Staff Picks

Youth Services Staff Picks for 2019

The Youth Services staff reads A LOT of books.

After all, how can we recommend books for kids age 0 to 8th grade if we don't read widely?

Click through to see the books that are the best of the best we read this year.

You can click on each title to place a hold in the catalog or stop by the Youth Services desk for additional recommendations.

We have so many great books to share! Check one out today!

Cover of Stir Crack Whisk Bake

Stir Crack Whisk Bake: A Little Book About Little Cakes by Maddie Frost  

board book

A fun, interactive board book that will have you making cupcakes for the special people in your life. Cheryl says "my son and I love 'swirling' frosting on each cake, blowing a kiss to add a special something (sprinkles!), and then sharing cupcakes with each other." 

Cover of Stormy

Stormy by Guojing

picture book

Elizabeth says "this is a gorgeous wordless picture book about a stray dog and a kind woman who meet at a park. The beautiful story is told in soft, sweet illustrations that melted my heart."

Cover of My Cat Looks Like My Dad

My Cat Looks Like My Dad by Thao Lam

picture book

The narrator describes the ways her cat and her dad are alike and different. Meg says this book is funny and heartwarming- the best combo.

cover of Zombies Don't Eat Veggies!

¡Los Zombis no comen verduras! escrito por Megan Lacera 

Zombies Don't Eat Veggies! by Megan Lacera 

picture book

A humorous story about a zombie who loves veggies. Some of the excellent, notable puns from this book include: Dori-toes and man-naise (and the Spanish version has it's own original jokes!).

Cover of There's a Dragon in Your Book

There's a Dragon in Your Book by Tom Fletcher

picture book

Published in 2018, Esli loves the interactive nature of this story. Your goal is to help the dragon leave the book and find their way back home. 

Cover of Undefeated

The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander and Kadir Nelson

picture book

Mrs. Murphy says "I'm a librarian who complains to my family when they spend money on books instead of getting them from the library, but I actually spent money to own this book. Kwame Alexander is an award-winning author and poet. Kadir Nelson is an illustrator who creates beautiful paintings. I'm a fan of both, but when they work together, the result is is an important book that made the longlist for the National Book Award for Young  People's Literature."

Cover of Princess Truly: I Am a Super Girl!

Princess Truly: I Am a Super Girl! by Kelly Greenawalt 

early reader

Steph Wolferman fell in love with this book. Princess Truly come to the readers format in a fun story about girl power!  Mimics a chapter book, but for a younger audience (great for those who want to move onto something different after mastering phonic readers).  

Cover of The Mighty Heart of Sunny St. James

The Mighty Heart of Sunny St. James by Ashley Herring Blake

J chapter book

Meg can't recommend this book enough. "Ashley Herring Blake is one of my favorite authors, and Sunny's voice shines through the pages so clearly."

Cover of Dear Sweet Pea

Dear Sweet Pea by Julie Murphy

J chapter book

A story about a young girl who secretly becomes the town's advice columnist and learns to take her own advice, which helps her deal with her parent's divorce and fix a friendship. Stephanie Gelb says this is a sweet quiet story that will warm your heart.

Cover of Planet Earth is Blue

Planet Earth is Blue by Nicole Panteleakos

J chapter book

Twelve year old Nova, who is nonverbal, waits for the 1986 Challenger Launch, which is the day her sister promises to return. Stephanie Gelb loved how this book makes the reader experience the world the way Nova does. This is a bittersweet story that ends differently than you expect it to. 

cover of Merci Suarez Changes Gears

Merci Suárez Changes Gears by Meg Medina

J chapter book

While published in 2018, Stephanie Spetter felt this book really captured all the family, school, and social struggles of a girl Merci’s age pretty much on the nose. It won the Newbery in 2019 too!

Cover of Aru Shah and the Song of Death

Aru Shah and the Song of Death by Roshani Chokshi

J chapter book

Ami raves about this sequel to Aru Shah and the End of Time. "Lots of adventure, lots of mythology, and lots of humor. Among all the Riordan Presents books so far, this one and Storm Runner have both nailed the Percy Jacksonesque feel."

Cover of New Kid

New Kid by Jerry Craft

J and Middle School graphic novel

Ami loved this graphic novel, writing "This is a great middle school comic that brings very real issues to the table like subtle racism and microaggressions in day to day situations for people of color." 

Cover of To Night Owl from Dogfish

To Night Owl from Dogfish by Holly Goldberg Sloan and Meg Wolitzer

Middle School chapter book

Do you like The Parent Trap? Do you have strong feelings about summer camp? Do you root for strong-willed girls? Do you love great audiobooks? This is for you.

Cover of Pay Attention Carter Jones

Pay Attention Carter Jones by Gary D. Schmidt

Middle School chapter book

Cheryl says "A heartfelt book about growing up and family. I loved what the Butler would tell the kids every day when he dropped them off at school: Make good decisions and remember who you are." 

Cover of Guts

Guts by Raina Telgemeier 

Middle School graphic novel

Esli said this is a great, relatable book for middle schoolers, especially ones dealing with anxiety. 

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