Staff Picks 4 Kids Category: Picks by Anne W.

I am Drums by Mike Grosso

Cover image for I am drumsDrums are Sam’s life. She hears music everywhere she goes, even when she is dreaming. She even makes her own drum kit out of her encyclopedias and her Calvin and Hobbes books so she can practice all the time. Sam wants to become a better drummer, and she has to figure out how she can pay for lessons. This story is funny, sad, and cool.

Book reviewed by Anne W., Youth Services Assistant

The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier

Cover image for The Night gardener : a scary storyA spooky, mysterious tree is at the center of this story. Molly and Kip encounter the Windsor family, who are in need of a housekeeper/cook and someone to take care of their yard. The longer Molly and Kip stay, the more they realize that the tree (which the house has been built around) has magical powers. They also meet a malevolent figure who only comes out at night to take care of the tree. I felt sympathy for Molly and Kip, who have to make their way in the world, because they are not sure they will ever see their parents again. I found this to be a satisfyingly creepy story. Check it out for yourself!

Book reviewed by Anne W., Youth Services Assistant

How to Capture an Invisible Cat by Paul Tobin

Cover image for How to capture an invisible catInvisible Cats? Dogs that can talk? Villains chasing Nate and Delphine? In How to Capture an Invisible Cat by Paul Tobin, Nate and Delphine have to figure out how to shrink Nate’s cat, Proton, to his original size (Nate loves science and experimenting and made Proton the size of an elephant and invisible). The Red Death Tea Society (the villains) are trying to stop Nate and Delphine from shrinking Proton. Who will win? Read this book and find out!

Book reviewed by Anne W., Youth Services Assistant

The Disappearance of Emily H. by Barrie Summy

Cover image for The disappearance of Emily H.Raine is the new girl at school, and she is living in the house Emily H. lived in before she disappeared. What happened to Emily? Do the mean girls know something? Raine has the ability to see “sparkles” on objects, so when she touches them, she can see what happened. Is Emily still alive? Will Raine be able to find her? This is a thrilling mystery that will keep you wanting to know more and find out what happened to Emily.

Book reviewed by Anne W., Youth Services Assistant

City of light, City of Dark: A Comic Book Novel by Avi

Cover image for City of light, city of dark : a comic book novelHow can a seemingly ordinary subway token hold the power to light a whole city? When Carlos finds this token, he meets several people who want it. Will the city be frozen over forever by the Kurbs, who actually own the city, and not the humans? Carlos and Sarah have to uncover the truth in this intriguing and fascinating comic book novel. Read more to find out.

Book reviewed by Anne W., Youth Services Assistant

Hide and Seek by Katy Grant

Cover image for Hide and seekIf you want to read a thrilling adventure that involves geocaching, Hide and Seek by Katy Grant is the one to read! Chase likes to ride his bike and look for treasures with his GPS. He finds a cache one day that has a mysterious note in it from someone who needs help. Chase investigates and finds 2 hungry boys who may have been kidnapped. Will Chase get kidnapped too? Will he be able to rescue them all? Read the story to find out!

Book reviewed by Anne W., Youth Services Assistant

Ruby Goldberg’s Bright Idea by Anna Humphrey

Cover image for Ruby Goldberg's bright ideaHey Scientists! Would you like a machine to do your chores for you? Ruby Goldberg is an inventor, and in Ruby Goldberg’s Bright Idea by Anna Humphrey, she likes to invent Rube Goldberg machines. Rube Goldberg was a cartoonist and an inventor of machines that had many steps to perform a simple task. When Ruby’s grandfather loses his dog, Tomato, Ruby wants to think of a way to help her grandfather to feel better. She decides to make a machine that will pick up the newspaper and put it on the table, and also fetch her grandfather’s slippers and place them by his favorite chair. Tomato used to do these things when he was alive, and Ruby’s grandpa misses Tomato very much.

If you would like to see a Rube Goldberg machine in action, check out the opening sequence of Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure. Pee Wee invents a machine that wakes him up and makes his breakfast each morning. Another example is Wallace and Gromit, they also invent a machine to wake them up and feed them breakfast, which you can see in Wallace & Gromit: The Wrong Trousers.

Book reviewed by Anne W., Youth Services Assistant

Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made by Stephen Pastis

Cover image for Mistakes were madeIf you liked Diary of a Wimpy Kid or the Big Nate books, this book is right up your alley! Timmy Failure is a detective with a sidekick, Total (who is a lazy 1,500 pound polar bear). Timmy illustrates his stories (Total tried, but he does not draw as well as Timmy). This book is very funny, and there are more in this series if you like this first book. Fun fact: The author, Stephen Pastis, draws the comic strip “Pearls Before Swine” that appears in newspapers.

Book reviewed by Anne W., Youth Services Assistant

Zane and the Hurricane by Rodman Philbrick

syndetics-lcZane’s dad died before he was born. Zane is a biracial child, and his mom makes contact with his dad’s grandmother in New Orleans. Zane is going to meet his great-grandmother for the first time, as he knows nothing about his dad’s family. After Zane and his dog Bandit arrive and meet Miss Trissy, Hurricane Katrina hits. There is no power, and Zane, Miss Trissy, and Bandit have to figure out how to get to higher ground before the waters flood Miss Trissy’s house. Zane, Bandit, and Miss Trissy get a ride in the church van, but Bandit is scared and jumps out. Zane jumps out after him and gets separated from Miss Trissy. Bandit goes all the way back to Miss Trissy’s house, and then Zane and Bandit are rescued by Malvina, a 12 year old girl just like Zane, and her guardian, an elderly musician named Tru. Will Zane, Bandit, Malvina, and Tru make it to higher ground? Will they find helpful or harmful people along the way? Read this engrossing book and find out!

Book reviewed by Anne W., Youth Services Assistant

Double Dribble by W.C. Mack

syndetics-lcIn Double Dribble by W.C. Mack, fraternal twins Owen and Russ belong to the same basketball team. The team is finally working well together, and it looks like they will make it to the play-offs. Suddenly in mid-season, superstar identical twins Mitch and Marcus join the team without having to try out! Owen and Russ have trouble adjusting to this change and wonder why Mitch and Marcus do everything together?  How can they recreate the same magic Mitch and Marcus have when they play basketball with each other? Will Owen and Russ come together, or will they derail the team? Read this book to find out! Sequel to Mathlete Vs. Athlete.

Book reviewed by Anne W., Youth Services Assistant