New Staff Picks…and more!

It’s been good seeing you back in the library! We have been keeping busy by wrapping up the Summer Learning Challenge and handing out books, prizes, and certificates. The books nominated for the 2021 Monarch, Bluestem, and Caudill awards are also on their designated shelves ready to be checked out.

(or click on a page below for the link to the list:)

And next to that bookshelf are the newly updated Staff Picks-books, audiobooks, and e-books…also listed on a handy bookmark!

Several times throughout the year, each of your Youth Department friends choose a few books that we like or that we think you might like to read. This time again, we have included titles that can be found online, as well as books you can come in and check out. Here is our summer list for you to enjoy:

Remember to find us online here with storytimes and activities:

The NLPL website also has links to Summer Programs and past videos for you to access for your viewing pleasure!

Click on this link

to open this link….

Are you enjoying your summer? Let us know how it’s going when you stop in. We’re eager to see you and hear what you’ve been up to!

Here they are…Staff Picks and Summer Reading Challenge Links!

Reading at home has looked a little different the past few months. We have depended on technology and our devices more than ever! This installment of Staff Picks features our online resources: Libby, Overdrive, Axis 360, Tumblebooks, RBdigital, BiblioBoard, and Audio Book Cloud.

In case you missed it, the Summer Learning Challenge is ready to go! Get started by going to the NLPL website to find the information you need:

Register here:

And here’s a peek at the youth activity tracking log:

Have fun, stay safe, and check back soon for some creative ways to complete your challenges!

When in doubt…check this out!

One of the more enjoyable parts of working in the Youth Department is helping our young patrons find the right book. Whether it’s a specific title or a broader topic area, we try our best to send you out the door as a satisfied customer. There may be times when you don’t have any idea what you’re looking to read next, so that’s where our “Staff Picks” area comes to the rescue. It’s located right near our Youth Services desk for your convenience. Throughout the year, we put together a list of books that we like or would recommend to you. A bookmark format is available, so you can keep track of what you might want to read from our list.

Right next to the Staff Picks are the State Award Book Nominees for the Monarch, Bluestem, and Rebecca Caudill lists. The Association of Illinois School Library Educators (AISLE) sponsors these awards for children’s literature. Children in the state of Illinois read and vote for their favorite books from the lists, usually at their school. We have multiple copies of these books available along with a fun bingo activity and a list of each award’s nominees.

The following descriptions are from the AISLE website: The Monarch Award is a state-wide program in which children in grades K through 3 choose their favorite book from a list of 20 nominated books. The list contains at least three of each of the following types of children’s books: picture books, easy readers, and chapter books. The name Monarch was chosen because of its familiarity to K-3 children and to symbolize the growth, change and freedom that becoming a reader brings. The Monarch is designed to encourage children to read critically and become familiar with children’s books, authors and illustrators. The program is open to all K-3 age children in Illinois.

The Bluestem Award is an annual award given to the author of the book voted most outstanding by students in grades 3-5 in participating Illinois schools. It is designed for students who are ready for longer titles than found on the Monarch list, but not quite ready for the sophistication of some of the Rebecca Caudill titles.  Named in honor of Big Bluestem which is the state prairie grass, the award may include both timeless classics and current titles, as well as books that have appeared on Monarch and Rebecca Caudill lists. 

Several options available!

The Rebecca Caudill Young Readers’ Book Award is an annual award given to the author of the book voted most outstanding by students in grades four through eight in participating Illinois schools. The award is named in honor of Rebecca Caudill who lived and wrote in Urbana, Illinois, for nearly 50 years. The award is given in recognition for her literary talent and the universal appeal of her books which have touched the hearts of many children and young adults. 

Multiple copies!

As always, feel free to ask any of us for help choosing or finding a book that fits you. We are also available to introduce you to Overdrive or talk to you about eBooks and Audiobooks.

Youth Services Staff Picks- Summer 2018: Part Three: The Finale

Alissa’s Picks:

Volcanoes by Martha Rustad E 551.21 RUS

With so much in the news lately about volcanoes, curious readers might be interested in this great book from the Smithsonian Institute. With big, color photos and easy-to-read info boxes, this title is a wonderful choice for budding geologists!

Butterflies and Moths by Nic Bishop J 595.789 BIS

Summertime means butterflies! Author/Photographer Nic Bishop gets up close and personal with some beautiful butterflies, as well as moths, caterpillars, and cocoons. Perfect for helping to identify butterflies in your garden!

Going Places by Peter and Paul Reynolds E REY

When Maya joins the annual Going Places race, the other contestants are concerned with how different her entry is- but maybe everyone’s go carts don’t have to be the exact same! This great story celebrates creativity and uniqueness.

The Scariest Book Ever by Bob Shea E SHE

Can you handle a trip into the scary woods? Or would you rather eat donuts with a silly ghost who just wants to clean the bathroom and cuddle his kitten? This story takes a look at things we think are scary, but are really harmless…and there’s donuts.

