News from Youth Services Category: Picks by Julie J.

Black History Month: Inventors and Scientists

February is Black History month*, and all month long we’ll have displays about Black excellence in a variety of areas. First up we have Scientists and Inventors! You can come into the library and check out items from the display or go to our reading recommendations page and place a hold!

image of a display of books on the theme of Black Scientists and Inventors
close up of the book Mr. Crum's Potato Predicament

I particularly love the book Mr. Crum’s Potato Predicament, the story of how George Crum invented the potato chip to satisfy a restaurant patron who couldn’t get a fried potato that was thin and crispy enough for his taste!

* “Black History Month, also called African American History Month,  monthlong commemoration of African American history and achievement that takes place each February in the United States. It was begun in 1976.

The idea for a Black History Month was first conceived by the historian Carter G. Woodson and members of his Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (now the Association for the Study of African American Life and History). Together they organized a Negro History Week, beginning in February 1926. They selected the month of February for this celebration because it was close to the birthdays of U.S. Pres. Abraham Lincoln, who had been responsible for the Emancipation Proclamation, and the African American orator and abolitionist Frederick Douglass.”

“Black History Month.” Britannica Library, Encyclopædia Britannica, 8 Feb. 2021. library.eb.com/levels/referencecenter/article/Black-History-Month/475396. Accessed 31 Jan. 2022.

Best Books 2021

Zoom Program: Best Books: MPPL's Favorite Children's Books of 2021, Thursday, November 18 from 7 to 8 p.m.

As you gear up for your holiday shopping, look no further than the library for the year’s best books for the children in your life. If you missed the presentation, don’t worry– we recorded it so you can watch it at your convenience and learn all about fabulous fiction and nonfiction titles for preschoolers through 6th graders. This event was sponsored by Mount Prospect Public Library Foundation. 

Booklists online:

Best Books for All Ages

Best Books for Prek

Best Books for K-2

Best Books for 2-3

Best Books for 4-6

Honorable Mentions PreK

Honorable Mentions K-2

Honorable Mentions 2-3

Honorable Mentions 4-6

Happy reading!

Two Spooky Stories for Spring

While many of us associate scary stories with October and cool weather, I think it’s great fun to read scary stories in the spring, especially when there’s a thunderstorm rolling in.

I’d like to recommend two scary books I enjoyed recently, and both of them just happened to be written by Asian American authors.

First is The Girl and the Ghost by Hana Alkaf. This ghost story is inspired by Malaysian folklore. I love folk and fairy tales, so I was excited about a story inspired by Malaysian folk traditions.

When Suraya is very young, a type of ghost called a pelesit comes to her, and says he is a gift from her grandmother. Suraya, who is very lonely, just sees him as a friend. But as she gets older, their relationship begins to change, and other ghosts from her past begin to emerge.

I loved this book. It’s very scary! It is also a beautiful story about family and friendship. I read it all in one sitting because I couldn’t put it down! After you read the book, I recommend reading this interview with Hana Alkaf to learn more about her and the book!

The Girl and the Ghost book cover

The second book is Spirit Hunters by Ellen Oh. In this book, Harper Raine is struggling after her family moves to a new house in a new town, especially since an accident she had at her old school was the reason she had to move. In her new house, strange things start happening, especially with her little brother, who seems to be talking to someone that no one else can see.

Like The Girl and the Ghost, Spirit Hunters is scary while also being a great story about family secrets and the strength of friendship.

Spirit Hunters book cover

The official book trailer is also really cool!

Place a hold on these books and check out other spooky stories for kids today!

National Portrait Gallery and Black History Month

portraits of African Americans in National Portrait Gallery

Let’s visit the National Portrait Gallery without even leaving the house! Google arts and culture has created a virtual exhibit of notable African Americans, which is a great exhibit to explore any time, but especially during Black History Month.

To extend your experience, we’ve put together a list of books about some of the famous figures featured in this virtual art exhibit. Place a hold or come to the main library to check one out!

Next in Series and Sequels December 2020

If you have a favorite author or series, there are a lot of new books out for you to enjoy! If you’d like to place any of these items on hold, please do, and make sure to schedule a Parking Lot Pickup appointment to come and get your next read!

(Oh, and if you love books in series, you need to know about KDL What’s Next–it will give you all the books in every series you like to read, in order! It’s very useful!)

kids books display

If you’re a Dav Pilkey fan, you’ll definitely want to read the latest book in the series, Fetch-22.

Jerry Craft’s book New Kid won the 2020 Newbery award, and his new book, Class Act, is a companion title that features Jordan’s friend Drew as the main character.

And of course, if you love the Babysitter’s Club graphic novels, then you’ll definitely want to read Baby Sitters Little Sister, and the latest book is Karen’s Roller Skates.

kids books display

Fly on the Wall is the newest book from the author of Pie in the Sky, so if you love illustrated, funny novels, you’ll enjoy both of these titles!

Chris Grabenstein has another hilarious entry in the Mr. Lemencello’s series called Mr. Lemencello and the Titanium Ticket.

And a new Stick Dog adventure is always a reason to celebrate.

kids books display

The Princess in Black and the Giant Problem is the latest book in this perfect beginning chapter book series for any kid who loves equal parts humor and adventure.

Goodbye, Mr. Terupt is the fourth book about Mr. Terupt and a group of kids who bonded in fifth grade. Now in eighth grade, this emotional book explores friendship and growing up with warmth and humor.

Three Keys by Kelly Yang is a sequel to Front Desk and continues the story of Mia Tang and her family as they run a motel and try to fit in and make friends in their new community.

kids books display

Unicorn Bowling is the latest book in the Phoebe and her Unicorn series. If you love unicorns, friendship, or used to read Calvin and Hobbes, you need to start reading this series.

Logan Likes Mary Anne! is the latest graphic novel adaptation of the super popular Babysitters Club series.

If you enjoyed Cardboard Kingdom by Chad Sell, you enjoy his newest title, Doodleville, which also features a group of creative kids who end up making art that’s more than they bargained for.

So if you’re excited for a sequel, next in series, or a new book by a favorite author, go here and place a hold today!