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Staff Picks 4 Kids

Invincible Microbe: Tuberculosis and the Never-Ending Search for a Cure by Jim Murphy and Alison Blank

syndetics-lcI really enjoyed this real-life medical mystery.  Tuberculosis (TB) has been around for centuries, attacking its victims with horrible, painful symptons, and — truth be told — some of the so-called “cures” have been just as bad.  So why is it so hard to cure TB?  That’s the mystery, and that’s what this book is about.  Dive into the medical twists and turns, and decide for yourself if there is any hope of ridding the world forever of this devastating disease.

Book reviewed by Mary Ann S., Assistant Head of Youth Services

By lbos on October 7, 2013 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Non-fiction, Picks by Mary Ann S.

Bomb: The Race to Build — and Steal — the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin

syndetics-lcThis is one history book that reads more like a spy thriller.  It’s the story of the atom bomb, perhaps the most destructive weapon known to mankind.  Get ready for a wild ride with genius inventors, spies, counterspies, and powerful politicians — all players in this piece of 20th century history.  And hold on as you follow the true twists, turns, and treachery in this exciting account of how the atom bomb came to be.  A great read!

Book reviewed by Mary Ann S., Assistant Head of Youth Services

By lbos on August 12, 2013 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Non-fiction, Picks by Mary Ann S.

Secret Letters from 0 to 10 by Susie Morgenstern

syndetics-lcHumdrum and boring, that is the sad life of our hero, ten-year-old Ernest Morlaisse, who lives in Paris with his very old, very quiet grandmother.  It’s the same old breakfast, same old route to school, same old healthy snack, no phone, no TV, and no computer.  But, believe it or not, Ernest is actually okay with all this, since he doesn’t really know any better.  That is, until Victoria, the new girl in class, scoops him up into her boisterous, messy, wonderful life in a huge, loving family, and he discovers the fun of even simple everyday things like grocery shopping, running in the park, and holding a baby.  He even gets the courage to search for his long-missing father.  Secret Letters from 0 to 10 by Susie Morgenstern is a feel-good story, packed with humor and heart that says it’s okay to live life in a BIG way!

Book reviewed by Mary Ann S., Assistant Head of Youth Services

By lbos on June 24, 2013 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Picks by Mary Ann S., Realistic Stories

The Boy Who Ate Stars by Kochka

Boy Who Ate StarsAre you looking for a quiet, heartfelt story about a very different sort of friendship?  Then you will like The Boy Who Ate Stars, by Kochka.  Twelve-year-old Lucy has just moved to a new apartment in Paris and met someone who changes her life–little four-year-old Matthew.  He’s so different, he behaves differently and he communicates differently.  Lucy finds out that this is because he is autistic.  As Lucy says, it’s like he’s his own little planet, spinning around in his own little universe.  They are an unlikely pair of friends.  But, as they spend time together and share experiences, they develop a trust and understanding that connects their two different worlds in a very unique way. 

Book reviewed by Mary Ann S., Assistant Head of Youth Services

By bjones on June 13, 2012 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Picks by Mary Ann S., Realistic Stories

Sparrow Road by Sheila O’Connor

Sparrow RoadSparrow Road by Sheila O’Connor. It’s so odd–really! For no good reason that Raine can figure out, her mom decides all of a sudden the two of them have to leave their home in Milwaukee and move to creepy old Sparrow Road, an artist retreat out in the middle of nowhere. Turns out, there are secrets everywhere in and around Sparrow Road, and Raine makes some very personal discoveries about friendship, family, forgiveness and love.  If you like stories that tug at your heart a bit, you’ll like this one. 

Book reviewed by Mary Ann S., Assistant Head of Youth Services

By bjones on May 8, 2012 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Picks by Mary Ann S., Realistic Stories

Toby Alone by Timothée de Fombelle

Toby Alone Looking for a good adventure mixed with eco-friendly fantasy and a hero you’ll love to root for?  Then try Toby Alone by French author Timothée de Fombelle.   Thirteen-year-old Toby—a mere one and a half millimeters tall—is on the run from greedy developers who threaten the Great Oak Tree world that is home to him, his family, and his friends.  He’s clever and he’s resourceful, but he’s the only one who escapes exile to the lower branches.  Can he, all alone, expose the developers’ evil plan and save the Great Oak Tree world?  It’s a exciting story, and you’ll be cheering all the way for Toby as he meets this challenge head on! 

Book reviewed by Mary Ann S., Assistant Head of Youth Services

By MPPL on October 3, 2011 Categories: Fantasy, For Grades 4-6, Picks by Mary Ann S.

Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat by Lynne Jonell

Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking RatIn Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat, Emmy longs for the way things used to be, before her parents became rich.  Like when her parents actually liked to spend time with her.  Like when her parents actually cared about her.  Now, Mom and Dad almost act as if  they are under some sort of mean, ignore-our-daughter kind of spell.  Turns out, they ARE!  Watch out for the evil nanny and the despicable potions she concocts from magical rodents.  It’s up to Emmy to save the day — can she do it?  Try this book, especially if you like fantasy adventure and a plucky heroine.

Book reviewed by Mary Ann S., Assistant Head of Youth Services

By MPPL on August 23, 2011 Categories: Fantasy, For Grades 2-4, For Grades 4-6, Picks by Mary Ann S.

A Tale Dark & Grimm by Adam Gidwitz

A Tale Dark and GrimmYou’ll recognize Hansel and Gretel as the heroes of A Tale Dark & Grimm, which is a collection of fractured fairy tales.  But it’s not just their familiar story.  They take you on a tour of nine other lesser know Grimm tales, too.  Be warned, however, and don’t expect all sweetness and light …no sir!  You’ll get big doses of gore, gruesomeness, and dark humor, along with the usual adventure.  If you don’t mind a little bit of horror in your “happily ever after,” you will like this book.

Book reviewed by Mary Ann S., Assistant Head of Youth Services

By MPPL on May 24, 2011 Categories: Fantasy, For Grades 4-6, Picks by Mary Ann S.

The Battle of the Red Hot Pepper Weenies and Other Warped and Creepy Tales by David Lubar

The Battle of the Red Hot Pepper Weenies and Other Warped and Creepy Tales The Battle of the Red Hot Pepper Weenies and Other Warped and Creepy Tales by David Lubar.  Are you looking for something slightly weird to read, kind of bizarre but still kind of funny, maybe even a little scary?  Try one of the “what if” stories in this collection and you are likely to get the creeps.  Like “what if…” the wildest adventure ride at the carnival got a man-eating mean streak?   Read just one of stories, or maybe two, or eat up whole bunch when you’re in the mood for something a little far-fetched, spooky and funny all at the same time.

Book reviewed by Mary Ann S., Assistant Head of Youth Services

 

By MPPL on November 9, 2009 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Funny, Picks by Mary Ann S.

The Battle of the Red Hot Pepper Weenies and Other Warped and Creepy Tales by David Lubar

The Battle of the Red Hot Pepper Weenies and Other Warped and Creepy Tales The Battle of the Red Hot Pepper Weenies and Other Warped and Creepy Tales by David Lubar.  Are you looking for something slightly weird to read, kind of bizarre but still kind of funny, maybe even a little scary?  Try one of the “what if” stories in this collection and you are likely to get the creeps.  Like “what if…” the wildest adventure ride at the carnival got a man-eating mean streak?   Read just one of stories, or maybe two, or eat up whole bunch when you’re in the mood for something a little far-fetched, spooky and funny all at the same time.

Book reviewed by Mary Ann S., Assistant Head of Youth Services

 

By MPPL on Categories: For Grades 4-6, Funny, Picks by Mary Ann S.