Swing It, Sunny by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm J GN HOL

This wonderful sequel to Sunny Side Up takes readers to middle school with Sunny, an optimistic tween with a slew of problems. Starting a new school can be hard on anyone, and Sunny is worried about making friends, as well as about her brother, who has been sent off to boarding school. Can she handle all these things and stay Sunny Side Up?

Newsprints by Ru Xu J GN XU

Blue is an orphan girl who dresses up like a boy to sell newspapers during wartime. She meets a boy named Crow, who is also hiding something about his identity. Together, they try to figure out how much truth to tell and how important friendship is.

The Thing About Georgie by Lisa Graff J GRA

Georgie is pretty sure everyone has a “thing.” His Mom’s “thing” is that she is having a baby. The thing about his classmate, Jeanie i, is that she hates working with him on a project. Georgie’s thing? He has dwarfism, a medical condition that has limited his growth. But will Georgie find out what makes us more alike than different?

Sheena’s Picks:

The Watermelon Seed by Greg Pizzoli E PIZ

This silly book addresses the age-old question, what happens to me if I swallow a watermelon seed? Our friend, the alligator, hilariously finds out.

Blackout by John Rocco E ROC

During one hot, summer night, the lights go out and the city turns dark. Although it’s scary at first, this one particular family quickly discovers that it’s not so bad, it may even turn out to be fun!

Monkey and Elephant Get Better by Carole Lexa Schaefer ER SCH

Monkey and Elephant find that they have many things in common, except for the fact that Monkey is a monkey and Elephant is an elephant. When they both become sick, they each have different ideas of how to take care of one another. Can they help one another feel better even though their ideas are so different?

Summer of Forsaken Lake by Michael D. Beil J BEI

Twelve-year-old Nicholas and his twin sisters spend the summer with their great uncle in Ohio. Snooping through some old boxes, they find an unfinished movie and a love letter written to their father many years ago. this becomes the beginning of a fascinating mystery that is just begging to be solved. Jam-packed with mystery and adventure, this is a great summer read.

Treasure Hunters by James Patterson J PAT

The Kidds siblings have grown up traveling the world hunting for treasure along with their famous treasure hunting parents. However after their parents go missing on the job, their skills are put to the test in a race to find them. Dodging dangerous pirates and sneaky rivals using only cryptic clues and their gut instincts, finding out what happens to their parents is their biggest treasure hunt of all.

Sensory Parenting from Newborns to Toddlers: Everything is Easier When Your Child’s Senses are Happy by Britt Collins  PC 649.1 COL

From the neighbors’ incessantly barking dog to the texture of your mom’s casserole, we all have sensory issues at one time or another. Children are no different. But wouldn’t it make parenting easier if you could make all of your child’s senses happy? This book has all the tips, tricks, and solutions to help make that happen!

Kookaburra by Steven Anderson E READALONG AND

Learn about our friendly Kookaburra through beautiful illustrations and a catchy tune. Get your singing pipes ready as you’ll be singing along in no time.




Youth Services Staff Picks- Summer 2018: Part Two

Sandy’s Picks:

The Adventures of Milo and Otis  J DVD ADV

The story of two animals and their adventures. Milo, the cat, and Otis, the dog, grew up together on the same farm. One day, the two are separated and begin a journey to find each other. The adventurous quest find the friends traveling across the mountains, plains, and snow-covered lands searching for one another.

I’m Trying to Love Spiders by Bethany Barton J 595.44 BAR

This book is full of spider information. If you are afraid of spiders, but want to overcome your fear this maybe just the book for you. In this book, you will learn that you have a greater chance of being struck by lightning than being fatally bitten by a spider.

El Deafo by Cece Bell JP GN BEL

Cece loses her hearing at the age of four as a result of sudden illness. All at once, she has to relearn how to communicate with those around her, including family and friends. School turns out to be a bit tricky, since she can’t read her teacher’s lips at all times. Not to worry, Phonic Ear to the rescue!

Little Dog, Lost by Marion Dane Bauer JP BAU

Little Dog, Lost  is a book about three different characters who live in the same town: Buddy, Mark, and Charles Larue. Buddy is a lost dog who loses his previous owner and is now on a quest to find an owner who loves him. Mark is the Mayor’s son who desperately wants a dog and for their town to have a dog park. Charles Larue is an old man who lost his wife and is longing for a dog. The three characters are separated at first, but soon realize that they need one another to make their dreams come true.

The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley J BRA

Nine-year-old Ada has never left her apartment. Her mom is too embarrassed by her disfigured foot to let her go outside. When her little brother, Jamie, is sent to London to escape the war, Ada sneaks out and goes with him. They are given to a woman named Susan Smith, who has some emotional issues of her own to resolve, but she gradually takes responsibility for the two and begins to rebuild her life with them.

Carolyn’s Picks:

Aqualicious by Victoria Kahn E KAH

Pinkalicious goes to the beach and discovers a little mermaid called Aqua. Will Pinkalicious be able to find her way home?

Everybody Needs a Rock by Byrd Baylor E BAY

How can you find the perfect rock? Follow along to discover the joy of having that special rock.

