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Youth Services Staff Picks

September 2017
Celebrate the change of season with these fun books!



Wait by Antoinette Portis- E POR 

For PreS-K; Published July 2015

Synopsis: As a boy and his mother move quickly through the city, they're drawn to different things. The boy sees a dog, a butterfly, and a hungry duck while his mother rushes them toward the departing train. It's push and pull, but in the end, they both find something to stop for. 

Anna says: I love the simplicity of this book. It is a great read for younger children to interpret the story through illustration.

Anna also suggests:
Not a Stick by Antoinette Portis- E POR
Not a Box by Antoinette Portis- E POR


Don't Throw It

Don’t Throw It To Mo! by David Adler – R ADL (Blue)

For grades Kindergarten to 2nd grade; May 2015 

Synopsis: Mo is the youngest kid on the Robins, his football team. His classmates don't mind, but the kids on their rival team tease him for being a "butterfingers" who's too tiny to catch the ball. But Mo's coach has a plan to turn Mo's little size into a big win for the Robins This Level 2 reader about a little African-American boy with a big passion for sports was the winner of the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award in 2016. 

Audrey says: Mo is the shortest ad the youngest on his football team, but that doesn’t stop him from making the winning play in the big game!

Audrey also suggests:
A Pig, a Fox, and a Box by Jonathan Fenske -R FEN (Little Maverick)
We Are Growing! by Mo Willems - R WIL (Red)




 Mr. Panda

Please, Mr. Panda by Steve Antony – E ANT

For Pre-K - K; Published December 2014 

Synopsis:  What is the proper way to ask Mr. Panda for doughnuts? Patiently and politely, Mr. Panda asks the animals he comes across if they would like a doughnut. A penguin, a skunk, and a whale all say yes, but they do not remember to say "please" and "thank you." Is anyone worthy of Mr. Panda's doughnuts? 

Crystal Says:  Mr. Panda likes good manners and so do I.  (I also like doughnuts!) 

Crystal also suggests:
I’ll Wait, Mr. Panda by Steve Antony - E ANT
The Bad Good Manners Book by Babette Cole - E COL




 Move Over Rover

Move Over, Rover!by Karen Beaumont - E BEA

For K-1st grade; published September 2006

Synopsis: Rover heads for his snug and dry dog house when it begins to rain. Unfortunately things get a bit too snug when other critters have the same idea. 

Debbie says: P.U.! What rhymes with skunk? 

Debbie also suggests:
Rain by Manya Stojic- E STO
Tap Tap Boom Boom by Elizabeth Bluemle -  E BLU 


Tree Lady

The Tree Lady: The True Story of How One Tree-Loving Woman Changed a City Forever
by Joseph H. Hopkins - J B SES

For Grades K-5; Published September 2013

Summary: This book tells the story of Katherine Olivia Sessions – the mother of San Diego’s Balboa Park.  Sessions singlehandedly started a massive movement that transformed the dry desert town of San Diego into the green, garden-filled oasis it is today.

Kelsey says: I had never heard of Kate Sessions until I picked this book up and started perusing. My mom is a gardener, and so Kate Sessions’ determination to make San Diego a green place reminded me a bit of what my mom can do to people’s yards. And now, what I try to do to my own yard. Plus, the illustrations are lovely and I really like the little botanical drawings along some of the page edges.

Kelsey also suggests:
Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney (E COO)
The Gardener by Sarah Stewart (E STE)



Great Trouble

The Great Trouble by Deborah Hopkinson – J F HOP (Way Back When)
For Grades 5-8; September 2013

Synopsis:  Eel, an orphan, and his best friend Florrie must help Dr. John Snow prove that cholera is spread through water, and not poisonous air, when an epidemic sweeps across their London neighborhood in 1854. 

Lauren says: Eel, a mudlark trying to make a living on the hard streets of London, does everything in his power to care for his little brother. With a penchant for mysteries and a knack for deduction, he makes it his mission to find out why everyone on Broad Street is getting sick. With help from Dr. John Snow, he helps find the source of the cholera outbreak and prove himself a worthy scientist.

Lauren also suggests:
You Wouldn’t Want to be a Victorian Servant! by Fiona Macdonald – J 940.081 MAC
Whose Poop Is That? by Darrin P. Lunde – J 591.5 LUN



Real Friends

Real Friends by Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham – J GN REA

Grades 3-6; Published May 2017

Synopsis:  Newbery Honor author Shannon Hale and New York Times bestselling illustrator LeUyen Pham join forces in this graphic memoir about how hard it is to find your real friends and why it's worth the journey. 

Ofilia says: What a prefect book for the beginning of the school year. This is an autobiographical account of Hale’s late elementary school years and her experience with cliques and bullies. It brought back a lot of buried memories of childhood and how tough growing up can be. Ultimately, it is a positive honest story and LeUyen Pham’s illustrations are fantastic! 

Ofilia also suggests:
Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson – J GN ROL
Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword by Barry Deutsch – J GN HER


Billy and Goat

Billy & Goat at the State Fair by Dan Yacarino - E YAC 

For PreK – 2nd grade; June 2015 

Synopsis: A visit to the state fair cements the friendship between a boy and a goat who are very different from one another. 

Roben says: I LOVE the Texas State Fair – especially the food and the exhibits. This book lets me revisit one of my favorite places. 

Roben also suggests:
Fair Cow by Leslie Helakoski – E HEL
The Fantastic Ferris Wheel: The Story of Inventor George Ferris by Betsy Harvey Kraft – J B FER




Separate Never

Separate is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez & Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation by Duncan Tonatiuh – J 379.263 TON

For Grades 1-4; Published May 2014 

Synopsis: Almost 10 years before Brown vs. Board of Education, Sylvia Mendez and her parents helped end school segregation in California. An American citizen of Mexican and Puerto Rican heritage who spoke and wrote perfect English, Mendez was denied enrollment to a “Whites only” school. Her parents took action by organizing the Hispanic community and filing a lawsuit in federal district court. Their success eventually brought an end to the era of segregated education in California.  

Stephanie says: Before reading this book I had no idea that desegregation in schools started in California with children of Hispanic descent. The story of Sylvia and her family’s fight for education equality is an important part of American history. I loved the illustrations that accompany this powerful story. 

Stephanie also suggests:
Portraits of Hispanic American Heroes by Juan Felipe Herrera - J 973.04 HER
Bravo!: Poems about Amazing Hispanics by Margarita Engle - J 811 ENG



Secret Pizza Party

Secret Pizza Party by Adam Rubin – E RUB

For Grades 1-4; Published September 2013

Synopsis: While Raccoon is eating pizza at his secret pizza party, he sees a masquerade party going on in the house next door to him and joins the fun. 

Yentl says: I absolutely love this book!!! This book is so fun and perfect for anyone who can relate to Raccoon’s love for pizza. However, he doesn’t have easy access to it. That is until he hears about the party next door. Will he be able to sneak into the party and get some pizza? Read this book and find out!

Yentl also suggests:
Ballet Cat: The Totally Secret Secret by Bob Shea – E SHE
Cat Secrets by Jef Czekaj - E CJE

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