Category Archives: Staff Picks

Staff Pick: Whatever After: Fairest of All

Staff Pick: Whatever After: Fairest of All

Fairest of All“Abby and Jonah expected their lives to change when they moved to a new town, but they couldn’t have predicted that the mirror hanging in the basement would transport them to the world of Snow White.  Being totally familiar with her tale, it makes sense to Jonah to prevent Snow from eating the poisoned apple.  But, if Snow doesn’t die, she won’t meet her Prince and live happily ever after.  Before they can go home, Abby and Jonah must fix Snow’s story, even if that means breaking into a castle and facing an evil queen.”

Recommended by: Fiona Duke, East Washington Library

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Here are some more stories about kids who get involved in the lives of fairy tale characters through magic, mirrors or enchanted glass.
Fairy Tale Detectives Reckless Breadcrumbs Enchanted Glass
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Staff Pick: What Color Is My World?

Staff Pick: What Color Is My World?

What Color is My World?“Have you ever wondered who invented some of the items we use and depend on each day?  Well take a look at this title What Color is My World?:  the Lost History of African-American Inventors.  Twins Ella and Herbie have just moved into an older home with their parents.  The home is in need of much repair.  Handy Man, Mr. Mital, is able to restore the home and pass on history to Ella and Herbie about famous inventors.  Herbie gets so excited about the information that he pulls out his notebook and writes notes so that he won’t forget anything.  This is an excellent source for children of all ages to learn about great inventions and inventors.”

Recommended by Denyce Malone – Flanner House Library

And to make the book even more interesting, note that it is written by the basketball legend, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

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Staff Pick: Freedom Song The Story of Henry Box Brown

Staff Pick: Freedom Song The Story of Henry Box Brown

Henry's Freedom BoxA fictionalized account of how in 1849 a Virginia slave, Henry “Box” Brown, escapes to freedom by shipping himself in a wooden crate from Richmond to Philadelphia.

“This is the story of Henry “Box” Brown, the slave that mailed himself to freedom. Henry was born into slavery. He loved his family, sang with them and wanted them to always stay together. After he grew up and married, his family was sold away from him. Left with nothing but music, this story tells how he took that music about “freedom-land” and created and carried out a risky escape by mailing himself in a box to Pennsylvania. The book includes a note from the author and the words from an actual letter from the man who received Henry in the box at the end of his unusual journey.”

Michael Perry, Warren Branch Library

More Staff Picks

More dramatic stories about the U.S. Postal Service::
Mailing May Calico Dorsey Mule Train Off Like the Wind
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Staff Pick: Ghost Dog Secrets

Staff Pick: Ghost Dog Secrets

Ghost Dog Secrets“Rusty, a conscientious sixth grader, observes a German shepherd chained to a tree with no water, food or shelter. He begins bringing food and water every day until he notices that the dog has been injured. He decides to rescue the dog after a ghost dog appears in his bedroom. Rusty tries to take care of the situation himself, but eventually has to get all of the adults in his life involved. A great chapter book, for dog lovers, that introduces the importance of animal rescue organizations.”

Recommended by: Kimberly Andersen, West Indianapolis Branch

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Here are some books that will help you learn about animal rescue and some great stories about kids how step in and decide to love a dog – some of the best stories EVER:
Saving Animals After Tornadoes Rescuing Rover Saving Audie No Shelter Here
Hooper Finds a Home Shiloh A Dog's Life: Autobiography of a Stray Everything for a Dog
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Staff Pick: The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict

Staff Pick: The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict

The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas BenedictIf you know The Mysterious Benedict Society then you’ve already met Reynie (brilliant), Sticky (everything he sees, hears or reads…sticks), Kate (with her bucket of tools) and tiny, brilliant Constance. The children have been pulled together by their mentor and benefactor Mr. Nicholas Benedict, to use their considerable talents to follow clues, solve puzzles and figure out codes to keep bad guys in check. But where did Mr. Benedict himself come from? Why does he feel compelled to take on the world’s evils be assembling a brilliant group of kids? He could recruit Navy Seals or Marines, but no, he chooses kids. Why is that?

This book begins the answer to that question as you learn what Mr. Benedict’s childhood was like and how he became such an expert on, well, everything!

Smarts, friend loyalty, a mystery – it’s all there, just like in the other Mysterious Benedict Society Adventures. Author: Trenton Lee Stewart

Stewart has gone back in time 40-50 years to show us the early life of Nicholas Benedict, the quirky genius who started the MBS.   Nicholas is a nine-year old orphan, being shuttled to orphanages and foster homes, when he arrives at the orphanage of Rothschild’s End, known as “The Manor.”  Nicholas is already a genius, with a tremendous reading speed and an eidetic memory, able to remember anything he reads.  He is also undersized and has narcolepsy, meaning he is apt to fall asleep at particularly inconvenient moments.  He has never had a friend and understands nothing about the dynamics of a family.  The orphanage is in serious financial trouble, in danger of closing, and has several bullies and a staff severely deficient in the knowledge of how to take care of children.  Just surviving is going to be a challenge for Nicholas; but there is the rumor of a missing Rothschild treasure to spur him on. 

This is clever, can’t-put-it-down writing, with interesting characters and several nice twists at the end.  You could easily start with this one in the series or start with “The Mysterious Benedict Society.”

Recommended by, Steve Bridge – Irvington

More Staff Picks

  • The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict on CD
  • Amazon Look Inside The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict
  • GoodReads: The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict

Don’t miss the first three books of The Mysterious Benedict Society! Nicholas took his extraordinary education and did some adventuring with it!
The Mysterious Benedict Society The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner's Dilemma
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