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Staff Picks 4 Kids

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.

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.

Touch Blue by Cynthia Lord

Cover image for Touch blueThis realistic fiction story focuses on 11 year-old Tessa, a born and bred Maine islander who enjoys helping her dad fish for lobster off of their family’s boat. When her school might close due to low enrollment, the town hatches a plan to keep it open by bringing several foster children to live with them on the island. Tessa’s father comes back with Aaron, a reserved 13 year-old boy who is not at all like she expected.   Tessa keeps her good luck charms with her always, but as Aaron spends more time with the family, her worries and secrets begin to multiply despite her efforts to stay lucky.

Book reviewed by Amy S., Youth Services Assistant

By lbos on May 18, 2015 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Picks by Amy S., Realistic Stories

Boys of Blur by N.D. Wilson

Cover image for Boys of blurCharlie’s family has just moved back to the town his father and step-father are from. It is where football is a way of life and boys chase rabbits through the sugar cane for fun. There’s something different about this town. It starts when Charlie’s cousin takes him out at night, and they see a man wearing a silver helmet and carrying a sword who is accompanied by a panther. Then there’s the awful smell that usually makes people unnaturally angry all of a sudden. Charlie is trying to move past the pain his father caused in the past, and adjust to a new happier life in a different place, but the secrets of the town are too much to ignore. He and his cousin find themselves right in the middle of a war between good and evil that threatens everyone in their town. This book has zombies and other fantastical elements, but paints a realistic place you can clearly imagine. It is a fast and exciting read that should appeal to readers in 4th-6th grade, especially those who like adventures and fantasy.

Book reviewed by Claire B., Outreach Coordinator

By lbos on May 11, 2015 Categories: Fantasy, For Grades 4-6, Picks by Claire B

Sneaky Art: Crafty Surprises to Hide in Plain Sight by Marthe Jocelyn

Cover image for Sneaky art : crafty surprises to hide in plain sightThis is a cute craft book with ideas of art you can leave in different places to make life a little more interesting. For instance, you can make a little cork sail boat to leave in a public fountain or sink. Spruce up a chair by putting baby socks on the feet of the chair or a winter glove on a doorknob.

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

By lbos on May 4, 2015 Categories: For Grades 2-4, For Grades 4-6, Non-fiction, Picks by Barb M.

The Last Apprentice:  Revenge of the Witch by Joseph Delaney     

Cover image for Revenge of the witchTom Ward, the seventh son of a seventh son, has the disturbing ability to sense ghosts and other beasties that go bump in the night. He’d rather not have this “gift, but it is something from which he can’t escape.  When Tom reluctantly begins an apprenticeship with the Spook, a person who rids the County of harmful beings like boggarts and witches, he thinks he might be in over his head. With mortal danger lurking behind every dark corner, Tom struggles to conquer his fear while protecting those he cares about. This book is only for those brave enough to stomach truly scary tales. Are you brave enough?

Book reviewed by Amy S., Youth Services Assistant

By lbos on April 27, 2015 Categories: Fantasy, For Grades 4-6, Picks by Amy S.

El Deafo by Cece Bell

Cover image for El deafoWhen Cece was young, she lost her hearing because of an illness and her whole life changes. She starts wearing a bulky hearing aid around her neck, and has to learn not only how to use that, but how to read people’s lips. There are all sorts of adjustments she has to make. Worst of all, people start treating her differently, speaking to her really slowly, like there’s something wrong with her. She starts dreaming about being the good kind of special, like a superhero and having a best friend. However, it’s not really a sad book. Even though Cece has to deal with a lot of hard things, there are plenty of funny moments too! I’d recommend this book for fans of Smile by Raina Telgemeier, and people who like funny and heartfelt stories.

Book reviewed by Claire B., Outreach Coordinator

By lbos on April 20, 2015 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Graphic Novels, Picks by Claire B

How Do You Burp in Space?: And Other Tips Every Space Tourist Needs to Know by Susan E. Goodman

Cover image for How do you burp in space? : and other tips every space tourist needs to knowThis book is like a travel guide for visiting space and has all kinds of fun facts about what you need to know to have a good visit. It was fun to think about what I would take to space with me. Some things I think of taking don’t make sense because of the lack of gravity. Astronauts can only take 2 lbs. of personal items. Luckily they provide the toothpaste!

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

By lbos on April 13, 2015 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Non-fiction, Picks by Barb M.