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 7 - 10
Cameron has schiophreniform disorder, a form of schizophrenia. At fourteen, he decides he's old enough to make the decision to go off his meds. Without medication Cameron hears voices. He hears The Professor who gives good solid advice. Then there's The Girl who is everything Cameron could want in a relationship except that she's not real. Then a new voice called The Other Guy tells Cameron to be more macho and take risks. When a girl in his special ed class shows an interest in Cameron an unusual love triangle develops.
Reading Level: Age 12 and up
In modern day Tanzania, the word for albino and nothing is the same. 13-year-old Habo is an albino who feels that he is nothing but a freak of nature that brings bad luck to his family. When the fatherless family loses their farm, they journey to a region where Habo learns that albinos are hunted and killed for their body parts. Albino's body parts are used by witch doctors to make good luck charms. Pursued by a bounty hunter Habo runs for his life. In the Dar Es Salaam, he meets a kind, blind sculptor who shows Habo the possibility of a new life.
In her riveting, realistic debut novel, Sullivan focuses on the treatment of albinos as she portrays the thoughts and feelings of a wonderful boy who comes to realize his worth. The appendix includes a list of organization who help albinos in East African countries.
Reading Level: Grades 6 - 8
One minute Paige is up on the school roof getting ready to test her egg drop experiment and the next she is waking up a ghost in the basement of the school. Luckily there are two other dead students, Evan and Brooke to keep her company, but she can't stand that everyone alive at the school, including her best friend, is insisting that she killed herself. How can she clear her name when nobody knows she is there and she can't even leave school property?
Reading Level: Ages 4 - 6
Penelope Hippo is very excited about her first day of school, until her older, jaded friend, Tiny Mouse, helps her pick out what to wear, bring and eat to make sure she conforms on that special day.
Sam is excited about his new neighbors, especially when he overhears someone yelling "Charlie, don't forget your baseball mitt!"
Sam runs over to meet his new neighbors, Charlie (short for Charlene, but never call her that) and Sam Too, Charlie's little sister. The three new friends have a lot in common other than their names and their love of baseball and hamentaschen.
In this fun beginning chapter book, play baseball, celebrate Purim, sneeze on a sick day, and much more with new friends Sam and Charlie (and Sam Too!).
For other early chapter books about good friends, try:
Pinky and Rex by James Howe (series)
Iris and Walter by Elissa Hadden Guest (series)
Mimi and Mati to the Rescue: Roger the Rat is on the Loose! by Brooke Smith
Bink and Gollie by Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee
Nugget, a minnow, does everything with his best friend Fang. Everything except go to Minnow School. Sharks aren't allowed at Minnow School, and Fang is a shark.
At Minnow School, Nugget learns all about how terrible and horrible and awful and just plain bad sharks are. Nugget thought that his friend Fang, a shark, wasn't any of those things - he is a great friend... but his teachers and his homework wouldn't be wrong, would it?
Jamie Grimm, soon to be the world's greatest stand-up (actually sit-down-in-wheelchair) comedian, lives with his aunt, uncle, and cousin - an extremely boring version of the Durlseys. He has an uncanny ability to make anyone (other than the aforementioned boring Durlsey-esque relatives) laugh. Jamie Grimm just funny!
When Uncle Frankie (not the boring one) suggests to Jamie that he compete in The Planet's Funniest Kid Comic contest, he knows he's got to try. His only problem is stage fright!
I Funny is a fabulously funny story about being brave enough to stand up for your own talents, even if you can't actually stand up. Diary of a Wimpy Kid fans are sure to love Jamie Grimm.
Reading Level: Grades 6 - 8
Gabriella is having a perfectly normal day, until she receives a letter from her Death, Hercule, informing her that she has been chosen for Departure. Now she has one week to wrap things up with her friends and family and to try to figure out what will force Hercule to give her a Pardon before he comes and makes her disappear.