Staff Picks 4 Kids

Staff Picks 4 Kids Blog

The Great Greene Heist by Varian Johnson.

Cover image for The great Greene heistJackson Greene is known for a couple of things: his blazer jacket and red tie, and big scale tricks or cons like the “Blitz at the Fitz” or incidents like the “Mid-day PDA.” But for the past four months, things have been different. After his last con blew up, he’s decided to stay on the straight and narrow. That was until he found out that Keith Sinclair is planning on running for student council president against Gabby de la Cruz, Jackson’s former best friend/almost girlfriend who kind of hates him right now.  Jackson knows he shouldn’t get involved, but Keith is known for playing dirty, and he has the greedy principal on his side. So Jackson gets together a group of students, each talented at something different, to make sure the election goes according to plan. And if Jackson wins back Gabby’s respect in the process, and stays out of trouble, that will just be the icing on the cake. If you like mystery, adventure, and fast paced stories, check out this entertaining book.

Book reviewed by Claire B., Youth Outreach Librarian

City of light, City of Dark: A Comic Book Novel by Avi

Cover image for City of light, city of dark : a comic book novelHow can a seemingly ordinary subway token hold the power to light a whole city? When Carlos finds this token, he meets several people who want it. Will the city be frozen over forever by the Kurbs, who actually own the city, and not the humans? Carlos and Sarah have to uncover the truth in this intriguing and fascinating comic book novel. Read more to find out.

Book reviewed by Anne W., Youth Services Assistant

Closed for the Season: A Mystery Story by Mary Downing Hahn

Cover image for Closed for the season : a mystery storyIn the book Closed For the Season by Mary Downing Hahnmiddle-schooler Logan Forbes is clearly NOT having a good summer.  His primary goal is to find some normal friends to hang out with so he can fit in at school in the fall, but moving into the “murder house” throws a wrench into that plan. When Logan and his neighbor uncover the details surrounding an earlier murder at his new house, they are immediately thrown into the middle of a sinister plot involving embezzled money, lies, and a nighttime trek into an old abandoned amusement park called The Magic Forest. In the dark, among the graffiti-covered structures and the overgrown paths, the boys confirm it—they are in over their heads in a deathly serious way.  Do you dare to join them as they uncover the mystery behind a murder?

Book reviewed by Amy M., Youth Services Programming Assistant

Jedi Academy by Jeffrey Brown

Cover image for Jedi AcademyRoan’s life is over. He is never going to leave Tatooine. He didn’t get accepted into the Pilot Academy like is father and big brother and is now going to have to go to plant school. However, that changes when he receives an acceptance letter to go to the Jedi Academy. Roan doesn’t think he is a jedi. He’s never done anything like a jedi before, but he decides to go. With the help of his new friends and his teachers, Roan is about to embark on a strange fun adventure at the Jedi Academy. Now, he just has to survive it. This book is part comic, part diary, and part chapter book. Fans of Origami Yoda and Diary of a Wimpy Kid will really like this book.

Book reviewed by Laura B., Youth Technology Librarian

10 Little Insects by Davide Cali 

Cover image for 10 little insects10 Little Insects by Davide Cali is a graphic novel parody of Agatha Christie’s 10 Little Indians (also titled And Then There Were None). Even if you haven’t read that, you may still recognize this classic mystery formula. A bunch of people, or in this case bugs, are invited to a mansion for the weekend. Each has been lured there for a different reason and once there, they begin dying mysteriously one by one. The surviving insects work together to solve the mystery of which one of them is the killer and the real reason why they have all been brought there. I would recommend this for kids who like graphic novels, mysteries, and have an off-the wall sense of humor. The comic panels work particularly well for throwing in a lot of extra jokes!

Book reviewed by Erin E., Youth Services Programming Coordinator