Staff Picks 4 Kids Category: Staff Picks

Parent Category of Picks

Tumble & Blue by Cassie Beasley

Tumble & Blue by Cassie Beasley book coverBlue Montgomery comes from a cursed family. Some bad, some good, those curses define who they are. Blue can never win, and his father can never lose. Tumble Wilson is a hero in training but instead of saving anyone, she always seems to end up the damsel in distress. Once in awhile comes a special Red Moon that allows one Montgomery to be freed from his or her curse. As the time of the Red Moon approaches, Blue’s grandmother’s house is overflowing with Montgomerys. Will Blue be the one Montgomery to break his curse and will Tumble be able to help him thus fulfilling her destiny to become a hero?

Book reviewed by Mary S., Youth Services Department Head

Mighty Jack by Ben Hatke

Mighty Jack by Ben Hatke book coverJack knows his summer vacation is going to be rough. His mom has to work a second job, which means he has to take care of his sister, Maddy. Maddy is autistic and doesn’t speak. Well, Jack thought that Maddy didn’t speak until she asks Jack for a box of seeds a strange man is selling at the flea market. Jack doesn’t have any money, but then the man says he will do a trade. Jack is okay with that, but he didn’t realize the trade was a box of odd seeds for his mom’s car. The next day, they start working on their garden and the plants that start growing are not normal tomatoes or onions. Instead, there are little onion babies walking around and dangerous mud throwing green hand-like plants. One night, a dragon even appears, but he has a dangerous warning for Jack. This warning could mean upsetting Maddy and making his summer worse. This graphic novel is filled with fantastical plants and animals.

Book reviewed by Laura B., Youth Technology Librarian

Princess Pulverizer: Grilled Cheese and Dragons by Nancy Krulik

Princess Pulverizer Grilled Cheese and Dragons by Nancy Krulik book coverPrincess Serena isn’t afraid of anything or anyone. She is the bravest girl in all of Empiria (and possible the world). She swings from the rafters, smashes into tables, and accidentally breaks things. Since she is neither calm nor peaceful, Serena decides she needs a different name. The princess decides she should be called Princess Pulverizer. When she decides she would rather go to knight school, her father, King Alexander, tells her she must go on a quest. Knights need to be kind and selfless, and these have never been her strengths. In order to receive permission to attend knight school, she must perform eight good deeds. On her journey, she gets into some difficult situations and meets some new friends. This is a good series for someone who enjoys fantasy and is starting to read chapter books.

Book reviewed by Katharin B., Youth Outreach Liaison

Ruby and Olivia by Rachel Hawkins

Ruby and Olivia by Rachel Hawkins book coverEeeeewwww, an old, abandoned, probably haunted house! Why would you want to go inside? Ruby and Olivia have to because they have gotten into trouble and are completing community service at a summer day camp. Live Oak House needs to be cleaned up so it can be turned into a museum. As Ruby and Olivia start their duties, they hear mysterious noises and see things. Are there ghosts in the house? If so, what do they want? Find out along with Ruby and Olivia, who learn to become friends.

Book reviewed by Anne W., Youth Services Assistant

Olive and the Backstage Ghost by Michelle Schusterman      

Olive and the Backstage Ghost by Michelle SchustermanAfter an unsuccessful audition, Olive runs into an old vaudeville theatre to escape the New York rain. In the comfort of the empty auditorium, Olive sings her heart out and receives the attention of the mysterious Maude Devore. Olive is immediately offered a part in Maude’s variety show, and she is impressed by the theatre and her new costars. She loves this new “family” especially since her mother has been strict with her. But…why does the food taste strange? And how can her fellow performers demonstrate such death-defying feats without getting hurt? Read this haunting tale to uncover the answers to these questions and more.

Book reviewed by Amy M., Youth Services Assistant

Wedgie & Gizmo by Suzanne Selfors

Wedgie & Gizmo book coverGizmo is a diabolical evil genius. He is also a guinea pig and the pet of Elliot. However, Gizmo calls him his faithful servant. Wedgie is the energetic corgi dog that belongs to Jasmine, Jackson, and their Mom. He also believes that he is a super hero and wears a cape around that Jasmine put on him. When Elliot’s dad marries Jasmine and Jackson’s mom, everyone must now live together. Wedgie loves having more humans to protect, but Gizmo would rather not have to live in Jasmine’s Barbie playhouse or with an arch nemesis like Wedgie. This funny chapter book is written in the same style as Jedi Academy and Diary of a Wimpy Kid, but instead of humans’ point of view, it is told from Wedgie and Gizmo’s.

Book reviewed by Laura B., Youth Technology Librarian

Mister Yes by Carmen Gil 

Mister Yes by Carmen GilAre you like Mister Yes, who says “Yes” to everything? Maybe the word “No” is not even part of your vocabulary? Like Mister Yes, will you eat a bowl of hummingbird poop and slug slime? When a sneaky salesman knocks on your door, do you say yes and  buy from him a tennis racket without any strings, or a broken telephone  you could use to talk only to yourself? Read this book to see if you are like Mister Yes, who had to learn the hard way that it’s not very nice to do mean things to others, just because he doesn’t want to use the word No. This could be a life-changing book for those of you who always say yes to those who ask you for a something. Maybe it’s time to learn it’s ok to sometimes say the small, yet powerful  word,  “No”.

Book reviewed by Darice C., Youth Services Assistant

The House of a Million Pets by Ann Hodgman

The House of a Million Pets by Ann Hodgman

Did your mom ever tell you that you couldn’t have a pet?  For me, it was a puppy.  No matter how many times I asked, the answer was always no.  Author Ann Hodgman decided that when she grew up, she would have as many pets as she wanted.  She would be the kind of mom that always said yes to pets.   At the time she wrote The House of a Million Pets, she had owned, rescued, or looked after cats, dogs, bunnies, hamsters, guinea pigs, hedgehogs, fish, prairie dogs, pygmy mice, rats, a sugar glider, a snapping turtle, a bat, a frog, an owl, ducklings, moths, and all kinds of birds.  By reading this book, you will learn all sorts of useful facts such as sugar glider pee smells like Froot Loops, prairie dogs like to eat grapes, ducklings do not make good indoor pets, and a bathtub makes a good pond for a snapping turtle.  And most importantly, you should be able to convince your mom to get you a puppy because at least you aren’t asking for a wallaby like Ann Hodgman, the crazy pet lady.  This book is a must-read for animal lovers everywhere!

Book reviewed by Mary S., Youth Services Department Head

Can Somebody Please Scratch My Back? By Jory John

Can Somebody Please Scratch My Back?Obviously, when you’re an elephant, scratching your own back can be difficult. In this story, an elephant goes to many different animals to try to find someone to scratch his back. He talks to a turtle, a crocodile, a hippo, a sloth, and other animals too. Some of them say they’ll help, but it’s hard to find the perfect animal to help scratch his back. There are some really funny twists and turns along the way. This would be a great story to read with preschoolers and kindergarteners.

Book reviewed by Katharin B., Youth Outreach Liaison

Greeting from Witness Protection by Jake Burt

Cover image for Greetings from witness protection!Nicki has been in foster care for a long time and seen all sorts of stuff, but when US Marshals show up and ask her to be part of the cover for a family entering witness protection, she’s shocked. The marshals know that the mob is looking for a family of three, not a family of four with a son and a daughter. So, all she has to do is pretend she’s always had a brother and the Trevors really are her parents. Easy right? Oh, she’s also got to be perfectly normal in everything. What could go wrong? Turns out plenty! There’s action, humor, and compelling characters to root for here.

Book reviewed by Keary B., Youth Collection Librarian