Reviews

Miss Quinces

Sue (Suyapa) does not want to have a quinceañera where she'd be required to wear a poofy dress and dance around, so when her mom surprises her by having planned one and invited guests during a family trip to Honduras, Sue isn't happy. That is, until she makes a deal with her mom: 1 quinceañera for 1 overnight sleep camp with her friends. However, preparing for the celebration takes a tragic turn when Sue's beloved grandmother passes away suddenly.

I love this sweet (and sad) coming-of-age graphic novel. I especially loved seeing Sue gain some of the independence she desperately craves while making connections with her family and her heritage. Recommended for readers ages 8–12.

Reviewed by Kim B., Children's Librarian

   
Tween   
Think Library    Kids    Reviews   

Pony

When Silas's father is taken away in the middle of the night by a group of outlaws who seem to mistaken him for someone else, Silas knows he has to do something. With his best friend, a ghost named Mittenwool, Silas heads out to rescue his pa while riding his beautiful bald-faced pony. Will Silas be able to rescue his pa? And what's so special about his pony? Read this book to find out!

I didn't know too much about this book before I started reading it and thought it would be a horse story more than anything else, but there is so much more going on here; it kept me guessing and surprised me! I also loved the daguerreotypes leading each chapter and feel these and the discussions of photography throughout the book would make this a great read for anyone interested in photography and history! Recommended for readers age 10 and up.

Reviewed by Kim B., Children's Librarian

   
Pony   
Adventure    Read   
Tween   
Think Library    Kids    Reviews   

Both Can Be True

Ash is a middle schooler who loves music, is a synesthete who can see sounds, and is figuring out their gender identity after being bullied at their last school for being a “flip flop freak.” It doesn’t help that Ash’s dad is putting more and more pressure on them to just choose a gender and “stick with it.” Then Ash meets Daniel at their new school. Daniel is a photography fan, kind, in-tune with his emotions, scared his parents are going to get a divorce, and mourning the loss of his dog. When Daniel saves an older dog who is about to be euthanized because the owner doesn’t want to care for the elderly dog, their worlds collide and suddenly, Ash and Daniel are pinned together in this mission—save Chewbarka at all costs.

   
Animals    Bullying    Coming of Age    Diversity    Fiction    Inclusiveness    LGBTQ+    Read    Realistic    Staff Picks   
Tween   
Think Library    Kids    Reviews   

Living With Viola

Livy is starting at a new school and that's just the tip of the iceberg for her! She's growing anxious about making friends and fitting in when she feels different because of her culture as well as family expectations for her to achieve great things. Then there's Viola. The little voice in her head that tells her she's not good enough and that no one likes her. Sometimes Viola's voice is so loud that Livy has trouble expressing her own. She has to find some way to live with Viola.

This fun and funny graphic novel gives life to the concept of anxiety by featuring it as a real figure (Viola) in which Livy can interact with. Negative self-talk, worries, and feelings of overwhelming pressure plague Livy on a daily basis, but as soon as she asks her parents for help, she begins to feel relief as she learns to coexist with her anxiety.

   
Tween   
Think Library    Kids    Reviews   

I Love You Because I Love You

This children's picture book contains simple, poetic words but it expresses powerful emotion. The beautiful illustrations depict diverse characters experiencing the joys and security that unconditional love offers. I recommend reading this book with someone you love just because you love them.

Reviewed by Christa S., Senior Information Assistant

   
Family    Read    Relationships   
Think Library    Kids    Reviews   

Shirley & Jamila Save their Summer

Jamila has to find a way to avoid going to boring old Science Camp and spend more time shooting hoops! So when oddball Shirley Bones offers a deal that will keep Jamila out of camp, Jamila jumps at the offer. There is only one problem - Shirley is weird. But soon, Jamilia realizes that Shirley isn't just weird, she's a detective! The two girls set out to solve the case of the missing gecko and save their summer!

This book is a wonderfully fun mystery with a lovely tale of friendship. If you fall in love with Shirley and Jamila like I did, then be sure to take a look at the sequel Shirley & Jamila's Big Fall.

Fans of books about friendship like Shannon Hale's Real Friends and for fans of mysteries like Kate Petty's The Leak: For the Love of Truth.

Recommended for ages 8-12.

Reviewed by Kim B. Children's Librarian

   
Tween   
Think Library    Kids    Reviews   

The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned to Read

Mary, born into slavery in 1868, loved watching the birds fly free in the sky while she worked in the fields. She wanted to be free too! But she had to keep working. No time for rest. No time to learn. Even when Mary and her family were freed from slavery she still had to work hard.

One day, Mary was given a Bible, but all she could see were squiggly lines! Mary became determined to learn to read but there was always work to be done and a family to raise. Late in life, Mary said, "No more waiting! Time to learn!" You'll be amazed to learn Mary's age when she finally learned to read and became truly free.

This true story definitely shows that you are never too old to learn. I love how this book is full of hope and the vibrant collage illustrations by Coretta Scott King award winner, Oge Mara, really help tell the story in this amazing picture book biography. There are even real photos of Mary on the front and back covers.

   
Tween   
Think Library    Kids    Reviews   

My Pet Human

This first-chapter book stars an adorable tuxedo cat who loves living the outdoor life! It can hang out with its friends (other animals in the neighborhood), has lots of great places to eat, and doesn't have to worry about any pesky humans. All of the cat's animal friends have human pets with the weirdest habits and flaws––one human stays in their room all day and another's group of mini-humans jumps all over it. When a new human, a nice one, moves into an abandoned house and gives the cat some yummy tuna mac-and-cheese, the cat tries to train it to make its own "human pet."

This book is so cute and the pictures are really delightful. I love that the story is told from the cat's point of view! It is so funny. If you love cats or stories about animals this would be a good book for you! Recommended for ages 6–10.

Reviewed by Kim B., Children's Librarian

   
Animals    Friendship    Read   
Tween   
Think Library    Kids    Reviews   

Another Kind

Deep in the desert, not too far from infamous Area 51, is a government facility called the Playroom. In this secret facility are a group of six kids, who are not-quite-human. While the Playroom is a refuge for them, it is also an enclosure. A security breach soon propels them into the world––a world dangerous for "irregularities." Before they know it, this group of clever and funny kids is being hunted by employees of the government, UFO conspiracy theorists, and a mysterious and malevolent "Collector."

This graphic novel features a cast of diverse characters searching for a place to call home, as well as incredible art and some snarky, funny dialogue. If you like books with adventure & beautiful art, a high-stakes plot (without any world ending), and cryptids(!), check it out.

   
Tween   
Think Library    Kids    Reviews   

Other Boys

Damien hasn't had many positive experiences in his past. His mother was killed when he was just a baby, his brother and aunts and uncles don't understand his hobbies and passions, and he's not even sure he understands himself. So he's starting over in a new school after being bullied harshly at his last. This time around, Damien vows to stay silent and give the kids at his new school absolutely nothing to go on if they want to bully him. Yet it's lonely talking to no one and bottling up all his feelings. 

   
Other Boys   
Tween   
Think Library    Kids    Reviews   

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Reviews