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.


Eva Ibbotson


Hal is thrilled when he receives a long-desired dog for his birthday.  Glee turns to angry determination when he learns that Fleck is a rented dog, his parents figuring he’d tire of the creature after a weekend.  Hal and his friend Pippa kidnap Fleck and four other rental dogs and head from London to Scotland to his grandparents’ home, far away from his controlling mother who is surely Roald Dahl’s Veruca Salt grown up.  This heartfelt adventure is sure to please readers new to the late Eva Ibbotson's books and delight her legion of fans.