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Staff Picks 4 Kids

The Ugly One by Leanne Statland Ellis

syndetics-lcMicay thinks that she will be bullied forever because of the large scar on her face. In her ancient Incan village, boys constantly call her the ugly one. However, one day a stranger comes to their mountain village on his way to the Sacred Sun City of Machu Picchu. He gives Micay a baby macaw as a gift. Will this new friend help Micay find her voice against her bullies or will she be destined to be the ugly one forever?

Book reviewed by Laura B., Youth Technology Librarian

 

By lbos on December 23, 2013 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Historical Fiction, Picks by Laura B.

Hold Fast by Blue Balliett

syndetics-lcIn one short week, Early loses her father, her home, and her whole way of life. Her family is forced to stay in a homeless shelter while Sum, a stay-at home mom, looks for work. Early refuses to believe that her father abandoned his family and sets out to uncover the truth. Her detecting leads to unexpected twists and turns as she discovers what may be the answer to a years-old diamond theft mystery.  Will Early be able to find her father and save her family?

Book reviewed by Mary S., Youth Services Department Head

By lbos on December 16, 2013 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Mystery & Suspense, Picks by Mary S.

The Sixty-Eight Rooms by Marianne Malone

syndetics-lcIn The Sixty-Eight Rooms by Marianne Malone, 6th-graders Jack and Ruthie take a field trip to the Art Institute of Chicago and fall in love with the Thorne Rooms, a collection of very detailed and beautiful miniature rooms. They also find magic, which takes them on quite an adventure. The plot of this book is sort of a mixture of The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, The Indian in the Cupboard, and Chasing Vermeer. I would recommend it for 3-4th graders who liked those books.

Book reviewed by Erin E., Youth Services Programming Coordinator

By lbos on December 9, 2013 Categories: Fantasy, For Grades 4-6, Picks by Erin E.

Darkbeast by Morgan Keyes

syndetics-lcIn the compelling fantasy, Darkbeast, Keara is a confident girl who lives in a world where her Darkbeast, Caw, is a constant companion.  When her twelfth nameday arrives, Keara runs away from her village rather than be forced to kill Caw, which is required by law. The dreaded Inquisitors hunt them as they race through strange towns to find safety. Keara finds a temporary safe haven with a mysterious group of actors called The Travelers, but it’s only a matter of time until the Inquisitors discover the two.  Will Keara and Caw ever be able to sleep safely again? Find out in Darkbeast! This fantastical tale is continued in Darkbeast:  Rebellion and is highly recommended for those who are fans of the His Dark Materials series by Phillip Pullman.

Book reviewed by Amy S., Youth Services Programming Assistant

By lbos on December 2, 2013 Categories: Fantasy, For Grades 4-6, Picks by Amy S.

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.