New Book Reviews for Kids

Below are staff reviews of select new books in the Youth Services Department.
For a list of all the new and forthcoming Youth books, click here.

New Book Reviews

Survivor Diaries: Overboard!

by Terry Lynn Johnson

Reading Level: Grades 2-4

Travis and his family are on a whale watching cruise off the coast of Alaska when disaster strikes.  Their ship is hit by a giant rogue wave throwing Travis and Marina, the captain's daughter, into the freezing water.  They watch helplessly as the ship sinks and the life raft is pushed away by the current.  Now it is up to Travis to find a way to save himself and his injured companion before the brutal sea claims their lives.

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If you enjoyed this story of survival try:

Stranded by Jeff Probst

Adrift by Allan Ballie and

Toughboy and Sister by Kirkpatrick Hill

Illustrator: Jani Orban Reading Level: 2nd Grade,3rd Grade,4th Grade Subjects: Adventure, Survival Location: J Fiction
Reviewer:

Waiting for Biblioburro/Esperando el Biblioburro

by Monica Brown

Una historia inspirado por el trabajo de Luis Soriano Bohorquez, un bibliotecario colombiano que tenia una biblioteca movil con sus burros. Viajaba con su biblioteca por montanas y valles para llevar libros a los lugares rurales de Colombia.

A story inspired by the work of Luis Soriano Bohorquez, a Colombian librarian who had a mobile library with the help of his donkeys. He traveled with his library through mountains and valleys to bring books to rural parts of Colombia.

Illustrator: John Parra Reading Level: Preschoolers,Kindergarteners,1st Grade Subjects: In Other Lands Location: Spanish Picturebook
Reviewer:

Star-crossed

by Barbara Dee

Reading Level: Grades 4 through 8

Eighth-grader Matilda, who goes by Mattie, is not used to being in the spotlight. She is perfectly happy playing the side character of Paris in her middle-school’s production of Romeo and Juliet. However, she finds herself becoming more and more interested in the language of Shakespeare, as well as the cute new girl from England. But when the lead playing Romeo drops out, she is asked to step in to replace him. The only problem is, her crush Gemma Braithwaite is playing Juliet!

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Other books by Barbara Dee

If you enjoy this book, try:

Gracefully Grayson by Ami Polonski

Drama by Raina Telgemeier

Better Nate than Ever by Tim Federle

Reading Level: 4th Grade,5th Grade,6th Grade,7th Grade,8th Grade Subjects: Friends, LGBT, Realistic Fiction Location: JY Fiction
Reviewer:

Hideout

by Watt Key

Reading Level: Ages 10-13

When 12-year-old Sam's father gave him his very own fishing boat, it came with rules.  He had to wear a life jacket.  He had to drive his boat carefully.  And he was to stay on the Pascagoula River.  But when Sam's school year ends with him being badly beaten by bullies, Sam feels the need to prove his courage.  So he breaks his father's rule and steers his boat into the dangerous waterways of the nearby bayou where he finds a half-wild boy living in an abandoned fishing shack. The desperate boy begs Sam to keep him a secret.  That promise launches Sam into a dangerous adventure...one that may cost him his life.

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Other books by this author.

Other gripping survival adventures include:

Lost in the River of Grass by Ginny Rorby

Take Me to the River by Will Hobbs and

The Wolf Keepers by Elise Broach

Reading Level: 5th Grade,6th Grade,7th Grade,8th Grade Subjects: Adventure, Books for Boys, Realistic Fiction, Survival Location: JY Fiction
Reviewer:

Mr Pants: Slacks, Camera Action!

by Scott McCormick

Reading Level: Grades 1-4

The good news: There is a movie contest that will earn the winner $1000 and a trip to Hawaii.

The bad news: The entry must be submitted in less than 24 hours. 

Undeterred, Mr. Pants frantically navigates chores (him mom insists,) annoying little sisters and an obligatory tea party to create his masterpiece.

