One for the Murphys

Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Lynda Mullaly Hunt
One for the Murphys
Carley is placed with a foster family after she is assaulted and betrayed by her mother.  She is brought into the loving home of the Murphys.  Carley struggles with her emotions as she experiences what healthy relationships feel like.  She learns to open up and trust.  She becomes one of the Murphys as she connects with the three boys of the family.  When she returns to live with her mother we have high hopes for Carley's future.  This story shares what a loving, caring foster family can mean to a child in distress.  Hunt's debut novel is so beautifully written I cried throughout much of it. Check our catalog.

Tops and Bottoms

Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Janet Stevens
Tops and Bottoms

 What a great read aloud!  I just shared it with 30 4th graders who were enthralled.  Stevens brings this tale magically to life with her beautiful illustrations.  Lazy Bear has the land, Hare has no land but he does have a plan.  Hare proposes to Bear that he will do all the work and they will share the profits.  We start to be concerned when we are told that Hare lost a risky bet with a tortoise and sold his land to pay off the debt.  We become more concerned when  Hare asks  "So, what will it be, Bear?  The top half or the bottom half?  It's up to you-tops or bottoms."  We cringe, we laugh.  Hare will take you for a ride.  A Caldecott Honor Book for distinguished picture book.  Check our catalog.

Cindy A., Circ.

Adventures of the Penguin King

Friday, April 25, 2014
Adventures of the Penguin King

Adventures of the Penguin King traces the life and adventures of a King Penguin, beginning just as he ends three years of swimming in the sea as a youth.  Rex and his cousins, Larry and Moe return to Penguin City on South Georgia Island, not far from frozen Antarctica, to find a mate and raise a family. The photography is beautiful and Tim Allen does a great job pf narrating his adventures. Along the way we learn about the life cycle of King Penguins and have fun at the same time.  This was a great DVD. I enjoyed it even though it is a jDVD.  I like anything involving nature! Check our Catalog

Betsy H., Reference


Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Brian Flora

I’m always telling people, you are never too old for a good picture book!  The 2014 Caldecott Medal winner and 3 honor books are worth spending time with.  The Caldecott Medal is sometimes defined as the “best illustrations”, but it is more than just the pictures.  The award is given for how the illustrations work within the story, how they move the story along.  The 2014 Caldecott medal winner is Locomotive by Brian Flora.  Locomotive tells the story of traveling by transcontinental train in the 1860’s.  There are 3 honor books as well.  Journey by Aaron Becker is the wordless story of what happens when a young girl, using a red marker, draws a door into another world.  Remember Harold and the Purple Crayon?  Journey takes that idea to the level of artwork.  Flora and the Flamingo by Molly Schaar Idle is the charming (wordless) story of a little girl and a flamingo learning to dance a beautiful dance.  Mr. Wuffles by David Wiesner tells the story of the cat who is bored with all his cat toys.  That is until an alien spaceship makes an emergency landing in his living room.  If it’s been awhile since you’ve looked at a picture book, you will be amazed by these.  Don’t just read the words; remember to look at the pictures!   It’s the picture book version of “take the time to smell the roses.

Check our Catalog
 for Locomotive Check our Catalog for Journey 
Check our Catalog for Flora and the Flamingo Check our Catalog  for Mr. Wuffles

Holly L. Youth Services


The Colored Car

Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Jean Alicia Elster
The Colored Car

This 2014 Michigan Notable Book takes place in 1937.  Twelve year old Patsy and her three younger sisters enjoy daily life in Detroit.  When the family visits her grandmother in Tennessee, she experiences segregation on the train and other things that go against what she has been experiences at home up north.   Her grandmother teaches her quilting as a way to let go of her anger in those days.   Fascinating since I grew up in those years. Check our Catalog

Sue N., Youth Services

To Dare Mighty Things: The Life of Theodore Roosevelt

Friday, April 4, 2014
Doreen Rappaport
To Dare Mighty Things

An outstanding tribute to one of the great presidents of the United States.  What better to way to introduce young readers to one of America’s great heroes than in a picture book biography?  The illustrations beautifully capture a determined, courageous, ambitious Teddy Roosevelt, seeking to make his world better a place.  He was known as “the man with the plan” and that he had.  In the back of the book readers will find resources cited to learn more about Theodore Roosevelt.  This book is a good introduction into the life of our twenty – sixth president.

 “It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.” Theodore Roosevelt. Check our Catalog

Kate D., Youth Services


Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Vince Vawter

Paperboy is one of this year's Newbery Honor Books.  The author has suffered from stuttering all his life and so the book is  a sort of memoir as well as a fictional account of an 11 year old boy who stutters.  While collecting for his paper route, the boy meets  an interesting assortment of adult neighbors. The book takes place in 1959 so also includes an African American nanny/ housekeeper who explains some of the unwritten rules about  segregation. The main character, his friend and the adults are very well portrayed.   This book is for youth but as an adult, I strongly recommend it.  Check our Catalog

Sue N., Youth Services

The Santa Trap

Thursday, March 20, 2014
Jonathan Emmett

Bradley Bartleby is spoiled rotten and scares any adult he approaches with only one exception, Santa Claus!  Bradley is used to getting whatever he wants from his wealthy parents and is frustrated that Santa refuses to give him anything but socks!

Bradley is adament that he should get "what he deserves" and goes about setting wildly dangerous traps to catch Santa Claus the following year.  After transforming his house into one giant trap he is left alone on Christmas Eve, even his parents refuse to be there because it is too dangerous.  

Will Bradley be successful in catching Santa Claus and demanding he give him what he wants or does the "Big Guy" have a few tricks up his sleeve that will leave Bradley steaming?

Emily D., Circulation

Request this material using MeLCat, our State Wide Library Borrowing System!  If you have questions on how to request materials through MeLCat, please speak to one of our staff.


Heather the Violet Fairy (Rainbow Magic:Rainbow Fairies series)

Friday, February 28, 2014
Daisy Meadows
Heather the Violet Fairy

I have been enjoying reading these Early Chapter Books to my preschool age daughter. These have been a nice change of pace from the many picture books we've read. We both like reading a few chapters a night and we can't wait until the next night to see what happens next.  I also appreciated that although there is a villain in the book (Jack Frost & his goblins), he didn't seem too scary.  I also appreciated that the characters all behaved & spoke nicely to one another; and I especially liked how in the last book, Heather the Violet Fairy, when Jack Frost is finally apprehended, the fairies have the option of doing something mean to him but instead choose to take a higher road.  We're both looking forward to enjoying more of the Rainbow Magic series books together.  If you have a preschool or early elementary child that enjoys fairies, I think they'll enjoy these books. Check Our Catalog

Janice Youth Services

The White Zone

Friday, January 10, 2014
Carolyn Marsden
The White Zone

Cousins Nouri and Talib find themselves enemies because one is a Sunni and the other part Shitte.  Nouri throws a rock through Talib's bedroom window, finalizing the family's plan to move out of that neighborhood.  Talib plans a return attack and learns how to make a bottle bomb. The boys explain how they see both sides and also how they view the Americans during much fighting between the two factions.  The book was a fascinating description of how children feel during these warring times.  I learned a lot about how the war affects everyday families. Check our catalog

Sue N. Youth Services