Staff Selections Kids

Mary

Summer of the Gypsy Moths
Sara Pennypacker

Stella is sent to stay with her great-aunt Louise in her big old house on Cape Cod.  Stella is happy to be in the more stable, welcoming home, and away from her careless mother, but she was not counting on Angel, her aunt’s Portuguese foster child.  She and Angel are at odds until, suddenly, they have a common purpose.  Some readers may question the probability of some of the events, but Stella’s sensitive observations will draw them through harrowing suspense to a satisfying outcome. Fans of Matilda and The Boxcar Children will cheer her on.

Tim

The Year of Billy Miller
Kevin Henkes

This novel from Mr. Henkes, author of Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse and Kitten's First Full Moon, follows Billy Miller through his second grade year.  We learn about his family, his school project and that girl that always bothers him.  An excellent choice for the young reader, A Year of Billy Miller perfectly captures the desires and fears of a seven-year-old.  Laugh-out-loud funny --  Billy's little sister is a scream! -- this charming book should be in every home library.  Highly recommended.

Victoria

The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles
Michelle Cuevas, illus. by Erin Stead

A quiet book for wishers and dreamers, The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles celebrates friendship, community and the worth of every human being. Expressive, engaging text and Erin Stead’s richly detailed illustrations about the man who opens and delivers messages in ocean bottles beg for repeated readings. The quirky, memorable protagonist finds his way into your heart as he delivers messages from bottles that he finds on the shore.                     

 

Barb

The One and Only Ivan
Katherine Applegate

 

In this first person narrative, Ivan shares his life in a way that is both funny and touching.

He has lived at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video arcade for so long that he no longer even thinks about his jungle home. His friends include Bob, a stray that skillfully eludes capture at the mall, and an elderly elephant named Stella. He is used to humans staring at him through the glass and though he thinks about TV shows he has seen and his friends, he mostly likes to think about his art-colors, line and how to capture a taste in his paintings. All this changes dramatically when Ruby, a baby elephant joins him and he begins to see his home with new eyes. He makes a promise to Ruby that she will not remain behind this glass. His scheme to make this promise become a reality is both hilarious and triumphant. This is a great read for all ages.

Sarah

A Thousand Nights
A.K. Johnston

In this retelling of the Arabian Nights, the unnamed protagonist is taken from her desert village to the palace of Lo-Melkhiin to serve as yet another in a long line of ill-fated wives.  But rather than succumb to him, she uses her uniquie abilities to challenge his rule.  This beautifully written story of sisterhood, magic, and female power has a lush, immersive setting, surprising plot turns, and wonderful portrayals of the protagonist’s unexpected strength.