Find
10 South Emerson, Mount Prospect, IL 60056 | 847/253-5675
Font:

Staff Picks 4 Kids

Falling In by Francis O’Roark Dowell

Cover image for Falling inIf you liked A Tale Dark and Grimm, then you might like Falling In by Frances O’Roark Dowell. Isabelle Bean has never had real friends. She talks in riddles and always seems to be in her own world. One day, when she is in the nurse’s office at school, she falls into a closet and suddenly is transported to another world where children are hiding because an evil witch is after them. When she first falls into this world, the children think she is a witch too, because she wears red boots like a witch. However, soon Isabelle finds herself making friends and even meets a nice old lady that looks a lot like Isabelle’s mom, but how can that be? Isabelle is from a different world, right? Or maybe, there is more to this witch story than was originally thought.

Book reviewed by Laura B., Youth Technology Librarian

By lbos on October 21, 2014 Categories: Fantasy, For Grades 4-6, Picks by Laura B.

Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker by Patricia Hruby Powell

Cover image for Josephine : the dazzling life of Josephine BakerIn the biography, Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker, Patricia Hruby Powell’s rhythmic text and Christian Robinson’s bold illustrations give pizzazz to one African American entertainer’s extraordinary life and the era in which she lived. From rags in St. Louis to riches and fame in Paris, Josephine broke color barriers with her dancing, singing, and silly on-stage persona. You’ll be dazzled by the life of this intriguing performer, who also became a stunt pilot, had a pet leopard, and adopted 12 children from 10 different countries!

Book reviewed by Erin E., Youth Services Programming Coordinator

By lbos on October 14, 2014 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Non-fiction, Picks by Erin E.

Our Eleanor by Candace Fleming

Cover image for Our Eleanor : a scrapbook look at Eleanor Roosevelt's remarkable lifeWhat do you know about Eleanor Roosevelt?  Did you know that she was friends with Amelia Earhart and flew with her from Washington D.C. to Baltimore?  Eleanor even considered getting her own pilot’s license.  However, her husband, Franklin, vetoed the idea saying, “I know how Eleanor drives a car.  Imagine her flying an airplane!” (Eleanor was a terrible driver and once had as many as 3 car accidents on one journey.)

Did you know that she traveled at least 40,000 miles her first year in the White House?  She wanted to meet people firsthand and see the effects of the Great Depression.

Most importantly, Eleanor was a friend to the people.  She took a trip 2 1/2 miles underground to check the conditions of coal miners.  She visited the Puerto Rican slums and then urged the president to create a housing project there. She read aloud to orphan children and inspected their asylum.

These are just a few of the facts you will learn if you read Our Eleanor by Candace Fleming.  I promise you will be amazed by what you learn about this groundbreaking first lady.

Book reviewed by Mary S., Youth Services Department Head

By MPPL on October 7, 2014 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Non-fiction, Picks by Mary S.

Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made by Stephen Pastis

Cover image for Mistakes were madeIf you liked Diary of a Wimpy Kid or the Big Nate books, this book is right up your alley! Timmy Failure is a detective with a sidekick, Total (who is a lazy 1,500 pound polar bear). Timmy illustrates his stories (Total tried, but he does not draw as well as Timmy). This book is very funny, and there are more in this series if you like this first book. Fun fact: The author, Stephen Pastis, draws the comic strip “Pearls Before Swine” that appears in newspapers.

Book reviewed by Anne W., Youth Services Assistant

By lbos on September 29, 2014 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Funny, Mystery & Suspense, Picks by Anne W.

Almost Super by Marion Jensen

Cover image for Almost superRafter and Benny Bailey are about to learn their super powers. In their family, everyone gets a super power the year they turn 12 so they can battle the supervillains, the Johnsons. Except this year, their powers are duds. Even Juanita Johnson admits that her power isn’t so super. Despite the warnings of their parents, the three decide to work together to try and figure out what went wrong. Along the way, they learn more about each other’s families and about what it means to be super. This is a funny and exciting read that should appeal to chapter book readers who enjoy movies like The Incredibles.

