Recent Staff Reviews
Not sure what to read next? Check out what the staff at WPL have been reading. You might get some ideas! Click the title of each book to check its availability in the WPL catalog.
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Tell Us We're Home|
Three eighth grade girls become friends in suburban New Jersey when they find out how much they have in common. As immigrants from Mexico, Trinidad and Slovakia, they are not as wealthy and are not accepted by the rest of their peers. Their mothers work as nannies and housekeepers for their classmates' families. Lola, Maria and Jaya realize they can belong and participate just like everyone else. Realistic family situations for ages 12 and up.
WPL Call Number: Y Budhos
Big Nate : In a Class by Himself |
While you're waiting for the next Wimpy Kid book to come out, meet Big Nate. Middle schooler Nate knows he's destined for greatness. In fact, a fortune cookie tells him that "today you will surpass all others." Unfortunately, Nate just keeps getting detention after detention. How will Nate live up to his promise when he keeps getting in trouble? With its cartoon-like illustrations and slapstick humor, Big Nate will appeal to Wimpy Kid fans in about third grade and up.
WPL Call Number: J Peirce
After Emmy's mother dies of AIDS, Emmy goes to live with her father and his new wife, Meg. Emmy, who's infected with HIV, is miserable. She misses her mother terribly, and she's feeling pessimistic about living with her own disease. To make matters worse, her friends and what's left of her family truly don't understand this. Then Emmy's father and Meg send her to Camp Positive, a camp for girls with HIV. As Emmy slowly starts to find others who can grasp what she's going through, she starts to see a brighter future for herself. This sad but ultimately hopeful novel will appeal to readers in about fifth through seventh grade.
WPL Call Number: Y Sheinmel
Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
A dog follows Marty home from the woods one day. Marty can tell that the friendly beagle, whom he names Shiloh, has been mistreated, and he wishes he didn't have to return him to his cruel owner, Judd Travers. When Shiloh runs back to Marty's house, Marty hides him. But the situation just can't last. Can Marty save Shiloh from Judd Travers? This Newbery winner appeals to animal lovers in about third grade and up.
WPL Call Number: J Naylor
Super Chicken Nugget Boy and the Furious Fry|
Fern is new to Bert Lahr Elementary and is being bullied by the principal’s son. His plan to stop it involves creating a fake superhero friend to protect him and staging a spectacular ninja battle involving all of the other kids at school. What Fern doesn’t know is that he will fall into a gross pool of green gooey liquid. After the disgusting liquid incident, Fern touches ketchup and becomes a superhero himself-Super Chicken Nugget Boy! This hilarious book about an accidental superhero will especially appeal to fans of Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey, Oggie Cooder by Sarah Weeks, and Jarrett J. Krosoczka’s Lunch Lady series. For grades 2 and up.
WPL Call Number: J Lewis
The Other Half of My Heart|
Sundee T. Frazier
Eleven-year-old Minerva (Minni) and her twin Keira are spending the summer with their grandmother, who is grooming them for the Miss Black Pearl Preteen of America contest. Minni and Keira are biracial, and for the first time light-skinned Minni begins to see how her darker-skinned sister is treated differently from her -- even by their own grandmother! Will the twins' special bond survive the summer? What do words like "black" or "white" mean, anyway? This thoughtful novel is warm and funny as well as a great discussion-starter. Minni and Keira's distinctive personalities give them great chemistry. Their pranks on their crotchety grandmother are especially entertaining. Highly recommended for grades 4 and up.
WPL Call Number: Y Frazier
Lost for Words|
Unable to talk about last summer's tragedy, Sophie has trouble with school, with her friends, and even with her mother. She cannot forget yet she refuses to verbalize her feelings. Even her sessions with a therapist will not help because Sophie will not talk. She does write in the therapist's journal and each dated entry shows how Sophie is trying to function normally while struggling through panic attacks. A new friend and a new therapist finally help Sophie accept her sister's death without feelings of guilt. A realistic view of a troubled family for ages 12 and up.
WPL Call Number: Y Kuipers
Queen of Secrets|
Essie Green -- newly minted cheerleader and latest love interest of football captain Austin King -- is in danger of losing her social standing. Essie's cousin Micah, an observant Jew, has just moved to town, and Essie's new friends think he's really weird. Moreover, they seem to think he's responsible for the football team's cruddy season and set out to retaliate. If they find out Essie is Micah's cousin, will Essie lose Austin and her other friends? Inspired by the biblical story of Queen Esther, this thoughtful novel realistically portrays high school relationships and touches on anti-Semitism and a general intolerance of difference that still exists in America. Highly recommended for grades 7 and up.
WPL Call Number: Y Meyerhoff
The Summer Before |
Ann M. Martin
Are you a kid who's enjoyed the Baby-Sitters Club graphic novels? Are you an adult who enjoyed the original Baby-Sitters Club books? Then this book is for you. As the Baby-Sitters Club books get re-released, Ann M. Martin has written a prequel. The summer before the club starts, Stacey is getting ready to move away from New York City, while Mary Anne, Kristy, and Claudia are having growing pains in Stoneybrook. All of them, of course, are babysitting. Find out how the four girls come together in this sweet story that kids in about third grade and up (and older fans) will enjoy.
WPL Call Number: J Martin
When a fuel shortage leaves Dewey's parents stranded hundreds of miles away, he and his siblings have to "be the parents" themselves! For Dewey, this means running the family's bike repair business -- which, thanks to nobody driving cars, is busier than ever. It's exciting, but the lines are getting longer and longer, and then bike parts start disappearing from the shop. How can Dewey keep pretending he's got everything under control? This gently humorous family story touches on issues of conservation without being overly political. Recommended for grades 5 and up.
WPL Call Number: Y Connor
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