Monday, January 17, 2011

Staff pick snuggle fest

Is there anything more daunting than a snow day without a good book to read under the blankets? To prepare yourself for the next blizzard or wintry fluff, try some of our latest staff picks.

Mr Putter and Tabby Catch the Cold by Cynthia Rylant
Bookseller: Teresa
Genre: early reader
Suggested reading level: ages 5 to 7

I love, love, love Mr. Putter and Tabby books, and this one is my all time favorite! When I read this book, I am reminded that the best medicine for a cold is a bowl of soup, a good book, and a caring friend. If you read any of the Mr Putter and Tabby books, you should find me and tell me which ones you like the best.

Spud by John Van de Ruit
Bookseller: Michelle
Genre: humor, school story
Suggested reading level: ages 12 and up

South Africa, 1990, is the backdrop for this riotous coming-of-age tale of John "Spud" Milton's first year at boarding school. This takes the "school story" beyond A Separate Peace and Wimpy Kid into hilarious absurdity, with likable, almost normal Spud to guide us safely through (maybe). Look for the sequel, Spud: The Madness Continues...

Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key by Jack Gantos
Bookseller: Shara
Genre: middle grade realism
Suggested reading level: ages 10 up

Joey Pigza has ADD. His meds aren't working and his family isn't providing a stable support system. Following Joey as he spins in and out of control turns out to be a roller coaster ride of a story, sometimes hilarious, often tragic, but always truthful. By the end, you'll be cheering for Joey.

Nobel Genes by Rune Michaels
Bookseller: Natasha
Genre: realistic fiction
Suggested reading level: ages 15 up

A literal search for his origins pushes the unnamed narrator to question whether who we are can be defined by nurture (a scary prospect given his mother's struggle with mental illness) or nature. This scenario may be more hopeful since his biological father was a Nobel winner. Or was he? A minimal narrative that packs a punch and leaves you thinking.

Girl, Stolen by April Henry
Bookseller: Michelle
Genre: suspense, psychological thriller
Suggested reading level: ages 14 up

Cheyenne, blind and with pneumonia, is asleep in the back of her stepmom's SUV when it is stolen. Once her accidental kidnappers discover her identity, her chances of escape shrink further. The chapters alternate Cheyenne and kidnapper Griffin's voices, heightening the tension: in an unfamiliar, dark world, who can she trust?

Eggs by Jerry Spinelli
Bookseller: Miruna
Genre: realistic fiction
Suggested reading level: ages 12 up

9 year old David follows all the rules (except for his grandmother's) ever since his mother died. He thinks if he does, his mom might come back. Primrose is a rebel. She's 13 years old and lives with her mom. They meet, become friends, and help each other deal with their problems.

Everything on a Waffle by Polly Horvath
Bookseller: Natasha
Genre: realistic fiction
Suggested reading level: ages 8 up

I really loved this book for two very important reasons. Number one: food. Even gross food finds its way into this book, but I love reading about food. Second: this book kind of reminds me of a longtime favorite Pippi Longstocking, but it's definitely different and original. This book is as sweet as syrup.

The Super Crazy Cat Dance by Aron Nels Steinke
Bookseller: Teresa
Genre: graphic novel
Suggested reading level: ages 6 to 8

Have you ever met a moon kitty before? Moon kitties are cats that live on the moon! Read this book and you'll meet all kinds of cats. You'll meet blue cats, long cats, cats in boots, cats in suits, and of course, moon kitties. Beginning readers will enjoy this book's bright illustrations and rhyming text.

Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
Bookseller: Michelle
Genre: adventure, fantasy
Suggested reading level: ages 12 up

Sophie is a quiet, hardworking girl in her family's hat shop - until the jealous Witch of the Waste turns her into an old woman. With creaky knees, white hair, and the fiesty friendship of a fire demon, Sophie develops some spunk, which she'll certainly need if she wants the mysterious wizard Howl to break her curse. After this, watch Miyazaki's film!

The Surrender Tree by Marganta Engle
Bookseller: Shara
Genre: poetry, history
Suggested reading level: ages 11 up

During the decades of Cuba's struggle for independence, Rosa learns to use wild plants as medicine. Together with her husband Jose, they spend a lifetime working to heal the damages of war and slavery. This collection of poetry manages to humanize an otherwise horrific history.

Luka and the Fire of Life by Salman Rushdie
Bookseller: Natasha
Genre: mythological fiction
Suggested reading level: ages 12 up

A wild book that fuses fairy tale and folklore from all over the world with video game atmospheres in a way that only Rushdie can. Luka is on a mission to save his storytelling father and is helped along the way by all kinds of magical beings and moves through various strange places. A great one to share among tweens, teens, and parents.

No comments: