Staff Picks 4 Kids Category: tweens

E-Book & E-Audiobook – A Drop of Hope by Keith Calabrese

A Drop of Hope EbookWho couldn’t use a bit of optimism these days, and in Keith Calabrese’s book, A Drop of Hope, we get that and more! In the small town of Cliffs Donnelly, Ohio we find families experiencing some very tough times whether it’s financial or personal, and they could all use a little bit hope and help. That’s where the wishing well and an attic full of old toys comes into play. An unlikely group of new friends try to help people in town and it may be the bit of magic that pushes them over the hurdles. The author adds a bit of a mystery and adventure so there’s something for everyone.   

A Drop of Hope E-audio

Is there really magic making things happen in their town? I’ll let you decide when you read this realistic fiction book with a touch of magical realism. There’s also a quote to inspire us all: “You can’t fix the world. But you do your best in your own little corner of it.” Let’s take that drop of hope and make our corner of the world even a tiny bit better. 

This book is available as an ebook on OverDrive Digital Library and as an e-audio on Hoopla. 

Book reviewed by Carol C., Elementary School Liaison 

E-book- Restart by Gordon Korman 

RestartHave you ever wished you could have a “do over” for one day? How about a “do over” for your entire life? 

 This is what happens to Chase. He survives a fall from his roof, but he has loses all his memory. He doesn’t even recognize his mother or dad! And he doesn’t understand why some of the kids at school are afraid of him, and others just plain hate him. 

 Read this book to find out what he learns about himself- the good and the bad. This is Gordon Korman at his best! 

 Book reviewed by Loreen S., Youth Services Assistant 

Restart is available as an e-book on Libby/Overdrive.

E-Book & E-Audiobook – Marcus Vega Doesn’t Speak Spanish by Pablo Cartaya

Marcus Vega Doesn’t Speak SpanishEighth grade is hard. When you’re 180 pounds and six feet tall, it can be even harder. Most of the kids in Marcus Vega’s school are terrified of him. Marcus uses his intimidating size to help protect smaller kids from the real school bully, Stephen. He uses the money he earns at school to help his mom and his brother. When Stephen says something horrible about Marcus’ brother, Marcus gets into a fight with Stephen and finds himself suspended. Their family decides to take a break and visit Puerto Rico. On this trip, Marcus discovers new things about himself and his family. He realizes that things around him are not always what they seem. If you enjoy realistic fiction, I would highly recommend this for fifth and sixth graders. 

 This book is available as an ebook and e-audio in OverDrive’s Digital Library.  

 Book reviewed by Katie D., Youth Outreach Liaison 

E-book – Frida, el misterio del anillo del pavo real, y yo (Me, Frida, and the Peacock Ring) por Angela Cervantes

Frida, el misterio del anillo del pavo real, y yo Aunque tenemos que quedarnos en casa, ¡todavía podemos viajar virtualmente a México! Éste es un cuento fantástico para los que se interesen por el misterio, el arte y los viajes. A Paloma le obligan a ir a México mientras su mama termina sus estudios. Su mamá decide que Paloma debería aprender español y le encuentra tutores de la misma edad pero ellos tienen un plan para ella que va más allá de la clase. Le piden que les ayuden a resolver el misterio de un anillo perdido en forma de pavo real que pertencía a Frida Kahlo, la famosa artista mexicana. Al mismo tiempo, Palmo conoce a Tavo, un niño lindo y un poco misterioso. La investigación revela hechos sobre Frida y México, pero también hace que Paloma se sienta recelosa de todos los que la rodean. Nadie le dice toda la verdad, y parece que todos están involucrados. ¿Por qué sus amigos están buscando el anillo de pavo real y quién puede estar buscando al mismo tiempo? 

Si te interesa Frida Kahlo, Google se ha unido a 30 museos de todo el mundo para una exhibición de su arte: https://artsandculture.google.com/project/frida-kahlo 

We might be stuck at home, but there is no reason we can’t travel virtually to Mexico! This is a great story for fans of mystery, art, and travel. Paloma gets dragged to Mexico with her mother while she finishes her studies. Her mother decides Paloma should learn Spanish, and finds tutors her age, but the tutors have a plan for Paloma beyond class. They ask her to help solve the mystery of a missing peacock ring that belonged to Frida Kahlo, the famous Mexican artist. Around the same time, Paloma meets Tavo, a cute and slightly mysterious boy. The investigation reveals facts about Frida and Mexico, but it’s also making Paloma suspicious of everyone around her; no one is telling her the full story and everyone seems to be involved. Why are her friends really looking for the peacock ring, and who else might be looking at the same time?  

If you’re interested in Frida Kahlo, Google has partnered with 30 museums from around the world to showcase her art: https://artsandculture.google.com/project/frida-kahlo. This is a really special opportunity to learn more about her life and artwork. 

This ebook is available in Spanish in OverDrive’s Digital Library.  

This title is also a Caudill Award nominee for 2021.

Reseña del libro escrito por Claire B., Bibliotecaria de Alcance a los Niños 

Book reviewed by Claire B., Youth Outreach Librarian 

E-Book & E-Audiobook – Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed

Amal UnboundTwelve-year-old Amal’s dreams of becoming a teacher are crushed when she accidentally insults a member of her Pakistani village’s ruling family. Her punishment is to become a servant for the insulted family. As Amal navigates this new, harsh life, her unwavering courage keep her going.   Amal’s sense of hope makes this ultimately an uplifting story. Anyone moved by Malala Yousafzai will love this beautifully written, suspenseful and empowering story.   

 For Grades 4 and up.   

This book is available as an ebook and e-audio in OverDrive’s Digital Library. 

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