Staff Picks 4 Kids Category: Picks by Claire B

Esquivel! Space-Age Sound Artist/ ¡Esquivel! Una Artista del Sonido de la Era Espacial by Susan Wood, illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh

Esquivel! Space-Age Sound Artist Book CoverJuan García Esquivel grew up in Mexico loving music. He started finding work as a musician when he was just 14 years old, playing piano on a radio station. Later, he made music for a comedy show on the radio, and it was there that he started to experiment with music and sound, making drums sound like a lumbering giant, clarinets like a dog, and having singers make sounds, not words. His music was different from what most people had heard before, sounding like something from outer space. This is a non-fiction story with fantastic illustrations, about a person you might not have heard of before. It’s also fun to listen to his music at the same time. Someone also made silly videos to go along with some of his music, which you can find on the book’s website: http://esquivelbook.com/video.html .

Juan García Esquivel creció en México amando a la música. Empezó trabajando con música cuando solo tenía catorce años, tocando piano para una estación del radio. Después, hizo música para un programa de comedia en el radio. Allí es donde empezó a experimentar con música y sonido, haciendo que los tambores suenan como un hombre torpe, clarinetes como un perro, y tener cantantes haciendo sonidos en vez de palabras. Su música era diferente de lo que personas habían escuchado antes, que suena como algo de espacio. Este es un cuento de no-ficción con ilustraciones fantásticas, sobre un personaje que tal vez no conoces. Es divertido escuchar a la música a la misma vez. Alguien hizo videos chistosos que acompañan a su música, que puedes encontrar en la página del web del libro: http://esquivelbook.com/video.html .

There are English and Spanish copies of this book. The call numbers are: KIT J 780.92 ESQUIVEL, J. or J SPANISH 780.92 ESQUIVEL, J.

Book reviewed by Claire B., Youth Outreach Librarian

Saraí and the Meaning of Awesome/Saraí y el significado de lo genial by Saraí Gonzalez and Monica Brown

Sarai and The Meaning of Awesome Book CoverEvery morning, Saraí sees “you’re awesome” above her bed. Her life is pretty awesome: she has a business selling cupcakes, she knows how to dance, and her family and best friend live close enough to visit all the time. One day, her grandparents announce that they have to move. Saraí doesn’t know what to do…if they move really far away, it will be hard to see them. Their house is important to her, so she decides to save it. Can she do it, with help from her sisters and cousin/best friend? If you like realistic stories and beginning chapter books, try this one. It was written by Monica Brown, and Saraí, a girl who became famous through a music video of the Columbian group, Bomba Estéreo. Now she’s an activist that encourages kids to be true to themselves.

Cada mañana, Saraí ve “eres genial” arriba de su cama. Su vida es bastante genial: tiene su negocio de magdalenas, sabe bailar, y su familia y mejor amiga viven cerca para muchas visitas. Un día, sus abuelos anuncian que tienen que mudar. Saraí no sabe qué hacer… si mudan muy lejos, sería difícil de verles. Su casa es importante para ella, así que Saraí decide salvarla. ¿Puede lograrlo, con la ayuda de sus hermanas y prima/mejor amiga? Si te gustan cuentos realísticos y libros de capítulos cortos, intenta este. Fue escrito por Monica Brown, y Saraí, una niña que se hizo famoso en un video musical del grupo colombiano, Bomba Estéreo. Ahora es activista que motiva a los niños y niñas a ser fiel a uno mismo.

There are English and Spanish copies of this book. The call numbers are: JF GONZALEZ, S. or JF SPANISH GONZALEZ, S.

 

Book reviewed by Claire B., Youth Outreach Librarian

Knockout by K.A. Holt

KnockoutLevi is tired of being told what he can’t do, of having his mother and brother always hovering and worrying about him. He was born prematurely, and still has some health issues, but that doesn’t mean that he wants to be treated like a baby. His dad encourages him to try a new sport, and he discovers boxing. It turns out he LOVES it, but he can’t tell his mom or brother or they will freak out. This story is a novel in verse, or written in poetry, which makes it a fast read. Levi is a funny guy, who has found that if he clowns around, he will get people laughing with him, instead of at him. I enjoyed the concrete poetry, where the poem takes the shape of something, and Levi’s funny and determined attitude. Pick this book up if you are looking for a fun and fast read about sports, friends, and family.

Book reviewed by Claire B., Youth Outreach Librarian

My Year in the Middle by Lila Quintero Weaver

My Year in the MiddleLu is the daughter of Argentinian immigrants, living in Alabama. She’s in sixth grade, in a recently integrated school and feeling like an outsider of her own because she’s Latina. For the most part, white students and black students sit on opposite sides of the room, are only friends with people who look like them. Lu’s love of running brings her closer to a black student, Belinda, but this also puts her at odds with her traditional parents sometimes. Tensions rise throughout the book with the upcoming election between Brewer and Wallace (the segregationist)… people start choosing sides leading to disagreements between friends, fights, and a lot of confusion about what is right. When Lu ultimately decides to stand up for what she believes in, she’ll discover who her real friends are and who she really is. Pick up this historical fiction novel if you are interested in civil rights, running, and a well written story that’s heartwarming.

Book reviewed by Claire B., Youth Outreach Librarian

Drum Roll Please by Lisa Jenn Bigelow 

Drum Roll PleaseMelly and her best friend, Olivia, are all set for rock-‘n’-roll summer camp and on their way when Melly’s parents announce that they are getting a divorce. Then Melly and Olivia get placed in different cabins and bands…but Melly has only ever played with Olivia. Everyone else in her band has a different style of music and it doesn’t seem like they can find any common ground. Her bandmate Adeline becomes a new friend and Melly realizes she has a crush on her. This novel takes Melly through many emotions: angry, confused, shy, scared, curious, understanding. This is a great story about coming out of your shell, romance, and of course, music.

Book reviewed by Claire B., Youth Outreach Librarian