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Staff Picks 4 Kids

Mr. and Mrs. Bunny—Detectives Extraordinaire! by Polly Horvath

syndetics-lcMadeline’s granola-eating, tie-dye wearing, hippie parents aren’t the most responsible adults, but now they have gotten themselves kidnapped by foxes and it’s up to Madeline to save them.  Luckily for her, she stumbles upon Mr. and Mrs. Bunny—Detectives Extraordinaire!  The only clue to her parents’ whereabouts is a note on the fridge signed “The Enemy” and a file card written in secret code.  Every bunny knows that marmots are the best decoders.  Unfortunately, bunnies don’t like marmots.  They are annoying and never bring cake when they come to visit—how rude!!  Undeterred, Madeline and the bunnies bring The Marmot to the Olde Spaghetti Factory, where he is supposed to crack the code.  Just as it seems that they are about to get the first break in the case, The Marmot loses the card and can only remember one word “rubber.”   What does this mean and will it be enough to save Madeline’s parents?

This book will make you laugh out loud as you read about Mr. Bunny’s inventions (hopping roller skates) and Mrs. Bunny’s hobbies (lint art).  And you won’t want to miss the daring rescue—bunnies dressed as bloodhounds—need I say more?  I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did!

Book reviewed by Mary S., Youth Services Department Head

By lbos on April 1, 2013 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Funny, Mystery & Suspense, Picks by Mary S.

Remarkable by Lizzie Foley

syndetics-lcHow can you go wrong when the title of the book is Remarkable? I was really looking forward to reading Remarkable by Lizzie Foley, a fun story about a town where all the residents have something that makes them truly remarkable, except for one girl, Jane Doe.  Throw in a mystery, some pirates, and a sea monster and the story must be something remarkable right?  Well, not entirely.  It was definitely enjoyable and fun to read, but I wanted it to be more remarkable than it actually was.  How remarkable do you think it is?

Book reviewed by Keary B., Youth Collection Specialist Librarian

By lbos on March 18, 2013 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Funny, Mystery & Suspense, Picks by Keary B.

Who Could That Be at This Hour? by Lemony Snicket

syndetics-lcFans of Lemony Snicket rejoice! He is back with the first book in a series about his strange childhood. When Lemony is 11, he goes to work as an apprentice for a detective. Their first job is to find a priceless sculpture that was stolen, but the mystery gets more complicated the more they find out. Lemony has to deal with a bully whose parents are the town police officers, a girl who seems like his friend, but keeps stealing from him, and a villain who seems to be behind it all. This book is written in the same style as the Series of Unfortunate Events, and is full of quirky humor and weird goings-on.  Just be prepared for a cliffhanger…don’t worry, there’s a sequel on the way!

Book reviewed by Claire B., Outreach Coordinator



By lbos on March 4, 2013 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Funny, Mystery & Suspense, Picks by Claire B, Uncategorized

The Name of This Book Is Secret by Pseudonymous Bosch

syndetics-lcI read The Name of This Book Is Secret by Pseudonymous Bosch in less than 24 hours. It was funny, exciting, engaging… and pretty strange. From the very first page, the author is talking directly to you, the reader. I was hooked right away. I think this will be a favorite among the 2013 Blue Stem nominees.

Book reviewed by Erin E., Youth Programming Coordinator

By lbos on December 24, 2012 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Mystery & Suspense, Picks by Erin E.

The Trouble with Chickens by Doreen Cronin

Trouble with ChickensThe Trouble with Chickens by Doreen Cronin. J.J. Tully, a retired search-and-rescue dog, hopes to enjoy a peaceful afternoon. But instead, he is called to the aid of Moosh, a worried mother hen, and her chicks, Dirt and Sugar, who need help tracking down some missing members of the family!  It seems that the missing chicks have been chicknapped by Vince the Funnel, but who knows what will happen when Tully plans a rescue mission!  Cartoon illustrations only add to the fun making this fast-paced mystery a good choice for beginner chapter book readers. Also makes a great family read aloud!

 Book reviewed by Keary B., Youth Collection Specialist

By bjones on September 24, 2012 Categories: For Grades 2-4, Funny, Mystery & Suspense, Picks by Keary B.

Swindle by Gordon Korman

SwindleSwindle by Gordon Korman. Although he’s a kid, Griffin is known as “the man with a plan.” After being swindled out of a valuable Babe Ruth baseball card, the sale of which could have solved his family’s money troubles, Griffin knows he needs a plan more than ever. Can he assemble a team of his clever friends–talented champions in their own right–to accomplish an even bigger swindle and get the card back to the rightful owner? I liked how the kids used their unique gifts in such creative ways and how they realized the value of doing their best, no matter how large or small a part they played.

Book reviewed by Jan P., Preschool/Childcare Liason

By bjones on August 6, 2012 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Mystery & Suspense, Picks by Jan P.

With A Name Like Love by Tess Hilmo

With a Name Like LoveWhat would it be like to not have a permanent home? In With A Name Like Love by Tess Hilmo, you can find out. Ollie is the oldest in her family, and her dad is a traveling preacher. Normally the family puts up fliers, invites the people of the town to hear the sermons in the evenings, and then they move on. When Ollie and her family get to Binder, Arkansas, however, they encounter Jimmy Koppel, who is living by himself on the outskirts of town because his mom is in jail for murdering his dad. Jimmy insists his mom did not do it, but no one will believe him. Will Jimmy and Ollie be able to save Jimmy’s mom? Will Ollie and her family leave before they find out who murdered Jimmy’s dad? Read more to find out!

Book reviewed by Anne W., Youth Services Assistant

By bjones on June 25, 2012 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Mystery & Suspense, Picks by Anne W., Realistic Stories

The Shadows: The Books of Elsewhere vol. 1 by Jacqueline West

The ShadowsIn The Shadows by Jacqueline West, Olive’s family just moved into an odd old house where there is something just not right about the paintings on the walls.  Olive discovers that she can climb into the worlds inside the paintings and uncovers the sinister story behind how the paintings, and the house, came to be.  She also finds out that she and her family are in terrible danger!  This slightly creepy story is an exciting and fast moving mystery thriller that fans of Coraline will love.


By bjones on May 21, 2012 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Mystery & Suspense

Thriller (Guys Read series v. 2) edited by Jon Scieszka

ThrillerWant to read about a wish-granting machine, ghosts, the world’s worst private detective, or a pudding that grants superpowers? Check out Thriller, a collection of short stories from the Guys Read series, edited by Jon Scieszka.

Book reviewed by Anne W., Youth Services Assistant

By bjones on March 19, 2012 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Mystery & Suspense, Picks by Anne W., Short Stories

The Traitors’ Gate by Avi

Traitors' Gate John Huffam’s life in Victorian London gets dangerous when his family is thrown out of their home because of his father’s gambling debts. Now his father may go to prison, and John has to ask his rich old aunt for money,and get a job. When John encounters some strange characters—an orphan girl named “Sary the Sneak” and a man called “Inspector Copperfield”—he begins to question the real reasons for his father’s arrest. The Traitors’ Gate by Avi is an action-packed story full of twists, turns, and treachery. It will not only give you a real taste of Victorian times, but it’ll keep you guessing ‘til the end.

Book reviewed by Erin E. Youth Services Programming Coordinator


By MPPL on July 20, 2011 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Mystery & Suspense, Picks by Erin E.