
Once a year, the little green boat lands at the beach carrying a single, young child. The Elder of the nine island orphans climbs aboard and floats away, while the youngster remains as Care of the new Elder. With plentiful food and a well-practiced routine, the nine orphans have little reason to question this pattern. But when the Changing leaves her in charge, Elder Jinny struggles in her new responsibilities and grapples with the uncertainty of life beyond the island. What will happen if the boat comes for Jinny and she's not ready to leave the island? A coming of age story in beautifully crafted world. - Kit Ballenger
Macmillan (Roaring Brook)
This ambitious book takes on the subjects of: the early history of football, the Carlisle Indian School and its goal of taking the Indian out of Native children and the life, successes and struggles of legendary Jim Thorpe as well as Pop Warner. Meticulously researched we learn about the role of Teddy Roosevelt in saving football from those who found it too violent, the skill of Warner as well as his "abuse" of his players for perhaps personal gain, certainly fame, and the raw talent of Jim Thorpe who was an incredible athlete. Readers also see the prejudice that the Indians faced as they beat most of the major Ivy league colleges (players older, bigger and playing on home turf). A fascinating read. Edie Ching (10-14)
A simple rhyming text that scans naturally, about a young girl's affection for a baby duckling she nurses for a while and then sends on its way. The illustrations are all about the girl and the duck, going through life in a close and loving way. There's not a lot of background to distract. The statements about love are true on many levels, in many circumstances. It is simple and lovely. Edie Ching (up to 7)
A journey of the imagination, starting and beginning at home, looking out a window, at a river, wondering where it goes, hither and yon. The language is full and rich, as are the illustrations, reflecting the various landscapes of the River's journey. The river slides and murmurs. A window view expands to lush double page spreads. Lots to see and talk about on every page or just quietly enjoy. Edie Ching (up to 7).