Category Archives: Staff Picks

Staff Pick: An Early Winter

Staff Pick: An Early Winter

An Early Winter

When eleven-year-old Tim’s beloved grandfather develops Alzheimer’s Disease, Tim tries to restore and save him by taking him out for a fishing adventure at the pond, but the outing turns into a disaster.

“Eleven-year-old Tim is determined to go with his Granddad on a fishing adventure. Forget all the family talks about Granddad’s forgetfulness. Only when they are out on the lake in a sinking boat does Tim realize that the strong man who raised him now needs to be taken care of. Tim struggles through the emotional upheaval that accompanies dealing with a loved one who has Alzheimer’s disease. Granddad might forget who Tim was but he would never forget that “you are someone I love.”

Recommended by: Joan Emmert – infoZone

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Staff Pick: Alphabest

Staff Pick: Alphabest


An introduction to adjectives features examples arranged alphabetically and complemented by an explanation of the principles for forming comparatives and superlatives.

“In this book a cartoon superhero chases a clown- like villain in an Amusement park. The superhero is the brave, braver, bravest. They race and chase each other on the Ferris-wheel, until they are Dizzy, Dizzier, and finally Dizziest.

This is a great book to use for family story time that you will enjoy reading again and again.

Children ages 4-8 will enjoy the hilarious action packed illustrations in bright colors and ink.

Closing notes offer tips on how to teach children Comparatives and Superlatives.

Recommended by Tamera Coolman – Fountain Square Library

More Staff Picks

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Staff Pick: Ivy & Bean Series

Staff Pick: Ivy & Bean Series

It is said that opposites attract, such is the case with the crazy characters, Ivy and Bean.  While Ivy is quiet, Bean is loud.  While Ivy is pensive, Bean is compulsive.  What these two little girls are both good at however is getting into mischief around the neighborhood.

My daughter, who is six years old, and I just finished reading all nine of the Ivy and Bean books together.  We are anxiously awaiting the next in the series.  I asked her what her favorite thing was about Ivy and Bean.  She stated, “I like that they are weird.”

  • if you like “weird”…
  • if you like digging for worms…
  • if you like being put under a dancing spell…
  • if a neighborhood known as “Pancake Court” intrigues you…

you should read the Ivy and Bean Series. Author: Annie Barrows

Recommended by Addie Hirschten, Warren Branch Library

Ivy & Bean Series:

#1: Ivy & Bean
#2: Ivy & Bean and the Ghost That Had to Go
#3: Ivy & Bean Break the Fossil Record
#4: Ivy & Bean Take Care of the Babysitter
#5: Ivy & Bean Bound to be Bad
#6: Ivy & Bean Doomed to Dance
#7: Ivy & Bean What’s the Big Idea?
#8: Ivy & Bean No News is Good News
#9: Ivy & Bean Make the Rules

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Staff Pick: Eight Cousins

Staff Pick: Eight Cousins

Orphaned Rose Campbell finds it difficult to fit in when she goes to live with her six aunts and seven mischievous boy cousins.

“Louisa May Alcott is most famous for her story of the four sisters in Little Women but she wrote about other well-behaved, strong-willed girls, too, and Rose Campbell is one of them. Orphaned Rose has been sent to her aunts to await the arrival of her guardian uncle, and she is very unhappy: lonely without her father; uncertain of her affection for her aunts; and shy of her seven rowdy boy cousins. But most of all, she is fearful that her uncle will be strict and unkind. To Rose’s relief he is neither, and he even encourages her to give up her prim and proper ways. Soon Rose is running, boating and even riding horses, as well as gently bossing the boy cousins! This book was written over 100 years ago, so some of it seems very old-fashioned (one of the aunts disapproves of slang) but some things could happen today, as when Rose sneakily has a friend pierce her ears! Mostly, it is just a story of a young woman having adventures and learning from them who she wants to be.”

Recommended by: Doriene Smither – Pike

If you like sassy girls learning how to be confident and strong and occasionally take on the boys…try one of these:

Caddie Woodlawn Roller Skates All of a Kind Family Rebecca of Sunnybrooke Farm Anne of Green Gables
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Staff Pick: Home of the Brave

Staff Pick: Home of the Brave

Kek, an African refugee, is confronted by many strange things at the Minneapolis home of his aunt and cousin, as well as in his fifth grade classroom, and longs for his missing mother, but finds comfort in the company of a cow and her owner. (Young Hoosier Book Award, 2009-2010, 6-8 Nominee)

Here is a story of loss and discovery. Lou is old and alone, living on a small farm in the middle of a Minnesota winter. Kek is young and lost, new to America from a Sudanese refugee camp. Lou thinks she has nothing left, but discovers she alone has what Kek needs. Kek thinks he knows nothing useful in this new life, yet he brings a little happiness to all he meets. In caring for Lou’s old cow, Kek reclaims the wisdom of his old life. Kek tells us that “you will have lived just half a life if you never love a cow.” Venture into this sweet story for a glimpse of the wonder of a cow and how it changed a life.

Recommended by: Barbara Obergfell, Outreach

Also by Katherine Applegate – Don’t miss The One and Only Ivan.

The One and Only Ivan

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