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Staff Picks 4 Kids

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

By lbos on December 8, 2014 Categories: Fantasy, For Grades 2-4, Picks by Keary B.

Leroy Ninker Saddles Up by Kate DiCamillo

Cover image for Leroy Ninker saddles upIf you like Kate DiCamillo’s Mercy Watson series you will love this spin-off.  It stars Leroy Ninker, a wanna-be cowboy, who works at a drive-in theater.  When his co-worker mentions he has everything he needs to be a real cowboy except the horse he answers a want ad looking for a buyer of a horse “really cheap”. Well, it is love at first sight.  Of course, Leroy has no idea how to take care of a horse so the adventure begins.

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

By lbos on November 24, 2014 Categories: For Grades 2-4, Funny, Picks by Barb M.

Pie by Sarah Weeks

Cover image for PieWhat’s your favorite type of pie? No matter; whatever your favorite is, it would be available and free at PIE, Aunt Polly’s bakery. She just loved baking pies, and didn’t need the money, so her pies would all be free!

But then she died, and no one, not her sister, not her favorite niece, Alice, no one, had a copy of her famous pie crust recipe. Aunt Polly left the only known copy of it to her cat, Lardo!

How can someone leave a recipe to a cat? Good question. It’s a mystery, and Alice, with her friend, Charlie, is determined to find out!

(Another plus to this books are the 14 pie recipes, each one guaranteed to be delicious! Come to read the book; stay and try out a pie recipe!)

Book reviewed by Loreen S., Youth Services Assistant

By lbos on November 10, 2014 Categories: For Grades 2-4, For Grades 4-6, Picks by Loreen S., Realistic Stories

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

By lbos on October 27, 2014 Categories: For Grades 2-4, Funny, Picks by Keary 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

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

The Day-Glo Brothers: The True Story of Bob and Joe Switzer’s Bright Ideas and Brand New Colors by Chris Barton

syndetics-lcWere neon colors created? The answer is yes, and this book will tell you how two brothers having fun and experimenting turned into the invention of these colors. This quick nonfiction read is filled with these neon colors and is fun to read.

Book reviewed by Laura B., Youth Technology Librarian

By lbos on May 26, 2014 Categories: For Grades 2-4, For Grades 4-6, Non-fiction, Picks by Laura B.

Edgar Allan’s Official Crime Investigation Notebook by Mary Amato

syndetics-lcMystery comes to Edgar Allen’s classroom when the class goldfish get stolen. The only clue is a poem left behind by the thief. Edgar Allan is convinced this is his chance to become a famous detective, but will someone else solve the crime first?  It doesn’t take long for the thief to strike again. As Edgar Allan gathers clues and observes his fellow classmates, he notices some surprising things. Is one of them really the thief? Or should he team up with a classmate to find the culprit? Read the book and find out!

This was also a 2014 Bluestem Award Nominee.

Book reviewed by Keary B., Youth Collection Specialist Librarian

By lbos on May 19, 2014 Categories: For Grades 2-4, For Grades 4-6, Mystery & Suspense, Picks by Keary B.

Lemonade War by Jacqueline Davies

syndetics-lcSiblings Evan and Jessie are both smart, just in different areas.  Evan is people smart and knows how to talk to others. His younger sister Jessie is math smart. So smart in fact that she’s skipping third grade and will be in the same grade as Evan. To make matters worse, Evan and Jessie will be in the same fourth grade class in the fall. This news starts the Lemonade War, a bet over which sibling will earn more money selling lemonade during the last week before school. Soon the competition heats up and the siblings use every trick in the book to try and win.  This is a great story about siblings and the competitions and friendships they can have.

This is also a 2014 Bluestem Award Nominee.

Book reviewed by Keary B., Youth Collection Specialist Librarian

By lbos on February 10, 2014 Categories: For Grades 2-4, For Grades 4-6, Picks by Keary B., Realistic Stories

Dog-Gone School by Amy Schmidt with photographs by Ron Schmidt

syndetics-lcThis poetry book has short school related poems with beautiful real pictures of puppies….yes cute puppies in school poses. It is adorable.  I couldn’t put it down without looking at every single page.

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

By lbos on January 13, 2014 Categories: For Grades 2-4, Non-fiction, Picks by Barb M.