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Youth Services Staff Picks

January 2015 Staff Picks 


Christmas may be over but that doesn’t mean you can’t still give yourself the present of reading our staff pick selections!

 Halloween 2014

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



Audrey's Pick:

BoundlessThe Boundless by Kenneth Oppel – J F Adventure OPP 

For grades 3 and up; published 2014 

Synopsis: "The Boundless," the greatest train ever built, is on its maiden voyage across the country, and first-class passenger Will Everett is about to embark on the adventure of his life. When Will ends up in possession of the key to a train car containing priceless treasures, he becomes the target of sinister figures from his past. In order to survive, Will must join a traveling circus, enlisting the aid of Mr. Dorian, the ringmaster and leader of the troupe, and Maren, a girl his age who is an expert escape artist. With villains fast on their heels, can Will and Maren save "The Boundless" before someone winds up dead? 

Audrey says: Villains, Yetis, Trapeze artists, and elephants, oh my! This book is 100% action packed adventure!

Audrey also suggests: 

How to Catch a Bogle by Catherine Jinks – J F SciFi/Fantasy JIN 

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein – J F Mystery GRA



Debbie's Pick:


Vordak the Incomprehensible: How to Grow Up and Rule the World by Scott Seegert – J F Humor See

For grades 4 – 8; published 2010 

Synopsis: A guide to embracing your inner villian. Information includes advice, anecdotes, rhymes, charts, and cartoon illustrations for destroying the planet and/or ruling the world.  

Debbie says
: Where was this book when I was in middle school?


 Debbie also suggests: 

Vordak the Incomprehensible: Rule the School by Scott Seegert – J F Humor SEE





Jenn’s Basil the Bunny Puppet’s Pick: 

Battle Bunny

Battle Bunny by Jon Scieszka– E SCI

For grades K – 4; Published 2013

Synopsis:  Alex has been given a saccharine, sappy, silly-sweet picture book about Birthday Bunny that his grandma found at a garage sale. Alex isn’t interested--until he decides to make the book something he’d actually like to read. So he takes out his pencil, sharpens his creativity, and totally transforms the story. Birthday Bunny becomes "Battle" Bunny, and the rabbits innocent journey through the forest morphs into a supersecret mission to unleash an evil plan--a plan that only Alex can stop.

Jenn Basil says:Bunnies do not get enough credit for being awesome and it is nice to see Alex turn a birthday bunny into a super fantastic BATTLE BUNNY!  I also really like the creativity of taking a story and making it your own.

Jenn Basil also suggests:

Henry and the Buccaneer Pirates by Carolyn Crimi – E CRI






Kelsey's Pick:  

Around the World

Around the Worldby Matt Phelan– J GN ARO 

For grades 4 – 7; Published 2011

Synopsis: As the 19th century ended, a public inspired by the novel Around the World in Eighty Days clamored for intrepid adventure. The challenge of circumnavigating the globe as no one ever had before attracted the fearless in droves. People made the journey on bicycle, in ships and raced against time around the world. With cinematic pacing and deft, expressive art, acclaimed graphic novelist Matt Phelan weaves a trio of epic journeys into a single bold tale of three visionaries who set their sights on nothing short of the world. 

Kelsey says: I read Matt Phelan’s The Storm in the Barn a couple years ago, and only recently read Bluffton. But I think Around the World is my favorite. Phelan’s illustrations are gorgeous, as always, and his storytelling is inspiring. Get all of Phelan’s books, and just sit for a few hours and let the stories unfold.

 Kelsey also suggests:

The Storm in the Barn by Matt Phelan – J GN STO
Bluffton: My Summers with Buster by Matt Phelan – J GN BLU







Lindsay’s Pick:  


Flight of the Phoenix by R.L. LaFevers – J SER NAT 

For grades 1 – 4; Published 2009 

Synopsis: In 1928, when timid ten-year-old Nate learns that his parents have been lost at sea, he joins his father's cousin on a flight to Arabia where they must oversee the death and rebirth of the phoenix, thus beginning his training as a "beastologist." 

Lindsay says: Nathaniel Fludd is down on his luck because his parents are missing and he has no other family. His luck changes when he finds out he has an aunt who wants to take him under her wing and train him to become the next beastologist.  While Nathaniel is scared at first, he quickly perks up and gains some self-confidence and unique new skills along the journey. It’s a fun adventure with plot twists and pages filled with many cultures and creatures! 

Lindsay also suggests: 

The Basilisk’s Lair by R.L. LaFevers – J SER NAT 

The Wyvern’s Treasure by R.L. LaFevers – J SER NAT




Lynn’s Pick: 

Whistle for Willy

Whistle for Willie by Ezra Jack Keats – E KEA

For grades K – 2; Published 1977

Synopsis: If Peter could only learn to whistle, than his dog, Willie would hear him and come running. But nothing Peter does seems to help. He tries spinning around and around but it only makes him dizzy. He draws a long line with colored chalk; he walks along a crack in the sidewalk. He even wears his father's hat and tries running away from his own shadow! It's not until Peter least expects it that his wish comes true, and he blows a whistle that brings Willie running.

Lynn says: This story reminded me of when I learned to whistle.

Lynn also suggests:

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats – J CALD KEA and JBAG KEA
Peter's Chair by Ezra Jack Keats - E KEA



Ofilia's Pick:

Mountain Dog

Mountain Dog by Margarita Engle–J F ENG 

For grades 4 – 7; Published 2013 

Synopsis:  When his mother is sent to jail in Los Angeles, eleven-year-old Tony goes to live with his forest ranger great-uncle in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, where he experiences unconditional love for the first time through his friendship with a rescue dog. 

Ofilia says: Heartfelt and moving, this novel in verse tackles some tough topics without being overwhelming. Even if you aren’t a dog person, the bond between Tony and Gabe (the rescue dog) is enthralling. 

Ofilia also suggests: 

Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai – J F Way Back When LAI 

Home of the Brave by Katherine Applegate– J F APP




Veronica’s Pick:    

He s Been a Monster

He’s Been a Monster All Day!by Denise Brennan-Nelson– E BRE 

For grades Pre-K – 1; Published 2013 

Synopsis:  After hearing his mother say that he's a monster, a little boy decides to prove her right over the course of one loud, grimy, scowling day. 

Veronica says:I loved this book because any parent can relate to saying this to either their child or their husband after a really bad day. However, I never thought about it from a kid’s point of view and how literal they take things sometimes. In this book the little boy imagines himself as a literal monster and all the things he would do as this monster. The ending of this book to me was really the best part but you need to read it to find out what that is.     

Veronica also suggests: 

If You’re a Monster and You Know It by Rebecca Emberley – E EMB 

Laura Numeroff’s 10-Step Guide to Living With Your Monster by Laura Numeroff– E NUM 

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