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New spring titles for grade schoolers

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New spring titles for six-to-twelve-year-olds have been released.

"Ordinary People Change the World" (Penguin, $12.99), a series written by Brad Metzer and illustrated by Christopher Eliopoulous, introduces the latest two non-fiction entries. Each book focuses on a character trait which made the person a famous hero. "I Am Abraham Lincoln" is about the nation's 16th president and how he always spoke up for what was right. "I Am Amelia Earhart" is about the famous aviator who prevailed despite always being told she would not succeed.

"Poem Depot: Aisles of Smiles" (Viking, $16.99), written and illustrated by Douglas Florian, are 170 poems written to hit the funny bone. Critics compare the book to Shel Silverstein's works.

"Elray Jakes Is Magic!" (Viking, $14.99), written by Sally Warner and illustrated by Brian Biggs, is the sixth in the Jakes series. Jakes must compete in the school-wide talent show.

"A Mom for Umande" (Dial, $16.99), written by Maria Faulconer and illustrated by Susan Kathleen Harding, is for the youngest readers in this group. It is a true story of a gorilla became a surrogate mother. Umande was born in a Colorado zoo but his mother did not know how to take care of him. The keepers cared for him until he was eight, then sent him to Columbus Zoo where Lulu became his mother.

"Here's Hank" (Grosset & Dunlap, $14.99), a new series co-written by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver, launches with "Bookmarks Are People Too!" Hank Zipzer, trying to get through 4th grade, can't speak up when it's his turn in the school play. "A Short Tale about a Long Dog" is the second, sees Hank adopting a pound dog, Cheerio, who constantly chases his own tale.

"The Ultra Violets: Lilac Attacks" (Razorbill, $12.99), by Sophie Bell, is the third book in the purple power girl series. Four best friends have developed super powers when spattered by a genetic-altering purple goo. Can they use these powers to save SyncCity?

"The Soccer Fence" (Putnam, $16.99), written by Phil Bildner and illustrated by Jesse Joshua Watson, is about about South Africa during Apartheid rule. Hector plays soccer in Johannesburg and hopes to become good enough to take part some day in the World Cup.

"Clueless McGee Gets Famous" (Philomel, $12.99), by Jeff Mack, is the third in this series about hapless McGee. He is missing his autographed cowboy hat and determined to find out who stole it.

"Friday's Harbor" (William Morrow, $14.99), by Diane Hammond, is about killer whales. A zoo in Bogota, Columbia has a deteriorating zoo where Viernes, a 19-year-old killer whale, is dying in a stagnant enclosure. Ivy Levy proposes the whale be brought to the Max L. Biedelman Zoo in Bladenham, Wash.

"Just Jake" (Grosset & Dunlap, $11.99), is written by 13-year-old Jake Marcionette. Sixth grader Jake Ali Mathews has just moved from Florida and Maryland and isn't coping well. To help himself settle in he makes some cards describing his classmates. These soon fall into the wrong hands and Jake must find a way to fit in to his new world.

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