What’s Your Next Great Read? Book Reviews with Ms. Cecily

Are you looking for great adventure in far off lands? Interested in a beginner chapter book? Maybe you are somewhere between? No matter your reading level or interest the library has something waiting for you!

8 Class Pets + 1 Squirrel – 1 Dog = Chaos by Vivian VandeVelde
Fun from the first chapter about Twitch the school yard Squirrel to the last chapter about his escape back into the school yard.  The adventure and fun is when Twitch is trapped in the school overnight and makes friends with all the classroom pets!
❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
Available at NLPL in print
J VAN

Ages 6+
Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz
Stormbreaker was good the first time I read it and maybe even better the 2nd time! A 14 year old British Spy… even without cell phones and gadgets based on Gameboys this book delivers time and again just like the Ian Flemming James Bond book, on which Horowitz based the book series, Stormbreaker is fast pace and fun to read.  The best is that there are 13 more in the series!  BUT DO NOT WATCH THE MOVIE IT IS TERRIBLE!!!!
Books❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️  Movie 0❤️
Available at NLPL in print
J HORAges 10+
I can Make This Promise by Christine Day
Edie has always known she had Native American heritage and that her mom was adopted by a white couple. Edie is also sure that her family doesn’t have any answers to her heritage. Then one day Edie and her friends discover a box hidden in the attic – a box full of letters signed “Love, Edith”, and photos of a woman who looks just like her. Suddenly, Edie has a flurry of new questions about this woman who shares her name. Could she belong to a Native family that Edie never knew about? But if her mom and dad have kept this secret from her all her life, how can she find out the truth now? Will parents tell her? This story took time to get into. But, when the ending comes it is well worth it. ❤️❤️❤️❤️
Available at NLPL in print & on Libby
J DAY Ages 8+
It’s So Difficult by Raúl Nieto Guridi
What was difficult was reading this book.  It is painful for some children to speak but with help and calm they can usually manage.  I found this book difficult to relate to.
It is however an empathetic look at anxiety and overstimulation. Even the smallest step forward can be an enormous triumph. 
❤️❤️❤️
Available at NLPL in print
E GURAges 5+
A is for Bee an Alphabet Book in Translation by Ellen Heck
Fun book exploring common words in other languages! What letter does the word bee start with? If you said “B” you’re right – in English! But in many, many languages, it actually starts with A. Bee is Anū in Igbo, Aamoo in Ojibwe,
❤️❤️❤️❤️
Available at NLPL in print
E HECAges 3+
Sunny the Shark (Surviving the Wild Series) by Remy Lai
Planet Earth meets Narwhal and Jelly in this funny and suspenseful early reader graphic novel series featuring heroic animals surviving in the perilous wilderness! Inspired by true events, the story includes facts about climate change, sharks, and how kids can help protect the environment. Very cute story about  a real shark that was rescued  by marine scientists.  
❤️❤️❤️❤️
Available at NLPL in print
J GN LAIAges 6+
Nour’s Secret Library by Wafa Tarnowska
The bombs were falling in Damascus Syria. Nour and Amir were about to start a secret society of their best friends. Now they started a secret Library.  A light in a city that was dark with war. People brought books and people came and borrowed books. It helped many through the war.
❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
Available at NLPL in print & Audiobook CD
J TARAges 6+
The Haunting (The Secret of Glendunny) by Kathryn Lasky
Dunwattle, is the first beaver to be spotted in England and Scotland for 500 years! Deep in the wilds of Scotland, there is a deep secret. The secret is a colony of beavers, a species that is craved for their fur pelts, but vilified for what humans consider to be the destruction of their land. Dunwattle’s flight is driven by the presence of a ghostly figure, a figure of a mysterious young girl who is almost one thousand years old. And now Dunwattle is destined to be destroyed for revealing the hidden colony, but his best friend Locksley is determined to save him. Will their ancient beaver colony survive?              ❤️❤️❤️❤️
Available at NLPL in print and Playaway Audiobook
J LASAges 8+
Charlie Thorn and the Last Equation by Stuart Gibbs
Think Spy school meets Artemis Fowl.  A wonderful new Spy tale about a girl genius who’s solves the whereabouts of Albert Einstein’s last equation.  Her  brother who is in the CIA brings her in – or did he kidnap her – to help solve the last equation.
❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
Available to request a hold & on Libby
J GIBAges 10+
The Fort by Gordon Korman
This is the story of a middle-school “band of brothers”. For a few hours I got to look over the shoulders of  Evan, Jason, Mitchell, and CJ, Let into a secret society where they hung out in a glorious old bomb shelter filled with relics and treasure from a by gone era. They banded together and slowly revealed their secret problems to each other.  None have perfect home lives despite how it looks from the outside. Like the Berenstain Bears “No Girls Allowed”, this is a boys book, a shared  experience that they all thought idyllic. The reader learns about their quirks and fears, their problems and the fun they had. But… would it last? Could it last?   You will have to become friends with them for a while and find out.
❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
Available to request a hold & on Libby
J KORAges 10+
Groosham Grange by David Horowitz
Long before there was Harry Potter there was David Eliot. A misfit in school and always in trouble, with parents that make the Dursely’s seem like “Parents of the Year”! At 12 he is invited by a message to attend the Grange on an Island off the coast of Norfolk where strange students and even stranger teachers deal with magic. David Eliot arrives home for the Christmas holidays to tell his parents that he has just been expelled from Beton College. His father reacts badly, forcing David to take refuge in his room. David’s father makes all the arrangements and David is sent to this new boarding school called Groosham Grange immediately via a train, despite the Christmas holidays. On the train, he befriends a boy called Jeffrey and a girl named Jill Green, who are both in the same odd situation as him. On the station platform, they meet Gregor, a hunchback with one eye who is the school’s porter. He drives them to a pier where they take a boat to the island on which Groosham Grange is located. To those who have read Harry Potter  there are many similarities and even more in the 2nd book of the series. A lot shorter than Harry Potter this could be the perfect launch pad for 4-5th grade students to have a longing for more detail in the wizarding world.
❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
Available at NLPL in print
J HORAges 10+
The Stern Chase Brother Band by John Flannagan
Climb aboard with the Herons in The Stern Chase, the exciting ninth installment of the Brotherband Chronicles! They are fighting Iberian raiders who they had encountered along the Sonderland Coast where they were doing sea trials for the newly constructed Heron.  That’s where Hal and the rest of the Brotherband take action against the Iberians. The Herons quickly triumph, but the Iberians voice their fury, vowing to take revenge. And they do—raiding the Scandian’s harbor at Halisholm  and stealing or destroying as many ships as they can. Though there is little proof the Iberians are behind it, the Herons take their ship, the only one that has survived the raid—and race after their enemy in hot pursuit.
They will take down these pirates and get justice—no matter what!
❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
Available to request a hold
J FLAAges 9+
The Search for Sasquatch by Laura Krantz
A little bit of Truth and a little non-fiction… or is it?  See what journalist Laura Krantz, who’s cousin is a famous anthropologist discovers as her starts her own search for Sasquatch.
❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
Avaliable to request a hold and on Hoopla
J KORAges 8+

