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 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:
Reading Level: Grades 1-3
King, a golden retriever, is in the p-o-u-n-d and he doesn't know why! His family, Dad and Kayla (Mom is in the National Guard and not at home) went on vacation to Grandma's house and they never came home!
But now that King is in the pound, other families are looking at him and he is ADOPTED!!!! His new family calls him Buddy! How can King be adopted when Kayla and Dad are missing and he needs to find them?
Buddy/King likes his new family - Conor and Mom are great and have lots of liver treats, plus they live near Kayla's house, so Buddy/King can get clues about his first family's disappearance.
Then Conor goes missing, and Buddy/King has TWO missing families to find. Can he do it?
This series is great for beginning readers looking for longer but not too much more advanced chapter books with good but not scary mysteries! This reviewer has read the first four so far and is anxiously awaiting the fifth!
Reading Level: 3rd-6th
New teacher Mr. Terupt has a handful this year in his fifth grade class - but his abnormal teaching methods are a good fit for helping the students grow and work together. The school year is going great, until the accident. Then everything changes.
A heartwarming book about the profound influence of Mr. Terupt, this is a tale for students of all ages.
A few similar books: