Staff Picks 4 Kids Category: Picks by Keary B.

Hilo Book 1: The Boy Who Crashed to Earth by Judd Winick

Cover image for Hilo. Book 1, The boy who crashed to EarthSuper powers? Check! Robots? Check? Aliens? Check! What else could you ask for in a graphic novel! The Hilo series has it all. D.J. and Gina find a mysterious boy, Hilo, who fell from the sky. Together the new friends help Hilo find out who he is and just what he might be capable of. Hilo will have to learn fast though since he wasn’t the only thing to fall to Earth! I loved reading about this modern boy super hero and the friendships he made.  Besides, who wouldn’t want to go to school with a super hero!

Book reviewed by Keary B., Youth Collection Librarian

Stick Dog by Tom Watson

Cover image for Stick DogHere’s a great series for fans of Diary of a Wimpy Kid or anyone that likes funny chapter books with some illustrations! Stick Dog and his four friends – Stripes, Mutt, Poo-Poo and Karen – scheme to get some delicious looking hamburgers from a family at the park. Distractions and obstacles abound. Will clever Stick Dog find a way to feast? Don’t forget to check out Stick Dog’s other hilarious adventures! Not a dog person? Don’t worry there’s also Stick Cat!

Book reviewed by Keary B., Youth Collection Librarian

The Wild Robot by Peter Brown

Cover image for The wild robotIn The Wild Robot, readers are introduced to Roz, a robot who wakes up alone on a remote island. She was not built for the wilderness and at first finds it difficult to adapt to the wildness of the island. Slowly though she learns to survive by observing the other inhabitants and eventually making friends with the animals. Roz even adopts a gooseling and begins to raise him as her son.  Great for fans of animal stories and those looking to ponder some deeper questions about what feelings are and who has them. Stay tuned for a sequel, The Wild Robot Escapes, coming out in October.

Book reviewed by Keary B., Youth Collection Librarian

The Most Amazing Creature in the Sea by Brenda Z. Guiberson

Cover image for The most amazing creature in the seaWhale shark vs vampire squid! Nothing is more amazing then this book under or above the sea! Read it and debate with your friends which animal really is the most amazing creature in the sea. Maybe it’s the mimic octopus who is a master of disguise or the box jellyfish with deadly venom. You decide! Teachers and parents this would make a good read aloud if you are looking for short nonfiction or a conversation starter.

Book reviewed by Keary B., Youth Collection Librarian

Blind Guide to Stinkville by Beth Vrabel

Cover image for A blind guide to StinkvilleImagine moving across the country and leaving your best friend when your Dad gets a new job. Now imagine doing all of that with a depressed mom who barely gets out of bed and an older brother who barely speaks to you. Oh, you are also blind and have albinoism. Sound rough? Well, Alice handles it all like a champion and proves along the way the difference between having a vision and having sight.

Book reviewed by Keary B., Youth Collection Librarian

The Terrible Two by Mac Barnett and John Jory

Cover image for The terrible twoIf you like funny books and are up for a good prank or two, then have I got the book for you, The Terrible Two by Mac Barnett and John Jory. In it, Miles Murphy assumes he will be the school prankster when he moves to Yawnee Valley, “the cow capital of the United States, this side of the Mississippi, excluding a couple of towns that cheat.” Unfortunately, his new school already has a resident prankster. An epic prank war ensues to prove just who can pull the best prank and trick their principle, teachers, and classmates. My favorite prank involves cows, but don’t worry you don’t have to like cows to enjoy the hilarity of it all.

Book reviewed by Keary B., Youth Collection Librarian

Dory Fantasmagory by Abby Hanlon

Cover image for Dory FantasmagoryIntroducing Dory, better known as Rascal. This six year old has an imagination like no other and it can drive her older brother and sister crazy. Luke and Violet think Dory acts like a baby and won’t play with her. To get her to shape up, they tell her a story about a pretend Mrs. Gobble Gracker coming to take her away unless she stops acting like a baby. However, their plan only kicks Dory’s imagination into overdrive.  Dory’s hilarious antics to escape capture by Mrs. Gobble Gracker include banana peels, a sleeping dart, one very special soup, and pretending to be a puppy, even at the doctor’s office.  Will Dory find a way to win her siblings attention in the end? Black and white drawings really bring Dory’s imagination to life in this excellent choice for new chapter book readers or family read-a-louds.

Book reviewed by Keary B., Youth Collection Specialist Librarian

Charlie Joe Jackson’s Guide to Summer Vacation by Tommy Greenwald

Cover image for Charlie Joe Jackson's guide to summer vacationIf you don’t already know who Charlie Joe Jackson is, the first thing he’ll tell you is how much he hates to read and the lengths he has gone to in the past to avoid reading, including bribing his best friend with ice cream sandwiches to read books for him. So how did he end up at a summer camp for kids who love to read? Well, in a moment of weakness, Charlie Joe agreed to go to Camp Rituhbukkee to make his parents happy. So now he is stuck away from most of his friends at camp for three weeks where most people don’t act anything like him. At least there is basketball, and for once Charlie Joe is the best player on the team! Fans of Origami Yoda, Big Nate, and Diary of a Wimpy Kid will want to check out Charlie Joe Jackson.

Book reviewed by Keary B., Youth Collection Specialist Librarian

Have a Hot time, Hades! By Kate McMullan 

Cover image for Have a hot time, Hades!Everything you know about Greek mythology is wrong, at least according to Hades in this series by Kate McMullan. Zeus is a really myth-o-maniac, (that’s old Greek for liar). Well, it seems Zeus stretched the truth a little bit regarding what actually happened. Now, Hades is ready to set the record straight and make sure the world knows that he’s not really a bad guy.

In this installment, Hades tells the real story of how the Greek Gods came to power and defeated their father Cronus.  This version involves the first Olympics, a kick stone game, and the bucket o’ bolts. Throw in a couple of monsters and you get Hades’ side of the story.  Some of the other Greek Myths retold in the series include the stories of Pandora, Hercules, and Cupid.

Book reviewed by Keary B., Youth Collection Specialist Librarian

Zombiekins by Kevin Bolger

Cover image for ZombiekinsIn Zombiekins by Kevin Bolger, fourth-grader Stanley Nudelman stops by his creepy neighbor Imavitch’s yard sale. There he ends up buying Zombiekins, a creepy stuffed animal that looks part bear, part bunny, and part zombie. After failing to read the directions, Stanley unknowingly unleashes Zombiekins at his school turning classmates into the undead. Nowhere in the school is safe from the plush terror! Stanley has to find a way to stop Zombiekins and turn his classmates back into less terrifying versions of themselves before it’s too late and all the teachers notice the school is full of zombies. Can he do it? Read this story that is equal parts funny and frightening to find out! You might also want to check out the cool black and white illustrations throughout the book.

Book reviewed by Keary B., Youth Collection Specialist Librarian