Staff Selections Kids


In the Wild
David Elliott, illus. by Holly Meade

Author David Elliott and illustrator Holly Meade move from the familiar territory of their previous book On the Farm to a world tour of animals.  Once again the poems and woodcuts are equally engaging.  This is a read-aloud suitable for home or classroom, aimed at four- to  seven-year-olds.  Some children will be aware that most of these animals are, sadly, endangered.  They may recognize the layers of meaning in the last poem.


Jacqueline Briggs Martin, illus. by Claudia McGehee

Two great local picture book talents have collaborated, with outstanding results.  Caldecott-award winning author Jacqueline Briggs Martin tells the inspiring, true story of the search for, and recovery of, a lost creek.  Buried for years under cornfields in the Driftless Area in northeast Iowa, Brook Creek is brought back to life in the heart of a restored prairie by a man with a vision.  The process is beautifully illuminated with Claudia McGehee's bright scratchboard and watercolor illustrations. Adults will enjoy this one, too.


Magic Marks the Spot
Caroline Carlson

Magic Marks the Spot is the first book in The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates trilogy, and is the funniest pirate adventure you will ever read.  Ever.  Young Hilary Westfield wants nothing more than to be a pirate, even though her father is Lord Admiral of the Navy and wants nothing more than to rid the seas of pirates forever.  When Hilary's application to TVNHLP is turned down because she's a girl (even though she can tie every knot and can tread water for 37 minutes!), she's forced to attend Miss Pimm's Finishing School for Girls instead.  But hope is not lost when Hilary spies a help wanted sign for crew members on a pirate ship!  Mayhem and hilarity ensues as Hilary, her governess, and a talking gargoyle take to the high seas for treasure, adventure and an even bigger mystery of missing gold and magic.  The perfect book for the young adventuress in your life.


Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus
Dusti Bowling

Born with no arms, thirteen-year-old Aven has faced immense challenges all her life. Fortunately, her adoptive parents raised her to be a "problem-solving ninja," so spunky, determined, witty Aven is used to achieving whatever she sets her mind to do. Aven's optimism is sorely tested, however, when her parents take a job running a rundown theme park in Arizona right after she begins 8th grade. Good thing Aven is resilient, practiced in coping with stares and questions, and open to new friends. These super powers will be essential as Aven says goodbye to Kansas, makes friends with a quirky classmate, and discovers an unusual mystery she's determined to solve. Holding appeal for 4th - 8th graders, readers will remember Aven for a long time to come.                                                                    


Out of Wonder
Kwame Alexander, Ekua Holmes (Illustrator), Chris Colderley

This beautifully illustrated book of poetry by Kwame Alexander and two co-authors celebrates Kwame's 20 favorite poets of all times and places. The criteria for inclusion is they must be interesting people and they must love their poetry with a passion. The authors write their own poems in the style or theme of their choices.Their hope is that readers will be inspired to discover these poets and write their own poems. The three sections of the book are designed to pay tribute, offer inspiration and give thanks for the poets who have been muses.
They hope your heart will sing and you will use them as a stepping-stone to wonder.
Poets included are Basho, Rumi, Emily Dickinson, Gwendolyn Brooks, Robert Frost, Chief Dan George, Langston Hughes, Pablo Neruda, Okot p'Bitek, William Carlos Williams, Judith Wright, Maya Angelou, Sandra Cisneros,  Billy Collins, Nikki Giovanni, Terrance Hayes, Walter Dean Myers, Naomi Shihab Nye, Mary Oliver.



Roller Girl
Victoria Jamieson

Fans of Raina Telgemeier, take note! Roller Girl is the propulsive, fun new addition to a collection of graphic novels with empowered young women as their stars. Twelve-year-old Astrid is an aspiring Roller Derby enthusiast. When she signs up for summer junior Roller Derby camp, however, she has no idea what she’s in for. She’ll have to put in a lot of hard work and bruises if she wants to be like her idol, star Rainbow Brite.  With vivid illustrations and a sense of humor that will delight kids and adults alike, Victoria Jamieson has created a new classic of the genre. This story of growing up and learning how to be yourself and create a community at the same time, offers strong role models for kids 9 and up and adults too.


We Are the Perfect Girl
Ariel Kaplan

A retold Cyrano--big nose included--and by far Kaplan's best book (and I loved Grendel’s Guide to Love and War). It's funny and heartbreaking, with important things to say about girls and their friendships and self perceptions. The main character, Aphra, is absolutely unique--she's so strong and forthright and funny, and yet so vulnerable, too. I adored her, and her best friend Bethany, and the complicated situation they find themselves in. Really excellent book for young adults.