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Staff Picks 4 Kids

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

syndetics-lcWhat do you do when you’re bored? Milo, who is tired of everything he owns, perks up when he notices that the large package in his room is really a tollbooth! Milo gets in his toy car, points to a random place on the map, pulls up to the tollbooth, and is instantly transported to the Kingdom of Wisdom! He travels around with a watchdog named Tock and a grumpy Humbug meeting some strange and amusing characters, like King Azaz and the Mathemagician, who rule the Kingdom of Wisdom but can’t decide whether words or numbers are more important. They’ve banished Princesses Rhyme and Reason, but the kingdom needs them back to restore balance! Can Milo and his companions find the princesses and convince them to come back? Will the rulers of Wisdom finally be able to agree on something? This is a funny and clever adventure that has been loved by children and adults for many years. Pick up a copy today and be transported to another world.

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

By lbos on June 9, 2014 Categories: Fantasy, For Grades 4-6, Picks by Claire B

Alone in the Forest by Gita Wolf

syndetics-lcHave you been scared in the forest? In Alone in the Forest by Gita Wolf, Musa is collecting firewood when a loud sound scares him and he has to hide in a hollow tree. Musa is able to find his way back to his village because he sees a cow passing by and holds on to its tail all the way back to the village. The illustrator, Bhajju Shyam, uses Gond traditional folk-art style from India. The colorful illustrations are outlined in black and go well with the text.

Book reviewed by Anne W., Youth Services Assistant

By lbos on June 2, 2014 Categories: Picks by Anne W., Picture Books

The Day-Glo Brothers: The True Story of Bob and Joe Switzer’s Bright Ideas and Brand New Colors by Chris Barton

syndetics-lcWere neon colors created? The answer is yes, and this book will tell you how two brothers having fun and experimenting turned into the invention of these colors. This quick nonfiction read is filled with these neon colors and is fun to read.

Book reviewed by Laura B., Youth Technology Librarian

By lbos on May 26, 2014 Categories: For Grades 2-4, For Grades 4-6, Non-fiction, Picks by Laura B.

Edgar Allan’s Official Crime Investigation Notebook by Mary Amato

syndetics-lcMystery comes to Edgar Allen’s classroom when the class goldfish get stolen. The only clue is a poem left behind by the thief. Edgar Allan is convinced this is his chance to become a famous detective, but will someone else solve the crime first?  It doesn’t take long for the thief to strike again. As Edgar Allan gathers clues and observes his fellow classmates, he notices some surprising things. Is one of them really the thief? Or should he team up with a classmate to find the culprit? Read the book and find out!

This was also a 2014 Bluestem Award Nominee.

Book reviewed by Keary B., Youth Collection Specialist Librarian

By lbos on May 19, 2014 Categories: For Grades 2-4, For Grades 4-6, Mystery & Suspense, Picks by Keary B.

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

No Pirates Allowed! Said Library Lou by Rhonda Gowler Greene

syndetics-lcHey kids! Do you like to look for treasure? Join Big Pirate Pete and his crew when they look for treasure at the Seebreezy Library. They have no idea how to act in a library, so Library Lou shows them what they are supposed to do. She also helps them find the treasure, which is a different one than they expected. Funny!

Book reviewed by Anne W., Youth Services Assistant

By lbos on April 14, 2014 Categories: Picks by Anne W., Picture Books

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

Flora & Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo

syndetics-lcHoly Bagumba, do you know what happens when a poor unsuspecting squirrel is sucked up by a super-duper vacuum cleaner and has to be given mouth-to-mouth resuscitation?  A superhero squirrel named Ulysses is born.

Mission 1:  Find food.  Being a superhero is hungry work.

Mission 2:  Find a place to live.  Flora, the girl who saved him, seems nice.

Mission 3:  Save the world.

Dangers are everywhere:  Flora’s mom wants to kill him.  A man attacks him with a knife.  And when he tries to fly, he lands smack into the door and gives himself a head injury.

Will Ulysses recover from his head wound?  Will he be able to accomplish heroic deeds?  And most importantly, will he be able to finish his poetry (He’s a writer as well as a superhero)?

Part comic strip, part novel, this story is a hoot!!   I defy you to stop laughing as you see Ulysses get his feet stuck in the waitress’ beehive hairdo or read his love poem to a donut.  I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did.

Book reviewed by Mary S., Youth Services Department Head

By lbos on March 31, 2014 Categories: Fantasy, For Grades 4-6, Picks by Mary S.