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

The Sword of Summer

by Rick Riordan

Reading Level: Grades 6-9

The author of the "Percy Jackson & the Olympians" series strikes gold again in this first episode of his new series "Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard." 

Magnus Chase has been living on the streets ever since the wolves burst into the apartment and killed his mother.  With her last breath she told him to hide and never go to his uncle for help.    On his sixteenth birthday he can hide no more.  Fate, in the form of his uncle, has found him. In moments Magnus recovers (and loses) a powerful, magical sword, fights a ferocious fire giant, dies and is taken to Valhalla, a paradise for warriors, where he discovers he is the son of the god of spring and summer.

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More books by Rick Riordan

If you enjoyed this Norse mythological adventure try:

The Sea of Trolls by Nancy Farmer

Loki's Wolves by Kelley Armstrong and

Runemarks by Joanne Harris

Reading Level: 6th Grade,7th Grade,8th Grade,High Schoolers Subjects: Adventure, Fantasy, Mythological Location: JY Fiction
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Archie the Daredevil Penguin

by Andy Rash

Reading Level: Grades PreK - 3

All the other penguins know that Archie is fearless.  He has climbed to the summit of Nosebleed Mountain among other exploits.  But he's hiding a secret; he's afraid to swim and doesn't know how he'll get to Iceberg Nine for the fish fry.  After various attempts to fly there, Archie learns to overcome his fear of the ocean and the creatures that live there.  Rash's hilarious illustrations with sound bubbles will have you clapping for Archie along with his penguin friends!

Meet author/illustrator Andy Rash at the library on January 9th.

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Other books written or illustrated by Andy Rash

Reading Level: Preschoolers,Kindergarteners,1st Grade,2nd Grade,3rd Grade Location: Picture Books
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First Grade Dropout

by Audrey Vernick

Reading Level: Ages 4 - 8

Is there anyone who hasn't done something that is so embarrassing that they don't want to face the witnesses?  In this book the boy's horrible blunder was, "I. Called. My. Teacher. MOMMY!!!"  The class and laughed and now he sees no alternative but to drop out of school.  The illustrations are Jules Feiffer-like.  There's a great one that shows the image of the boy's class as a marching band all shouting "Ha Ha"   and wearing caps that say "MOMMY."  In the end the boy learns a little about laughing off mistakes and laughing at others.

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Other books by Audrey Vernick

Other books written or illustrated by Matthew Cordell

Meet illustrator Matthew Cordell at the library on January 9th.

Illustrator: Matthew Cordell Reading Level: Preschoolers,Kindergarteners,1st Grade,2nd Grade Subjects: Books for Boys, Books for Girls, Friends, Humor, School, Self Image Location: Picture Books
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Detective's Assistant

by Kate Hannigan

Reading Level: Ages 9 - 12

In 1859 an orphaned eleven-year-old girl arrives in Chicago hoping to stay with her only living relative, Aunt Kitty.  Her aunt prefers that Nell reside at the Chicago Home for the Friendless.  And no wonder.  There's bad blood between Kitty and Nell's family and Aunt Kitty is busy being the first woman detective for the Pinkerton Agency.  Her aunt uses elaborate disguises in her undercover work as she solves murders and thefts and attempts to thwart an assassination.  If Nell proves to be an able assistant perhaps her aunt will let her stay.  Hannigan's fast paced novel combines adventure, humor, and history along with codes for readers to solve.

Meet author Kate Hannigan at the library on January 9th.

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Other books by Kate Hannigan

Reading Level: 4th Grade,5th Grade,6th Grade,7th Grade Subjects: Adventure, Books for Boys, Books for Girls, Crime and Punishment, Don't Miss These, Historical Fiction, Spies Location: J Fiction
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Ragweed's Farm Dog Handbook (Learn from the Best!)

by Anne Vittur Kennedy

Reading Level: Ages 3 - 8

Ragweeed tells you everything you need to know about being a farmdog, such as don't chase sheep (unless the farmer is away) and eating grass has its downsides and benefits.

