Category Archives: Staff Picks

Staff Pick: I Am a Taxi

Staff Pick: I Am a Taxi

I Am a Taxi

Living with his family in a prison in Bolivia due to his parents’ convictions for drug trafficking, twelve-year-old Diego does his best to live a normal life, but when his mother receives additional fines, Diego risks everything to earn quick money.

I read this novel because of the odd title. Diego, age 12, lives in a prison in Cochabamba, Bolivia. His parents, falsely accused of smuggling drugs, must serve out a 16 year sentence. Diego, however, can come and go; he attends school and earns money as a “taxi,” running errands for other inmates. After a stroke of bad luck, Diego is forced to look for additional ways to make money. His friend, Mando, convinces him “big money” will come from working for foreign men deep in the jungle. The men turn out to be cocaine smugglers and the boys become slaves in the coca pits, stomping coca leaves into a paste that will become cocaine. Attempting escape, Mando dies and Diego barely escapes with his life. The ending of the book is as odd as the title, but the fast pace will keep readers glued to the text, eager to find out if Diego ever sees his family again. I learned a great deal about prison life, “taxi” work and the production of cocaine and plan to read the sequel, Sacred Leaf, very soon.

Recommended by: Nancy Poppleton, Glendale Branch

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Staff Pick: Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library

Staff Pick: Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library

Twelve-year-old Kyle gets to stay overnight in the new town library, designed by his hero (the famous gamemaker Luigi Lemoncello), with other students but finds that come morning he must work with friends to solve puzzles in order to escape.

Kyle Keeley loves, loves, LOVES games. But books? Uh…not so much. Still, he is excited when he wins a chance to be in an overnight lock-in at his town’s brand new library because it has been designed by the world’s most famous game maker. Once he is there, he is even MORE excited to accept a challenge to win his way out of the library by playing a game designed by that same person. What is not so exciting is the realization that most of the clues he needs to solve to win the game are based on his knowledge of…books! Everything he needs to win his escape from the library is IN the library, and this is the first library he’s ever been in.

Recommended by: Doriene Smither – Pike Branch Library

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Staff Pick: Saving Audie: a Pit Bull Puppy Gets a Second Chance

Staff Pick: Saving Audie: a Pit Bull Puppy Gets a Second Chance

Saving Audie

A moving rehabilitation story of a pit bull that was rescued from Michael Vick’s notorious dog-fighting ring describes how he and his kennel mates were saved from being euthanized before he was retrained to be a gentle companion animal and adopted by a loving family.

Many pit bull dogs are raised for dog fighting.  It’s a brutal life and can make the dogs mean.  In 2005 the famous football player, Michael Vick, was arrested for training fighting dogs. Some of his rescued dogs were puppies.  This is the story of one of them.  Audie started out as a scared little puppy and through love and hard work he became a loving companion.  If you love dog stories, this book is for you.

Recommended by: Mary Sullivan – Decatur Branch Library

 

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Staff Pick: Grin and Bear It

Staff Pick: Grin and Bear It

Grin and Bear It

Will stage fright prevent a very funny bear from becoming a stand-up comedian?

Have you ever wanted to do something, but were too afraid to try? Well Bear knows exactly what you are going through. Bear is a comedian who really wants to make his friends laugh. His jokes are hilarious, he does great in front of the mirror at home, and he is really cool. There is just one problem: Bear gets terrible stage fright. Can Bear get over his fears and make his own dreams come true? OR Will bear end up embarrassing himself in front of his friends? Find out by reading Grin and Bear It by Leo Landry.

Recommended by: Kamara McKinney – Spades Park Branch Library

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Staff Pick: Allie Finkle’s Rules for Girls: Moving Day

Staff Pick: Allie Finkle’s Rules for Girls: Moving Day

Allie Finkle's Rules for Girls: Moving Day

Nine-year-old Allie Finkle has rules for everything and is even writing her own rule book, but her world is turned upside-down when she learns that her family is moving across town, which will mean a new house, school, best friend, and plenty of new rules.

Allie Finkle appreciates rules. There are lots of rules for math and science. But, there aren’t many rules for friendship, and this makes Allie’s life a little complicated. There are also not many rules about what to do when your parents decide to move across town, which means that you have to go to a new school. And get rid of most of your awesome geode collection. And leave behind your best friend (who can be a little bit of a crybaby, so maybe that’s not too bad). Allie’s homemade notebook of rules may be her only option for survival.

Recommended by: Hannah Wheeler – Lawrence Branch Library

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