What’s Your Next Great Read? Book Reviews with Ms. Cecily

Are you looking for great adventure in far off lands? Interested in a beginner chapter book? Maybe you are somewhere between? No matter your reading level or interest the library has something waiting for you!

Inkling by Kenneth Oppel
Inkling is about to become your new favorite character! It’s funny and fizzy and exciting, and brimming with the kind of interesting ideas and dilemmas that kids will love to wrestle with. Inkling comes into the Rylance family when it is in crisis. Inkling begins life in Mr. Rylance’s sketchbook. But one night the ink of his drawings runs together- and then leaps off the page! This small burst of creativity is about to change everything. ⛄⛄⛄⛄⛄

Available at NLPL in print
Available on Libby
J OPP

Ages 8+
Unicorn Diaries (#6) Storm on Snowbelle Mountain by Rebecca Elliott
This is a fun early reader from Scholastic that will enchant girls and boys who are fans of unicorns. Follow their adventures up the mountain for their class camping trip in a blizzard. ⛄⛄⛄⛄

Available at NLPL in print
J ELLAges 5+
The Edge of Extinction: The Ark Plan by Laura Martin
The human race is in danger. WHY? Because 150 years ago the human race cloned the seeds of their own destruction- Dinosaurs! Soon humans are at the bottom of the food
chain and dinosaurs are at the top. Sky and Sean are living in an underground compound, but her dad is missing and she goes top side to try to find him and Sean, her best friend, goes along to protect her. Luckily they met Todd who lives topside and knows how to live among the dinosaurs! A real page turner! Really good but it ended mid adventure so, read on to next book! ⛄⛄⛄⛄

Available at NLPL in print
Available on Hoopla
J MARAges 8+
The Edge of Extinction: Code Name Flood by Laura Martin
Once you’re done you will want to know what happens to Sky, Sean, and Todd in book 2! I really think this was one book but deemed too long by the publisher and so they cut it in half just before they get to where they were heading. It picks up in book 2, but you really will want to read these two in order! ⛄⛄⛄⛄⛄

Available at NLPL in print
Available on Hoopla
J MARAges 8+
Yours Truly by Heather Vogel Fredrick
Another wild mystery needs to be solved and it’s up to the Pumpkin Falls Private Eyes to solve it in this hilarious follow up to the heartwarming middle grade mystery, Absolutely Truly. Even Truly Lovejoy has to admit that teeny-tiny Pumpkin Falls, New Hampshire has its charms. Like the annual maple festival, where tourists flock from all over to sample the local maple syrup, maple candy, maple coffee, and even maple soap! But when someone tries to sabotage the maple trees on her friend Franklin’s family farm, Truly has to rally the Pumpkin Falls Private Eyes to investigate. Meanwhile she uncovers another more personal mystery under the floorboards of her very own home- a diary written centuries ago by her namesake, the original Truly Lovejoy…and it just might prove her family’s ties to Pumpkin Falls run deeper than anyone could have imagined. ⛄⛄⛄⛄

Available at NLPL in print
Available on Hoopla
J FREAges 10+
Lockwood and Co. The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud
In London there is a problem with all manner of ghosts, spirits, and haunts that are not very friendly! Only the young have the psychic abilities to see and eradicate these supernatural enemies. Many Psychic Detection Agencies have cropped up to handle the dangerous work. Lucy Carlyle teams up with assignment leads to both a grisly discovery and a disastrous end. Lucy, Anthony, and their colleague, George, are forced to take part in the perilous investigation of Combre Carey Hall, one of the most haunted houses in England. Readers will enjoy the deliciously creepy scares in this thrilling and chilling Lockwood and Co. series…⛄⛄⛄⛄⛄

Available at NLPL in print and Audiobook CD
Available on Libby
J STRAges 8+
The Ruins of Gorlan by John Flannigan
Will always wanted to be a knight and has always been scared of the Rangers, with their dark cloaks and shadowy ways. The villagers believe the Rangers practice magic. Now 15 year old Will is a Ranger’s apprentice. What he doesn’t realize is that the Rangers are the protectors of the kingdom. Highly trained in the skills of battle and surveillance, they fight the battles before the battles reach the people. And as Will is about to learn, there is a large battle brewing. The exiled M Lord of the Mountains of Rain and Night, is gathering his forces for an attack on the kingdom. This time, he will not be denied…This is an epic story of heroes and villains. Great series! ⛄⛄⛄⛄⛄

