Staff Selections Kids


Island: A Story of the Galapagos
Jason Chin

After a dramatic exploration of the redwoods and the coral reefs, Jason Chin takes us on a tour of the Galapagos Islands.  Beginning his story with an island-forming volcano, Chin travels through time, showing creatures emerging from the transfigurations of rock and sea, until the appearance of the HMS Beagle and Charles Darwin.  This book features maps and great pictures cataloging the variety of animal life found there today.  Share it with your budding naturalist.


Elvis and the Underdogs
Jenny Lee

Benji is a sickly kid, has always been so, and is therefore small for his age.  Troubled by fainting spells, his doctor recommends a therapy dog -- much better than a protective helmet -- and Elvis, a huge Newfoundland, arrives on the scene.  Elvis is smart, protective...and he talks!  (Only Benji can hear him, however.)  This wonderful story of Benji and his dog deals with the trials of fourth grade, dealing with bullies and making friends:  "You need to be part of a pack,"  encourages Elvis.  A funny, heartwarming and uplifting tale.  Ms. Lee is a writer for the popular Disney show Shake It Up, and Elvis and the Underdogs is her first novel.  Let's hope she writes another! 


Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms
Katherine Rundell

12-year-old Wilhelmina Silver (aka Will, Wildcat, Madman or Cartwheel) lives what she considers an idyllic life on a remote farm in Zimbabwe where her father is foreman.  A bright girl and good reader, Wilhelmina has acute observation skills and a passionate love and understanding of the outdoors. Raised by her beloved father since her mother’s death from malaria, Wilhelmina has spent years exploring the bush with her best friend, Simon, riding bareback on her horse and enjoying the company of her pet monkey. None of this prepares her for an unexpected move to a stifling, private girls’ boarding school in London. Escaping from the school's urban environment with its mean-spirited classmates is the hardest thing she's ever done, but Wilhelmina is stricken and determined. Readers, ages 8 – 12, will surely turn cartwheels after devouring this compelling, hopeful adventure of resilience, and friendship. P.S. Author Katherine Rundell turns a cartwheel every day!


Jeanne Birdsall

This is the third installment of the Penderwick family with some changes in the offing. Dad has remarried and is off on a trip with his new wife. Oldest daughter, Rosalind is going off for a summer trip with a friend and getting a first but much needed vacation from being the mom substitute. That means that when the rest of the girls go to Maine vacation at Aunt Claire’s cottage, Skye will be the OAP (oldest available Penderwick) and she is terrified that she wont’ “get it right.” If she has her way, the youngest, Batty, may just wear waterwings all day for the whole summer. There are many mishaps, fun adventures and tears as this warm and wonderful family handles what comes their way with inventiveness and finesse. All of the characters are rich and real. A great read for both smiles and joyful tears as each one grows and develops in their own way.
Ages 9-12