Mascot Blog

New Releases for May!

Ready for your new favorite read? Our new list of releases has everything from a sassy crocodile with confidence in droves to incredible insights into the future of artificial intelligence. Check out the full list below!


May’s Featured Title


Swamp Diva

by Brenda Farrington

Tourists travel from miles around to see the trendiest gator in the bayou, but where could she be? Lounging in her chair, polishing her pointy claws, or reading the latest issue of Glamour Gator’s magazine?

With a love for all things sparkly and bright, Swamp Diva yearns to be beautiful, like she thinks a queen should be. But will glamour and jewels be enough to make this sassy gator a proper queen? Momma Gator doesn’t think so…

Let this light-hearted story with delightful rhymes and beautiful illustrations carry you to the bayou where Swamp Diva learns to sparkle from inside. Follow along as she discovers that a beautiful character can be seen by all, and is the most important element of style.


Memoir and Biographies



Beyond the Box: How Hands-On Learning Can Transform A Child and Reform Our Schools, A Mother’s Story

By Paula Lazor

Matt was a smart, funny second grader when he started having difficulties concentrating on his schoolwork. It soon became clear the traditional school system was stacked against him and the way he learned. His family dove into a complicated maze of education rules and procedures in the hopes of finding a program that fit. From Individual Education Plans in public school to programs for twice-exceptional schools based on multiple intelligence theory, they searched for years to find a path that played to his strengths and enabled him to learn by doing.

Watching her son struggle through an extensive trial-and-error process of obscure, expensive, and difficult-to-access alternative programs, Paula Lazor devoted herself to research and advocacy. The questions she found herself asking on behalf of her son broadened into an exploration of the suitability of traditional instruction for all. As she searched for answers, she connected with other parents, students, and talented educators, and the issues she uncovered led her to champion changes that affected the entire school system.

Beyond the Box goes beyond the transformative power of hands-on learning. It is a story of hope and a lesson in never giving up on someone. Navigating without a map, Paula and her family created a body of knowledge that can help anyone interested in finding and advocating for education programs built on students’ strengths, rather than their perceived “learning deficits.”

“In search of the right education program for her son, Paula Lazor may have set some kind of record for twists and turns, victories and defeats…Beyond the Box will provide great lessons for many people.”

— Jay Mathews, education columnist, the Washington Post

“This is an important book for anyone interested in the future of education.”

— Libby Garvey, member, Arlington County Board

“[Paula Lazor’s] son’s compelling story sheds light on what is most needed in education today: relevant and authentic learning experiences that connect practical, career, and technical skills to students’ innate curiosity and talents.”

— Margaret Chung, principal, Arlington Public Schools, Arlington Career Center



Politics & Current Events


The Age of Intent

by P.V. Kannan with Josh Bernoff

Have you ever wished that every company you interacted with could just know what you wanted and go get it for you? That when you picked up the phone or opened a chat window that the company would use what it knew about you to anticipate your needs?

We are on the verge of a future just like that.

The age of intent is a world where the smartest of chatbots—virtual agents—are powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and connected to a customer’s complete past history. These virtual agents can anticipate just what a customer is looking for, answering questions through chat, on the phone, and through smart speakers like Amazon’s Alexa. They’ll transform the business world with efficient, scalable service that’s available 24/7 and gets smarter every day.

In these pages you’ll learn about the companies that have used virtual agents to deliver a superior customer experience. You’ll see how:

  • Auto rental company Avis Budget used virtual agents to automate 68% of service calls, saving millions of dollars every year.
  • Danish bank Nordea’s virtual agent Nova identified thousands of intents, handled 20,000 conversations a month, and reduced emails and calls by 25%.
  • Satellite operator Dish Network’s agent DiVA responded to 4 million queries a year and helped meet surging demand for pay-per-view events.
  • Restaurant chain TGI Fridays used a Facebook Messenger chatbot to boost take-out orders by $150 million a year.
  • Butterball ported its “Turkey Talk-Line” to Amazon’s Alexa smart speaker, serving 20,000 customers in the reassuring voices of its most trusted turkey advisors.

P.V. Kannan, the leader of the standout customer experience technology firm [24]7.ai, shares his expertise here on how and why virtual agent rollouts succeed—or fail. He explains how to architect key information systems, overcome corporate resistance and bad practices, and analyze customer journeys to make virtual agents maximally effective.

