Kids

Black mother kisses child goodnight

Bedtime Bonnet

By Nancy Amanda Redd
5
Rated by Becky C.
Feb 4, 2021

Bedtime Bonnet is a joy. The premise is simple, showing how each person in a multi-generational Black family prepares their hair for bedtime, and how they fix their hair the next morning before going about their day. I highly recommend reading this picture book with young children of every race and ethnicity. I wish this book had been available in the 1970s, when I was a white girl growing up in the segregated suburbs of Kansas City. I had few opportunities to know any Black girls like the protagonist of this book. If I had, I would have noticed far more things our families had in common than

Jan 13, 2021

There is a breakout from Azkaban! Sirius Black is on the loose, and he is trying to find Harry Potter, for Black was a supporter of the Dark Lord. Sirius Black is also known for killing thirteen people with a single curse. Because of Harry Potter’s defeat against the Dark Lord, there was a downfall for all the dark wizards, including Sirius Black. Azkaban guards heard Sirius Black saying “He’s at Hogwarts...He’s at Hogwarts,” which happens to be the place Harry studies at. Even though Harry is protected by spells and Professor Dumbledore, he is not safe. Read Harry Potter and the Prisoner of

Dec 3, 2020

Charlie is a fantasy football geek who cheers for the LA Bulldogs. The Bulldogs are so bad that their nickname is “the dogs.” Charlie and his best friend Anna, who is also a huge Bulldogs fan, love watching all of the games together. Luckily, Anna’s grandfather is the owner of the LA Bulldogs. Charlie attends a game with him and shares some of his thoughts to improve the team and suggests to sign an aging quarterback that is going under the radar. Mr. Warren, Anna’s grandfather, signs the quarterback and the team starts to get the success they have been wanting. Charlie becomes a football

Cover photo of the book Wonder

Wonder

5
Rated by
Dec 2, 2020

Auggie is going to school for the first time and he is completely petrified. August Pullman has had 27 surgeries to help him hear, breathe, see, and talk. He has been homeschooled for his whole life by his mom and now he is starting middle school in an actual school. Auggie makes some friends and some enemies in middle school. While Auggie is going to middle school, his sister, Via, is starting high school, when she finds out her only best friend abandons her. At school, Auggie meets Jack, Will and Julian but only becomes friends with one of them, while the other makes fun of Auggie. Do you

Nov 20, 2020

Timminy, not Timothy, is moving into the country to some boring town, and has to start middle school there. He knows that middle school will be hard, because he has the height of a 2nd grader.  As a surprise, his parents get him a dog named Maxi. They discover that Maxi is deaf. Timminy also makes a blind friend named Abby. Abby does not let her being blind stop her from being a middle schooler. Will Timminy get through middle school without being made fun of for his height, or will he start living in a gym locker? Read Maxi’s Secrets (Or, What You Can Learn From a Dog) to find out!


I

Nov 9, 2020

Harry Potter thinks he is just a normal ten-year old boy living at his uncle and aunt’s house. Harry thinks that his life is terrible, but what he does not know is that his life is about to get a whole lot more interesting. Harry finds out he is a wizard! When he goes to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, he becomes friends with Ron and Hermione. The Sorcerer’s Stone is moved, which gives the wizard immortality. The Dark Lord is trying to steal the Sorcerer's Stone and Harry Potter is trying to protect it. Will Harry defeat Voldemort, and save the Wizarding World, or will he fail?

Why Do We Cry?

By Fran Pintadera
5
Rated by Heather McCartin
Oct 15, 2020

The Covid-19 pandemic of 2020 has left many searching for a way to cope with daily struggles.  Fran Pintadera’s picture book on the concept of crying serves as a unique tool to explain to all audiences how tears are an essential outlet for facing the various stages and phases of life.  With exquisite full color illustrations by Ana Sender, there is an aura of compassion in the poetic text as a mother explains to her young son why people cry. 


Young Mario spends an afternoon with his mother at the park.  When he asks the all-important question of why people cry, his mother closes her eyes

May 11, 2020

All good children's stories are the same: young creature breaks rules, has incredible adventure, then returns home with the knowledge that aforementioned rules are there for a reason.


