Staff Selections Kids


For Good Measure
Ken Robbins

With a little math, a bit of science, and some history, Ken Robbins makes elegant, enticing nonfiction for children that adults will love to share.  After discovering that a carat comes from the weight of the average carob seed, a diamond has a different sparkle.  Learning the definitions and origin of measurement terms--from leagues and fathoms to drops and light years--is bound to spark interest in an inquiring mind.


The Underneath
Kathi Appelt, illus. by David Small

I read quite a bit of young adult fiction, but have never felt strongly enough about one of these to recommend it to everyone – until now.  Ms. Appelt’s first novel, nominated for a National Book Award, is so lyrical, so moving and so appealing that I could not put it down.  Set on the border between Texas and Louisiana, an abandoned and pregnant cat finds comfort and friendship with an abused bloodhound chained in the yard of a shack in the bayou.  This is a tale of love and revenge, good and evil, sorrow and happiness, and may be too overwhelming for pre-teens.  The writing is rhythmic, poetic and hypnotic.  If you haven’t tried a book meant for younger readers for a while, treat yourself to this one.


R. J. Palacio

Ten-year-old Augie Pullman, born with a rare genetic, disorder causing a severe facial deformity (a "tiny, mushed-up face" is what Augie calls it). is a smart, witty kid tackling relationships in a tiny school community after years of home -schooling.  In a realistic, engaging style the story of Augie's first year in middle school is told by many characters - his sister, her former best friend, Augie's classmates and their parents, his headmaster, and, of course, Augie.  5th - 8th grade readers will discover themselves in Wonder. a fast, thought-provoking, heart-felt read.