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Youth Services Picks
This is a new Historical Fiction title, and part of the Boys of Wartime series. The main character is twelve-year-old Michael, who lives with his family in Paris during World War II. Michael wants to help with the war efforts, but he has to decide how much he is willing to risk to defend his country's freedom.
Elephant and Piggie are back in a fantastic new tale of friendship and honesty! Piggie has a new trumpet, and she is very eager to share her musical talents with Gerald, but ...her talent is..nonexistent. When Piggie starts fishing for compliments, poor Gerald has to decide if he should tell the truth, even if it means hurting his friends feelings.
This book is considered an easy reader, and would be a great springboard for discussions about honesty and friendship.
Maisy mouse is back, and she is more active than ever before! Young readers will enjoy following Maisy as she skips, jumps and somersaults through a typical day. With colorful illustrations and text that encourages active participation, this book is sure to be a hit with toddlers!
This is a new take on the classic tale "The Gingerbread Man" with a unique Tex-mex twist! A smattering of Spanish vocabulary and a yummy recipe for gorditas make this a great interactive read for families.
Chopsticks provides a funny look at what happens when an always together couple is suddenly forced apart. Readers learn the joy of sticking together as well as the power of individual skills. This is a must read for parents who have experience with clingy children as well as anyone who has ever been separated from the person that they love most.
I have always been fascinated by forensic studies so when I saw the title "Toe Tagged" in a stack of books that had been returned, I knew I had to read it. The cover has a "CSI" feel, complete with yellow tape and white sheets. Inside is a fascinating look at the work of forensic pathologists. The author does an excellent job of combining fast facts and case studies to highlight several different aspects of mortuary science without subjecting young readers to unnecessary information or graphic details.
Tweens and teens who have an interest in science, detective work, or crime shows like CSI will appreciate this book. A simple dictionary is included to help readers understand specific terms. At 60 pages, this is a short but informative read on an unusual subject.
Do you ever feel overwhelmed by connectivity? Have gadgets taken over your household? Do you ever wish for just five minutes of unplugged time? Then you have to read this book! Goodnight, iPad is a parody of Goodnight Moon, and it is quite entertaining for children and adults alike. The family elder decides that she is fed up with the electronic gadgetry that is keeping her children and grandchildren occupied. So, she starts eliminating devices, beginning with the iPad. Of course, her actions are met with protests, and readers can't help but smile as they try to imagine life without cell phones, computers, and handheld games. Rapper Eminem gets a brief mention, making this a thoroughly modern parody.
There are some strange people in this world, and sixteen year old Jacob is one of them. So is his grandfather. The two men have always been close. When a tragedy strikes the family, Jacob decides it is his responsibility to seek answers to some long buried family mysteries and restore honor to the family name. He wants to learn more about his grandfather, and who he was as a child. Unfortunately, his visit to Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children leaves him with more questions than answers. What kind of a man was Jacob's grandfather, and how did he become involved with children whose behaviors seem extremely odd?
This book features several vintage photographs that add an extra dimension to the story and leave readers scrambling to turn the pages!
Have you ever wished that you could relive a moment in your life? What if you had the chance to say the right words, wear the right shoes, and kiss the right boy? What if you knew today was your last day on Earth? Would you rewrite your personal history to make yourself cooler, cuter or more popular?
Samantha is a typical teenage girl who is killed in a tragic accident. Following her death, she is given a chance to relive the last day of her life, from her breakfast, to cutting class, to attending a party with her boyfriend. Each time the day starts, readers are given slightly different information about Samantha, her choices, and her relationships with her friends, parents and boyfriend. Readers soon become aware that there is way more to the story of Samantha’s life and her death than anyone could have imagined.
I loved this book! I rooted for Samantha from the very beginning. She is a character that most high school girls can relate to, because she is experiencing the typical longings for love, popularity and acceptance. This book gives readers a reason to reflect on the things that teens think are so important, and the realities of these experiences.
Seventeen-year-old Jill is still grieving for her father when her mother decides to adopt a baby from Mandy, an unwed teen who moves into their home to live until the birth. Mandy knows what it's like to grow up with a mother who never intended to have a child, so she wants a better life for her baby. But she still needs someone to care for her, too. The story is told from each girl’s viewpoint, as they struggle to cope with their pasts, each other, and the future. How to Save a Life has many starred reviews and 4 stars on Goodreads. Sara Zarr is the author of three other award winning Young Adult titles: Sweethearts (Y Fic), Once Was Lost (eAudiobook), and Story of a Girl (available on Kindle from Amazon.com).