Of course, the actual message to the careful reader is: break rules as often as you can, because who the hell doesn't want to have an adventure?


― Brian K. Vaughan, Saga, Vol. 3


The largest population of orphans anywhere in the world is within the pages of children's books. This Barnes & Noble article gives a nice list of some of the most familiar: Little Orphan Annie, Anne (of Green Gables)

Apr 16, 2020

Psst! Hey, parents! I know you’re at home right now. I know your kids are out of school. I know this because I’m at home right now, and my kid is out of school. I know this because WE’RE ALL #ATHOMETOGETHER RIGHT NOW.  


Ahem. Sorry for shouting. These are stressful times.


If it’s at all possible, I want you to find a private spot in your house—please stop laughing—away from your kids, so you can fully concentrate on a little parenting secret I’d like to share with you.


Who am I, you ask? Here are my qualifications:


I am a professional storytime leader at the Johnson County Library

Aug 27, 2018

Adventures with two boys a girl and a whole lot of dinosaurs. Sky and Shawn just escaped from the North Compound to find more information on Sky's dad, they meet tons of dinosaurs and a new friend Todd on the way who has been living topside since the pandemic.

The perfect book if you are into adventure and excitement.

If you like Percy Jackson, or the Runaway King series you'll love this one. Ages ten through 14.

Apr 3, 2018

It Can’t Be Don’t, Nellie Bly is a short, but interesting chapter book about Nellie Bly, a journalist in 1888, when women were not considered journalists.


Inspired by Jules Verne’s book Around the World in 80 Days, Nellie tries to see if one can, in fact, travel around the world in eighty days. And in trying, she wants to beat Verne’s time. Halfway through her journey she finds out there is a journalist from the magazine Cosmopolitan trying to beat her. It Can't Be Done, Nellie Bly takes you on her adventure.  Come along and see if she makes it!


 

Mar 29, 2018

She is a mermaid. She has lived her entire life in an aquarium located on the boardwalk. She is the main attraction, but visitors can never catch more than a glimpse of her. She can’t walk or speak, but she can make friends with Livia, an ordinary girl, and yearn for life outside the water. She can grow stronger and braver, and with the help of her determination, a touch of magic and the help of a loyal octopus, she can do anything.


Fantasy and reality intersect in this mermaid tale. It was beautifully drawn, with a good story too.


A fun, middle grade novel, this did not take me long to

Cool Bacon Recipes

By Kuskowski, Alex
4
Rated by Terri B.
Mar 5, 2018

Do not let the unattractive cover of Cool Bacon Recipes fool you into not checking this book out for your child. Because if you like bacon, check out these easy recipes. This book did not have very many recipes, but what it did have looked appetizing. The explanation of utensils and terms is perfect for 3rd - 6th graders with the guidance of an adult. And the step by step pictures are always a plus!

Feb 26, 2018

Tink is heading into sixth grade, her last year in elementary school and she must deal with everything from her body suddenly changing to the ever increasing strain between her and her best friend, Jackie's, friendship. Hundred Percent is an authentic and true look into the mind and life of a girl transitioning from a child to a young adult.


The cover of the book is what originally drew me in, it's bright and colorful and just a joy to look at. This book surprised me in the best way, any novel dealing with a protagonist fourteen or younger must maintain a precise balance of accurately

Echo

By Pam Muñoz Ryan
5
Rated by Emily D.
Nov 29, 2017

Echo follows the stories of Otto, Friedrich, Mike, Ivy, and the mysterious harmonica that ties them together! The magical thread of music carries you through this wonderful tale. Friedrich in Germany, Mike in Pennsylvania, and Ivy in California are all dealing with the wrath of a war that tore countries and families apart. Friedrich is living with a birthmark that Hitler deems unsuitable, Mike will do anything to keep him and his brother together, and Ivy is learning that prejudice in America affects even the innocent. But they all find solace in music. With the help of the harmonica, someone

Unbound

5
Rated by
Apr 20, 2017

When Grace is called to work in the Big House from the slave cabins, her family warns her to keep her eyes down and watch her mouth, or there could be disastrous consequences. But she makes a grave mistake, and she and her family must flee deep into the dangerous woods, braving slave patrollers, deadly wild animals, and the uncertainty that they will ever be free.

