Youth Services Staff Picks
Hot Dog! Eleanor Roosevelt Throws a Picnic written by Leslie Kimmelman; illustrated by Victor Juhasz– J 973.917 KIM
For Grades 2-4; Published February 2014
Synopsis: In June of 1939, British monarchs King George VI and Queen Elizabeth visit America, the first visit ever by reigning British royalty. As part of the festivities, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt hosts an all-American picnic that includes hot dogs, a menu item that shocks some people.
Andrea says: Eleanor Roosevelt served hot dogs to the king and queen of England! In a bold move to create a partnership with the British royals before the onset of WWII, the Roosevelts invite the royals to the United States in this quirky tale. The story may seem silly, but it actually happened!
Andrea also suggests:
Amelia and Eleanor Go for a Ride written by Pam Munoz Ryan – E RYA
Night Flight: Amelia Earhart Crosses the Atlantic writtenby Robert Burleigh – J B EAR
St. Patrick’s Day by Gail Gibbons - J 394.26 GIB
For Grades K-2; Published January 1992
Synopsis: In addition to the story of Patrick's life, here is information about how St. Patrick's Day is celebrated.
Anna says: Wear your green this month! Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
Anna also suggests:
St. Patrick’s Day by Molly Aloian - J 394.262 ALO
St. Patrick’s Day by Anne F. Rockwell - JHOL E ROC
A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket - J SER SER
For Grades 4-6; Published August 1999
Synopsis: After the sudden death of their parents, the three Baudelaire children must depend on each other and their wits when it turns out that the distant relative who is appointed their guardian is determined to use any means necessary to get their fortune.
Audrey says: I love the quirky and affected “mock-gothic” way that Lemony Snicket writes, especially in this series! I love the over the top characters, the tense suspense, vocabulary, and our well-mannered yet suspicious narrator. I go back and reread this series every year or so and enjoy it more every time!
Audrey also suggests:
A Tale Dark and Grimm series by Adam Gidwitz– J SER TAL
Sisters Grimm Series by Michael Buckley – J SER SIS
Land Shark by Beth Ferry – E FER
For Grades K-3; Published August 2015
Synopsis: Bobby wants a shark for his birthday, so he is disappointed when his parents get him a puppy instead-but this puppy turns out to be a bit of a shark herself.
Crystal Says: This book made me laugh and giggle all the way through. I had no idea ferocious pets with sharp teeth could be so adorably cute!
Crystal also suggests:
Shawn Loves Sharks by Curtis Manley - E MAN
Surprising Sharks by Nicola Davies - J 597.3 DAV
Green Pants by Kenneth Kraegel – E KRA
For Preschool-Grade 2; published March 2017
Synopsis: Jameson can do anything when he’s wearing his favorite green pants. But what happens when you are asked to be the ring bearer in your cousin’s wedding and BLACK pants are required?
Debbie says: Decisions, decisions.
Debbie also suggests:
The One in the Middle is the Green Kangaroo by Judy Blume – E BLU
Mr. King’s Machine by Genevieve Cote - E COT
The Wolf, The Duck, & The Mouse by Mac Barnett - E BAR
For K-Grade 2; Published October 2017
Synopsis: When a woeful mouse is swallowed by a wolf, he quickly learns he is not alone: a duck has already set up digs, and, boy, has that duck got it figured out! With a nod to traditional fables and a wink to the reader, the award-winning Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen offer a tale of cooperation and creative cuisine that is sure to go down easy.
Kelsey says: I love Mac Barnett, and I love Jon Klassen, and together they have created some fantastic picture books. However, I have to say, this one takes the cake. It is my favorite collaboration of theirs by far, and the illustrations are absolutely perfect. Read all of their books, and save this one for last!
Kelsey also suggests:
Sam and Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett - E BAR
Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett -E BAR
Anything but Ordinary Addie: the True Story of Adelaide Hermann Queen of Magic by Mara Rockliff –J B HER
For Grades 2-5; Published April 2016
Synopsis: Some girls are perfectly happy never doing anything out of the ordinary. But Addie was anything but ordinary: she longed for thrills and excitement. At a time when a young lady appearing onstage was considered most unusual, Addie defied convention and became a dancer. And when she married the world-famous magician Herrmann the Great, she knew she had to be part of his show.
Ofilia says: Adelaide Hermann’s story was virtually lost until recently and I’m so grateful it was found! She was a fearless, strong, independent female magician who proves that anyone that wants to can do magic. The story is made complete by Iacopo Bruno’s lush, unique illustrations.
Ofilia also suggests:
Abracadabra: the Story of Magic through the Ages by H.P. Newquist – J 974.71 RAP
Magic: a Strange Science Book by Sylvia Funston – J 133.09 FUN
Whichwood by Tahereh Mafi – J FIC MAF (SciFi/Fantasy)
For Grades 5-7; published November 2017
Synopsis: Like her father before her, Laylee is the mordeshoor for Whichtown. She washes the dead so their souls can cross to the Otherwhere. It’s an overwhelming job that she must do alone since her mother died and her BaBa went mad from grief. This task is slowly draining Laylee’s magic and leading her to despair when two strangers, Alice and Oliver, arrive, determined to help.
Roben says: Beautifully written, Laylee’s story emphasizes the power of true friendship and kindness to overcome overwhelming adversity.
Roben also suggests:
Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi – J FIC MAF (SciFi/Fantasy)
The Wizards of Once by Cressida Cowell – J FIC COW (SciFi/Fantasy)
Cindy Sherman: Artist, Photographer, Chameleon by Jan Greenberg & Sandra Jordan - J B SHE
For Grades 4-8; Published 2017
Synopsis: Looking at the life of legendary photographer Cindy Sherman, Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan have created an unconventional biography that, much like Cindy Sherman's famous photographs, has something a little more meaningful under the surface. Infusing the narrative with Sherman's photographs, as well as children's first impressions of the photographs, this is a biography that goes beyond birth, middle age, and later life. It's a look at how we look at art.
Stephanie says: Children often understand pictures as a way of documenting their life, and most of them do not understand yet that formal photography is as high of an art form as painting. This fabulous biography introduces kids to one of the greatest performance photographers in the past century while also teaching them a bit about how to see art (and maybe life) conceptually.
Stephanie also recommends:
Maya Lin: Thinking with Her Hands by Susan Goldman Rubin – J B LIN
Dorothea’s Eyes: Dorothea Lange Photographs the Truth by Barb Rosenstock - J B LAN
The Princess in Black by Shannon Hale – J SER PRI
For Grade K-Grade 3; Published 2014
Synopsis: Stopping monsters is no job for dainty Princess Magnolia. But luckily Princess Magnolia has a secret: she's also the Princess in Black, and stopping monsters is the perfect job for her. Can the princess sneak away, transform into her alter ego, and defeat the monster before the nosy duchess discovers her secret?
Yentl says: Princess Magnolia is a tough princess! She fights monsters and saves the day. There is adventure, action, secrets and more. This whole series is very fun and has a cute cast of characters. There are colorful illustrations to accompany the story and it is perfect for those who are starting to read independently.
Yentl also recommends:
All of the Princess in Black books – J SER PRI