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Staff Picks 4 Kids

Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell

syndetics-lcSophie’s childhood has always been unusual, which might be expected from someone who began her life life floating the ocean in a cello case.  She is adopted by Charles, a scholar who knows more about Shakespeare than about raising children.  When Sophie breaks the plates, they begin eating off books.  When Sophie has an idea, Charles encourages her to write it on the walls.  And when Sophie believes she can find her mother, Charles helps her look even though everyone else assures her that her mother died in a shipwreck.  Because as Charles says, “Never ignore a possible.”   Her search brings her to France, where she meets Matteo, a boy who lives on the rooftops of Paris.  Matteo introduces Sophie to climbing drainpipes, eating roast pigeon, and exploring the world from above.  It is up here that Sophie hears the cello music that may lead her home.

After reading about Sophie’s exploits, you will never think about life down on the ground in quite the same way. This book is for readers in fourth grade and up who love magical adventures, quirky characters, and happy endings.

Book reviewed by Mary S., Youth Services Department Head

By lbos on July 21, 2014 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Picks by Mary S.

Waiting For the Queen: A Novel of Early America by Joanna Higgins

syndetics-lcMeet Eugenie:  a teen from a noble family who must travel to a French settlement in America to escape possible execution in the midst of the French Revolution.  Meet Hannah:  a young Quaker girl who lives a simple life with her family. In Waiting For the Queen, by Joanna Higgins, these girls’ lives intersect when Hannah’s family is hired to wait on Eugenie and her fellow French aristocrats as they struggle to adapt to the rustic settlement. Eugenie suffers major culture shock when she discovers her new house is a shack instead of a palace, while Hannah has difficulty being forced to curtsy when her religion teaches that everyone is equal.  Read this riveting novel to find out how they try to adjust to their constantly changing lives.

Book reviewed by Amy S., Youth Services Assistant

By lbos on July 14, 2014 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Historical Fiction, Picks by Amy S.

Little White Duck: A Childhood in China by Na Liu

syndetics-lcWhat if only one member of your family was allowed to go to school? In the illustrated memoir Little White Duck: A Childhood in China, Na Liu describes how she went to work with her mother so that her little sister could take the family’s place in school. This was because of the law in China allowing only one child per family. Learn more about Chinese history and folklore as you travel with Na on her adventures in this gorgeous graphic novel.

Book reviewed by Erin E., Youth Services Programming Coordinator

By lbos on July 7, 2014 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Graphic Novels, Picks by Erin E.

Double Dribble by W.C. Mack

syndetics-lcIn Double Dribble by W.C. Mack, fraternal twins Owen and Russ belong to the same basketball team. The team is finally working well together, and it looks like they will make it to the play-offs. Suddenly in mid-season, superstar identical twins Mitch and Marcus join the team without having to try out! Owen and Russ have trouble adjusting to this change and wonder why Mitch and Marcus do everything together?  How can they recreate the same magic Mitch and Marcus have when they play basketball with each other? Will Owen and Russ come together, or will they derail the team? Read this book to find out! Sequel to Mathlete Vs. Athlete.

Book reviewed by Anne W., Youth Services Assistant

By lbos on June 30, 2014 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Picks by Anne W., Realistic Stories

Ungifted by Gordon Korman

syndetics-lcWhat a heap of trouble Donavon Curtis is in this time! Didn’t think things were going to turn out THAT bad, eh? Now what to do, and where to hide? However, by some incredible stroke of luck, Donovan is accepted into the well-admired Academy for Scholastic Distinction Gifted School. What everybody is wondering, though, is just HOW did he get in? Read this amazingly funny book, to “find out” what happens when Donavon Curtis is “found out!”

Book reviewed by Darice C., Youth Services Assistant

By lbos on June 23, 2014 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Funny, Picks by Darice C., Realistic Stories

How Do You Burp in Space? by Susan E. Goodman

syndetics-lcAre you looking for a vacation getaway?  Do you want to travel somewhere far away?  Why not consider going into outer space!

Your generation will be among the first to travel into space as tourists floating high above the Earth.

In the book entitled How Do You Burp in Space? by Susan E. Goodman, you can learn the basics of planning your trip, the actual space flight, and your trip back to your home planet.

What should you pack?  How will you eat, sleep, exercise and shower while on the ship? What kind of preflight training will you need because of g-force and gravity?

For the answers to these and many other questions (including the title question), check out this fun and informational book.

Book reviewed by Carol C., Elementary School Liaison

By lbos on June 16, 2014 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Non-fiction, Picks by Carol C.

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

syndetics-lcWhat do you do when you’re bored? Milo, who is tired of everything he owns, perks up when he notices that the large package in his room is really a tollbooth! Milo gets in his toy car, points to a random place on the map, pulls up to the tollbooth, and is instantly transported to the Kingdom of Wisdom! He travels around with a watchdog named Tock and a grumpy Humbug meeting some strange and amusing characters, like King Azaz and the Mathemagician, who rule the Kingdom of Wisdom but can’t decide whether words or numbers are more important. They’ve banished Princesses Rhyme and Reason, but the kingdom needs them back to restore balance! Can Milo and his companions find the princesses and convince them to come back? Will the rulers of Wisdom finally be able to agree on something? This is a funny and clever adventure that has been loved by children and adults for many years. Pick up a copy today and be transported to another world.

Book reviewed by Claire B., Youth Outreach Coordinator and Volunteen Coordinator

By lbos on June 9, 2014 Categories: Fantasy, For Grades 4-6, 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.

Seaglass Summer by Anjali Banerjee

syndetics-lcPoppy has never owned a pet, but she wants to be a veterinarian. This summer, while her parents are visiting her family in India, she is going to get first-hand experience working at her Uncle Sanjay’s animal clinic on an island in Washington. While it sounds like it would be great playing with puppies and making sure they are healthy, she also has all the hard jobs like cleaning the floor when the animals have an accident. Suddenly, Poppy isn’t sure she wants to work with animals anymore, but maybe if she can find a lucky charm, a piece of seaglass, to help her through her days, she will find that working with animals is fun and just what she likes.

Book reviewed by Laura B., Youth Technology Librarian

By lbos on May 12, 2014 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Picks by Laura B., Realistic Stories