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: Grade 5-7
Abby Shapiro is an eleven-year-old Jewish girl who desperately wants two things, her first bra and the hot new doll of 1959, the Barbie doll, the one with the bosoms! Her mom says no to the bra and that she can earn her own money to buy the doll. Abby comes up with the idea of designing clothes and sellling her fashion designs to Jackie Kennedy, the "possible future first lady of the United States. Thus Abby begins sending letters to "her friend in fashion."
The book is a lovely coming-of-age story with parts that are laugh out loud funny. Abby learns to deal with complications with her parents, her adored older brother, her gangster uncle, and her neighbors, the witch sisters. Through it all there's her letters to Jackie. A wonderful bonus is the glossary of Yiddish and Hebrew words and expressions.
Reading Level: Grades 6 - 8
When Slog's father dies following a grueling illness involving many amputations, the boy becomes convinced that his dad has returned from the dead. Slog's friend, who tells us this story, is sympathetic to Slog but doubtful. This unconventional story, told partly with mixed-media illustrations, is simultaneously dark but hopeful, as it explores the pain of loss.
Reading Level: Ages 3 - 6
When a peacock falls off a truck at the Tuckers' farm he becomes a grand attraction for passersby and a benefit to the farm, but the hens become jealous because he gets all the attention while doing none of the work.
Reading Level: Ages 3 - 7
Fuddles is a fat, pampered indoor cat who dreams of going outside and having grand adventures. One day, when the door is left open, he makes his getaway, but he soon discovers that being an outdoor cat is a lot more work than he expected.
If you like this book you may want to check out The Great Gracie Chase: Stop That Dog! too.
Reading Level: Ages 3 - 7
Charlie the basset hound lives and works on a ranch. It is hard work especially since he has to make sure that Suzie the Jack Russell terrier holds up her end of the job too.
Reading Level: Grade 2-4
Attention punsters! If puns make you snicker, read the adventures of Ron Faster, Viola Fuss, Izzy Normal, Iona Tricycle and many other punny characters in a school story that is long on groans!
If you enjoyed this inane school story try;
Reading Level: Grade 7-10
Nothing has ever been the same since Pierce died. When the 15-year-old opened her eyes she was no longer drowning in her backyard pool, she was in a cold, dank cavern where a frightening man directs her to a line. Then Pierce sees someone she knows, a man all in black astride a gigantic stallion. She had seen John many years ago when her grandfather died. Pierce runs to the man and asks him to take her away from the cavern. He does. To his luxurious lair. He announces she will stay with him forever and gives her a necklace to keep her safe. Pierce throws her hot tea in his face and runs down a passageway...she opens her eyes in the emergency room.
Pierce was revived, but she is not the same person. Nothing seems important to her, not with John hovering near. Every time John appears in her life, something horrible happens and Pierce gets blamed. When she is expelled from her latest school 17-year-old Pierce and her mother retreat to her mother's hometown Isla Huesos to live near family. Pierce would never have agreed to go if she had known who else lived there.
If you enjoy this tale of a teens brush with the underworld you may also enjoy:
Reading Level: Ages 4+
Poor, lonely blue chameleon. He can turn into anything, and blend in anywhere, but despite this wonderful ability, blue chameleon cannot find anyone who wants to be his friend.
Enchanting colored pencil drawings and excellent use of color, expression, and symmetry will delight readers as chameleon struggles to find a friend.
If you liked Blue Chameleon, try these great picture books: