News from Youth Services

News from Youth Services Blog

How to Find What You’re Not Looking For

by Veera Hiranandani

how to find what you're not looking for book cover
JF HIRANANDANI, V.

Ariel Goldberg is in middle school, dealing with friendship and learning challenges. Ariel is also dealing with family issues, as her beloved older sister Leah leaves home to marry Raj, the Indian man that she has fallen in love with.  When Leah’s parents refuse to accept the marriage, Ariel realizes that it is through poetry that she is best able to communicate her feelings about all that is happening in her life.

This story takes place shortly after the Supreme Court decision Loving v. Virgina in 1967 and is inspired by the author’s own family history.  

Ophie’s Ghosts

by Justina Ireland

ophie's ghosts book cover
JF IRELAND, J.

Ophelia, or Ophie, wakes up one night to her father telling her she needs to get out of the house. Moments later, some men from town come and set it on fire. It is only later that Ophie discovers her father was killed the night before, and that his ghost came to give her the message. She and her mother flee Georgia for Pittsburgh, where they must live with Ophie’s sweet great aunt, but also her horrible aunt and cousins. Seriously, they are really unpleasant! Ophie’s mother gets a job as a maid in a very rich family’s home, and soon Ophie must come to work there as well. All the while, she keeps seeing ghosts, and what’s more, the ghosts know she can see them. They start to ask her for things, things they need said or done so they can pass on. Ophie stumbles across a mystery at her job, and her curiosity and desire to help cause her to put herself in danger, all in the name of solving the mystery and helping one very charming ghost.   

This book takes place in the 1920s, and Ophelia’s family is black. Her father is killed because he tried to vote. Even though black men got the right to vote in 1870, it was basically impossible in the South at that time. And even though Ophie and her mom come to the north, they still experience a lot of racism and bad treatment. The story is a hard and sad one, but also very exciting, and by the end, I was so proud of Ophie for her bravery and compassion. If you like your ghost stories with some historical facts sprinkled in, pick up Ophie’s Ghosts by Justina Ireland. I listened to the book, which was wonderful, so if you like audiobooks, give it a listen.  

Follow that Frog!

by Philip C. Stead

follow that frog book cover
E STEAD, P.

Follow That Frog! is an adventurous story about little Sadie’s elderly Aunt Josephine, who recounts the days when she was in the jungles of Peru on a scientific expedition. Well, while Aunt Josephine was busy cataloging amphibians, she came across a gigantic frog, the biggest frog she ever did see. That huge beast jumped right out from the deep forest, and proceeded to eat up her friend. And then, he hopped away! Oh goodness. 

Check this book out to see some of Aunt Josephine’s wild adventures, and find out if she could ever find that silly green frog again!