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Staff Picks 4 Kids

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.

Zane and the Hurricane by Rodman Philbrick

syndetics-lcZane’s dad died before he was born. Zane is a biracial child, and his mom makes contact with his dad’s grandmother in New Orleans. Zane is going to meet his great-grandmother for the first time, as he knows nothing about his dad’s family. After Zane and his dog Bandit arrive and meet Miss Trissy, Hurricane Katrina hits. There is no power, and Zane, Miss Trissy, and Bandit have to figure out how to get to higher ground before the waters flood Miss Trissy’s house. Zane, Bandit, and Miss Trissy get a ride in the church van, but Bandit is scared and jumps out. Zane jumps out after him and gets separated from Miss Trissy. Bandit goes all the way back to Miss Trissy’s house, and then Zane and Bandit are rescued by Malvina, a 12 year old girl just like Zane, and her guardian, an elderly musician named Tru. Will Zane, Bandit, Malvina, and Tru make it to higher ground? Will they find helpful or harmful people along the way? Read this engrossing book and find out!

Book reviewed by Anne W., Youth Services Assistant

By lbos on August 11, 2014 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Picks by Anne W., Realistic Stories

Double Dribble by W.C. Mack

syndetics-lcIn Double Dribble by W.C. Mack, fraternal twins Owen and Russ belong to the same basketball team. The team is finally working well together, and it looks like they will make it to the play-offs. Suddenly in mid-season, superstar identical twins Mitch and Marcus join the team without having to try out! Owen and Russ have trouble adjusting to this change and wonder why Mitch and Marcus do everything together?  How can they recreate the same magic Mitch and Marcus have when they play basketball with each other? Will Owen and Russ come together, or will they derail the team? Read this book to find out! Sequel to Mathlete Vs. Athlete.

Book reviewed by Anne W., Youth Services Assistant

By lbos on June 30, 2014 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Picks by Anne W., Realistic Stories

Alone in the Forest by Gita Wolf

syndetics-lcHave you been scared in the forest? In Alone in the Forest by Gita Wolf, Musa is collecting firewood when a loud sound scares him and he has to hide in a hollow tree. Musa is able to find his way back to his village because he sees a cow passing by and holds on to its tail all the way back to the village. The illustrator, Bhajju Shyam, uses Gond traditional folk-art style from India. The colorful illustrations are outlined in black and go well with the text.

Book reviewed by Anne W., Youth Services Assistant

By lbos on June 2, 2014 Categories: Picks by Anne W., Picture Books

No Pirates Allowed! Said Library Lou by Rhonda Gowler Greene

syndetics-lcHey kids! Do you like to look for treasure? Join Big Pirate Pete and his crew when they look for treasure at the Seebreezy Library. They have no idea how to act in a library, so Library Lou shows them what they are supposed to do. She also helps them find the treasure, which is a different one than they expected. Funny!

Book reviewed by Anne W., Youth Services Assistant

By lbos on April 14, 2014 Categories: Picks by Anne W., Picture Books

Calli Be Gold by Michele Weber Hurwitz

syndetics-lcDo you ever feel pressured to achieve great things? If so, you will probably know what Calli Gold feels like. In Calli Be Gold by Michele Weber Hurwitz, Calli tried to please her family and find the one thing she can achieve in. She is exhausted by the effort, and just wants to be an 11 year old girl. When she has an opportunity to be a Peer Helper to second grader Noah, Calli discovers that she can help others and that being herself is just fine. Those of you who have brothers and sisters and have to compete for your parents’ attention, I think you will enjoy this book! There are funny parts, and some sad parts, just like real life. This is also a 2014 Bluestem Award nominee.

Book reviewed by Anne W., Youth Services Assistant

By lbos on March 3, 2014 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Picks by Anne W., Realistic Stories

The Time Warp Trio: Knights of the Kitchen Table by Jon Scieszka

syndetics-lcIf you like funny adventures, you should read The Time Warp Trio: Knights of the Kitchen Table by Jon Scieszka. While Joe, Fred, and Sam are eating lunch, they decide to read, THE BOOK, Joe’s last present from his magician uncle. The boys think they are just going to read a story about King Arthur and his knights, but when they open THE BOOK, they are magically thrown into the story! They are confronted by the Black Knight and have to figure out how to get back home. Funny, thrilling, and a quick read. First in the series. Suggested for grades 3-5.

Book reviewed by Anne W., Youth Services Assistant

By lbos on July 8, 2013 Categories: For Grades 2-4, For Grades 4-6, Funny, Picks by Anne W.

Drama by Raina Telgemeier

syndetics-lcDo you ever feel like you are living in a soap opera? In the graphic novel, Drama by Raina Telgemeier, Callie is dealing with all the “drama” in her life, while also working on the school play. Callie has a crush on Greg, who is going out with Bonnie. Greg’s younger brother Matt has a crush on Callie, although Callie does not realize it. Funny things happen as Callie continues to build the sets for the play and two twin brothers, Justin and Jesse, join the play. Drama is an enjoyable, funny story about growing up, making friends, having your first crush on someone, and being in a play. The graphic format is ideal for this story.

Book reviewed by Anne W., Youth Services Assistant

By lbos on April 29, 2013 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Graphic Novels, Picks by Anne W.

Black Radishes by Susan Lynn Meyer

syndetics-lc

Gustave and his family are Jewish, and they live in Paris, France. During World War II, Gustave and his family leave Paris as the Nazis are getting closer to France. Ultimately, the Nazis do invade France, and a group of French citizens start the French Resistance to help Jewish people get to safer places. If you are interested in historical fiction, Black Radishes by Susan Lynn Meyer is a great example, really giving the reader a glimpse of what it was like to be Jewish in France during World War II. There are multiple viewpoints, with some characters supporting the Jews, and some characters against the Jews. Caudill Nominee. Appropriate for fifth grade and up.

Book reviewed by Anne W., Youth Services Assistant

By lbos on January 14, 2013 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Historical Fiction, Picks by Anne W.

Countdown by Deborah Wiles

CountdownIn Countdown by Deborah Wiles, Franny and her brother have to practice what to do if a nuclear bomb falls on their city. It is 1962, and President Kennedy is trying to manage the Cuban Missile Crisis. There are pictures, songs, and actual news stories interspersed in the story to give a feel for what it was like to live in 1962. Franny is growing up and having a hard time keeping her friendships going. Uncle Ott is having war flashbacks and is trying to get the whole neighborhood ready to build their own bomb shelter. Franny’s older sister keeps getting mysterious letters that she locks in her trunk and won’t let anyone see. Will Franny find out what her older sister is hiding? Will Uncle Ott destroy the front yard to build his bomb shelter? Will Franny and her best friend get to save their friendship? Read more to find out!

Book reviewed by Anne W., Youth Services Assistant

By bjones on September 17, 2012 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Historical Fiction, Picks by Anne W.