Carl Hiaasen is a well known author for adults and kids. His stories are set in Florida and usually involve environmental issues. In this funny mystery for kids, Nick and his friend Marta decide to investigate when a mysterious fire starts while they are on a school field trip to Black Vine Swamp and the mean old biology teacher Mrs. Starch turns up missing after she goes into the fire to get a student’s lost medication. School Library Journal calls Scat! an “edge-of-the-seat eco-thriller.” Scat! is a Young Hoosier nominee for middle grades this year. Other titles kids will enjoy by this author are Flush and Hoot, both J Fiction.
They call it "Progress". I guess it sounds better than "Juvenile Facility" or "Youth Institution". Reece is serving his sentence there, but he doesn't see much real progress. People come and go, but the situations remain the same. Reece is frustrated, because he wants a better life for himself, but he just can't seem to stay out of trouble. When he is placed on work release, Reece makes an unlikely friend who helps him realize that the past is behind him, and the future is what he makes of it.
Sixteen year old Tessa faces vampires, demons, and the truth about her missing brother in the fast paced adventure. Mysterious and intriguing characters such as Will, Jem and Charlotte join Tessa in the war against the Magister.
This book reminded me of traveling in the car with my Mom, Dad and Brother. We had fun and so do the Watsons!
This is a great family read because everyone can participate in solving the riddles presented! Each page gives a riddle that can be answered with the title of a popular children's book! Try to see how many you can solve, and be sure to check out the titles you have not read! Spot the Plot is a 2011-2012 Young Hoosier Book Award Nominee for grades K-3, and promises to be popular with readers of all ages!
Mandy is a pregnant teenager who has to make some tough decisions about her future. She has had a rough life, watching her mother work through an endless string of dead end relationships. She has no idea how to parent a child or how to begin to make better choices for herself. When she meets a family willing to adopt her baby, she is exposed to a lifestyle vastly different from any she has ever experienced. She begins a journey of self-realization, which leads to an interesting, if unusual conclusion.
Adult fans of YA titles will appreciate Zarr's work, as will teens who have experienced their own love or loss.
- After by Amy Efaw
Little Red Bird is a Young Hoosier Book Award Nominee for the 2011-2012 school year. Little Red Bird has spent her entire life in a cage and she is quite content there. But then the day comes that she is given the opportunity to spread her wings, and explore the world around her. Should she stick with what she has always known, in a place where she feels comfortable? Or should she venture out and experience new and different surroundings? The author thoughtfully asks readers, “What would you do?” making this book a great starting point for discussion about trying new things and taking chances.
Poor Alligator! He is best friends with a young girl named Amanda, and more than anything, he wants to make her happy! But Amanda is human, and Alligator is... well, stuffed, and they don't always see eye to eye. Anyone who has ever treasured a stuffed animal will appreciate the friendship between the two main characters and understand the obstacles they face in trying to maintain their relationship as Amanda gets older. Fans of Mo Willems' Elephant and Piggie series will enjoy Amanda and her Alligator.
What do you do when the person you depend on most is killed in a traffic accident? For Gaston Giambanco Jr., the answer is simple… develop an intense hatred for the people who caused the accident. An illegal immigrant was behind the wheel of the car that hit Gaston’s mother head on.
Eager to escape the less than ideal home life that only worsened after the accident, Gaston sets out to make it on his own. His journey leads him to a job at a racetrack stable where he learns that in order to be successful he must rely on the very people he despises most.
At 150 pages, Homestretch is a fairly quick read with short chapters and a straightforward storyline that will engage horse lovers and race fans alike.
12 year old Matt Pin has been living with his adoptive family for two years. He loves his parents and his little brother. He's just made the school baseball team as a star pitcher and he is becoming an accomplished pianist. Life is good; but Matt keeps his nightmares and memories of his war-torn country to himself. He doesn't mention the helicopters, bombs, and flames that were a part of his life. He doesn't mention the mother and little brother he left behind. More importantly, he doesn't mention the cruel remarks he hears from his classmates whose family members fought in the war zone. It takes a wise baseball coach and an injured Vietnam Veteran to help put the broken pieces of Matt's life back together.