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Staff Picks 4 Kids

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.

Tangle of Knots by Lisa Graff

syndetics-lcEleven year old Cady has lived in the orphanage with Miss Mallory since she was a baby.  Although Miss Mallory has a “Talent” for finding new homes for orphans, she does not seem to be able to find a place for Cady.  While Cady waits, she utilizes her Talent to bake cakes, hoping one day to bake a cake for her own adoption day.  Cady’s adventures intertwine with a family of children searching for their own Talents, a runaway balloonist, a missing dinosaur bone, and even a Talent thief until her story looks like a tangle of knots, but it may not be as tangled as it seems.  How this story unwinds will surprise you.

Book reviewed by Mary S., Youth Services Department Head

By lbos on January 20, 2014 Categories: Fantasy, For Grades 4-6, Picks by Mary S.

Zoobreak! By Gordon Korman

syndetics-lcCalling all young adventure seekers everywhere! This book is for every warmhearted, courageous, animal-loving human being! Zoobreak! the second book in a series by Gordon Korman, is about a group of kids trying to instill order and honesty back to their community. After Cleo, Savannah’s pet monkey, goes missing, Griffin and his talented friends believe they found Cleo at a local zoo. Seeing all the animals badly neglected and mistreated, these spirited youngsters whip up a daring plot to rescue them…ALL of them! But trouble arises taking care of these rambunctious critters and these daring young rebels need to find these animals a better home. What do you think will become of these zoo animals? Will the critter-napping  kids ever get caught? Or will they help to bring justice to the real animal thieves?

Book reviewed by Darice C., Youth Services Assistant

By lbos on January 6, 2014 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Mystery & Suspense, Picks by Darice C.

The Ugly One by Leanne Statland Ellis

syndetics-lcMicay thinks that she will be bullied forever because of the large scar on her face. In her ancient Incan village, boys constantly call her the ugly one. However, one day a stranger comes to their mountain village on his way to the Sacred Sun City of Machu Picchu. He gives Micay a baby macaw as a gift. Will this new friend help Micay find her voice against her bullies or will she be destined to be the ugly one forever?

Book reviewed by Laura B., Youth Technology Librarian

 

By lbos on December 23, 2013 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Historical Fiction, Picks by Laura B.

Hold Fast by Blue Balliett

syndetics-lcIn one short week, Early loses her father, her home, and her whole way of life. Her family is forced to stay in a homeless shelter while Sum, a stay-at home mom, looks for work. Early refuses to believe that her father abandoned his family and sets out to uncover the truth. Her detecting leads to unexpected twists and turns as she discovers what may be the answer to a years-old diamond theft mystery.  Will Early be able to find her father and save her family?

Book reviewed by Mary S., Youth Services Department Head

By lbos on December 16, 2013 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Mystery & Suspense, Picks by Mary S.

The Sixty-Eight Rooms by Marianne Malone

syndetics-lcIn The Sixty-Eight Rooms by Marianne Malone, 6th-graders Jack and Ruthie take a field trip to the Art Institute of Chicago and fall in love with the Thorne Rooms, a collection of very detailed and beautiful miniature rooms. They also find magic, which takes them on quite an adventure. The plot of this book is sort of a mixture of The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, The Indian in the Cupboard, and Chasing Vermeer. I would recommend it for 3-4th graders who liked those books.

Book reviewed by Erin E., Youth Services Programming Coordinator

By lbos on December 9, 2013 Categories: Fantasy, For Grades 4-6, Picks by Erin E.

Darkbeast by Morgan Keyes

syndetics-lcIn the compelling fantasy, Darkbeast, Keara is a confident girl who lives in a world where her Darkbeast, Caw, is a constant companion.  When her twelfth nameday arrives, Keara runs away from her village rather than be forced to kill Caw, which is required by law. The dreaded Inquisitors hunt them as they race through strange towns to find safety. Keara finds a temporary safe haven with a mysterious group of actors called The Travelers, but it’s only a matter of time until the Inquisitors discover the two.  Will Keara and Caw ever be able to sleep safely again? Find out in Darkbeast! This fantastical tale is continued in Darkbeast:  Rebellion and is highly recommended for those who are fans of the His Dark Materials series by Phillip Pullman.

Book reviewed by Amy S., Youth Services Programming Assistant

By lbos on December 2, 2013 Categories: Fantasy, For Grades 4-6, Picks by Amy S.