A Camping Spree with Mr. Magee by Chris Van Dusen E VAN

Mr. Magee goes camping with his dog Dee, but what was once peaceful is now exciting and possibly dangerous adventure! Rhyming text makes this a fun read.

Butterfly by Jessica Rudolph J 595.78 RUD

Facts about the life cycle of the butterfly with big, bright pictures and large print. Butterfly enthusiasts will learn a lot about the monarch butterfly.

Hot Dog! by Casper Babypants J CD BABY

Light and lively music sure to make you smile this summer!

The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook by Dinah Bucholz J 641.5942

Cook up a feast fit for Hogwarts. You will need more than magic wands and spells with this book. You can find recipes for Bangers and Mash, Yorkshire Pudding, and Mince Pies among other very British favorites.

Steffanie’s Picks:

History’s Mysteries: Curious Clues, Cold Cases, and Puzzles from the Past by Kitson Jazynka J 904 JAZ

This exciting new series will cover history’s head-scratching mysteries, including the Lost Colony of Roanoke, the dancing plague, and many others. This book is full of cool photos, fun facts, and spine-tingling mysteries.

Bad Princess: True Tales from Behind the Tiara by Kris Waldherr J 940.09 WAL

Bad Princess explores more than 30 true princess stories throughout history. Some princesses didn’t live the life of glitz and glamour that you think they may have.

Sandwiches! by Alison Deering J 641.84 DEE

From a classic PB&J to a triple-decker club, discover everything you’ve ever wanted to know about sandwiches! In this cookbook, kids will learn to assemble delicious breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert sandwiches with accompanying facts about each sandwich.

Restart by Gordon Korman J KOR

Chase does not remember falling off the roof, nor does he remember anything about himself or his life. When he gets back to middle school, he begins to learn about who he was through the reactions of the other kids. It turns out, no one really likes Chase because he was a bully. Can he take this opportunity to restart his life?

From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess by Meg Cabot J CAB

Olivia Grace Clarisse Harrison has always felt out of place. However, she didn’t know just how out of place she really was until the Princess of Genovia pops into her school and announces that Olivia is her long-lost sister! Olivia is a princess and that’s a dream come true…isn’t it?  Do his parents keep telling him that someone is listening to their conversations?

George by Alex Gino J GIN

When people look at George, they think that they see a boy. But the truth is, that George is actually a girl. Her teacher announces that their yearly class play is going to be Charlotte’s Web and George really wants to play Charlotte, but she’s not allowed to try out because she’s a boy. George comes up with a plan to try out for the play, not just so she can be Charlotte, but so everyone will learn who she truly is.




Youth Services Staff Picks- Summer 2018: Part One

School is out and we have so many great books to read. If you love to read but have no idea what to read, we have some amazing staff picks this summer.

Jen’s Picks:

Seaglass Summer by Anjali Banerjee J BAN

Poppy Ray wants to be a veterinarian, but she has never even had a pet. This summer, she is going to spend a month with her Uncle Sanjay, who is a veterinarian, and she’ll discover that she may not be prepared for all of the quirky pet owners, dirty messes, or scary emergencies that go along with working with animals.

Alice in Wonderland retold by Jon Scieszka E SCI

Relive the classic tale of Alice chasing the White Rabbit to the magical world of Wonderland. Hang out with the Cheshire Cat, drink tea with the Mad Hatter, and try not to lose your head when you meet the Queen of Hearts.

You Wouldn’t Want to be Cleopatra!: An Egyptian Ruler You’d Rather Not Be by Jim Pipe J 932 PIP

You are an Egyptian princess living 2,000 years ago. You are rich and royal, what could be better, right? Discover what it was really like to be Cleopatra. It definitely was not easy living in this palace!

How the Beatles Changed the World by Martin W. Sandler J 782.42166 SAN

Introduce a new generation to the Beatles and see how four guys from Liverpool, England changed rock and roll music and ignited Beatlemania across the globe.

Magic Eye III: Visions: A New Dimension in Art by N.E. Thing Enterprises    J 152.148 MAG

In the 1990’S, 3D illusion books were all the rage. Can you see the magic image that pops out at you? Hold the image on each page up to your nose, slowly pull the book away, and let your eyes relax. What do you see?

Fish Girl by Donna Jo Napoli and David Wiesner  J GN NAP

Fish Girl lives in a tank at a boardwalk aquarium and is “cared for” by a man who calls himself Neptune. She is the main attraction there, though she hides away so no humans can see her for fear that they will harm her. She longs to be free, and with the help of an octopus, a girl named Livia, and a little magic, this mermaid can do anything. Filled with gorgeously illustrated artwork, this graphic novel is a feast for the eyes.

Wishtree by Katharine Applegate J APP & PLAYAWAY J F APP

A wise, old oak tree named Red tells how he and his crow friend, Bongo, help their human neighbors come together after a threat against a Muslim family is carved into Red’s trunk. Red and his animal friends love Samar, the new girl, and will do anything to help their friend. Red is a wish tree and once a year people tie their wishes on his branches. Will Red and the animals grant a special wish and save the day? Told with beauty and humor, and with a message of acceptance and the importance of friendship.

