ISB Author/Illustrator Visit Series

I Talk Like a River Cover Image
By Jordan Scott, Sydney Smith (Illustrator)
$18.99
ISBN: 9780823445592
Availability: Not In Store / Available To Order (allow for shipping time to bookstore or direct-to-home)
Published: Neal Porter Books - September 1st, 2020

What if words got stuck in the back of your mouth whenever you tried to speak? What if they never came out the way you wanted them to? Sometimes it takes a change of perspective to get the words flowing.

When a boy who stutters feels isolated, alone, and incapable of communicating in the way he'd like, it takes a kindly father and a walk by the river to help him find his voice. Compassionate parents everywhere will instantly recognize a father's ability to reconnect a child with the world around him.

Poet Jordan Scott writes movingly in this powerful and ultimately uplifting book, based on his own experience, and masterfully illustrated by Greenaway Medalist Sydney Smith. A book for any child who feels lost, lonely, or unable to fit in.


Middletown Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781646140428
Availability: Not In Store / Available To Order (allow for shipping time to bookstore or direct-to-home)
Published: Levine Querido - April 6th, 2021

Thirteen-year-old Eli likes baggy clothes, baseball caps, and one girl in particular. Her seventeen-year-old sister Anna is more traditionally feminine; she loves boys and staying out late. They are sisters, and they are also the only family each can count on. Their dad has long been out of the picture, and their mom lives at the mercy of her next drink. When their mom lands herself in enforced rehab, Anna and Eli are left to fend for themselves. With no legal guardian to keep them out of foster care, they take matters into their own hands: Anna masquerades as Aunt Lisa, and together she and Eli hoard whatever money they can find. But their plans begin to unravel as quickly as they were made, and they are always way too close to getting caught.

Eli and Anna have each gotten used to telling lies as a means of survival, but as they navigate a world without their mother, they must learn how to accept help, and let other people in.


Sparrow Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9781338312867
Availability: Not In Store / Available To Order (allow for shipping time to bookstore or direct-to-home)
Published: Arthur A. Levine Books - February 26th, 2019

The story of a sensitive, gifted African American girl who tells us with mordant humor what it feels like to spend every day wishing so hard that you could fly away from it all.

Sparrow has always had a difficult time making friends. She would always rather stay home on the weekends with her mother, an affluent IT executive at a Manhattan bank, reading, or watching the birds, than play with other kids. And that's made school a lonely experience for her. It's made LIFE a lonely experience.But when the one teacher who really understood her -- Mrs. Wexler, the school librarian, a woman who let her eat her lunch in the library office rather than hide in a bathroom stall, a woman who shared her passion for novels and knew just the ones she'd love -- is killed in a freak car accident, Sparrow's world unravels and she's found on the roof of her school in an apparent suicide attempt.With the help of an insightful therapist, Sparrow finally reveals the truth of her inner life. And it's here that she discovers an outlet in rock & roll music.


Sofía Acosta Makes a Scene Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780593372630
Availability: Available In Store Now (while supplies last)
Published: Knopf Books for Young Readers - January 25th, 2022

A poignant, coming of age story about a Cuban-American girl trying to figure out where she belongs--both in her ballet-loving family and the wider world. Perfect for fans of Front Desk and Merci Suárez Changes Gears.

It’s a good thing Sofía Acosta loves dreaming up costumes, because otherwise she’s a ballet disaster—unlike her parents, who danced under prima ballerina Alicia Alonso before immigrating to the suburbs of New York. Luckily, when the Acostas host their dancer friends from Cuba for a special performance with the American Ballet Theatre, Sofía learns there’s more than dance holding her family together. Between swapping stories about Cuba and sharing holiday celebrations, the Acostas have never been more of a team.
         Then Sofía finds out about the dancers’ secret plans to defect to the United States, and makes a serious mistake—she confides in her best friend, only to discover that Tricia doesn't want "outsiders" moving to their community. Now Sofía wonders what the other neighbors in her tight-knit suburban town really think of immigrant families like hers. Sofía doesn’t want to make a scene, but if she doesn’t speak up, how will she figure out if her family really belongs? 


Home Is Not a Country Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780593177051
Availability: Not In Store / Available To Order (allow for shipping time to bookstore or direct-to-home)
Published: Make Me a World - March 2nd, 2021

Nima wishes she were someone else. She doesn’t feel understood by her mother, who grew up in a different land. She doesn’t feel accepted in her suburban town; yet somehow, she isn't different enough to belong elsewhere. Her best friend, Haitham, is the only person with whom she can truly be herself. Until she can't, and suddenly her only refuge is gone.
 
As the ground is pulled out from under her, Nima must grapple with the phantom of a life not chosen—the name her parents meant to give her at birth—Yasmeen. But that other name, that other girl, might be more real than Nima knows.  And the life Nima wishes were someone else's. . . is one she will need to fight for with a fierceness she never knew she possessed.


Elevator Bird Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780525648819
Availability: Not In Store / Available To Order (allow for shipping time to bookstore or direct-to-home)
Published: Knopf Books for Young Readers - November 24th, 2020

Kids and their parents will love this quirky story about kindness, friendship, and a team coming together to make one bird's dream come true...

It takes a strong team to keep the Hotel running smoothly, and Elevator Bird is at the center of it all.

He helps guests get to their rooms and gives great advice about all the best sights in town. He helps the staff get where they need to go, and always has an encouraging word. Elevator Bird makes everyone's day brighter.

So when he confesses to his friend Mousie that he's always longed for a room with a view, Mousie springs into action. All his friends at the Hotel hatch a marvelous plan to make sure Elevator Bird has the nest he deserves.

Sarah Williamson spins a charming tale of friends working together to make a dream come true.


Luli and the Language of Tea Cover Image
By Andrea Wang, Hyewon Yum (Illustrator)
$18.99
ISBN: 9780823446148
Availability: Available In Store Now (while supplies last)
Published: Neal Porter Books - May 24th, 2022

Though they may speak different languages, kids from all over the world come together to enjoy the shared pastime of tea in this delicious book for young readers.
 


When five-year-old Luli joins her new English as a Second Language class, the playroom is quiet. Luli can’t speak English, neither can anyone else. That’s when she has a brilliant idea to host a tea party and bring them all together.
 
Luli removes her teapot, thermos, and teacups from her bag and calls out “Chá!” in her native Chinese. One by one, her classmates pipe up in recognition: in Russian, Hindi, Turkish, Persian, Arabic, and Spanish, Portuguese, and Swahili. Tea is a tasty language they all know well, and it gives them a chance to share and enjoy each other’s company. When all the tea is gone and it’s time for dessert, Luli gets to use her favorite English word, cookie! After that, the playroom isn’t so quiet.
 
Informed by her own experience as the child of Chinese immigrant parents, Andrea Wang makes the point that when you’re looking to communicate with people, you look for a common bond. The word for “tea” is similar in many languages, and tea becomes the unifying metaphor that brings a diverse group of children together. Additional material at the back of the book explores the rich and ancient history of tea drinking across cultures all around the world and contains maps, statistics, and fascinating details that will delight young readers.