Staff Picks 4 Kids Category: For Grades 4-6

Beauty and the Beak: How Science, Technology, and a 3D-Printed Beak Rescued A Bald Eagle by Deborah Lee Rose

Beauty and the Beak: How Science, Technology, and a 3D-Printed Beak Rescued A Bald EagleBeauty is an amazing bald eagle and was born in the wild. She learned to fly, hunt and use her beak to break up food, and live on her own. However, one day that all changed when she was hurt by a bullet. It took most of her upper beak and hurt her face as well. Without her beak, she couldn’t hunt anymore or take care of herself. Luckily, a policeman found her and brought her to a wildlife center where they helped her heal. However, she was still missing her beak and that is when an engineer became interested in helping Beauty. Could they 3D print a beak for her to wear? Would it work the same way her original beak worked? It had never been done before, but maybe this was a way to help Beauty. In this incredible true story, learn how using a 3D printer helped Beauty.

Book reviewed by Laura B., Youth Technology Librarian

Lifeboat 12 by Susan Hood

Lifeboat 12No one can know the difference that is made by making one choice instead of another. Rarely, though, do our decisions mean the difference between life and death.

It did for Ken.

It was 1940 and WW II was at its peak. Britain prepared for the invasion they were expecting from Hitler and his armies. The decision was made to send as many British children as possible to other British dominions like Canada and New Zealand, where they would be safe from the bombing or an invasion by troops. Not every child could go, so a lottery was set up, and names drawn got to go by ship to a new, temporary home in Canada.

And Ken won the lottery! He was especially excited because the children would be sailing overseas in a luxury liner! Everything was as fantastic as he had expected – until the liner was hit by a German torpedo! Little did he realize that his choice of a lifeboat was going to be critical to his survival. (Based on a true experience)

Book reviewed by Loreen S., Youth Services Assistant

Paul Writes a Letter by Chris Raschka

Paul Writes A Letter book coverIn Paul Writes a Letter, Raschka gives us a lovely introduction to St. Paul and his epistles. Paul was a faithful and educated man who in the middle of his life began to believe in the story and teaching of Jesus. He traveled all throughout the Roman Empire to speak of his new way of thinking. While he traveled, he wrote letters to the people he had seen or would see soon.  Paul writes letters about hope and faith and about caring for others.  Each of the fourteen epistles attributed to Paul are featured with its own colorful, double page spread.  Caldecott Medalist Chris Raschka’s new picture book is full of humanity and kindness.

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

The Season of Styx Malone by Kekla Magoon

The Season of Styx MaloneCaleb and his brother Bobby Gene are having an average summer, playing in the woods behind their house, when they accidentally trade their baby sister for a bag of illegal fireworks. Shortly after, they meet Styx Malone, a 16 year old boy. He offers to help them get something better for the fireworks, but it requires some trickery: namely, an elevator trade, where they keep trading things for bigger and bigger things.  Their father doesn’t like them to leave their small town of Sutton, Indiana, fearing what could happen to them in a place no one knows them, but quickly, their friendship with Styx has them doing riskier and riskier things…like swimming in the lake in the woods, hitching a ride on a train, and “trading,” or stealing depending on who you ask. Caleb has always wanted to have an adventure, and he practically idolizes Styx, who doesn’t seem to be afraid of anything. Styx is mysterious and charming and seems to have learned how to get people to like him, but also won’t get too attached to anyone or any place.It’s how he has learned to survive as a foster child. The Season of Styx Malone is an adventure story with laughs and trouble-making, as well as family and friends and the difficulties some people face.

Book reviewed by Claire B., Youth Outreach Librarian

Graveyard Shakes by Laura Terry

Graveyard Shakes book coverThis lively graphic novel features unique settings: a boarding school and a large ghostly crypt underneath a nearby cemetery. While sisters Katia and Victoria begin a challenging adjustment to a private boarding school, Little Ghost, a sensitive ghost, discovers that Modie, a kind Frankenstein-type boy, is being kept alive by his father through nefarious means. One fateful and stormy night, the paths of Katia, Victoria, Modie, and Little Ghost suddenly intersect with dramatic results.

Book reviewed by Amy M., Youth Services Assistant