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
Reading Level: Grades 6 and up
Xanthe Jane (don't call her Xanthe) has always loved vampires, as stories, but she knows they aren't real. Then one night she is woken up by a cellphone playing the theme from Dracula and discovers that she is in a coffin, in her grave, and her vampire sire is exhuming her. When her sire is chased off before she can finish digging Jane up, Jane is left to figure out how she could be a vampire when she's never been bitten and what is she supposed to do now, in this tongue-in-cheek vampire novel.
Reading Level: Grades 4 - 9
Why would anyone want to steal the body of President Abraham Lincoln? The answer involves counterfeiters and the newly fledged Secret Service. Written like a heist caper, Lincoln's Grave Robbers details a little known part of history that really didn't have much impact, but it's sure fun to read about.
Reading Level: Grades 8 and up
This tense well crafted thriller opens with 16-year-old Noa waking up on a metal table in a warehouse with an incision in her chest. Much like a young Dragon Tattoo's Lisbeth Salander Noa is a tough, smart orphan who has been mistreated by the system and was able to use her considerable computer skills to establish a life on the border of society. After her escape, she meets up with wealthy, privileged Peter who has hacked his way into some files in his father's office. Both teens find themselves on the run. Will they elude capture long enough to get some answers? Who are these men who are chasing them and why are they after Noa and Peter? What has done to Noa? What is the connection to Peter's family?
WARNING: This is the first book in a trilogy. Book one leaves you hanging. You'll want to keep reading, but you can't.
Reading Level: Ages 2 - 7
Mama duck takes her duckings for a walk through the park and into town where they encounter an unexpected sewer grate with holes just the right size to swallow up ducklings in this book reminiscent of Make Way for Ducklings and Ducks Disappearing.
Reading Level: Ages 3 - 6
The thing that makes Percy the happiest is balloons. Unfortunately, because he is a porcupine, balloons also tend to make him the saddest as well. How can a little porcupine possibly play with a balloon without popping it?
On dragons' seventh birthdays, they get to breathe fire. But Crispin's seventh birthday doesn't go the way he thinks it will... as he takes a deep breath to light his birthday candles, whipped cream comes out, not fire! Every time Crispin tries to breathe fire, something completely wrong comes out!
Will Crispin ever be able to breathe fire like a normal dragon?
Sylvia Spivens always said no to spinach. (I can empathize.) But when he class gardening project lands her with the spinach seeds... she doesn't have a choice! No one will trade seeds with her. She is stuck with spinach.
But when Sylvia's spinach begins to sprout and grow, she stops disliking it so much. Taking care of the plant is fun! Then Sylvia's teacher suggests everyone try eating what they have grown. Will Sylvia try her spinach?
A good book about encouraging new things couched in a great story about growing plants!
Sunny Acres Farm is a happy, beautiful, friendly place, until Grumpy Goat arrives. He is grumpy and unfriendly - none of the animals on the farm can even get close to him, let alone become friends! All Grumpy Goat wants to do is eat and eat and eat and eat and eat... and as he does so, he makes a huge mess on the farm - kicking down fences & being mean to the other animals. Then, he sees something special in the field, and everything changes. What does Grumpy Goat see?
A beautifully illustrated and wonderful story about the power of friendship - and stopping to smell the flowers.