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Staff Picks 4 Kids

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.

The Name of This Book Is Secret by Pseudonymous Bosch

syndetics-lcI read The Name of This Book Is Secret by Pseudonymous Bosch in less than 24 hours. It was funny, exciting, engaging… and pretty strange. From the very first page, the author is talking directly to you, the reader. I was hooked right away. I think this will be a favorite among the 2013 Blue Stem nominees.

Book reviewed by Erin E., Youth Programming Coordinator

By lbos on December 24, 2012 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Mystery & Suspense, Picks by Erin E.

Mirror, Mirror: A Book of Reversible Verse by Marilyn Singer

syndetics-lcIn the book Mirror, Mirror: A Book of Reversible Verse by Marilyn Singer, each spread consists of a page of poems next to an illustrated page. Both the words and the pictures are sort of mirror images of each other (hence, the title of this book), and both are creatively done. Each pair of poems contains exactly the same lines, but the second one is the reverse of the first. My favorite is “Bears in the News” which shows the three bears discovering Goldilocks in their bed– from both the bears’ and Goldilocks’ points of view. It’s so simple, yet so brilliant!

Book reviewed by Erin E., Youth Programming Coordinator

By lbos on December 17, 2012 Categories: For Grades 2-4, Non-fiction, Picks by Erin E., Picture Books

Big Wig: A Little History of Hair by Kathleen Krull

Big WigBig Wig: A Little History of Hair by Kathleen Krull presents hilarious anecdotes that trace the history of grooming and hairstyles around the world. For instance, did you know that the ancient Maya used boards to flatten and elongate babies’ heads, and then tied beads in front of their eyes to encourage them to cross? There are also several absurd ideas people have come up with for curing baldness. These humorous facts, combined with Peter Malone’s silly illustrations, make this book an interesting, fun, and easy read.

Book reviewed by Erin E. Youth Services Programming Coordinator

By bjones on June 18, 2012 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Non-fiction, Picks by Erin E.

The Rock and the River by Kekla Magoon

Rock and the RiverI listened to the audiobook of The Rock and the River by Kekla Magoon and really enjoyed it. The story takes place in Chicago in the 1960’s. Thirteen-year-old Sam’s father is very involved in the Civil Rights Movement; the family has even had Dr. King over for dinner! Sam’s older brother and best friend, “Stick,” gets involved with the Black Panthers, a group that seems at odds with the non-violent protests that Stick and Sam have grown up with. After the assassination of Dr. King, things around the city start to heat up, and Sam gets more involved.

Book reviewed by Erin E. Youth Services Programming Coordinator

By bjones on May 14, 2012 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Picks by Erin E., Realistic Stories

Every Thing On It by Shel Silverstein

Every Thing On ItIf you like Shel Silverstein (and who doesn’t!?!), you’ll love his new collection of poems called Every Thing On It. Though the author is no longer alive, members of his family were able to put together some of his work that had not yet been published. The poems and drawings are as hilarious and strange as his others. In the title poem, a boy imagines a hot dog with literally “everything on it.” The author seems to have an affinity for pelicans because there are quite a few poems about them.

Book reviewed by Erin E. Youth Services Programming Coordinator

By bjones on February 14, 2012 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Funny, Non-fiction, Picks by Erin E.

The Traitors’ Gate by Avi

Traitors' Gate John Huffam’s life in Victorian London gets dangerous when his family is thrown out of their home because of his father’s gambling debts. Now his father may go to prison, and John has to ask his rich old aunt for money,and get a job. When John encounters some strange characters—an orphan girl named “Sary the Sneak” and a man called “Inspector Copperfield”—he begins to question the real reasons for his father’s arrest. The Traitors’ Gate by Avi is an action-packed story full of twists, turns, and treachery. It will not only give you a real taste of Victorian times, but it’ll keep you guessing ‘til the end.

Book reviewed by Erin E. Youth Services Programming Coordinator

 

By MPPL on July 20, 2011 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Mystery & Suspense, Picks by Erin E.

The Seer of Shadows by Avi

The Seer of ShadowsThe Seer of Shadows by Avi is set in New York City in 1872. Fourteen-year-old Horace Carpetine is a photographer’s apprentice, and his nasty boss is trying to take advantage of a rich client, Mrs. Von Macht. The plan is to fake a “spirit photograph”with an image of the woman’s dead daughter, Eleanora. But things take a turn when Eleanora’s ghost literally enters the picture, and Horace must deal with her restless spirit, hopefully thwarting her intentions for revenge. Newbery Medalist Avi weaves a suspenseful and haunting tale—one that I recommend to those looking for a fast-paced story you’ll find both frightening and mysterious.

Book reviewed by Erin E., Youth Services Programming Coordinator

By MPPL on April 5, 2011 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Mystery & Suspense, Picks by Erin E.

Edgar Allan Poe’s Tales of Mystery and Madness & Edgar Allen Poe’s Tales of Death and Dementia

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Gris Grimly is the perfect illustrator for Edgar Allan Poe’s dark and creepy stories. The pictures range from somewhat silly to very grotesque, but they always perfect in bringing the words to life. And how wonderful Poe is with words! His terrifying tales are meant for reading aloud. Listeners are sure to get chills from the classics “The Tell-Tale Heart” in Edgar Allan Poe’s Tales of Death and Dementia and “Black Cat” in Edgar Allan Poe’s Tales of Mystery and Madness.  Both books are totally twisted!

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Book reviewed by Erin E., Youth Services Programming Coordinator

By MPPL on February 7, 2011 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Mystery & Suspense, Picks by Erin E., Short Stories

Research for the Social Improvement and General Betterment of Lydia Goldblatt & Julie Graham-Chang by Amy Ignatow

Research for the Social Improvement and General Betterment of Lydia Goldblatt & Julie Graham-Chang Are you a girl? Do you like the Diary of a Wimpy Kid? Then you need to read the Popularity Papers series!!!! It’s like every girl’s journal but even more hilarious, clever, and fancy, with lots of colorful drawings.  Plus, it’s got the coolest characters, the most embarrassing moments, and a great story about the best of friends.

Book reviewed by Erin E., Youth Services Programming Coordinator

 

By MPPL on December 27, 2010 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Funny, Picks by Erin E.