Available at NLPL as Audiobook CD
Available on Libby
J FLA Ages 11+
From the Desk of Zoe Washington by Janae Marks
Not sure if I agree that this is the BEST book of the year, but it was fast paced with all the things that can happen to a 12 year old girl. It’s Zoe’s 12th birthday; she wants to be a baker and even has an unpaid internship in a friend’s bakery for the summer. One best friend is off to camp, another is moving to Maryland and she is currently not speaking to her third friend! AND in the mail on her 12th birthday is a mysterious letter from someone named Marcus who is in prison for a terrible crime! And he is her real Dad!! Did he really do the terrible thing? He says he did not! Her mother won’t even talk about Marcus but Grandma will! Follow the unforgettable Adventures of Zoe’s summer vacation! ⛄⛄⛄⛄

Available at NLPL in print and Playaway Audiobook
Available on Libby
J MARAges 9+
Savvy by Ingrid Law
All the Beaumont kids get their special power when they turn 13. One creates Hurricanes and another tornados. But what will Mib’s special power be? She’s hoping for a healing power. What’s your Savvy? ⛄⛄⛄⛄⛄

Available at NLPL in print and Playaway Audiobook
Available on Libby
J LAW Ages 9+
The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis
Eleven-year-old Parvana lives with her family in one room. At one time the family was wealthy. Her dad taught History but he lost his leg when the school was bombed. Her mother worked and the girls al went to school. Now the six of them lived in one room of a bombed-out apartment building in Kabul, Afghanistan. Parvana’s father works for a blanket on the ground in the marketplace, reading letters for people who cannot read or write. One day, he is arrested for the crime of having a foreign education, and the family is left without someone who can earn money or even shop for food. So Parvana transforms herself into a boy, and becomes the breadwinner. A look at what happened to Afghanistan when the Taliban took over. ⛄⛄⛄⛄⛄

Available at NLPL in Audiobook CD and DVD
Available on Libby
J ELL Ages 10+
I Survived the San Francisco Earthquake by Lauren Tarnish
True historical fiction. Parks are a fictitious story about the events of April 18, 1906 and the days that followed interspersed with the true stories about survivors. Good introduction to one of the great disasters of the early 20th century. ⛄⛄⛄⛄⛄

Available at NLPL in print
J TARAges 7+
You Wouldn’t Want to be a Greek Athlete! by Michael Ford and David Antram
One of the ‘You Wouldn’t Want to be… Ancient Civilization” books, all fun, informative and great for reluctant readers. Another history with all the gory bits left in, well at least some of them. Fun, informative, with great pictures throughout! ⛄⛄⛄⛄

Available at NLPL in print
J 796.48 FORAges 8+
Unteachables by Gordon Korman
A hilarious new novel about what happens when the worst class of kids in school is paired with the worst teacher. The Unteachables are an academic train wreck. Anger management issues; Dyslexic, not registered and more. The Unteachables have been isolated in room 117. Their teacher, Mr. Zachary Kermit is burned-out! Once a rising star, but his career and life were shattered by a cheating scandal that still haunts him. He is one year away from early retirement and the superintendent wants to fire him before he can retire. The Unteachables never thought they’d find a teacher who had a worse attitude than he did. And Mr. Kermit never thought he would actually care about teaching again. What follows is apathy, mayhem, destruction, and an unexpected dunk in a cold river. Teachers- a great book to read aloud with your class and assign a student a voice to read. ⛄⛄⛄⛄⛄

Available at NLPL as Playaway Audiobook
Available on Libby
J KOR Ages 10+
Big Truck Little Island by Chris Van Dusen                                        
Wonderful rhyming books with great pictures. That big truck is stuck! How will the island residents get where they’re going? A tale of community and ingenuity inspired by a true story. ⛄⛄⛄⛄⛄

Available at NLPL in print
E VAN Ages 4+
Purrmaids Party Animals #12 by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen
Kitten mermaid their Mermacorn friends (unicorn mermaid) are looking forward to a birthday celebration. Perfect for girls who are just ready for early chapter books.
⛄⛄⛄⛄

Available at NLPL in print
J BARAges 6+
The Great Zapfino by Mac Barnett
Story is moved along mostly by pictures with beautiful pencil drawing: From the Great Zapfino being afraid to jump to being able to conquer his fears and perform beautifully. ⛄⛄⛄⛄⛄

Available at NLPL in print
E BAR Ages 2+
Everything Sad is Untrue ( A true Story)  by Daniel Nayeri
“A patchwork story is the shame of the refugee,” Nayeri writes early in the novel. Daniel/ Khosrou stands in front of a skeptical audience of classmates, telling the tales of his family’s history, stretching back years, decades, and centuries all at the core of Daniel’s story of how his family became refugees. Implementing a distinct literary style and challenging western narrative structures, Nayeri deftly weaves through stories of the long and beautiful history of his family in Iran, adding a richness of ancient tales and Persian folklore. He is Persian not Iranian and his father is in Iran while they are in the United States.  ⛄⛄⛄⛄⛄

Available at NLPL in print
Available on Libby
J NAYAges 13+

What’s Your Next Great Read? Book Reviews with Ms. Cecily

Are you looking for great adventure in far off lands? Interested in a beginner chapter book? Maybe you are somewhere between? No matter your reading level or interest the library has something waiting for you!

