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Staff Picks 4 Kids

The Book with No Pictures by B.J. Novak

Cover image for The book with no picturesThis book really does not have a single picture in it! A gimmick? Maybe. But the concept is executed so well. Quite often we are drawn to books because of the pictures or the cover. What’s amazing about this book is that it proves that words have their own power. And that words in the right combination can be hilarious!

Book reviewed by Erin E., Youth Services Programming Coordinator

By lbos on July 27, 2015 Categories: For Grades 2-4, Picks by Erin E., Picture Books

The Dumbest Idea Ever! by Jimmy Gownley

Cover image for The dumbest idea ever!If you ask Jimmy why he started creating comics, he would tell you it all began when he caught chicken pox in middle school. Before that he was popular, an athlete, and doing really well in school, but then he had to miss school and the championship basketball game for being sick. His grades begin to drop, basketball isn’t going great, and his teacher confiscates his comic book in class because it is not acceptable reading material. Rather than be upset, Jimmy created his own comic book. The first one isn’t as great as it could be, so he asks his friend for advice. However, according to Jimmy, the advice is the dumbest idea ever. Is it really though? Find out the idea by reading this graphic novel.

Book reviewed by Laura B., Youth Technology Librarian

By lbos on July 20, 2015 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Graphic Novels, Picks by Laura B., Realistic Stories

The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt

Cover image for The day the crayons quitThis book is adorable.  Duncan goes to get his crayons out at school one day and finds a stack of letters.  Each one is written by a different color crayon. Each has his reasons for needing a break.  Red feels over used because of holidays like Christmas and Valentine’s Day. Gray doesn’t like to have to be used for such big animals like elephants and hippos. Black doesn’t like being use for outlining things while the other colors are used to fill in. Of course there is drama as well. Yellow and Orange crayons are arguing about who should be the color of the sun and are no longer speaking to each other. I love how Duncan makes all the crayons happy in the end.

Book reviewed by Barb M., Youth Outreach and Programming Assistant

By lbos on July 13, 2015 Categories: For Grades 2-4, Funny, Picks by Barb M., Picture Books

ECHO by Pam Munoz Ryan

Cover image for Echo : a novelA midwife prophecy sets the stage for a quest that spans over four historical settings. Each of the stories introduces the reader to new characters facing challenges and a mysterious harmonica that allows us to share in their love for the beauty of music.  After all the stories have ended, they will continue to ECHO in your mind and heart.

Book reviewed by Marsha D., Youth Services Assistant

By lbos on July 6, 2015 Categories: Fantasy, For Grades 4-6, Historical Fiction, Picks by Marsha D.

Chomp by Carl Hiaasen  

Cover image for ChompTo those that enjoy a book with lots of action and reptiles:  this book is for you! Wahoo is a normal middle-schooler living in Florida with his parents. What’s not normal about him is that his dad is a professional animal wrangler, and they have Alice, an alligator, living in their backyard. Once his dad suffers a freak accident, Wahoo needs to assist his dad with wrangling animals for the filming of a survival reality show. It turns out the reality show star, Derek, is a self-absorbed jerk and is incredibly difficult to work with. Things get even more hairy once Derek goes missing in the swampy Everglades. It’s up to Wahoo and his dad to locate the reality star in the wilderness, but a gun-toting man makes a dramatic entrance and makes the stakes suddenly much higher.

Book reviewed by Amy S., Youth Services Assistant

By lbos on June 29, 2015 Categories: Adventure, For Grades 4-6, Funny, Picks by Amy S.

The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp by Kathi Appelt

Cover image for The true blue scouts of Sugar Man SwampBeing a swamp scout in the Sugar Man Swamp is not an easy job. Just ask Bingo and J’miah, the newest raccoon swamp scouts. Bingo and J’miah are in charge of making sure the swamp is safe and if there is a danger, the need to wake up the Sugar Man who is a cousin of Bigfoot. When Bingo and J’miah hear a rumbling in the distance, they know it’s time to wake the Sugar Man. Can the Sugar Man save the swamp and all the animals that live there? Find out in this really great book. Each chapter is told from different points of view. If you’re looking for a fun read or have already read The One and Only Ivan, this might be the next book to choose.

Book reviewed by Laura B., Youth Technology Librarian

By lbos on June 22, 2015 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Funny, Picks by Laura B.

How to Build a Tornado in a Bottle by Lori Shores

Cover image for How to build a tornado in a bottleCalling all scientists!  Do you like to build things and learn how they work?  This series is for you!  The Hands-On Science Fun series includes titles about making slime, fizzy rockets, mystery smell balloons and….TORNADOs in a bottle!

In How to Build a Tornado in a Bottle by Lori Shores, 1st and 2nd graders are given clear directions on how to create their own tornado using little more than plastic bottles, tape and colored water.  You will also learn how a real tornado happens!  Great pictures and simple directions make this a fun book and an enjoyable series.

Book reviewed by Carol C.., Elementary School Liaison

By lbos on June 15, 2015 Categories: For Grades 2-4, Non-fiction, Picks by Carol C.

Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis

Cover image for Bud, not BuddyThings have not been going well for ten-year-old Bud.  First, Todd, his foster brother, sticks a pencil up his nose while he’s sleeping.  Then when he defends himself, Todd beats him up and Bud is the one who is punished by being locked overnight in the shed.  There he sees a huge vampire bat, which he attacks with a rake.  Only it turns out the bat is really a hornet’s nest with about 6000 hornets heading straight for him.

Book reviewed by Mary S., Youth Services Department Head

By lbos on June 8, 2015 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Historical Fiction, Picks by Mary S.

Rhyme Schemer by K.A. Holt

Cover image for Rhyme schemerIf you liked Love That Dog, you’ll love Rhyme Schemer by K.A. Holt, another verse novel from the perspective of a boy who says he’s not crazy about poetry… but his cleverly-written stanzas tell us otherwise. Kevin rants about a bully at school, his complicated family, and just about everything that is going wrong in his life. One way he deals is by masquerading as a sort of poetry bandit, anonymously plastering the school with torn out pages of library books, on which he’s circled, blacked out, and doodled on the letters and words to compose a poem. If Kevin is found out, the kids would make him “King of the School,” but on the other hand he could also get himself suspended.

Book reviewed by Erin E., Youth Services Programming Coordinator

By lbos on June 1, 2015 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Funny, Picks by Erin E.

Who Was Steve Jobs? By Pamela Pollack (Part of the Who Was/Who is… series)

Cover image for Who was Steve Jobs?I really enjoyed this simple but very fascinating biography of Steve Jobs. It included lots of information about his life that I had not known. It is amazing to think about how much he changed our lives with the things he invented.

Book reviewed by Barb M., Youth Outreach and Programming Assistant

By lbos on May 25, 2015 Categories: For Grades 2-4, Non-fiction, Picks by Barb M.