Book reviewed by Claire B., Youth Outreach Coordinator and Volunteen Coordinator

By lbos on September 22, 2014 Categories: Fantasy, For Grades 4-6, Picks by Claire B

Zita the Spacegirl, Book 1, Far from Home by Ben Hatke

syndetics-lcZita was just playing finders-keepers with her friend Joseph when they came across a giant hole with a meteoroid sitting at the bottom. However, when Zita went to explore, instead of finding a rock, she found a device with a giant red button. When she pressed it, Joseph is taken through a portal. Zita presses the button again to see if she can rescue him. Now, Zita is on a planet with a bunch of different aliens and has to try to save Joseph from the dangerous Scriptorians. How will she ever make everything right again?

Book reviewed by Laura B., Youth Technology Librarian

By lbos on September 15, 2014 Categories: For Grades 2-4, For Grades 4-6, Graphic Novels, Picks by Laura B., Science Fiction

Jinx by Sage Blackwood

syndetics-lcEvery child in Urwald Forest knows you never ever wander off the path.  So imagine six-year-old Jinx’s terror when his stepfather abandons him there.  Will he be eaten by trolls?  Or torn apart by werewolves?  Or maybe a witch will cast a spell on him?  Luckily, he is found by a wizard named Simon who needs an assistant.  Life as a wizard’s apprentice isn’t glamorous.  There’s the cleaning and the fetching and the cats—all 27 of them, but Simon doesn’t seem dangerous, only very grumpy.  Simon even decides to teach Jinx a little magic.  The problem is even though Jinx knows four languages, can speak to trees, and reads people’s minds, he is absolutely hopeless at learning spells.  He can’t even move the tiniest pebble with his mind or learn a concealment spell.  It seems to Jinx that he must be completely lacking in magical ability.  So imagine Jinx’s surprise when Simon casts a spell on him, making him collapse on the floor while his magic floats through the air in a golden ball for Simon to capture in a bottle.  It turns out that Jinx did have magical ability– a special kind of forest magic that Simon has stolen for his own.  Now Jinx must find Simon’s sworn enemy to ask him for help.  Will Jinx be able to get his magic back or will he just make things worse?

Book reviewed by Mary S., Youth Services Department Head

By MPPL on September 8, 2014 Categories: Fantasy, For Grades 4-6, Picks by Mary S.

Saving Audie by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent

syndetics-lcAudie is your average puppy: energetic, caring and devoted to his family. But he wasn’t always this way. He and 48 other pit bulls used to belong to the Bad Newz Kennels where they were used for dog fights. When the dog fights were discovered, most people believed that the dogs would be dangerous and might need to be put down. With the help of some caring people, they found that almost all of the dogs were safe, and soon they were able to leave and start their lives over. Even though Audie had a difficult life when he was young, he now lives with a loving family and spends his time training for competitions, helping train other dogs, and of course, playing! I liked this story because it shows that animals are capable of some amazing things, like surviving an abusive childhood and learning how to trust and get along with humans and other dogs again. If you like books about animals and the surprising things they can do, check this book out!

Book reviewed by Claire B., Youth Outreach Coordinator and Volunteen Coordinator

By lbos on September 1, 2014 Categories: For Grades 2-4, Non-fiction, Picks by Claire B

Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George

syndetics-lcA castle is almost always part of a fantasy story.  But in the book Tuesdays at the Castle, this castle has a mind of its own!  It can add new rooms, an entire wing, doors, archways, a secret passageway—whatever it thinks is best.  But most importantly, it protects the royal family and people who are loyal, especially Princess Celia.  People at the castle that bring harm to the family receive small, dingy rooms and can also be shut out of other rooms by the doors disappearing.  When the king, queen, and prince are attacked outside the castle and presumed dead, the remaining prince and two princesses, and the castle, discover who the evil people are and work hard to cleverly save the kingdom.

 

Book reviewed by Mary Lou H., Youth Services Assistant

By lbos on August 25, 2014 Categories: Fantasy, For Grades 4-6, Picks by Mary Lou H.

The Great Trouble: A Mystery of London, The Blue Death, and A Boy Called Eel by Deborah Hopkinson

syndetics-lcWant to read an action-packed historical fiction novel that is set in the 1850s? Then look no further! Follow Eel, a boy who spends his days searching for small treasures in the disgusting muck of the river Thames. As if his luck isn’t bad enough, bad guy Fisheye Bill Taylor is after him AND his neighbors are beginning to get sick and die of cholera, a horrible disease. Read this riveting book to discover if Eel can keep out of Fisheye’s way while he tries to help his friends and keep his secrets safe.

Book reviewed by Amy S., Youth Services Assistant

By lbos on August 18, 2014 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Historical Fiction, Picks by Amy S.