Door of No Return

Kwame Alexander has a new novel in verse out that is a planned book one of a trilogy. Always a favorite among the middle-school crowd, Alexander’s latest deviates from his sports-themed subjects to African history and the 1800’s. The setting is Ghana and Kofi (the main character) is living under British colonialism. We get to know Kofi and his family as well as a less-explored vein of slavery. Alexander is skilled at capturing his reader enough to look forward to the second installment.

Don’t Look Back: A Memoir

Don’t Look Back: A Memoir of War, Survival- and My Journey from Sudan to America by Achut Deng and Keely Hutton will be released October 11th. Her story describes the war in her country in the early 1990s and her near-death escape to a refugee camp where disease and starvation almost took her life. Deng had a podcast in 2020. Now a mother of three living in the United States, Deng hopes her story will connect with others.

New Kwame Alexander title

Newbery award winning author, Kwame Alexander, has a new middle-grade novel release: The Door of No Return. Symphony Space’s Thalia Kids Book Club is presenting Alexander on Saturday October 1st at the Leonard Nimoy Theatre (95th ST and Broadway). A reading, book discussion and signing will be held at 1pm. Hugely popular and dynamic, Alexander is an engaging author and speaker not to be missed.

Catherine Called Birdy- the movie

1994 Newbery Honor winner, Catherine, Called Birdy is historical fiction for middle-schoolers set in the Middle Ages. In the year 1290, 13 year-old Birdy is “unwillingly keeping a journal at the behest of her brother, a monk, Birdy (daughter of a 13th-century knight) makes a terse first entry—”I am bit by fleas and plagued by family. That is all there is to say”—but is soon confiding her pranks and troubles in fascinating detail.” This first novel from almost 30 years ago is now a movie to be released later this month written and directed by Lena Dunham. Cushman went on to become a mainstay in middle school literature. Authentically writing about various historical periods, Catherine, Called Birdy contains just the right amount of humor and icki-ness that appeals to this age group. Not just for social studies teachers, the diary of Catherine has readers rooting for her from page one until the end. I look forward to meeting her on the big screen.