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Staff Picks 4 Kids

Have a Hot time, Hades! By Kate McMullan 

Cover image for Have a hot time, Hades!Everything you know about Greek mythology is wrong, at least according to Hades in this series by Kate McMullan. Zeus is a really myth-o-maniac, (that’s old Greek for liar). Well, it seems Zeus stretched the truth a little bit regarding what actually happened. Now, Hades is ready to set the record straight and make sure the world knows that he’s not really a bad guy.

In this installment, Hades tells the real story of how the Greek Gods came to power and defeated their father Cronus.  This version involves the first Olympics, a kick stone game, and the bucket o’ bolts. Throw in a couple of monsters and you get Hades’ side of the story.  Some of the other Greek Myths retold in the series include the stories of Pandora, Hercules, and Cupid.

Book reviewed by Keary B., Youth Collection Specialist Librarian

By lbos on December 8, 2014 Categories: Fantasy, For Grades 2-4, Picks by Keary B.

Zombiekins by Kevin Bolger

Cover image for ZombiekinsIn Zombiekins by Kevin Bolger, fourth-grader Stanley Nudelman stops by his creepy neighbor Imavitch’s yard sale. There he ends up buying Zombiekins, a creepy stuffed animal that looks part bear, part bunny, and part zombie. After failing to read the directions, Stanley unknowingly unleashes Zombiekins at his school turning classmates into the undead. Nowhere in the school is safe from the plush terror! Stanley has to find a way to stop Zombiekins and turn his classmates back into less terrifying versions of themselves before it’s too late and all the teachers notice the school is full of zombies. Can he do it? Read this story that is equal parts funny and frightening to find out! You might also want to check out the cool black and white illustrations throughout the book.

Book reviewed by Keary B., Youth Collection Specialist Librarian

By lbos on October 27, 2014 Categories: For Grades 2-4, Funny, Picks by Keary B.

Edgar Allan’s Official Crime Investigation Notebook by Mary Amato

syndetics-lcMystery comes to Edgar Allen’s classroom when the class goldfish get stolen. The only clue is a poem left behind by the thief. Edgar Allan is convinced this is his chance to become a famous detective, but will someone else solve the crime first?  It doesn’t take long for the thief to strike again. As Edgar Allan gathers clues and observes his fellow classmates, he notices some surprising things. Is one of them really the thief? Or should he team up with a classmate to find the culprit? Read the book and find out!

This was also a 2014 Bluestem Award Nominee.

Book reviewed by Keary B., Youth Collection Specialist Librarian

By lbos on May 19, 2014 Categories: For Grades 2-4, For Grades 4-6, Mystery & Suspense, Picks by Keary B.

Kickoff! by Tiki & Ronde Barber

syndetics-lcThe authors of Kickoff! are twins and former NFL players Tiki and Ronde Barber. Tiki was a running back for the New York Giants and three-time Pro Bowl selection. Ronde was a cornerback for the Tampa bay Buccaneers, four-time Pro Bowl selection, and Super Bowl winner.

This story is inspired by their childhood. The twins are starting Junior High and worried about the harder homework, making new friends, and not being in class with each other. But their biggest concern is making the football team. I bet they make the team since they did go on to be NFL players after all but read to book to hear more of their story!

Book reviewed by Keary B., Youth Collection Specialist Librarian

By lbos on April 28, 2014 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Picks by Keary B., Realistic Stories

Belly Up by Stuart Gibbs

syndetics-lcTeddy Fitzroy is the only kid who lives in FunJungle, the world’s largest zoo. Action at the zoo picks up when Henry the Hippo, and mascot of the park, dies. Teddy is convinced some one killed Henry, but no one at the park believes him. The only one who will listen is Summer, the daughter of the Texas millionaire who owns FunJungle. Together, they have to track down the hippo killer, even though no one really liked the hippo that was killed. Henry was a pretty mean hippo afterall so the list of suspects is pretty long. Someone doesn’t want Teddy to investigate and strange accidents start happening that put him in danger. Will Teddy and Summer be able to solve this whodunit before someone gets hurt?

Book reviewed by Keary B., Youth Collection Specialist Librarian

By lbos on March 17, 2014 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Mystery & Suspense, Picks by Keary B.

Lemonade War by Jacqueline Davies

syndetics-lcSiblings Evan and Jessie are both smart, just in different areas.  Evan is people smart and knows how to talk to others. His younger sister Jessie is math smart. So smart in fact that she’s skipping third grade and will be in the same grade as Evan. To make matters worse, Evan and Jessie will be in the same fourth grade class in the fall. This news starts the Lemonade War, a bet over which sibling will earn more money selling lemonade during the last week before school. Soon the competition heats up and the siblings use every trick in the book to try and win.  This is a great story about siblings and the competitions and friendships they can have.

This is also a 2014 Bluestem Award Nominee.

Book reviewed by Keary B., Youth Collection Specialist Librarian

By lbos on February 10, 2014 Categories: For Grades 2-4, For Grades 4-6, Picks by Keary B., Realistic Stories

Stay by Michaela Muntean

syndetics-lcIf you like dogs then this is the book for you. Stay is the true story of ten dogs that were rescued by Luciano Anastasini and became a part of his circus act. Luciano gave the dogs a home when no one else seemed to want them.  Even though he had no experience training dogs, Luciano was able to get the dogs to perform with him by just letting the dogs act like dogs and do things that they liked to do. After two years of working together, the dogs could do all kinds of funny tricks with Luciano.  Profiles of each dog as well as some really great photos of the circus act are included.

Book reviewed by Keary B., Youth Collection Specialist Librarian

 

By lbos on December 30, 2013 Categories: For Grades 2-4, Non-fiction, Picks by Keary B.

How to Be a World Explorer by Joel Levy

syndetics-lcReading this book might save your life – for real! A kid in Australia read this book and when he and his friend got stuck in quicksand, he was able to get free, go for help, and save his friend. Some other tips in the book include how to survive an elephant attack and what to do if you are lost at sea.  Who knows when reading this book could come in handy!

Book reviewed by Keary B., Youth Collection Specialist Librarian

 

By lbos on November 25, 2013 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Non-fiction, Picks by Keary B.

Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage

syndetics-lcIt would sure take a lot to be luckier than Miss Moses LoBeau (Mo for short). As a baby, she was found washed ashore during a hurricane by the Colonel who took her in.  Mo now helps the Colonel and Miss Lana run the café in the small southern town they call home.  Mystery comes knocking there when a detective shows up asking all kinds of questions about a murder. The Colonel seems to be the prime suspect with his mysterious past. Mo tries to solve the crime first but will her luck hold out? Bank robbers, race car drivers, and best friends could all become suspects. Parents and kids alike will love the quirky southern charm of Mo as she cracks the case in the Newbery honor title.

Book reviewed by Keary B., Youth Collection Specialist Librarian

By lbos on May 6, 2013 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Funny, Mystery & Suspense, Picks by Keary B.

Remarkable by Lizzie Foley

syndetics-lcHow can you go wrong when the title of the book is Remarkable? I was really looking forward to reading Remarkable by Lizzie Foley, a fun story about a town where all the residents have something that makes them truly remarkable, except for one girl, Jane Doe.  Throw in a mystery, some pirates, and a sea monster and the story must be something remarkable right?  Well, not entirely.  It was definitely enjoyable and fun to read, but I wanted it to be more remarkable than it actually was.  How remarkable do you think it is?

Book reviewed by Keary B., Youth Collection Specialist Librarian

By lbos on March 18, 2013 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Funny, Mystery & Suspense, Picks by Keary B.