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Staff Picks 4 Kids

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

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

Love, Aubrey by Suzanne LaFleur

syndetics-lcIn Love, Aubrey by Suzanne LaFleur, 11-year-old Aubrey thinks she can live on her own. She pretends everything is fine and survives on Cheerios, Spaghetti-Os, crackers, and cheese and even buys a pet fish to keep her company!  In time, her grandmother learns that she is living alone and takes Aubrey back with her to Vermont for some healing, love, and structured family life.  While learning how to heal, Aubrey makes a best friend and receives some good advice.

Will she find her mother?  Will her physical and mental pain ever subside? Can she overcome the terrible tragedy that has turned her life upside down?  This 4-tissue book is heartfelt and beautifully written!  Recommended for grades 4-6.

Book reviewed by Carol C., Elementary School Liaison 

By lbos on December 10, 2012 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Picks by Carol C., Realistic Stories

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume

syndetics-lcTales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume. Peter Hatcher has a two-and-a-half-year-old little brother named Fudge who is a one kid wrecking crew.  This little kid is constantly causing trouble for Peter in one way or another: Fudge scribbles all over his poster project for school, throws a fit in a restaurant and smears mashed potatoes on the wall, tries to fly at the playground while Peter is supposed to be watching him and breaks out his front teeth, and refuses to eat unless he can pretend he’s a dog and eat with his plate on the floor.  Peter wishes they could just trade Fudge in for a real Cocker Spaniel. Worst of all, Fudge gets all the attention and almost NEVER even gets in trouble for anything he does!  Luckily Peter has his best friend Jimmy and his cool pet turtle Dribble.  But Fudge goes way too far when he messes with Dribble the turtle—I don’t want to give away the ending, but Fudge ends up in the hospital! If you have a little brother or sister, you will definitely be able to relate to Peter’s story—but anybody who likes funny stories will love this book.

 

By bjones on November 26, 2012 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Funny, Realistic Stories