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Youth Services Staff Picks

June 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:

Fancy Nancy

Fancy Nancy by Jane O’Connor – E OCO 

For grades Pre-K – 2; Published 2005 

Synopsis:  A young girl who loves fancy things helps her family to be fancy for one special night. Meet Nancy, who believes that more is ALWAYS better when it comes to being fancy. From the top of her tiara down to her sparkly studded shoes, Nancy is determined to teach her family a thing or two about being fancy. How Nancy transforms her parents and little sister for one enchanted evening makes for a story that is funny and warm -- with or without the frills. 

Anna says: This is a fabulous story for all of the little Princesses who believe that there is no such thing as too much glitter. The more rhinestones and feathers, the better! Even if it’s cloudy, we need our diva sunglasses! 

Anna also suggests:
Fancy Nancy: Explorer Extraordinaire! by Jane O'Connor - E OCO
Fancy Nancy: Aspiring Artist by Jane O’Connor– E OCO





Audrey's Pick:

Once Upon an Alphabet

Once Upon an Alphabet by Oliver Jeffers – E ABC JEF 

For grades 1 – 4; Published 2013 

Synopsis: From an Astronaut who's afraid of heights, to a Bridge that ends up burned between friends, to a Cup stuck in a cupboard and longing for freedom, this series of interconnected stories and characters explores the alphabet. 

Audrey says: With humor, alliteration, and beautifully rendered graphics Jeffers creates a new type of alphabet abecedarium.  

Audrey also suggests
Carnivores by Aaron Reynolds – E REY
Children Make Terrible Pets by Peter Brown - E BRO



Debbie's Pick:

Rebecca of Sunnybrook

Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm by Kate Douglas Wiggin– J F Classics WIG 

For grades 3 – 8; Published 1903 

Synopsis:  Leaving behind her mother, 6 siblings and family farm behind talkative, imaginative Rebecca travels alone to live with her aunts Miranda and Jane in their brick house in Riverboro. The entire town falls in love with spirited, fun-loving Rebecca. However, Aunt Miranda, who really wanted Rebecca’s older, placid sister Hannah to come and stay, spends the next 7 years reluctantly putting up with Rebecca. 

Debbie says:
Rebecca doesn’t just survive; she triumphs despite harsh and difficult times. 

Debbie also suggests:
Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery – J SER ANN
A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett – J F Classics BUR




Jenn's Pick: 

Knightly Academy

Knightley Academy by Violet Haberdasher– J F Sci-Fi/Fantasy HAB 

For grades 3 and up; Published 2009 

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, studying alongside the cleverest and bravest—and most arrogant—young aristocrats in the country. 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:I will freely admit that I am a sucker for any book set in vaguely historical times England and when you throw in Knights and Academies, sold!  This is a fun read and I liked the plot the boys have to uncover to save the kingdom; very exciting and dramatic.  Fans of Harry Potter or Gregor the Overlander will like this read. 

Jenn also suggests:
A Secret Prince by Violet Haberdasher – J F Sci-Fi/Fantasy HAB
Midnight for Charlie Bone by Jenny Nimmo - J SER CHA



Kellie's Pick:    


Bluffton by Matt Phelan – J GN BLU 

For grades 3 – 6; Published 2013 

  • Synopsis: The year is 1908, and a troupe of vaudeville performers has arrived in sleepy Muskegon, Michigan to spend the summer. Young Henry Harrison is fascinated with the animals and performers, but mostly with a slapstick performer his own age named Buster Keaton, who is also a master prankster and loves to play baseball. Henry longs to learn to take a fall like Buster, "the human mop," but Buster just wants to play ball with Henry and his friends. 


Kellie says: I loved the beautiful illustrations in this graphic novel which help tell the story of two young boys from different backgrounds who meet and form a friendship over the summer of 1908. Henry and Buster live worlds apart, and each wants a chance to experience the life that the other has. Henry wants to know all about vaudeville and performing and Buster just wants to play baseball like all the other kids! 


