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Staff Picks 4 Kids

Zane and the Hurricane by Rodman Philbrick

syndetics-lcZane’s dad died before he was born. Zane is a biracial child, and his mom makes contact with his dad’s grandmother in New Orleans. Zane is going to meet his great-grandmother for the first time, as he knows nothing about his dad’s family. After Zane and his dog Bandit arrive and meet Miss Trissy, Hurricane Katrina hits. There is no power, and Zane, Miss Trissy, and Bandit have to figure out how to get to higher ground before the waters flood Miss Trissy’s house. Zane, Bandit, and Miss Trissy get a ride in the church van, but Bandit is scared and jumps out. Zane jumps out after him and gets separated from Miss Trissy. Bandit goes all the way back to Miss Trissy’s house, and then Zane and Bandit are rescued by Malvina, a 12 year old girl just like Zane, and her guardian, an elderly musician named Tru. Will Zane, Bandit, Malvina, and Tru make it to higher ground? Will they find helpful or harmful people along the way? Read this engrossing book and find out!

Book reviewed by Anne W., Youth Services Assistant

By lbos on August 11, 2014 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Picks by Anne W., Realistic Stories

Close to Famous by Joan Bauer

syndetics-lcCupcakes are the best dessert. Just ask Foster McFee, upcoming television chef. At least she hopes to be when she grows up. However, it is hard to obtain your dream when you have to start over with your mom in a new town called Culpepper, which has some really interesting people living there. Soon the town encounters some unexpected events, and will have to support each other through some tough times if they want to survive. Foster is ready for the challenge, because sometimes things don’t go the way you plan, but you can always just keep on baking.

Book reviewed by Laura B., Youth Technology Librarian

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

Double Dribble by W.C. Mack

syndetics-lcIn Double Dribble by W.C. Mack, fraternal twins Owen and Russ belong to the same basketball team. The team is finally working well together, and it looks like they will make it to the play-offs. Suddenly in mid-season, superstar identical twins Mitch and Marcus join the team without having to try out! Owen and Russ have trouble adjusting to this change and wonder why Mitch and Marcus do everything together?  How can they recreate the same magic Mitch and Marcus have when they play basketball with each other? Will Owen and Russ come together, or will they derail the team? Read this book to find out! Sequel to Mathlete Vs. Athlete.

Book reviewed by Anne W., Youth Services Assistant

By lbos on June 30, 2014 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Picks by Anne W., Realistic Stories

Ungifted by Gordon Korman

syndetics-lcWhat a heap of trouble Donavon Curtis is in this time! Didn’t think things were going to turn out THAT bad, eh? Now what to do, and where to hide? However, by some incredible stroke of luck, Donovan is accepted into the well-admired Academy for Scholastic Distinction Gifted School. What everybody is wondering, though, is just HOW did he get in? Read this amazingly funny book, to “find out” what happens when Donavon Curtis is “found out!”

Book reviewed by Darice C., Youth Services Assistant

By lbos on June 23, 2014 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Funny, Picks by Darice C., Realistic Stories

Seaglass Summer by Anjali Banerjee

syndetics-lcPoppy has never owned a pet, but she wants to be a veterinarian. This summer, while her parents are visiting her family in India, she is going to get first-hand experience working at her Uncle Sanjay’s animal clinic on an island in Washington. While it sounds like it would be great playing with puppies and making sure they are healthy, she also has all the hard jobs like cleaning the floor when the animals have an accident. Suddenly, Poppy isn’t sure she wants to work with animals anymore, but maybe if she can find a lucky charm, a piece of seaglass, to help her through her days, she will find that working with animals is fun and just what she likes.

Book reviewed by Laura B., Youth Technology Librarian

By lbos on May 12, 2014 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Picks by Laura B., Realistic Stories

Zebra Forest by Adina Rishe Gewirtz

syndetics-lcEleven-year-old Annie lives in a house by the forest with her younger brother Rew and her grandmother.  One night she hears something suspicious in the kitchen and finds an escaped convict breaking in.  When Rew tries to run for help, the man grabs Annie in a chokehold and threatens to hurt her.  During the commotion Gran comes into the kitchen and says, “Andrew Snow.  Let go of my Annie B.”  Suddenly, Annie’s world is turned upside down.  Andrew Snow is her father, who is supposed to be dead.  Her life will never be the same again.

Book reviewed by Mary S., Youth Services Department Head

By lbos on May 5, 2014 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Picks by Mary S., Realistic Stories

Kickoff! by Tiki & Ronde Barber

syndetics-lcThe authors of Kickoff! are twins and former NFL players Tiki and Ronde Barber. Tiki was a running back for the New York Giants and three-time Pro Bowl selection. Ronde was a cornerback for the Tampa bay Buccaneers, four-time Pro Bowl selection, and Super Bowl winner.

This story is inspired by their childhood. The twins are starting Junior High and worried about the harder homework, making new friends, and not being in class with each other. But their biggest concern is making the football team. I bet they make the team since they did go on to be NFL players after all but read to book to hear more of their story!

Book reviewed by Keary B., Youth Collection Specialist Librarian

By lbos on April 28, 2014 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Picks by Keary B., Realistic Stories

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