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Staff Picks 4 Kids

Cities: Discover How They Work by Kathleen M. Reilly

Cover image for Cities : discover how they workDo you know how to get water to the top of a building? Or why potholes occur? If you’ve ever wondered how cities work, or enjoy real life applications of science, technology, engineering, and math, you’ll probably like this book. It explains why cities came about and how and why they work the way they do. Along the way, there are fun activities and experiments so you can get hands-on experience with things like building a skyscraper, making a battery, or simulating an earthquake to see what causes buildings to fall or stay standing.

I also liked learning about the history of cities, and seeing how we’ve made things better. For example, before flush toilets, you used to have to use a pot, which got dumped into the street and caused a lot of diseases; or how city planners work to help blind people know when to cross the street. Some signs make a loud beeping noise, like a chirping bird, when it’s time to cross. Others have a raised arrow you can feel with your fingers that vibrates and tells people when to cross and how much time they have. Pick up this book to learn even more interesting facts about cities, and try your hand at planning and building your own city!

Book reviewed by Claire B., Outreach Coordinator

By lbos on February 9, 2015 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Non-fiction, Picks by Claire B

Summoning the Pheonix: Poems and Prose About Chinese Musical Instruments by Emily Jiang –

Cover image for Summoning the Phoenix : poems and prose about Chinese musical instrumentsThis book is beautifully done and so interesting.  Each double page spread has a poem and illustration of a child playing a Chinese instrument. I had no idea there were so many different kinds.  The poems are very short and information about each instrument is given.

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

By lbos on January 26, 2015 Categories: For Grades 2-4, Non-fiction, Picks by Barb M.

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

Cover image for Bomb : the race to build and steal the world's most dangerous weaponThrills! As the USA and Soviet Union race to see who can build an atomic bomb first!

Chills! As double agent scientists work for the USA, and give away secrets as spies to the Soviet Union!

Surprises! As you learn of the many, many mistakes and accidents that occurred, costing many military men their lives – and almost costing our lives as well!

Sound good? It is! Give Bomb a try!

Book reviewed by Loreen S., Youth Services Assistant

By lbos on January 5, 2015 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Non-fiction, Picks by Loreen S.

Pucks, Clubs, and Baseball Gloves: Reading and Writing Sports Poems compiled and annotated by Jill Kalz

Cover image for Pucks, clubs, and baseball gloves : reading and writing sports poemsLearn about the different types of poetry while enjoying poems about sports!  Each page is a different type of poem and at the bottom of the page it explains that particular poetic form. You might even want to try your hand at poetry.

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

By lbos on December 22, 2014 Categories: For Grades 2-4, Non-fiction, Picks by Barb M.

What’s It Like to Climb Mount Everest, Blast Off into Space, Survive a Tornado and Other Extraordinary Stories by Jeff Belanger

Cover image for What it's like to climb Mount Everest, blast off into space, survive a tornado, and other extraordinary storiesPeople can do some pretty amazing things. Just ask Bethany Hamilton, Angus Cockney, Lieutenant Jeff Kraft, and many other people in this book. Each person tells their amazing story in this book as if they were talking to you. This book also gives each person their own chapter, which makes this a great book to start and stop reading. Read a chapter and put it down. You just learned about one person. To hear about these stories and many others, check out What It’s Like to Climb Mount Everest, Blast Off into Space, Survive a Tornado and Other Extraordinary Stories.

Book reviewed by Laura B., Youth Technology Librarian

By lbos on December 15, 2014 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Non-fiction, Picks by Laura B.

The Itty Bitty Kitty Committee by Laurie Cinotto

Cover image for The Itty Bitty Kitty CommitteeWhat’s not to love?  This book is full of cute photographs, useful tips for kitten care, and even advice letters from older cat Charlene Butterbean to her young charges.  Author Laurie Cinotto and her husband are foster parents for young kittens.  Six years ago, they adopted a fostered kitten named Charlene Butterbean.  When Charlene was about a year old, they tried fostering their first kitten.  Six years later, they have cared for nearly 200 kittens.  If you want a laugh, be sure to check out the kitten doing a Michael Jackson impression on page 57 or extreme naughtiness beginning on page 50.

