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Youth Services Staff Picks

July 2015 Staff Picks 


Need books to fill out your Summer Reading Logs? 
Why not grab some staff picks?

 YS Wed Warriors

Members of the Youth Services Team doing an impression of a summer blockbuster film. Can you guess which one?

Anna's Pick:

Chu BeachChu’s Day at the Beach by Neil Gaiman – E GAI

For grades Pre – 3; Published 2015

Synopsis:  Chu and his family are going to the beach. Chu is excited. He will get to play in the sand and wade in the water. But what will happen if Chu sneezes at the beach? And what will happen if he doesn't?

Anna says: Poor Chu. He has brought his sneeze to the beach and now is the only one who can save the day. This is such a cute story for the summer!

Anna also suggests
Chu's Day by Neil Gaiman -- E GAI
Chu's First Day of School by Neil Gaiman -- E GAI





Audrey's Pick:

CreepoverYou're Invited To A Creepover: What a Doll! by P.J. Night – J SER YOU

For grades 4 – 6; Published 2013

Synopsis: Emmy Spencer and Lizzy Draper have been best friends since birth, but now that they’re in seventh grade, they’ve begun to drift apart. Lizzy—insistent on being called Liz now—has a new group of friends, and she has gone out of her way to exclude Emmy from them. It’s almost as if Lizzy doesn’t want Emmy hanging out with her anymore. But then Emmy comes into possession of a doll that can change all that—a voodoo doll that will put Emmy in control of Lizzy’s every move. Can she use the doll to save their friendship—or will it end up controlling them both?

Audrey says: This series is super spooky and perfect for kids who enjoy a good scare.   

Audrey also suggests:
The rest of the You're Invited to a Creepover Series -- J SER YOU



Debbie's Pick:

Three Times Lucky SmallThree Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage– J F Mystery TUR

For grades 4 – 7; Published 2012

Synopsis:  Set in tiny Tupelo Landing, North Carolina this is the story of 11 year old Mo LoBeau. Born during a hurricane Mo washes ashore in tiny Tupelo Landing, North Carolina. When one of Tupelo Landing’s 148 citizens is murdered Mo is sure the police are looking in all the wrong places. Sassy and determined; Mo forms her own detective agency and sets out to solve the murder herself.   

Debbie says:I love Mo LoBeau. Determined and kind-hearted she speaks her mind and thrives in a world that would crush a lesser person.


Debbie also suggests:
Keeper by Kathi Appelt – J F APP
Matilda by Roald Dahl – J F DAH




Jenn's Pick: 

JosephineJosephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker by Patricia Hruby Powell– J B BAK

For grades 3 – 7; Published 2014

Synopsis:  In exuberant verse and stirring pictures, Patricia Hruby Powell and Christian Robinson create an extraordinary portrait of the passionate performer and civil rights advocate Josephine Baker, the woman who worked her way from the slums of St. Louis to the grandest stages in the world. Meticulously researched by both author and artist, Josephine's powerful story of struggle and triumph is an inspiration and a spectacle, just like the legend herself.

Jenn says:We just got Josephine in at the library and while the story is fantastic, it was the illustrations that really grabbed me.  Christian Robinson’s illustrations are as bold and vibrant as Josephine Baker’s life.

Jenn also suggests:
Harlem’s Little Blackbird by Renee Watson – J B MIL
Gaston by Kelly DiPucchio – E DIP




Kellie's Pick:    

IsabellaIsabella Girl On the Goby Jennifer Fosberry – E FOS

For grades K – 3; Published 2012

  • Synopsis: The precocious, purple-haired traveler spends the day playing with her dad as she pretends everyday things (like the sandbox) are extraordinary places. Isabella ends the day in her own home-sweet-home, the most wonderful place to be. Travel around the world to places like: - Pyramids of Giza - Eiffel Tower - Great Wall of China - Chichen Itza - Big Ben - Statue of Liberty


Kellie says: If you want to travel around the world without leaving the comfort of your home, this book is for you! Isabella is a creative girl who uses her imagination to turn everyday activities into an adventure! From the Great Wall of China to the Statue of Liberty Isabella introduces young readers to the places that changed the world. This book also includes additional information on each place that Isabella visits for curious readers who would like to learn more.


