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Youth Services Staff Picks

December 2014 Staff Picks 


You don’t have to wait for Santa to bring you some great reads; the staff at SPL has taken care of that problem.  

 Halloween 2014

The Youth Services Team dresses up as Goodnight Moon for Halloween.



Audrey's Pick:

Under the EggUnder the Egg by Laura Marx Fitzgerald – J Mystery FIT 

For grades 3 and up; published 2014 

Synopsis: When Theodora Tenpenny spills a bottle of rubbing alcohol on her late grandfather’s painting, she discovers what seems to be an old Renaissance masterpiece underneath. There’s just one problem: Theo’s grandfather was a security guard at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and she worries the painting may be stolen. With the help of some unusual new friends, Theo's search for answers takes her all around Manhattan, and introduces her to a side of the city—and her grandfather—that she never knew. 

Audrey says: This book is part mystery, part art history lesson as you romp through Manhattan with Theodora trying to figure out the origins of the mysterious painting, and unravel her grandfather’s secret past.

Audrey also suggests: 

Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett – J SER CHA 

Fourteen Goldfish by Jennifer Holm – J F SciFi/Fantasy HOL 


Debbie's Pick:

Red RangerRed Ranger Came Calling by Berke Breathed – JHOL BRE

For grades Pre-K – 3; published 1997

Synopsis: While spending Christmas in 1939 with a well-meaning aunt, a young boy who does not believe in Santa Claus has an unusual experience that changes his thinking.

Debbie says
: When you make a wish always speak clearly.

Debbie also suggests:

Olivia Helps With Christmas by Ian Falconer – JHOL E FAL

Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree by Robert Barry – JHOL E BAR




Jenn's Pick:  

Knightly Academy

Knightley Academy by Violet Haberdasher– J F SciFi/Fan HAB

For grades 4 – 6; Published 2014

Synopsis:  Henry Grim is a servant boy at the Midsummer School—until he passes the elite Knightley Academy exam and suddenly finds himself one of the first commoners at the Academy. But someone is out to sabotage him from becoming a full-fledged Knight of the Realm, and soon Henry uncovers a conspiracy that violates the Hundred Years’ Peace treaty—and could lead to war!


Jenn says:Knightley Academy is a great read for any Harry Potter fans out there.  There isn’t any magic in this book but there are knights and secret plots!  Henry Grim is a great character and you’ll definitely root for him and his friends to succeed at the Academy. 

Jenn also suggests:

The Secret Prince by Violet Haberdasher – J F SciFi/Fantasy HAB

Charlie Bone Series by Jenny Nimmo– J SER CHA







Kelsey's Pick:  

Big PlansBig Plansby Bob Shea– E SHE

For grades K – 2; Published 2008

Synopsis: Trailed by his yes-man sidekick (a mynah bird), a boy trumpets his ambitiousness. I got big plans! Big plans, I say! he shouts repeatedly, in display type that dominates the pages (no mean feat, considering the hyperthyroid trim size). Despite his brashness, the boy is stuck in a time-out corner (the reason for his punishment is not given). Yet this temporary condition does not crush the boy's imagination. He envisions himself marching into Manhattan and reading the riot act to lookalike bald men at a board meeting (You! Take a memo!... You! Ready my helicopter!). He sees himself elbowing out the mayor and then the president. Finally, he anticipates rocketing to the moon to spell out his big plans slogan in gigantic rocks.


Kelsey says: This book is hilarious and should definitely, definitely be read out loud with lots of emphasis on the shouting bits.


Kelsey also suggests:

Anything else by Bob Shea






Lindsay’s Pick:  

WynkenWynken, Blynken, and Nod by Eugene W. Field – E FIE

For grades Pre-K – 2; Published 2008

Synopsis: Eugene Field’s lovely bedtime poem tells of three wee fishermen who sail up to the stars, and a boy who imagines it all before he drifts off to sleep. Field’s timeless text has lulled generations of little listeners into dreamland, and this version, complimented by Giselle Potter’s magical illustrations, is perhaps the most enchanting—and the closest to Fields’ own vision—of all. 

Lindsay says: Dreams are filled with fun surprises and magical adventures. They can take us to fantastic places in ways you can only imagine. Wynken, Blynken, and Nod are off on a mystical journey during the night. Have fun along the ride with them!

Lindsay also suggests:

Dream Animals: A Bedtime Journey by Emily Winfield Martin – E MAR
The Sweetest Fig by Chris Van Allsburg - E VAN




Lynn’s Pick: 

Football Hero

The Colossus Rises by Peter Lerangis – J SER SEV

For grades 4 – 9; Published 2008

Synopsis: Teens Jack, Marco, Aly, and Cass begin a quest to find seven pieces of Atlantis's power that were hidden long ago and that will, if returned to Atlantis, save them from certain death due to the genetic abnormality that also gives them superior abilities.


Lynn says: It’s a race to find the pieces … and to stay alive while doing it.  Who can be trusted at a time like this? 

Lynn also suggests:

Lost in Babylon by Peter Lerangis – J SER SEV
The Tomb of Shadows by Peter Lerangis - J SER SEV




Ofilia's Pick:

Library Book for BearA Library Book For Bear by Bonny Becker–E BEC

For grades Pre-K – K; Published 2014

Synopsis:  Although he sees no need for more books to read, Bear agrees to accompany Mouse to the library.

Ofilia says: Everyone knows someone that’s always a bit grumpy like Bear. That’s just what makes him loveable. Luckily, his best friend Mouse is not easily deterred. The story is laugh out loud silly and the illustrations are equally as delightful!

Ofilia also suggests:

Again! by Emily Gravett – E GRA

The Midnight Library by Kazuno Kohara– E KOH





Veronica’s Pick:    

Night GardenerThe Night Gardenerby Jonathan Auxier– J F Scary/Spooky AUX

For grades 4 – 6; Published 2014

Synopsis:  Irish orphans Molly, fourteen, and Kip, ten, travel to England to work as servants in a crumbling manor house where nothing is quite what it seems to be, and soon the siblings are confronted by a mysterious stranger and secrets of the cursed house.


Veronica says:This book has a very spooky feel to it and that is why I picked it up. It did not disappoint but it was more than just a spooky tale. There was a lot of mystery and suspense trying to figure out the secrets of the cursed house. I also loved all the characters and the setting of the story. I was sad to leave this world. A great read for a dark and stormy night. Keep the flashlight and covers close.

Veronica also suggests:

Paris Pan Takes the Dare by Cynthea Liu – J F Scary/Spooky LIU

The Ghost of Crutchfield Hall by Mary Downing Hahn– J F Scary/Spooky HAH



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