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Staff Picks 4 Kids

The Mysterious Howling by Maryrose Wood

The Mysterious Howling In The Mysterious Howling by Maryrose Wood, Miss Penelope Lumley is the new governess at Ashton Place.  Penelope has never been a governess before, but she’s pretty sure it isn’t supposed to be like this. Do all children howl, chase squirrels, and try to climb bookcases? Maybe these children do because they had been raised by wolves until recently found by her employer! Penelope manages to teach the three children how to speak, dance, and hold their knife properly– just in time for the winter dance! But who sets a squirrel loose in the ballroom? Is someone trying to sabotage the children? And how did they come under the care of wild wolves in the first place?  (For grades 5 and up)

Book reviewed by Mary S., Youth Services Department Head

 

By MPPL on February 14, 2011 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Funny, Picks by Mary S.

Igraine the Brave by Cornelia Funke

Igraine the BraveWhat’s a girl to do?  Your parents have accidentally turned themselves into pigs, your evil next-door neighbor is trying to steal your magic books, and your older brother’s magical cooking can only produce blue eggs and dry biscuits (yuck).  Go on a quest, of course.  Igraine sets off to find the giant hairs that will free her parents from their magical spell and save the day.   Igraine the Brave by Cornelia Funke is another great book from my favorite author!

Book reviewed by Mary S., Youth Services Department Head

 

 

By MPPL on November 16, 2010 Categories: Fantasy, For Grades 4-6, Picks by Mary S.

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger

Origami Yoda Are you looking for a good book to read now you’ve finished The Diary of a Wimpy Kid?  Look no further, Origami Yoda is here!  Origami Yoda is a finger puppet made by this really weird middle schooler named Dwight.  Dwight is the kind of nerd who wears the same t-shirt all month, wipes up spills in the cafeteria by scooting across the floor on his stomach, or only answers “purple” when you ask him a question.  The thing is Dwight’s paper puppet can predict the future and suggest the best way to handle a tricky situation.  There’s no way Dwight is that smart.  So is Origami Yoda magic?  The students of McQuarrie Middle School want to know so they start a case file to discover the truth.  Check out their stories and related cartoons by reading The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger.
 
Book reviewed by Mary S., Youth Services Department Head

By MPPL on September 15, 2010 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Funny, Picks by Mary S.

Notes from the Dog by Gary Paulsen (2010 Mosaic title)

Notes From the Dog Notes from the Dog by Gary Paulsen. “You’re not as ugly as you think,” said Dylan’s first note from the dog.  Dylan’s a loner.  His goal for the summer is to talk to as few people as possible.  Then he meets Johanna, a cool, funny graduate student, and starts receiving notes from the dog.  Joanna’s plan is to have Dylan plant a garden for her.  Although his efforts at gardening fail rather spectacularly, his time with Johanna helps him learn to connect with people and even how to talk to the cute girl he likes.  This 2010 Mosaic title will make you both laugh and cry.  You’ll be so glad you met Dylan and his friend.  (For grades 4 and up)

Book reviewed by Mary S., Youth Services Department Head

 

By MPPL on June 29, 2010 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Picks by Mary S., Realistic Stories

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly

Evolution of Calpurnia Tate In The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate, it’s 1899 in Texas and 11-year-old Calpurnia is expected to knit socks and study the proper use of a hankie, but instead she’d rather be a scientist.  Together with her grandfather, she conducts scientific experiments and writes her observations in a notebook.  Her experiments lead to many surprises such as when sweet, woolly Petey the Caterpilllar turns into a giant (and frighteningly creepy) moth.  Wasn’t he supposed to be a beautiful butterfly?  Or when the Smithsonian Institute officially declares that she and her grandfather have discovered a new species of plant.  Whether she is cutting off her hair an inch at a time so her mother won’t notice or getting her brother in trouble for having a new girlfriend, tomboy Calpurnia is sure to make you smile.  (For grade 5 and up)

Book reviewed by Mary S., Youth Services Department Head

 

