Kid's Featured Items

  • The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend

      The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend by Dan Santat

    This magical story begins on an island far away where an imaginary friend is born. He patiently waits his turn to be chosen by a real child, but when he is overlooked time and again, he sets off on an incredible journey to the bustling city, where he finally meets his perfect match and-at long last-is given his special name: Beekle.

    New York Times bestselling and award-winning author and illustrator Dan Santat combines classic storytelling with breathtaking art, creating an unforgettable tale about friendship, imagination, and the courage to find one's place in the world.

    The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend is the 2015 Caldecott Medal Winner.

  • The Crossover

    The Crossover by Kwame Alexander

    The Bell twins are stars on the basketball court and comrades in life. While there are some differences Josh shaves his head and Jordan loves his locks both twins adhere to the Bell basketball rules: In this game of life, your family is the court, and the ball is your heart. With a former professional basketball player dad and an assistant principal mom, there is an intensely strong home front supporting sports and education in equal measures. When life intervenes in the form of a hot new girl, the balance shifts and growing apart proves painful. An accomplished author and poet, Alexander eloquently mashes up concrete poetry, hip-hop, a love of jazz, and a thriving family bond. The effect is poetry in motion. It is a rare verse novel that is fundamentally poetic rather than using this writing trend as a device. There is also a quirky vocabulary element that adds a fun intellectual note to the narrative. This may be just the right book for those hard-to-match youth who live for sports or music or both.--Bush, Gail Copyright 2014 Booklist

    The Crossover is the 2015 Newbery Medal Winner.

  • Chasing the storm : tornadoes, meteorology, and weather watching

    Chasing the storm : tornadoes, meteorology, and weather watching by Ron Miller

    Huge, towering clouds build up in the sky--it's a super cell. The Doppler radar indicates that the system is rotating. But is there a funnel? Is it touching the ground? Only a storm chaser can confirm when a tornado is present--and help meteorologists warn nearby towns.

    Whenever severe weather threatens, storm chasers hit the road to hunt for tornadoes, hurricanes, or violent storms. Some drive thousands of miles in just a few days as they follow a storm system from Iowa to Texas. Others serve their cities and towns by taking photos from their backyards and phoning in storm details to local weather stations. Specially trained Hurricane Hunters hop into aircraft packed with scientific instruments to fly deep into powerful hurricanes, hoping to reach the eye of the storm.

    Are storm chasers a bunch of foolish daredevils? Not at all. Many are scientists while others are professional photographers and videographers. Storm chasers arm themselves with training about severe weather, use sophisticated instruments, and follow safety guidelines.

    In Chasing the Storm, you'll meet real storm chasers and meteorologists, hear their stories, and discover how they do their work. You'll learn tornado basics, get a great window into the science of meteorology, and learn how to pursue a career in the field. You might even decide to become a storm chaser yourself!

  • Gracefully Grayson

      Gracefully Grayson by Ami Polonsky

    What if who you are on the outside doesn't match who you are on the inside?

    Grayson Sender has been holding onto a secret for what seems like forever: "he" is a girl on the inside, stuck in the wrong gender's body. The weight of this secret is crushing, but sharing it would mean facing ridicule, scorn, rejection, or worse. Despite the risks, Grayson's true self itches to break free. Will new strength from an unexpected friendship and a caring teacher's wisdom be enough to help Grayson step into the spotlight she was born to inhabit?

    Debut author Ami Polonsky's moving, beautifully-written novel about identity, self-esteem, and friendship shines with the strength of a young person's spirit and the enduring power of acceptance.

  • The Angel Tree

    The Angel Tree by Daphne Benedis-Grab

    A heartwarming Christmas mystery and friendship story!

    Every Christmas in the small town of Pine River, a tree appears in the town square--the Angel Tree. Some people tie wishes to the tree, while others make those wishes come true. Nobody's ever known where the tree comes from, but the mystery has always been part of the tradition's charm.

    This year, however, four kids who have been helped--Lucy, Joe, Max, and Cami--are determined to solve the mystery and find out the true identity of the town's guardian angel, so that Pine River can finally thank the person who brought the Angel Tree to their town.

    This is a heartwarming Christmas mystery, full of friendship, discovery, and loads of holiday cheer!

