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


by Marissa Burt

Reading Level: Grades 4-6

12-year-old Una flits through her school days alone, barely noticed by her teachers or fellow students.  Home is the same.  Her foster mother never talks or even looks at her.  Una's one pleasure is the library where she can sit for hours and lose herself in a book.  She never meant to get lost for good.

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Books by Marissa Burt

Other tales of stories come to life include:

Inkheart by Cornelia Caroline Funke

Knights of the Kitchen Table by Jon Scieszka and

Magic By the Book by Nina Berenstein


Location: J Fiction

Zita the Spacegirl: Book 1: Far from Home

by Ben Hatke

Reading Level: Grades 3-5

If you found a hole out in the grass while exploring, and inside the hole was a meteoroid, and poking out of the meteoroid was a button, you'd probably push it, wouldn't you? (I would.  Zita did.)

You'd probably freak out when your best friend Joseph got sucked into into this weird vortex thing after you pushed the botton... and then when you pushed the button again, YOU got sucked in, plopping out onto an alien planet. (I would. Zita kind of did.)

Zita's best friend Joseph has been kidnapped by a cult of aliens who believe the world is about to end... and the button that brought both her and Joseph to this alien world is crushed accidentally by a huge alien named Strong-Strong.

So now Zita's totally stuck on an alien planet that apparently is about to come to an end, her best friend has been kidnapped, AND she has no way to get home.

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More books by Ben Hatke.

Reading Level: 3rd Grade,4th Grade,5th Grade Subjects: Adventure, Friends, In Other Lands, Science Fiction, Survival Location: J Graphic Novels


by Gina Damico

Reading Level: Grades 8+

16-year-old Lex Bartleby was the perfect daughter, friend and student until she entered middle school.  Almost over night she became an angry, disrespectful, violent teenager.  Her desperate parents have tried everything...talking, grounding, counseling but nothing has worked.  When she is finally expelled from high school, her parents make one desperate effort to save her.  Lex is exiled to her mysterious Uncle Mort's farm where she will spend the summer milking cows and feeding pigs...or so her parents think.

When the terrifying biker guy accosts her at the isolated rural bus stop, Lex gets ready to fight for her life and then he calls her name.  THIS is Uncle Mort?  He is not a farmer but he is a harvester...a harvester of human souls.  And he wants Lex to join the family business.

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Books by Gina Damico

Other tales about death and reapers include:

Meridian by Amber Kizer

Mort by Terry Pratchett and

Shadowland by Meg Cabot


Reading Level: 8th Grade,High Schoolers Subjects: Family, Fantasy, Misfits, Supernatural Location: JY Fiction

Bramble and Maggie

by Jessie Haas

Reading Level: Grades 2 - 3

Bramble is a horse at a riding school, but she finds going around in circles all the time boring so she starts to act up. Finally the owner of the school decides to sell Bramble, but a horse as clever as Bramble isn't going to accept just ANY new owner.

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More books by Jessie Haas

More books by Alison Friend

Illustrator: Alison Friend Reading Level: 2nd Grade,3rd Grade Subjects: Animals--Real, Humor Location: JP Fiction

The Humming Room

by Ellen Potter

Reading Level: Grade 4-6

An unwanted orphan unhappy man...a forbidding estate...a secret...a neglected garden. Is this a description of Burnett's Sercet Garden? No, but it is a literary reflection of that beloved classic.

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More books by Ellen Potter

Other tales of orphan girls include:

A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Maggie & Oliver, or, A Bone of One's Own by Valerie Hobbs

Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver and

Listening for Lions by Gloria Whelan

Reading Level: 4th Grade,5th Grade,6th Grade Subjects: Adventure, Family, Misfits, Mysteries, Realistic Fiction Location: J Fiction

Bigger Than a Bread Box

by Laurel Snyder

Reading Level: Grades 4 - 6

Rebecca's life is turned upside down when her mother, without warning, takes Rebecca and her little brother away from their father and home and moves them in with their grandmother. Upset when she learns that this is not a short trip, but a permanent relocation Rebecca goes to the attic to sulk and finds a magic bread box. If she wishes for something that is real AND which will fit inside the bread box, the box will give it to her. But magic, no matter how harmless it seems at the time, always comes with a price.

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More books by Laurel Snyder

Reading Level: 4th Grade,5th Grade,6th Grade Subjects: Adventure, Books for Girls, Family, Fantasy, Friends, Self Image Location: J Fiction

Zombie Mommy: A Pals in Peril Tale

by M.T. Anderson

Reading Level: Grades 3 - 6

When Lily's mother realizes that the mothers in novels for children her daughter's age all die horrible deaths she becomes obsessed with avoiding that fate, especially since Lily has now been a main character in four Pals in Peril novels.  Unfortunately in her desperate attempt to avoid anything that might endager her life, she throws herself quite literally right into the arms of zombies, ghosts and vampires.  Can the Pals rescue her before it is too late and she becomes just another fictional mother statistic?

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More books by M.T. Anderson

Reading Level: 3rd Grade,4th Grade,5th Grade,6th Grade Subjects: Adventure, Books for Boys, Books for Girls, Family, Fantasy, Friends, Horror, Humor, Mysteries, Supernatural, Vampires Location: J Fiction

Z is for Moose

by Kelly Bingham

Reading Level: Ages 3 - 6

Moose literally cannot wait for M to come up in this alphabet book so that he can have his turn to shine.  Moose should meet Mo Willems' Pigeon.

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More books by Kelly Bingham

More books by Paul O. Zelinsky

Illustrator: Paul O. Zelinsky Reading Level: Kindergarteners,1st Grade,2nd Grade Subjects: Animals--Talking, Humor Location: Picture Books

Oh No, George!

by Chris Haughton

Reading Level: Ages 2 - 8

George really wants to be a good dog when he is left home alone, but some things, like a cake and a cat are just too tempting.

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More books by Chris Haughton

Reading Level: Preschoolers,Kindergarteners,1st Grade,2nd Grade Subjects: Animals--Talking, Humor Location: Picture Books

A Confusion of Princes

by Nix, Garth

19-year-old Khemri is one of millions of princes. All were chosen as babies from across the vast empire. Khemri has been enhanced and trained all his life. He dreams of being the special one...THE prince who will become the one to control the mind of the vast empire.

On the day of his investiture Khemri learns it is much more likely that he will die. For on that day, the assassination attempts begin.

Reading Level: Grades 8+


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More books by Garth Nix

Other fast paced space fiction include::

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

The Xenocide Mission by Ben Jeapes and

Dragon and Thief:A Dragonback Adventure by Timothy Zahn

Reading Level: 8th Grade Subjects: Science Fiction Location: JY Fiction