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Staff Picks 4 Kids

Chomp by Carl Hiaasen  

Cover image for ChompTo those that enjoy a book with lots of action and reptiles:  this book is for you! Wahoo is a normal middle-schooler living in Florida with his parents. What’s not normal about him is that his dad is a professional animal wrangler, and they have Alice, an alligator, living in their backyard. Once his dad suffers a freak accident, Wahoo needs to assist his dad with wrangling animals for the filming of a survival reality show. It turns out the reality show star, Derek, is a self-absorbed jerk and is incredibly difficult to work with. Things get even more hairy once Derek goes missing in the swampy Everglades. It’s up to Wahoo and his dad to locate the reality star in the wilderness, but a gun-toting man makes a dramatic entrance and makes the stakes suddenly much higher.

Book reviewed by Amy S., Youth Services Assistant

By lbos on June 29, 2015 Categories: Adventure, For Grades 4-6, Funny, Picks by Amy S.

Touch Blue by Cynthia Lord

Cover image for Touch blueThis realistic fiction story focuses on 11 year-old Tessa, a born and bred Maine islander who enjoys helping her dad fish for lobster off of their family’s boat. When her school might close due to low enrollment, the town hatches a plan to keep it open by bringing several foster children to live with them on the island. Tessa’s father comes back with Aaron, a reserved 13 year-old boy who is not at all like she expected.   Tessa keeps her good luck charms with her always, but as Aaron spends more time with the family, her worries and secrets begin to multiply despite her efforts to stay lucky.

Book reviewed by Amy S., Youth Services Assistant

By lbos on May 18, 2015 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Picks by Amy S., Realistic Stories

The Last Apprentice:  Revenge of the Witch by Joseph Delaney     

Cover image for Revenge of the witchTom Ward, the seventh son of a seventh son, has the disturbing ability to sense ghosts and other beasties that go bump in the night. He’d rather not have this “gift, but it is something from which he can’t escape.  When Tom reluctantly begins an apprenticeship with the Spook, a person who rids the County of harmful beings like boggarts and witches, he thinks he might be in over his head. With mortal danger lurking behind every dark corner, Tom struggles to conquer his fear while protecting those he cares about. This book is only for those brave enough to stomach truly scary tales. Are you brave enough?

Book reviewed by Amy S., Youth Services Assistant

By lbos on April 27, 2015 Categories: Fantasy, For Grades 4-6, Picks by Amy S.

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 Five Lives of Our Cat Zook by Joanne Rocklin

Cover image for The five lives of our cat ZookOona has a pretty good life. She lives with her brother, mother, and their quirky cat, Zook, in a cozy apartment, and she and her brother enjoy earning fried zucchini by dancing in front of a pizza place. When Zook becomes very ill and her mom begins to date again after the death of her father, Oona quickly realizes that keeping certain secrets is much harder than she first thought.  What are her secrets, and why must she keep them from her family and her mom’s new boyfriend? Read to find out!

Book reviewed by Amy S., Youth Services Assistant

By lbos on November 17, 2014 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Picks by Amy S., Realistic Stories

The Great Trouble: A Mystery of London, The Blue Death, and A Boy Called Eel by Deborah Hopkinson

syndetics-lcWant to read an action-packed historical fiction novel that is set in the 1850s? Then look no further! Follow Eel, a boy who spends his days searching for small treasures in the disgusting muck of the river Thames. As if his luck isn’t bad enough, bad guy Fisheye Bill Taylor is after him AND his neighbors are beginning to get sick and die of cholera, a horrible disease. Read this riveting book to discover if Eel can keep out of Fisheye’s way while he tries to help his friends and keep his secrets safe.

Book reviewed by Amy S., Youth Services Assistant

By lbos on August 18, 2014 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Historical Fiction, Picks by Amy S.

Waiting For the Queen: A Novel of Early America by Joanna Higgins

syndetics-lcMeet Eugenie:  a teen from a noble family who must travel to a French settlement in America to escape possible execution in the midst of the French Revolution.  Meet Hannah:  a young Quaker girl who lives a simple life with her family. In Waiting For the Queen, by Joanna Higgins, these girls’ lives intersect when Hannah’s family is hired to wait on Eugenie and her fellow French aristocrats as they struggle to adapt to the rustic settlement. Eugenie suffers major culture shock when she discovers her new house is a shack instead of a palace, while Hannah has difficulty being forced to curtsy when her religion teaches that everyone is equal.  Read this riveting novel to find out how they try to adjust to their constantly changing lives.

Book reviewed by Amy S., Youth Services Assistant

By lbos on July 14, 2014 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Historical Fiction, Picks by Amy S.

The Journey That Saved Curious George by Louise Borden

syndetics-lcMillions of children have grown up reading all about Curious George, the adventurous monkey. However, less people know about the incredible escape experienced by the writers who created Curious George. Margret and H.A. Rey narrowly escaped German Nazis as they were taking over their hometown of Paris, France. Being part of the Jewish community, their desperate escape meant the difference between life and death. Read The Journey That Saved Curious George by Louise Borden, and follow them on their intense trip to safety that took them through France, Spain, Portugal, Brazil, and, finally, America.

Book reviewed by Amy S., Youth Services Programming Assistant

By lbos on March 24, 2014 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Non-fiction, Picks by Amy S.

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.