Staff Selections Kids

Carol

The Rain Train
Elena De Roo, illus. by Brian Lovelock

Elena De Roo's train poem transports a child from the busy activities of the day through a rainy night and into sleep.  The reader of this bedtime adventure will share (and share in) the sights, sounds, and motion of travel.

 

 

Mary

There Is a Tribe of Kids
Lane Smith

When a “tribe of kids” strays off , casually incommoding one of their number, the plucky castaway launches on an expedition on his own.  Through his experiences in  the natural world, he learns the order of things.   Fitting in here, falling out of step there, a series of encounters carry him to his own kind of “kids”.   The humane message inferred throughout  this tongue-in-cheek romp is revealed in the conclusion:  it’s only natural to want to find your tribe.  Lane Smith is just the artist to convince you.

Tim

Shadow Scale
Rachel Hartman

The sequel to Seraphina has arrived!  The story picks up right where we left it, with the kingdom of Goredd preparing for war with the dragons of the north.  Seraphina has set out for the countryside to find the other half-human, half-dragons from her visions to unite them as part of Goredd's defense.  But building a coalition is not easy for a court musician with little experience in diplomacy or war, and Seraphina is forced to improvise and compromise along the way.  Author Rachel Hartman gives us a stunning conclusion to Seraphina's story, complete with eye-opening revelations about love, betrayal, religion, and allies likely and unlikely, climaxed by a battle scene I guarantee you'll remember long after you've finished the book.  Seraphina and Shadow Scale are a two-volume set of one of the best YA fantasies I've read in a long time.  Wow!
 

Victoria

Juana & Lucas
juana Medina

Spunky Juana loves many things, best of all her dog Lucas. Learning English, however, is "nada de fun." Her genius abuelo proposes that English will come in handy if Juana wishes to talk with her hero, Astroman, at Spaceland when her family travels to Florida. Kids 6 - 10 years of age are sure to enjoy spending time in Bogotá, Colombia with Juana & Lucas by Juana Medina and may decide, like Juana, that the more languages a person speaks, the better. This short novel offers great pleasure as a read-aloud or for independent reading. For good reason it received the Pura Belpré Author Award honoring a Latino author whose work best portrays, affirms & celebrates the Latino cultural experience. In addition, Juana & Lucas portrays, affirms & celebrates childhood

Barb

West of the Moon
Margi Preus

In this book, you may want to turn to the back material first to see a photograph of the author's great-great-grandparents. When she read her great-great-grandmother's diary from the mid- 1850s, she found inspiration for this book, which combines folklore, fantasy, adventure and the  emigrant experience. Her own family members had "America Fever" at that time as they experienced one challenge after another until they decided to board an immigrant ship and sail away to new opportunity in America.

 Astri, who is a 14-year-old girl who has lived with her little sister on their aunt and uncle's farm in Norway after their mother dies and their father leaves for America, finds that her circumstances change very dramatically.

Her aunt sells her to an evil goat herder to be his servant and her life becomes extremely harsh. Finding a way to reunite with her little sister and make a run for it proves to be an exciting and scaring adventure. With the evil goat herder in pursuit and armed with "troll treasure, a book of spells and curses, and possibly a magic hairbrush, the girls race through forests, over mountains and in and out of folktales and dreams as they make their way east of the sun and west of the moon." You will root for them all the way.

Zoey

Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina & New Orleans
Don Brown

Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina & New Orleans is a moving and startling portrayal of Hurricane Katrina in the days after it hit shore, destroying the city. This graphic novel is an incredibly honest telling of the storm’s destruction and the suffering that followed and may in fact be too grim or graphic for younger readers. However, it will certainly lead advanced readers to understand the grave, brutal experience of this contemporary American natural disaster. The careful and affecting drawings magnify the weight of this important book.

 

Sarah

Teacup
Rebecca Young, illus. by Matt Ottley

In Teacup, by Rebecca Young, with illustrations by Matt Ottley, a young boy sets off on a journey into the unknown, cast away in his boat on a glass-like sea.  Only as the story goes on does the reader learn that vague, dark forces may be behind his loss of home.  There are beauties in the seas he crosses, and dangers.  Even in the darkness he has hope, until he comes ashore to a surprising and deeply satisfying conclusion.  The story is simple, yet full of possibilities.  It is moving and timely.  The artwork is luminous.  A book to read to someone you love, it will provoke much discussion.  A simply stunning picture book for readers of any age.  One of the best of the year.