Month: March 2020

Staff Picks For Kids Blog

E-Book – Operatic by Kyo Maclear and Byron Eggenschwiler 

Operatic OverDrive BookHave you ever had a hard time making friends? Charlie is more of a shy, quiet person, but she is able to connect with people through music. She discovers opera music and Maria Callas specifically, and is able to be more empathetic to her friends Luka and Emile. Charlie sees that she is not the only person who struggles or feels unsure. She also has a wonderful teacher, Mr. K, who is just the understanding adult you need who will listen to you and not laugh at you. I feel like Charlie could be my best friend if she were a real person. 

This book is also available as an ebook in Overdrive’s Digital Library. 

Book reviewed by Anne W., Youth Services Assistant 

Sarai and The Meaning of Awesome by Saraí González 

Sarai and The Meaning of AwesomeSarai Gonzalez is in fourth grade. She loves to dance, bake cupcakes, and spend time with her family. When she is with them, they pronounce her name the Spanish way, SAH-RAH-EEE, which is different than the English way of SAR-EYE. However, this doesn’t bother her since that means her name is awesome for having different ways to say it. Also, she thinks her life is pretty awesome all the time, but then, she finds out that her grandparents, aunt, uncle, and cousins are going to have to move from the house they have lived in forever. This means they won’t be as close to the Gonzalez’s house anymore and Sarai may not get to spend as much time with her family. How is she going to help them save the house? There has to be a way to make sure they can all stay together. She’s not sure, but she knows it will be awesome. Find out in this chapter book that also includes some great drawings of Sarai and her family.  

Book reviewed by Laura B., Youth Technology Librarian 

Our Castle by the Sea by Lucy Strange 

Our Castle by the SeaBefore the war, Pet was just an ordinary 11-year-old living with her family.  But when Hitler’s bombers begin attacking the English coast, everything starts to fall apart.  Someone in her village is helping the Germans by sabotaging telephone lines and setting fire to buildings.  Since Pet’s mother is German, she is the most obvious suspect.  The tribunal finds her guilty of being a traitor and she is taken away to an internment camp.  Pet is determined to prove her innocence by finding other suspects such as her sister Mags who is keeping secrets or her neighbor Spooky Joe who is skulking around with binoculars and a notebook.  Who is the real spy?  Will Pet be able to find answers that will set her mother free? 

Book reviewed by Mary S., Youth Services Department Head 

The Best Sukkot Pumpkin Ever by Layla Steinberg 

The Best Sukkot Pumpkin Ever A simple picture book about the Jewish harvest holiday of Sukkot. Many families celebrate by building and decorating a hut called a sukkah. 

Micah and his family visit a pumpkin patch to find the best pumpkin for their sukkah, during their search he learns that the ripe pumpkin would also help feed people in a soup kitchen. 

Will Micah keep the best Sukkot pumpkin ever or will he practice Tikkun Olam (repairing the world) demonstrating the importance of sharing and giving to those in need? 

Learn the answer by reading The Best Sukkot Pumpkin Ever by Layla Steinberg. 

Book reviewed by Marsha D., Youth Services Assistant