Staff Picks 4 Kids Category: Picks by Keary B.

All’s Faire in Middle School by Victoria Jamieson

Cover image for All's faire in middle schoolImogen is starting public school for the first time after being homeschooled all her life. She’s worried about fitting in, especially since her family works year round at the local renaissance faire and doesn’t exactly act normal. In an effort to make friends, Imogen ends up becoming a bully herself, but knows it’s wrong and doesn’t fit with her knight training at the Faire. Can she find the courage to be who she really is? Give to fans of Raina Telgemeier, Sunny Side UpEl Deafo, or Roller Girl.

Book reviewed by Keary B., Youth Collection Librarian

Zoey & Sassafras: Dragon & Marshmallows by Asia Citro

Cover image for Dragons and marshmallowsZoey discovers a secret when her mom leaves on a work trip. She can see magical animals! So can her mom, who helps sick magical animals in the barn behind their house. Since her mom is away, Zoey steps in to help when a baby dragon shows up at the barn. Zoey uses the scientific method and runs an experiment to figure out what the dragon likes to eat, which includes marshmallows. This is the first in a new beginner chapter book series that combines science and mystery.

Book reviewed by Keary B., Youth Collection Librarian

Tumble & Blue by Cassie Beasley

Cover image for Tumble & BlueFate can be a great thing, but not for Blue, whose fate it is to always lose, no matter what. Or for Tumble, who wants desperately to be a hero and save others, but always ends up needing to be saved herself in the end. There’s a legend that says a golden crocodile lives in the swamp and on the night of the blood red crescent moon one lucky person who finds him can have a great fate bestowed on them. So, on the night on the blood red crescent moon Tumble and Blue set out to find the golden crocodile and change their fate. However, the crocodile only has one fate he can give. So who should get it? Tumble? Blue? Or someone else that might need it more? This is also a great audio.

Book reviewed by Keary B., Youth Collection Librarian

I am not a chair! by Ross Burach

Cover image for I am not a chair!Here’s a super funny story about giraffe’s first day in the jungle, when all the other animals think he’s a chair! After a full day of being sat on, giraffe has had it. He’s just about to tell the next animal he sees that he is not a chair, when along comes lion and boy is lion hungry! Read the book to see what happens after that! Hint: It’s hilarious! Try reading this to preschoolers or kindergarteners  and see if they can spot the turtle at the end of the book.

Book reviewed by Keary B., Youth Collection Librarian

Life by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Brendan Wenzel

Cover image for LifeHow could you go wrong with writing by Cynthia Rylant and illustrations by Caldecott honor winner Brendan Wenzel? And really, the text and art are both winners here. The artwork, full of vibrant animals and the beauty of nature, accompanies an uplifting text about everything there is to love in life and all of life’s changes. This would be a great gift at graduations! Also, it’s recommended for anyone facing a major transition in their life, as well as those who enjoy sharing a sentimental book with a loved one.

Book reviewed by Keary B., Youth Collection Librarian

Purloining of Prince Oleomargerine by Mark Twain and Philip C. Stead

Cover image for The purloining of Prince OleomargarineHooray Mark Twain has a new book out! Well sort of, Mark Twain used to make up bedtime stories for his children and this story is based on the recently found notes he left for one of those stories. Those notes made it into the hands of Phillip Stead to turn into a completed story and Stead does a remarkable job of capturing Twain’s humor and voice.  Phillip’s wife, Caldecott winner Erin Stead, adds the perfect illustrations to bring the story to life in her classic style. This book is not like anything else out there right now and don’t miss reading it!

Book reviewed by Keary B., Youth Collection Librarian

Yours Sincerely, Giraffe by Megumi Iwasa

Cover image for Yours sincerely, giraffeGiraffe is bored and looking for a friend, so he writes a letter for Pelican to deliver across the horizon. There Pelican finds Penguin, and a series of letters result, with some pretty funny misunderstandings when Giraffe decides to dress up as his new friend, Penguin, and visit him. Since Giraffe has never seen a penguin before, he makes all kinds of mistakes on the costume. This is a super funny titles that would also make a great read aloud to young children, classrooms, or families. Just remember to show the great illustrations that really bring the story to life.

Book reviewed by Keary B., Youth Collection Librarian

Book Scavenger by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman

Cover image for Book scavengerA cross country move, secret puzzles, mysterious clues, bumbling bad guys, and a race to find the answers all equals one action filled book! In the Book Scavenger, Emily and her new friend James race around San Francisco as they solve clues and decode secret messages. It all started when Emily and James found a mysterious book in the subway. However, a couple of strange men want the book and are only a step or two behind. Read this book if you like puzzles, problem solving, and mysteries.

Book reviewed by Keary B., Youth Collection Librarian

The Matchstick Castle by Keir Graff

Cover image for The matchstick castleIf you combined the books Pippi Longstockings by Astid Lindgren and Floors by Patrick Carman it would probably look a lot like The Matchstick Castle by Keir Graff, which is full of over the top characters and an unbelievable house. Readers who are drawn to unusual settings will be pleased to discover the wondrous rooms in the Matchstick Castle including a ship on the roof, underground mines, and who knows how many mazes, trap doors, and secret passages. This book is full of action as the eccentric owners cook up crazy schemes to keep the home from being demolished.

Book reviewed by Keary B., Youth Collection Librarian

Hilo Book 1: The Boy Who Crashed to Earth by Judd Winick

Cover image for Hilo. Book 1, The boy who crashed to EarthSuper powers? Check! Robots? Check? Aliens? Check! What else could you ask for in a graphic novel! The Hilo series has it all. D.J. and Gina find a mysterious boy, Hilo, who fell from the sky. Together the new friends help Hilo find out who he is and just what he might be capable of. Hilo will have to learn fast though since he wasn’t the only thing to fall to Earth! I loved reading about this modern boy super hero and the friendships he made.  Besides, who wouldn’t want to go to school with a super hero!

Book reviewed by Keary B., Youth Collection Librarian