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Archive for October, 2012

The Humming Room by Ellen Potter

Humming RoomThe Humming Room byEllen Potter was inspired by The Secret Garden, but is really more of a modern retelling of the story.  After her father dies, Roo moves in with her reclusive uncle on an island and discovers mysterious humming noises coming from a forbidden wing of the house.  Soon she discovers a dying, walled-up garden and tries to bring it back to life.  Fans of the classic will enjoy this new shorter tale, as well as those unfamiliar with or intimidated by the size of The Secret Garden.

Book reviewed by Keary B., Youth Collection Specialist

By bjones on October 29, 2012 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Picks by Keary B.

Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos

Dead End in NorveltIn Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos, Jack ends up getting grounded for an ENTIRE SUMMER through no fault of his own—he couldn’t have known that rifle was loaded, and his dad actually told him to cut down his mom’s corn plants. Instead of playing baseball with his best friend, he ends up helping his crazy elderly neighbor write obituaries as the oldest residents of their town die one after the other.  Oh, and he gets nosebleeds about every other page—especially when he sees dead bodies (yes, he sees more than one!).  This is a very, very funny and sometimes slightly ghoulish story about a kid who, like it or not, learns a little about life—and death.


By bjones on October 22, 2012 Categories: Award Winners, For Grades 4-6, Funny, Realistic Stories

Yoko’s Show-and-Tell by Rosemary Wells

Yokos Show and TellYoko’s Show and Tell by Rosemary Wells. Yoko wants to bring her special doll that her grandparents sent her all the way from Japan in for Show and Tell at school.  However, her mother says that she can’t because it is so delicate and special and it could get ruined.  But, of course, Yoko decides not to listen to her mother, and it won’t take much for even the littlest readers to predict what happens next.  The book has a good message about following the rules that your parents set for you and about being honest. The illustrations are beautiful too.


By bjones on October 15, 2012 Categories: Picture Books

50 Poisonous Questions by Tanya Lloyd Kyi

50 Poisonous QuestionsWhen you read 50 Poisonous Questions by Tanya Lloyd, you will learn a lot about poison, obviously, but also about history. Like the crazy medical treatments doctors used for George Washington’s fever…that ended up killing him! You’ll learn how to hunt with a frog.  Find out why the government is conspiring with your mom to make you eat vegetables. And learn whether some poisons can actually help people. With all your new knowledge you can solve the book’s puzzles about how people and animals have been poisoned. Prepare to be surprised and amused by these amazing true facts!

Book reviewed by Claire B., Youth Outreach Coordinator

By bjones on October 8, 2012 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Non-fiction, Picks by Claire B

The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien

HobbitWith the new movie coming out in December, I decided it was time to revisit The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien.  The Hobbit was one of my favorite books as a child, and I wanted to see if it was as good as I remembered.  It was.  The story begins with Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit.   (In case you were wondering, a hobbit looks like a human but is much smaller and has hairy feet.)  He is living a quiet, adventure-free life like hobbits are supposed to do.  Then one day Gandalf the Wizard shows up, followed by 13 dwarfs, and the trouble starts.  Bilbo is asked to join the group as their burglar.  His job will be to steal the gold from the terrible dragon, Smaug.  Along the way, Bilbo will face many hardships, including missing meals (did I mention that Hobbits really like to eat?), being chased by goblins, and getting lost in the forest.   Will Bilbo survive? And will he ever be the same?

Before Harry Potter, there was The Hobbit.  If you love fantasy, you won’t want to miss out on this fantastical tale.

Book reviewed by Mary S., Youth Services Department Head

By bjones on October 1, 2012 Categories: Fantasy, For Grades 4-6, Picks by Mary S.