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5. 2021 Battle of the Books

Author Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich

Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich's Books

Other than their first names, Naomi Marie and Naomi Edith are sure they have nothing in common, and they wouldn’t mind keeping it that way.

Naomi Marie starts clubs at the library and adores being a big sister. Naomi Edith loves quiet Saturdays and hanging with her best friend in her backyard. And while Naomi Marie’s father lives a few blocks away, Naomi Edith wonders how she’s supposed to get through each day a whole country apart from her mother.

When Naomi Marie’s mom and Naomi Edith’s dad get serious about dating, each girl tries to cling to the life she knows and loves. Then their parents push them into attending a class together, where they might just have to find a way to work with each other—and maybe even join forces to find new ways to define family.

In this sequel to Two Naomis, now that Naomi Marie’s mom and Naomi E.’s dad are married, the girls have learned to do a lot of things together, like All-Family Sunday dinners, sixth-grade homework, navigating the subway system by themselves, and visiting their favorite bakeries. Until sixth grade in a new school presents a whole new set of surprises and challenges.

Trusting her gut has worked for Naomi E. all her life, and she figures that it will be an asset to her role as a Peer Mediator—until she realizes how much of the job requires the Art of Compromise, which she’s only just starting to get used to at home.

Naomi Marie is excited about making new friends—but she wants to keep old ones too. And when she sees that some in the school community have a hard time with the realities of “diversity in action,” she wonders if the new members of her family can see those realities as well.

As the girls deal with the ups and downs of middle school and the mysteries of family dynamics, they learn that even when life and school try to drive you apart, it’s ultimately easier to face everything together.

After the worst first day back *ever*, Reggie's been nicknamed "Pukey" McKnight at his Brooklyn school. He wants to turn his image around, but he has other things on his mind as well:  his father, who's out of a job; his best friends, Joe C. (who's a little too White) and Ruthie (who's a little too intense); his ex-best friend Donovan, who's now a jerk; and of course, the beautiful Mialonie. The elections for school president are coming up, but with his notorious nickname and "nothing" social status, Reggie wouldn't stand a chance, if he even had the courage to run.

Then Reggie gets involved with a local homeless shelter. Inspired by the clients there--especially Charlie, a five-year-old kid who becomes his official "Little Buddy"― he begins to think about making a difference, both in the world and at school. Pukey for President? It can happen . . . if he starts believing.

More than a year before the Greensboro sit-ins, a teacher named Clara Luper led a group of young people to protest the segregated Katz drugstore by sitting at its lunch counter. With simple, elegant art, Someday Is Now tells the inspirational story of this unsung hero of the Civil Rights movement.

As a child, Clara Luper saw how segregation affected her life. When she grew up, Clara led the movement to desegregate Oklahoma stores and restaurants that were closed to African Americans. With courage and conviction, she led young people to “do what had to be done.” Perfect for early elementary age kids in encouraging them to do what is right and stand up for what is right, even at great cost, this is a powerful story about the power of nonviolent activism.

Someday Is Now challenges young people to ask how they will stand up against something they know is wrong. Kids are inspired to follow the lessons of bravery taught by civil rights pioneers like Clara Luper.

This moving title includes additional information on Clara Luper’s extraordinary life, her lessons of nonviolent resistance, and a glossary of key civil rights people and terms.

Not all heroes wear capes. Some heroes teach martial arts. Others talk to ghosts. A few are inventors or soccer players. They're also sisters, neighbors, and friends. Because heroes come in many shapes and sizes. But they all have one thing in common: they make the world a better place.

Published in partnership with We Need Diverse Books, this vibrant anthology features thirteen acclaimed authors whose powerful and diverse voices show how small acts of kindness can save the day. So pay attention, because a hero could be right beside you. Or maybe the hero is you.

AUTHORS INCLUDE: William Alexander, Joseph Bruchac, Lamar Giles, Mike Jung, Hena Khan, Juana Medina, Ellen Oh, R. J. Palacio, Linda Sue Park and Anna Dobbin, Cynthia Leitich Smith, Ronald L. Smith, Rita Williams-Garcia, and short-story contest winner Suma Subramaniam

Interview with Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich

Discussion of The Hero Next Door with We Need Diverse Books