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Staff Picks 4 Kids

Beyond Lucky by Sarah Aronson

syndetics-lcAccording to Ari Fish, a super-rare Wayne Timcoe trading card is the best lucky charm a soccer player can have and Ari is the lucky finder of one at the beginning of soccer season. Soon everything is going great for Ari, but bad stuff is coming. His card is stolen, his best friend is acting weird, and his soccer superstar/ forest firefighter brother is in a horrible forest fire. Can Ari and his soccer team win without the card for luck? Will his brother be okay? Find out if Ari’s luck continues in this sports novel, Beyond Lucky.

Book reviewed by Laura B., Youth Technology Librarian

By lbos on April 7, 2014 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Picks by Laura B., Realistic Stories

Calli Be Gold by Michele Weber Hurwitz

syndetics-lcDo you ever feel pressured to achieve great things? If so, you will probably know what Calli Gold feels like. In Calli Be Gold by Michele Weber Hurwitz, Calli tried to please her family and find the one thing she can achieve in. She is exhausted by the effort, and just wants to be an 11 year old girl. When she has an opportunity to be a Peer Helper to second grader Noah, Calli discovers that she can help others and that being herself is just fine. Those of you who have brothers and sisters and have to compete for your parents’ attention, I think you will enjoy this book! There are funny parts, and some sad parts, just like real life. This is also a 2014 Bluestem Award nominee.

Book reviewed by Anne W., Youth Services Assistant

By lbos on March 3, 2014 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Picks by Anne W., Realistic Stories

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

As Simple as It Seems by Sarah Weeks

syndetics-lcWhat would you do if you discovered everything you thought you knew about yourself was a lie? Feisty Verbena Colter gets mad. Then she goes supernatural. Since she doesn’t like who she is, she pretends she is a ghost. When she meets Pooch, a boy from New York City, she tricks him into believing she is the spirit of a drowned girl. This quickly complicates their budding friendship. Did you know that ghosts can only eat white food, get wrinkled when they are wet, and can only fly when they are well rested? The lies keep coming as Verbena struggles to stop Pooch from learning the truth. Then one day Verbena and Pooch get themselves into a mess and need her ghostly powers to save them. What will a very human girl do to save her friend?

Book reviewed by Mary S., Youth Services Department Head

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

Mimi and Maty to the Rescue, Book 1: Roger the Rat is on the Loose! by Brooke Smith

syndetics-lcMimi loves to rescue animals, She has rescued birds, butterflies, and even her dog, Maty.  When Mimi’s Aunt Bee sends her a notebook and Maty a new bandana, Mimi and Maty decide to be the best animal rescuers in town. They get their first case when George calls and tells them that he was rat sitting Roger, the pet rat of his friend, Otto, but Roger has disappeared. Also, Otto is coming home tomorrow! How will they find Roger before Otto gets home? Never fear, its Mimi and Maty to the rescue!

Book reviewed by Laura B., Youth Technology Librarian

By lbos on September 2, 2013 Categories: For Grades 2-4, Picks by Laura B., Realistic Stories

I, Emma Freke by Elizabeth Atkinson

syndetics-lcEmma Freke, spelled f-r-e-k-e, is tired of feeling like a real freak. After all, have you ever met an almost six foot tall, too pale twelve year old? Her mother, Donatella, is always on another date leaving Emma to take care of the family bead shop. Maybe she would feel normal if only she knew her dad and he was around. Her wish is granted one summer when she is invited to the Freke Family Reunion. However, from the moment Emma leaves for the reunion, nothing goes as planned, and she starts to see that maybe her life isn’t as bad as she once thought. Will Emma meet her father? Will she find a place to fit in and feel normal? Check out I, Emma Freke to find out.

Book reviewed by Laura B., Youth Technology Librarian

By lbos on July 29, 2013 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Picks by Laura B., Realistic Stories

Where I Live by Eileen Spinelli

syndetics-lcWhere I Live by Eileen Spinelli is a novel in poems written by a young girl, maybe about 9 years old. She writes about her house, her family, and most of all her best friend, Rose. She is devastated when her father loses his job and they have to move to Pittsburgh and live with Grandpa Joe. The poems vary in length and style, and some are much deeper than others. The pencil illustrations add to the story.

Book reviewed by Erin E., Youth Services Programming Coordinator

By lbos on July 22, 2013 Categories: For Grades 2-4, Picks by Erin E., Realistic Stories

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

Words in the Dust by Trent Reedy

syndetics-lcLife in rural Afghanistan is pretty tough for thirteen-year-old Zulaikha, the main character in Words in the Dust by Trent Reedy.  Born with a cleft lip and teeth that stick straight out, she is constantly teased by the boys in her neighborhood and endures stares every time she goes to the market place.  Her older sister, Zeynab, is beautiful, and her strongest supporter.  Her real mother is deceased and instead she now has to deal with a crabby, pregnant, stepmother who only cares about having a son.  Things start to look up for her when, by chance, she meets an American soldier who says that he has a way that she can get corrective facial surgery at the Army base-and for free!  Also, around the same time, she meets a kind literature professor who offers to teach her how to read and write, in hopes that she can maybe attend school one day.  However, Zulaikha must juggle all of that with her sister’s upcoming wedding to a not-so-nice older gentleman, as well as problems with the helicopter flight that is supposed to take her to meet the American doctor.  Will she have the facial surgery? Does she learn to read and write and eventually attend school?  You will have to read the book to find out!

 

By lbos on June 3, 2013 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Realistic Stories

Liar & Spy by Rebecca Stead

syndetics-lcFrom the beginning, Georges can tell that Safer and his family are different. For one thing Safer and his sister are always home, and their parents let them choose their own names. But he’s happy to have a friend, especially since Georges father lost his job, they had to move from their house to an apartment, and his mother is never home. Georges becomes Safer’s first spy recruit and his mission is to uncover what their neighbor, the mysterious Mr. X is hiding. As Safer becomes more demanding, Georges starts to wonder about the boundaries of friendship. How far should he take this new game?

Book reviewed by Claire B., Outreach Coordinator

By lbos on March 25, 2013 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Picks by Claire B, Realistic Stories