Liz’s Picks:

The Lost Stone by Jordan Quinn JP QUI

The first book in the series The Kingdom of Wrenly. Prince Lucas and his friend Clara, set out to find the Queen’s lost jewel and their quest takes them all over the kingdom.

Ship of Dolls by Shirley Parenteau J PAR

It is 1926 and a class is raising money to send a doll to the children of Japan through a Friendship Exchange Program. This book is not just about dolls, it is about loyalty, friendship, consequences, and more.

Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion E ZIO

Where does Harry the white dog with black spots go when he runs away to avoid a bath? What will happen when he finally comes home?

Beach Feet by Kiyomi Konagaya E KON

What would you be thinking about when you go to the beach? This is a perfect story of a child at the beach.

A Baseball Story by Richard Torrey E TOR

This is a cute story about Jordan’s very first baseball game, from warmups to a fun celebration at the end!

Max’s Castle by Richard Torrey E TOR

Max finds forgotten blocks under his bed and begins to build. The power of imagination is a wonderful thing.

The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo Audio CD JF DIC

This tale is the perfect combination of sweet and darkness. A small mouse with oversized ears, falls in love with a princess and sets out to rescue her from the clutches of an evil rat!

Leslie’s Picks:

The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors by Drew Daywalt E Day

Rock is a mighty warrior who wanted to find someone who was worthy of a challenge. At the same time from across the land, Paper and Scissors were also looking for a worthy battle. By the grace of the universe, all 3 fell into a great battle. Read to find out who wins this challenge of a lifetime!

The Book of Mistakes by Corinna Luyken E LUY

This beautifully crafted book shows the reader that not all mistakes are accidental.

Fox in Socks, Horton Hatches the Egg, and Other Stories by Dr. Seuss AUDIO CD JF SEU

Listen along as the classic tales of Dr. Seuss are read aloud in a very entertaining way.

The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend by Dan Santat E SAN

Beekle was born on an island far, far away. It is an island where imaginary friends are created but Beekle waited and waited for someone to claim him. He decided to venture out in search of his own friend. Will Beekle find someone or will he have many adventures in the world on his own?

This is Not a Werewolf Story by Sandra Evans J EVA

Deep in the heart of the woods lies a secret that only Raul knows. At the end of a long week at his boarding school, Raul escapes to the woods to live out a secret life. Every character has a secret in this story. Who do you think carries the biggest secret with them? Will the secret mystery be revealed or is it just fantasy?

Off the Wall by Ripley Entertainment  J 031.02 RIP

Did you know that it is illegal to flush the toilet in Switzerland after 10:00 pm if you live in an apartment? Did you know that the :Snake Man” from China can lead a snake through his nostril and out his mouth? If you like bizarre stunts, then this book is for you!


Staff Picks: Part Three

And now the conclusion:

Steffanie’s Picks:

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan J RIO

Percy Jackson’s algebra teacher just turned into a monster and tried to kill him! When his mom finds out, she knows its time that he goes to the one place he’ll be safe at, Camp Half Blood, where Percy learns that his father is Poseidon, the God of the Sea.

A Day With No Crayons by Elizabeth Rusch E RUS

Liza’s mother takes away her crayons and suddenly her world goes gray. Through acts of anger, like squirting her toothpaste into the sink, Liza inadvertently creates art and discovers color in the world around her.

Poppy Pickle by Emma Yarlett E YAR

Anything Poppy imagines literally comes alive. Suddenly, a mammoth puts his foot through her bedroom floor and a hungry crocodile thinks Poppy would make a tasty snack. How can poppy get rid of all of these creatures before her parents find out?

Peanut Butter and Brains by Joe McGee J MCG

Reginald isn’t like the other zombies who scare townspeople and moan for brains! The only thing Reginald wants to eat is sticky peanut butter and sweet jelly. Can Reginald bring peace to Quirkville and convince the other zombies that peanut butter and jelly is tastier than brains?

Disenchanted: The Trials of Cinderella by Megan Morrison J MOR

In this addition to the series of Tyme: Ella Coach, Prince Dash Charming, and Serge the wish granting fairy all feel stuck in their everyday lives. These three unlikely friends work together to find the faith to change their individual worlds whilst changing the lives of the people around them. Its “Cinderella,” reimagined with the characteristics of the wonderful world of Tyme.

Cloud and Wallfish by Anne Nesbet J NES

Noah Keller’s parents tell him that his name isn’t really Noah and he didn’t really just turn eleven in March. As Noah – now “Jonah Brown” – and his parents head to the Iron Curtain into East Berlin, the rules and secrets pile up so quickly that he can’t keep track. When did his mother become fluent in several languages and why do his parents keep telling him that someone is listening to their conversations.

Leslie’s Picks:

The Man Who Walked Between the Towers by Mordicai Gerstein


Take a trip on the high-wire between the two tallest buildings of New York City, the World Trade Center towers. A young french high-wire walker dared to scale the almost complete structures in 1974 to challenge himself on a high-wire adventure. Phillippe snuck to the top, with his friends, and strung a cable only 7/8 inches thick between the buildings. How will he survive the crossing without a safety net?

Lego: The Adventures of Clutch Powers     J DVD LEG

Clutch Powers heads off on a mission to take control of the three most wanted criminals in the galaxy. What will Clutch and his team do in a crisis? Will they defeat evil or will Clutch find himself trapped in the castle of doom?

The Fantastic Secret of Owen Jester by Barbara O’Connor J OCO

Owen is a shy boy who just moved to a small town in the middle of nowhere. One night a mysterious package smashes into the woods near the railroad tracks. Owen is determined to find out the package’s secrets and makes some new friends in the process.

Ninja Bunny by Jennifer Gray Olson E OLS

Ninja Bunny has 10 rules to follow to be a  Super Ninja Bunny. The most important rule is to ALWAYS WORK _ _ _ _ E. Can you guess the word? Read Ninja Bunny to find the ultimate rule.

Choose Your Own Adventure: Princess Island by Shannon Gilligan J CHO

Royal Princess Peregrine Yvette is off to summer camp for 6 weeks. Actually… you are off to camp for 6 weeks! In this high stakes adventure book, you will choose your own fate. Do you go to the Trillium cabin where the ear piercing scream of terror is coming? Do You look for the fabled Princess Island ghost? There are so many adventure choices to choose! What will you, Princess Peregrine Yvette do?

The Mazes of Bones by Rick Riordan J M THI

Who is Grace Cahill and why would she change her will just seconds before she passed? In this adventure series, two young siblings accept a challenge that is beyond their imagination. Being part of the Cahill family means danger, deceit, and foul cousins from another country. Where will the quest lead them?

Sandy’s Picks:

Mustaches for Maddie by Chad Morris J MOR

Maddie is your average 12-year-old with a quirky sense of humor. She likes to make people laugh by wearing a variety of fake mustaches. Her world is turned upside down when she is diagnosed with a brain tumor. This inspirational book is based on a true story.

Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein E STE

Papa is trying to get the Little Red Chicken to go to bed. Every time Papa reads a story, the Little Red Chicken interrupts to give a safer, less scary version of the story. The more they read, the more excited the Little Red Chicken gets. Will the Little Red Chicken ever go to sleep?

Meditate With Me: A Step-by-Step Mindfulness Journey by Mariam Gates E 158.1 GAT

This is a beginner’s book to meditation. It is written like a picture book with step-by-step instructions on how to meditate. This book is a great resource to help kids who are struggling with not being able to calm themselves down.

Mr. Lemoncello’s Library Olympics by Chris Grabenstein  J GRA

This is the sequel to Escape From Mr. Lemoncello’s Library. Kyle and his friends are invited to compete in Mr. Lemoncello’s Library Olympics. Their team will compete in 12 different library games and will compete against other teams of kids from all over the country. The winners will receive their college education paid for. Kyle’s team not only feels the pressure to win but they are also trying to figure out who is sabotaging the game and trying to ruin Mr. Lemoncello’s Library.

The One and Only Ivan  by Katherine Applegate  JP APP

Ivan is a gorilla who lives in a glass enclosure located in a shopping mall. He spends his days watching television and spending time with his friends. He doesn’t think about the jungle until one day when Ruby, a baby elephant who was captured in the jungle is brought to the enclosure. The story is told by Ivan and is based on a true story.

The Fab Five: Jordyn Wieber, Gabby Douglas and the U.S. Women’s Gymnastics Team by Christine Dzidrums  J 796.44 DZI


This book is about the “Fab Five” Women’s gymnastic team from the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London. Each gymnast has a chapter dedicated to themselves and tells about the journey as they began as young gymnasts with big dreams to becoming Olympic champions.


Staff Picks: Part Two

Jen’s Picks:

Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier  J GN TEL

Catrina’s family moved to northern California because the air will help her sister breathe easier and make her strong. She is trying to be happy with the change, but their neighbor is obsessed with ghosts and Catrina fears the supernatural. Can she overcome the fear for her sister?

The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes   J EST

Wanda wears the same faded dress to school every day and is teased by the other girls. She tells the girls that she has 100 dresses, but this makes the other girls even meaner. When the girls realize the truth about the 100 dresses, they learn a lesson about the importance of being kind.

The Sixty-Eight Rooms by Marianne Malone J MAL

This magical tale takes place inside the sixty-eight miniature Thorne Rooms that exist deep within the Art Institute of Chicago. What if you discovered a key that allowed you to shrink so that you were small enough to explore those rooms? What if you discovered that you weren’t the first one to have visited them?

Cowboy Playground by Putumayo World Music  J CD WORLD COW

Giddy up and journey back to the Wild West with fun songs for little buckaroos. Yee Haw!

Yoga for Kids by Lorena V. Pajalunga  J E 613.7046 PAJ

A little boy begins taking yoga lessons at the zoo, where he learns that he can imitate the animals there with simple yoga poses.

