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About K. A. Holt
When she is not trying to invent a time machine, K.A. Holt enjoys dusting her giant telescope, reading about zombies, and eating homegrown tomatoes.
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In this unusual text, young listeners and readers follow a group of diverse kids trying to make sense of the world as they see it. Questions such as What do clouds taste like?, Do my toys miss me when I'm gone?, and I wonder if cars and trucks speak the same language remind us of a child's unique point of view. Nothing is more powerful than seeing something for the first time, and these whimsical questions will encourage all readers to take a fresh look around them.
Exquisite artwork by rising star Kenard Pak follows the arc of a day, ending with a spread showing a group of children as different and varied as their questions.
The Kids Under the Stairs: BenBee and the Teacher Griefer is a funny, clever novel-in-verse series about Ben Bellows—who failed the Language Arts section of the Florida State test—and three classmates who get stuck in a summer school class.
But these kids aren't dumb—they're divergent thinkers, as Ms. J tells them: they simply approach things in a different way than traditional school demands.
• Each chapter is told through the perspective of one of the four students, who each write in a different style (art, verse, stream of consciousness).
• Celebrates different types of intelligence
• A heartwarming, laugh-out-loud novel-in-verse
Soon, the kids win over Ms. J with their passion for Sandbox, a Minecraft-type game. The kids make a deal with Ms. J: every minute they spend reading aloud equals one minute they get to play Sandbox in class. But when the administration finds about this unorthodox method of teaching, Ben B. and his buds have to band together to save their teacher's job—and their own academic future.
The first in a series of complementary storylines, this is an honest, heartfelt book about friendship, videogames, and learning to love yourself.
• Features a distinct and engaging cast of characters
• Encourages even the most reluctant reader to embrace their own "divergent" self
• Perfect for parents of kids age 10 and up who love Minecraft, educators and librarians, middle grade readers, new readers of poetry, and fans of videogames
• You'll love this book if you love books like Ghost by Jason Reynolds, Patina by Jason Reynolds, and Short by Holly Goldberg Sloan.
Includes bonus material!
- Book Club Discussion Guide
- Reading and Writing Connections
This second book in a new series by K.A. Holt will appeal to fans of House Arrest, Rhyme Schemer, and Knockout, in addition to fans of Jason Reynolds's Track series.
Ben Y's just about had it with school. Every corner she turns, she’s being called "Benita," getting Dress Coded by Mr. Mann for some supposedly inappropriate item of clothing, or running into the ineffable, inescapable, indefinable Ace—who makes her feel weird, weirdly seen, and strangely at peace, all at once. Even her best buds—Ben B, Jordan J, and Javier; the kids under the stairs—are all far too content following the rules and making their school newspaper under the attentive direction of their beloved teacher, Ms. J.
And home's no better. Last year, Ben Y's older brother died, and the family is still learning how to cope—if by coping you mean coming home to cry at lunch, or secretly building a friendship bracelet empire, or obsessively visiting a chatroom to talk to Benicio's ghost. When Benito suddenly starts typing back, Ben Y must act. But what happens when those very actions make Ben Y's deepest secrets impossible to hide?
Readers will easily identify with the variety of funny, authentic lovable characters—not to mention the emphasis on a Minecraft-like game and fun visuals like online chats and doodles. Parents, kids, educators and librarians alike will love the way the book celebrates all the different ways to be smart—and recognizes all the different ways it's hard to be a kid.
With a lovable cast of characters and raw, authentic emotion, this heartwarming, laugh-out-loud novel-in-verse tells an honest story about friendship, family, and personal identity that celebrates different types of intelligence and shows how every kid deserves to become their own "divergent" self.
NEW UNDERSTANDING OF IDENTITY: The main character in this book is struggling to figure out how she defines herself, both on the inside and to others. It's a struggle many young readers will recognize from their own experiences.
FRIENDSHIP ISSUES: This book navigates the difficulty of changing friendships, particularly when a new friend joins the group. It's an issue nearly every kid goes through in middle school, and will ring authentic to all young readers.
POPULAR AUTHOR: K.A. Holt's books have been nominated for awards in over 30 states. She is popular on the school speaking circuit and presents keynote speeches throughout the year and all over the world, making her a trusted name and a favorite for middle grade readers.
PERFECT FOR RELUCTANT READERS: Fewer words on each page make this book engaging and approachable for all different types of readers. The characters in the book also struggle with reading, but they are not shamed or looked down on for it, so readers with similar difficulties will feel understood.
NEWSPAPER THEME: The kids in this story work on their school newspaper, turning their tech skills into something their teachers approve of—and something that allows them to stand up for what they believe in.
MINECRAFT APPEAL: The characters in the book play Sandbox, which readers will instantly recognize as a fictionalized version of the immensely popular Minecraft, a game with over 74 million monthly players.
Amelia wonders if it's a sign from Clara. Maybe if she completed the list, her heart would stop hurting so much, and she could go back to being her old self. But as she makes her way through, Amelia finds that there's no going back, only forward. And she realizes she'll have to put her own spin on Clara's list to grow and change in the ways she needs to.
K. A. Holt's beautiful new novel is about grieving and growing up, and the ripples loss creates for a girl, a family, and a community.
Ava is having a really bad day. Her parents are getting divorced. She just had a big argument with her two best friends. And she forgot to charge her phone… again.
To top it all off, while she is hiding out in the bathroom over lunch, the alarm goes off for a lockdown drill. Ava knows the rules. She has to get herself into a classroom, turn the ringer off on her phone, lock the door, and cover the windows. But all of the rooms have already been locked from the inside and there is no one in the halls.
Pretty soon she realizes there is an intruder in the building. This isn’t a drill.
From the author of From Me to You and House Arrest, comes this timely that explores both the effect of school lockdown drills and the relatable struggles of modern middle grade friendship.
Harry Potter. Percy Jackson. Custard the Gnome.
Buck is a super fan of the book series, The Triumphant Gnome Syndicate. He knows all the trivia. The properties of the Troll Vanquishing Mace, and even what kind of snack Custard, the Gnome of the West, prefers. But when the book’s author disappears in a cloud of smoke, and Buck’s little sister disappears into a bottomless dumpster, Buck realizes that the world of gnomes and trolls might really exist. What the heck?
As it turns out, the real Custard needs Buck’s help to find the Troll Vanquishing Mace. And Buck needs to find his sister. So Buck and his best friend Lizzie set off on an adventure that would make any fan’s head spin. But it seems the books did not tell the whole truth about this not-so-make-believe world. Buck soon discovers that real life doesn’t work like a story, and the heroes and villains might not be who they seem. Holy trolls! What’s a super fan to do?
Buck is about to fulfill the ultimate fantasy: going on adventures with his favorite characters, and getting the chance to save the world. Assuming he can figure out whose side he’s really on.
Rae Darling and her family are colonists on a moon so obscure it doesn’t merit a name. Life is hard, water is scarce, and the farm work she does is grueling. But Rae and her sister Temple are faced with an added complication—being female is a serious liability in their strict society. Even worse, the Cheese—the colonists’ name for the native people on the moon—sometimes kidnap girls from the human colony. And when Rae’s impetuous actions disrupt the fragile peace, the Cheese come for her and Temple.
Though Rae and Temple are captives in the Cheese society, they are shocked to discover a community full of kindness and acceptance. Where the human colonists subjugated women, the Cheese train the girls to become fierce warriors. Over time, Temple forgets her past and becomes one of the Cheese, but Rae continues to wonder where her loyalties truly lie. When her training is up, will she really be able to raid her former colony? Can she kidnap other girls, even if she might be recruiting them to a better life?
When a Cheese raid goes wrong and the humans retaliate, Rae’s loyalty is put to the ultimate test. Can Rae find a way to restore peace—and preserve both sides of herself?