Find
10 South Emerson, Mount Prospect, IL 60056 | 847/253-5675
Font:

Staff Picks 4 Kids

Tumtum & Nutmeg by Emily Bearn

Tumtum and NutmegDaring military campaigns!   Terrifying pirate encounters!  Inspiring prisoner rescues!  These are only a few of the exploits contained in Tumtum & Nutmeg:  Adventures Beyond Nutmouse Hall by Emily Bearn.  From this you might get the idea that Nutmeg and Tumtum are daring thrill seekers.  However, you couldn’t be further from the truth.  They are just two mice who wish to live a quiet existence in their comfortably furnished house.  Instead, mouse-sized adventure seems to follow them wherever they go.  If you are a fan of the Littles, the Borrowers, Beatrix Potter’s Tale of Two Bad Mice, and all things small, this book is for you.

Book reviewed by Mary S., Youth Services Department Head

By bjones on June 4, 2012 Categories: Fantasy, For Grades 4-6, Picks by Mary S.

Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu

Eleven-year-olds Hazel and Jack live in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  They have been best friends since they were six years old.  Suddenly, one day Jack stops speaking to Hazel, and the next day he disappears.  His parents say he has gone to live with his elderly Aunt Bernice, but Hazel doesn’t believe them.  Why would Jack change overnight? And why hasn’t she ever heard of this aunt?  It turns out that fairytales can come true.  There is an enchanted woods in their neighborhood, and Jack has been taken by the Snow Queen.  Now Hazel must go on a perilous quest.  Will she reach Jack in time?  If you love fairytales and the Narnia series, you are sure to enjoy Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu. 

Book reviewed by Mary S., Youth Services Department Head

By bjones on April 3, 2012 Categories: Fantasy, For Grades 4-6, Picks by Mary S.

Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy

Skulduggery PleasantImagine never having to go to school or do homework again!  Instead you can send a copy of yourself to school while you learn magic and save the world.  Of course, there are just a few little drawbacks — danger, death, or at least severe bodily harm.  This is the life of 12-year-old Stephanie Edgely, aka Valkerie Kane, as described in Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy.  Upon the death of her favorite uncle, Stephanie learns that she is descended from a long line of magical beings called the Ancients.  Now she must join the witty, funny (and extremely confident) skeleton detective, Skulduggery Pleasant in order to stop the evil Faceless Ones from completing their plan for world domination.   Equal parts funny and creepy, once you start reading this book, you won’t be able stop!  This is a great book for grades 5 and up. 
 
Book reviewed by Mary S., Youth Services Department Head

By bjones on January 11, 2012 Categories: Fantasy, For Grades 4-6, Picks by Mary S.

Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer Holm

Turtle in Paradise“Everyone thinks children are sweet as Necco Wafers, but I’ve lived long enough to know the truth:  kids are rotten,” says 11-year-old Turtle in Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer Holm.  It is 1935.  Turtle’s mom is a live-in housekeeper, so she has had plenty of experience with mean kids like the ones who set her cat’s tail on fire.  Turtle’s opinion of kids seems unlikely to change after she is sent to live with her aunt, uncle, and three cousins in their crowded house in Key West, Florida.  But before she knows what has happened, Turtle finds herself coming out of her “shell” as she hangs with the Diaper Gang and looks for buried pirate treasure.  Turtle is smart, feisty, and lots of fun.  I hope you enjoy her adventures as much as I did. 

Book reviewed by Mary S., Youth Services Department Head

 

By MPPL on August 8, 2011 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Picks by Mary S., Realistic Stories

One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia

One Crazy SummerIn One Crazy Summer eleven year-old Delphine has been taking care of her younger sisters since her mother, Cecile, abandoned them seven years ago.  When her father sends the girls to spend the summer with Cecile in California, they are hoping for trips to Disneyland and a chance to get to know their mother.   At first, Cecile is too busy writing poetry to spend time with her daughters.  Then Cecile is arrested, and Delphine learns some surprising information that changes the way she thinks about her mother.
 
Although I enjoyed getting to know Delphine, the plot of the book moved rather slowly.  I would mainly recommend this title to die-hard historical fiction fans who are interested in learning more about the Civil Rights Movement.  

Book reviewed by Mary S., Youth Services Department Head

 

By MPPL on April 11, 2011 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Historical Fiction, Picks by Mary S., Realistic Stories

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