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Awesome Autumn Picks

It’s officially fall—why not leaf through some pages with your Book Buddy Clover? She’s keen on great books and suggests priming your reading pump with “Awesome Autumn Picks,” page-turners you won’t want to miss. This month you’ll meet an orb that falls from the heavens, a boy lost in a forest of words and a plucky gal taking on desert heat and critters to rescue her high-flying friend. Page On! Enjoy!

The Community Literacy Foundation, with support from it's sponsors, provides these books to 38 school and public libraries in Washington, Union, Pacific, St. Clair and surrounding communities. Learn more at

Youngest Read

The fabulous Fan Brothers make a subtle moral statement with “It Fell From the Sky,” the tale of a multi-colored ball that lands in a garden, perplexing insects and a frog nearby.

“It fell on a Thursday … And everyone agreed it was the most amazing thing they’d ever seen.” Eyewitnesses ladybug and inchworm had differing reports about its arrival, and dung beetle tried in vain to roll it. Wise Stinkbug was consulted. He didn’t think the thing came from the sky but instead sprang from a flower.

“Crafty Spider” didn’t give a hairy leg about its origin. He cashed in by establishing WonderVille, a glitzy exhibit, placing the object on display and charging his peers to peer in for a peek. Finally fate dropped in and put a stop to that, leading Spider to have a change of heart.

Fantastical illustrations grace the pages of this creative, entertaining story, the wonder of nature keenly portrayed in idyllic scenes.

Middle Read

Books hadn’t always spelled trouble for the boy in “A Walk in the Words,” but things began to change when the stories he read became longer and harder. That’s the conundrum author/illustrator Hudson Talbott faced as a child, a painful, shameful issue that made reading difficult because he had dyslexia. He faced this problem alone, no one the wiser.

For Talbott, “… drawing came naturally… (he) did it all the time … like breathing.” But words became enemies, tripping him up and making him feel like he was lost in a dark forest surrounded by menacing text that took the form of evil trees with eyes, “overwhelming” him at every turn.

“But (Talbott) loved stories too much to quit.”

With courage, ingenuity and curiosity, the boy who so adored drawing, decided on “picturing his way” out of his problem. His journey makes for an inspiring read that will encourage others with reading issues—and entertain all with amazingly intuitive illustrations personifying his reading journey.

Oldest Read

If you like girls with grit you’ll embrace Jolene, a down-on-her-luck 12-year-old with problems at home, the brave, determined main character in “Across the Desert,” by Dusti Bowling.

Jolene has big-time concern about her mother. Ever since she was in a car accident, suffering some painful injuries, her mom has been addicted to opioids. Neglected and lonely, Jolene finds solace and escape at the library following a live-stream video of Addie Earhart, who pilots an ultra-light trike in the desert, miles away from Jolene’s Phoenix home.

Jolene and Addie message one another and become friends. A watchful friend is just what Addie needs when she runs into problems with her flying machine and suddenly, right in front of Jolene’s eyes, crashes in the desert.

Shocked and terrified, Jolene launches a rescue mission that turns “Across the Desert” into an adrenaline-charged survival story that makes the pages fly. You’ll feel one with Jolene as she battles the elements in an environment rife with wolves and rattlesnakes.

Written by Chris Stuckenschneider. Copyright 2021, Community Literacy Foundation. Reprinted with permission.

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