The Hit

A new drug is on the street. Everyone’s buzzing about it. Take the hit. Live the most intense week of your life. Then die. It’s the ultimate high at the ultimate price. Adam thinks it over. He’s poor, and doesn’t see that changing. Lizzie, his girlfriend, can’t make up her mind about sleeping with him, so he can’t get laid. His brother Jess is missing. And Manchester is in chaos, controlled by drug dealers and besieged by a group of homegrown terrorists who call themselves the Zealots. Wouldn’t one amazing week be better than this endless, penniless misery? After Adam downs one of the Death pills, he’s about to find out.

Rooftoppers

When authorities threaten to take Sophie, twelve, from Charles who has been her guardian since she was one and both survived a shipwreck, the pair goes to Paris to try to find Sophie’s mother, and they are aided by Matteo and his band of “rooftoppers.”

Soccer Star

When Paulo Marcelo Feliciano becomes a soccer star, crowds will cheer his famous name! Then his mother won’t have to work long hours, and he won’t have to work all day on a fishing boat. For now, Paulo takes care of his little sister Maria (she teaches him reading, he teaches her soccer moves) and walks her to school, stopping to give his teammates cheese buns as they set out to shine people’s shoes or perform for the tourist crowd. At day’s end, it’s time to plan the game, where Givo will bounce, Carlos will kick, and Jose will fly! But when Jose falls on his wrist, will the team finally break the rules and let a girl show her stuff? Set in a country whose resilient soccer stars are often shaped by poverty, this uplifting tale of transcending the expected scores a big win for all.

The Most Beautiful Place In The World

Growing up with his grandmother in a small Guatemalan town, seven-year-old Juan discovers the value of hard work, the joy of learning, and the location of the most beautiful place in the world.

Armando and the Blue Tarp School

Armando and his father are trash-pickers in Tijuana, Mexico, but when Senor David brings his “school”–a blue tarp set down near the garbage dump–to their neighborhood, Armando’s father decides that he must attend classes and learn. Based on a true story.

The Vine Basket

Life has been hard for fourteen-year-old Mehrigul, a member of the Uyghur tribal group scorned by the Chinese communist regime, so when an American offers to buy all the baskets she can make in three weeks, Mehrigul strives for a better future for herself and her family despite her father’s opposition.

Jimmy The Greatest!

Jimmy lives in a small Caribbean town where there’s not a whole lot to do. Fortunately though, there is a boxing gym, and one day the owner, Don Apolinar, suggests that Jimmy start training. He also gives Jimmy a cardboard box full of books and newspaper clippings all about Muhammad Ali. Jimmy reads and re-reads as he never has before. He is swept with admiration for Ali who said, “I am the greatest. I said that even before I knew I was.” He starts to feel good, realizing that he doesn’t need to have a lot of fancy stuff, that he’s a pretty good boxer himself, and that he can look forward to the future. But by the time Don Apolinar has to leave for the big city, Jimmy realizes that he can have a great life running the gym, creating a library, dancing and boxing . . . right where he is.Jairo Buitrago’s simple yet inspiring story is complemented by Rafael Yockteng’s funny, expressive illustrations, making this a book that will speak to many young readers.The Spanish edition, ¡Jimmy, el más grande!, was recently named one of “Los mejores libros del año” (Best Books of the Year) by Venezuela’s Banco del Libro.

Painted Dreams

Because her Haitian family is too poor to be able to buy paints for her, eight-year-old Ti Marie finds her own way to create pictures that make the heart sing. Ti Marie dreams of being an artist. Whenever she gets some time away from watching her little sisters and helping Mama in their market stall, she finds a cement wall or a scrap of waste paper and lets her imagination soar. Using whatever she can find to make a mark–bits of red brick, charcoal, white rocks–Ti Marie makes beautiful art. If only she had real paint, brushes, and clean white canvas, what wonderful pictures she could paint then! But Mama says there is no money for such things. Still, Ti Marie finds a surprising way to make her dreams come true.