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Staff Picks 4 Kids

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.

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.

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.

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 Secret of Laurel Oaks by Lois Ruby

syndetics-lcThe Secret of Laurel Oaks by Lois Ruby is an intriguing mystery. I loved that this story and ghost are based on a real southern plantation that is said to be one of the most haunted places in America and a “real” ghost that is said to haunt the plantation. I didn’t find it particularly scary, but it was a very well-written and engrossing story. I would recommend this to children who enjoy ghost stories. But although it’s not particularly scary, it does allude to some serious topics within the issue of slavery.

Book reviewed by Erin E., Youth Services Programming Coordinator

By lbos on November 11, 2013 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Mystery & Suspense, Picks by Erin E.

Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke

syndetics-lcVery lively narration brought this orphan story to life on the audiobook. A detective is trying to track down two boys that have run away to Venice to get away from their snooty aunt. The boys find shelter with other orphans who are cared for by the “Thief Lord,” who turns out to have a lot of secrets. The story is full of adventure, interesting characters, and a hint of magic.

Book reviewed by Erin E., Youth Services Programming Coordinator

By lbos on July 1, 2013 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Mystery & Suspense, Picks by Erin E.

Hold Fast by Blue Balliett

syndetics-lcI read Hold Fast, the latest book by Blue Balliett, in just two days! So for the weekend I was completely immersed in the world of the Pearl family, taking delight in Blue Balliett’s beautiful writing. It’s no wonder that one of the themes of this book is rhythm… this author is so gifted at creating rhythms with her words. Like her other books, this one has a Chicago setting, and the majority of the scenes take place in a homeless shelter. There are definitely sad moments, but overall this book is full of hope, and it inspires warm, fuzzy feelings about family and what it is we call home.

Book reviewed by Erin E., Youth Services Programming Coordinator

By lbos on May 13, 2013 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Mystery & Suspense, Picks by Erin E.

Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage

syndetics-lcIt would sure take a lot to be luckier than Miss Moses LoBeau (Mo for short). As a baby, she was found washed ashore during a hurricane by the Colonel who took her in.  Mo now helps the Colonel and Miss Lana run the café in the small southern town they call home.  Mystery comes knocking there when a detective shows up asking all kinds of questions about a murder. The Colonel seems to be the prime suspect with his mysterious past. Mo tries to solve the crime first but will her luck hold out? Bank robbers, race car drivers, and best friends could all become suspects. Parents and kids alike will love the quirky southern charm of Mo as she cracks the case in the Newbery honor title.

Book reviewed by Keary B., Youth Collection Specialist Librarian

By lbos on May 6, 2013 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Funny, Mystery & Suspense, Picks by Keary B.

Splendors and Glooms by Laura Amy Schlitz

syndetics-lcClara Wintermute disappears on her twelfth birthday. Her parents are devastated, after having lost her three siblings to cholera. Everyone suspects the puppet master Grisini who performed at her birthday party. When he too disappears, his assistants, orphans Lizzie Rose and Parsefall, are left to figure out what happened to Clara. A mysterious letter from a faraway land adds to the mystery:  a rich older woman wants to leave all of her money to Lizzie Rose and Parsefall. But what she wants in return could change their lives forever. This is a pretty complex story, but it is also very exciting. Fans of historical fantasy and mystery may want to give Splendors and Glooms a chance. It’s also a 2013 Newberry Honor!

Book reviewed by Claire B., Outreach Coordinator

 

By lbos on April 15, 2013 Categories: Fantasy, For Grades 4-6, Mystery & Suspense, Picks by Claire B

Ghost of Crutchfield Hall by Mary Downing Hahn

syndetics-lcFlorence thought her life was going to get better when she left the orphanage for her family’s ancestral home. She would have a younger cousin, James, to play with and her great aunt and uncle could look after her. However, her other cousin and ghost, Sophia, has a murderous plan for her cousin and brother. Not knowing who to turn to in her new surroundings, Florence must try to resist Sophia, but can she? Whether read or listened to, the Ghost of Crutchfield Hall is a great ghost story worthy of any camp fire storytelling.

 Book reviewed by Laura B., Youth Technology Librarian

 

By lbos on April 8, 2013 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Mystery & Suspense, Picks by Laura B.