News from Youth Services Category: Staff Picks

Parent Category of Picks

Garlic and the Witch

by Bree Paulsen

Garlic and the Witch book cover
J GRAPH PAULSEN, B.

Garlic is back in another adventure with Count! Witch Agnes needs more ingredients from the magic market to make her remedies, so Garlic and Count go to get them for her. Garlic learns that she and the other vegetables were all grown by magic, and eventually they will all turn human. Garlic is not so sure about change, but she decides to keep moving forward. Garlic and Count have to fly to the magic market (Count turns into a bat and Garlic uses a magic broom), but Garlic falls out of the sky and has to figure out how to get to the magic market on land. Will Garlic find Count? Will they make it back to Witch Agnes? Read on to find out!

Wink

by Rob Harrell

wink book cover
JF HARRELL, R.

Middle School can be a little rough for anyone, but for Ross, it’s especially rough. He’s just been diagnosed with cancer of his eye! So not only does he have to go for radiation treatments, he also has to go to school wearing an eye patch (like a pirate!), and  he has to keep putting some sort of eye “goop” on his eye all through the day at school. It can’t get much worse than this, right? 

But it does. His hair begins to fall out, and there’s a chance he may lose his sight in that eye. 7th Grade would be a completely miserable year if it weren’t for his band. 

Oh, yeah! His band! That’s a real high point! Will it be enough to get him to get through the school year?

Author Rob Harrell actually lived this life and then wrote a book about it for us. Read to see how Ross’s school year goes.

The Rhino Suit

by Colter Jackson

the rhino suit book cover
E JACKSON, C.

The author describes how her feelings overwhelm her, especially when seeing the world, or people, or animals in pain. “Everywhere she looked there were beautiful things. But there were sad things too. She felt so much, sometimes her feelings overwhelmed her.” So she made herself a thick-skinned rhino-suit, where she lived in to hide her pain. 

She came to realize that having a “thick skin”, also kept out the happy things, as well. “When she was in the rhino suit, she also couldn’t feel the breeze on her skin, smell the flowers, or hear the birds singing.” She realized that not all people have a special gift of being sensitive to others when they are hurting, and she could use her feelings to actually do something to help the world around her. Being a “deeply feeling person is a wonderful thing to be.”   

Scritch Scratch

by Lindsay Currie

scritch scratch book cover
JF CURRIE, L.

Do you like ghost stories? How about ghost stories that aren’t too scary? Well, author Lindsay Currie has a great one for you! (And it even takes place in Chicago!) 

Claire’s dad gives ghost tours around the city. (There are really people who do that; I’ve gone!) Claire hates going on his tours – they creep her out. But one night, he really needs her help, so she has to go.  

Riding in his bus, visiting cemeteries and haunted buildings, all is going pretty well–that is until one of the ghosts decides to follow Claire home! Now the real “fun” begins! 

It Fell From the Sky

by Terry Fan and Eric Fan

It Fell from the Sky book cover
E FAN, T.

A wonderful thing falls from the sky on a Thursday. The insects debate what exactly this wonder could be. While they are busy deciding, the clever spider takes the wonder for his own. For him, the wonder is more than a mysterious beauty; it is an opportunity for wealth. Fueled by greed he gains power– until finally, it pushes everyone away.  

This morality tale is beautifully illustrated in mostly black and white with brilliant pops of color. The whimsical drawings are so expertly crafted that they look 3D. Text does not crowd the page which allows the illustrations to truly shine. Younger children will appreciate the pictures. Older children will be able to discuss the lessons about the adversarial relationship between avarice and friendship.