Staff Picks 4 Kids Category: Picks by Jan P.

Swindle by Gordon Korman

SwindleSwindle by Gordon Korman. Although he’s a kid, Griffin is known as “the man with a plan.” After being swindled out of a valuable Babe Ruth baseball card, the sale of which could have solved his family’s money troubles, Griffin knows he needs a plan more than ever. Can he assemble a team of his clever friends–talented champions in their own right–to accomplish an even bigger swindle and get the card back to the rightful owner? I liked how the kids used their unique gifts in such creative ways and how they realized the value of doing their best, no matter how large or small a part they played.

Book reviewed by Jan P., Preschool/Childcare Liason

Easy as Pie by Cari Best

Easy as Pie Easy as Pie by Cari Best. Wearing his chef’s hat and apron and remembering tips from his favorite television cooking show, Jacob makes a fresh peach pie for his parents’ anniversary. But the family has anniversary dinner reservations! Will there be time for the pie to cool so they can eat it before they have to leave? Jacob tries to find a way that is “easy as pie” so the family can leave happy and on time!

Book reviewed by Jan P., Preschool/Childcare Liason


A Small White Scar by K. A. Nuzum

Small White Scar The cowboy’s shadow on the cover of the book helped me decide to read the Rebecca Caudill nominee A Small White Scar by K. A. Nuzum. Careful plans to ride away from his responsibilities on the farm toward the more exciting adventures of life as a professional rodeo cowboy become complicated when Will discovers his twin brother following him! Too far from home (and now with his brother in need of medical help), Will realizes he knows a lot, but he still has much to learn about having a life of independence.

Book reviewed by Jan Penner, Preschool/Childcare Liason

The Littlest Dinosaur by Michael Foreman

syndetics-lcI enjoyed reading The Littlest Dinosaur by Michael Foreman.  In this sweet story about a dinosaur who never grew any bigger than a bug, the Littlest Dinosaur learned that he could be brave.  Always afraid that he would be stepped on if he played with the other dinosaurs in the mud, he only watched the fun. He learned that the great big dinosaur never came to play either because he thought of himself as too big and clumsy. When the two of them had to figure out a way to rescue all the others from a sticky situation, they both began to see themselves in a new way–and each other as friends.

Book read by Jan P., Preschool/Childcare Outreach Liason

The Last Rider: The Final Days of the Pony Express by Jessica Gunderson

syndetics-lcThe Last Rider: The Final Days of the Pony Express by Jessica Gunderson is a great book.

Matt Edgars longs for his life the way it used to be when he lived in Kansas and helped his dad with the horses and the farm.  Since his dad had died, he and his Mom moved to San Francisco, but as he got older, he eagerly watched for ways to fill his life with new adventures.  When he saw a poster advertising for boys his age to become riders on horseback to carry the mail between San Francisco, California and St. Joseph, Missouri, he was thrilled to get a job as a Pony Express Rider.  He worked hard getting the mail delivered, with the added challenges of wild animals, dangerous snakes, and desert heat — even keeping ahead of someone who was setting fire to the Express stations!  Delivering President Abraham Lincoln’s Inaugural Address took seven days and seventeen hours — the fastest piece of mail delivered by the Pony Express riders.  If you like historical fiction, you’ll enjoy this story about the last days of the Pony Express, which helped make quick communication possible between the new Western States and the East before the telegraph was invented.

Book reviewed by Jan P., Preschool and Child Care Liaison