Staff Selections Kids


Children of the Northlights
Ingri & Edgar Parin D'Aulaire

Returning to print, this captivating picture book shows and tells how a fur-bound, star-hatted Sami boy and girl spent their snowy days in Lappland long ago.  Children and adults alike will love the glowing illustrations detailing life in a hide tent under the northern lights among the snow hares, wolves and bears.  They play a prank with a bear hide, wait out a blizzard in a snow bank, dismantle their tent and migrate with their family, round up reindeer on skis, sled race to the village, and have a sauna and stuff ‘birds’ nests’ into their wooden shoes before attending village school.  Readers will love imagining this rich, colorful world.


Sage Blackwood

There is magic on every page of Jinx -- I mean it, on every page!  Jinx is a young boy who, through no fault of his own, winds up as a servant to a very cranky wizard.  And although Jinx is not a very good apprentice -- he struggles with the most basic of spells -- he is not without his talents:  he can read and speak six languages, see people's auras and can talk to trees.  When the wizard uses Jinx in a spell that leaves him without his gifts, Jinx leaves in search of answers, meeting Elfwyn and Reven along the way, both of whom have had curses placed on them as well.  Fast-paced, very fun and exciting, Jinx has it all:  wizards (good and bad), witches, werewolves and trolls, all living in the dark and scary Forest of Urwald.  Readers will recognize traces of Hansel & Gretel and Little Red Riding Hood woven into this book, as well as some wonderful dialogue between the three teenaged characters -- who seem very much like teenagers today, despite all that magic.  


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!


Tillie the Terrible Swede
Sue Stauffacher

Tillie Anderson immigrated to the United States in 1889 to find a better life. One day she spied a man speeding by the tailor shop where she was working. She wanted to go fast like that. She wanted a bicycle. Even though she was told that bicycles were unladylike, she had a dream. With hard work, determination and training, Tillie became the women’s bicycle racing champion of the world!  Make sure to read the author’s note and see Tillie’s accomplishments detailed on the back endpapers of the this picture book biography for all ages.  With RAGBRAI coming through town, don’t miss a chance to see how one woman paved the way for today’s athletes.   Pair this with Sue Macy’s WHEELS OF CHANGE: HOW WOMEN RODE THE BICYCLE TO FREEDOM. (a very interesting and complete nonfiction title for ages 8+ that shows the development of the bicycle and its influence on American culture)