Anne Frank: Her Life in Words and Pictures by Menno Metselaar and Ruud van der Rol  J B FRA

Anne Frank’s diary was one of the most moving books I ever read as a young girl and solidified my love of books at age 10. Discover more about Anne’s life in this scrapbook style book through photographs and a timeline that shows what life was like in her world.

Alissa’s Picks:

Pokemon Cookbook by Maki Kudo  J 641.5 KID

This book is full of so many awesome Pokemon inspired recipes, you’re going to want to catch ’em all! Some require adult help so this book is great for getting the family working together in the kitchen.

The Book of Gardening Projects for Kids by Whitney Cohen and John Fisher  J 635 COH

It’s the time of year to start thinking green, and this awesome collection gives great ideas for garden enthusiasts of all ages.

The Daring Miss Quimby by Suzanne George Whitaker  E B QUI

Harriet Quimby, the first american woman to get her pilot’s license, still serves as an awesome inspiration for girls and women to stay bold and stay daring!

Girl’s Best Friend by Leslie Margolis  J M MAR

Dogs all over the neighborhood are starting to go missing, so it’s up to Maggie Brooklyn to solve the case and find the lost pups

The Friendship Code by Stacia Deutsch  AUDIO CD J F DEU

A new coding club at school offers Lucy to learn something she’s always wanted to, and to make friends while doing it. Can she balance working with new friends to create a brand-new app?

Louise Loves Art by Kelly Light  E LIG

Louise loves making art… and her little brother, Art. But when her projects and her brother combine, Louise has to figure out how to keep them BOTH happy!

Sheena’s Picks:

The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau  J DUP

The City of Ember is falling apart, so friends Lina and Doon race around the city collecting clues left by their founders and solving mysteries that bring shocking truths to the surface of both the past and present. You don’t have to be a sci-fi fan to appreciate this exciting and thrilling novel.

Rocket and Groot: Stranded on Planet Strip Mall: by Tom Angelberger


Rocket and Groot crash-land on a stranded strip mall. They quickly find out that this isn’t your average strip mall. With Crazy robotic store attendants and hungry killer toilets, Rocket and Groot find themselves having to save the planet.

Prince Ribbit by Jonathan Emmett  E EMM

When Princess Martha overhears her sisters talk about a fairy tale they just read about, a frog turning into a handsome prince, she doesn’t believe them. Weirdly, Lucinda and Arabella come across a frog and start treating him like royalty, and Martha is determined to prove her sisters wrong.

Bloom by Doreen Cronin  E CRO

Bloom is the name of a mud fairy, whose magic can turn weeds into flowers and spin sand into glass, but she was just too messy and muddy for the people in the kingdom and they forced her to move far away. However, when the glass castle starts to crack and crumble, the king and queen ash for the fairy’s help. With a little bit of mud and magic, together they can do extraordinary things!


Planting the Trees of Kenya by Claire A. Nivola J B MAA

Wangari Maathai, the first woman from Africa to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004, grew up in Kenya. She noticed her home that was once “dressed in green” was now bare and suffering. She urged the women of Kenya to take matters into their own hands and restore the land to the way it used to be.

Feathers: Not Just for Flying by Melissa Stewart E 598.147 STE

Springtime is here and that means more bird spotting! Did you know that the feathers on a bird serve a purpose other than for flying? With simple text and beautiful illustrations, this book explains why birds have the feathers they do and how it helps them thrive in their habitat.


Staff Picks: Part One

Dana’s Picks:

Cork & Fuzz: Spring Cleaning by Dori Chaconas  ER CHA

Cork loves to clean, and his friend, Fuzz, would rather play. When Cork tries to boss Fuzz into helping with the Spring Cleaning, it creates some problems they must work out.

When Spring Comes by Kevin Henkes  E HEN

Henkes describes how the dark world of winter develops into the bright and blooming world of spring.

How Do You Know It’s Spring? by Ruth Owen  J 508.2 OWE

In this non-fiction title, the author describes the various ways spring makes itself known to us, from budding flowers, to longer days, and to the birth of baby animals.

Spring: An Alphabet Acrostic by Steven Schnur  E SCH

Schnur uses acrostic poetry, a poetry form in which the first letter of each line spells out a word, to describe spring.

The Tree Lady by H. Joseph Hopkins  E B SES

In this picture book biography, we learn about Katherine Olivia Sessions, who brought trees to San Diego, California and is credited with developing what eventually became Balboa Park.

The Gardener by Sarah Stewart  E STE

Told through letters, Lydia Grace goes to live with her uncle after her father loses his job. Lydia Grace is a gardener and brings that with her, always hoping to bring a smile to her uncle’s face.

Liz’s Picks:

The Night Gardener by Eric Fan and Terry Fan  E FAN

Awesome illustrations! This is an excellent book about a man who works at night to transform trees into beautiful topiaries. One night, young William follows the Night Gardener to the park and is invited to help him.