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More books by Anne Vittur Kennedy

Reading Level: Preschoolers,Kindergarteners,1st Grade,2nd Grade,3rd Grade Subjects: Animals--Talking, Humor Location: Picture Books
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Deadly Design

by Debra Dockter

Reading Level: Grades 8+

Connor was two years old when the embryo for his identical twin was thawed and implanted.  Kyle resents being Connor’s younger brother instead of his contemporary.  He can never measure up to Connor’s perfectness.  Their parents…everyone in town knows Connor is destined for greatness.  The whole community mourns when Connor’s heart stops beating one week before his high school graduation.

Grief-stricken and guilty, Kyle searches for a reason for his brother’s death.  Instead he finds other inexplicable deaths involving 18-year-olds conceived in vitro at the Genesis Innovations Laboratory.  Kyle has two years before his 18th birthday.  The day his heart will stop.

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More books by Debra Dockter

If you liked this book, you may enjoy:

Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment by James Patterson

Subject Seven by James Moore and

Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

Reading Level: 8th Grade,High Schoolers Subjects: Adventure, Books for Boys, Science Fiction Location: JY Fiction
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Seriously Wicked

by Tina Connolly

Reading Level: Grades 6+

Every morning, before she can go to school, Camille has to walk the puppy (which happens to be a werewolf) and clean out the garage (which houses a dragon.)  In addition to her high school homework, she also has to memorize spells.  Her “mother” (the evil witch who kidnapped Camilla from her parents) insists on it.  But Camille has no magic.  And she has no desire to be a witch. 

That all changes when her “mother’s” spell backfires and Camille’s crush Devon is possessed by a demon.  Camille has one week to figure out how to banish the demon before Devon is lost to her forever!

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Didn’t know I was magical!

The Lives of Christopher Chant by Diana Wynne Jones

Hold Me Closer Necromancer by Lish McBride

The Iron Trial by Holly Black

Other demon tales include:

Possess by Gretchen McNeil

The Devil’s Intern by Donna Hosie

 

Reading Level: 6th Grade,7th Grade,8th Grade Subjects: Fantasy, Humor Location: JY Fiction
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Becoming Maria: Love and Chaos in the South Bronx

by Sonia Manzano

Reading Level: Grades 8 and older

Sonia Manzano, otherwise known as Maria on Sesame Street, tells the story of her childhood in the Bronx. Detailing everything from her mysteriously appearing older sister, through her father's drunken rages, to her first roll on Broadway, Sonia's story is not for younger, or more sensitive readers.

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More books by Sonia Manzano

Reading Level: 8th Grade,High Schoolers,Adults Subjects: Biographies, Family, Non-Fiction, Relationships, School, Self Image, Social Issues Location: JY Non-Fiction
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Coco y Pio

by Alexis Deacon

Reading Level: Ages 2 - 6

Coco, a crocodile, and Pio, a bird, consider themselves brothers. Born next to each other at the same time, out of identical eggs, the two are inseparable. That is, until Pio finds a group of other birds and Coco finds a group of other crocodiles.

Coco, un cocodrilo, y Pio, un pajaro, se sienten como hermanos. Ellos nacieron juntos al mismo tiempo, de huevos identicos, y ahora los dos son inseparables. Eso es, hasta que Pio encuentre a un grupo de pajaros y Coco encuentra un grupo de otros cocodrilos.

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More books by Alexis Deacon

Reading Level: Preschoolers,Kindergarteners Subjects: Animals--Talking Location: Spanish Picturebook
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Dragons at Crumbling Castle and Other Tales

by Terry Pratchett

Reading Level: Grades 4 - 7

These fourteen short stories, written when Terry Pratchett when he was a junior reporter for a local paper, were dug up and re-edited by the author and put into this fun collection of satirical fantasy which has truly stood the test of time.

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More books by Terry Pratchett

Reading Level: 4th Grade,5th Grade,6th Grade,7th Grade Subjects: Adventure, Animals--Talking, Family, Fantasy, Friends, Humor, In Other Lands, Read-Alouds, Short Stories, Time Travel Location: J Fiction
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