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+
25 year-old Innocent is the big brother but 15-year-old Deo has always been expected to take care of him because Innocent is "different".
When the president's soldiers come to their Zimbabwe village bent on finding all who voted for the opposition, Innocent talks back to the soldiers and is dragged away. While the soldiers are distracted, Deo slips away and finds his brother staked out to die. As Deo cuts his badly beaten brother loose, shots ring out. Everyone in the village is killed except Deo and Innocent.
Deo knows they must get to safety, but how can one boy and one injured, disabled man survive in a land of heartless soldiers, dangerous refugees and wild animals?
Other tales of the struggle for survival in a war-torn land include:
Reading Level: Grades 2-8 (and even adults on a silly day)
They're soft. They're cute. They're fluffy. They'll rip you face off!! They are killer koalas from outer space. And they are only one of the hilarious hazards you'll encounter in this book full of terrible jokes, blood-sucking grannies and poo...lots and lots and lots of poo.
If totally gross, stupid (and funny) books are for you, try:
Reading Level: Grades PreK-2
Gilbert Goldfish would really like to have a pet of his own, despite all the wonderful things he has in his fishbowl - a magnificent castle, yummy flakes that fall from the sky, and even a treasure chest! Gilbert often thinks about what his pet might be like - would it be big, or small? Would it be loud, or quiet? Then one morning, Gilbert wakes up to find a dog outside his fishbowl! Finally - a pet for him to love and care about. But it turns out that a dog isn't really the perfect pet for Gilbert... and the mouse figures out that Gilbert is not cheese, so Mouse is not a good pet either (nor is Fly). Will Gilbert ever find a pet of his very own?
Reading Level: Ages 3 - 9
Prudence really, really wants a pet, but her parents say no, so she is forced to find pets wherever she can, such as her pet Branch and Twig and Formal Footwear in this silly story of a very persistent little girl.
Reading Level: Grades 7+
When Emma gets a computer for her birthday, her friend Josh gives her a free CD good for 100 hours of AOL time - totally cool, since it's 1996. Emma signs herself up for her very first AOL account, and logs on to the Internet for the first time.
The very first page she goes to is called "Facebook," something Emma has never heard of before, but then again she's never been online before - so she begins to explore the site. What she finds is herself... thirty years in the future - and it's not a pretty one.
Told in alternating chapters between Emma and Josh, The Future of Us explores what can happen when you know your own future - and don't like it.
If you liked The Future of Us, you may enjoy:
Reading Level: Grade 7+
Kate Grable is used to gross boys. As the apprentice trainer to her high school's football team, Kate deals with sweat and much grosser stuff. But when Mike, one of the linebackers, spews black vomit on her car and then tries to chew her lip off, Kate suspects much more is going on.
If zombies are for you, try:
Reading Level: Grades 4 - 8
Have you ever wondered about all the strange ways people have died? Being shoved into a grinding machine by a robot, jumping off the Eiffel Tower with a non-functioning parachute, and being hit by a thrown turnip are just three of the unusual deaths highlighted in this darkly amusing book.
Reading Level: Grades 3 - 5
When an evil Mongol invader demands tribute from everyone in a small Turkish town one family can only offer an old donkey. Nasreddin Hoca saves the day by promising to teach the donkey to read in one month. How is that possible?
Reading Level: Grade 6-8
13-year-old Sarah, a new scholarship student at the exclusive Glades Academy, is miserable. In a school where kids judge each other by the amount of money and things their parents have, Sarah the daughter of the lunch lady doesn't stand a chance.
Teachers are no help. Sarah wouldn't even be on this stupid overnight field trip if Mr. Vickers hadn't insisted the trip would help her make friends. Surprise, surprise...the four other girls on the trip spend their time snubbing Sarah and talking behind her back.
After a morning of cruelty, Sarah has had it. She pretends to be sick enough to stay behind...but not need a doctor. Sarah has no intention of spending the afternoon in her musty bunk. Instead she agrees to join on a joy ride through the Everglades 15-year-old Andy, son of a local fisherman, on his air boat. He even lets her drive!
When the boat runs aground deep in the heart of the Everglades, far from any cell phone reception, Sarah and Andy must save themselves...or die.
Other tales of survival include
Reading Level: Grades 2-4
When Artie promises his mean cousin that he will give everyone firecrackers on the next Chinese New Year celebration, he immediately regrets it. How will he ever come up with enough money to buy all those firecrackers? Sympathetic to Artie's problem is Uncle Chester - a fun loving everyman who is wildly popular in Chinatown where Artie's family lives. Uncle Chester promises Artie that he will help - but when Uncle Chester's seemingly endless money starts to run out, Artie begins to worry.
Similar books you might like: