Staff Picks 4 Kids Category: Picks by Amy S.

One Last Word by Nikki Grimes

One Last Word, Wisdom from the Harlem Renaissance by Nikki Grimes  

author Nikki Grimes
author Nikki Grimes, photo by Aaron Lemen

Original poems from the Harlem Renaissance are used as the foundation for Grimes new poems in the beautiful poetry book, One Last Word, Wisdom from the Harlem Renaissance. Grimes brings the Harlem Renaissance right to the present with themes of injustice and unfulfilled promises and contemporary African-American illustrators are featured throughout this collection.   The foreword includes a history of the Harlem Renaissance, and poet biographies. The poems are beautiful and the artwork more beautiful still.  

Learn more about the book at the Read Write Poetry blog.

Use our databases for kids to research and learn more about the Harlem Renaissance.

Review by Amy. S.

E-Book & E-Audiobook – Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed

Amal UnboundTwelve-year-old Amal’s dreams of becoming a teacher are crushed when she accidentally insults a member of her Pakistani village’s ruling family. Her punishment is to become a servant for the insulted family. As Amal navigates this new, harsh life, her unwavering courage keep her going.   Amal’s sense of hope makes this ultimately an uplifting story. Anyone moved by Malala Yousafzai will love this beautifully written, suspenseful and empowering story.   

 For Grades 4 and up.   

This book is available as an ebook and e-audio in OverDrive’s Digital Library. 

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

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

Checked by Cynthia Kadohata

Checked Book CoverConor is a typical 11-year-old boy who eats and breathes hockey. After Conor, his dad, and his Doberman, Sinbad, temporarily relocate due to wildfires near their home, he discovers his dog is suffering from cancer and his dad is struggling with his stressful job as a police officer. Because hockey can be an expensive sport, he decides to take some time off to fund his dog’s cancer treatments. With that time off, Conor tries to answer a few questions: will he go back to playing hockey? What can he do to help his dad? What if Sinbad doesn’t recover? Conor’s relatable and thoughtful outlook on life will keep you turning the pages.

Book reviewed by Amy M., Youth Services Assistant

Poetree by Shauna LaVoy Reynolds

Poetree Book CoverPoetree, written by Shauna LaVoy Reynolds and illustrated by Shahrzad Maydani is a picture book about a little girl who, at the end of winter, writes a poem about spring and leaves it tied to a birch tree. Much to the girl’s surprise, the tree writes back! The watercolor illustrations and the sweet text create a lovely celebration of both nature and poetry.

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