Book reviewed by Mary S., Youth Services Department Head

By lbos on December 1, 2014 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Non-fiction, Picks by Mary S.

Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker by Patricia Hruby Powell

Cover image for Josephine : the dazzling life of Josephine BakerIn the biography, Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker, Patricia Hruby Powell’s rhythmic text and Christian Robinson’s bold illustrations give pizzazz to one African American entertainer’s extraordinary life and the era in which she lived. From rags in St. Louis to riches and fame in Paris, Josephine broke color barriers with her dancing, singing, and silly on-stage persona. You’ll be dazzled by the life of this intriguing performer, who also became a stunt pilot, had a pet leopard, and adopted 12 children from 10 different countries!

Book reviewed by Erin E., Youth Services Programming Coordinator

By lbos on October 14, 2014 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Non-fiction, Picks by Erin E.

Our Eleanor by Candace Fleming

Cover image for Our Eleanor : a scrapbook look at Eleanor Roosevelt's remarkable lifeWhat do you know about Eleanor Roosevelt?  Did you know that she was friends with Amelia Earhart and flew with her from Washington D.C. to Baltimore?  Eleanor even considered getting her own pilot’s license.  However, her husband, Franklin, vetoed the idea saying, “I know how Eleanor drives a car.  Imagine her flying an airplane!” (Eleanor was a terrible driver and once had as many as 3 car accidents on one journey.)

Did you know that she traveled at least 40,000 miles her first year in the White House?  She wanted to meet people firsthand and see the effects of the Great Depression.

Most importantly, Eleanor was a friend to the people.  She took a trip 2 1/2 miles underground to check the conditions of coal miners.  She visited the Puerto Rican slums and then urged the president to create a housing project there. She read aloud to orphan children and inspected their asylum.

These are just a few of the facts you will learn if you read Our Eleanor by Candace Fleming.  I promise you will be amazed by what you learn about this groundbreaking first lady.

Book reviewed by Mary S., Youth Services Department Head

By MPPL on October 7, 2014 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Non-fiction, Picks by Mary S.

Saving Audie by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent

syndetics-lcAudie is your average puppy: energetic, caring and devoted to his family. But he wasn’t always this way. He and 48 other pit bulls used to belong to the Bad Newz Kennels where they were used for dog fights. When the dog fights were discovered, most people believed that the dogs would be dangerous and might need to be put down. With the help of some caring people, they found that almost all of the dogs were safe, and soon they were able to leave and start their lives over. Even though Audie had a difficult life when he was young, he now lives with a loving family and spends his time training for competitions, helping train other dogs, and of course, playing! I liked this story because it shows that animals are capable of some amazing things, like surviving an abusive childhood and learning how to trust and get along with humans and other dogs again. If you like books about animals and the surprising things they can do, check this book out!

Book reviewed by Claire B., Youth Outreach Coordinator and Volunteen Coordinator

By lbos on September 1, 2014 Categories: For Grades 2-4, Non-fiction, Picks by Claire B

How Do You Burp in Space? by Susan E. Goodman

syndetics-lcAre you looking for a vacation getaway?  Do you want to travel somewhere far away?  Why not consider going into outer space!

Your generation will be among the first to travel into space as tourists floating high above the Earth.

In the book entitled How Do You Burp in Space? by Susan E. Goodman, you can learn the basics of planning your trip, the actual space flight, and your trip back to your home planet.

What should you pack?  How will you eat, sleep, exercise and shower while on the ship? What kind of preflight training will you need because of g-force and gravity?

For the answers to these and many other questions (including the title question), check out this fun and informational book.

Book reviewed by Carol C., Elementary School Liaison

By lbos on June 16, 2014 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Non-fiction, Picks by Carol C.