Today I recommend: The Witch Boy by Molly Ostertag.
In thirteen-year-old Aster’s family, all the girls are raised to be witches, while boys grow up to be shapeshifters. Anyone who dares cross those lines is exiled. Unfortunately for Aster, he still hasn’t shifted . . . and he’s still fascinated by witchery, no matter how forbidden it might be. When a mysterious danger threatens the other boys, Aster knows he can help — as a witch.
This graphic novel has a diverse cast of characters who inhabit a world where magic is divided between shapeshifting for the men and witchcraft for the women. Aster’s attempts to overcome the gender barriers blocking him from practicing the witchcraft that he is talented in are all about being true to yourself. Aster is a strong protagonist who never gives up and it is heartwarming to see him triumph and to see his family grow to accept him. This graphic novel is for fans of fantasy and those looking for titles for kids that address gender norms.
You can find this graphic novel in the Juvenile Graphic Novel section at J Graphic OSTERTAG.
A baby girl washes ashore in a tiny skiff. She is found and given the name Crow. As Crow grows, she becomes increasingly curious about many things. Where did she come from? Why is there a light burning on a supposedly deserted island? Is a famed pirate treasure hidden nearby? If you are interested in finding the answers to these questions and more, read Beyond the Bright Sea by Lauren Wolk.
You can find this book in the Juvenile Fiction section at J WOLK.
Road Trip is a fictional novel about a spontaneous road trip to rescue a Border Collie puppy. On the way, a father and his son end up inviting many other people on board, all ready to adopt an adorable puppy, and embark on an exciting journey. On this humorous and adventurous journey, the group faces many challenges on the highway, making the Border Collie pup seem farther and farther away. The main characters include a father who spontaneously does everything, his son who is fed up with his father, a Border Collie named Atticus who notices everything, and many other interesting characters with intriguing backstories revealed throughout the novel.
I enjoyed this novel because it is humorous, and not sad or scary. It was a quick read (114 pages) but an amazing story. My favorite parts of the book was Atticus’ point of view. He thinks he is not a dog, and realizes things before the humans do. His sections were interesting, but also summed up what had happened in the previous chapter, making me think about it differently. I recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys dogs, humor and road trips.
~Elizabeth, Teen Blogger
You can find this book in the Juvenile Fiction section at J PAULSEN.
Hoping to win a cash prize in a pizza eating contest after racking up a tab on his mother’s credit card, David must juggle his competitive eating training with the responsibility of looking after his autistic younger brother.
This book has it all – suspense, friendship, and horrifyingly gross descriptions of competitive eating. It addresses David’s feelings of being the ‘forgotten’ middle child in his family without ever losing the humor that is necessarily part the book as David works to stretch his stomach and win a competitive eating contest in order to pay back his mom. I winced a little every time he decided to hide his mistake and lie a little more but that situation certainly added to the suspense of the story – you’ll want to know whether or not David can win right from the beginning!
You can find Slider in the Juvenile Fiction section at J HAUTMAN.
For this Throwback Thursday I recommend: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang by Ian Fleming.
Two children persuade their father, an inventor, to purchase and restore an old car which turns out to have magical powers and leads its owners on a series of adventures.
Do you like going on adventures? Did you ever wish that you had an object with magical powers? If you answered yes to these questions, then Chitty Chitty Bang Bang by Ian Fleming is the classic novel for you! First published in 1964, this book has been adapted in a movie and has sequels written by another author who was inspired by this classic. In this book, you will learn how children convince their father to restore an old car. During the restoration process, the family discovers that the old car has magical powers. So, jump on into this book and go on a series of adventures with this fun family and their magical car!
You can find this book in the Juvenile Fiction section at J FLEMING.
Laura and her family move to Minnesota where they live in a dugout until a new house is built and face misfortunes caused by flood, blizzard, and grasshoppers.
First published in 1939, On the Banks of Plum Creek is the fourth in the series of Little House books that cover the life of Laura Ingalls Wilder. Anyone who loved Little House in the Big Woods or Little House on the Prairie will not be disappointed by this next entry in the series as Laura and her family grapple with moving to Minnesota and all the challenges that brings. You can find this book in the Juvenile Fiction section at J WILDER.
Having shared so many foster homes that they are unable to trust that the family that has adopted them will last, Flora and her brother, Julian, are assisted by their new mother on a journey to resolve their past so that they can build a future.
This is a serious and thought provoking read that deals with topics such as foster care, families, and trauma as siblings Flora and Julian deal with the question of how they could be born if they don’t have a biological mother and how long their adoptive mother will be around (she says forever).
You can find Forever, or a Long, Long Time in the Juvenile Fiction section at J CARTER.
It’s Throwback Thursday! Today I recommend, Ramona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary.
Ramona likes that she’s old enough to be counted on, but must everything depend on her? Mrs. Quimby has gone back to work so that Mr. Quimby can return to school, and Ramona is expected to be good for Mrs. Kemp while her parents are away, to be brave enough to ride the school bus by herself, and to put up with being teased by Danny the Yard Ape. In Ramona’s world, being eight isn’t easy, but it’s never dull!
Ramona is a third grader, but I can still relate to so much of what she feels! I remember listening to one of my favorite teachers read Ramona Quimby, Age 8 to my class in the third grade. I always think of her when I read this book. If you need a laugh, I recommend checking it out, if you haven’t already read it. When I need a feel-good book to lift my spirits, I like any of the books about Ramona.
Find it in our Juvenile Fiction collection under J CLEARY.
Today I recommend: The Lotterys Plus One by Emma Donoghue.
When Sumac Lottery’s estranged grandfather comes to live with her and her large family in their sprawling Victorian home, Sumac quickly realizes he’s not the easiest person to get along with. But can she help him find a home where he belongs?
Sumac has a large family, with six siblings, and two pairs of parents, PapaDam and PopCorn, and CardaMom and MaxiMom. When the estranged father of PopCorn comes to stay with the family, he struggles with the quirks and differences that the family celebrates. This is a touching story about the relationships between family members full of humorous word-play. There are also some nice illustrations throughout the text that help you keep track of the large and lively Lottery family. You can find this book in the Juvenile Fiction section at J DONOGHUE.
Today I recommend: The Best Man by Richard Peck.
Archer has four important role models in his life–his dad, his grandfather, his uncle Paul, and his favorite teacher, Mr. McLeod. When Uncle Paul and Mr. McLeod get married, Archer’s sixth-grade year becomes one he’ll never forget.
This book is an award winner! It was an American Library Association Notable for Middle Readers 2017, School Library Journal’s Best Books of 2016, and a Booklist Editor’s Choice for Middle Readers 2016. For readers that have enjoyed other works by Richard Peck, this book has the same focus on family and navigating childhood that many of his novels have. You’ll cheer for Archer as he grows up with help from all of his role models. You can find this book in the Juvenile Fiction section at J PECK or as an audiobook in the Juvenile Audiobook section at jCD FIC PECK.