Really Truly by Katherine Vogel Fredrick
This is the third entry in the Pumpkin Fall Mysteries.  It’s much like the old Nancy Drew mysteries sure to capture the attention of anyone who likes a good mystery. Truly Lovejoy is excited for the perfect summer in Pumpkin Falls, New Hampshire: swim practice outside, working at the bookstore, one-on-one time with her mom, and best of all, time with the dreamy RJ Calhoun who may just like Truly back. But the idyllic falls apart when she’s sent off to Mermaid Academy-sparkly tail and all – on Cape Cod.
J FREAges 10+
Grand Canyon Grab by Ron Roy
This A to Z Mysteries Super Edition #11 begins with Dink, Josh, and Ruth Rose visiting the Grand Canyon when they spot Parker Stone- a famous TV star. They can’t wait to get his autograph, but before the can Parker is kidnapped! Only a few clues and his pet parrot are left behind. It’s up to the trio to find Parker before it’s too late!
J ROYAges 6+
City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab
A sweeping, spooky, adventure! Cass’s best friend is a ghost and she can pull back the Veil that separates the living from the dead. To make matters worse her parents write about ghosts but don’t believe she can see ghosts. When Cass’s parents start hosting a TV show about the world’s most haunted places, the family heads off to Edinburgh, Scotland. Here, graveyards, castles, and secret passageways teem with restless phantoms. And when Cass meets a girl who shares her “gift,” she realizes how much she still has to learn about the Veil — and herself.
J SCHAges 9+
Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty
A brave and unusual girl named Serafina lives secretly in the basement of the Vanderbilt’s grand Biltmore Estate during the Gilded Age. Serafina’s father is the estate’s maintenance man and warns her to keep herself hidden from the fancy folk who live on the floors above, but when children at the estate start disappearing, Serafina steps into action with one of the young Vanderbilts. A blend of history, mystery, and magic!  
J BEAAges 9+
Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving by Dav Pilkey
One of my favorite Thanksgiving books. On the day before Thanksgiving, a group of children visit a turkey farm and meet Farmer Mack Nugget and his turkeys. The children and turkeys giggle and gobble, and everything is gravy. When the trip comes to an end, the children leave the farm with full hearts — and bulging bellies — reminding people and poultry alike that there is much to be thankful for.
E PILAges 4+
T.Rex National Geographic Kids by Andrea Silen
Giant teeth! Crushing bite! Slicing claws! And … feathers? Travel back in time to meet the mighty Tyrannosaurus rex. Learn about these fascinating giants of the past through the fossil remains of Sue and Scotty.
ER 567.9Ages 4+
Tiny Terrors! The World’s Scariest Small Creatures by Ginjer L. Clarke
Did you know that the blue dragon sea slug is the length of a paperclip but can store deadly jellyfish venom in its body for use against predators? Or that the golden poison dart frog is only an inch long, but its skin holds enough poison to kill ten people? These tiny terrors don’t have to be big to be deadly! Learn how they kill and where they live – good news probably not in your backyard! 
ER 591.65Ages 8+
Out of a Jar by Deborah Marcero
Llewellyn does not like to feel afraid or sad, angry, lonely, or embarrassed. And so he comes up with a brilliant plan: he tucks each of his feelings into jars and hides them away where they won’t bother him anymore. But when he gets in trouble in class, Llewellyn finds he needs to put away excitement too. And when joy is quickly followed by disappointment, he decides to get ride of joy as well. After a while, Llewellyn walks around not feeling much of anything at all. And what happens when his emotions refuse to be bottled up any longer?
E MAR Ages 4+
Perfectly Imperfect Mira by Faith Pray
Mira wants to be perfect at everything she tries. Everyone around her is good at something, but Mira’s not sure if she’ll ever find a thing of her own. One day, Mira decides to try…and because of that one simple act, everything changes. With a stumble, a wobble, and a humongous flop or two, will Mira learn to find the beauty in her imperfections?
E PRAAges 4+
The Blackbird Girls by Anne Blankman
One of the best books of 2020! A poignant and timeless story of friendship that twines together moments in underexplored history.
On a spring morning, neighbors Valentina Kaplan and Oksana Savchenko wake up to an angry red sky. A reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant where their fathers work has exploded. The two girls, who’ve always been enemies, find themselves on a train bound for Leningrad to stay with Valentina’s estranged grandmother, Rita. In their new lives in Leningrad, they begin to learn what it means to trust another person. Oksana must face the lies her parents told her all her life. Valentina must keep her grandmother’s secret, one that could put all their lives in danger. And both of them discover something they’ve wished for: a best friend. But how far world you go to save your best friend’s life? Would you risk your own?
J BLAAges 9+
Glitch by Laura Martin
Regan and Elliot are training to become Glitchers- people who travel in time to stop others from altering history to change the future. The two have always been enemies and it’s worse since Elliot passed his practice simulation and Regan. Then they find a letter from Regan’s future warning them that they will have to work together to prevent something terrible from happening.
J MAR Ages 9+
How to Catch a Turkey by Adam Wallace
A turkey is running loose in a school right before a Thanksgiving play. Can YOU help catch it so the show can go on? Follow along as students turn their school upside down trying to catch the turkey, ending with a twist that ensures no turkeys are harmed (or eaten!). This hilariously zany children’s picture book combines STEAM concepts and traps with a silly story and fun illustrations,
E WAL Ages 4+
Thanksgiving on Thursday by Mary Pope Osborne
It’s a time for giving thanks when the Magic Tree House whisks Jack and Annie back to 1621 on the first Thanksgiving Day. The Pilgrims ask them to help get things ready. But whether it’s cooking or clamming, Jack and Annie don’t know how to do anything the Pilgrim way. Will they ruin the holiday forever? Or will the feast go on?
J OSBAges 6+
A History of Underwear by Hannah Holt
From Paleolithic lion cloths to Henry VII’s wives wearing underwear on their heads to Mary Walker, a civil war surgeon who was arrested for wearing men’s underwear and clothing to better work on patients, this book surveys the vast and fascinating history or our most private clothing, on a paleolithic to more up to date undergarments.
J 391.4 HOLAges 4+
Good Night to Your Fantastic Elastic Brain by JoAnn Deak
So…how does your brain work and how can you make it work better? During the day, your brain helps you do things- eat, walk, play, and learn new things. Using your brain helps it stretch and grow. But you have the power to grow and train your brain just by going to sleep? While you’re resting, your brain is doing some of its most important work! Your brain gets cleaned at night while you are sleeping. It is also while you are sleeping that you lock in what you learned during the day.
J 612.8 DEAAges 4+
The Gardener of Alcatraz: A True Crime Story by Emma Bland Smith
This early biography about Elliot Michener, a counterfeiter and all around bad guy, is interesting and uplifting. When Elliot Michener was locked away, he was determined to defy the odds and bust out. But when he got a job tending the prison garden, a funny thing happened, he found new interest and skills- and a sense of dignity and fulfillment. Elliot transformed Alcatraz Island and the island transformed him.
J B MICAges 7+
Zachary Ying and the Dragon Emperor by Xiran Jay Zhao
Zachary Ying doesn’t know much about his Chinese heritage. His single mom was busy making sure they go they and his schools taught Western history and myths. Zack is woefully unprepared when he discovers he was born to host the spirit of the First Emperor of China for a vital mission. But the Emperor binds to Zack’s AR gaming headset instead of his body, Zack’s mom’s soul gets taken by demons! Sack now has this infamous tyrant yapping in his headset and he has to journey across China heisting magical artifacts and defeating historical and mythical creatures while learning to wield the emperor’s incredible water dragon powers. If Zach can’t complete the mission he could lose his mom forever. You don’t want to miss the nonstop adventure across China!
J ZHOAges 8+

