Family

Allergic

Sometimes Maggie feels left out. Her mom and dad are preoccupied with getting ready for the new baby, her twin brothers are always in their own little twin world, and even her friends seem to be distracted with other things.

Maggie convinces her parents that a puppy is the perfect answer, but a trip to the animal shelter just makes things worse! Turns out Maggie is severely allergic to many kinds of pets. Then Maggie makes a new best friend. Claire has just moved in next door and seems to answer all of Maggie's troubles until she does something that makes Maggie feel completely misunderstood.

   
Allergic   
Tween   
Think Library    Kids   

Endling: The Last

The Queen, Katherine Applegate, has done it again.

Endling: The Last is the first book in a fantasy-adventure trilogy. Applegate does a brilliant job of introducing us intimately to a lovable cast of characters, including the series' heroine Byx, believed to be the last dairne (a race of sentient anthropomorphic dog) in the land of Nedarra. Byx is joined by a motley crew of companions in her quest to find the legendary ancient home of the dairnes and survive the pursuit of the land's power-mad ruler.

The characters' plights and small-scale drama are expertly woven into the backdrop of a fully realized fantasy world, with tantalizing hints toward mysteries to be unraveled and secrets to be revealed. In classic Applegate fashion, the book is full of truly heart-pounding action sequences coupled with thought-provoking parallels between this fantasy setting and our own world.

   
Adventure    Family    Fantasy    Read   
Tween   
Think Library    Kids   

Glitter Gets Everywhere

Kitty, her sister Imogen, and her father all have different ways of coping with the loss of their mother and wife. When her father takes a new job opportunity, the family moves to New York. Though you may think that moving to a different city would stop Kitty from constantly being reminded of her mom, the opposite seems to hold true, and Kitty is reminded of her mom everywhere she goes.

Glitter Gets Everywhere is a great book because provides a heartwarming way to approach the very difficult topic of the loss of a parent. The book would also be helpful if you are coping with the loss of any loved one. Additionally, it contains strong themes of family, connections, and holding onto memories. Recommended for readers ages 8–12.

Reviewed by Kim B., Children’s Librarian

   
Family    Read   
Tween   
Think Library    Kids    Reviews   

When You Trap a Tiger

Lily’s grandmother, Halmoni, would tell Lily and her sister Sam fantastic stories filled with stars, tigers, and magic whenever they’d visit. But when Halmoni gets sick and Lily and her family move in, the stories have a way of becoming real! Lily soon starts to see a mysterious tiger around their town which prompts her to make a desperate plan to trap the tiger to save Halmoni! 

When You Trap a Tiger by Tae Keller is a beautiful story that left me daydreaming about the origin of stories, the meaning of family, and the importance of heritage.

There are so many things to love about this book––the connection to Korean culture, the love of storytelling prevalent throughout the novel, the gentle coming-of-age themes, and the beautiful messages about family and coping with the imminent death of a loved one––it is no surprise that it won the 2021 John Newbery Medal! 

Recommended for readers ages 10–14. 

––Reviewed by Kim B., Children’s Librarian

   
Diversity    Family    Fantasy    Fiction    Folklore    Inclusiveness    Read    Staff Picks   
Tween   
Think Library    Kids   

A Wolf for a Spell

Young wolf, Zima, has always been told by her pack-mates that humans and witches are evil, dangerous beings that should be attacked at first sight. Yet, when a young girl ventures into the woods with the aim of running away from the orphanage in town, Zima can't bring herself to attack the girl. A legendary witch, Baba Yaga, witnesses Zima's hesitance and decides that Zima is exactly the wolf she needs to help her. But are Baba Yaga's intentions really as evil as Zima's pack has always told her?

This spin on the classic Russian folktales of Baba Yaga will have you guessing what twist and turn will take place next as storylines entangle and long-held secrets unfold. This tale is perfect for readers who love fairy tales and folktales and themes of family and friendship. Recommended for ages 8–12.

Reviewed by Ginny H.

   
Animals    Family    Fantasy    Fiction    Folklore    Friendship    Staff Picks   
Tween   
Think Library    Kids   

Lia & Luis Who Has More?

Brazilian American siblings explore math concepts while trying to figure out who has more of their favorite snack. This story includes Portuguese vocabulary along with various measuring terms such as more, less, heavier, lighter, and eventually...equal! This includes a glossary for the Portuguese words used and tips for exploring math concepts with children. Recommended for children ages 3–6.

Reviewed by Christa S.

   
Preschool   
Think Library    Kids   

Everything Sad is Untrue: (a True Story)

Indeed this is a true story of a boy named Khosrou, who became known as "Daniel" when he and his mother and sister immigrated to the United States. Author Daniel Nayeri writes from his perspective as a child who loved his relatives and his ancient house in Iran, but was forced into a long immigration process when his mother, a doctor, converted from Islam to Christianity and was thereafter considered a criminal in her own country. The fictionalized account makes many references to the storytelling of the legendary Persian queen Scheherazade, and Nayeri writes as if his own survival depends on telling the many small stories and captured memories, whether poignant, mundane, or traumatic, that make him the person he is today. Humor and also sadness abound, and there is some blood and violence.

This book won the Michael L. Printz Award for literary excellence in young adult literature, in 2021.

   
Award Winner    Diversity    Family    Read   
Tween   
Think Library    Kids    Reviews   

While I was Away

When 12 year-old Waka's parents think she needs to brush up on her Japanese, they send her to Japan to live with her Obaasama, her grandmother, who lives in Tokyo. Five long months in a Japanese only school, giving up her summer vacation and her best friends back home in Kansas! In addition to dealing with the pressure of reading and writing in only Japanese, and making friends at school as a gaijin, an "outsider," Waka also learns how to connect with her complicated and distant grandmother.

A memoir of her time in a Japanese school, Waka T. Brown's story of growing up in two worlds and sometimes feeling like an outsider in both, is a compelling glimpse into life in Japan in the 80s. I loved learning right along with Waka, and her insights in how the past can sometimes haunt those we love, and knowing that can help us know them better.

Reviewed by Senior Information Assistant, Claire C.

   
Biography & Memoir    Diversity    Family    Read   
Tween   
Think Library    Kids    Reviews   

Early Literacy Skills and 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten

1,000 Books Before Kindergarten

Babies and toddlers are like little sponges, hungrily soaking up everything around them. Curiosity to understand, explore, observe, and taste everything around them is crucial to early brain development. These natural instincts sometimes lead to exciting and embarrassing stories to tell at their high school graduation. These little people are constantly observing, listening, and emulating the world around them, especially their caregivers. You are babies' and toddlers' first (and most important!) teachers!

   
Think Library    Kids   

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