  • Ben Franklin's Big Splash: The Mostly True Story of His First Invention

      Ben Franklin's Big Splash: The Mostly True Story of His First Invention by Barb Rosenstock

    Before he was an inventor, before he was a statesman, before he was a printer, Franklin was a young son of a soapmaker with big ideas and a penchant for swimming in the Charles River of Boston. This made him a bit of an odd duck at the time, as many people of the 18th century believed swimming could make them sick. With this "mostly true story," Rosenstock shares how even as a boy, Franklin possessed a powerful curiosity and a can-do attitude that led him to create swim paddles for his feet and hands that would help him move faster and better, much like the fish he observed in the river. The alliterative, sibilant text is a rollicking read to share aloud with young students ("where he slid off his stinky shoes, stripped off his sweaty stockings, squirmed out of his sticky shirt, shed his steamy breeches, and splashed in"). There is plenty of emphasis on words and phrases that are highlighted by colorful and distinct typefaces, some sliding down the page or shaped like a watery wave. The watercolor and ink artwork conveys joy and motion, with young Ben splashing into the water, gleefully trying out his fins. An extensive bibliography, source notes for quotations, and a time line of Franklin's life add to the veracity and strength of this story. This is a fun introduction to one of the nation's founding fathers and a solid addition to collections needing a different perspective on this American icon.—Jody Kopple, Shady Hill School, Cambridge, MA

  • A million ways home

      A million ways home by Dianna Dorisi Winget

    A moving middle-grade story about love, loss, and the unlikely places we find home.

    Poppy's life has been turned upside down after her grandma (and guardian) had a stroke and ended up in the hospital. But Poppy is working on a plan to help Grandma Beth so their life together can go back to normal. But when she witnesses an armed robbery, "back to normal" slips even further out of her reach. To keep Poppy safe, the budget-strapped police devise an unusual "witness protection program," wherein Poppy will stay with Detective Brannigan's mother. Soon Poppy is feeling almost at home, even making sort-of friends with a girl named Lizzie and definitely friending Gunner, a beautiful dog with an uncertain fate. But it's still not home. So while she and Lizzie navigate a rocky friendship and plot to save Gunner's life, Poppy also tries to figure out a new plan to save Grandma Beth and their home, all while avoiding a dangerous robber who might be searching for her. But what if Grandma Beth can never come home and the robber is put behind bars? What will happen to Poppy then?

  • Dreamer, wisher, liar

    Dreamer, Wisher, Liar is a heartwarming story about one girl's transformative summer full of friendship, secret magic, and family. Fans of Rebecca Stead will enjoy Charise Mericle Harper's funny and poignant novel.

    When her best friend is moving away and her mom has arranged for some strange little girl to come and stay with them, Ash—who is petrified of change and new people—is expecting the worst summer of her life. Then seven-year-old Claire shows up. Armed with a love of thrift-store clothes and an altogether too-sunny disposition, Claire proceeds to turn Ash's carefully constructed life upside down.

    While every part of Ash's life seems to be disrupted, she must protect a carefully hidden secret: She has discovered a magical jar in her basement. It's a wish jar, full of someone's old wishes—and it has the power to send her back in time and provide a window into another friendship between two girls. Discovering her own connection to the girls' story shows Ash that her life is full of surprises and friends she never saw coming.

  • Fourth down and inches

      Fourth down and inches : concussions and football's make-or-break moment by Carla Killough McClafferty.

    A well-researched and readable informational text on sports concussions provides a strong case for greater understanding and awareness of their long-term effects. Concerns about concussions in sports, especially football, have been increasing over the years and are particularly critical for young athletes. Worry about the violence and potential for serious injury have been part of football's history almost from the beginning. It was close to being banned in Georgia after the death of a University of Georgia student in 1897. The sport's possible brutality merited the attention of President Theodore Roosevelt in 1905, when he invited representatives from Harvard, Yale and Princeton to a meeting at the White House. But it survived and thrived. Improved technology, heightened awareness and high-profile cases of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (brain injury) have served to focus attention on the problem. In addition to providing historical context, McClafferty provides a clear and highly readable narrative by weaving in stories of affected athletes and researchers studying the problem. Along with the engaging writing, this volume has an arresting design that uses a catchy page layout, bold graphics and an excellent selection of photographs. A lofty level of research is reflected in the extensive backmatter, which includes source notes, an index, a bibliography and further reading as well as a medically approved list of concussion symptoms and return-to-play recommendations. An important read for young athletes and the adults who care about them. (Nonfiction 11-18) Copyright Kirkus 2013 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

    Check out other recommendations on the Kids Featured Item Blog.

  • Swipe by Evan Angler

     Swipe series by Evan Angler

    —Logan knows that everyone needs to get a "Mark" on their wrist at age 13. Without it, they can't get a job, own a home, or even buy a soda. It's not considered a big deal, just a rite of passage. However, when his older sister went to get her Mark, she never came back, and ever since then Logan has had a feeling that he is being watched. When a new student, Erin, reveals that her father has been transferred from the capital to investigate a kidnapper who targets children about to get their Marks, Logan, who is on the cusp of undergoing the procedure, discovers that what seemed like paranoia may have a scary truth behind it. But when he and Erin start to investigate, they learn that the truth may be more complicated, and even scarier, than they could have imagined. While the novel's premise may seem familiar, the strong character development and thorough world-building make it stand out from the dystopian crowd. Recommend it to fans of James Dashner's The Maze Runner and other fast-paced, postapocalyse novels.—

    If you like Swipe, read the rest of the series.

        

    Check out other recommendations on the Kids Featured Item Blog.