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Nikki and Deja


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About the Author

Karen English is a Coretta Scott King Honor Award-winning author whose books have been praised for their nuanced and accessible portrayal of girls' friendships. She is also an elementary school teacher, and lives in Los Angeles.Laura Freeman has illustrated many books for children, including two additional Nikki and Deja stories. She lives in New York City.


Nikki and Deja: Birthday Blues by Karen English, illustrated by Laura Freeman Clarion, Winter 2009 ISBN-13: 978-0-618-97787-1 Junior Library Guild Premier Selection "Early chapter-book readers will relate to the protagonist's authentic emotions as English acknowledges the chellenges and complexities of classroom life." --School Library Journal "Likable and independent African-American girls are a rare find in early chapter books--let's hope these two can start a trend." --Kirkus Reviews "An accessible story of recognizably real grade-school politicking and enduring friendship that's suitable for reading aloud or alone. Fans of the duo will rejoice at their return." --The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books Nikki and Deja by Karen English, illustrated by Laura Freeman Clarion, Fall 2007 ISBN-13: 978-0-618-75238-6 Junior Library Guild Premier SelectionBank Street College of Education Best Children's Book of the YearKansas State Reading Circle RecommendationBest Children's Book of the Year/Child Study AssociationBulletin of the Center for Children's Books recommended title "Accessible writing, authentic characters, an easy-to-identify-with plot and Freeman's appealing black-and-white illustrations come together smoothly in this straightforward friendship tale. English nicely fills an underdeveloped area--this is a first-chapter book featuring African-American girls, and race is presented as an attribute of the characters rather than as an issue." --Kirkus Reviews "More probing than many chapter books, this title delivers the satisfaction of a full-length novel." --Publishers Weekly "Children will quickly connect with the distinctive characters and authentically drawn situations and emotions. . . . A strong start to what will hopefully become a series." --ALA Booklist "English, who has been an elementary school teacher, clearly knows her audience and understands the intricacies of their relationship dynamics. . . . Kids negotiating the sometimes treacherous waters of middle-grade friendship will find Nikki and Deja's story both truthful and comforting." --Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books "The book is a welcome rarity--a contemporary story about middle class black children." --Plain Dealer (Cleveland, Ohio) "English captures a strong sense of both girls, their enduring relationship, and the uncomfortable struggles that friends weather when changes erupt." --The News & Observer (Chapel Hill, North Carolina) "Nikki and Deja is the kind of early chapter book that African-American girls and their parents have been seeking for a long time." --The Capital Times (Madison, Wisconsin) Hot Day on Abbott Avenue by Karen English, illlustrated by Javaka Steptoe Clarion, 2004 ISBN-13: 978-0-395-98527-4 Jane Addams Honor AwardCharlote Zolotow Award--Highly Commended TitleNAPPA Parenting Publications AwardALSC Notable Children's BookALA Notable BookCCBC ChoicesBank Street College of Education Best Children's Book of the YearSchool Library Journal Best Book of the YearNYPL 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing "English has childhood spats down pat. . . . Both original and emotionally effective. . . . Full of movement and energy and joy. . . . 'So good!'" --Kirkus Reviews The Baby on the Way by Karen English, illustrated by Sean QuallsFSG, 2005 ISBN-13: 9780374373610 "A solemn spiritual, whose resolution lies less in the possibility of joy than in the quieter peace of enduring." --New York Times Book Review Speak to Me (And I Will Listen Between the Lines) by Karen English, illustrated by Amy Bates FSG, 2004 ISBN-13: 9780374371562 School Library Journal Best Book of the Year "English employs the simplest of language in perfect evocation of the children's thoughts, confusions, small hopes, and large dreams. . . . Just wonderful." --Kirkus Reviews, starred review "English's rich descriptions and insights bring readers into the world of six inner-city third -grade students." --School Library Journal, starred review Francie by Karen English FSG, 1999 ISBN-13: 9780312373832 Coretta Scott King Honor AwardParents' Choice Recommendation "Francie's smooth-flowing, well-paced narration is gently assisted by just the right touch of the vernacular. Characterization is evenhanded and believable, while place and time envelop readers." --School Library Journal

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