You’ll learn why selling through conversational commerce is especially challenging, smart speaker platforms are tantalizing but limited, and the best virtual agent systems work hand-in- hand with human support agents.

Virtual agents will usher in the biggest change in how companies interact with consumers since the web. They’ll increase efficiency even as they improve customer experience. This is a technology shift you don’t want to miss out on . . . and The Age of Intent is the best place to get smart about it.


Coffee Table Books


Seablets

by Kem Hinton

For three decades, Kem Hinton has documented the humorous sayings of his business partner, Seab Tuck. Beginning in the mid-1980s, Kem and others in their design studio of Tuck-Hinton Architects noticed Seab’s quirky, often hilarious malapropisms, including phrases such as “I had a sense of ray,” “Our height is too low,” and “She was a sheep in fox clothing.”

In this modest book, you’ll find over 700 quotes, evidence of a talented architect’s ability to keep the laughs coming and proof of his contributions to making their office environment just plain fun.


Children’s


The Adventures of Leighton: It’s Potty Time

by Celeste Williams

Leighton is an adventurous two-year-old who loves to dance and learn new things. Today’s lesson is using the potty so she can go on the school bus like a big girl. Will Leighton dance her way off the potty and on to the school bus? Find out in this first story in the Adventures of Leighton series!


Carefree, Like Me! Chapter 2: Sacra the Joyous

by Rashad Malik Davis

Amir and Neena joined the adventure of a lifetime by mistake, but they met their first challenge head on. They helped King Root the Brave conquer his “biggest” fear, but will they be able to help bring Sacra the Joyous’s smile and dry home back to life? Continue the adventure inside and get lost in the magic once again!


Come On, Calm!

by Kelsey Brown

From author Kelsey Brown and illustrator Joseph Wrightson, Come On, Calm! is the story guide to finding the calm in everyday adventures. This new children’s book, illustrated as a whimsical treasure hunt, gives step by step ideas for self-soothing when its readers find themselves nervous, excited, or just in a mood.

Disguised as any other picture book, Come On, Calm! is just the book parents, teachers, and caregivers need to help their little ones build healthy habits and a shared vocabulary for when they need a break. Little readers of all abilities will relate to the diverse and inclusive characters with an understanding that everyone needs to take a breath sometimes—even pirates and explorers.


Freedom’s Highest Flight

by Casey McCall Corbett

Fans of Georgia Southern will love this tale about one of the most famous coaches in school history, Erk Russell.


Imagine This

by Nicholas Sampson

What is it that you would like to be when you grow up? Is it a firefighter, an astronaut, or maybe even a movie star? What if I told you that anything you wanted to achieve in life is possible, if you can first imagine it? Your imagination is magical, it’s what dreams are made of. It can help shape the person you become in life and help you accomplish things beyond your wildest fantasies. Come take a journey into our imaginations and see the endless possibilities to where it may lead.


Joanna Banana

by Megan Mears

Ruthie gets news that gives her the blues,

Will she ever bake muffins again?

But clever Joanna, a feisty banana,

Is determined to help out her friend.

Come travel with Jo as she looks high and low,

To figure out what will work best.

To stop Ruthie’s tummy from feeling so crummy,

She’ll just need some help on her quest!


Kit n’ Kat: The Nose Knows

by Linda Felton Steinbaum and Carly Alison Steinbaum

Kat just wants to spend her summer vacation reading mystery novels and flying drones with her friends, but her life is turned upside down when her stepfather Mark gets a promotion. Kat, her mom, and Mark move to a new city and a big creepy house, and it’s going to take more than her mom’s yoga breathing exercises to make Kat okay with this. Then on her birthday, Kat receives the ultimate surprise: a trip to the animal shelter to adopt a dog!

For Kat, it’s love at first sight when she sees Kit, an oversized, overly timid puppy with a gigantic nose. The only problem is he’s afraid of everything.

To help Kit gain some confidence, Kat enrolls in scent tracking classes with him where she learns that Kit’s nose isn’t just big, it’s powerful! Soon, the new duo finds themselves digging up adventure at every turn, whether it’s a hunt for a lost neighbor or unveiling a clue about their mysterious new house.


Let’s Play Ballet

by Neisha Hernandez

This guided practice will remind your little one what to practice when playing ballet at home. This book is intended to be a supplement to regular dance classes.


Lilly Lou Makes a New Friend

by Mike Murphy

The Lilly Lou and Moozites stories give young readers and their families ideas about places to go in the United States, interplanetary travel, and how to befriend others who may not be like us or from our region of the country.