This is a marvelous story for middle schoolers to imagine themselves as Grace and to really put themselves in her shoes. Given how the evil of slavery still touches our country, I hope every child in grade 4 through 6 reads it.

Apr 13, 2017

Michael O'Shaunessey, like all his other classmates, is part of the Hitler Youth. He participates in their book burnings and horrific games, but he secretly despises everything the Nazis stand stand for. He has a dangerous secret that he must protect at all costs, he and his parents are spies. He is just playing the part so he can get insider information. Soon he hears about Projekt 1065, a secret Nazi war mission that he has to stop. But to do that he must prove his loyalty to the Third Reich no matter the cost...


Started out a little slow for me, but the last 150 pages I could not put it

Apr 10, 2017

Petra’s father has been summoned to Prague by the prince to build the world’s finest astronomical clock. But when he returns home blind with the prince having stolen his eyes, she knows she must steal them back. Along the way, she discovers hidden talents and finds that many people in the castle are not what they seem.


I love books with strong, spunky heroines. And The Cabinet of Wonders has one of the spunkiest heroines out there.There is a charm to her that draws you into her world and keeps you there right beside her as she has adventures through life.
The book is a glorious read. The

Valiant

4
Rated by
Mar 17, 2017

When Saville’s father is struck ill, she will do anything to survive, even pretending to be a boy to sew a fine coat for the king. But rumors are spreading about an immortal duke and his army of giants marching to seize the king’s throne. Soon, two giant scouts come and terrorize the city, but she tricks them into leaving. Stories of the brave and quick-witted tailor quickly turn into tales of giant-slaying. So it is left to the courageous and clever tailor girl to stop the duke’s army and save the kingdom.


I have to say I was a bit disappointed. The story itself was interesting but I

Coraline

By Neil Gaiman
5
Rated by Sam S.
Oct 26, 2016

While exploring the new home Coraline and her family have just moved in to, she stumbles upon a small, mysterious door hidden behind wallpaper in one of the rooms. Through it, she discovers a world very much like her own, and yet very different, including alternate versions of her parents and neighbors. This alluring world turns dark when she finds that her parents have been kidnapped and she is slowly becoming trapped in a web of her Other Mother's making.

George

By Alex Gino
5
Rated by Becky C.
May 23, 2016

I don’t normally recommend books about elementary school kids to teens, but this is an exception. Especially a book about a hot topic in the news: transgender rights. See Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s recent speech here. From the speech, here's a quote that gets me in the feels:


“Let me also speak directly to the transgender community itself. Some of you have lived freely for decades. Others of you are still wondering how you can possibly live the lives you were born to lead. But no matter how isolated or scared you may feel today, the Department of Justice and the entire Obama

Mar 15, 2016

When the headmaster of St. Norbert's Home for Wayward Boys puts Peter and his mates on board a ship called the Never Land, the orphans expect bad food, seasickness and hard labor. They never anticipate meeting Molly, a young Starcatcher, or battling pirates in an effort to protect the magical "starstuff" from the wrong people. A vicious, foul-smelling pirate called Black Stache, his crew of savages and a greedy ship's captain all vie for a trunk filled with the powerful starstuff.
Meanwhile, Peter helps Molly and her father retrieve the trunk, with the aid of porpoise Starcatchers, mermaids

Apr 23, 2015

Tuan is an orphan, raised by his neighbors. He is a hard worker and buys himself a small house and field, but he is lonely and unable to find a suitable match even with the help of a matchmaker. Yet Tuan continues to work hard and, one day, finds a large snail in his garden that he begins to care for. Shortly thereafter, he finds delicious meals prepared for him when he returns home from work. Every night, the meals become larger and more delicious. Tuan cannot seem to find out who is cooking for him, so he decides to return home early to catch the generous cook. What he finds is a fairy, who

Weird Frogs

By Chris Earley
4
Rated by Diane H.
Apr 4, 2015

This was one of the shortest and most fun books I’ve read in a long while. The pictures of the frogs and toads are gorgeous. The pictures are why I picked up the book in the first place.


