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Staff Picks 4 Kids

Almost Super by Marion Jensen

Cover image for Almost superRafter and Benny Bailey are about to learn their super powers. In their family, everyone gets a super power the year they turn 12 so they can battle the supervillains, the Johnsons. Except this year, their powers are duds. Even Juanita Johnson admits that her power isn’t so super. Despite the warnings of their parents, the three decide to work together to try and figure out what went wrong. Along the way, they learn more about each other’s families and about what it means to be super. This is a funny and exciting read that should appeal to chapter book readers who enjoy movies like The Incredibles.

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

By lbos on September 22, 2014 Categories: Fantasy, For Grades 4-6, Picks by Claire B

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

Fake Mustache by Tom Angleberger

syndetics-lcIn Fake Mustache by Tom Angleberger, all Casper has to do to become president of the United States is buy a fake mustache and a fancy suit. Did I mention that the mustache once belonged to an evil villain and has mind-control powers? With this mustache, he convinces teachers and fast food restaurant employees to rob banks and do his bidding, and he’s convinced the whole world that he should be in charge! It seems nothing can stop Casper and his mustache from taking over the world…but there are two people who aren’t fooled. One is Lenny Flem Jr, Casper’s best friend, and the other is Jodie O’Rodeo, famous yodeling child TV star. Can they thwart the evil plan and bring the world back to normal? You’ll just have to read to find out! Tom Angleberger’s books are really fun to read, with adventure, mystery, and a lot of laughs along the way.

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

By lbos on July 28, 2014 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Funny, Picks by Claire B

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

syndetics-lcWhat do you do when you’re bored? Milo, who is tired of everything he owns, perks up when he notices that the large package in his room is really a tollbooth! Milo gets in his toy car, points to a random place on the map, pulls up to the tollbooth, and is instantly transported to the Kingdom of Wisdom! He travels around with a watchdog named Tock and a grumpy Humbug meeting some strange and amusing characters, like King Azaz and the Mathemagician, who rule the Kingdom of Wisdom but can’t decide whether words or numbers are more important. They’ve banished Princesses Rhyme and Reason, but the kingdom needs them back to restore balance! Can Milo and his companions find the princesses and convince them to come back? Will the rulers of Wisdom finally be able to agree on something? This is a funny and clever adventure that has been loved by children and adults for many years. Pick up a copy today and be transported to another world.

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

By lbos on June 9, 2014 Categories: Fantasy, For Grades 4-6, Picks by Claire B

Monkey and Robot by Peter Catalanotto

syndetics-lcWhat should you do if you are afraid of scary movies, but your friend wants to watch them? If you are Monkey, you cover your head and hum through all the scary music. How do you play hide and seek for the first time? If you are Robot, you hide right behind Monkey so that he will find you right away and you can laugh and hug and jump up and down. Meet Monkey and Robot, who met at work on a space ship, and have silly adventures together. I laughed and had a lot of fun reading these stories, and I bet you will too!

Book reviewed by Claire B., Outreach Coordinator

By lbos on October 28, 2013 Categories: For Grades 2-4, Picks by Claire B

A Little Book of Sloth by Lucy Cooke

syndetics-lcGet ready for a cuteness overload! No, this book isn’t about kittens or puppies, it’s about sloths! I never thought they were cute, until I saw “A Little Book of Sloth”. This book is full of puns, interesting facts about sloths, and a ton of pictures. You’ll learn about the two kinds of sloths—the “Muppet” variety and the “cross between a Wookie and a pig” variety—, what they like to do all day (Hint: Rest and hug. But mostly rest), and meet the superstar sloths at a sloth sanctuary in Costa Rica. Plus, this book will remind you that sometimes, the best thing to do is “just chill” and relax.

Book reviewed by Claire B., Outreach Coordinator

By lbos on September 9, 2013 Categories: For Grades 2-4, For Grades 4-6, Non-fiction, Picks by Claire B

Maximilian & the Mystery of the Guardian Angel: A Bilingual Lucha Libre Thriller by Xavier Garza

syndetics-lcHave you ever heard of Lucha Libre, the style of wrestling from Mexico? Max is obsessed with lucha libre, and with his favorite luchador, el Ángel de la Guarda, or the Guardian Angel. Max thought he was in for a boring summer of truth or dare and driving around in Old Ironsides, his dad’s ancient car. Then the luchadores come to town, and he discovers that he has a surprise connection to el Ángel de la Guarda which will change his life forever. Read this funny and exciting book to find out what happens!

¿Has escuchado de lucha libre, que viene de México? Max está obsesionado con lucha libre, y con su luchador favorito, el Ángel de la Guarda. Max piensa que será un verano aburrido de verdad o atrevemiento y andando en el carro anciano de su padre, Vieja Locomotora. Bueno hasta que los luchadores vienen a su pueblo, y el descubre que tiene una conexión sorprendente al Ángel de la Guarda, que cambiara su vida para siempre. ¡Lea a este libro chistoso e interesante para ver lo que pasa!

Book reviewed by Claire B., Outreach Coordinator

By lbos on July 15, 2013 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Picks by Claire B, Spanish

The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano by Sonia Manzano

syndetics-lcRosa Evelyn Serrano doesn’t like living in Spanish Harlem. Everyone is named Rosa, so she goes by Evelyn. It smells all the time, because the city doesn’t clean up the garbage. And she can’t understand her mother, with her ugly decorations and how she’s practically a slave to her husband and the bodega. Then Evelyn’s grandmother comes to town, with her brightly dyed hair, too high heels, and radical ideas that Evelyn’s mother can’t stand. When some college kids start cleaning up the streets and demanding food and shelter for the neighborhood’s poor, everyone takes a side. Abuela is reminded of the protests she went to in Puerto Rico for its independence, and Evelyn is inspired by the promise of change. But can they convince Evelyn’s mom and the rest of the neighborhood that this is a good change? And will it make a difference? Read this book for a heartfelt, but fun story about growing up, learning where you come from, and standing up for what you believe in.

 

Book reviewed by Claire B., Outreach Coordinator

By lbos on May 20, 2013 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Historical Fiction, Picks by Claire B

Splendors and Glooms by Laura Amy Schlitz

syndetics-lcClara Wintermute disappears on her twelfth birthday. Her parents are devastated, after having lost her three siblings to cholera. Everyone suspects the puppet master Grisini who performed at her birthday party. When he too disappears, his assistants, orphans Lizzie Rose and Parsefall, are left to figure out what happened to Clara. A mysterious letter from a faraway land adds to the mystery:  a rich older woman wants to leave all of her money to Lizzie Rose and Parsefall. But what she wants in return could change their lives forever. This is a pretty complex story, but it is also very exciting. Fans of historical fantasy and mystery may want to give Splendors and Glooms a chance. It’s also a 2013 Newberry Honor!

Book reviewed by Claire B., Outreach Coordinator

 

By lbos on April 15, 2013 Categories: Fantasy, For Grades 4-6, Mystery & Suspense, Picks by Claire B

Liar & Spy by Rebecca Stead

syndetics-lcFrom the beginning, Georges can tell that Safer and his family are different. For one thing Safer and his sister are always home, and their parents let them choose their own names. But he’s happy to have a friend, especially since Georges father lost his job, they had to move from their house to an apartment, and his mother is never home. Georges becomes Safer’s first spy recruit and his mission is to uncover what their neighbor, the mysterious Mr. X is hiding. As Safer becomes more demanding, Georges starts to wonder about the boundaries of friendship. How far should he take this new game?

Book reviewed by Claire B., Outreach Coordinator

By lbos on March 25, 2013 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Picks by Claire B, Realistic Stories