Jack knows his summer vacation is going to be rough. His mom has to work a second job, which means he has to take care of his sister, Maddy. Maddy is autistic and doesn’t speak. Well, Jack thought that Maddy didn’t speak until she asks Jack for a box of seeds a strange man is selling at the flea market. Jack doesn’t have any money, but then the man says he will do a trade. Jack is okay with that, but he didn’t realize the trade was a box of odd seeds for his mom’s car. The next day, they start working on their garden and the plants that start growing are not normal tomatoes or onions. Instead, there are little onion babies walking around and dangerous mud throwing green hand-like plants. One night, a dragon even appears, but he has a dangerous warning for Jack. This warning could mean upsetting Maddy and making his summer worse. This graphic novel is filled with fantastical plants and animals.
Book reviewed by Laura B., Youth Technology Librarian
Princess Serena isn’t afraid of anything or anyone. She is the bravest girl in all of Empiria (and possible the world). She swings from the rafters, smashes into tables, and accidentally breaks things. Since she is neither calm nor peaceful, Serena decides she needs a different name. The princess decides she should be called Princess Pulverizer. When she decides she would rather go to knight school, her father, King Alexander, tells her she must go on a quest. Knights need to be kind and selfless, and these have never been her strengths. In order to receive permission to attend knight school, she must perform eight good deeds. On her journey, she gets into some difficult situations and meets some new friends. This is a good series for someone who enjoys fantasy and is starting to read chapter books.
Book reviewed by Katie D., Youth Outreach Liaison
In Grump: The (Fairly) True Story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves by Liesl Shurtliff, a grumpy dwarf gets caught up in the feud between Snow White and the wicked queen. Borlen, aka “Grump,” is not like other dwarves. He dreams of visiting The Surface, while most dwarves are terrified of it. Borlen is devastated when he is assigned as the undesirable “Seventh” on a deep underground mining crew. But when the crew unexpectedly digs close to The Surface, Borlen makes his escape aboveground, and finds things are even more wonderful than he imagined. He meets Queen Elfrieda, who spoils him with delicious gemstones… but demands magic in return. Grump ends up stuck in the middle when he discovers the queen’s evil intentions towards Snow White. How can he be magically sworn to serve the queen AND to protect Snow White? And what if the other dwarfs discover what he’s done?
Book reviewed by Erin E., Youth Services Programming Coordinator
Eeeeewwww, an old, abandoned, probably haunted house! Why would you want to go inside? Ruby and Olivia have to because they have gotten into trouble and are completing community service at a summer day camp. Live Oak House needs to be cleaned up so it can be turned into a museum. As Ruby and Olivia start their duties, they hear mysterious noises and see things. Are there ghosts in the house? If so, what do they want? Find out along with Ruby and Olivia, who learn to become friends.
Book reviewed by Anne W., Youth Services Assistant
After an unsuccessful audition, Olive runs into an old vaudeville theatre to escape the New York rain. In the comfort of the empty auditorium, Olive sings her heart out and receives the attention of the mysterious Maude Devore. Olive is immediately offered a part in Maude’s variety show, and she is impressed by the theatre and her new costars. She loves this new “family” especially since her mother has been strict with her. But…why does the food taste strange? And how can her fellow performers demonstrate such death-defying feats without getting hurt? Read this haunting tale to uncover the answers to these questions and more.
Book reviewed by Amy M., Youth Services Assistant