Staff Picks Youth Fiction

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September 2021

Pax

by Sara Pennypacker

There is no one in the world who means more to Peter than his pet fox, Pax.  When Peter is forced to abandon Pax in the forest before he’s sent away to live with his grandfather, Peter knows immediately he’s made the biggest mistake of his life.  Nothing will stop him from reuniting with his best friend.  Told in alternate points of view from Peter and Pax, this is an emotional read about friendship, loyalty, and the cost of war.  There are instances of violence done to animals, so sensitive readers might need to process these moments with a trusted adult.
This book and Playaway is available at the library and on OverDrive/Libby as an ebook and e audiobook.
Recommended by: Stephanie Thomas, Youth Service Preschool Services Coordinator

Posted in: Youth Fiction


Paletero Man

by Lucky Diaz

Summer has come to an end, but this is a great pick for these last warm days. Latin Grammy Winner Lucky Diaz and illustrator Micah Player team up for this heartwarming and vibrant story that takes place in Los Angeles, but may as well happen in any other urban beautifully diverse kind of town. With a splash of Spanish and a musical narrative in rhyme, a young boy is soon to embark on a quest to find the beloved neighborhood paletero man to enjoy the most delicious ice pops in town. We get a glimpse of city life that pulsates not only with lively hustle and bustle, but also with kindness and a true sense of community. By the end of the story, you may crave an icy treat and find paletero José to meet. A good read for Hispanic Heritage month. To celebrate, pair-up with the song by the same title.

Recommended by: Fanny Camargo, Youth Services Reference Librarian I

Posted in: Youth Fiction


The List of Unspeakable Fears

by J. Kasper Kramer

A timely historical novel where an anxious young girl, Essie, must learn to face her fears of the unknown, isolation, and unseen viruses that can kill you. After her mother remarries a doctor who oversees a quarantine hospital where typhoid patients are housed, including Typhoid Mary, Essie’s anxiety disorder escalates until reality and her nightmares feed on each other. She is sure the island is haunted and that her stepfather is another Dr. Frankenstein. Plus there is even an evil cat and a ghost terrifying her days and nights.

Recommended by: Joan Stoiber, Youth Services Reference Librarian I

Posted in: Youth Fiction


Four Faces of the Moon

by Amanda Strong

A powerful graphic novel adapted from a short stop-motion animation film created by the author. In four chapters, which follow the phases of the moon, the story follows the journey of an Indigenous photographer, Spotted Fawn, as she travels through time meeting past ancestors and witnessing the destruction of their way of life by building railroads and the killing of the buffalo.

An Afterword by Dr. Sherry Farrell-Racette an associate professor of Native Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Manitoba, provides vital information on Michif culture and history.

Recommended by: Joan Stoiber, Youth Services Reference Librarian I

Posted in: Youth Fiction


Millionaires for the Month

by Stacy McAnulty

When seventh graders Benjy and Felix find a billionaire’s lost wallet, they figure she will not mind it they ‘borrow’ $20. Not only does she not mind but she gives them 5 million dollars with one of the stipulations being that they spend it all in 1 month. Great fun, right? Well, not so much considering the other restrictions. 

Recommended by: Becky McCormack, Youth Services Assistant Manager

Posted in: Youth Fiction


Greystone Secrets #1: The Strangers

by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Three siblings, Chess, Emma and Finn, find an alternate universe when trying to discover what happened to their mother after she leaves them suddenly on a questionable work assignment. The more they uncover, the weirder everything becomes until they are truly mystified.

This book is available in the library and on OverDrive/Libby as an ebook and e audiobook.

Recommended by: Becky McCormack, Youth Services Assistant Manager

Posted in: Youth Fiction


When You Reach Me

by Rebecca Stead

Sixth grade Miranda has been best friends with Sal for as long as she can remember. That is until Sal randomly gets punched in the stomach on the walk home from school. Sal creates distance in their friendship. Miranda starts hanging out with new friends in their New York City neighborhood, and things start to get weird. Really weird.

Miranda begins receiving strange notes, in strange places, from an unknown author. An author who seems to know about things in Miranda’s life that have not happened yet. An author who is asking Miranda for help saving a life. Who is sending the notes and how? Will Miranda figure it out in time to prevent a tragedy?

This book is available in the library and on OverDrive/Libby as an ebook.

Recommended by: Malorie Carpenter, Youth Services Assistant

Posted in: Youth Fiction


Bud Not Buddy

by Christopher Paul Curtis

Some stories we read because we have to and find out we are continuing to read because we want to. Bud Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis is one of those books.  Commonly read for school assignments, Bud Not Buddy is an excellent read for its Depression Era story told from the perspective of 10-year-old Bud. After escaping his foster family , Bud decides that he’d much rather search for his missing father instead of being sent back to the orphanage. He embarks on a heroic journey and discovers truths about his family that he never expected to find all while learning that family extends further than a person’s bloodline.

This book is available in the library and on OverDrive/Libby as an ebook and e audiobook.

Recommended by: Darnetta Bolton, Youth Services Reference Librarian I

Posted in: Youth Fiction


Jude Banks, Superhero

by Ann Hood

From the cover of the book, a young boy in his red cape on a swing with bowed head towards an empty swing through to the Prologue, the reader is immediately caught up in the sadness of losing a well-loved sister. Katie dies unexpectedly at age 11, and Jude lives with the guilt that it was his fault—to the point of even going to the police station to have himself arrested for murder. This poignant book, follows the path of a brother as he comes to grips with the reality of his sister’s death and the impact on him and his family.

Recommended by: Joan Stoiber, Youth Services Reference Librarian I

Posted in: Youth Fiction


Dear Sweet Pea

by Julie Murphy

Thirteen year old Patricia, aka Sweet Pea, is dealing with her parents’ recent divorce. On top of that she’s having friend issues. When her neighbor, who writes an advice column, asks for Sweet Pea’s help when she’s out of town, the plot thickens.

This book is available in the library and on OverDrive/Libby as an ebook and e audiobook.

Recommended by: Becky McCormack, Youth Services Assistant Manager 

Posted in: Youth Fiction


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