Optimists Die First

Beware: Life ahead. Sixteen-year-old Petula de Wilde is anything but wild. A former crafting fiend with a happy life, Petula shut herself off from the world after a family tragedy. She sees danger in all the ordinary things, like crossing the street, a bug bite, or a germy handshake. She knows: life is out to get you. The worst part of her week is her comically lame mandatory art therapy class with a small group of fellow misfits. Then a new boy, Jacob, appears at school and in her therapy group. He seems so normal and confident, though he has a prosthetic arm; and soon he teams up with Petula on a hilarious project, gradually inspiring her to let go of some of her fears. But as the two grow closer, a hidden truth behind why he’s in the group threatens to derail them, unless Petula takes a huge risk

The Adventures of Medical Man

Being sick or injured is no fun for children, but not knowing what is happening may be worse.Enter Dr. Michael Evans, who will explain to young readers everything they need to know when an illness or injury occurs. Uniquely structured around five different movie genres and one comic book, each chapter features a common illness or injury with Dr. Mike in the starring role, explaining the causes, symptoms and cures.Whether it’s a nut allergy in the action-packed “They Came From Mars!,” a broken wrist in the bone-chilling “The Werewolf Who Snapped” or strep throat in the suspense-filled “Adventures of Medical Man and Wondrous Boy,” each story is packed with fascinating medical information. Other common conditions covered in the book include concussion, ear infection and asthma — all vividly explained.Complete with diagrams, sidebars and a glossary — and dramatized by Gareth Williams’s stunning illustrations — this book will be a comfort to any child dealing with an injury or illness.

Capturing Joy

Maud Lewis was born into a loving Nova Scotia family who accepted her physical limitations. When her parents died and she was forced to find her own way in the world, she married and set up a modest household in a small cabin. Despite the hardships she faced, she was able to find joy in her life, a joy that she expressed through her art. She painted canvases of animals, children, and her surroundings. Her art spilled over into everything from dust pans to the walls of her house. Maud Lewis died in 1970, but her wonderful, life-affirming art lives on and is treasured by people who understand and appreciate folk art all over the world.From the Hardcover edition.

A Sick Day For Amos Mcgee

THE BEST SICK DAY EVER and the animals in the zoo feature in this striking picture book debut. Friends come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. In Amos McGee’s case, all sorts of species, too! Every day he spends a little bit of time with each of his friends at the zoo, running races with the tortoise, keeping the shy penguin company, and even reading bedtime stories to the owl. But when Amos is too sick to make it to the zoo, his animal friends decide it’s time they returned the favor.