Giraffe is bored and looking for a friend, so he writes a letter for Pelican to deliver across the horizon. There Pelican finds Penguin, and a series of letters result, with some pretty funny misunderstandings when Giraffe decides to dress up as his new friend, Penguin, and visit him. Since Giraffe has never seen a penguin before, he makes all kinds of mistakes on the costume. This is a super funny titles that would also make a great read aloud to young children, classrooms, or families. Just remember to show the great illustrations that really bring the story to life.
The book Around the World in a Bathtub by Wade Bradford shows different ways that people bathe around the world. Some illustrations show modern tubs and showers, while others demonstrate historic traditions or ceremonies, such as people in India bathing in the Ganges River. In every example there is an adult trying to get a child into the bath and a child who doesn’t want to go. The adult is shown saying “yes, yes” and the child saying “no, no” in many different languages. This book provides a window for the very young to see how people do things differently in different parts of the world, but also a mirror into their own lives. We are all different, but we all bathe!
Book reviewed by Erin E., Youth Services Programming Coordinator
Ren’s family decides to move to the outskirts of town. He misses being close to his best friend, Aiden, and he just wants things to go back to normal. Imagine his surprise when he looks up in the sky and sees birds just falling towards the ground. He watches closer and begins to think they’re falling on purpose.
As he investigates, he learns his new neighbor, Sutton, is training the pigeons to fly in competition. While Ren becomes better friends with Sutton, he faces some challenges in his friendship with Aiden. Ren has to figure out the type of friend he wants to be and the type of friends he wants to have. I would recommend this book for 4th-6th graders who love realistic fiction.
Book reviewed by Katie D., Youth Outreach Liaison
One night, Astrid’s mom takes her and her best friend to a roller derby, and this sets off a course of events that changes Astrid’s life. Astrid becomes obsessed with everything roller derby and decides to join roller derby camp the summer before entering junior high. This decision leads to some major problems with her best friend. To add to her troubles, Astrid discovers that skating for the roller derbies is much harder than she ever imagined, and she can’t think of an awesome roller name like the other girls in the league. How will she ever be as talented as her idol, Rainbow Bite? Roller Girl is a fun, entertaining graphic novel with strong female role models. It is a great choice for those who enjoyed reading Smile.
This title is also a 2018 Bluestem Award Nominee and Winner.
Auma’s Long Run transports the reader to a Kenya where people are just discovering and coming to grips with the AIDS epidemic. Auma, unlike most of her classmates, looks beyond a career as a farmer or wife and dreams of being a doctor. It’s part of why she works to understand why so many people are dying and what can be done. Auma, and most in her community, have to deal with being poor and the limited options there are for women, but she has a great relationship with her family, and the whole community works together to help one another. The author did a good job of putting us in that setting, so that even though it is not my own culture, I could relate. Auma is not only a dutiful daughter and student, but a runner and someone who wishes to go back to being a child. Her friends and classmates experience grief, taunting, romantic feelings, and moments of laughter, just like teens here. I recommend this story especially to middle grade and teen readers who want a new perspective.
Book reviewed by Claire B., Youth Outreach Librarian