Check out these new arrivals for young readers at the Astoria Public Library:

It's 1793 in Philadelphia, the capital of the newly created United States of America, and people are dying in horrifying numbers. Jim Murphy's well-researched "An American Plague - The True and Terrifying Story of the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793" reads like a fast-paced novel. His research into the medical practices and knowledge of the time make us grateful for the medical advances today. The black and white illustrations of the city and its residents bring the story to life, and reproductions of newspaper articles front each chapter. For ages 11 to 16.

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Maria Shriver is probably best known as a broadcast journalist and the wife of Arnold Schwarzenegger, actor and governor of California. "Ten Things I Wish I'd Known Before I Went Out into the Real World" is an expanded version of her College of the Holy Cross commencement address. In it, she reflects on hard-earned lessons, writes of the rewards and pain of taking risks and accepting the wisdom of others. With the voice of a parent or good friend, she tells us no one can entirely protect us from life's hard lessons, but we are resilient and have inner strength that will sustain us through those times. This is a Young Adult book.

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Divorce is hard on parents and very scary for children. "Divorce," by Gail B. Stewart, part of the Understand Issues series, can help children understand some of the issues surrounding divorce. In interviews, children discuss questions and feelings about living with one parent, parents dating again, and the effects on schoolwork and friendships. For ages 9 to 12, grades 4 to 6.

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Death is a difficult event in everyone's life and is particularly so for children. The Separations series book, "Death," by Janine Amos, helps young children understand their feelings about death and gives them tools to cope with their emotions. The full-color photos by Angela Hampton and illustrations by Gwen Green offer readers another way to identify with the situations and emotions discussed in this book. Suitable for ages 9 to 12.

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Author Pearl Fuyo Gaskin's mother is Japanese-American and her father is European-American. Pearl always felt "not white enough" and "not nonwhite enough." Gaskin grew up to become an award-winning journalist. "What Are You? Voices of Mixed-Race Young People" is a result of interviews with 80 mixed-race youth. With humor, anger and insight, they tell their stories in poems and essays. They discuss prejudice from white America and within their minority groups, family life, food, hair and more. This Young Adult book will be of interest to adults as well.

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"The Salem Witch Trials: How History Is Invented," by Lori Lee Wilson, is a well-researched book on interest in the spirit world and magic through the ages. Beginning with a definition of "witch" from the Celtic word "wicca," meaning "wise one" or "magician," Wilson moves on to anthropological studies of cultures throughout the world. Good always overcomes evil in fairy tales, but were the Salem witches burned for religious or economic reasons? For ages 11 to 16.

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President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation Jan. 1, 1863. But not all the African slaves in the U.S. were freed on that day. "Days of Jubilee - The End of Slavery in the United States," by Patricia C. and Fredrick L. McKissack, describes the many Days of Jubilee, when slaves learned they were free. The award-winning authors draw from journals, letters and narratives to bring this history of freedom alive.This Coretta Scott King Award-winning book is suitable for ages 9 to 14.

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