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Staff Picks 4 Kids

As Simple as It Seems by Sarah Weeks

syndetics-lcWhat would you do if you discovered everything you thought you knew about yourself was a lie? Feisty Verbena Colter gets mad. Then she goes supernatural. Since she doesn’t like who she is, she pretends she is a ghost. When she meets Pooch, a boy from New York City, she tricks him into believing she is the spirit of a drowned girl. This quickly complicates their budding friendship. Did you know that ghosts can only eat white food, get wrinkled when they are wet, and can only fly when they are well rested? The lies keep coming as Verbena struggles to stop Pooch from learning the truth. Then one day Verbena and Pooch get themselves into a mess and need her ghostly powers to save them. What will a very human girl do to save her friend?

Book reviewed by Mary S., Youth Services Department Head

By lbos on November 4, 2013 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Picks by Mary S., Realistic Stories

Nubs: The True Story of a Mutt, a Marine & a Miracle by Major Brian Dennis

syndetics-lcThis true story is amazing! Nubs was the leader of a pack of dogs in Iraq when he met Major Brian Dennis at one of the United States Marine bases. Although Marines weren’t allowed to have dogs, Major Dennis treated Nubs as if he was part of his family. He fed part of his meals to Nubs, let him sleep next to his bed, and took care of his wounds. However, soon Major Dennis had to leave for a different base 70 miles across the freezing desert and leave Nubs behind. Nubs decided that he wanted to stay with his new family though, and travelled 70 miles across the desert, but what will happen when Major Dennis goes back to the United States? Check out this true animal story that is also a 2014 Bluestem Nominee.

Book reviewed by Laura B., Youth Technology Librarian

By lbos on October 21, 2013 Categories: For Grades 2-4, For Grades 4-6, Non-fiction, Picks by Laura B.

Invincible Microbe: Tuberculosis and the Never-Ending Search for a Cure by Jim Murphy and Alison Blank

syndetics-lcI really enjoyed this real-life medical mystery.  Tuberculosis (TB) has been around for centuries, attacking its victims with horrible, painful symptons, and — truth be told — some of the so-called “cures” have been just as bad.  So why is it so hard to cure TB?  That’s the mystery, and that’s what this book is about.  Dive into the medical twists and turns, and decide for yourself if there is any hope of ridding the world forever of this devastating disease.

Book reviewed by Mary Ann S., Assistant Head of Youth Services

By lbos on October 7, 2013 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Non-fiction, Picks by Mary Ann S.

Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins

syndetics-lcGregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins is a quick and exciting read, and the ending definitely left me hanging so I might need to read the sequels. Fantasy isn’t my favorite genre, but I do like the idea of other worlds existing that we do not even know about. Gregor doesn’t see himself as a warrior in the beginning, but grows and changes as he faces numerous challenges in the Underland. Parts of the story were a little gross, other parts a little scary, and some parts sad. This would make a good discussion book because there is a lot of adventure, imagination, and many metaphorical themes.

Book reviewed by Erin E., Youth Services Programming Coordinator

By lbos on September 23, 2013 Categories: Fantasy, For Grades 4-6, Picks by Erin E.

Follow Follow: A book of Reverso Poems by Marilyn Singer

syndetics-lcThis poetry book is so fun.  It  is a sequel to the popular Mirror, Mirror  poetry book.  Each page has two poems. The second one is written with the same lines of poetry but in the reverse order with the last line being first and so on.  It is fun to see how the meaning changes.

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

By lbos on September 16, 2013 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Non-fiction, Picks by Barb M.

A Little Book of Sloth by Lucy Cooke

syndetics-lcGet ready for a cuteness overload! No, this book isn’t about kittens or puppies, it’s about sloths! I never thought they were cute, until I saw “A Little Book of Sloth”. This book is full of puns, interesting facts about sloths, and a ton of pictures. You’ll learn about the two kinds of sloths—the “Muppet” variety and the “cross between a Wookie and a pig” variety—, what they like to do all day (Hint: Rest and hug. But mostly rest), and meet the superstar sloths at a sloth sanctuary in Costa Rica. Plus, this book will remind you that sometimes, the best thing to do is “just chill” and relax.

Book reviewed by Claire B., Outreach Coordinator

By lbos on September 9, 2013 Categories: For Grades 2-4, For Grades 4-6, Non-fiction, Picks by Claire B

I Feel Better with a Frog in My Throat: History’s Strangest Cures by Carlyn Beccia

syndetics-lcIn the 2014 Bluestem nominee entitled I Feel Better with a Frog in My Throat: History’s Strangest Cures by Carlyn Beccia, many unusual health remedies are discussed. Take a nasty sore throat for example: Should you put a frog in your mouth, rub skunk oil on your chest, wear a necklace made from earthworms, or tie a dirty sock around your neck? I bet you are wondering where these remedies came from and if they actually work. For the answers to these questions, you’ll have to read this fun yet informative book! But I will tell you that while one of these remedies might actually help your throat, they will all give you a stomach ache!

Book reviewed by Carol C., Elementary School Liaison

By lbos on August 26, 2013 Categories: For Grades 2-4, For Grades 4-6, Non-fiction, Picks by Carol C.

Houdini: The Handcuff King by Jason Lutes

syndetics-lcCompelling black-and-white illustrations animate a single stunt from Houdini’s magic career—when he jumped from the Harvard Bridge with his hands and feet bound in handcuffs—in the graphic novel, Houdini: The Handcuff King by Jason Lutes. This book suggests that Houdini’s wife, Bess, helped him perform his escapes by passing a key or a pick to him when they kissed. I would recommend this book to graphic novel fans!

Book reviewed by Erin E., Youth Services Programming Coordinator

By lbos on August 19, 2013 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Graphic Novels, Picks by Erin E.

Bomb: The Race to Build — and Steal — the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin

syndetics-lcThis is one history book that reads more like a spy thriller.  It’s the story of the atom bomb, perhaps the most destructive weapon known to mankind.  Get ready for a wild ride with genius inventors, spies, counterspies, and powerful politicians — all players in this piece of 20th century history.  And hold on as you follow the true twists, turns, and treachery in this exciting account of how the atom bomb came to be.  A great read!

Book reviewed by Mary Ann S., Assistant Head of Youth Services

By lbos on August 12, 2013 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Non-fiction, Picks by Mary Ann S.

I, Emma Freke by Elizabeth Atkinson

syndetics-lcEmma Freke, spelled f-r-e-k-e, is tired of feeling like a real freak. After all, have you ever met an almost six foot tall, too pale twelve year old? Her mother, Donatella, is always on another date leaving Emma to take care of the family bead shop. Maybe she would feel normal if only she knew her dad and he was around. Her wish is granted one summer when she is invited to the Freke Family Reunion. However, from the moment Emma leaves for the reunion, nothing goes as planned, and she starts to see that maybe her life isn’t as bad as she once thought. Will Emma meet her father? Will she find a place to fit in and feel normal? Check out I, Emma Freke to find out.

Book reviewed by Laura B., Youth Technology Librarian

By lbos on July 29, 2013 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Picks by Laura B., Realistic Stories