Staff Picks 4 Kids Category: Picks by Laura B.

A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd

Cover image for A snicker of magicMidnight Gulch is a magical place, or at least it used to be, but that was before the curse. Now, there is just a snicker of that magic hanging in Midnight Gulch, and unless they can end the curse, a snicker of magic is all that will remain. Felicity’s mama is cursed with a wandering heart, which means that whenever Felicity and her sister think they might have found a home, their mama packs up their van and moves them. This time, their mama has brought them back to her hometown, Midnight Gulch. After meeting a new friend, Jonah, and learning more about Midnight Gulch, Felicity wants to stay there and call the town her home. However, with her mama’s curse and the town’s curse, it looks like Felicity might be destined to wander with her mama. Can she find a way to end the curse on Midnight Gulch? Maybe her new friend Jonah can help or maybe they can get help from the mysterious Beedle who does good deeds around town for people.

Book reviewed by Laura B., Youth Technology Librarian

Astronaut Academy: Zero Gravity by Dave Roman

Cover image for Astronaut Academy : zero gravityHakata Soy is an intergalactic hero. However, that all changes when his parents send him to Astronaut Academy, a space school. Now, instead of saving worlds he has to take classes like Science, which by the way is taught by an elf, and anti-gravity gymnastics. With new friends and a new school, will Hakata ever be happy? This goofy graphic novel is fun to read. It’s not only told from Hakata’s point of view, but also his school friends. It is also broken down into small chapters and the illustrations are great. Check out this graphic novel if you are interested in reading about a crazy school with some very weird students.

Book reviewed by Laura B., Youth Technology Librarian

Jedi Academy by Jeffrey Brown

Cover image for Jedi AcademyRoan’s life is over. He is never going to leave Tatooine. He didn’t get accepted into the Pilot Academy like is father and big brother and is now going to have to go to plant school. However, that changes when he receives an acceptance letter to go to the Jedi Academy. Roan doesn’t think he is a jedi. He’s never done anything like a jedi before, but he decides to go. With the help of his new friends and his teachers, Roan is about to embark on a strange fun adventure at the Jedi Academy. Now, he just has to survive it. This book is part comic, part diary, and part chapter book. Fans of Origami Yoda and Diary of a Wimpy Kid will really like this book.

Book reviewed by Laura B., Youth Technology Librarian

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein

Cover image for Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's libraryKyle is really not a fan of reading. He would rather play games whether their board games or video games. However, that changes when Kyle is selected along with 11 other kids to spend the night at the new library in their town. The library was built by Luigi Lemoncello, the creator of all the games Kyle likes and who also grew up in the same town. Mr. Lemoncello, though, is very eccentric and this library is anything but typical. With robots, holographs, and many other technological items, this library is fantastic. However, what Kyle and the rest of the kids don’t realize is that once you enter the library, it’s difficult to leave. You need to play Lemoncello’s game, find the clues, and then find your way out of the library. The first one to leave gets a prize. This book is a ton of fun to read and there is constantly stuff going on. Check it out and see if you can figure out the puzzle before you get to the end of the book and all is revealed.

Book reviewed by Laura B., Youth Technology Librarian

The Dumbest Idea Ever! by Jimmy Gownley

Cover image for The dumbest idea ever!If you ask Jimmy why he started creating comics, he would tell you it all began when he caught chicken pox in middle school. Before that he was popular, an athlete, and doing really well in school, but then he had to miss school and the championship basketball game for being sick. His grades begin to drop, basketball isn’t going great, and his teacher confiscates his comic book in class because it is not acceptable reading material. Rather than be upset, Jimmy created his own comic book. The first one isn’t as great as it could be, so he asks his friend for advice. However, according to Jimmy, the advice is the dumbest idea ever. Is it really though? Find out the idea by reading this graphic novel.

Book reviewed by Laura B., Youth Technology Librarian