Category Archives: Staff Picks

Goldilocks & the Three Bears – a You Choose Adventure

Goldilocks & the Three Bears – a You Choose Adventure

Goldilocks and the Three Bears

A fractured fairy tale You Choose adventure about Goldilocks and the Three Bears, featuring three different story lines and three different points of view.

Do you remember the Choose Your Own Adventure books of your youth? Introduce them to the fun with Eric Braun’s Goldilocks and the Three Bears in the You Choose Books. You can dive into the world as Goldilocks, an explorer of the last forest in a world that has been turned into one big city, be a modern kid navigating your way with a smart phone or even be the Wee Little Bear that lives in the house. No matter what you choose, the story is filled with fun, adventure and danger. Not all endings leave everyone living Happily Ever after. With 40 choices and 23 endings, do you dare to adventure in the woods?

Recommended by: Jason Walters – Brightwood Library

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Staff Pick: Road Trip

Staff Pick: Road Trip

Road Trip

A father and son embark on a road trip to a distant animal shelter to save a homeless border collie puppy.

“Ben is in the truck with his dad, on the way to rescue an abandoned border collie, when his dad tells him that he has quit his job and for that reason, Ben may not be able to attend hockey camp this summer.  It is not even 6:00 AM on the first day of summer vacation, and not just the road trip, but the summer may already be ruined.  Ben plans to treat his father to the silent treatment (and his mother, as well, by not responding to her phone messages) but unexpected things begin to happen almost immediately.  For example, 20 miles into the trip, the truck breaks down, and the mechanic tells them it will take days to fix.  So they trade the truck for the mechanic’s yellow school bus, and the mechanic goes along to make sure that they treat the bus right.  On the next stop, they pick up a waitress who is tired of the mean customers at the diner where she works.  And Ben’s friend Theo, who is tough enough to give even Ben some street cred, goes along for the ride, but keeps looking more and more worried as he sends and receives texts on his phone.  Ben doesn’t know quite what is happening, but Atticus, the old border collie who is accompanying them, offers insights at the end of each chapter.  The only thing Atticus is really worried about is the hard work he faces by training this new puppy.  By the end, each person on the bus (and that includes Atticus, who does not consider himself a dog), have learned to look at life very differently.  This is the first book that Gary Paulsen and his son Jim have worked on together.  It is a fast read, funny, and exciting!”

Recommended by: Doriene Smither – East Washington Library

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Staff Pick: The Kingdom of Wrenly

Staff Pick: The Kingdom of Wrenly

Let the Games Begin

As diverse subjects of Wrenly gather from far and wide to participate in the kingdom’s Grand Tournament, a rude squire declares that girls cannot be knights, which makes Clara determined to prove that she can be anything she wants as long as she works hard enough for it.

“If you like stories with Knights, dragons, mermaids, and horses this may be a book for you.  The kingdom of Wrenly is preparing for their Grand Tournament.  Prince Lucas and his friend Clara are excitedly preparing for the games.  Clara wants to enter the horse race at the grand Tournament and Prince Lucas encourages her to try.  Squire Gilbert tells Clara that girls can’t be knights because knights are boys.  This makes Clara very upset and she is more determined than ever to enter the horse race.  You will need to read the book to find out if Clara wins the race and if she really wants to be a knight.

The Kingdom of Wrenly is a series of eight books.  This book is number seven.  This is a great beginning chapter book for ages 5-8.  The graphic cartoon illustrations make the book fun and engaging.”

Recommended by: Tamera Coolman – Fountain Square Library

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Staff Pick: Water Is Water

Staff Pick: Water Is Water

Water Is Water

A spare, poetic picture book exploring the different phases of the water cycle in surprising and engaging ways.

“Water is all around us, especially this summer, right? So how can an author take something so common that it might be dull and show us the wonder in it? With beautiful watercolor illustrations and simple prose, Water is Water shows kids the quiet poetry in the science of what’s right in front of them. The book starts simply with, “Drip. Sip. Pour me a cup. Water is water unless …it heats up. Whirl. Swirl. Watch it curl by. Steam is steam unless…” and meanders through the many forms in which we find water in our world. Kids who like science will like this book but teachers or other adults who want to foster a love of the natural world will find this book a beautiful invitation for preschool through early elementary-age kids to consider the ways that they interact with water, as well as the turning of the seasons. A book about the water cycle could be boring unless it’s Water is Water.”

Recommended by: Shellie Rich – The Learning Curve at Central Library

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Staff Pick: D’Aulaires’ Book of Norse Myths

Staff Pick: D’Aulaires’ Book of Norse Myths

D'Aulaires' book of Norse myths

A collection of Norse myths describing the exploits of the Aesir gods and goddesses, beginning with the creation of the world and ending with the day of reckoning.

“Marvel’s Avengers comics have been around since the 1960s, but in the past few years their popularity has skyrocketed. Everyone I meet has heard of Captain America, Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Black Widow, Hawkeye, and my favorite character Thor. Thor is from Asgard, a world based on the Norse mythology of my ancestors. D’Aulaires’ Book of Norse Myths is a beautifully illustrated version of these epic stories. All the names you’ll recognize are there; Odin, Frigga, Thor, Heimdall, Loki, Sif, and many more you’ll meet for the first time. These are the stories from which Stan Lee took his inspiration. I promise there is nothing quite like reading the originals.”

Recommended by: Emilie Lynn – East 38th Street Branch Library

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