OLIVIA THE SPY
Olivia is a…spy? Olivia is investigating everywhere, but blending in isn’t easy for a piglet with a penchant for standing out. Misunderstandings and accidents abound in this fun installment in the beloved Olivia series. Readers will laugh out loud as they explore issues of privacy and the dangers of eavesdropping; if you want to know something, sometimes the best policy is just to ask. Ages 4-8
Newbery award-winning author Kwame Alexander and National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore pair more than 40 unique animal portraits with original poems, celebrating the diversity and fragility of the animal world. This is a gorgeous book, playful and full of both facts and heart.
MADELINE FINN AND THE LIBRARY DOG
Madeline Finn DOES NOT like to read. Not books. Not magazines. Not even the menu on the ice-cream truck. Until she meets a very special friend, who gives her the support and space she needs to practice her reading skills. This sweet book is beautifully illustrated and shows that we all read at our own pace. Wonderful for young dog lovers, reluctant readers, and bibliophiles of all ages.
PEEP AND EGG: I’M NOT HATCHING
In this first book in a funny new character-driven series for toddlers, a reluctant chick named Egg overcomes her fears. Peep, an adorable baby chick, can barely wait for Egg to hatch. Egg, however, is hesitant. In fact, Egg is so fearful that he has decided not to hatch at all. In an attempt to lure her anxious friend out of his shell, Peep begins describing all the things they can do together. Gehl has created an appealing duo with the enthusiastic Peep and the lovably neurotic Egg. The constant refrain of “I’m not hatching” will be a winner at storytime. Ages 2-6
HOW I BECAME A PIRATE
This is a fun-filled story to delight any four to eight-year-old child. Jeremy Jacob is building a sandcastle when a pirate ship lands nearby. The pirate crew invites Jeremy to join their voyage, so he takes off for an adventure on the high seas. He has a rollicking good time, but misses his family comforts. He does make it home in time for soccer practice! Hilarious text with fabulous illustrations. Ages 4-8
MIDDLE-GRADE READERTHE EXPLORER
When their plane goes down in the Amazon jungle, four children are left stranded. They struggle to survive, and in the process, learn so much about the world, each other, and themselves. This is such an exciting adventure story. Not only do the children encounter tarantulas, piranhas, and caimans, but they also stumble upon a ruined city – occupied by a reclusive explorer. Katherine Rundell is a wonderful writer, and some of the ideas for this novel were based on her own experiences in the Amazon.
TINY HERO OF FERNY CREEK LIBRARY
Eddie is just a little bug…..a very little bright green bug…..who loves to read and lives with his family behind the chalkboard in Room 19 at Ferny Creek elementary school. When his beloved Aunt Min does not return from a trip to the library, Eddie bravely sets out to find her. His adventures bring him in contact with children and adults, aka Squishers, and Eddie must be very vigilant to avoid being squished. He finds Aunt Min in the library, injured and hungry, but their troubles are only beginning. Between harrowing escapes and dangerous situations, Eddie also embarks on a mission to save the endangered library. This spunky little character is reminiscent of all the other beloved little creatures in children’s literature: The Cricket in Times Square, Stuart Little, Charlotte’s Web, etc. Plus there are many references in the story to some of the finest children’s classics. A delightful tale for the young reader.
