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Staff Picks 4 Kids

The Great Trouble: A Mystery of London, The Blue Death, and A Boy Called Eel by Deborah Hopkinson

syndetics-lcWant to read an action-packed historical fiction novel that is set in the 1850s? Then look no further! Follow Eel, a boy who spends his days searching for small treasures in the disgusting muck of the river Thames. As if his luck isn’t bad enough, bad guy Fisheye Bill Taylor is after him AND his neighbors are beginning to get sick and die of cholera, a horrible disease. Read this riveting book to discover if Eel can keep out of Fisheye’s way while he tries to help his friends and keep his secrets safe.

Book reviewed by Amy S., Youth Services Assistant

By lbos on August 18, 2014 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Historical Fiction, Picks by Amy S.

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

Fake Mustache by Tom Angleberger

syndetics-lcIn Fake Mustache by Tom Angleberger, all Casper has to do to become president of the United States is buy a fake mustache and a fancy suit. Did I mention that the mustache once belonged to an evil villain and has mind-control powers? With this mustache, he convinces teachers and fast food restaurant employees to rob banks and do his bidding, and he’s convinced the whole world that he should be in charge! It seems nothing can stop Casper and his mustache from taking over the world…but there are two people who aren’t fooled. One is Lenny Flem Jr, Casper’s best friend, and the other is Jodie O’Rodeo, famous yodeling child TV star. Can they thwart the evil plan and bring the world back to normal? You’ll just have to read to find out! Tom Angleberger’s books are really fun to read, with adventure, mystery, and a lot of laughs along the way.

Book reviewed by Claire B., Youth Outreach Coordinator and Volunteen Coordinator

By lbos on July 28, 2014 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Funny, Picks by Claire B

Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell

syndetics-lcSophie’s childhood has always been unusual, which might be expected from someone who began her life life floating the ocean in a cello case.  She is adopted by Charles, a scholar who knows more about Shakespeare than about raising children.  When Sophie breaks the plates, they begin eating off books.  When Sophie has an idea, Charles encourages her to write it on the walls.  And when Sophie believes she can find her mother, Charles helps her look even though everyone else assures her that her mother died in a shipwreck.  Because as Charles says, “Never ignore a possible.”   Her search brings her to France, where she meets Matteo, a boy who lives on the rooftops of Paris.  Matteo introduces Sophie to climbing drainpipes, eating roast pigeon, and exploring the world from above.  It is up here that Sophie hears the cello music that may lead her home.

After reading about Sophie’s exploits, you will never think about life down on the ground in quite the same way. This book is for readers in fourth grade and up who love magical adventures, quirky characters, and happy endings.

Book reviewed by Mary S., Youth Services Department Head

By lbos on July 21, 2014 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Picks by Mary S.

Waiting For the Queen: A Novel of Early America by Joanna Higgins

syndetics-lcMeet Eugenie:  a teen from a noble family who must travel to a French settlement in America to escape possible execution in the midst of the French Revolution.  Meet Hannah:  a young Quaker girl who lives a simple life with her family. In Waiting For the Queen, by Joanna Higgins, these girls’ lives intersect when Hannah’s family is hired to wait on Eugenie and her fellow French aristocrats as they struggle to adapt to the rustic settlement. Eugenie suffers major culture shock when she discovers her new house is a shack instead of a palace, while Hannah has difficulty being forced to curtsy when her religion teaches that everyone is equal.  Read this riveting novel to find out how they try to adjust to their constantly changing lives.

Book reviewed by Amy S., Youth Services Assistant

By lbos on July 14, 2014 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Historical Fiction, Picks by Amy S.

Little White Duck: A Childhood in China by Na Liu

syndetics-lcWhat if only one member of your family was allowed to go to school? In the illustrated memoir Little White Duck: A Childhood in China, Na Liu describes how she went to work with her mother so that her little sister could take the family’s place in school. This was because of the law in China allowing only one child per family. Learn more about Chinese history and folklore as you travel with Na on her adventures in this gorgeous graphic novel.

Book reviewed by Erin E., Youth Services Programming Coordinator

By lbos on July 7, 2014 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Graphic Novels, Picks by Erin E.

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

How Do You Burp in Space? by Susan E. Goodman

syndetics-lcAre you looking for a vacation getaway?  Do you want to travel somewhere far away?  Why not consider going into outer space!

Your generation will be among the first to travel into space as tourists floating high above the Earth.

In the book entitled How Do You Burp in Space? by Susan E. Goodman, you can learn the basics of planning your trip, the actual space flight, and your trip back to your home planet.

What should you pack?  How will you eat, sleep, exercise and shower while on the ship? What kind of preflight training will you need because of g-force and gravity?

For the answers to these and many other questions (including the title question), check out this fun and informational book.

Book reviewed by Carol C., Elementary School Liaison

By lbos on June 16, 2014 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Non-fiction, Picks by Carol C.