Allie (short for Alithea) is a girl in need of some good luck. She thought she was having good luck when her family moved into a bigger house complete with her own bedroom. But her luck abruptly changes when her brother, Bethan, now refuses to sleep in his own room due to the creepy writing that appears on his walls. Allie would do anything to get her room to herself again…even try to confront a possible ghost. What do the mysterious words mean? Will Allie ever get her bedroom back? The book’s events take place on another continent, so you will be introduced to names and phrases that are uniquely Australian.
Book reviewed by Amy M., Youth Services Programming Assistant
Do you know how to get water to the top of a building? Or why potholes occur? If you’ve ever wondered how cities work, or enjoy real life applications of science, technology, engineering, and math, you’ll probably like this book. It explains why cities came about and how and why they work the way they do. Along the way, there are fun activities and experiments so you can get hands-on experience with things like building a skyscraper, making a battery, or simulating an earthquake to see what causes buildings to fall or stay standing.
I also liked learning about the history of cities, and seeing how we’ve made things better. For example, before flush toilets, you used to have to use a pot, which got dumped into the street and caused a lot of diseases; or how city planners work to help blind people know when to cross the street. Some signs make a loud beeping noise, like a chirping bird, when it’s time to cross. Others have a raised arrow you can feel with your fingers that vibrates and tells people when to cross and how much time they have. Pick up this book to learn even more interesting facts about cities, and try your hand at planning and building your own city!
Book reviewed by Claire B., Youth Outreach Librarian
Hey Scientists! Would you like a machine to do your chores for you? Ruby Goldberg is an inventor, and in Ruby Goldberg’s Bright Idea by Anna Humphrey, she likes to invent Rube Goldberg machines. Rube Goldberg was a cartoonist and an inventor of machines that had many steps to perform a simple task. When Ruby’s grandfather loses his dog, Tomato, Ruby wants to think of a way to help her grandfather to feel better. She decides to make a machine that will pick up the newspaper and put it on the table, and also fetch her grandfather’s slippers and place them by his favorite chair. Tomato used to do these things when he was alive, and Ruby’s grandpa misses Tomato very much.
If you would like to see a Rube Goldberg machine in action, check out the opening sequence of Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure. Pee Wee invents a machine that wakes him up and makes his breakfast each morning. Another example is Wallace and Gromit, they also invent a machine to wake them up and feed them breakfast, which you can see in Wallace & Gromit: The Wrong Trousers.
Book reviewed by Anne W., Youth Services Assistant
This book is beautifully done and so interesting. Each double page spread has a poem and illustration of a child playing a Chinese instrument. I had no idea there were so many different kinds. The poems are very short and information about each instrument is given.
The London Eye is this big ferris wheel in London. Instead of seats, it has pods that a group of people ride around and you can see all of London from the top. Ted and Kat decide to take their cousin, Salim, on the London Eye before he leaves with his mom to live in America. However, when a stranger approaches them in the line and offers them a free ticket, they decide to let Salim have the ticket since they have both been on the London Eye before. When the ferris wheel stops and everybody gets off, Salim is nowhere in sight. While Aunt Gloria and Ted and Kat’s parents call the police for help, Ted and Kat try to solve the mystery on their own. Their only clue, Salim’s camera and the photos he took while they were together. Will this be enough to find Salim? Check out this great mystery to see what happens.
Book reviewed by Laura B., Youth Technology Librarian