LOTTERYS PLUS ONE
The Lotterys are a unique family – really unique. There are two moms, two dads, and seven kids – all multicultural. Some of the kids are adopted, some are not. But all of the kids are allowed and encouraged to express themselves and be themselves in whatever form that takes. Into this chaotic but loving family, enters one of the grandfathers. Grumps, irritable and distant, is suffering from dementia and can no longer live alone. When the Lotterys move him into their household, it is more than all the involved parties have bargained for. A sweet story of acceptance and love at all levels. –Anita
This is the latest offering from one of my very favorite children’s authors, Kate DiCamillo. This beautiful, inspiring story of three young girls banding together to face their individual problems, is at times both heartbreaking and uplifting. There is no mistaking why DiCamillo has won two Newbery Awards and was selected to be he National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature (2014-2015). She writes with such heart, and the reader simply falls in love with her characters. –Anita
THING ABOUT JELLYFISH
Twelve year old Suzy Swanson can not accept that her friend’s death by drowning can be explained by the words “sometimes things just happen.” As Suzy sets out to discover exactly what caused Franny’s death, she retreats into silence….partly because she feels that small talk is meaningless, and partly because her last words to Franny were hurtful. This is a tender and moving story about life, perseverance, friendship and forgiveness. –Anita
Everything about the town of Serenity is perfect. Or is it?? When four friends living in this “paradise” discover the truth about themselves and this false town they live in, they are desperate to escape. This book is so exciting…filled with startling surprises. Readers be prepared for an unexpected and thrilling journey. And best of all….it’s the first book in a series…so there’s more to come! Great book! –Anita
Ann M. Martin
A young girl + a beloved dog = a sweet and tender story. Add to this mix the fact that the 12-year-old girl has Asperger’s syndrome (and is obsessed with homonyms), and that she lives alone with her father (who struggles with his situation). When the dog (Rain/Reign) goes missing in a storm, the girl (Rose/Rows) must learn to cope with her loss. A lovely, poignant novel about love, acceptance, and honesty. It will tug at your heart strings. I loved this book! (Ages 9-12) –Anita
Newbery medal winner, Rebecca Stead, writes a captivating story about friendship, loyalty and betrayal. The changes that come in seventh grade can be overwhelming and scary. But Stead traverses this terrain with skill, compassion and humor. This timely book will appeal to middle grade readers. A wonderful book! –Anita
THE LONG HAUL ( Diary of a Wimpy Kid #09 )
It’s here! The 9th book in the series, THE LONG HAUL. In this latest installment, Greg and his family take a road trip, with all the ups and downs of a typical family trip. Author Jeff Kinney writes with wit and insight, as he continues to attract 8-12-year-old readers. This book, and any book in this beloved series, would be the perfect gift for a reluctant reader (or an enthusiastic reader!). –Anita
TEENDENTON LITTLE’S STILL NOT DEAD
In this sequel to Denton Little’s Deathdate, Denton is now on the run from the authorities who wish to capture him after he has lived through his “deathdate”. He finds himself immersed in a plot to spread his death-saving virus, but all he truly wants to do is save his best friend. A continuation of a sometimes humorous, always creative, story. –Anita
TELL ME THREE THINGS
After her mother dies, Jessie’s problems are compounded when her father remarries. He moves them across the country to his new wife’s house in upscale Wood Valley, California. There Jessie feels out of place in her fancy new private high school populated by rich, privileged teens, and her stepmother’s luxurious California home—complete with a resentful new stepbrother. Jessie feels lonely and alienated until she receives a mysterious text from an anonymous “friend” at her new school. This friend—Somebody Nobody aka SN—seems to be looking out for Jessie, and the two form a strange, if unusual, bond. A great story that had me guessing until the end. –Anita
THE HATE U GIVE
Starr keeps her worlds separate. She spends weekends working at her daddy’s small grocery store in Garden Heights; weekdays, she attends an elite prep school in the white part of town. While concealing her blackness in one world and reaffirming it in another is sometimes exhausting, Starr loves her family and friends, fresh kicks (she’s partial to Jordans), and the “Fresh Prince of Bel Air.” When a late-night traffic stop turns deadly, the seam holding her two worlds together begins to crack. Thomas explores the dissonance between Starr’s two worlds, divided not just by race and class, but also by culture and a desire to both honor roots while growing beyond them. This debut, inspired by the Black Lives Matter Movement, serves as a rallying call to the country. Black lives do matter. Why? Because they’ve never been treated like they do. –Becky
THE HAZEL WOOD
Most fairy tales begin once upon a time, but the happily ever after fallacy feels more Disney than Brothers Grimm. Albert’s The Hazel Wood is less Disney and more Grimm; think the little mermaid walking on glass rather than being serenaded by a crab. Alice Proserpine loves fairytales as much as her mother seems to hate them. The daughter of a famous recluse writer and raised on fairytales, Ella Porserpine is always on the move, running from bad luck, and towing her daughter with her. When a mysterious letter arrives, informing Ella of her mother’s death, she feels an immense relief; they are finally free. Until the day Ella goes missing and Alice must undergo a quest to uncover the location of her enigmatic grandmother’s estate, Hazel Wood, and discovers the truth about Tales from the Hinterland, her grandmother’s collection of fairytales which Alice has never read, but knows inspired cult like fascination. Albert’s debut novel is everything a dark, twisted fairytale should be, creepy, outrageous, and incredibly satisfying. Plus, it’s full of clever literary allusions and book recommendations. –Becky