My Wiggle Makes Me Giggle by Scott Simons  J CD MYWI

Fun Songs that encourage healthy habits.

The Littlest Bigfoot by Jennifer Weiner  AUDIO CD J F WEI

Alice struggles with being comfortable in her own skin and does not fit in anywhere. Shipped off to a new school each year. Alice saves Millie, who is a Bigfoot, from drowning in a lake. A friendship blossoms. Elsewhere, Jeremy, a lonely boy, believes there are Bigfoot in the forest and tries to expose them. This is a wonderful story about friendship, acceptance, and standing up for others.

If you Plant a Seed  by Kadir Nelson  E NEL

A story about kindness and reaping what you sow. The illustrations are wonderful!

Stormstruck by John MacFarlane  J MAC

A fast paced read about a boy who tries to protect his dog from being euthanized. They embark on a sailing trip, only to find themselves caught up in some very dangerous situations.

Martina the Beautiful Cockroach: A Cuban Folktale by Carmen Agra Deedy

J 398.2 DEE

Martina Josefina Catalina Cucaracha was a beautiful cockroach. When she was old enough to marry, her Abuela (grandmother) gave her some shocking advice. She should spill coffee on her suitor’s shoes to see how they react. Read this humorous story to find out if the coffee test works.

Carolyn’s Picks:

A Long Way from Chicago by Richard Peck J P PEC

Joey and Mary-Alice go to visit their grandmother every summer in rural Illinois. The kids think it will be boring, but things don’t always turn out the way you expect. Each summer has its own chapter and is a fun and touching read.

The Night World by Mordecai Gerstein  E GER

A little boy and his cat discover the world of shadows at night. It is dark, but soon “something” is coming!

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen  JP PAU

Brian’s plane crashed, and he has to learn to survive in the wilderness by himself. He has a hatchet and not much else. What dangers will he have to face? Will he be rescued or is this his new life?

Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin  J MAR

Rose has a dog named Rain. Rain is a homonym for Reign, and Rose loves both Rain and homonyms. Her love of homonyms makes her different. The other kids don’t understand her and even her father has a hard time accepting her. One stormy night, Rain goes missing and Rose has to overcome her own challenges to find her.

Hidden by Helen Frost  J FRO

This novel in verse tells the story of two girls who share a secret from their past. One summer they meet at camp and must learn to deal with the secret that they have kept for so long.

Ah Ha by Jeff Mack  E MAC

How many ways can our frog friend combine the letters A and H? What do the words mean? This is a fun, colorful book with a lot of action.


Staff Picks- Winter 2017 Part Two

Carolyn’s Picks:

This Book Just Ate My Dog by Richard Byrne  E BYR

A great interactive book. What happens when Bella’s dog disappears into the book? Will she be able to get him back? Read and watch each page to find out!

The Legend of Rock, Paper, Scissors  by Drew Daywalt  E DEW

Each of our heroes is superior in their own domain. Will any of them find a worthy opponent to battle? This book tells the funny story of how this game will never end.

The Julian Chapter by R.J. Palacio  Audio CD J F PAL

Julian is a bully when it comes to Auggie Pullman, but what makes him that way and will he change? If you’re a fan of the book Wonder, you will enjoy listening to Julian’s version of what happened.

The Ice Dragon by George R.R. Martin  J MAR

Discover this short Game of Thrones style story about a young girl who is not affected by the cold, and her special relationship with an ice dragon during the battles in her ancient world.

Get into Art by Susie Brooks  J 704.9432 BRO

Colorful, animal art from various artists will inspire you to make your own animal art. In this book, you get to learn about the artist, their art, and how to create your own art!

Around the World Cookbook by Abigail Johnson Dodge  J 641.59 DOD

This cookbook is full of food you’ve heard about, and maybe even tasted, but now you can make it yourself! Start out by learning your way around the kitchen, the tools you’ll need, and the terms that are used in cooking. Next, find a recipe you want to try. You might try making Tandoori Chicken Legs from India or Vanilla Panna Cotta from Italy. There are step-by-step instructions, colorful pictures, and fun facts about the food. Remember to always ask a grown-up for help before starting!

Dana’s Picks:

The Story of Snow by Mark Cassino  J 551.784 CAS

A snow photographer and a snow scientist explain how snowflakes develop and the different shapes that snowflakes take. Enjoy the photographs of enlarged snowflakes and learn the best way to catch your own snow crystals.

Elvis: The Story of the Rock and Roll King by Bonnie Christensen  J B PRE

In this beginning biography, Christensen shares information about the very early years of Elvis Presley. From his birth to his first recording for Sun Records; learn how this legendary talent first developed.

Eight Dolphins of Katrina: A True Tale of Survival

by Janet Wyman Coleman  J 599.53 COL

Marine Life Oceanarium in Gulfport, Mississippi was destroyed by a forty foot storm surge during Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Eight dolphins housed there were discovered missing after the hurricane. This is the story of their rescue. Also included is additional information about dolphins.

Two for One by Kate DiCamillo & Alison McGhee  J DIC

In this second Bink & Gollie story, the two best friends have adventures at their local state fair.

Year Comes Round: Haiku Through the Seasons by Sid Farrar  J 811.6 FAR

If you enjoy haiku poetry, try these poems that simply describe what the seasons mean to us.

My First Day by Steven Jenkins & Robin Page  J 591.392 PIN

What do newborn baby mammals, insects, and amphibians experience on the first day they are born? Read this non-fiction title by Jenkins and Page to find out.

Martin & Mahalia: His Words, Her Song

by Andrea Davis Pinkney  J 323 PIN

Through words and music, Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahalia Jackson were forces of change during the Civil Rights era of the 1960’s. In Martin & Mahalia, Pinkney eloquently shares their stories.

Alissa’s Picks:

Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier  J GN TEL

Raina Telgemeier is fantastic at telling stories about sisters, and this is book is no exception! The story of two sisters who move from their home to Northern California- the sea air is good for younger sister Maya’s cystic fibrosis- where everyone is obsessed with ghosts. As the Day of the Dead celebrations draw near, the sisters learn more about their Hispanic heritage, and older sister Cat tries to make peace with her sister’s illness.

The Danger Box by Blue Balliett  J M BAL

Zoomy is a kid who sees the world a little differently. Abandoned to his grandparents as a baby, mystery abounds when his father shows up with an odd box, which sets in motion a strange series of events. Readers who loved Chasing Vermeer by Balliett are sure to enjoy this mystery, too!

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly


Callie is a girl growing up in 1899, but she isn’t interested in things she “should” be. Instead of learning to be the lady of a well-to-do household, she would much rather run around the woods with her grandfather, seeking out the science in nature. Narrated by Natalie Ross, this great story will be an inspiration to kids everywhere who want to nurture a passion, even if it’s not the popular thing to do.

Balloons Over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade by Melissa Sweet J B SAR

Everyone loves a parade, and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is the most famous, beloved parade of all! But who was the first person to create the iconic balloons? And how did they become such a key part of American culture? Meet Tony Sarg, a puppeteer who designed the first balloon marionette for Macy’s Parade in 1928. His unique story proves that a little ingenuity can go a long way.

Tales Our Abuelitas Told by F. Isabel Campoy

J 398.2 CAM

Folktales from around the world always make for interesting reads, and this collection of Latino stories is no exception! Witty, funny, and heartfelt, these tales will introduce readers to a whole new slate of characters and may inspire them to learn more about the Latino cultures they come from.

Kids’ Embroidery by Kristin Nicholas J 746.44 NIC

Winter is a  great time to learn a new skill and cross stitch embroidery is coming back into popularity! This great book walks readers step-by-step through different stitches and techniques, and is great for beginners of all ages! From scarves to coasters, the variety of projects makes for fun crafting.

Steffanie’s Picks:

Grounded: the Adventures of Rapunzel

by Megan Morrison  J MOR

In the country of Tyme, no one is luckier than Rapunzel. She lives in a magic tower, reads books that she stars in, and has a loving Witch who protects her from evil princes and unhappy thoughts. Then a stranger named Jack breaks into her tower to steal an enchanted rose! Jack is the first person, besides Witch, that Rapunzel has ever met. He infuriates Rapunzel by implying that Witch is lying to her. Driven by anger, Rapunzel descends to the ground for the first time, and finds a world filled with beauty and adventure.

The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Perez  J PER

Twelve-year-old Maria Luisa (though you better call her Malu) likes zines, Chuck Taylors, and punk music. She’s an outcast at her new school where she annoys the most popular girl in school, forms a band with other outcasts, and stands up to an anti-punk school administrator to fight for her right to express herself.

Worm Loves Worm by J.J. Austrian  E AUS

Worm and Worm fall in love with each other and want to get married. Their friends want to know, who will wear the dress and who will wear the tux? The answer is : it doesn’t matter who wears what because Worm loves Worm.

Escargot by Dashka Slater  E SLA

Escargot is a cute little French snail who only wants two things in life. He wants to be your favorite animal and he needs to get to the delicious salad at the end of the book. When he finally gets to the salad he finds there’s a carrot in it. Escargot hates carrots. With a little help from the reader, he tries one and discovers that carrots aren’t so bad after all.

Tell Me a Tattoo Story by Allison McGhee  E MCG

A father tells his son the story behind each of his tattoos and together they go on a journey through family history. There is a tattoo from his favorite book that his mother used to read him, and one from the longest trip he ever took. The best tattoo of them all is a little heart with numbers inside.

Ruby on the Outside by Nora Raleigh Baskin  J BAS

Eleven-year-old Ruby Danes is starting middle school and only her aunt knows her deep dark secret: her mother is in prison. Ruby is desperate for friendship but doesn’t get too close to anyone due to her secret. Until Margalit Tipps moves into Ruby’s condo complex and Ruby thinks Margalit could be her first true friend. Can she let her in on the big secret? Maybe not. It turns out that Margalit’s family seems closely connected to the very event that put her mother in prison.