Staff Picks 4 Kids Category: Realistic Stories

Almost Home by Joan Bauer

Cover image for Almost homeTalk about a challenging life. Sugar has a deadbeat dad, a mom with emotional issues and they lose their house. You would think that would make this sixth grader very negative and troubled. Not Sugar (that is her name :)) She rises above it all with the help of a puppy, poetry and a few people who take the time out to build into her life. This is a really good book!

 

The Truth about Twinkie Pie by Kat Yeh

Cover image for The truth about Twinkie PieThe Truth About Twinkie Pie unfolds as GiGi begins 7th grade at a new school and learns more about herself, her mother and her sister. This is a heartwarming story of love, loss, sacrifice, and what it means to be a family. Each chapter begins with a recipe from mama’s cookbook which adds to the charm of this middle grade novel. Readers who like character driven stories with a bit of mystery are sure to enjoy The Truth about Twinkie Pie.

Book reviewed by Amy S., Youth Outreach and Programming Assistant

Love, Aubrey by Suzanne LaFleur

Cover image for Love, AubreyPut this book on your must-read list if you are a fan of stories where the main character must struggle to overcome real-life obstacles. Although Aubrey is only eleven, she has had her share of hardships. Her father and younger sister suddenly pass away in an accident. Then, her mother is unable to cope with their deaths and drives away from the house, leaving Aubrey to fend for herself. Aubrey quietly accepts her abandonment and lives alone for days before her grandmother discovers the truth and whisks her away to her house in Vermont.  With a new place to live and new people in her life, Aubrey searches for what will help her move forward but won’t let her forget precious memories. There are many moments of hope and happiness in this book, but also many sad moments, so get your tissues ready!

Book reviewed by Amy M., Youth Services Programming Assistant

The Great Greene Heist by Varian Johnson.

Cover image for The great Greene heistJackson Greene is known for a couple of things: his blazer jacket and red tie, and big scale tricks or cons like the “Blitz at the Fitz” or incidents like the “Mid-day PDA.” But for the past four months, things have been different. After his last con blew up, he’s decided to stay on the straight and narrow. That was until he found out that Keith Sinclair is planning on running for student council president against Gabby de la Cruz, Jackson’s former best friend/almost girlfriend who kind of hates him right now.  Jackson knows he shouldn’t get involved, but Keith is known for playing dirty, and he has the greedy principal on his side. So Jackson gets together a group of students, each talented at something different, to make sure the election goes according to plan. And if Jackson wins back Gabby’s respect in the process, and stays out of trouble, that will just be the icing on the cake. If you like mystery, adventure, and fast paced stories, check out this entertaining book.

Book reviewed by Claire B., Youth Outreach 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