Kellie also suggests:
My name is not Alexander by Jennifer Fosberry -- E FOS
My name is not Isabella by Jennifer Fosberry -- E FOS



Kelsey's Pick:  

Brown Girl DreamingBrown Girl Dreamingby Jacqueline Woodson – J 921 WOO

For grades 5 – up; Published 2014

Synopsis: Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement. Woodson’s eloquent poetry reflects the joy of finding her voice through writing stories, despite the fact that she struggled with reading as a child. Her love of stories inspired her and stayed with her, creating the first sparks of the gifted writer she was to become.

Kelsey says: I don’t read a lot of poetry or novels in verse, and so it’s always surprising when I stumble across works like Brown Girl Dreaming. And it shouldn’t be! There are so many fantastic books of poetry and novels written in verse out there, they’re just a little trickier to find. And they do seem a little more intimidating So we were lucky to have both Brown Girl Dreaming and Kwame Alexander’s The Crossover receive such high honors this year and put them in the spotlight. They are more than worthy of the recognition! 


Kelsey also suggests:
Birmingham 1963 by Carole Boston Weatherford – J 811.6 WEA
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor – J NEWB TAY






Lindsay’s Pick:  

Incorrigible ChildrenThe Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: The Mysterious Howling by Maryrose Wood – J SER INC

For grades 5 – 8; Published 2010

Synopsis: Fifteen-year-old Miss Penelope Lumley, a recent graduate of the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females, is hired as governess to three young children who have been raised by wolves and must teach them to behave in a civilized manner quickly, in preparation for a Christmas ball. But mysteries abound at Ashton Place: Who are these three wild creatures? Why does Old Timothy, the coachman, lurk around every corner? Will Penelope be able to civilize the Incorrigibles in time for Lady Constance's holiday ball? And what on earth is a schottische?


Lindsay says: Delightful, unique, and quirky are the words I would use to describe The Mysterious Howling. Wood takes an interesting twist on the governess with crazy children motif and weaves a story of funny happenings and moments of whimsy. Miss Penelope and the wild children make for an enjoyable read with lots of fun adventure. 

Lindsay also suggests:
Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos by R.L. LaFevers -- J SER THE
Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart – J SER MYS 



Lynn’s Pick: 

StatHome Court by Amar’e Stoudemire – J SER STA

For grades 2 – 7; Published 2012

Synopsis: Between sports, school, and working for his father, eleven-year-old Amar'e's life is full and he is not yet ready to concentrate on basketball--but when a group of older boys start hogging the local basketball court he knows that he has to do something to help his friends.

Lynn says: This book series gives a little glimpse of NBA Star Amar’e Stoudemire’s life as a kid.  Great for sports fans!  

Lynn also suggests:
Double Team by Amar'e Stoudemire -- J SER STA
Slam Dunk by Amar'e Stoudemire -- J SER STA




Ofilia's Pick:

Bear Ate SandwichThe bear ate your sandwich by Julia Sarcone-Roach – E SAR

For grades Pre-K – Grade 1; Published 2015

Synopsis:  Bear meets sandwich, adventure ensues. A sly classic-in-the-making.


Ofilia says: This extremely clever story is highly probable and therefore I’m sure it is based on a true story. I mean what other explanation could there possibly be? Imaginative and humorous, you are going to want to read this one multiple times. The illustrations perfectly match the silly story and the colors are vivid and lush.


Ofilia also suggests:
Olivia saves the circus by Ian Falconer -- E FAL
Fortunately, the milk by Neil Gaiman -- J F LOL GAI





Veronica’s Pick:    

SnoozefestSnoozeFest at the Nuzzledome by Samanatha Berger – E BER

For grades Pre-K – K; Published 2015

Synopsis:  Snuggleford Cuddlebun, the sleepiest sloth in all of Snoozeville, attends the annual Snoozefest, where she gets free pajamas and other gifts, listens to bands and haiku, and, mostly, sleeps.


Veronica says: I love this book because it is about my favorite thing in the world, sleep. And what sloths are best at…sleep!! I think that a Snoozefest sounds like a brilliant idea. I also loved the pictures; Sloth Cubblebun is so very cute and it’s so easy to picture taking a nap with her in her hammock. Overall my favorite book this year.

Veronica also suggests:
Sparky by Jenny Offill – E OFF
Lost Sloth by J. Otto Seibold – E SEI

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