KIDS - Recommended New Books

Every month, librarians from Denver Public Library branches get together to talk about new books for school-aged kids. With summer vacation just around the corner, here are some great new titles to keep you reading all summer long.

Younger Readers:

Letters to Leo by Amy Hest. Annie's dad has finally given in and let her get a dog, so now Annie writes letters to her new pet during the school day so he can keep up with all of the exciting things that happen to her while she is away from him. Annie is not exactly a "model citizen" and there are lots of funny stories and drawings throughout the book. Recommended by Gigi from the Children's Library.

The Flying Beaver Brothers and the Evil Penguin Plan by Maxwell Eaton. Ace and Bub are two beaver brothers. Ace wants to surf and Bub wants to nap. But when some penguins steal Ace's surfboard, the two brothers are sucked into a nefarious penguin plot to freeze the entire ocean! Silly antics are the name of the game in this fun new series of graphic novels. Recommended by Jenny from the Schlessman Family branch.

Kindred Souls by Patricia MacLachlan. Jake loves spending time on the farm with his grandpa, Billy. When Billy gets sick and has to go to the hospital, Jake and his siblings decide to work together to build a new sod house on the farm, just like the one Billy lived in as a little boy. Can they get their surprise finished before Billy is well? Recommended by Chufo from the Children's Library.

Earwig and the Witch by Dianna Wynne Jones. When the orphan Earwig is adopted by a witch and a mandrake, she is taken home to become their assistant, but is treated more like a slave. With some help from the witch's cat, Earwig learns spells to turn the tables on her new "parents." She's so good at magic, might Earwig be a witch herself? Recommended by Ann from the Children's Library.

I've Lost My Hippopotamus by Jack Prelutsky. One of our favorite poets has a new collection of silly animal poems! How about a sample from the book? Recommended by Charlie from the Decker branch.

                     Short Song of the Hungry Bookworm

                     I love books. Yes, I love books.
                     Oh books, it's hard to beat you.
                     I give you long and loving looks,
                     And then I slowly eat you.

Older Readers:

The Hop by Sharelle Byars Moranville. This is the parallel story of Taylor and Tad, a toad who lives in her grandmother's pond. It has been prophesied among the toads that something evil is coming to destroy them and that Tad is the one to save them. Taylor is doing everything in her power to stop the bulldozers who are coming to turn the field next to her grandmother's house into a shopping center. With a little bit of 50's music and a magical kiss, their missions become united to save the field. Recommended by Gigi from the Children's Library.

Horten's Miraculous Mechanisms: Magic, Mystery, and a Very Strange Adventure by Lissa Evans. On his very first day in a new town, Stuart discovers a mystery surrounding the disappearance of his famous magician uncle. Stuart's uncle has left clues to his whereabouts, but also clues leading to his fabulous magical workshop. Joined by three very annoying triplets, Stuart embarks on the quest his uncle has created for him. Recommended by Kellie from the Central Library.

Fake Mustache by Tom Angleberger. Everything seems normal for Lenny and his best friend Casper, until Casper buys a fabulous fake mustache and his evil genius tendencies take over. Soon, Casper is not just robbing banks, he has also brainwashed everyone and is going to be elected President by the brainwashed masses. Is world domination next? Lenny and the child TV star Jodie O'Rodeo seem to be the only ones who can see through Casper's plot, but can they outwit him and save the world? Recommended by Gwen, the Children's Collection Specialist.

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate. Ivan is a silverback gorilla who lives with some other animals in a shopping mall that is also a circus. When his friend the older elephant is replaced by a new baby elephant, Ivan is inspired to get all of them out of the mall and into the kind of real zoo he has seen on TV. Ivan's artistic talent and his observations about life in captivity as a gorilla make this a special book for animal lovers. Recommended by Sarah from the Early Literacy Department.

May B. by Caroline Starr Rose. May has been sent to help at a distant sod house on the prairie, just until Christmas. But when the couple who live there abandon their homestead, May is left on her own. With winter coming, May must figure out how to survive with the supplies that are left and must find her own courage in spite of her feelings of inadequacy from not succeeding in school. Recommended by Kristin from the Athmar Park branch.

The Humming Room by Ellen Potter. Roo prefers to be left alone and is good at hiding in small spaces, like she did when her parents were killed. But children can't live alone, so Roo is sent to live with her uncle on a remote island full of secrets, including a mysterious boy who does seem to live on his own, and a dying garden hidden in the middle of her uncle's mansion. This modern re-telling of The Secret Garden is full of new surprises and eccentric characters. Recommended by Kristi from the Children's Library.

Written by Gwen on May 18, 2012


Sharelle Byars… on May 22, 2012


Thank you so much for recommending The Hop as a good summer read. Tad and Taylor are delighted, as am I.

Kerstin on August 14, 2012


Hi - Could you please put age recommendations in?
I can't tell what age the books are for. I googled The One and Only Ivan, but I still can't tell the age appropriate-ness.


Gwen on August 14, 2012


Books for "younger readers" would be appropriate for 6 to 10 year-year-olds and books for "older readers" would be appropriate for 8 to 12-year-olds, depending on interest and reading level. As always, this is just a suggested age range and may vary by family.

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