Kid's Featured Items

  • 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.

  • 2014-2015 Show Me Award Nominees

      One Cool Friend by Tony Buzzeo

    Elliot, a very proper young man, feels a kinship with the penguins at the aquarium and wants to take one home with him.

      Some Cat! by Mary Cassanova

    When Violet the cat is adopted she has trouble sharing her new kingdom with the family dogs until they save her from some home invaders.

      Lost and Found by Bill Harley

    Justin has lost the hat his grandmother made for him, and if he is to find it in time for her visit he will have to go talk to Mr. Rumkowsky, the gruff old school custodian in charge of the Lost and Found.

      The House on Dirty-Third Street by Jo S. Kittinger

    A mother and daughter work to turn a hopeless, rundown, and dirty old house into a loving family home with hard work, faith, and the support of their new friends and neighbors.

      Helen's Big World by Doreen Rapaport

    An introduction to the life and legacy of Helen Keller and her teacher Annie Sullivan.

      Creepy Carrots! by Aaron Reynolds

    The carrots that grow in Crackenhopper Field are the fattest and crispiest around and Jasper Rabbit cannot resist pulling some to eat each time he passes by, until he begins hearing and seeing creepy carrots wherever he goes.

      Jangles: a Big Fish Story by David Shannon

    A father relates to his son the tale of his encounter--and friendship--with a gigantic trout whose enormous jaw is covered with so many lures and fish hooks that he jangles when he swims, but who has never been caught.

      The Quiet Place by Sarah Stewart

    A little girl moves to the United States from Mexico with her family and writes letters to her aunt in Mexico about her new life.

      I Need My Own Country by Rick Walton

    Instructs the reader in how to form one's own country when the time comes, from finding a location, a name, and a flag, to handling the inevitable civil unrest and invasions.

      Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson

    When Ms. Albert teaches a lesson on kindness, Chloe realizes that she and her friends have been wrong in making fun of new student Maya's shabby clothes and refusing to play with her.

  • 2014-2015 Mark Twain Award Nominees

    The 2014-2015 Mark Twain Award Nominees have been announced. 

      

    Freaky Fast Frankie Joe by Lutricia Clifton

      

    Capture the Flag by Kate Messner

      

    The Mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Paul Curtis

      

    Wonder by R.J. Palacio

      

    The Shadow Collector’s Apprentice by Amy Gordon

      

    The Five Lives of Our Cat Zook by Joanne Rocklin

     

    Pinch Hit by Tim Green

      

    Ordinary Magic by Caitlen Rubino-Bradway

      

    Chomp by Carl Hiaasen

      

    Liar & Spy by Rebecca Stead

      

    The Young Healer by Frank McMillan

      

    Privateer’s Apprentice by Susan Verrico

     

  • Newberry and Caldecott Winners

    The American Library Association (ALA) today announced the top books, video and audio books for children and young adults – including the Caldecott, Coretta Scott King, Newbery and Printz awards – at its Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia.

    John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children's literature:

    “Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures,” written by Kate DiCamillo, is the 2014 Newbery Medal winner. 

    Four Newbery Honor Books also were named: “Doll Bones,” written by Holly Black; “The Year of Billy Miller,” written by Kevin Henkes; “One Came Home,” written by Amy Timberlake; and “Paperboy,” written by Vince Vawter.

    Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children:

    “Locomotive,” illustrated by Brian Floca, is the 2014 Caldecott Medal winner. The book was written by Brian Floca.

    Three Caldecott Honor Books also were named: “Journey,” written and illustrated by Aaron Becker; “Flora and the Flamingo,” written and illustrated by Molly Idle; and “Mr. Wuffles!” written and illustrated by David Wiesner.

    For a complete list of all the winners, please see the ALA website

     

  • Infinity Ring series

    When best friends Dak and Sera discover the key to time travel — the Infinity Ring — they're swept up in a centuries-long secret war for the fate of mankind. Recruited by the Hystorians, a secret society that dates back to Aristotle, the kids learn that history has gone disastrously off course — and it's up to them to save it. Check out the whole series!

          

  • Building Block books

    It is time to vote on the Missouri Building Block Award nominees. To participate you need to read at least 5 of the 10 books. Vote for your favorite using the ballots available at the Children's Desk. We have a set of the books to give away. Ten lucky winners will each receive one of the nominees. Winners will be drawn from the ballots submitted. Voting ends December 31st. 

    2013 Missouri Building Block Picture Book Nominees

     
    I’m Bored 
    by Michael Ian Black

      
    Pete the Cat and
    His Four Groovy Buttons
     
    by Eric Litwin

      
    Who’s Who 
    by Ken Geist

      
    Oh, No, George! 
    by Chris Haughton

      
    It’s a Tiger 
    by David LaRochelle

      
    Cat Secrets 
    by Jef Czekaj

      
    One Special Day 
    by Lola M. Schaefer

      
    Find a Cow Now 
    by Janet Stevens and
    Susan Stevens Crummel

      
    Let’s Sing a Lullaby
    with the Brave Cowboy
     
    by Jan Thomas

      
    The Duckling Gets a Cookie 
    by Mo Willems