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Kids Book Recs

Summer's Favorite New Books Hitting the Shelves!

Turtle Walk by Matt Phelan

Explore all four seasons with this charming–and patient!–turtle family. Award-winning author-artist Matt Phelan guides the youngest readers from the first blooms of spring and the scorching sun of summer to the crisp leaves of fall and fat snowflakes of winter. Fans of Anna Dewdney and Tad Hills will want to go on this journey again and again.

Picture Book

Anya and the Dragon by Sophiya Pasternack

In an alternate ninth century, twelve-year-old Anya and a new friend face a Viking and a tsar to protect the water dragon that saved her life, putting her family’s home at risk.

“Pasternack eagerly depicts life in an tenth-century Russian village imbued with magic and folklore, riddled with many references to Anya’s family’s religion, their Jewish traditions, and the discrimination they face. The plot keeps readers on their toes with skillful pacing….Jewish readers may find kindred spirits in Anya’s culture, and fans of a Russian setting won’t be disappointed by this immersive novel that ends in justice.”– Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books​

Chapter Book (416 pages)

Simon and the Bear: a Hanukkah Tale by Eric Kimmel

Stranded on an iceberg on his way to America, Simon remembers his mother’s parting words and lights the first candle on his menorah while praying for a miracle, which soon arrives in the form of a friendly polar bear.
Juvenile Non-Fiction Holidays: Picture Book

Exploring the Elements: a Complete Guide to the Periodic Table by Sara Gillingham

This artful and accessible guide to the periodic table — the ultimate reference tool for scientists worldwide — names all 118 chemical elements and helps young readers understand the remarkable ways we have learned to use them.

Graphically stunning layouts feature each element’s letter symbol and atomic number, exploring its attributes, characteristics, uses, and interesting stories behind its discovery. Complete with a comprehensive introduction, conclusion, and glossary, this is the perfect introduction to chemistry for inquisitive minds.

Juvenile Non-Fiction: Science (Chemistry), Ages 8+

Jo: an Adaptation of Little Women (sort of) by Kathleen Gros

With the start of eighth grade, Jo March decides it’s time to get serious about her writing and joins the school newspaper. But even with her new friend Freddie cheering her on, becoming a hard-hitting journalist is a lot harder than Jo imagined.

That’s not all that’s tough. Jo and her sisters–Meg, Beth, and Amy–are getting used to a new normal at home, with their dad deployed overseas and their mom, a nurse, working overtime.

And while it helps to hang out with Laurie, the boy who just moved next door, things get complicated when he tells Jo he has feelings for her. Feelings that Jo doesn’t have for him…or for any boy. Feelings she’s never shared with anyone before. Feelings that Jo might have for Freddie.

What does it take to figure out who you are? Jo March is about to find out.

Graphic Novel

Summer's Holiday Picks

Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins by Eric Kimmel

On the first night of Hanukkah, a weary traveler named Hershel of Ostropol eagerly approaches a village, where plenty of latkes and merriment should warm him.

But when he arrives not a single candle is lit. A band of frightful goblins has taken over the synagogue, and the villagers cannot celebrate at all! Hershel vows to help them. Using his wits, the clever trickster faces down one goblin after the next, night after night. But can one man alone save Hanukkah and live to tell the tale?

Picture Book

A Very Babymouse Christmas by Jennifer Holm

The holidays are here and everyone’s enjoying their favorite traditions–well, everyone except Babymouse, who has only one thing on her mind: presents! And whether she has to face down the ghosts of mean girls past or outsmart Santa himself, she’ll do whatever it takes to make sure she gets the present she wants.

Graphic Novel

Kwanzaa Folktales by Chuck David

Celebrate the African American holiday Kwanzaa with this collection of of original folktales illustrating each of the seven principles which Kwanzaa honors: Faith, Creativity, Collective Work and responsibility, purpose, unity, self-determination, and cooperative economics.

Through the rich tradition of oral storytelling, these tales express the ageless value of Kwanzaa’s principles in colorful, meaningful stories for children and adults alike to enjoy and remember.


Hidden Gems in the Stacks

The Girl Who Speaks Bear by Sophia Anderson

Found abandoned in a bear cave as a baby, and cursed with unusual size and strength, twelve-year-old Yanka the bear has never felt she belonged in the small village where she grew up; the Snow Forest seems to call to her and when she wakes up one day with her legs transformed into bear legs she flees the village, and embarks on a dangerous journey to uncover clues to her mysterious origin and identity.

