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Staff Picks 4 Kids

Flora & Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo

syndetics-lcHoly Bagumba, do you know what happens when a poor unsuspecting squirrel is sucked up by a super-duper vacuum cleaner and has to be given mouth-to-mouth resuscitation?  A superhero squirrel named Ulysses is born.

Mission 1:  Find food.  Being a superhero is hungry work.

Mission 2:  Find a place to live.  Flora, the girl who saved him, seems nice.

Mission 3:  Save the world.

Dangers are everywhere:  Flora’s mom wants to kill him.  A man attacks him with a knife.  And when he tries to fly, he lands smack into the door and gives himself a head injury.

Will Ulysses recover from his head wound?  Will he be able to accomplish heroic deeds?  And most importantly, will he be able to finish his poetry (He’s a writer as well as a superhero)?

Part comic strip, part novel, this story is a hoot!!   I defy you to stop laughing as you see Ulysses get his feet stuck in the waitress’ beehive hairdo or read his love poem to a donut.  I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did.

Book reviewed by Mary S., Youth Services Department Head

By lbos on March 31, 2014 Categories: Fantasy, For Grades 4-6, Picks by Mary S.

The Journey That Saved Curious George by Louise Borden

syndetics-lcMillions of children have grown up reading all about Curious George, the adventurous monkey. However, less people know about the incredible escape experienced by the writers who created Curious George. Margret and H.A. Rey narrowly escaped German Nazis as they were taking over their hometown of Paris, France. Being part of the Jewish community, their desperate escape meant the difference between life and death. Read The Journey That Saved Curious George by Louise Borden, and follow them on their intense trip to safety that took them through France, Spain, Portugal, Brazil, and, finally, America.

Book reviewed by Amy S., Youth Services Programming Assistant

By lbos on March 24, 2014 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Non-fiction, Picks by Amy S.

Belly Up by Stuart Gibbs

syndetics-lcTeddy Fitzroy is the only kid who lives in FunJungle, the world’s largest zoo. Action at the zoo picks up when Henry the Hippo, and mascot of the park, dies. Teddy is convinced some one killed Henry, but no one at the park believes him. The only one who will listen is Summer, the daughter of the Texas millionaire who owns FunJungle. Together, they have to track down the hippo killer, even though no one really liked the hippo that was killed. Henry was a pretty mean hippo afterall so the list of suspects is pretty long. Someone doesn’t want Teddy to investigate and strange accidents start happening that put him in danger. Will Teddy and Summer be able to solve this whodunit before someone gets hurt?

Book reviewed by Keary B., Youth Collection Specialist Librarian

By lbos on March 17, 2014 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Mystery & Suspense, Picks by Keary B.

Fairy Tale Comics by Chris Duffy

syndetics-lcIf you liked Nursery Rhyme Comics, you’ll like Fairy Tale Comics even more! I was really impressed with the diversity of the artwork and the different takes on classic tales. Familiar stories were told in new and interesting ways, plus I read some tales I hadn’t heard before. Favorites include: Little Red Riding Hood by Gigi D.G., in which the lumberjack is a really buff lady, and The Boy Who Drew Cats by Luke Pearson, which made me LOL several times. It was a really fun collection!

Book reviewed by Erin E., Youth Services Programming Coordinator

By lbos on March 10, 2014 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Graphic Novels, Non-fiction, Picks by Erin E.

Calli Be Gold by Michele Weber Hurwitz

syndetics-lcDo you ever feel pressured to achieve great things? If so, you will probably know what Calli Gold feels like. In Calli Be Gold by Michele Weber Hurwitz, Calli tried to please her family and find the one thing she can achieve in. She is exhausted by the effort, and just wants to be an 11 year old girl. When she has an opportunity to be a Peer Helper to second grader Noah, Calli discovers that she can help others and that being herself is just fine. Those of you who have brothers and sisters and have to compete for your parents’ attention, I think you will enjoy this book! There are funny parts, and some sad parts, just like real life. This is also a 2014 Bluestem Award nominee.

Book reviewed by Anne W., Youth Services Assistant

By lbos on March 3, 2014 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Picks by Anne W., Realistic Stories

Odette’s Secrets by MaryAnn MacDonald

syndetics-lcOdette lives in Paris with her father and mother, and the only thing that could make her life better is if she could have a cat, but that is about to change when the Nazi army invades Paris. In this historical fiction novel in verse, Odette’s Secret by Mary Ann MacDonald, Odette and her family face the challenge of surviving World War Two. This is an even harder challenge for them, because Odette’s family has Polish Jewish heritage. Odette’s mother, fearing for her daughter’s safety when her father is taken as a prisoner of war, sends Odette to the countryside to stay safe. In the country, Odette must act like any other child that is not Jewish. If she can do this, she could be safe, but will the rest of her family be safe too? This novel is based on the true story of Odette Meyer and is written in free verse, which is like poetry, but tells a story like a regular novel. If you are interested in the courageous journey Odette and her family took in World War Two, I would check out Odette’s Secret.

 

Book reviewed by Laura B., Youth Technology Librarian

By lbos on February 24, 2014 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Historical Fiction, Picks by Laura B.

Garden Princess by Kristin Kladstrup

syndetics-lcMagic was banished from Princess Adela’s kingdom many years ago.  But until she went to Hortensia’s garden party, she had no explanation for why all Hortensia’s beautiful flowers were still in full bloom in October.  Or why a magpie was stealing jewelry and was talking to her!  In the book Garden Princess, Princess Adela discovers that the attractive girls that were invited to the parties were turned into beautiful flowers—by magic! The handsome young men were turned into servants, and, a magpie!  Princess Adela herself was turned into a dandelion weed.  You will need to read the story to find out the exciting way she was set free from the magic spell!

Book reviewed by Mary Lou H., Youth Services Assistant

By lbos on February 17, 2014 Categories: Fantasy, For Grades 4-6, Picks by Mary Lou H.

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

Pickle: The (Formerly) Anonymous Prank Club of Fountain Point Middle School by Kimberly Baker

syndetics-lcPickle making is serious business. Just ask Ben Diaz, the president of the League of Pickle Makers, a new Fountain Point Middle School club. The club began when Ben created an epic prank by filling his classroom with ball-pit balls. Now, all they need to do is keep it a secret from the principal of the school. However, when the new girl, Sienna, joins the group, her love of bugs may be the undoing of the whole group. Hopefully their pickled eggs will win over the principal and teachers to show that they are a serious pickle making club. That is, if they can find them in time for the big event, or maybe they should let their secret identities create the prank of all pranks…

Book reviewed by Laura B., Youth Technology Librarian

By lbos on February 3, 2014 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Funny, Picks by Laura B.

Dragon Slippers by Jessica Day George

syndetics-lcCreel is in an awful situation. Her parents became ill and died leaving her and her brother to live with her poor aunt and uncle.  Her brother can work but Creel is seen as a burden to the family, so her aunt hatches a plan to sacrifice her to the local dragon in hopes that a knight will come save the damsel in distress and marry her.  Of course, her aunt’s family would benefit financially from this marriage. Well this isn’t your typical fairytale. The dragon doesn’t want to fight and gives Creel a pair of slippers if she will keep the knight away from the cave.  What she doesn’t know is that these slippers have magical powers to control the dragons. Read this book to find out what happens when the slippers get into the wrong hands. Can Creel help the young knight save the Kingdom from certain war?

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

By lbos on January 27, 2014 Categories: Fantasy, For Grades 4-6, Picks by Barb M.