Florida

She Sang Promise: The Story of Betty Mae Jumper, Seminole Tribal Leader

By Jan Godown Annino

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"Betty Mae Tiger Jumper was born in 1923, the daughter of a Seminole woman and a white man. She grew up in the Everglades under dark clouds of distrust among her tribe who could not accept her at first. As a child of a mixed marriage, she walked the line as a constant outsider. Growing up poor and isolated, she only discovered the joys of reading and writing at age 14. An iron will and sheer determination lead her to success, and she returned to her people as a qualified nurse. When her husband was too sick to go to his alligator wrestling tourist job, gutsy Betty Mae climbed right into the alligator pit! Storyteller, journalist, and community activist, Betty Mae Jumper was a voice for her people, ultimately becoming the first female elected Seminole tribal leader."
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Tangerine

By Edward Bloor

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Though legally blind, Paul Fisher can see what others cannot. He can see that his parents' constant praise of his brother, Erik, the football star, is to cover up something that is terribly wrong. But no one listens to Paul--until his family moves to Tangerine. In this Florida town, weird is normal: Lightning strikes at the same time every day, a sinkhole swallows a local school, and Paul the geek finds himself adopted into the toughest group around: the soccer team at his middle school.
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Illumination in the Flatwoods: A Season with the Wild Turkey

By Joe Hutto

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Turkeys are not stupid. The author spent a year studying a flock of wild turkeys in the loblolly pine woods of Florida, having hatched wild turkey eggs and imprinting the poults on himself. Turkeys are masters of disguise, blending in with their surroundings in ways so subtle as to make the work of hunters and predators difficult. Hutto is a wildlife artist, and the book is illustrated with his sketches and color photographs.

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Cat Chaser

By Elmore Leonard

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The last time Florida motel owner George Moran was in the Dominican Republic he was in a uniform and people were shooting at him. Years later he's back looking for a girl he lost -- and finding one he'd be better off without. But that doesn't matter to George while he's sleeping with beautiful Mary de Boya -- only when he discovers his lover is the wife of a former death squad general in exile with solid mob connections. Now George is bringing big trouble back with him to the Sunshine State -- as his nostalgic trip down memory lane has tangled him up in a cat's cradle of drug deals, swindles, vengeance and murder . . . and a love that's not only blind but lethal.
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The Cypress House by Michael Koryta

The Cypress House by Michael Koryta

When you read a book at night until it unnerves you so much that you have to put it down to go sleep and then you dream about it, you know you have a great book!  The Cypress House takes place in 1935 and focuses on Arlen Wagner. As a veteran of World War I, he develops the ability to tell when someone was about to die. 

After the war, he is working as a CCC worker and is asked to take a train down to the Florida Keys to help build the bridge out to Key West. Unfortunately, when the train reaches Florida, Arlen can tell that everyone on that train is about to die. He attempts to convince everyone on the train to get off, but the only one who listens to him is a teenage boy, Paul Brickhill, who has been traveling with him.

Hoot

By Carl Hiaasen

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Roy, who is new to his small Florida community, becomes involved in another boy's attempt to save a colony of burrowing owls from a proposed construction site.
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Hoot

By Carl Hiaasen

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Roy, who is new to his small Florida community, becomes involved in another boy's attempt to save a colony of burrowing owls from a proposed construction site. Suggested for ages 9-14.
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Brunettes Strike Back

By Kieran Scott

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Still the only non-blonde on her Florida cheerleading squad, sixteen-year-old Annisa makes some decisions about how far she will go to fit in with her team while also staying true to herself.
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Tangerine

By Edward Bloor

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Paul Fisher may be legally blind, but in many ways he sees more than most do. This novel of growing self-awareness will intrigue middle school readers with its exciting sports descriptions and hint of mystery.

 

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What I Saw and How I Lied

By Judy Blundell

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In 1947, with her jovial stepfather Joe back from the war and family life returning to normal, teenage Evie, smitten by the handsome young ex-GI who seems to have a secret hold on Joe, finds herself caught in a complicated web of lies whose devastating outcome change her life and that of her family forever.

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