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Staff Picks 4 Kids

Eglantine:  A Paranormal Adventure by Catherine Jinks    

Cover image for Eglantine : [a paranormal adventure]Allie (short for Alithea) is a girl in need of some good luck. She thought she was having good luck when her family moved into a bigger house complete with her own bedroom.  But her luck abruptly changes when her brother, Bethan, now refuses to sleep in his own room due to the creepy writing that appears on his walls.   Allie would do anything to get her room to herself again…even try to confront a possible ghost. What do the mysterious words mean? Will Allie ever get her bedroom back? The book’s events take place on another continent, so you will be introduced to names and phrases that are uniquely Australian.

Book reviewed by Amy S., Youth Services Assistant

By lbos on February 16, 2015 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Mystery & Suspense, Picks by Amy S.

The London Eye Mystery by Siobhan Dowd

Cover image for The London Eye mysteryThe London Eye is this big ferris wheel in London. Instead of seats, it has pods that a group of people ride around and you can see all of London from the top. Ted and Kat decide to take their cousin, Salim, on the London Eye before he leaves with his mom to live in America. However, when a stranger approaches them in the line and offers them a free ticket, they decide to let Salim have the ticket since they have both been on the London Eye before. When the ferris wheel stops and everybody gets off, Salim is nowhere in sight. While Aunt Gloria and Ted and Kat’s parents call the police for help, Ted and Kat try to solve the mystery on their own. Their only clue, Salim’s camera and the photos he took while they were together. Will this be enough to find Salim? Check out this great mystery to see what happens.

Book reviewed by Laura B., Youth Technology Librarian

By lbos on January 19, 2015 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Mystery & Suspense, Picks by Laura B.

Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made by Stephen Pastis

Cover image for Mistakes were madeIf you liked Diary of a Wimpy Kid or the Big Nate books, this book is right up your alley! Timmy Failure is a detective with a sidekick, Total (who is a lazy 1,500 pound polar bear). Timmy illustrates his stories (Total tried, but he does not draw as well as Timmy). This book is very funny, and there are more in this series if you like this first book. Fun fact: The author, Stephen Pastis, draws the comic strip “Pearls Before Swine” that appears in newspapers.

Book reviewed by Anne W., Youth Services Assistant

By lbos on September 29, 2014 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Funny, Mystery & Suspense, Picks by Anne W.

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.