When Toots Rodriguez approaches Mickey on the playground, he knows something is up. Toots, the prettiest girl in the fifth grade, never talks to Mickey, not even when they’re assigned to work together on a class project. But Toots has come to Mickey because she’s in trouble, and he’s a detective. The real deal. He has a badge and a certificate after completing an online course two years ago. ”You have to believe me, Mickey. I didn’t take that pen. I didn’t.” When Toots shines her big green eyes on him and insists repeatedly that she’s innocent, Mickey’s intuition tells him to run fast in the opposite direction. But he’s a sucker for a pretty girl, so he takes on the case of the missing pen. Rumor has it that Toots stole Eddy’s pen. It’s not just any old pen; it’s his dad’s pen. It has the White House logo on it. Eddy’s father, a senator from South Texas, got the pen from the President of the United States when he visited the White House last year. As Mickey begins his investigation, though, all the clues point to Toots and her newly ex-boyfriend as the primary suspects. The first book in The Mickey Rangel Mystery series for intermediate readers, author and educator Rene Saldana, Jr. has crafted another appealing book for kids, and his wise-cracking, smart protagonist will appeal to even the most reluctant readers.
Roberto’s dad speaks in Spanish when he gets upset, and boy, is he unhappy today! His lucky chair, the one he sits in to watch his beloved New York Yankees play, is missing. And he needs it for the afternoon game against the Red Sox! Roberto is excited, too. He’s about to take off to Mars on his home-made rocket ship, and his dad’s lucky chair makes a perfect pilot’s seat. When his father finds that the missing chair has become part of the rocket ship in the backyard, he grudgingly tells Roberto he can use it, for now. But it needs to be returned before game time. Roberto’s dad is skeptical about the rocket ship. ”You might have a problem getting off the ground” he says. ”You’re forgetting one little thing; you don’t have an engine!” Soon, he finds himself invited along as co-pilot. And during the exciting flight to Mars, Roberto helps his father rediscover his imagination as they experience an amazing blastoff, wayward asteroids, and even weightlessness. When they finally land, Roberto surprises his father with two baseball gloves and a ball. “Today’s baseball game is on Mars,” he tells his dad. After spending the day playing catch, father and son realize that they speak the same language on the Red Planet. And his dad doesn’t even mind that he missed the Yankees’ game! Children ages 4-8 will want to embark on their own mission to Mars after reading this story that combines vibrant illustrations with a touching story about a father and son’s afternoon adventure.
I want to see what is on the other side of the dust When the towers fall, New York City is blanketed by dust. On the Lower East Side, Yolanda, the Cinnamon Girl, makes her manda, her promise, to gather as much of it as she can. Maybe returning the dust to Ground Zero can comfort all the voices. Maybe it can help Uncle DJ open his eyes again. As tragedies from her past mix in the air of an unthinkable present, Yolanda searches for hope. Maybe it’s buried somewhere in the silvery dust of Alphabet City.