Monday, September 16, 2013

New Young Adult Books from Piñata Books

 The Mystery of the Mischievous Marker: 
A Mickey Rangel Mystery /
El misterio del malvado marcador: 
Coleccion Mickey Rangel, Detective Privado 

by René Saldaña Jr. 

  • Series: Mickey Rangel Mystery (Book 3)
  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Pinata Books; Bilingual edition (October 31, 2013)
  • ISBN-10: 1558857761
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558857766
It's Monday morning, and kid detective extraordinaire Mickey Rangel is on the hot seat. "You must be wondering why I've called you to my office," said Mrs. Abrego, the school principal. And in fact, Mickey has been racking his brain and sweating bullets, trying to figure out what he has done to warrant being pulled out of homeroom. Could it have been the spitball fight with his twin brother Ricky on the bus? How could word have gotten to Mrs. A that quickly? 

When she instead brings up the recent rash of graffiti on school grounds, Mickey is initially horrified that she might think he's involved. But he quickly realizes why she has called him in: she needs his help! Mrs. A has heard that Mickey is a detective, and he confirms that he's the "real deal," with an online certificate to prove it. She wants him to unmask the Mischievous Marker, the person writing messages all over the school"s walls.

The culprit has left numerous clues in his postings mainly a pronounced lack of grammar and spelling skills and that, along with an anonymous message from a supposed eyewitness pointing the finger at Mickey's life-long nemesis, Bucho, seem to make for an easy case to solve. But Bucho has denied the accusation and asked for Mickey's help. So Mickey flabbergasted but intrigued is "on the case." 

In the third book in the Mickey Rangel Mystery series for intermediate readers, author and educator Rene Saldana, Jr. has once again crafted an appealing book for kids, and his wise-cracking, smart protagonist will appeal to even the most reluctant readers.

Tommy Stands Tall (The Roosevelt High School Series) 

by Gloria L. Velasquez 

  • Series: Roosevelt High School (Book 9)
  • Paperback: 108 pages
  • Publisher: Pinata Books (October 31, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1558857788
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558857780

Tommy is excited to finally be a senior at Roosevelt High School. There was a time when he thought he'd never graduate, especially after he tried to kill himself to avoid dealing with his sexual orientation. But with the help of his friends, he has accepted who he is, come out to his family and friends and is preparing for college next year. 

But when Albert, a new student at Roosevelt High, is beaten so badly he winds up in the emergency room, Tommy can't help but wonder if he was attacked because he's gay. Soon, rumors about Albert are reverberating down the school's hallways, and Tommy fears Albert might seek the same solution he himself did two years before. Tommy visits Ms. Martinez, the counselor who helped him come to terms with his sexuality, who reminds him about his idea to start a Gay Straight Alliance Club at Roosevelt High. Suddenly, he realizes how he can help Albert. 

In spite of being busy with school, his job at the local theater and tutoring a young immigrant boy, Tommy finds other students both gay and straight interested in starting a club to raise awareness and seek equality for gay students. But will it really make a difference? Will they be able to modify the school's anti-discrimination code? And will the group be able to help Albert? 

Tommy Stands Tall is the ninth novel in Gloria L. Velasquez's popular Roosevelt High School series, which features a multiracial group of teenaged students who must individually confront social and cultural issues (such as violence, sexuality and prejudice) that young adults face today. This is the second novel that follows Tommy's story, which began in Tommy Stands Alone (Pinata Books, 1995).

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