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Other books by this author

If you enjoyed this funny graphic novel try:

Babymouse Queen of the World! by Jennifer Holm

Binky The Space Cat by Ashley Spires

The Flying Beaver Brothers and the Evil Penguin Plan by Maxwell Eaton

Reading Level: 1st Grade,2nd Grade,3rd Grade,4th Grade Subjects: Animals--Talking, Humor Location: J Graphic Novels
Reviewer:

Zenn Diagram

by Wendy Brant

Reading Level: Ages 14-18

17-year-old Eva does not like human touch.  She doesn't even like to touch someone else's personal items like cell phones or a favorite sweater.  People think Eva is on the spectrum or a germaphobe  she is neither but lets them think so.  Only her parents know the real reason.  Eva is a touch empath.  One touch of a person or their important possession drops Eva down a hole of their emotions, secrets and desires.  Eva has managed to get through high school without being overwhelmed by following her no touch rule.  But then she meets Zenn a handsome, gentle funny boy.  A boy that she would really like to touch.

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Other engrossing novels featuring paranormal teens include:

Numbers by Rachel Ward

Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25 by Richard Paul Evans and

Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld

 

Reading Level: 8th Grade,High Schoolers Subjects: Books for Girls, Relationships, Supernatural Location: JY Fiction
Reviewer:

The Wizard's Dog

by Eric Kahn Gale

Reading Level: Grades 3 through 5

Nosewise the dog thinks doors are a nuisance.  Doors always keep him away from interesting things.  Especially the door to the room of magic.  One day, the door opens and Nosewise is allowed to enter a world of enchantment.  When Merlin's apprentice Morgana playfully drapes her magic stone around his neck, Nosewise begins to talk.  Morgana and Nosewise are delighted...Merlin is not.  He decrees that Nosewise will never get  to use the stone again.  Or will he? 

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Some other great stories narrated by dogs include:

I, Jack by Patricia Finney

Bunnicula: A Rabbit Tale of Mystery by James Howe and

Woof: A Bowser and Birdie Mystery by Spencer Quinn

Reading Level: 3rd Grade,4th Grade,5th Grade Subjects: Adventure, Animals--Talking, Fantasy Location: J Fiction
Reviewer:

The Wolf Keepers

by Elsie Broach

12-year-old Lizzie's dad is the head zookeeper at the John Muir wildlife park.  Lizzie and her dad have a home right in the zoo!  That gives Lizzie lots of chances to observe the animals. The newest exhibit is a wolf pack that lives in a wooded habitat on the zoo grounds.  Lizzie spends hours observing the wolves. But all is not well in the pack.  Wolves have begun falling ill.  Once they get sick, they disappear.  Lizzie is determined to save her wolves but what can the problem be?  Is it a virus?  Or something more sinister?

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Other books by Elsie Broach

If you enjoy this zoo mystery try:

Belly Up by Stuart Gibbs

Reading Level: 4th Grade,5th Grade,6th Grade Subjects: Animals--Real, Mysteries, Survival Location: J Fiction
Reviewer:

The Bad Guys

by Aaron Blabey

Mr. Wolf has a bad reputation.  None of it is his fault.  No matter what the three pigs and Little Red Riding Hood (not to mention Grandma) say, Wolf is a good guy. He just has to show the world his good guy nature.  So he forms the "Good Guys Club" and recruits Mr. Shark, Mr. Snake and Mr. Piranha as the other founding members.  Despite their unfortunate instincts to attack and eat anything that comes their way, Mr. Wolf is sure all four of them can prove their goodness to the world...they just need the right mission.

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Other books by Aaron Blabey

Reading Level: 3rd Grade,4th Grade Subjects: Humor Location: J Fiction
Reviewer:

Sea Otter Rescue

by Suzi Eszterhas

Learn about the amazing and difficult job of rescuing sea otters and see some adorable pictures of baby sea otters at the same time. Get a peek inside the secret wildlife hospital at the Alaska SeaLife Center. Baby sea otters look small, but an adult sea otter is the same size as a German Shepard and about 10 times more work to take care of! While this book would definitely help with a report on a marine mammal it is also interesting to read for fun - did I mention adorable sea otter babies? 

Reading Level: 3rd Grade,4th Grade,5th Grade,6th Grade Subjects: Non-Fiction Location: J Non-Fiction
Reviewer:

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