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Staff Picks 4 Kids

The Robe of Skulls by Vivian French

syndetics-lcLooks may be deceiving with this title! The Robe of Skulls by Vivian French may look creepy, but it is really a lighthearted fantasy.  Lady Lemorna wants a new dress but doesn’t have the money to pay for it so she comes up with a crazy plan to turn some princes into frogs and make their parents pay her to turn them back.  Only Prince Marcus escapes being turned into a frog, and now he must save his brother with the help of some talking bats and a brave new friend.  If you enjoy funny stories about princes, magic, and adventures, this book is for you!

Book reviewed by Keary B., Youth Collection Specialist Librarian

By MPPL on May 11, 2009 Categories: Fantasy, For Grades 4-6, Funny, Picks by Keary B.

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

The Graveyard Book Bod Owens is just like any other boy except he is being raised by ghosts, lives in a graveyard, and is being hunted by a vicious killer.  Okay, so he’s not quite like everyone else.  Bod’s unusual childhood lets him have thrilling adventures such as meeting the Indigo Man, being chased by ghouls, and learning to fade.  I was so excited when The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman won the Newbery award.  Gaiman is one of my favorite authors and his new book does not disappoint!  If you like a good ghost story, this book is for you.  (For grades 5 and up)  

Book reviewed by Mary S., Youth Services Department Head


By MPPL on April 27, 2009 Categories: Fantasy, For Grades 4-6, Mystery & Suspense, Picks by Mary S.

The Girl Who Could Fly by Victoria Forester

syndetics-lcWhat makes you special and unique? Piper McCloud is the heroine of The Girl Who Could Fly by Victoria Forester, and Piper can fly!  She’s excited when Dr. Hellion comes to take her to a school to learn more about her abilities. Will she learn new things? Will she ever return to her parents? I really enjoyed this book, and I hope you try it out too!

 

Book read by Anne W., Youth Library Assistant

By MPPL on February 4, 2009 Categories: Fantasy, Picks by Anne W.

Diamond of Darkhold by Jeanne Du Prau

syndetics-lc  Sneaking around your house in the middle of the night can get you in trouble. You can’t see where you’re going, you bump into all kinds of things, and you sometimes find out you’re not all alone. That’s what you can expect in the Diamond of Darkhold by Jeanne DuPrau. Lina and Doon meet a roamer who comes to their town of Sparks. They are interested in a book he is selling, a strange book that is from their former city, Ember. Wanting to decipher its meaning, they return back to the dark city only to discover hidden secrets lurking. Can something valuable be down there? Unearth the mystery as you explore the final book in the City of Ember series.

Book read by Darice C., Library Assistant

By MPPL on November 17, 2008 Categories: Fantasy, For Grades 4-6, Picks by Darice C.

Castle Corona by Sharon Creech

syndetics-lcI love princesses, and Sharon Creech is one of my favorite authors, so I was all set to love Castle Corona.  But I didn’t!   It is about a poor brother and sister who have found a stolen bag containing secrets that will affect the royal family.  Sounds interesting, right?  Wrong!  The characters were boring and so was the plot.  What did you think?  Click “comments” to tell us your opinion.

Book read by Mary S., Youth Services Department Head

By MPPL on September 29, 2008 Categories: Fantasy, For Grades 4-6, Picks by Mary S.

The Salamander Spell by E. D. Baker

syndetics-lcI read The Salamander Spell by E. D. Baker. Princess Grassina lives the easy life with her mother, father, and sister, Chartreuse. Being the younger sister, Grassina is not expected to do very much except stay out of trouble while her older sister will inherit her mother’s magical powers and become the Queen and the Green Witch of Greater Greensward.  To everyone’s horror, a terrible curse turns their mother from a good witch to a bad witch and no one is left to protect the kingdom. Chartreuse doesn’t get any magical powers and their father is hiding in the basement. Can Princess Grassina save the kingdom from the werewolves who are getting closer? Who will become the new Green Witch of Greater Greensward?  

Book read by Barb M., Youth Programming Assistant

By MPPL on July 29, 2008 Categories: Fantasy, For Grades 4-6, Funny, Picks by Barb M.

Standard Hero Behavior by John David Anderson

syndetics-lcWhat do you do when your town is going to be attacked by goblins, trolls, and other creatures, and you find out the town’s hero is a fake? Well, Mason Quayle, in Standard Hero Behavior by John David Anderson, decides to go on a quest for a hero, maybe even become one himself. Mason is joined in his quest by his best friend Cowel, a quill salesman. Along the way they meet all sorts of possible heroes and unusual characters, including a man who sword fights in his sleep, the daughter of two heroes, a werewolf hit man, an attractive young witch, and some angry pixies. Mason also finds out what happened to his hero father, who disappeared on a quest many years ago. Does Mason find a hero? Is the town saved from the goblin attack? Read the book and find out!

Book Reviewed by Keary D., Youth Collection Specialist Librarian

By MPPL on March 10, 2008 Categories: Fantasy, For Grades 4-6, Funny, Picks by Keary B.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling

syndetics-lcLoreen’s parting thoughts about Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling . . .

Spoiler alert:  If you haven’t already finished the last of the Harry Potter books, this next post has some plot elements you might not want to know about yet.

Excellent, satisfying finish to this wonderful series! Just one small critique: I wish so many of the “loose ends” had not been tied up in the long conversation between Dumbledore and Harry in the Hallows. I think it would have been a better book (though much longer!) if Rowling had not depended on this literary technique so much.  However, I loved Dumbledore’s reply to Harry’s question on whether their meeting was real or just happening in his mind. “Of course this is happening in your mind, Harry. But why would you think that means it isn’t real?” Also the epilogue was on the trite side (maybe written with a future movie in mind?)

Review posted by Loreen S., Library Assistant

By MPPL on January 29, 2008 Categories: Fantasy, For Grades 4-6, Picks by Loreen S.

Blackbringer by Laini Taylor

syndetics-lc Blackbringer by Laini Taylor is the first book in a new series called The Faeries of Dreamdark (“faeries” is a fancy fantasy way of spelling the word “fairies”). In a world where once they were powerful, magical creatures, faeries have forgotten most of their history. Magpie Windwitch, devil hunter and granddaughter of the West Wind, is the only hope of saving the world and restoring the faeries  to their former glory.  Magpie must fight an ancient evil creature, the Blackbringer, who escaped from his bottle, before he unmakes all of creation (“Unmakes all of creation” is a fancy fantasy way of saying “Destroys the world”).  To do this she must awaken the great Djinn, who created the world, and she must outsmart an evil queen.  She is aided by a group of crows, a faerie prince who can’t fly, and other magical creatures. This is a fun read for any fantasy fan.  Watch for others in the series, too!

Book reviewed by Keary D., Youth Collection Specialist Librarian

By MPPL on November 27, 2007 Categories: Fantasy, For Grades 4-6, Picks by Keary B.

Emily Windsnap and the Castle in the Mist by Liz Kessler

syndetics-lc Emily Windsnap and the Castle in the Mist continues the saga of half-human/half-mermaid Emily, first introduced in The Tail of Emily Windsnap by Liz Kessler. Long ago, King Neptune and his wife Aurora (a human), got beautiful wedding rings at their marriage. When Aurora drowns, King Neptune buries the two rings forever. When Emily finds Aurora’s ring, King Neptune gets angry and threatens to change her permanently so that she will only be a mermaid, or only be a human. Will Emily be able to find  the matching ring before King Neptune changes her? Will she have to give up one of her parents?

Book reviewed by Anne W., Library Assistant.

By MPPL on November 5, 2007 Categories: Fantasy, For Grades 4-6, Picks by Anne W.