Staff Picks 4 Kids Category: Fantasy

The Serpent’s Secret by Sayantani DasGupta

The Serpents Secret book coverKiranmala comes home from school on her 12th birthday to discover that her parents have disappeared from their New Jersey home, there’s a rakkosh demon on her front lawn, and all those stories her parents have always told her about being an Indian princess from another dimension full of demons and magic– well, it turns out it was all true! In order to bring her parents back, Kiranmala and two princes must travel to the Kingdom Beyond, where Kiranmala uncovers surprising facts in her family tree, and comes into her own as a strong young woman.  What sets this novel apart from the rest is the playful tone. I mean, how would YOU react if you’re living a normal boring life and are suddenly meeting talking birds and half-demons? Fans of Rick Riordan will love this action-packed new series!

Book reviewed by Erin E., Youth Services Programming Coordinator

The Missing Piece of Charlie O’Reilly by Rebecca K.S. Ansari

The Missing Piece of Charlie O'Reilly Book CoverCharlie O’Reilly’s younger brother Liam does things to bother Charlie just like many other younger brothers. One year for his birthday, Charlie wishes that his brother Liam would disappear. When he wakes up the next morning, Charlie realizes that his wish came true, and he is the only person who remembers Liam exists. Charlie’s best friend Ana is the only person who believes Liam ever existed even though she doesn’t remember him either. The two friends are willing to do anything, including some things that seem impossible, to bring Liam back. With many twists and turns along the way, this novel is great for 4th-6th graders who like fantasy, adventure, and mystery.

Book reviewed by Katie D., Youth Outreach Liaison

Tumble & Blue by Cassie Beasley

Tumble & Blue by Cassie Beasley book coverBlue Montgomery comes from a cursed family. Some bad, some good, those curses define who they are. Blue can never win, and his father can never lose. Tumble Wilson is a hero in training but instead of saving anyone, she always seems to end up the damsel in distress. Once in awhile comes a special Red Moon that allows one Montgomery to be freed from his or her curse. As the time of the Red Moon approaches, Blue’s grandmother’s house is overflowing with Montgomerys. Will Blue be the one Montgomery to break his curse and will Tumble be able to help him thus fulfilling her destiny to become a hero?

Book reviewed by Mary S., Youth Services Department Head

Princess Pulverizer: Grilled Cheese and Dragons by Nancy Krulik

Princess Pulverizer Grilled Cheese and Dragons by Nancy Krulik book coverPrincess Serena isn’t afraid of anything or anyone. She is the bravest girl in all of Empiria (and possible the world). She swings from the rafters, smashes into tables, and accidentally breaks things. Since she is neither calm nor peaceful, Serena decides she needs a different name. The princess decides she should be called Princess Pulverizer. When she decides she would rather go to knight school, her father, King Alexander, tells her she must go on a quest. Knights need to be kind and selfless, and these have never been her strengths. In order to receive permission to attend knight school, she must perform eight good deeds. On her journey, she gets into some difficult situations and meets some new friends. This is a good series for someone who enjoys fantasy and is starting to read chapter books.

Book reviewed by Katie D., Youth Outreach Liaison

Grump: The (Fairly) True Story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves by Liesl Shurtliff

Grump: The (fairly) True Tale of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves by Liesl ShurtliffIn Grump: The (Fairly) True Story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves by Liesl Shurtliff, a grumpy dwarf gets caught up in the feud between Snow White and the wicked queen. Borlen, aka “Grump,” is not like other dwarves. He dreams of visiting The Surface, while most dwarves are terrified of it. Borlen is devastated when he is assigned as the undesirable “Seventh” on a deep underground mining crew. But when the crew unexpectedly digs close to The Surface, Borlen makes his escape aboveground, and finds things are even more wonderful than he imagined. He meets Queen Elfrieda, who spoils him with delicious gemstones… but demands magic in return. Grump ends up stuck in the middle when he discovers the queen’s evil intentions towards Snow White. How can he be magically sworn to serve the queen AND to protect Snow White? And what if the other dwarfs discover what he’s done?

Book reviewed by Erin E., Youth Services Programming Coordinator