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Staff Picks 4 Kids

Garden Princess by Kristin Kladstrup

syndetics-lcMagic was banished from Princess Adela’s kingdom many years ago.  But until she went to Hortensia’s garden party, she had no explanation for why all Hortensia’s beautiful flowers were still in full bloom in October.  Or why a magpie was stealing jewelry and was talking to her!  In the book Garden Princess, Princess Adela discovers that the attractive girls that were invited to the parties were turned into beautiful flowers—by magic! The handsome young men were turned into servants, and, a magpie!  Princess Adela herself was turned into a dandelion weed.  You will need to read the story to find out the exciting way she was set free from the magic spell!

Book reviewed by Mary Lou H., Youth Services Assistant

By lbos on February 17, 2014 Categories: Fantasy, For Grades 4-6, Picks by Mary Lou H.

A City Tossed and Broken: The Diary of Minnie Bonner (Dear America Series) by Judy Blundell

syndetics-lcCan you imagine your family being so poor that at 14 you were contracted to a wealthy family to be a servant?  Not only that, but you had to leave your home in Philadelphia and cross the country to San Francisco.  Part of Minnie’s job was to be a companion to Lily, a girl who was close to her own age.  A short time after they arrived in San Francisco, a powerful earthquake hit.  Minnie was in the kitchen when it happened and was safe, but Lily and the rest of the family did not survive.  The lawyer/guardian thought that Minnie was Lily, and she decided to continue this pretense so she would be taken care of.  Minnie had also found a strongbox of money and bonds that she was able to bury until she could come back for it.  Will Minnie be able to live a life of luxury or will she decide she can’t live a lie and tell the truth?  The ending will surprise you.

Book reviewed by Mary Lou H., Youth Services Assistant

By lbos on June 10, 2013 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Historical Fiction, Picks by Mary Lou H.

About Average by Andrew Clements

syndetics-lcIn the book called About Average, Jordan was a sixth-grader who considered herself very average.  She made a special list of things she was good at (just a few), things she was okay at, and things she stunk at.  Unfortunately, the list got into the hands of a girl who made her life miserable because of it. Jordan’s goal was to do something extraordinary by the end of the year.  During the last week of school, she accomplished this in a very surprising way.

Book reviewed by Mary Lou H., Youth Services Assistant

By lbos on February 25, 2013 Categories: For Grades 2-4, For Grades 4-6, Picks by Mary Lou H., Realistic Stories

The Year Money Grew on Trees by Aaron R. Hawkins

syndetics-lcIn The Year Money Grew on Trees by Aaron R. Hawkins, Jackson is only 14 years old when he makes an unusual deal with the neighbor lady next door.  She owns an orchard with 300 apple trees, but since her husband died a few years ago, no one has taken care of it.  If Jackson could get the orchard to produce apples again and make over $8,000, he could “maybe” become the owner.  He has no idea how to grow apples or how much money the apples would make if he did get to sell them.  He talks his cousins into helping him, and it is amazing what they go through to get the trees to produce apples.  After all their hard work, will he really get to keep the orchard, or was he being tricked by the neighbor lady and her son? 

Book reviewed by Mary Lou H., Youth Services Assistant

 

By bjones on February 20, 2012 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Picks by Mary Lou H., Realistic Stories

The Fizzy Whiz Kid by Maiya Williams

The Fizzy Whiz Kid Mitchell Mathis moved often because his dad, an entomologist, changed jobs frequently.  His family had no TV, and he never watched any movies.  So when he moves to Los Angeles and enrolls at Cecil B. DeMille Elementary, where students have moms and dads who are actors, agents, and directors, he is considered a freak!   In The Fizzy Whiz Kid by Maiya Williams, Mitch decides to do something to belong, so he auditions and gets a part in a commercial for Fizzy Whiz soda.  He becomes a hit on TV–until something happens to make people turn against him!  Will he continue to be a TV star or turn back to being a regular kid?

Book reviewed by Mary Lou H., Youth Services Assistant

 

By MPPL on October 25, 2010 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Funny, Picks by Mary Lou H.

When Dinosaurs Came with Everything by Elise Broach

When Dinosaurs Came With Everything When a mom and her son went to the bakery to buy donuts, they saw a sign that read, “Buy a Dozen Get a Dinosaur!”  Mom thought they meant a toy, until the bakery lady came out with a real triceratops!  In When Dinosaurs Came With Everything by Elise Broach, the same thing happened when they went to the doctor’s office for a checkup and to the barber shop.  Mom wasn’t very happy to have 3 real dinosaurs following them home!  But something happened that made mom realize that having them around was not so bad.  The last picture in the book will really surprise you!

Book reviewed by Mary Lou H., Youth Services Assistant

 

By MPPL on August 23, 2010 Categories: Picks by Mary Lou H., Picture Books

Wild Girl by Patricia Reilly Giff

Wild Girl When Lidie’s mom died years ago, her dad and brother left her in Brazil with her aunt and uncle.  Now Lidie is twelve and is going to New York to reunite with her family.  In Wild Girl by Patricia Reilly Giff, Lidie’s reunion is not a happy one.  Her family has a room ready for her, but it is pink with a painting of Snow White.  She has a disastrous first day in school because she doesn’t know English.  But soon a racing horse named Wild Girl changes her life forever!

Book reviewed by Mary Lou H., Youth Services Assistant

 

By MPPL on February 1, 2010 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Picks by Mary Lou H., Realistic Stories

Velma Gratch and the Way Cool Butterfly by Alan Madison

syndetics-lcThe teachers in Velma’s school remember her two older sisters for different reasons, so Velma tried doing things so that her teacher and principal would always remember her, too.  But nothing worked—until the day the class went to the Butterfly Conservatory.  In Velma Gratch & the Way Cool Butterfly by

Alan Madison and Kevin Hawkes, something so special happened to Velma that her teacher, the principal, AND the whole school will always remember her! 

Book reviewed by Mary Lou H., Youth Assistant

By MPPL on May 26, 2009 Categories: Picks by Mary Lou H., Picture Books

No Cream Puffs by Karen Day

syndetics-lcGirls—would you rather wear lip gloss or play baseball?  Guys—how would you feel about a girl joining your baseball team—even if she’s an outstanding player?  In No Cream Puffs by Karen Day, Madison loves to play baseball, and her brother taught her everything she knows.  But her girlfriends make fun of her, and so do the boys.  However, most of the boys come to realize that she just might help them win the championship! 

Reviewed by Mary Lou H., Library Assistant

By MPPL on March 2, 2009 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Picks by Mary Lou H., Realistic Stories

How to Survive a Totally Boring Summer by Alice DeLaCroix

syndetics-lcHow to Survive a Totally Boring Summer by Alice DeLaCroix. A new school year is almost ready to start – you’ve had all summer – did you do what you planned at the beginning?  Randall and his new best friend, Max, come up with some great ideas for the summer.  But their best idea, forming a chess club called the Checkmate Club, turns into a special community project with seniors.   If you enjoy playing chess or have always wanted to learn how to play, this is the book for you.

Book read by Mary Lou H., Youth Services  Library Assistant

By MPPL on August 19, 2008 Categories: For Grades 2-4, Picks by Mary Lou H., Realistic Stories