Staff Picks 4 Kids Category: For Grades 2-4

Sam the Man and the Chicken Plan by Frances O’Roark Dowell 

Everyone else in his family has a job. Sam wants to earn money too, so he turns to his neighbors to see if they need help doing chores and lands himself not one, but TWO jobs! One neighbor pays him a whole dollar each time he can convince her cranky old dad to join him for a walk. Sam’s second job is helping Mrs. Kerner take care of her chickens, which he discovers a knack for. Sam is soon on a mission to get a chicken of his own– one that lays blue eggs, which he can sell to his classmates to make even MORE money! Will his plan work? What will he do with all his riches? Find out the answers to these questions and see what else happens to Sam the Man in this charming and funny beginner chapter book series. 

Book reviewed by Erin E., Youth Services Programming Coordinator 

Grace Hopper Queen of the Computer Code by Laurie Wallmark

Grace Hopper: Queen of Computer Code Book Cover“If you got a good idea and you know it’s going to work, go ahead and do it.” Grace Hopper 

This picture book biography is about the unknown queen of the computer code. As a young girl Grace’s brilliant mind for math and science led her to tinker with gadgets. It was no wonder that her personnel motto was: “Dare and Do.” She graduated Yale University as the only woman in her class and became a teacher at Vassar College but wanted to do more to help her country. At thirty six, she was too old and too skinny to join the Navy but her excellent math skills landed her a job writing programs for the very first computer ever built. Grace invented the term “computer bug,” and taught computers to recognize words. Hooper was truly, “Amazing Grace,” a female role model . This was a fun and inspiring book to read. 

Book reviewed by Marsha D., Youth Services Assistant 

The Cardboard Kingdom by Chad Sell 

The Cardboard Kingdom book coverWhat can you do with cardboard, an imagination, and break from school? In the graphic novel, Cardboard Kingdom, the neighborhood kids create a whole new world with a sorceress, a gargoyle, and more. Each chapter introduces you to a new kid and his or her’s cardboard creation like a banshee or a mad scientist. The chapter also shows you what is going on in that particular kid’s life, which could be good or bad. For example, one kid is dealing with bullies and another kid’s parents are getting a divorce. However, through their friendship and creation of their cardboard kingdom, every day of summer is fun. This colorful graphic novel is a great read and may lead to you creating your own Cardboard Kingdom. 

Book reviewed by Laura B., Youth Technology Librarian 

When the Stars Come Out by Nicola Edwards

When The Stars Come Out Book CoverWhen the Stars Come Out by Nicola Edwards, and illustrated by Lucy Cartwright is a celebration of night time. This fact filled book is full of so much fascinating information. Ever wonder about the history and formation of the night sky? Looking for more information about habitats at night and the nocturnal animals that live in them? Have you ever wondered about what happens when we sleep? This book is a joy to read and will surely satisfy curious minds. The illustrations in this engaging book perfectly capture the magic and stillness of our night time world.

A great book to share or enjoy alone!

Book reviewed by Amy S., Youth Outreach and Programming Assistant

Grace Hopper: Queen of Computer Code  by Laurie Wallmark

Grace Hopper: Queen of Computer Code Book CoverGrace likes to think outside of the box. She takes apart clocks, and figures how to put them back together. She is always finding new ways of doing things. When Grace was older, one of her jobs was to write programs for one of the first computers ever built ! She worked on new computers, and continued to write new coding, so even other programmers could more easily read and follow these codes. Grace earned many well-deserved honors during her lifetime. She graduated with high honors, taught as a professor of mathematics, and served in the United States Navy. There were so many more accomplishments, that we just invite you to come by the Youth department and check out this book for yourself. Think of all the possibilities that you could do, with all your talent. You just have to think outside of the box!

Book reviewed by Darice C., Youth Services Assistant