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Staff Picks 4 Kids

How to Be a World Explorer by Joel Levy

syndetics-lcReading this book might save your life – for real! A kid in Australia read this book and when he and his friend got stuck in quicksand, he was able to get free, go for help, and save his friend. Some other tips in the book include how to survive an elephant attack and what to do if you are lost at sea.  Who knows when reading this book could come in handy!

Book reviewed by Keary B., Youth Collection Specialist Librarian


By lbos on November 25, 2013 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Non-fiction, Picks by Keary B.

Face Bug Poems by J. Patrick Lewis

syndetics-lcWelcome to the grand opening of the Bug Face Museum. This book combines close up photographs of different bugs with funny poems and comic book type pencil drawings for each bug in the “museum”! You will learn lots of new facts about these amazing bugs and have fun doing it.

Book reviewed by Barb M., Youth Outreach and Programming Assistant

By lbos on November 18, 2013 Categories: For Grades 2-4, For Grades 4-6, Non-fiction, Picks by Barb M.

The Secret of Laurel Oaks by Lois Ruby

syndetics-lcThe Secret of Laurel Oaks by Lois Ruby is an intriguing mystery. I loved that this story and ghost are based on a real southern plantation that is said to be one of the most haunted places in America and a “real” ghost that is said to haunt the plantation. I didn’t find it particularly scary, but it was a very well-written and engrossing story. I would recommend this to children who enjoy ghost stories. But although it’s not particularly scary, it does allude to some serious topics within the issue of slavery.

Book reviewed by Erin E., Youth Services Programming Coordinator

By lbos on November 11, 2013 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Mystery & Suspense, Picks by Erin E.

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

Monkey and Robot by Peter Catalanotto

syndetics-lcWhat should you do if you are afraid of scary movies, but your friend wants to watch them? If you are Monkey, you cover your head and hum through all the scary music. How do you play hide and seek for the first time? If you are Robot, you hide right behind Monkey so that he will find you right away and you can laugh and hug and jump up and down. Meet Monkey and Robot, who met at work on a space ship, and have silly adventures together. I laughed and had a lot of fun reading these stories, and I bet you will too!

Book reviewed by Claire B., Outreach Coordinator

By lbos on October 28, 2013 Categories: For Grades 2-4, Picks by Claire B

Nubs: The True Story of a Mutt, a Marine & a Miracle by Major Brian Dennis

syndetics-lcThis true story is amazing! Nubs was the leader of a pack of dogs in Iraq when he met Major Brian Dennis at one of the United States Marine bases. Although Marines weren’t allowed to have dogs, Major Dennis treated Nubs as if he was part of his family. He fed part of his meals to Nubs, let him sleep next to his bed, and took care of his wounds. However, soon Major Dennis had to leave for a different base 70 miles across the freezing desert and leave Nubs behind. Nubs decided that he wanted to stay with his new family though, and travelled 70 miles across the desert, but what will happen when Major Dennis goes back to the United States? Check out this true animal story that is also a 2014 Bluestem Nominee.

Book reviewed by Laura B., Youth Technology Librarian

By lbos on October 21, 2013 Categories: For Grades 2-4, For Grades 4-6, Non-fiction, Picks by Laura B.

Yummy: Eight Favorite Fairy Tales by Lucy Cousins

syndetics-lcIf you’re looking for super-simplified versions of some best-known fairy tales, look no further than Yummy: Eight Favorite Fairy Tales by Lucy Cousins, the author of the Maisy series. The simplicity makes the pattern of each tale obvious, so that even very young children can begin to learn how to retell a story. Cousins’ signature artwork fits in perfectly with the text. Just be wary of a couple of the illustrations—that is, if you don’t want to see the big, bad wolf’s head separate from his body!

Book reviewed by Erin E., Youth Services Programming Coordinator





By lbos on October 14, 2013 Categories: For Grades 2-4, Non-fiction, Picks by Erin E.

Invincible Microbe: Tuberculosis and the Never-Ending Search for a Cure by Jim Murphy and Alison Blank

syndetics-lcI really enjoyed this real-life medical mystery.  Tuberculosis (TB) has been around for centuries, attacking its victims with horrible, painful symptons, and — truth be told — some of the so-called “cures” have been just as bad.  So why is it so hard to cure TB?  That’s the mystery, and that’s what this book is about.  Dive into the medical twists and turns, and decide for yourself if there is any hope of ridding the world forever of this devastating disease.

Book reviewed by Mary Ann S., Assistant Head of Youth Services

By lbos on October 7, 2013 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Non-fiction, Picks by Mary Ann S.

Tales for Very Picky Eaters by John Schneider

syndetics-lcJames is a very picky eater. He finds broccoli disgusting and milk repulsive. There are also many other foods he does not like, but Dad knows that James need to eat and drink these things. After all, we wouldn’t want to hurt the troll’s feelings that lives in the basement and makes the family’s food. This 2014 Monarch nominee book is great if you are just starting to read chapter books. The chapters are short and there are some really funny pictures. Also, James’s dad comes up with some great ideas for why James needs to eat his food.

Book reviewed by Laura B., Youth Technology Librarian

By lbos on September 30, 2013 Categories: Early Readers, For Grades 2-4, Funny, Picks by Laura B.

Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins

syndetics-lcGregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins is a quick and exciting read, and the ending definitely left me hanging so I might need to read the sequels. Fantasy isn’t my favorite genre, but I do like the idea of other worlds existing that we do not even know about. Gregor doesn’t see himself as a warrior in the beginning, but grows and changes as he faces numerous challenges in the Underland. Parts of the story were a little gross, other parts a little scary, and some parts sad. This would make a good discussion book because there is a lot of adventure, imagination, and many metaphorical themes.

Book reviewed by Erin E., Youth Services Programming Coordinator

By lbos on September 23, 2013 Categories: Fantasy, For Grades 4-6, Picks by Erin E.