Kellie also suggests:
Keep Your Eye on the Kid by Catherine Brighton – J B KEA
Selling Hope by Kristin O' Donnell Tubb -  J F Way Back When TUB



Kelsey's Pick:  

Once Upon an Alphabet

Once Upon an Alphabet by Oliver Jeffers – E ABC JEF 

For grades 1 – 4; Published 2013 

Synopsis: From an Astronaut who's afraid of heights, to a Bridge that ends up burned between friends, to a Cup stuck in a cupboard and longing for freedom, this series of interconnected stories and characters explores the alphabet. 

Kelsey says: Jeffers continues to be incredibly creative with his newest kid’s book. I thought I loved Stuck too much to ever love another Oliver Jeffers book like that, but I was wrong. Once Upon an Alphabet is an ingenious way of learning your letters, and tells a story throughout in a way that most alphabet books overlook.  

Kelsey also suggests:
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin – E ABC MAR
LMNO Peas by Keith Baker – E ABC BAK






Lindsay’s Pick:  

Greenglass House

Greenglass House by Kate Milford – J F Mystery MIL 

For grades 4 – 6; Published 2014 

Synopsis: It’s wintertime at Greenglass House. The creaky smuggler’s inn is always quiet during this season, and twelve-year-old Milo, the innkeepers’ adopted son, plans to spend his holidays relaxing. But on the first icy night of vacation, out of nowhere, the guest bell rings. Then rings again. And again. Soon Milo’s home is bursting with odd, secretive guests, each one bearing a strange story that is somehow connected to the rambling old house. As objects go missing and tempers flare, Milo and Meddy, the cook’s daughter, must decipher clues and untangle the web of deepening mysteries to discover the truth about Greenglass House and themselves. 


Lindsay says: Greenglass House was a joy to read from the very first page to the last. Milo is a lovable character who keeps you on the edge of your seat with his every thought and move. The surrounding characters are all delightful and each with their own flair and unique personality. The story unfolds in unexpected ways and cleverly weaves a variety of fun elements into its twists and turns. If you’re looking for a lighthearted, keep-you-on-your-toes mystery with a gooey, warm-hearted center, Greenglass House is the book for you. 

Lindsay also suggests:
Walls Within Walls by Maureen Sherry -  J F Mystery SHE
Vanished by Sheela Chari - J F Mystery CHA



Lynn’s Pick: 

Saxby Smart

The Curse of the Ancient Mask and Other Case Files by Simon Cheshire – J SER SAX 

For grades 3 – 5; Published 2009 

Synopsis: Ten-year-old Saxby Smart happens to be the best detective in the world, even though he's still in elementary school. In this brand-new series--with three cases in each book--the reader solves the mystery alongside Saxby by peeking at pages of his casebook to search for clues. 

Lynn says: I love mysteries and this one was especially exciting because I had opportunities along the way to help solve the case.  I’m sorry to say I’m not as good a detective as Saxby Smart.  Try your hand at this and see how you do!   

Lynn also suggests:
The Treasue of Dead Man's Lane and Other Case Files by Simon Cheshire - J SER SAX
The Pirate's Blood and Other Case Files by Simon Cheshire - J SER SAX



Ofilia's Pick:

Mama is it Summer

Mama, Is It Summer Yet? by Nikki McClure – E MCC 

For grades Pre-K – K; Published 2010 

Synopsis:  As spring slowly turns to summer, a little boy builds a fort and plants a garden in impatient anticipation. 

Ofilia says: The text is uncomplicated so it is a perfect complement to the rich, unique paper cut illustrations. I’ve been a fan of McClure’s artwork for a long time, so I’m really delighted that she is using her talents for children’s books. 

Ofilia also suggests:
All in a Day by Cynthia Rylant - E RYL
One Hot Summer Day by Nina Crews - E CRE



Veronica’s Pick:    

Giraffes Can t Dance

Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae –E CRO 

For grades Pre-K – K; Published 2001 

Synopsis:  Gerald the giraffe is too clumsy to dance with all the other animals at the Jungle Dance, until he finds the right music. 

Veronica says:My children and I love to dance, but like Gerald, we aren’t that great until we find the music with just the right beat. This book has great colorful pictures that come to life when reading the story and I think (just like Gerald) we all just have to find our own beat to move to.   

Veronica also suggests:
Hilda Must Be Dancing by Karma Wilson – E WIL
Elephants Cannot Dance by Mo Willems – R red WIL 

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