What’s Your Next Great Read? Book Reviews with Ms. Cecily

Are you looking for great adventure in far off lands? Interested in a beginner chapter book? Maybe you are somewhere between? No matter your reading level or interest the library has something waiting for you!

Eerie Elementary: The School is Alive! by Jack Chambert
Sam Graves finds out on his first day as hall monitor that his school is ALIVE! He must defend himself and his fellow students against the evil school. Will he be able to save himself, his friends, and the school play before the school eats them all? If you enjoy this spooky tale, try the rest of the series.
J CHAAges 6+
The Visitors by Greg Howard
Hollow Pines doesn’t like visitors. A lonely twelve-year-old boy is “stuck” at the deserted plantation with no recollection of his name, no memory of how long he’s been there, and no idea how to leave. Things don’t change much for the lost souls at Hollow Pines and time is strange when you’re dead. When visitors from the living world arrive for the first time in a long while, the boy feels a spark of hope. They seem to understand more than others that the plantation is not just spooky or eerie, it’s a sad place. Maybe they could help him uncover the dark secrets of his past and help him find a way to move on.
J HOWAges 11+
Healer and Witch by Nancy Werlin
Travel back to the 1530’s. Can Sylvie learn to manage her magic powers? Can she claim her gift without being declared a witch in the time of inquisition? Sylvie and her mother and grandmother are beloved, trusted healers in their medieval French village. There were some whispers that fifteen-year-old Sylvie and her grand-mere might be a bit…witchy! After her grandmother dies she tries to heal her mother’s grief, but her newly acquired gifts need training. Sylvie leaves her village with her friend Marti in search of a teacher. The journey subjects her to strange alliances, powerful temptations, danger, and deceit. Who can Sylvie trust? Beautifully crafted, powerful story for young readers.
J WERAges 10+
Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson
The witch and her cat are happily flying through the sky on a broomstick when the wind picks up and blows away the witch’s hat, bow, and wand! Luckily, three helpful animals find the missing items. The animals all hitch a ride on the broom…but is there room on the broom for so many friends? And when disaster strikes….
E DONAges 3+
The Mary Celeste Ghost Ship by Anita Amin
The story of Mary Celeste from 150 years ago and the disappearance of the captain, his family and crew of eight who have never been seen or heard of again. But, the ship was found abandoned six weeks after it should have arrived in Italy! Fun non-fiction!
J 910.916 AMIAges 8+
Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol: The Haunted House Next Door by Andres Miedoso
Fun, easy to read ghost story. Meet Desmond Cole, a fearless ghost buster who looks for ghosts everywhere. His new neighbor Andres has moved into a haunted house! There’s no job too spooky for Desmond and Andres. Seems cool, right? There’s only one problem…Andres is afraid of everything. Perfect book for emerging readers who are ready to move onto a chapter book.
J MIEAges 5+
The Bones of Fred McFee by Eve Bunting
In this rhythmic story, an unsuspecting brother and sister bring a toy skeleton home from the harvest fair. They name it Fred McFee and hang it from a sycamore tree. Soon, eerie things begin to happen. Then, on Halloween night, Fred vanishes! A Halloween favorite good for the whole family.
E BUNAges 4+
Coraline by Neil Gaiman
Scratch, scratch, scratch, click, click, click. Caroline gets sucked into the other world. There are others who have been sucked in. Her parents are suddenly missing. Her fake parents with button eyes offer her delicious food and a lovely room, but for how long? Will Coraline find her parents and her way back home? Enjoy the thrills and chills. You will be on the edge of your seat or hiding under your covers from the first turn of the page!
J GN GAIAges 8+
The Haunted Library: The Ghost in the Attic by Dori Hillestad Butler
Perfectly scary story for young chapter book readers! Learn how to carry your pet ghost outside so he can help you solve ghostly mysteries all over town.
J BUTAges 6+
Witchlings by Claribel A. Ortega
Twelve-year-old Seven Salazar is waiting to be placed in a powerful coven (think Harry Potter houses) but then she isn’t placed in any coven. She’s a spare! She tries to form a new coven and it doesn’t work! She’s stuck as a witchling and will lose her magic. How will Seven and the other spares survive? Maybe friendship can be the most powerful magic of all. Girl power vibes on every page.
J ORTAges 8+
The Peculiar Incident on Shady Street by Lindsay Currie
A Chicago ghost story centered around Graceland Cemetery. Tessa has just started seventh grade when her parents yank her out of school in Florida and move to Chicago in October. They bought their Near North Brownstone cheap. It needs a lot of updates and there is a not so friendly ghost haunting Tessa’s room and bathroom. When it starts bothering her four year old brother and mother, Tessa’s new friends help her solve the mystery and how her around the city.
J CURAges 9+
Small Spaces by Katherine Arden
After suffering a tragic loss, eleven-year-old Ollie only finds solace in books. She then happens upon a crazed woman at the river threatening to throw a book in the water. Ollie doesn’t think, she steals the book and runs away. In the slender book, Ollie discovers a chilling story about a girl named Beth, the two brothers who loved her, and a strange deal made with “the smiling man”. The next day the field trip bus breaks down….and with that a deliciously creepy adventure begins!
J ARDAges 10+
Scritch Scratch by Lindsay Currie
Claire has no interest in the Paranormal. She is a scientist! She can’t think of anything worse than having to help her dad on one of his ghost themed Chicago bus tours. She thinks she’s made it through when she sees a boy with a sad face and dark eyes at the back of the bus. There’s something off about his presence, especially because when she checks at the end of the tour…he’s gone. Claire tries to brush it off, but then the scratching starts. Claire tries to find out why she is being haunted before it’s too late!
J CURAges 10+
Eva Evergreen Semi Magical Witch by Julie Abe
Sometimes all you need is a pinch of magic…Eva Evergreen is determined to earn the rank of Novice Witch before her thirteenth birthday. If she doesn’t, she’ll lose her magic forever. For most young witches and wizards, it’s a simple enough test. The only problem? Eva only has a pinch of magic. She summons heads of cabbage instead of flowers and gets sunburn instead of calling down rain. Find out what happens when she lands in a tranquil coastal town and sets up a magical repair shop to prove she’s worthy.
J ABEAges 8+
Calendar Mysteries: October Ogre by Ron Roy
It’s Halloween and there’s a haunted house in Green Lawn! The Shangri-la Hotel has been transformed into a haunted house. The kids are ready for some scary fun, but they notice that none of the kinds who have gone to the hotel have come back out. What’s happening to them? Ogres, ghosts, and witches aren’t real….right?
J ROYAges 6+
Camp Creepy Lake: A Campout in the Haunted Woods by Laurie Friedman
A creepy lake and a haunted wood! When your skeleton counselor gives you a tent and pushes you into the haunted woods, how will you and your fellow campers survive?
J FRIAges 6+

