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 4-6
11-year-old Arlo has lived with his only relative, his grandfather Poppo, since Arlo was two. But in the last couple of years Poppo's mind has started slipping. Arlo now takes care of his grandfather making sure no one knows how bad Poppo is getting.
On the night Poppo is found trapped in a dumpster, life as Arlo knows it disappears. After one night in the children's home, Arlo knows he must escape. Armed with $68 and courage he sets out on a journey to find his missing grandmother, the one he has just recently learned is alive.
Other stories of kids seeking family are:
Homecoming by Cynthia Voigt and
Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis
Reading Level: Grades 7 - 10
When Isadora was little she loved to hang out with her father. He was calm and gentle and very proud of her artistic talent. Both her parents were. Her mother Isis gave Isadora a beautiful set of paints and her father Osiris gave her an entire room all her own to decorate any way she liked. Isadora loved to show her parents her progress on her room. Until the day she discovered she was not going to be imortal like her parents...she was going to stay mortal...and the room would be her tomb.
Other godly adventures include:
The Lost Sun by Tessa Gratton
The Reluctant God by Pamela Service
The Savage Fortress by Sarwat Chadda and
Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs
Reading Level: Grades 4 - 8
Everyone knows that goldfish have a 3 second memory, Vikings wore horned helmets, and sugar makes kids hyperactive. Well, everyone is wrong. You will find out the truth about these myths and many, many more in this amusing collection of "facts" which have been busted by scientific studies.
Moomoo Moomoo: Moo Moo - Moo
Moo moo moo moo moomoo moo moo moo moo moomoomoomoo moo moo moomoo moomoo moo moo moo.
Reading Level: Ages 2 - 6
When cow sees the farmer has left his car unattended he can't resist taking a joy ride.
Reading Level: Grades 3 - 7
Stick Dog is at it again! This time Stick Dog and friends are determined to help themselves to the hot dogs in the frankfurther cart, but they have competition from a gang of hungry racoons. The friends devise various ridiculous schemes to steal the hot dogs that test practical Stick dog's patience. Then there's an added problem when Karen, the dachshund, gets trapped in a human's house. Once again, readers will love the the many funny "bad" drawings of Tom Watson.
Reading Level: Prek - PreK - Grade 2
In this stunning, wordless picture book, Hank, a cute stuffed animal (perhaps a bear or a monkey) finds an egg that has fallen from its nest. After several unsuccessful attempts to reach the nest, Hank cares for the egg at his campsite. With the help of mother hummingbird, there's a happy ending for all. Dudley built wonderfully detailed dioramas from paper, clay, fabric etc. and then photographed them. She created a world readers will want to visit again and again.
Reading Level: PreK - Grade 3
Josh Schneider hits the mark again as he reinvents the classic monster under the bed tale. Arnold is your average boy. He trashes an imaginery Fifth Avenue and bites off the heads of animal crackers. But Arnold doesn't want to go to bed for fear of bedtime monsters. Sure enough, they appear one by one. Some very silly monsters jump into bed with Arnold since it turns out that they are afraid other monsters. Readers will laugh aloud at the imaginative illustrations and love the surprise ending!
Reading Level: Grades 3 - 7
This is Rumpelstilton as never before. Instead of the nasty, baby stealing gnome, Rump is a young boy, small for his age, malnourished, and picked on by village bullies. His mother died when he was born and the last thing she uttered was his name. In a kingdom where your name is your fate, how much worse could it get than to be named Rump? But is it his full name?
The orginal story is here. There's the greedy miller, his beautiful daughter, a gold loving king, and a boy who can spin straw into gold. Add in messanger gnomes, gold crazed biting pixies, witchesin woods, and smelly trolls and readers will agree that Shurtliff can spin some tale.
Reading Level: Grades 7 & up
Set in a dystopian American, years ago before the story begins a new virus killed millions of people and turned others into half-human, half-animal mutants. The rest of humanity fled and built a wall along the Mississippi River to separate themselves from the "Feral Zone."
When 16-year-old Lane McEvoy learns her father has gone missing, she must enter the forbidden "Feral Zone" to complete a mission that could save his life. Everson, a handsome border guard, and bad boy Rafe accompany Lane her astonishing journey. The characters are multi-faceted and, like all good science fiction, Inhuman raises important questions, namely, what it is to be human or humane. Readers will eagerly await the next two books in the trilogy.
Reading Level: Grades 5 - 8
...until Morgan Sturtz kicks my butt
Sam Lewis and Morgan Sturtz were best friends all through elementary school, but by seventh grade Sam is the brainy, nerdy, small kid while Morgan is is the popular football player who struggles in school. Readers know something has happened to warrant the promised "butt kicking," but don't find out until later in the book. Hask-Lowy takes readers through a boring social studies class, a classic food fight, a fire drill and the cover "butt kicking." Sam is a smart, likeable narrator. "If you know someone was going to kick you someplace, would you not hope for that place to be your butt?"
There are so many books about the changing friendships among girls. Here's one about boys that girls will enjoy, too.