Lilly Lou’s relationship with the Moozites opens up a world and universe of adventures for her. The books are intended to make children smile and want to know more about the world around them. Jonathan Hoefer’s illustrations give readers an opportunity to find emotion and a sense of wonder about the places we see and the people we can meet.


Moon Of His Heart

by Patrick Hodge

When a young boy becomes enchanted by the moon, he decides

to steal it for himself. In the moon’s absence, however, the natural world falls into chaos. The boy soon watches in horror as gloom slowly spreads across the land. Will he have the courage to return the moon to sky to restore the natural order?


Not By Blood

by Joyce Adjekum

LIVE BY HOPE.

GIVE AND RECEIVE MERCY.

OVERCOME THROUGH FAITH.

Hope, Merci, and Grace are, by all accounts, sisters, though they do not share the same blood. At a young age, the three girls vow to be sisters forever, and from that moment forward, choose each other as family every day. They share their lives, their triumphs, their pitfalls, and their hearts. They celebrate in their victories together, and pick one another up when they fall.

In this stunning debut novel, Joyce Adjekum introduces the world to three women who epitomize friendship, love, and resounding courage. Each different in their own ways, Hope, Merci, and Grace are as real to us as those we love: our sisters, our mothers, and our friends. This is their story.

Inspired by her own relationships with wonderful sisters in her own life, Adjekum intertwines her own upbringing in both Ghana and the United Kingdom to voice a novel that is as moving as it is powerful.

The first novel in a trilogy, Not By Blood is a story that is sure to stay with you, long after you’ve turned the last page.


The Not-So Red Ripe Round Tomato

by Brian R. Wilson

Not all tomatoes are big, red, ripe, and round. And that’s a good thing…


Oh Yes, Grammie Loves You

by Mitzie Brimmer

Oh Yes, Grammie Loves You chronicles one grandmother’s exciting experience of being blessed with her first grandchild. From hearing the very first heartbeats, to attending the gender-reveal party, to finally meeting face-to-face, this tender love letter will warm your heart.


Pirate Adventures at Sea

by Kate Smith

A pirate story told by a brave lass and her best buccaneer,

One of an unjust pirate captain and her ring that disappeared!

Yo-ho-ho! Our pirate dream can come true—

To be part of Captain Peggy’s adventurous pirate crew!

Grab your pirate gear and shout a mighty “Ahoy!”

Adventure waits aboard for all to enjoy!

But if Captain Peggy catches us, it’s Davy Jones’ Locker for you!

Being a pirate is only for the brave few!


Serena’s Tales

by Taylor Lukens

Serena is the mermaid princess of an underwater palace called Dylana, where she is loved by all the mer-people and sea creatures within the kingdom. One day, while exploring the bottom of the mystical ocean, Serena finds a dazzling, but mysterious crystal of two mer-people who look like they are in love! Join Serena on her adventure to learn more about the figures in this unexpected treasure.


Tooth Fairy, You Have Some Explaining To Do

by Denise Barry

The Tooth Fairy didn’t come last night, and I want to know why! Did she forget? Did she run out of money? Was this a mean joke?! Maybe my mother was right when she said my room is so messy she won’t find my bed! The Tooth Fairy has some explaining to do.


Back By Popular Demand!

Always Anjali cover

Always Anjali

by Sheetal Sheth

Anjali and her friends are excited to get matching personalized license plates for their bikes. But Anjali can’t find her name. To make matters worse, she gets bullied for her “different” name, and is so upset she demands to change it. When her parents refuse and she is forced to take matters into her own hands, she winds up learning to celebrate who she is and carry her name with pride and power. A timeless story about appreciating what makes us special and honoring our differences.


N is for Naples

by Lisa Trebilcock

This is not your ordinary alphabet book. N is For Naples focuses specifically on, you guessed it, Naples, Florida! This book speaks to natives, visitors, and future fans of Naples. The lyrical and simple rhyming scheme begs to be read out loud. Children love the melodic tone and playful drawings. N is For Naples introduces children to the attractions of Florida that don’t include theme parks.


Surgery Day

by Julie Kaderabek and Laura Wolfe

It’s a big day for Tollie McStretch — he’s going to the hospital to have surgery for the first time EVER! Tollie’s afraid and unsure about what’s in store for him. Luckily, a whole team of doctors and nurses are there to make sure that his surgery day is a success! Follow along with Tollie and learn how you too can be a surgery expert!

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