What’s Your Next Great Read? Book Reviews with Ms. Cecily

Are you looking for great adventure in far off lands or just looking for your first great chapter book?  Or somewhere in between. The library has something waiting for you!

Breaking Through the Clouds by Sandra Nickel Ages 6-9 Grades 1-3
(J B SIM)

Every wonder about who predicts the weather?  Joanne Simpson (1923-2010) was fascinated by clouds and studied them constantly.  When World War II started the Air Force asked her to teach their pilots about the clouds and the weather changing winds. After the war she stayed at the University of Chicago to study Meteorology even though the professors said a woman could not earn a Doctorate in Meteorology!  Read about this amazing pioneering woman scientist! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Luna Howls at the Moon by Kristin Tubbs Ages 8-12 Grades 3-7 (J TUB, Audio Libby)

This is the dogs story and a cat to tell. Luna is a Labrador therapy puppy and she  helps children with the holes in their lives. She’s a whisker away from reaching her fifty-visit pin that will make her an official therapy dog. But when her “clients”—the children who visit her—are put into a therapy group, Luna’s routine is upended. There are so many feelings to deal with! Like the moon, Luna shows different faces at different times. And her clients each have different needs—Beatrice is tangled in knots of anger, Caleb rushes like a waterfall, Amelia carries fear heavy like a shadow, and Hector is quiet as a rock. To comfort the kids, Luna can be what they need her to be, but can she be everything to them all at once? When Hector doesn’t show up to a session the kids set off to find him. Luna joins to keep them safe and learn the truth. Five wagging tails!

Daughter of the Deep by Rick Riordan Libby Audio Ages 10-13 Grades 4-7 (J RIO)

This is a Girl Power book! Our protagonist, Ana Dakkar, takes control of the Nautilus that has been lying on the bottom of the  Pacific Ocean under a volcano for 150 years.  She is the last living relative of Captain Nemo (you might want to read  Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea)! She is the only one who can unlock  the Nautilus and all it’s power! The first AI machine with many scientific marvels that is keyed to her DNA.  Fun, fast paced and a true girls adventure book.  Take charge you will love this book.  ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate
Ages 8-12
Grades 3-7
(J APP)

Do you have an imaginary friend? They can be helpful  to get you through hard times. A dog, a frog, a cat… they can be there for you when you feel alone like Jackson.  His family has fallen on hard times. The rent isn’t paid. There’s never enough to eat and his family may have to live in their minivan – AGAIN! It is a magical story about family, friendship, resilience and a very large cat named Crenshaw. ❤️❤️❤️

Absolutely Truly by Heather Vogel Frederick Ages 8-12 Grades 3-7 (J FRE)

Absolutely Truly has just moved from Texas to a small town in New Hampshire. With two older brothers and two younger sisters clamoring for attention, her mother back in school, and everyone up to their eyebrows trying to keep Lovejoy’s Books afloat, Truly feels more overlooked than usual. With her best friend in Texas and having to make new friends in January at a new school in record COLD New Hampshire winter and having to be tutored in PreAlgebra by her father what else could go wrong?  

So she pours herself into uncovering the mystery of an undelivered letter she finds stuck in a valuable autographed first edition of Charlotte’s Web she found at the bookstore that lead Truly and her new Pumpkin Falls friends on a madcap treasure hunt around town, chasing clues that could spell danger.  A good set up for the follow-up books in the series. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Cress Watercress by Gregory Maguire Ages 8-12 Grades 2-6 (Libby Audio)

The Author of  Wicked turns his attention to Junior Fiction written in the vein of E.B. White or Thorton Burgess’ Old Mother West Wind.  In this animal adventure about growing up, moving on, and finding community. When Papa bunny doesn’t return Cress holds out hope, but her mother assumes the worst. Mama moves what’s left of the Watercress family to the basement unit of the Broken Arms, a run-down apartment oak with a suspect owl landlord, a nosy mouse super, a rowdy family of squirrels, and a pair of songbirds who broadcast everyone’s business. In the timeless spirit of E. B. White this read-aloud and read-alone for animal lovers of all ages features an unforgettable cast that leaps off the page in glowing illustrations by David Litchfield. It invites us to flourish wherever we find ourselves. A delightful tale with well developed characters! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Boris on the Move by Andrew Joyner
Ages 5-7 Grades K-2 (J JOY)

