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: Ages 3-7
Eulah is a square cat who wishes more than anything in the world that she was round like her friends. Then she would be able to have the same kind of fun that the other cats do. Poor Eulah.
Then her friends show her the things that are wonderful about a square cat -- all the great things she can do!
It is good to have friends who care.
Reading Level: Grades 6+
Doug Swieteck and his lousy older brother just moved to a brand-new town that will be probably just as lousy as the old one - and with less baseball. And, just like in his old town, everyone who's anyone (teachers, the police, his dad, Lil Spicer down the street) thinks that Doug's just a skinny good-for-nothing kid who won't ever amount to anything except for trouble.
Despite Lil and Doug's initial dislike of each other, they begin to bond nonetheless. In his friendship with Lil, Doug manages to deal with his lousy situation, including his abusive father and older brother just back from Vietnam. Doug also finds solace in the public library's Audubon bird plates, first tracing the shapes and feathers with his fingers and then learning to draw them, with the help of a kind librarian.
Part laugh-out-loud, part tear-jerker, all American coming of age story, Okay For Now is not one to miss.
Reading Level: Grades 7+
When you're the janitor's kid, you don't have many friends. You don't have any friends. Andy is no different, but when he hears a rumor that the school outcast, Blake, has a gun in his locker, he decides to make friends with Blake. When the boys do become friends, Andy must choose between protecting his only friend and protecting a school full of kids who could care less about him?
For older readers:
Reading Level: Ages 4-8
Rabbit is SO SO SO happy to see you he can barely stand it. But he isn't excited for long - soon he is demanding to know where on earth you were and WHY you weren't with him?? A delicious follow-up to the Scaredy Squirrel series.
Reading Level: Ages 4-8
Won Ton is a shelter cat who is pretty skeptical of his new home and family. Like most cats, he pretends not to care about any of the new toys or food his adoptive family gives him... but sneaks just a peek. A cute story told in perfect haiku that everyone will enjoy.
Reading Level: Ages 4-8
Mo Willems has done it again, (though really, has he ever not?) perfectly epitomizing the many expressions of a good friendship in Hooray for Amanda and Her Alligator!
The book takes the form of several stories about the title best friends. Whether you read them aloud, to yourself, or listen, you are sure to love Amanda and her Alligator.
Reading Level: Grade 2-4
Maddy has wanted a cat her whole entire life. But, according to her mother, she can never ever have one because her little brother Jack is allergic to cats. Maddy's luck changes when Jack spots a set of three ceramic cats in an antique market. The mysterious woman at the stall agrees to give them to Maddy only after reading Maddy's palm.
The next day one of the statues turns into a real, very tiny, grey cat named Greykin. Greykin explains that only one of the cats animates at a time and that is only when there is trouble. According to Greykin, the trouble is at Maddie's school. Once he identifies it, he will need Maddy's help to set things right. Can a timid girl like Maddy help Greykin? Or is his quest doomed to failure?
Other tales of magical cats include:
Reading Level: Grade 7-9
16-year-old Lady Victoria Mansfield is looking forward to being presented at court and beginning her life as an eligible young lady. She already has her eyes on Edmond Harford, the heir to a large estate. Yes, Victoria has a wonderful future ahead of her...if she can keep her newly emerged ability to fly a secret.
Victoria's world crashes around her when her two-year-old nephew Jamie falls off the edge of a cliff during a large party on her family's estate. Caught half way down the cliff in a loosely rooted tree, Jamie dangles between life and death. Tory doesn't have a choice. She flies down and saves her nephew. Victoria's father immediately banishes her to Lackland Abbey where nobility's defective magical offspring have a chance to be "reformed." Of course, her magical "taint" will make marriage almost impossible. But at least she can hope to return home.
Victoria is determined to suppress her magic until she stumbles upon a secret society of students who insist that only their magic can save England from disaster.
If you enjoyed this historical fantasy try:
Sorcery and Cecelia, or, The Enchanted Chocolate Pot : Being the Correspondence of Two Young Ladies of Quality Regarding Various Magical Scandals in London and the Country by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer and