New Book Reviews for Kids

New Book Reviews

Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie

by Julie Sternberg

Reading Level: Grades 1-3

When Eleanor's babysitter Bibi moves far away, Eleanor is devastated. Life without her favorite person is hard. Everything Eleanor used to like to do is now unpleasant and sad because it reminds her of Bibi. It's awful - way worse than pickle juice on a cookie. Things get even worse when Eleanor's parents hire a NEW babysitter.

Written in verse, this short, charming novel explores loss in a fresh way - no one dies; Bibi has only moved away and still cares very much about Eleanor. Eleanor learns to accept and even come to like her new babysitter, but no one can ever replace Bibi.

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Illustrator: Matthew Cordell Reading Level: 1st Grade,2nd Grade,3rd Grade Subjects: Family, Friends, Non-Prose, Read-Alouds, Realistic Fiction, Relationships Location: J Fiction
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Square Cat

by Elizabeth Schoonmaker

Reading Level: Ages 3-7

Eulah is a square cat who wishes more than anything in the world that she was round like her friends. Then she would be able to have the same kind of fun that the other cats do. Poor Eulah.

Then her friends show her the things that are wonderful about a square cat -- all the great things she can do!

It is good to have friends who care.

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Reading Level: Preschoolers,Kindergarteners Subjects: Animals--Talking, Friends, Humor Location: Picture Books
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Okay For Now

by Gary D. Schmidt

Reading Level: Grades 6+

Doug Swieteck and his lousy older brother just moved to a brand-new town that will be probably just as lousy as the old one - and with less baseball. And, just like in his old town, everyone who's anyone (teachers, the police, his dad, Lil Spicer down the street) thinks that Doug's just a skinny good-for-nothing kid who won't ever amount to anything except for trouble.

Despite Lil and Doug's initial dislike of each other, they begin to bond nonetheless. In his friendship with Lil, Doug manages to deal with his lousy situation, including his abusive father and older brother just back from Vietnam. Doug also finds solace in the public library's Audubon bird plates, first tracing the shapes and feathers with his fingers and then learning to draw them, with the help of a kind librarian.

Part laugh-out-loud, part tear-jerker, all American coming of age story, Okay For Now is not one to miss.

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Reading Level: 6th Grade,7th Grade,8th Grade,High Schoolers,Adults Subjects: Don't Miss These, Family, Friends, Historical Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Relationships, School, Self Image Location: JY Fiction
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Where's Walrus

by Stephen Savage

Reading Level: Ages 4-8

Take a jaunt through famous scenes as you search for a goofy walrus. Great for kids & parents alike.

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Reading Level: Preschoolers,Kindergarteners,1st Grade,Adults Subjects: Animals--Real Location: Picture Books
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Ferret Fun

by Karen Rostoker-Gruber

Reading Level: Ages 4-8

What do two ferrets named Fudge and Einstein do when they meet a cat who thinks that they would be a perfect snack?

Convince him otherwise, that's what!

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Illustrator: Paul Ratz de Tagyos Reading Level: Preschoolers,Kindergarteners,1st Grade Subjects: Animals--Talking, Friends, Humor, Read-Alouds Location: Picture Books
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Unlocked

by Ryan G. Van Cleave

Reading Level: Grades 7+

When you're the janitor's kid, you don't have many friends. You don't have any friends. Andy is no different, but when he hears a rumor that the school outcast, Blake, has a gun in his locker, he decides to make friends with Blake. When the boys do become friends, Andy must choose between protecting his only friend and protecting a school full of kids who could care less about him?

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READ-ALIKES 

Just Another Hero by Sharon Draper

Shooter by Walter Dean Myers

Jumped by Rita Williams-Garcia

Echo by Kate Morgenroth

Give a Boy a Gun by Todd Strasser

Where the Steps Were by Andrea Cheng

For older readers:

Hate List by Jennifer Brown

Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult

Reading Level: 7th Grade,8th Grade,High Schoolers Subjects: Family, Misfits, Non-Prose, Read-Alikes, Realistic Fiction, School, Social Issues Location: JY Fiction
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You're Finally Here!

by Melanie Watt

Reading Level: Ages 4-8

Rabbit is SO SO SO happy to see you he can barely stand it. But he isn't excited for long - soon he is demanding to know where on earth you were and WHY you weren't with him?? A delicious follow-up to the Scaredy Squirrel series.

 

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More books by Melanie Watt

Reading Level: Preschoolers,Kindergarteners,1st Grade Subjects: Animals--Talking, Don't Miss These, Humor, Read-Alouds Location: Picture Books
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Won Ton: A Cat Tale Told in Haiku

by Lee Wardlaw

Reading Level: Ages 4-8

Won Ton is a shelter cat who is pretty skeptical of his new home and family. Like most cats, he pretends not to care about any of the new toys or food his adoptive family gives him... but sneaks just a peek. A cute story told in perfect haiku that everyone will enjoy.

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Illustrator: Eugene Yelchin Reading Level: Preschoolers,Kindergarteners,1st Grade Subjects: Animals--Talking, Family, Friends, Humor, Non-Prose, Read-Alouds Location: Picture Books
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Hooray for Amanda and Her Alligator!

by Mo Willems

Reading Level: Ages 4-8

Mo Willems has done it again, (though really, has he ever not?) perfectly epitomizing the many expressions of a good friendship in Hooray for Amanda and Her Alligator!

The book takes the form of several stories about the title best friends. Whether you read them aloud, to yourself, or listen, you are sure to love Amanda and her Alligator.

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Reading Level: Preschoolers,Kindergarteners,1st Grade Subjects: Animals--Talking, Don't Miss These, Fantasy, Friends, Humor, Read-Alouds Location: Picture Books
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Paw Power

by Kitty Wells

Reading Level: Grade 2-4

Maddy has wanted a cat her whole entire life. But, according to her mother, she can never ever have one because her little brother Jack is allergic to cats. Maddy's luck changes when Jack spots a set of three ceramic cats in an antique market. The mysterious woman at the stall agrees to give them to Maddy only after reading Maddy's palm.

The next day one of the statues turns into a real, very tiny, grey cat named Greykin. Greykin explains that only one of the cats animates at a time and that is only when there is trouble. According to Greykin, the trouble is at Maddie's school. Once he identifies it, he will need Maddy's help to set things right. Can a timid girl like Maddy help Greykin? Or is his quest doomed to failure?

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Other tales of magical cats include:

The Familiars by Adam Jay Epstein

Catmagic by Holly Webb and

The Story of Serapina by Anne Hitchcock White

Reading Level: 2nd Grade Subjects: Fantasy Location: J Fiction
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