Staff Picks 4 Kids

Staff Picks 4 Kids Blog

Thank You, Earth: A Love Letter to Our Planet by April Pulley Sayre

Thank You, Earth: A Love Letter to Our PlanetThe author of Raindrops Roll and Best in Snow has come out with another celebration of nature and its wonders. This book is full of stunning photographs and rich descriptive words. The back matter gives information on how to turn your “thank you” into actions—skipping straws, for example. Sayre also gives location and species detail for all of the photographs, in case you’re wondering WHAT or WHERE some of the amazing pictures are. Thank You, Earth is biology, ecology, math, and life lessons wrapped in a gorgeous package.

Book reviewed by Erin E., Youth Services Programming Coordinator

Knockout by K.A. Holt

KnockoutLevi is tired of being told what he can’t do, of having his mother and brother always hovering and worrying about him. He was born prematurely, and still has some health issues, but that doesn’t mean that he wants to be treated like a baby. His dad encourages him to try a new sport, and he discovers boxing. It turns out he LOVES it, but he can’t tell his mom or brother or they will freak out. This story is a novel in verse, or written in poetry, which makes it a fast read. Levi is a funny guy, who has found that if he clowns around, he will get people laughing with him, instead of at him. I enjoyed the concrete poetry, where the poem takes the shape of something, and Levi’s funny and determined attitude. Pick this book up if you are looking for a fun and fast read about sports, friends, and family.

Book reviewed by Claire B., Youth Outreach Librarian

Lena’s Shoes Are Nervous: A First-Day-of-School Dilemma by Keith Calabrese

Lena's Shoes Are Nervous: A First-Day-of-School DilemmaLena’s Shoes are Nervous, by Keith Calabrese, is a witty story about a young gal on her first day of kindergarten.  Although she is anticipating a fun day, her little school shoes don’t want to go. What can she do? Well, she decides to consult her dad, and between the two of them, and some serious contemplating, they together come up with a creative solution.  A must read.

Book reviewed by Darice C., Youth Services Assistant

Thank you, Omu! by Oge More

Thank you, Omu!This book begins with Omu (AH-moo) in her top floor apartment cooking a thick red stew in a big fat pot for her nice evening meal. Just before she sits down to eat it, there’s a knock at the door. It’s a little boy asking about the delicious smell. What do you think Omu does? Of course she shares her stew! But then, the smell drifts further, and another person comes knocking! And another, and another. Will there be enough stew for everyone? The warm colors on the pages match the warm & fuzzy feelings you’ll get from this sweet book about food, comfort, and community.

Book reviewed by Erin E., Youth Services Programming Coordinator

My Year in the Middle by Lila Quintero Weaver

My Year in the MiddleLu is the daughter of Argentinian immigrants, living in Alabama. She’s in sixth grade, in a recently integrated school and feeling like an outsider of her own because she’s Latina. For the most part, white students and black students sit on opposite sides of the room, are only friends with people who look like them. Lu’s love of running brings her closer to a black student, Belinda, but this also puts her at odds with her traditional parents sometimes. Tensions rise throughout the book with the upcoming election between Brewer and Wallace (the segregationist)… people start choosing sides leading to disagreements between friends, fights, and a lot of confusion about what is right. When Lu ultimately decides to stand up for what she believes in, she’ll discover who her real friends are and who she really is. Pick up this historical fiction novel if you are interested in civil rights, running, and a well written story that’s heartwarming.

Book reviewed by Claire B., Youth Outreach Librarian