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Staff Picks 4 Kids

Fairy Tale Comics by Chris Duffy

syndetics-lcIf you liked Nursery Rhyme Comics, you’ll like Fairy Tale Comics even more! I was really impressed with the diversity of the artwork and the different takes on classic tales. Familiar stories were told in new and interesting ways, plus I read some tales I hadn’t heard before. Favorites include: Little Red Riding Hood by Gigi D.G., in which the lumberjack is a really buff lady, and The Boy Who Drew Cats by Luke Pearson, which made me LOL several times. It was a really fun collection!

Book reviewed by Erin E., Youth Services Programming Coordinator

By lbos on March 10, 2014 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Graphic Novels, Non-fiction, Picks by Erin E.

The Sixty-Eight Rooms by Marianne Malone

syndetics-lcIn The Sixty-Eight Rooms by Marianne Malone, 6th-graders Jack and Ruthie take a field trip to the Art Institute of Chicago and fall in love with the Thorne Rooms, a collection of very detailed and beautiful miniature rooms. They also find magic, which takes them on quite an adventure. The plot of this book is sort of a mixture of The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, The Indian in the Cupboard, and Chasing Vermeer. I would recommend it for 3-4th graders who liked those books.

Book reviewed by Erin E., Youth Services Programming Coordinator

By lbos on December 9, 2013 Categories: Fantasy, For Grades 4-6, Picks by Erin E.

The Secret of Laurel Oaks by Lois Ruby

syndetics-lcThe Secret of Laurel Oaks by Lois Ruby is an intriguing mystery. I loved that this story and ghost are based on a real southern plantation that is said to be one of the most haunted places in America and a “real” ghost that is said to haunt the plantation. I didn’t find it particularly scary, but it was a very well-written and engrossing story. I would recommend this to children who enjoy ghost stories. But although it’s not particularly scary, it does allude to some serious topics within the issue of slavery.

Book reviewed by Erin E., Youth Services Programming Coordinator

By lbos on November 11, 2013 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Mystery & Suspense, Picks by Erin E.

Yummy: Eight Favorite Fairy Tales by Lucy Cousins

syndetics-lcIf you’re looking for super-simplified versions of some best-known fairy tales, look no further than Yummy: Eight Favorite Fairy Tales by Lucy Cousins, the author of the Maisy series. The simplicity makes the pattern of each tale obvious, so that even very young children can begin to learn how to retell a story. Cousins’ signature artwork fits in perfectly with the text. Just be wary of a couple of the illustrations—that is, if you don’t want to see the big, bad wolf’s head separate from his body!

Book reviewed by Erin E., Youth Services Programming Coordinator

 

 

 

 

By lbos on October 14, 2013 Categories: For Grades 2-4, Non-fiction, Picks by Erin E.

Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins

syndetics-lcGregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins is a quick and exciting read, and the ending definitely left me hanging so I might need to read the sequels. Fantasy isn’t my favorite genre, but I do like the idea of other worlds existing that we do not even know about. Gregor doesn’t see himself as a warrior in the beginning, but grows and changes as he faces numerous challenges in the Underland. Parts of the story were a little gross, other parts a little scary, and some parts sad. This would make a good discussion book because there is a lot of adventure, imagination, and many metaphorical themes.

Book reviewed by Erin E., Youth Services Programming Coordinator

By lbos on September 23, 2013 Categories: Fantasy, For Grades 4-6, Picks by Erin E.

Houdini: The Handcuff King by Jason Lutes

syndetics-lcCompelling black-and-white illustrations animate a single stunt from Houdini’s magic career—when he jumped from the Harvard Bridge with his hands and feet bound in handcuffs—in the graphic novel, Houdini: The Handcuff King by Jason Lutes. This book suggests that Houdini’s wife, Bess, helped him perform his escapes by passing a key or a pick to him when they kissed. I would recommend this book to graphic novel fans!

Book reviewed by Erin E., Youth Services Programming Coordinator

By lbos on August 19, 2013 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Graphic Novels, Picks by Erin E.

Where I Live by Eileen Spinelli

syndetics-lcWhere I Live by Eileen Spinelli is a novel in poems written by a young girl, maybe about 9 years old. She writes about her house, her family, and most of all her best friend, Rose. She is devastated when her father loses his job and they have to move to Pittsburgh and live with Grandpa Joe. The poems vary in length and style, and some are much deeper than others. The pencil illustrations add to the story.

Book reviewed by Erin E., Youth Services Programming Coordinator

By lbos on July 22, 2013 Categories: For Grades 2-4, Picks by Erin E., Realistic Stories

Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke

syndetics-lcVery lively narration brought this orphan story to life on the audiobook. A detective is trying to track down two boys that have run away to Venice to get away from their snooty aunt. The boys find shelter with other orphans who are cared for by the “Thief Lord,” who turns out to have a lot of secrets. The story is full of adventure, interesting characters, and a hint of magic.

Book reviewed by Erin E., Youth Services Programming Coordinator

By lbos on July 1, 2013 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Mystery & Suspense, Picks by Erin E.

Hold Fast by Blue Balliett

syndetics-lcI read Hold Fast, the latest book by Blue Balliett, in just two days! So for the weekend I was completely immersed in the world of the Pearl family, taking delight in Blue Balliett’s beautiful writing. It’s no wonder that one of the themes of this book is rhythm… this author is so gifted at creating rhythms with her words. Like her other books, this one has a Chicago setting, and the majority of the scenes take place in a homeless shelter. There are definitely sad moments, but overall this book is full of hope, and it inspires warm, fuzzy feelings about family and what it is we call home.

Book reviewed by Erin E., Youth Services Programming Coordinator

By lbos on May 13, 2013 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Mystery & Suspense, Picks by Erin E.

The Templeton Twins Have an Idea by Ellis Weiner

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The Templeton Twins Have an Idea is the first book in a new series by Ellis Weiner, in which the Narrator tells the story of Professor Templeton, the famous inventor of such products as the Adjust-O-Matic Diving Board and the Battery-Operated Toothpick. He is also the father of 12-year-old twins, Abigail and John, who have recently lost their mother. When the family relocates to a new University, the Professor is met with accusations by a former student who claims that Mr. Templeton’s latest invention—the Personal One-Man Helicopter—was actually his idea. This conflict leads to (among other things): one injured Nanny, two kidnapped children, and several very complicated escape plans. How did this all happen? Read this hilarious adventure to find out!

Book reviewed by Erin E., Youth Services Programming Coordinator

By lbos on January 7, 2013 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Funny, Picks by Erin E.