Youth Services Staff Picks
Beezus and Ramona - by Beverly Cleary – J F CLE
For Grades 3-5; Published March 2013 (reissue edition)
Synopsis: Beezus' biggest problem is her 4-year-old sister Ramona. Even though Beezus knows sisters are supposed to love each other, with a sister like Ramona, it seems impossible.
Andrea says: Ramona Quimby is the first character that I absolutely loved reading about when I was young. The antics that the Quimby sisters get into make me laugh out loud and their relationship with each other is one every sibling can relate to. This is a fun book that was one of my favorites as a child and that I remember fondly as an adult.
Andrea also suggests:
Henry Huggins - written by Beverly Cleary – J F CLE
Socks - writtenby Beverly Cleary – J F CLE
Legends of Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke - J GN ZIT
For Grades 3-6; Published September 2012
Synopsis: When young Zita discovers a device that opens a portal to another place, and her best friend is abducted, she is compelled to set out on a strange journey from star to star in order to get back home.
Audrey says: Zita the Spacegirl is probably my favorite comic ever,and this is the sequel and I think it is even better! In this story Zita rescues entire planets! Battles robots trying to steal her identity, and so much more!
Audrey also suggests:
Mighty Jack Series by Ben Hatke– J GN MIG
The Universe, Black Holes, and the Big Bang Clive Gifford – J 523.1 GIF
Volcano Rising by Elizabeth Rusch - J 551.21 RUS
For Grades 3-4; Published August 2013
Synopsis: Volcanoes are a scary, catastrophic phenomenon that creates mass destruction as far as its deadly lava can reach, right? Not quite . . . Author Elizabeth Rusch explores volcanoes in their entirety, explaining how they’re not all as bad as they’re made out to be. Using examples of real volcanoes from around the world, she explains how some volcanoes create new land, mountains, and islands where none existed before, and how the ash helps farmers fertilize their fields.
Crystal Says: This is a fun fact book all about volcanoes! For instance, did you know volcanoes can be found under layers of ice and still erupt? You didn’t!? Learn all about this and more!
Crystal also suggests:
Volcanoes (World Book) - J 551.21 VOL
Inside Volcanoes by Melissa Stewart - J 551.21 STE
Snow by Sam Usher - E USH
For preschool-Grade 2; Published October 2015
Synopsis: Sam is NEVER going to get to the park and play in the snow if his granddad doesn’t hurry up!
Debbie says: Some things are worth waiting for.
Debbie also suggests:
The Snowbear by Sean Taylor- E TAY
Snow Scene by Jackson- E JAC
Stop Pop by Harriet Ziefert – R ZIE (Red)
For Grades Pre K- 1; Published November 2013
Synopsis: An introduction to the word families -op, -un, and -an via colorful illustrations on die-cut pages. FLIP a page, find a rhyme! It’s learning through fun—every time! Flip-a-Word takes kids from a single word, to a phrase, to a simple sentence.
Kelsey says: I love the Flip-A-Word books, and try to recommend them to all families with a child learning to read. Breaking words down into their different sound families is such an important pre-reading skill, and the Flip-A-Word books excel at doing just that. They teach kids that words are just a collection of different sounds, and that putting them together is the first step to independent reading.
Kelsey also suggests:
The rest of the Flip-A-Word books by Harriet Ziefert – R ZIE (Red)
Write to Me: Letters from Japanese American Children to the Librarian They Left Behind by Cynthia Grady –J 940.531 GRA
For Grades K-3; Published January 2018
Synopsis: Using excerpts from actual letters archived at the Japanese American National Museum, Grady presents the touching story about Japanese American children who corresponded with their beloved librarian while they were imprisoned in World War II internment camps.
Ofilia says: This book is so special on so many levels. First, it gently illustrates an ugly time in American history that is not very well known. Grady focuses on the relationship between the children and the librarian while deftly interspersing details about life in the detainment camps. The story will also touch your heart and it shows that even the smallest gestures can make the biggest difference.
Ofilia also suggests:
Dear Miss Breed by Joanne Oppenheim – J 940.53 OPP
The Japanese American Internment: An Interactive History Adventure by Rachael Hanel – J 940.548 HAN
The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle by Leslie Connor – J F CON
For Grades 5-7; Published January 2018
Synopsis: Bad luck seems to follow Mason like a shadow. But finding a new best friend, Calvin, really helps even though they are both targeted by the neighborhood bullies. They work together every day to create an underground haven (hiding spot) for themselves. When Calvin suddenly disappears, Mason has to help find his friend and prove he had nothing to do with it.
Roben says: Friendship, dogs, and family. Plus an awesome teacher that knows just how to help.
Roben also suggests:
My Brigadista Year by Katherine Paterson – J F PAT (Way Back When)
As Brave as You by Jason Reynolds – J F REY
Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo - J F DIC
For Grades: 4-7; Published April 2016
Synopsis: Hoping that if she wins a local beauty pageant her father will come home, Raymie practices twirling a baton and performing good deeds as she is drawn into an unlikely friendship with a drama queen and a saboteur.
Stephanie says: Kate DiCamillo is a master of writing between that very fine line of outlandishly funny and heartbreaking. Raymie, Louisiana, and Beverly all are very different ten year olds, but the girls soon find out that they need each other and embark on an unforgettable summer.
Stephanie also suggests:
Threads by Amy Polansky – J F POL
The Doorman’s Repose by Chris Raschka – J F RAS
Living in Australia by Chloe Perkins – R PER Green
For Grades K-3; Published March 2017
Synopsis: Discover what it's like to grow up in Australia in this fascinating, nonfiction Level 2 Ready-to-Read, part of a series all about kids just like you in countries around the world!
Yentl says: The Living In…series is super cute and informative. You get to spend the day with a child from the country and then learn a little about the history and culture. I love the glossaries and the pronunciations for the different words. The illustrations are also great.
Yentl also suggests:
Any of the Living in… books by Chloe Perkins – R PER (Green)