Youth Services Staff Picks
Ground Zero by Alan Gratz - J FIC GRA (Juv Way Back When)
For Grades: 4 — 7; Published Year 2021
Synopsis: September 11, 2001, New York City: Brandon is visiting his dad at work, on the 107th floor of the World Trade Center. Out of nowhere, an airplane slams into the tower, creating a fiery nightmare of terror and confusion. And Brandon is in the middle of it all. Can he survive -- and escape?September 11, 2019, Afghanistan: Reshmina has grown up in the shadow of war, but she dreams of peace and progress. When a battle erupts in her village, Reshmina stumbles upon a wounded American soldier named Taz. Should she help Taz -- and put herself and her family in mortal danger?Two kids. One devastating day. Nothing will ever be the same.
Andrea says: I love the way Alan Gratz goes between the different perspectives and timelines. This book will bring awareness to an event that happened so long ago, but continues to have an effect on the current events.
Andrea also suggests:
A Place to Belong by Cynthia Kadohata — J FIC KAD (Juv Way Back When)
Resistance by Jennifer A. Nielsen - J FIC NIE (Juv Way Back When)
Tough Guys (Have Feelings Too) by Keith Negley - E NEG
For Grades: Pre-K — K; 2015
Synopsis: A boldly illustrated picture book read-aloud about how everyone gets sad--ninjas, wrestlers, knights, superheroes, everyone . . . even daddies have emotions!
Did you know wrestlers have feelings? And knights. Even superheroes and ninjas feel sad sometimes. In fact everyone has feelings--especially dads who love their children!
Brie Says: Feelings are important. What better way to celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month than by learning more about them?
Brie Also Suggests:
In My Heart: A Book About Feelings by Jo Witek - E WIT
When I Feel Scared by Cornelia Spelman - E SPE
When Grandma Gives You a Lemon Tree by Jamie L. B. Deenihan - E DEE
For Grades: Pre-K— 1; 2019
Synopsis: A child is surprised to receive a lemon tree from Grandma for her birthday. After all, she did ask for a new gadget! But when she follows the narrator's careful--and funny--instructions, she discovers that the tree might be exactly what she wanted after all
Debbie says: You’ll want a lemon tree too!
Debbie also suggests:
I Really Want to See You, Grandma by Taro Gomi- E GOM
Baking Day at Grandma’s by Anika Denise - E DEN
I Am Peace: A Book of Mindfulness by Susan Verde — J 158.12 VER
For Grades: Pre K — 3
Synopsis: Mindfulness means being fully in the present moment. Children can learn how to manage their emotions, make good choices, and balance their busy lives by learning to be mindful, express emotions through speech, find empathy through imagination, and wonder at the beauty of the natural world. I Am Peace is a gentle expression of the tenets of mindfulness, encouraging children to breathe, taste, smell, and be present in the here and now.
Kelsey says: May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and as someone who has suffered from anxiety and depression since adolescence, I think it’s very important to talk to our kids about their feelings and emotions. Mindfulness has helped me manage my own anxiety, and I think it’s a very beneficial way to make you more aware of your mind and body!
Kelsey also suggests:
All About Anxiety by Carrie Lewis — J 155.412 LEW
What to do When You’re Sad and Lonely by James J. Crist — J 618.928 CRI
Horizon by Westerfeld, Scott — J SER HOR
For Grades: 4th — 7th; Published 2017
Synopsis: When Aero Horizon 16 crashes in the Arctic, eight children emerge from the wreckage to find themselves alone and surrounded--not by ice, but by a mysterious and deadly jungle full of carnivorous plants and predatory birds. The other five hundred people from the plane are gone, not necessarily dead, but taken by something that lives in the jungle.
Regina says: Check out these great reads!
Regina also suggests:
Deadzone by Nielsen, Jennifer A. — J SER HOR
A Warp in Time by Watson, Jude — J SER HOR
I Am Every Good Thing by Derrick Barnes — E BAR
For Grades:Pre- K — 2nd; Published 2020
Synopsis: The confident Black narrator of this book is proud of everything that makes him who he is. He's got big plans, and no doubt he'll see them through--as he's creative, adventurous, smart, funny, and a good friend. Sometimes he falls, but he always gets back up. And other times he's afraid, because he's so often misunderstood and called what he is not. So slow down and really look and listen, when somebody tells you--and shows you--who they are. There are superheroes in our midst.
Stephanie says: From the author of Crown: Ode to the Fresh Cut comes another book about having self confidence. All the books this month are new picture book acquisitions!
Stephanie also suggests:
Mel Fell by Corey Tabor — E TAB
Eyes That Kiss in the Corner by Joanna Ho — E HO
Brenda is a Sheep by Morag Hood — E HOO
The Incredibly Dead Pets of Rex Baxter by Aaron Reynolds — J F REY (Bluebonnet Award)
For Grades: 3rd — 6th grade; 2020
Synopsis: Rex Dexter is itching to have a dog. He was practically born to have one. His name is Rex, for crying out loud. It's a dog's name. When Rex's B-Day for Me-Day finally arrives, his parents surprise him with a box. A box with holes. A box with holes and adorable scratchy noises coming from inside. Could it be? Yes! It has to be! A...a...Chicken? Pet poultry? How clucky. One hour and fourteen minutes later, the chicken is dead (by a steamroller), Rex is cursed (by the Grim Reaper), and wild animals are haunting Rex's room (hounding him for answers)
Veronica says: This book was laugh out loud funny. Whose parents get them a pet chicken to teach responsibility, will Rex Dexter’s do? But did this unlucky turn of events put Rex down, no with his self assured and confident attitude he is able to overcome his dilemma and dig himself into a new dilemma by playing a very foreboding game which causes him to hear and see dead animals. This doesn't deter Rex from his mission of proving he is responsible enough to own a dog instead he turns this bad situation around and works to try to solve the mysterious events causing these animals to die.
Veronica also suggests:
Peanut Butter & Brains: A Zombie Culinary Tale by Joe McGee — E MCG
Zombies by Erin Peabody — J NF 133 PEA
Zo Zo Zombie by Yasunari Nagatoshi — J GN ZOZ
Where’s Baby? by Anne Hunter - E HUN
For Grades: Pre-K — K ; Published 2020
Synopsis: In this clever introduction to prepositions, a near-sighted Papa is looking for his baby. Is Baby up in the tree? Is Baby under the log? Is Baby around the corner? Where could Baby be?
Yentl says: This book is so cute! Papa fox is looking for Baby fox and he is nowhere to be found. Or is he? This is a fun story of hide and seek.
Yentl also suggests:
Llama Destroys the World by Jonathan Stutzman - E STU
Stepping Stones by Lucy Knisley - J GN STE
Pizza and Taco: Who’s the Best? by Stephen Shaskan - J GN PIZ