Staff Picks 4 Kids Category: For Grades 2-4

Sarai and The Meaning of Awesome by Saraí González 

Sarai and The Meaning of AwesomeSarai Gonzalez is in fourth grade. She loves to dance, bake cupcakes, and spend time with her family. When she is with them, they pronounce her name the Spanish way, SAH-RAH-EEE, which is different than the English way of SAR-EYE. However, this doesn’t bother her since that means her name is awesome for having different ways to say it. Also, she thinks her life is pretty awesome all the time, but then, she finds out that her grandparents, aunt, uncle, and cousins are going to have to move from the house they have lived in forever. This means they won’t be as close to the Gonzalez’s house anymore and Sarai may not get to spend as much time with her family. How is she going to help them save the house? There has to be a way to make sure they can all stay together. She’s not sure, but she knows it will be awesome. Find out in this chapter book that also includes some great drawings of Sarai and her family.  

Book reviewed by Laura B., Youth Technology Librarian 

Magic on the Map! Let’s Mooove! by Courtney Sheinmel and Bianca Turetsky  

Magic on the Map! Let’s Mooove!Would you like to ride in a magic camper that talks to you? Finn and Molly decide to check out the camper their dad has brought home while their parents are asleep. When they go inside, they find out that the camper can talk to them and take them places very quickly! The camper takes them to a cattle ranch, and tells them they have some work to do. What will Finn and Molly find? How will they get back home? Read more to find out! First in a series. 

Appropriate for third grade and up. 

Book reviewed by Anne W., Youth Services Assistant 

The Crayon Man: The True Story of the Invention of Crayola Crayons by Natascha Biebow 

The Crayon Man: The True Story of the Invention of Crayola CrayonsHow many times have you used crayons in your life? The answer is probably a lot, but did you know that before there were crayons, the only way to color was to use special artist type crayons that were expensive, broke easily, and some were even toxic? This is what Edwin Binney, an inventor, learned when his wife asked him to try and create a new type of crayon. Soon, he got to work. There were many writing tools at the time including a gray slate pencil, white chalk, and a black crayon, but how to make crayons with other colors. It was a lot of different experiments, mixing of materials, and using different pigments or colors, but soon he created what we know as Crayola Crayons. This true story is filled with amazing colorful illustrations and some unique facts.  

Book reviewed by Laura B., Youth Technology Librarian