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Staff Picks 4 Kids

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

Odette’s Secrets by MaryAnn MacDonald

syndetics-lcOdette lives in Paris with her father and mother, and the only thing that could make her life better is if she could have a cat, but that is about to change when the Nazi army invades Paris. In this historical fiction novel in verse, Odette’s Secret by Mary Ann MacDonald, Odette and her family face the challenge of surviving World War Two. This is an even harder challenge for them, because Odette’s family has Polish Jewish heritage. Odette’s mother, fearing for her daughter’s safety when her father is taken as a prisoner of war, sends Odette to the countryside to stay safe. In the country, Odette must act like any other child that is not Jewish. If she can do this, she could be safe, but will the rest of her family be safe too? This novel is based on the true story of Odette Meyer and is written in free verse, which is like poetry, but tells a story like a regular novel. If you are interested in the courageous journey Odette and her family took in World War Two, I would check out Odette’s Secret.

 

Book reviewed by Laura B., Youth Technology Librarian

By lbos on February 24, 2014 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Historical Fiction, Picks by Laura B.

Garden Princess by Kristin Kladstrup

syndetics-lcMagic was banished from Princess Adela’s kingdom many years ago.  But until she went to Hortensia’s garden party, she had no explanation for why all Hortensia’s beautiful flowers were still in full bloom in October.  Or why a magpie was stealing jewelry and was talking to her!  In the book Garden Princess, Princess Adela discovers that the attractive girls that were invited to the parties were turned into beautiful flowers—by magic! The handsome young men were turned into servants, and, a magpie!  Princess Adela herself was turned into a dandelion weed.  You will need to read the story to find out the exciting way she was set free from the magic spell!

Book reviewed by Mary Lou H., Youth Services Assistant

By lbos on February 17, 2014 Categories: Fantasy, For Grades 4-6, Picks by Mary Lou H.

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

Pickle: The (Formerly) Anonymous Prank Club of Fountain Point Middle School by Kimberly Baker

syndetics-lcPickle making is serious business. Just ask Ben Diaz, the president of the League of Pickle Makers, a new Fountain Point Middle School club. The club began when Ben created an epic prank by filling his classroom with ball-pit balls. Now, all they need to do is keep it a secret from the principal of the school. However, when the new girl, Sienna, joins the group, her love of bugs may be the undoing of the whole group. Hopefully their pickled eggs will win over the principal and teachers to show that they are a serious pickle making club. That is, if they can find them in time for the big event, or maybe they should let their secret identities create the prank of all pranks…

Book reviewed by Laura B., Youth Technology Librarian

By lbos on February 3, 2014 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Funny, Picks by Laura B.

Dragon Slippers by Jessica Day George

syndetics-lcCreel is in an awful situation. Her parents became ill and died leaving her and her brother to live with her poor aunt and uncle.  Her brother can work but Creel is seen as a burden to the family, so her aunt hatches a plan to sacrifice her to the local dragon in hopes that a knight will come save the damsel in distress and marry her.  Of course, her aunt’s family would benefit financially from this marriage. Well this isn’t your typical fairytale. The dragon doesn’t want to fight and gives Creel a pair of slippers if she will keep the knight away from the cave.  What she doesn’t know is that these slippers have magical powers to control the dragons. Read this book to find out what happens when the slippers get into the wrong hands. Can Creel help the young knight save the Kingdom from certain war?

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

By lbos on January 27, 2014 Categories: Fantasy, For Grades 4-6, Picks by Barb M.

Tangle of Knots by Lisa Graff

syndetics-lcEleven year old Cady has lived in the orphanage with Miss Mallory since she was a baby.  Although Miss Mallory has a “Talent” for finding new homes for orphans, she does not seem to be able to find a place for Cady.  While Cady waits, she utilizes her Talent to bake cakes, hoping one day to bake a cake for her own adoption day.  Cady’s adventures intertwine with a family of children searching for their own Talents, a runaway balloonist, a missing dinosaur bone, and even a Talent thief until her story looks like a tangle of knots, but it may not be as tangled as it seems.  How this story unwinds will surprise you.

Book reviewed by Mary S., Youth Services Department Head

By lbos on January 20, 2014 Categories: Fantasy, For Grades 4-6, Picks by Mary S.

Dog-Gone School by Amy Schmidt with photographs by Ron Schmidt

syndetics-lcThis poetry book has short school related poems with beautiful real pictures of puppies….yes cute puppies in school poses. It is adorable.  I couldn’t put it down without looking at every single page.

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

By lbos on January 13, 2014 Categories: For Grades 2-4, Non-fiction, Picks by Barb M.

Zoobreak! By Gordon Korman

syndetics-lcCalling all young adventure seekers everywhere! This book is for every warmhearted, courageous, animal-loving human being! Zoobreak! the second book in a series by Gordon Korman, is about a group of kids trying to instill order and honesty back to their community. After Cleo, Savannah’s pet monkey, goes missing, Griffin and his talented friends believe they found Cleo at a local zoo. Seeing all the animals badly neglected and mistreated, these spirited youngsters whip up a daring plot to rescue them…ALL of them! But trouble arises taking care of these rambunctious critters and these daring young rebels need to find these animals a better home. What do you think will become of these zoo animals? Will the critter-napping  kids ever get caught? Or will they help to bring justice to the real animal thieves?

Book reviewed by Darice C., Youth Services Assistant

By lbos on January 6, 2014 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Mystery & Suspense, Picks by Darice C.

Stay by Michaela Muntean

syndetics-lcIf you like dogs then this is the book for you. Stay is the true story of ten dogs that were rescued by Luciano Anastasini and became a part of his circus act. Luciano gave the dogs a home when no one else seemed to want them.  Even though he had no experience training dogs, Luciano was able to get the dogs to perform with him by just letting the dogs act like dogs and do things that they liked to do. After two years of working together, the dogs could do all kinds of funny tricks with Luciano.  Profiles of each dog as well as some really great photos of the circus act are included.

Book reviewed by Keary B., Youth Collection Specialist Librarian

 

By lbos on December 30, 2013 Categories: For Grades 2-4, Non-fiction, Picks by Keary B.