KIDS - Recommended New Books

cover art from Kat, Incorrigible

Every month, librarians from Denver Public Library branches get together to talk about new books for school-aged kids. Here are some titles we are excited about this spring!

Younger Readers:

Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie by Julie Sternberg tells the story of what happens when 8-year-old Eleanor's favorite babysitter moves away.  Everybody in the family misses her.  Could the new babysitter ever be okay?  This sweet story isn't as funny as the title sounds, but it is a terrific and realistic book.  Recommended by Anna from the Eugene Field branch.

Young Fredle by Cynthia Voigt introduces us to a little mouse who asks a lot of questions and drives the big mice crazy until the day he eats some forbidden chocolate, gets sick, and gets kicked out of his nest.  The story follows Fredle on his journey from the world outside to inside a kitchen and how he copes on his own.  This big adventure would appeal to young fans of Charlotte's Web.  Recommended by Tara from the Schlessman Family branch.

Ruby Lu, Star of the Show by Lenore Look is the third book in a series about Ruby Lu.  In this story, Ruby's father has lost his job, so Ruby sets out to find a way to make a million dollars.  Her crazy attempts to make money are lots of fun and sometimes cause some problems for her family.  This series appeals more to girls, but the author has a series that appeals to boys that the librarians also love about a boy named Alvin Ho.  Recommended by Sarah from the Children's Library.

I Feel Better with a Frog in My Throat: History's Strangest Cures by Carlyn Beccia shows readers all kinds of gross cures that people used to try when they were sick.  Can spiders' web heal a cut?  Does frog soup cure a cough?  How about sticking leeches on your skin to suck your blood?  Why would anyone do that?  The book explores the origins of the gross cures and then tells which ones actually work and why they do.  This is a really fun non-fiction read.  Recommended by Mary from the Eugene Field branch.

Older Readers:

The Great Wall of Lucy Wu by Wendy Wan-Long Shang tells what happens when a long-lost aunt comes to live with Lucy and her family.  Lucy was really looking forward to having her own room when her sister left for college, but now she has to share with this old lady who is a stranger to all of them.  In a flash of genius, Lucy decides to build a wall to divide her room in half so she can have her own space.  Can Lucy and her aunt find a way to live together?  This family story is both hilarious and sweet.  Recommended by Ann from the Children's Library.

Benjamin Pratt and the Keepers of the School: We the Children by Andrew Clements is the first book in a new series by the popular author of Frindle.  When 6th-grader Benjamin Pratt discovers an old scroll that was written by students at his school back in 1791, it leads him and three friends on an exciting treasure hunt through their historic school building that is much more important than it seems.  The second book in the series, Fear Itself, is available for check-out now.  Recommended by Chufo from the Children's Library.

The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens begins a really exciting fantasy trilogy about three siblings who have been shuffled around different orphanages all of their lives.  When they arrive at the current one, not only are they the only kids there, but they discover a magic book that will take them back to any time if a photograph is placed in it.  This magic book is very important in a quest to change history and save the children who used to live in the town, but who were all killed by an evil sorceress.  It also begins to help them understand their own family history and their place in an epic battle between good and evil.  Filled with adventure, dwarves, witches, magic, and journeys through caves, this story would appeal to all fans of fantasy but reminds me most of the Narnia books.  Recommended by Gwen, Children's Collection Specialist.

Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai tells the story of Kim Ha, whose father has been missing in Vietnam for nine years.  When her family decides they can wait for him no longer, they must flee Vietnam and journey to the United States.  While their new home in Alabama is safer, the discrimination the family faces make living there hard.  Written in free verse, this beautiful novel will make the immigrant experience relateable to young readers.  Recommended by Carol, Manager of Children's and Family Services.

Beyonders: A World Without Heroes by Brandon Mull is the first in a new series by the author of the popular Fablehaven series.  When Jason accidentally falls into a hippo's mouth on a trip to the zoo, instead of being killed, he is transported to a magical world.  As he wanders through the world, he discovers that he is the hero they have been waiting for to save the world from a horrible king.  This fantasy adventure has lots of twists and great characters.  Recommended by Tara from the Schlessman Family Library.

Kat, Incorrigible by Stephanie Burgis is set in a magical 19th century England where Kat is having a hard time conforming to the rules of the Order of Witches who don't want her to use her magical powers since she is still untrained.  But if your oldest sister was being married off to an ugly, old murderer and your vicious stepmother was out to make everybody's life miserable, you would use your magical powers too.  With glimpses of the world of Jane Austen mixed with humor, adventure, magic and romance, this read is a delightful way to spend your weekend.  Recommended by Kristi from the Children's Library.

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