The perfect early chapter book with an unexpected adventure.  Boris lives with his mom and dad in a van that once traveled all over the world. Now it never moves… BUT when it does move, Boris is in for an adventure! Bright lively pictures help move the story along for the emerging reader who wants to move up to chapter books. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Back to School, Mallory by Laurie Friedman Ages 7-10 Grades 2-4 (J FRI & Audio Libby)

Mallory has to go back to school but it’s a new school and the new music teacher is HER MOM! And then there is a play for music class and she is an eggplant! This is the second of the series and a fun read that is full of 3rd grade angst! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Lilly and Finn: A Mermaids Tale by Cornelia Funke
Ages 8-11 Grades 2-4th (J FUN)

When Mr. and Mrs. Snorkel decide to add a mermaid to their private zoo it spells trouble for Lilly and Fin, two merkids. In this story they learn that the 2 leggeds are mean and that the giant Kraken is actually a loveable sea monster. This beautifully illustrated adventure is sure to capture all two-legged chapter-book readers!  ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Masterminds by Gordon Korman
Ages 8-12 Grades 4-8 (Libby, Hoopla Audio, J KOR)

Another great page turner from Gordon Korman. You live in the perfect town, in a perfect house, with perfect parents, but you have never left  the town. One day you discover that you can’t… Perfect may not be so perfect any more! When you realize that your crime-free community is connected  to some of  the greatest criminal masterminds of all time! What if you found out that you were the clone of a master criminal?  ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Masterminds: Criminal Destiny by Gordon Korman Ages 8-12 Grades 4-8 (J KOR, Libby Audio)

The second book in the action-packed series from author Gordon Korman. The clones of Project Osiris are free—but are being hunted. After their narrow escape from their “perfect” hometown, Eli, Tori, Amber, and Malik are finally in the real world and determined to expose the leaders of Serenity. And Project  Osiris. They evade capture by breaking laws and sneaking into houses, hotels, buses, and cars—are they becoming the criminals they were destined to be?

What they discover will change everything. What they are looking for is any evidence that will convince the outside world to believe the truth. Eli, Tori, Amber, and Malik will stop at nothing to take down Project Osiris! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Caterpillar Summer by Gilliam McDunn Grade 3-5 Ages 10-12
(J MCD (Bluestem) Libby Audio)

Wonderfully written flawed characters who when things don’t go as planned might fall apart but instead find family and friendship and start to fix some of their flaws. Heart warming story of Family, forgiveness, and growing up. This book started a little slow but  I was sorry when the book ended.

❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Becoming Muhammad Ali by James Patterson and Kwane Alexander
Age 9-12 Grades 3-7 (J PAT (2023 BLUESTEM ))

In this biographical novel we learn about Casscius Clay a young fighter from Louisville Kentucky. Then we learn why he decided to become become Muhammad Ali. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

What’s Your Next Great Read? Book Reviews with Ms. Cecily

Are you looking for great adventure in far off lands or just looking for your first great chapter book?  Or someone in between. The library has something waiting for you!

The Floating Forest by Linda Chapman

Age Interest: 6-9 Grades 1-4 Rating:4/5 ❤️❤️❤️❤️

This is the second book in the Mermaids Rock series. Mermaids and Mermen romp with their undersea friends. Join Coralie, Marina, and their mermaid friends in the beautiful coral reef at Mermaids Rock! Whether they’re working together to help sea animals in danger or solving a mystery of the deep, the friends at Mermaids Rock will do anything to protect their ocean home and if there is a ripple of adventure they will find it! This is the perfect series for those looking to transition to chapter books from easy readers.  Lots of pictures to go with the text. J CHA

A Girl, A Boy and A Monster Cat by Gail Gauthier 

Age Interest: 7-10 Grades 2-4 Rating: 4/5❤️❤️❤️❤️

This is the tale of Hannah, a know it all, bossy little girl and her classmate Brandon, who goes to her house in the afternoon until his mother comes home from work. She has an amazing imagination and Brandon is pretty good to put up with all of her antics.  Add in a difficult neighbor, her ferocious chihuahua, Bucky, and one big fat monster cat, Buttercup and they have plenty of adventures.  The chapters loosely flow together and each chapter is often a story in itself. Add a cute ending this is definitely a book a 2-4th grade girl would enjoy! J GAU

The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street by Karina Van Glaser

Age Interest: 8-11 Grades 36 Rating: 4/5 ❤️❤️❤️❤️

What do you do when  your landlord  says  your family has 2 weeks to move the week before Christmas?!  The brownstone, the only place the kids have ever lived.  The book is the story of the kids trying to win over the landlord so that they don’t have to move.  And the lessons they all learn over the two weeks. I really enjoyed this book .  It’s available on Libby as an audio and e-book as well as in print. If you enjoy this try the 2nd book, The Vandebeekers Make a Wish or the Penderwicks (J BIR) J VAN

The Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling

Age Interest: 9-12 Grades: 3-7 Rating: 5/5 ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Aven is a hilarious and inspiring protagonist. She’s not happy when she has to leave the only home she has ever known and all her friends. Now she has to explain her disability to a whole new group of kids! Then in her new school she bonds with Connor, a classmate who also feels isolated because of his own disability. Together they solve a mystery and she finds out moving wasn’t so bad after all. It’s available on Libby as an audiobook and e-book as well as in print. Give this book a try; it’s a great read! J BOW

The Last Map Maker by Christina Soontornvat 

Age Interest: 8-12 Grades: 4-8 Rating: 5/5 ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

