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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Stanley Nudelman doesn't realize what he's in for when he buys a strange stuffed animal at a yard sale. Before long, it's obvious that the toy is a zombie who's bent on taking over Stanley's school. This mix of humor and horror has lots of funny pictures, and will appeal to second and third graders. Adults will get a kick out of it, too, especially the description of Ms. Mellow's kindergarten classroom, where the kids' non-gender-specific role-playing is hilarious.
WPL Call Number: J Bolger
Cloud Tea Monkeys|
In a small village near the Himalayas, a girl and her mother work at a tea plantation run by a cruel overseer. When the girl's mother falls ill, she can no longer work, and there's no money for a doctor. Help comes in a magical and surprising way in this modern fairy tale based on an ancient legend. Beautifully illustrated by Juan Wijngaard, this would be great as a family or classroom read aloud. For grades 2-4.
WPL Call Number: J Peet
House of Dolls|
Francesca Lia Block
3 distinctive, old-fashioned dolls (Wildflower, Rock Star, and Miss Selene) find their lives deliberately upset by the lonely little girl who owns them. Block, author of many prize-winning YA books, has written an original and wistful story. The charming illustrations are by Barbara McClintock. Recommended for thoughtful 2d and 3d grade girls.
WPL Call Number: J Block
Hamster and Cheese |
Colleen A. F. Venable
Because of his bad eyesight, Mr. Venezi has labeled the cages in his pet shop wrong--hamsters are called koalas, the snake is called a llama, and the chinchilla is called a moose. Also, Mr. Venezi doesn't see who keeps taking his sandwich. Sasspants the Guinea Pig does some fancy detective work to catch the sandwich thief. Readers in about second and third grade will like this funny graphic novel that requires keen observation skills.
WPL Call Number: J Comic VE
In this post-apocalyptic novel of sunken cities and spent fossil fuels, Nailer is a ship breaker, scavenging old ships for metal and other precious resources. It's hard and dangerous work, with no light at the end of the tunnel. Then, after a massive hurricane, Nailer encounters the most unusual -- and valuable -- scavenge of his life: Nita, a girl who claims to be the daughter of a powerful corporate executive. The pay-off could be a whole new life for Nailer, but only if he and Nita can escape the greedy, bloodthirsty scavengers chasing them -- the worst of whom is Nailer's own father! An interesting science fiction adventure suggested for grades 7 and up.
WPL Call Number: Y Bacigalupi
The Cardturner: A Novel About a King, a Queen, and a Joker|
Great Uncle Lester Trapp is rich, cranky, and going blind. He is a brilliant bridge player, but he can't see the cards anymore. Alton Richard's parents volunteer his services as a cardturner for his "favorite uncle." Alton doesn't know anything about bridge and Uncle Lester has no patience, but they both persevere. Gradually Alton takes a real interest in the game and begins to play with beguiling Toni Castaneda. Piercing the fog of a number of family secrets, the pair undertake a final homage to Uncle Lester and his game. Louis Sachar, the author of Holes, is at the top of his form in Cardturner. Readers from 7th grade through high school should enjoy this book -- even if they don't like cards.
WPL Call Number: Y Sachar
The Carbon Diaries 2017 |
It's two years after Laura Brown's first appearance, in The Carbon Diaries 2015. Laura's now at university in London, and things have gotten worse--the UK is still rationing energy use, there's flooding in London, and the government is cracking down hard on protesters. Laura and her band, the Dirty Angels, tour Europe, but rioting in France stops them. Witnessing a water war and a refugee crisis, Laura and her friends must decide just how far they'll go to fight for justice. If you liked the first book in the series or Life as We Knew It, and you're in seventh grade or older, you'll dig this book about the not-too-distant future gone crazy.
WPL Call Number: Y Lloyd
Bugs and Bugsicles: Insects in Winter|
Interesting informational account of how creatures both familiar (like ants and ladybugs) and exotic spend their coldest months. Kids will enjoy reading about how the Arctic Woolly Bear Caterpillar becomes a kind of bugsicle in the winter! Illustrated with lots of colorful and attractive acrylic paintings. Fun for primary grades and up.
WPL Call Number: J595.7 HA
10 year-old Caitlin, who has Asperger's syndrome, suffers a traumatic experience when her brother is killed in a school shooting. She and her father struggle with the aftermath of this tragedy in this heart-rending novel. This is written as a first person narrative, from Caitlin's point of view, so readers experience her feelings and perceptions in a very direct way. For 5th and 6th graders.
WPL Call Number: J Erskine
The Tweenage Guide to Not Being Unpopular|
This funny and sharp graphic novel brings back Amelia and her fellow students at Joe McCarthy Elementary School, whose motto is "weeding out the wrong elements since 1952." Amelia and her somewhat hapless friend Rhonda try out for cheerleading and, in general, experience the mob mentality that rules the hallways, classrooms, and cafeteria. This book is not at all earnest but has some great messages about courage and loyalty. Absorbing and clever for grades 4-6.
WPL Call Number: J Comic GO
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