News from Youth Services

News from Youth Services Blog

Scritch Scratch

by Lindsay Currie

scritch scratch book cover
JF CURRIE, L.

Do you like ghost stories? How about ghost stories that aren’t too scary? Well, author Lindsay Currie has a great one for you! (And it even takes place in Chicago!) 

Claire’s dad gives ghost tours around the city. (There are really people who do that; I’ve gone!) Claire hates going on his tours – they creep her out. But one night, he really needs her help, so she has to go.  

Riding in his bus, visiting cemeteries and haunted buildings, all is going pretty well–that is until one of the ghosts decides to follow Claire home! Now the real “fun” begins! 

Mid-Autumn Festival

Today marks the holiday of the Mid-Autumn Festival. This is celebrated by millions in East Asia. This is celebrated around the time of the harvest moon which can change each year.

Many will participating in activities like moon gazing and lantern. The symbol of a rabbit on a moon is used by many Asian countries. For more information about this festival visit, How Different Countries in Asia Celebrate the Mid- Autumn Festival.

yellow moon in starry sky
image courtesy of Pixabay Images

Check out some of our favorites all about the Mid- Autumn Festival. If you would like more options please contact the youth desk.

Moon Messenger: A Family Reunion During the Mid-Autumn Festival book cover
Moon Messenger: A Family Reunion During the Mid-Autumn Festival by Jie Wei
Thanking the Moon: Celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival book cover
Thanking the Moon: Celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival by Grace Lin
the shadow in the moon book cover
The Shadow in the Moon by Christina Matula
Celebrations Around the World book cover
Celebrations Around the World by DK

It Fell From the Sky

by Terry Fan and Eric Fan

It Fell from the Sky book cover
E FAN, T.

A wonderful thing falls from the sky on a Thursday. The insects debate what exactly this wonder could be. While they are busy deciding, the clever spider takes the wonder for his own. For him, the wonder is more than a mysterious beauty; it is an opportunity for wealth. Fueled by greed he gains power– until finally, it pushes everyone away.  

This morality tale is beautifully illustrated in mostly black and white with brilliant pops of color. The whimsical drawings are so expertly crafted that they look 3D. Text does not crowd the page which allows the illustrations to truly shine. Younger children will appreciate the pictures. Older children will be able to discuss the lessons about the adversarial relationship between avarice and friendship. 

In the Key of Us

by Mariama Lockington

in the key of us book cover
JF LOCKINGTON, M.

Harmony Music Camp is a big deal. You have to apply and be accepted for camp, and each week you audition for your seat in the band.  

This is Andi’s first year at camp, and it kind of feels like her aunt and uncle are trying to get rid of her for the summer. Her mother died ten months ago and she hasn’t been able to adjust to life with her aunt and uncle or enjoy the things she used to, like playing the trumpet.  

Zora has been going for many years and has many friends, but because she and Andi are black, people seem to think they should be best friends. And at first, they are definitely not. Andi wears all black and mostly keeps to herself. Zora is bubbly and colorful and friends with everyone. But behind it all, Zora feels all this anxiety to be the best and make her parents happy. And as Andi and Zora get to know one another, they grow closer. Each helps the other be truer to herself and happier. 

If you couldn’t already tell, this book deals with some difficult subjects: death of a parent and anxiety among them, but also self-harm. However, this is also the story of first love and a first kiss.  

Because this is a story about a music camp, there is also a lot of talk about music. The author created a playlist on Spotify to listen to everything mentioned, which I really enjoyed because it let me get to know the characters a little better. Here is the link: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/0OhGaB2Ao5WGTl07C0uCDn?si=dc0313ab6f804301  

This story is best for readers of realistic fiction, who can handle some of the sad things and will enjoy the budding romance. I hope you enjoy the world of Andi and Zora as much as I did!