Women in Science by Rachel Ignotofsky

Women in Science by Rachel Ignotofsky is a beautifully illustrated work which presents the lives of 50 women in the science field who broke barriers and made significant contributions to the world.  Their stories of determination, perseverance, and courage are each told in a two-page spread with informative side graphics.  Katherine Johnson, a physicist and mathematician, whose work recently was celebrated in the film Hidden Figures, is featured among other brilliant women.  Some are well-known like Marie Curie and Jane Goodall but others not so much like Jane Cooke Wright and Sau Lan Wu.  All should be known and celebrated for their contributions to science.

The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

Book 4 of The Raven Cycle

Piper has awakened something evil in Cabeswater, and Adam can feel that Cabeswater is dying. Gansey, along with his friends, Ronan, Adam, Noah, Henry, and Blue must find the lost king, Glendower’s tomb, and awaken him to be granted a request.  As Blue finds herself drawn to Gansey, she is acutely aware of the prophecy that her kiss will cause his death.  Suspense builds as the Raven boys and the Henrietta psychics try to stop the evil unleashed by Piper and Laumonier.

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

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Mare Barrow lives in the Stilts with the other Reds.  Mare lives in a world divided by blood.  The lowly Reds serve the powerful Silvers.  Whether by fighting in the army or working in harsh conditions to supply what the Silvers need, the Reds must submit to the will of the Silvers for they have supernatural abilities which they use to control the Reds. Mare and her best friend, Kilorn, pick pockets to survive.  A series of troubling events lead Mare to make some desperate choices to help her family and save Kilorn from conscription into the army.  When she is caught picking the pocket of a Silver servant, she ends up getting a servant position at the king’s summer palace. While serving royalty during the Queenstrial, it is discovered that Mare has her own supernatural powers.  The royal family has no choice but to cover up who Mare really is and pass her off as long lost royalty, a Silver princess. As the Silver Princess, Mare begins to play a very dangerous game hoping to make change.

Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty

behind-stars-book

Serafina is the CRC (Chief Rat Catcher) on the Vanderbilt’s Biltmore Estate where her father works as a maintenance man. Though she is a child of the night, Pa has warned her to stay away from the deep parts of the forest as there is an evil that lurks there.  Serafina is stealth in her maneuvers around the Biltmore Estate. People do not notice her and she has a skill of making herself almost invisible. But Serafina notices things, and when children start disappearing she knows it is the man with the black cape.  But which man?  There are several men visiting the Biltmore Estate.  Serafina, the CRC, sets out to catch a very dangerous rat! And, yes, she will have to venture into the forbidden forest to catch the man with the black cloak.

Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier

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Catrina’s family is moving from sunny Southern California to Bahia de la Luna because it will be a better place for her little sister Maya to live.  Maya has Cystic Fibrosis, an incurable disease that affects the lungs and digestive system. Maya is obsessed with ghosts, and on their first day in Bahia de la Luna, the girls run into Carlos, who gives local ghost tours.  He tells the girls all about the ghosts in the community and later about the big Dia de Los Muertos celebration in November. Cat wants nothing to do with the ghosts or Carlos.  Cat gets a little freaked out when it comes to ghosts and anything scary.  It’s hard enough to move away from your best friends and get used to a new house, new town, and new school.  It’s hard enough to make new friends, but it is too much for Cat to have to deal with a town full of spirits and a little sister who seeks them out.

Deep Blue by Jennifer Donnelly

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Daughter of Merrow, find the five

Brave enough to keep hope alive.

One whose heart will hold the light,

One possessed of a prophet’s sight.

One who does not yet believe,

Thus has no choice but to deceive.

One with spirit sure and strong,

One who sings all creatures’ songs.

Togehter find the talismans

Belonging to the six who ruled,

Hidden under treacherous waters

After light and darkness dueled.

These pieces must not be united, 

Not in anger, greed, or rage.

They were scattered by brave Merrow,

Lest they unlock destruction’s cage.

Come to us from seas and rivers, 

Become one mind, one heart, one bond.

Before waters, and all creatures in them,

Are laid to waste by Abbadon!

Serafina dreams a vivid nightmare of witches chanting this song to hold back an evil being the night before her Dokimi. At the Dokimi (trial), Serafina must perform three tasks to prove that she is the rightful heir to the Miromaran throne and next in line to the throne after her mother Isabella.  Sera must face Alitheia, a twelve-foot venomous sea spider that will test her blood to ensure that Sera is not an imposter. Next, she will perform a songcast demonstrating her magical talents.  Finally, she will recite her betrothal vows to Mahdi, the crown prince of Matali, and swear to provide the kingdom with a female heir. There is tension in the Miromara realm. Rafe Mfeme, a terragogg (human) with no respect for the sea, is working with Traho to attack the mer kingdoms all over the world.  Someone wants to find the six talismans and set Abbadon free.  The chant in her nightmare begins to make sense to Serafina as troubling events unfold.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

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Kaz Brekker, an enforcer and mastermind for the Dregs gang, puts together a team of six dangerous outcasts for an impossible task.  His team will earn 30 million kruge if they can break into a high-security Frejdan prison and break out Yul-Bayur, a scientist who has developed jurda parem, a drug that enhances Grisha powers.  Whoever is control of this substance could rule the world, if he can control the Grisha’s magic. Kaz’s puts a plan into action and will need to utilize the distinct skill set of each member of his team, but will this team of outcasts ever be able to work together and trust each other enough to accomplish this impossible task?

I Am Princess X by Cherie Priest

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Libby and May meet one afternoon and begin creating Princess X together.  Over the next three years, their friendship blossoms as they create more adventures for Princess X with May creating the storyline and Libby the illustrations. The two best friends are inseparable until one terrible night when Libby and her mom a careen off a bridge in their car.  May is now sixteen.  She splits time between her divorced parents; Atlanta with her mom and Seattle with her dad.  One day, lonely and bored, in Seattle she spots a Princess X sticker on a store window, and then she sees her everywhere. Who could be doing this?  Is Libby alive?

Girl, Stolen by April Henry

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The opportunity was there.  A Cadillac Escalade with the keys in the ignition.  Griffin seized the opportunity, jumped in, started the car and drove off.  Score!  “Stop our car and get out!” Cheyenne Wilder yelled from the back seat. Idiot! He forgot to check the backseat. Griffin drove faster. He had to get out of the shopping mall parking lot now.  He had to get somewhere where he could think. Cheyenne realized she was being kidnapped.  What Griffin doesn’t know yet is his passenger is the daughter of Nike’s president and she is blind.