Chapter Book (304 pages)

A Properly Unhaunted Place by William Alexander

Rosa Ramona Díaz has just moved to the small, un-haunted town of Ingot — the only ghost-free town in the world. She doesn’t want to be there. She doesn’t understand how her mother — a librarian who specializes in ghost-appeasement — could possibly want to live in a place with no ghosts. Frankly, she doesn’t understand why anyone would. Jasper Chevalier has always lived in Ingot. His father plays a knight at the local Renaissance Festival, and his mother plays the queen. Jasper has never seen a ghost, and can’t imagine his un-haunted town any other way. Then an apparition thunders into the festival grounds and turns the quiet town upside down. Something otherworldly is about to be unleashed, and Rosa will need all her ghost appeasement tools — and a little help from Jasper — to rein in the angry spirits and restore peace to Ingot before it’s too late.

Chapter Book (208 pages)

Ubiquitous: Celebrating Nature’s Survivors

This delightful Non-Fiction book explores how some animals have lived so long and what changes they went through to still thrive in an ever changing world.


Summer's Tumble-Picks

Dinosaur Explorers Vol. 1, Prehistoric Pioneers Graphic Novel

Trapped in the Precambrian Era 570 million years ago by an earthquake, the Dinosaur Explorers find themselves in a fix- by needing a bigger fix for their time machine! Under the guidance of Dr. Da Vinci, his assistant, Diana, and Starz, their helpful tiny robot, Rain, Emily, Sean, and Stone must now face the challenge of finding electricity in an era where humans don’t exist yet! And to make matters worse, the locals don”t take kindly to the Dinosaur Explorers! Witness all the wonders of our world”s past with these PREHISTORIC PIONEERS!

All Aboard the DinoTrain Animated Picture Book

They stoke the boiler, stow the luggage, and when hills are steep, they even get out and push. That’s right, the thrill-seeking daredevil dinosaurs from Dinosailors are back, and now they’re riding a train. But this train is more like a roller coaster–up, down, and faster and faster, until the dinos realize the brakes are out! Laughs and thrills abound in this rip-snorting tale of reckless reptiles and their runaway train.

Frank and Laverne: Frank’s Side of the Story Animated Picture Book

Every morning by 06:00 hours, Frank is awake and on duty for Squirrel Patrol! This pug takes his role seriously: basic training, neighborhood surveillance, and, most importantly, protecting his humans and the cat, Laverne, from the Great Dane next door. But how does Laverne feel about being woken up so early in the morning? Read Laverne’s Story for HER side of the story! Both pets report their perspectives separately, from opposite ends of the book, until the story comes to a head in the middle with a single encounter Frank and Laverne perceive in very different ways.

Thea Stilton: The Secrets of While Island  Graphic Novel
Geronimo isn’t the only world-famouse adventuring journalist from New Mouse City; introducing his fabulous sister, Thea! The Thea Sisters are five fun, lively students at Mouseford Academy on Whale Island, who want to be real, live journalists just like their hero, Thea Stilton. Between classes and friendships, love and small fits of jealousy, they’re finding college life is really exciting! In “The Secret of Whale Island,” it’s the start of the new school year and the students have arrived at Mouseford Academy. Every year at this time, the whales move off the coast of Whale Island, but this time, a savage killer whale threatens the peace.

Only Living Boy, Vol.1 Prisoner of the Patchwork Planet Graphic Novel

When 12-year old Erik Farrell runs away from home, he finds himself without his memory, stranded on a patchwork planet with danger lurking around every corner. Now every day is a struggle to survive. Luckily, Erik quickly makes friends like Morgan, a mermaid warrior and Thea, a teenage princess from a mysterious insect race. He’ll need their help to escape the Dreaded Lord Baalikar and the evil Doctor Once and maybe, one day, find his way back home.

Animals in Camouflage  Animated Non-Fiction

Incredible illustrations highlight this striking book introducing animals in camouflage. The lush illustrations alone will enthrall readers, but clues to seven remarkably well-hidden animals will draw them into new worlds. Further explorations of the habits and lives of these animals is provided in the back of the book.

Last updated: 11/28/2020