While I can’t pretend that I’ll remember all the facts (the Latin names have already slipped through my mind), I doubt I’ll forget the wide variety, rich colors, and sheer awesomeness of the amphibians on display throughout the book. Weird Frogs reminded me of Rebecca Johnson’s science books for kids, such as When Lunch Fights Back, Zombie Makers, and Chernobyl’s Wild Kingdom. All these books impart

The Whispering Skull

By Jonathan Stroud
5
Rated by Hilary S.
Mar 21, 2015

Lockwood & Co. is a paranormal investigative team comprised of three teens: Anthony Lockwood, George Cubbins and Lucy Carlyle. Because only children can see and hear ghosts they are ideal hunters of the paranormal. In The Whispering Skull, second in the Lockwood and Co series by Jonathan Stroud, the team is hired for what seems a simple job in the cemetery. But nothing is ever simple for this trio. What's found in and stolen from the cemetery leads to a fast-paced and thrilling investigation into the late Dr. Edmund Bickerstaff, and his methods for contacting the dead. The skull jar introduced

Feb 23, 2015

Jordan Stratford has taken a neat idea—young Mary Shelley and young Ada Lovelace team up to solve mysteries—and crafted a juvenile adventure story that's so much fun, it threatens to burst out of the book jacket and shoot off the pages like a cannon ball.


The year is 1826. Fourteen-year-old Mary Godwin, the sensitive and curious daughter of feminist Mary Wollstonecraft and free thinker William Godwin, is beginning her tutelage alongside the brilliant but temperamental and eccentric 11-year-old Lady Ada Byron, daughter of the famous poet Lord Byron. Their tutor is the young, handsome Peebs

Jan 29, 2015

Teeth, claws, horns. These are animal defenses we’re familiar with. What about slime? Toxic explosions? Blood shooting from an eye? Learn about these and other totally cool and utterly gross ways that animals protect themselves in Rebecca Johnson’s When Lunch Fights Back: Wickedly Clever Animal Defenses.


This is a short, intriguing book for older children and anyone interested in fun (and rather disgusting) facts about animals.


Rebecca Johnson has written numerous science books for children that are entertaining as well as informative, such as Zombie Makers: True Stories of Nature’s

Rascal

By Sterling North
5
Rated by Hannah Jane C.
Nov 22, 2014

Enchanting language, lush scenery, a romping, completely factual story and a rascally, joyful raccoon are the fixings for this adorable and happy memoir by Sterling North. 


This was my favorite animal story as a child.  And it is still at the top of my list.  I started squealing the moment Rascal was swiped from the woods, and made no efforts to contain my delight for the duration of the book.  My adult squeals echoed the squeals of my 10 year-old self as Rascal snuggled his way into Sterling’s bed, made a sugar lump disappear and trilled all of his desires, questions, indignations and love

Pennyroyal Academy

By M.A. Larson
4
Rated by Katie S.
Nov 8, 2014

Step into a world where princesses fight witches and knights battle dragons and prepare to become enchanted with the wonderful Pennyroyal Academy


M.A. Larson creates a truly imaginative world of cadets in training to become princesses and knights who will ultimately rid the world of evil. If you think princesses are just beautiful girls living in castles, then think again. The cadets have to battle each other in obstacle courses and training exercises, jump from towers onto the horsebacks of their heroes, and learn to find confidence and compassion within themselves when faced with evil

Willow Run

By Patricia Reilly Giff
4
Rated by Terri B.
Oct 2, 2014

This historical fiction book is about Meggie Dillon's life.  To help improve the family's income, Meggie's family ups and moves to Willow Run, Michigan, during WWII. Her father has obtained a job working on war planes at night to help the war effort. Because they are moving into a small apartment they have to leave her German grandfather behind in New York.  Meggie soon realizes that she misses him but quickly meets other kids in the same circumstance as hers.  Then, coming home one day to a military car parked outside, she learns that her older brother is missing in action, and Meggie must