Author Archives: Carrie

Staff Pick: Jumping Penguins

Staff Pick: Jumping Penguins

Jumping Penguins

Funny, bizarre, unbelievable, and weird facts about twenty five different animals. The animal facts are straightforward nonfiction, Marije Tolman’s illustrations are pure fantasy.

Did you know that some caterpillars can (and do) throw their poop twelve inches? That’s like your Uncle Jim throwing his poop halfway down a football field. Let’s hope your uncle can’t do that. Most uncles wouldn’t. Hopefully. Anyway, Jumping Penguins tells strange, and occasionally gross, facts about animals you know and love. The words are all true – the beautiful and whimsical illustrations are not. This is not a school-year book you could use for serious research. No, this is a summer book, and the aim of its’ creators seems to be just to amaze and amuse.

Recommended by: Shellie Rich – Warren

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Staff Pick – The Screaming Staircase

Staff Pick – The Screaming Staircase

The Screaming Staircase

Follows three young operatives of a Psychic Detection Agency as they battle an epidemic of ghosts in London.

Could you spend the night in a haunted house? London, England has a problem – unfriendly ghosts come out at night – and only kids have the psychic ability to see and get rid of them. Lucy Carlyle joins the only “ghost-busting” business run by another kid: Anthony Lockwood. With their third partner, George, they take on the biggest case in town. Will they solve the case and get the money, or will the Screaming Staircase get them?

Recommended by: Melissa Wooten – Glendale

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Staff Pick: Daisy’s Defining Day

Staff Pick: Daisy’s Defining Day

Daisy’s Defining Day

When Miss Goldner teaches her class about alliteration, Daisy has a terrific time coming up with wonderful word combinations. Then someone calls her Lazy Daisy, and suddenly words are a problem. Daisy needs a new nickname!

Do you love to read? Always get A’s on your spelling test? Enjoy finding out about new words? Well so does Daisy. Daisy loves words and the definitions so much that she keeps lists of her favorite words. In Daisy’s Defining Day, by Sandra V. Feder, Daisy does not like being labeled as Lazy Daisy by a friend’s brother. In order to get people not to think of her as Lazy Daisy, Daisy and her best friend Emma come up with new names for themselves. Daisy’s new name is dazzling, but it is way too long and nobody can remember it. Can Daisy find the right name or will she forever be known as Lazy Daisy?

Recommended by: Spade’s Park

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Staff Pick: Ashley Bryan Words to My Life’s Song

Staff Pick: Ashley Bryan Words to My Life’s Song

Words to My Life's Song

An introduction to the life and career of the writer and artist Ashley Bryan, a three-time winner of the Coretta Scott King Award.

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be an award-winning artist? Words to My Life’s Song is an autobiography that gives a glimpse into the imaginings and memories of three-time Coretta Scott King Award winning illustrator, Ashley Bryan. Mr Bryan frames the book as an afternoon spent walking around his home on an island in Maine. As we wander, Mr. Bryan tells us about his life growing up in the Bronx, going to art school, being in the army, teaching art, and discovering his passion for illustrating books. Along the way, we see a lot of his colorful paintings, stained glass and cut paper creations. This book is a bright, joyful celebration of life and creativity.

Recommended by: Hannah Wheeler – Lawrence

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Counting by 7s

Counting by 7s

Counting by 7s

Twelve-year-old genius and outsider Willow Chance must figure out how to connect with other people and find a surrogate family for herself after her parents are killed in a car accident.

In this book by Holly Goldberg Sloan everyone and everything is just a bit quirky. 

Counting by 7s is the story of Willow Chance, a 12 year old genius obsessed with medical conditions, the number 7 and gardening.  Willow’s adoptive parents are supportive of her interests and are excited for her to have a new start at making friends as she starts middle school.

 When Willow’s parents are killed in a car accident the focus of the story is on Willow and her quest to find a new family and a new place to fit in.  Willow is helped along the way by her school counselor, a Vietnamese immigrant family, and a taxi driver.   Through Willow everyone becomes a better person and through this rather unusual group of friends Willow blossoms as well.

This book is recommended for all ages and will make you both laugh and cry.

Recommended by:  Nancy Coughlin – Nora

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