Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Gingerbread Spies and Magic Pencils - Two Book Birthdays!

Mara Rockliff's latest picture book, GINGERBREAD FOR LIBERTY, is the delicious (and true!) story of the baker who helped save the American Revolution.

Christopher Lutwick was a German immigrant and, in the 1770's, a vocal advocate of revolution as well as possibly the most celebrated and popular baker in Philadelphia. When the war broke out, though he was too old for fighting, he was determined to help, and his friend George Washington made him the "baker general" of the army. He also had an even more significant, albeit more secretive role... to talk starving Hessian soldiers working for the British into abandoning the King. And he could do it because he was a former starving Hessian soldier himself.

This remarkable tale shines a light on a little known figure of the Revolution who worked alongside George Washington and the other heroes we all know about. And the scrumptious illustrations by Vincent X Kirsch are the icing on the gingerbread!

"This appealing concoction is a powerful reminder of the good one person can do." -- Kirkus

"A sweet addition to Revolutionary War units." --School Library Journal, starred review

"Rockliff's story celebrates an unheralded historical figure, reinforces the value of creatively employing one's skills, and reminds readers that heroes can be found in surprising places." --Publishers Weekly, starred review

Buy GINGERBREAD FOR LIBERTY at your local independent bookstore, Oblong, Powells, B+N, Amazon, or wherever fine books are sold. 
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Kate Messner's ALL THE ANSWERS is a magical middle grade with heart and depth. NYT bestseller Wendy Mass says ALL THE ANSWERS is "Charming, moving, funny, and ultimately very surprising!"

When Ava Anderson finds an old blue pencil in her family's junk drawer, it doesn't seem like anything special. But all that changes when she writes a question in the margin of her math quiz and something very strange happens. She hears a voice that nobody else can hear -- and it tells her the solution! With the help of her best friend, Sophie, Ava figures out that this is no ordinary pencil. This pencil provides answers . . . but only to fact-based questions. As Ava's reliance on the pencil grows (and the pencil itself shrinks from sharpening), the truths it reveals about herself and her family lead Ava on an adventure she never expected to take.

This story shines with heart, humor and the ultimate lesson: the bravest people are those who choose to live their life without all the answers.

Buy ALL THE ANSWERS at your local independent bookstore, Oblong, Powells, B+N, Amazon, or wherever fine books are sold.