This fantasy adventure explores a girl’s struggle to come to terms with her past and chart her own destiny in a world full of secrets. Twelve-year-old Sai is the assistant to a celebrated mapmaker.  Sai plays the part of a well-bred young lady with a glittering future, but her father is a conman and she has no family to be proud of.  In a kingdom where one’s ancestors’ status dictates their social position the truth could ruin her. Sai takes a chance and joins an expedition to chart the southern seas, but she isn’t the only one with secrets. This tale of identity and integrity is as beautiful as the maps of old. Just beware of the DRAGONS! J SOO

Knight Owl by Christopher Denise (Picture Book)

Age Interest: 4-8 Grades:Preschool-3 Rating: 5/5  ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️  

Owl has always dreamed of becoming a knight.  What he lacks in size he makes up for in bravery and cleverness.  He proves that all these things and friendship can rule over brawn. E DEN

A book of Camping and Survival  Projects by Ruth Owen

Age Interest: 8-11 Grades: 2-4 Rating: 4/5❤️❤️❤️❤️

Great book for all the Cub Scouts out there working on badges! J 613.6 OWE

Born Hungry Julia Child becomes “the French Chef”  by Alex Prud’homme

Age Interest:5-9 Grades: K-4 Rating: 4/5 ❤️❤️❤️❤️

This is a short  Biography of Julia Child. If you were born hungry you will want to know how this vivacious woman became a chef.  She started out life and could barely boil water, but any one can learn to cook and cook well. And that is what she did! At the end there is a bonus recipe of one of the first thing she learned to cook at Le Cordon Blue. J B CHI

Dodsworth in New York by Tim Egan  

Age Interest: 6-9  Grades: 1-4 Rating:5/5❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Colorful pictures on every page make this a perfect transition book from Easy Readers to Chapter Book. Dodsworth goes to New York on the train and discovers that his friends duck has stowed away in his suitcase. Once in New York, Dodsworth chases the crazy duck that misbehaves all over the Big Apple and sees the sights as he goes. Then they are supposed to go home but….  If you enjoy this book, Dodsworth also visits Paris, London, Tokyo and other great cities. J EAG

Nellie vs Elizabeth by Kate Hannigan

Age Interest: 7-10 Grades: 2-4 Rating: 4/5 ❤️❤️❤️❤️

This is the real-life adventure story of two ladies who set out to go around the world in fewer than the 80 days that Jules Verne wrote about.  In this real-life adventure, daredevil and groundbreaking journalists Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland race against each other–and the clock–as they circle the globe by ship, train, and foot. Join these two stereotype-shattering reporters as they prove that not only is traveling around the world possible, but that women are just as curious, capable, and courageous as any man. If you enjoyed this story you might like to read Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne. J 910.41 HAN

What’s Your Next Great Read?

Are you a tween looking for great adventure in far off lands or looking for your first great chapter book?  Maybe you’re somewhere in-between. No matter your age or interest, the library has something new waiting for you!

Notorious by Gordon Korman  Age Interest: 8-12 Grades 3-7 Rating: 5/5 ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Tweens looking for a great adventure on an island that’s half in the United States and half in Canada ( a place so well described I had to look up whether it was real or not!)  Meet Keenan who has arrived to live with his father on the U.S. side of the island and Zarabeth(ZeeBee) who lives on the Canadian side of the island in a house once occupied by gangsters. She also once had a dog who was the terror of the island and the new Barny II is the exact opposite of her old dog. 

I really liked how the character and the setting were developed through the making of new friends and the consistent theme of the old Barney being compared to the new Barney and the mystery of the gangsters gold. Join the adventure while Keenan and ZeeBee unravel the clues and a conspiracy that dates back to Centerlight’s gangster past in the 1920’s. The bad news is that someone is after them. . .

Northwind by Gary Paulsen Age Interest: 9-12 Grades 3-7 Rating: 4/5 ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Survival story in the Arctic! Leif is an 11 year old orphan in the wilds of the Arctic who is forced to take to the water in a cedar canoe when a deadly plague reaches the small fishing camp where he lives. He flees northward and learns to survive the plague, bears attacks, Orcas and hunger along a wild shore laced with high fjords, all on his own. Leif learns to connect with the ocean and live on his own.  Another great survival book by Gary Paulsen. If you like this one, read Hatchet too!

Dragons and Marshmallows by Asia Citro Age Interest: 5-8 Grades 1-3 Rating: 4/5 ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Do dragons like marshmallows or will they make them sick? From the Zoey and Sassafras series, Meet Zoey who can see magical animals and what’s even better they come to her barn to be taken care of. Fun read for the emerging reader who is ready for chapter books.  What’s not to like about fixing magical animals?!

The Ember Stone by Katrina Charman Age Interest: 6-8 Grades 1-3 Rating: 4/5 ❤️❤️❤️❤️

From The Last Firehawk series, Magical animals abound in Perodia, but a dark magic used by a powerful vulture named Thorn is trying to destroy it. Can a young owl named Tag and Skyla, a perky squirrel, help save the island when they find the last Firehawk? 

Anybody Here Seen Frenchie? by Leslie Connor Age Interest:8-11 Grades 3-6 Rating:5/5❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

This is the story of two 6th graders Aurora and Frenchie.  Aurora is loud and boisterous and Frenchie does not talk.  But… they understand each other. They both love nature and they are both a little bit different! They live in a small town in Maine where many of the people march to their own tune.  When Frenchie goes missing all of these odd ball characters come together to search for him.  This story “Honors the sweet mysteries of how to communicate with each other and the world.” (Kirkus Review Feb 2022)  

Alien in My Pocket – Blast Off  by Nate Ball  Age Interest: 6-9 Grades 1-4 Rating: 5/5 ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Catch this one on Libby! The first in a series, this is a perfect chapter book for a young readers.  There’s a boy – Zach, a girl – Olivia, and a 4 inch tall blue alien – Amp. Will Zach have to protect the world from an alien invasion while trying to navigate 4th Grade? Or will he have to protect Amp from the world?  Highly recommend this book with a DYI science experiment ! Have fun!