Staff Picks 4 Kids Category: Picks by Anne W.

Ruby and Olivia by Rachel Hawkins

Ruby and Olivia by Rachel Hawkins book coverEeeeewwww, an old, abandoned, probably haunted house! Why would you want to go inside? Ruby and Olivia have to because they have gotten into trouble and are completing community service at a summer day camp. Live Oak House needs to be cleaned up so it can be turned into a museum. As Ruby and Olivia start their duties, they hear mysterious noises and see things. Are there ghosts in the house? If so, what do they want? Find out along with Ruby and Olivia, who learn to become friends.

Book reviewed by Anne W., Youth Services Assistant

Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes

Cover image for Ghost boysJerome is shot by a police officer who thinks he has a gun. Jerome’s ghost tells us the story of how it happened. Jerome is a brave boy trying to protect his sister and be safe in their dangerous neighborhood. He deals with bullies and sees drug dealers near his home regularly. Jerome decides to reach out to a new student at his school (which he normally would not do) and makes a real, actual friend. This story was heartbreaking, and so well told that I wanted to enter the book and help the characters myself.

Book reviewed by Anne W., Youth Services Assistant

The Painting by Charis Cotter

Cover image for The paintingAnnie and her mother are very different, and have trouble talking to each other sometimes. Annie finds an old painting in the attic of her house and is drawn to it. It fascinates her every time she looks at it, until she notices one day that things in the painting are actually moving. The more she looks, the closer she gets, until finally she falls into the painting and enters that world. How will she get back? Why do some things feel familiar? Will Annie and her mom improve their relationship?

Book reviewed by Anne W., Youth Services Assistant

I Will Always Write Back by Caitlin Alifirenka and Martin Ganda

Cover image for I will always write back : how one letter changed two livesStarting as an assignment for school, Caitlin is a middle school student in the United States who decides to write to Martin in Zimbabwe. They learn about each other’s lives and become friends long after the assignment has been completed. As Caitlin realizes that Martin and his family are in increasing danger in their country, she and her family find ways to help and eventually get Martin to the United States so he can continue his education. It’s a true story.

Book reviewed by Anne W., Youth Services Assistant

A Night Divided by Jennifer A. Nielsen

Cover image for A night dividedImagine that someone builds a wall in the middle of the night separating your town into different sides. You have to stay on the side you are on and never get to visit the other side. That is exactly what happened when the Berlin Wall was built to separate the West from the East. Gerta, her brother Fritz, and her mom are on the east side while her father and her brother Dominic are on the west side. The people on the east side are watched very closely, and the people on the west side have better living conditions. Gerta is inspired to get her family to the west side, but can she do it without being discovered by the guards? Read this story to find out!

Book reviewed by Anne W., Youth Services Assistant