Tag Archives: Staff Pick

Staff Pick: A Time to be Brave

Staff Pick: A Time to be Brave

A Time to be Brave

David and his family live in Denmark during the Nazi occupation, until September 1943 when their neighbors help smuggle them to Sweden to escape Hitler’s orders to send the Danish Jews to concentration camps. Includes honey cake recipe, World War II timeline, and “the story behind the story.”

“Originally published in Canada and Great Britain under the title, Honey Cake, A Time to Be Brave, this title takes place in Copenhagen, Denmark during the Nazi occupation. The soldiers and their new rules make Denmark’s citizens nervous, especially David Nathan who struggles to understand how he can be courageous during this period. David is asked to keep a secret that may get him and his family into trouble with the Nazis, but if he is brave it could save many lives.

This story was a straightforward and uncomplicated look at the Nazi occupation from a Jewish family’s perspective. Stuchner makes it easier to process the information at the reading level this book is directed towards, making it a good introduction to World War II without being too heavy for young readers. Part of the Stepping Stones chapter books, this title puts the reader in David’s place and shows us how confusing the Nazi occupation might be to a younger child with just enough danger to remind them that he lives in a war zone. This is a great story for children interested in a simple look into this time period.”

Recommended by: Stephanie Roell – Haughville Library

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Staff Pick: Gregor the Overlander

Staff Pick: Gregor the Overlander

Gregor the Overlander

While searching for the Rat with the Human Face, friendships fray as club members Dave and Lyle compete for Marilla.

The first book in THE UNDERLAND CHRONICLES juvenile series is GREGOR THE OVERLANDER. It is the story of eleven year old, Gregor, and his two year old sister, Boots, who accidentally fall down an air duct and find themselves in a whole new underground land. This world is filled with all kinds of giant talking creatures- rats, spiders, bats, and even cockroaches. Collins uses as much detail as she does in her teen series, THE HUNGER GAMES, published five years later.

Recommended by: Karen Perry – Franklin Road Branch

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Staff Pick: Lunette the True Story of the Tooth Fairy

Staff Pick: Lunette the True Story of the Tooth Fairy

Lunette the True Story of the Tooth Fairy

Lunette is a little fairy with a big dream. A dream to be brave, clever, and kind–and to help her home of Moonglow Glen to shine a little brighter. Little Lunette has many talents–sewing, collecting shiny things, and making friends. But she can’t quite see how these things will help her become something truly special. Then, one day, she meets a human boy who’s quite scared to lose his first tooth. Through their friendship and a little fairy magic, Lunette discovers her unique talent and changes the world forever.

Once upon a time there was no Tooth Fairy. Children lost teeth and no one collected them. Lunette was a young fairy who had not discovered her talent and wished she could do something great. She wanted to make her little home of Moonglow Glen a better place. Also, Lunette just wanted to be herself. Upon finding a human friend Lunette does exactly what she set out to do: be herself. Was being herself enough? Did she make Moonglow Glen a better place? To find out read this tale of the Tooth Fairy and how she came to be.

Recommended by: Kamara Shonhai – Spades Park Library

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Staff Pick: The Rat with the Human Face

Staff Pick: The Rat with the Human Face

The Rat with the Human Face

While searching for the Rat with the Human Face, friendships fray as club members Dave and Lyle compete for Marilla.

Lyle, Dave and Marilla from The Poop Fountain are on another adventure. This time, the trio is out to find a rat with a human face that lives in the basement of a scientific research facility. Calling themselves the Qwikpick Adventure Society after the gas station owned by Lyle’s parents, the group overhears an electrician talk about the mysterious animal he saw while doing work in the building. They knew immediately they had to see this rat for themselves.

As with any plan, logistics are important. How do they get to the science building that is 40 miles away? How can they get away without their parents finding out? How can they avoid getting caught illegally entering a building?

The story is presented as an unofficial report of the society (with extra sheets paper clipped on to cover more personal matters not appropriate for the report) written by Lyle. We know from the beginning that after the adventure the society has been banned and that Marilla is not allowed to see Lyle anymore (which is too bad because he likes her and she may like him).

The kids are smart, fun and a little too curious for their own good. Their third adventure, To Kick a Corpse, is also available.

Recommended by: Will Smither – Decatur Branch

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Staff Pick: Toys Come Home

Staff Pick: Toys Come Home

Toys Come Home

When a little girl gets a plush stingray for her birthday, it makes friends with some of her other toys as they all try to navigate in the world of real people.

Toys come Home chronicles the early days of three brave and loyal toys: Stingray a plush ray, Lumphy, a plush Buffalo and Plastic, a rubber ball. The toys all live in Honey’s room and have adventures after Honey and her parents go to sleep. Reminiscent of the movie Toy Story and the wonderful Velveteen Rabbit, the toys ponder the notions of friendship, specialness and what it means to be real. This is a wonderful read-a-loud and my 11 year-old son was eager for more. Happily, I found this title is actually a prequel and there are three additional titles in the series: Toys Go Out, Toy Dance Party and the newest, Toys Meet Snow. We’ve now read them all and wish there were more! Highly recommended.

Recommended by: Nancy Poppleton – Glendale Branch

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