By MPPL on May 10, 2010 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Historical Fiction, Picks by Mary S., Realistic Stories

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly

Evolution of Calpurnia Tate In The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate, it’s 1899 in Texas and 11-year-old Calpurnia is expected to knit socks and study the proper use of a hankie, but instead she’d rather be a scientist.  Together with her grandfather, she conducts scientific experiments and writes her observations in a notebook.  Her experiments lead to many surprises such as when sweet, woolly Petey the Caterpilllar turns into a giant (and frighteningly creepy) moth.  Wasn’t he supposed to be a beautiful butterfly?  Or when the Smithsonian Institute officially declares that she and her grandfather have discovered a new species of plant.  Whether she is cutting off her hair an inch at a time so her mother won’t notice or getting her brother in trouble for having a new girlfriend, tomboy Calpurnia is sure to make you smile.  (For grade 5 and up)

Book reviewed by Mary S., Youth Services Department Head

 

The Magician’s Elephant by Kate DiCamillo

Magician's Elephant Imagine.  You are at a magic show.  The magician promises to produce a bouquet of lilies, but instead he makes an elephant fall through the ceiling—that elephant lands on a woman’s lap, crippling her legs.  And so begins The Magician’s Elephant by Kate DiCamillo.  Unfortunately, that is the most exciting part of the book.  Although I love Because of Winn Dixie and am a fan of anything involving elephants, I just couldn’t get into this book.  After the elephant falls on page 15, nothing much exciting happens until the book ends 200 pages later.  I give this book a thumbs down.  (For ages 8 and up)

Book reviewed by Mary S., Youth Services Department Head

 

By MPPL on March 17, 2010 Categories: Fantasy, For Grades 4-6, Picks by Mary S.

The Magician’s Elephant by Kate DiCamillo

Magician's Elephant Imagine.  You are at a magic show.  The magician promises to produce a bouquet of lilies, but instead he makes an elephant fall through the ceiling—that elephant lands on a woman’s lap, crippling her legs.  And so begins The Magician’s Elephant by Kate DiCamillo.  Unfortunately, that is the most exciting part of the book.  Although I love Because of Winn Dixie and am a fan of anything involving elephants, I just couldn’t get into this book.  After the elephant falls on page 15, nothing much exciting happens until the book ends 200 pages later.  I give this book a thumbs down.  (For ages 8 and up)

Book reviewed by Mary S., Youth Services Department Head

 

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

Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Things by Lenore Look

Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Things  Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Things by Lenore Look.  From the moment you meet him, Alvin Ho makes you laugh out loud.  He’s afraid of everything.  This means he carries around a PDK (personal disaster kit) containing items such as garlic for scaring off vampires and masks for keeping away girls.  The problem is since he’s too scared to speak in school, a GIRL volunteered to be his desk buddy.  Even worse, she’s made “The Book on Alvin”–all about him!!  Now Alvin has decided he’s allergic to both school and girls.  What is he going to do?  I highly recommend this book.  The audio is great but so is the book with all its amusing illustrations.  Whatever format you choose, you are certain to love Alvin.

Book reviewed by Mary S., Youth Services Department Head

 

By MPPL on October 19, 2009 Categories: For Grades 2-4, Funny, Picks by Mary S.

Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Things by Lenore Look

Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Things  Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Things by Lenore Look.  From the moment you meet him, Alvin Ho makes you laugh out loud.  He’s afraid of everything.  This means he carries around a PDK (personal disaster kit) containing items such as garlic for scaring off vampires and masks for keeping away girls.  The problem is since he’s too scared to speak in school, a GIRL volunteered to be his desk buddy.  Even worse, she’s made “The Book on Alvin”–all about him!!  Now Alvin has decided he’s allergic to both school and girls.  What is he going to do?  I highly recommend this book.  The audio is great but so is the book with all its amusing illustrations.  Whatever format you choose, you are certain to love Alvin.

Book reviewed by Mary S., Youth Services Department Head

 

By MPPL on Categories: For Grades 2-4, Funny, Picks by Mary S.