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 4-7
Julia and Eliza are best friends. They are also family. Even though they are the same age, Julia is Eliza's aunt. Of course, Eliza doesn't call her best friend "Aunt Julia" but still...they are more tied together in ways most friends are. That was never a problem...until the summer they turned twelve
Eliza still likes to pretend, just the way she and Julia have done all their lives. But Julia finds it harder and harder to enter that make-believe world. There are too many distractions in the real world. Some are terrible, like worrying about whether or not her mother will survive her tour of duty in Iraq. Others are much more pleasant, like a certain very cute boy named Michael.
Where do your loyalties lie when you find yourself changing, pulling away from a best friend who is so much more than just a friend?
For other tales of changing friendships try:
Reading Level: Grade 6+
Attention all Tortall lovers! This collection of short stories is an offering of further adventures in Pierce's world of Tortall
Other engrossing series set in fantasy worlds include:
The Damar series by Robin McKinley
The Ranger's Apprentice Series by John Flanghan and
The Abhorsen Trilogy by Garth Nix
Reading Level: Grade 8+
He was the father of one of the younger kids on her gymnastics team. How was 16-year-old Lark supposed to know that he was a predator? Lark died of exposure after he assaulted her and left her tied to a tree in the winter woods.
Lark's ghost begins visiting Nyetta soon after. Lark needs Nyetta to do something for her, something Nyetta is afraid to do. If Nyetta does not do it, Lark will be condemned to a horrible fate for eternity.
Other ghostly tales include
Reading Level: K-5
The second book in the wonderfully adventrous Dolittle series starts off by introducing us to Tommy Stubbins, future naturalist. To sate his curiosity about animals and their nature, Tommy asks Dr. Dolittle to apprentice him and teach him all he knows about animals and their languages - and so Dolittle, Stubbins and a few old friends set sail, hoping to learn the language of the Shellfish.
Reading Level: Ages 4 - 6
Have you ever seen a slug in your backyard or garden? If so, you may have wondered -- "how on earth would I go about teaching this slug to read, if it asked me? I don't know the first thing about teaching a slug to read!" Well, never fear -- this wonderful, instructional book will tell you everything you need to know about teaching slugs the wonderful art of reading. You might even learn some good tips for yourself!
Other great books about reading:
Reading Level: Grades 4-6
Because of Hitler's unrelenting bombing of London, many families chose to move their children away from the city. When her parents decide to bring 11-year-old Felicity across the ocean to live with her father's extended family in Maine, Felicity finds herself thrust into the middle of a dark family secret.
Other stories of children torn from their homes by war include:
Reading Level: Grade 7-9
15-year-old Yancy is on the run, but not for the usual reasons. He does well in school, has friends and his parents love him. Yancy is running because of his monster of a brother, 16-year-old Will. Will has a "conduct disorder." For Yancey that means Will can terrorize him with almost no consequences. Yancy's parents barely react after Will cuts the tail off of Yancy's beloved horse Sky. When Will tries to stab Sky Yancy knows it is time to for him and Sky to leave.
Other tales of dangerous older brothers include:
Reading Level: Grades 8-10
All her life 16-year-old Violet Ambrose has heard the echoes of the dead. Not all dead people and animals. Just those who have died violently. When Maya is called when she and her best friend Jay are riding a wave runner, she finds the body of a recently murdered teen girl. It soon becomes apparent that the murder is not an isolated event but the work of a serial killer.
Other murderous thrillers include:
A hilarious collection of stories from some of your favorite authors - don't miss out on this one. My personal favorite is the story by Kate DiCamillo and Jon Scieszka - a series of letters between a favorite author, and a kid looking to get his homework done quickly and easily.