Archive for the ‘Children’s Fiction’ Category

20 Titles of 2020 (Print edition)

December 22, 2020


I said it last year, and while a lot of things have changed, this particular sentiment of mine has not. So let me state once again that I’m not a big fan of creating best of lists, because I’m far too literal a person to declare anything “the best of 2020.” That being said, I have read all kinds of really wonderful books published this year. And I’ve read them in many of different formats. In this post I’ll focus on books we have physical copies of in the library, and in the next one I’ll do a round up of some 2020 favorites from overdrive and Hoopla. So as we head into the new year, here are 20 of my favorite titles published in 2020.

Young Adult Books

Just a boy and a girl in a little canoe by Sarah Mlynowski

The gravity of us by Phil Stamper

You should see me in a crown by Leah Johnson

Yes no maybe so by Becky Albertalli & Aisha Saeed

The voting booth by Brandy Colbert

Mind the gap, Dash & Lily by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan

10 things I hate about Pinky by Sandhya Menon


She came to slay : the life and times of Harriet Tubman by Erica Armstrong Dunbar

Lifting as we climb : black women’s battle for the ballot box by Evette Dionne

True or false : a CIA analyst’s guide to spotting fake news by Cindy L. Otis.

Big friendship : how we keep each other close by Aminatou Sow, Ann Friedman.

Why we’re polarized / Ezra Klein

Kids Books

Kenzie kickstarts a team by Kit Rosewater

Ice breaker : how Mabel Fairbanks changed figure skating by Rose Viña

Finish the fight! : the brave and revolutionary women who fought for the right to vote by Veronica Chambers 


Primer : a superhero graphic novel written by Jennifer Muro & Thomas Krajewski

Check, Please! 2 : Sticks & Scones by Ngozi  Ukazu

Drawing the vote : an illustrated guide to voting in America by Tommy Jenkins 


Party of two by Jasmine Guillory

Party of Two: Guillory, Jasmine: 9780593100813: Books


Everything comes next : collected and new poems  by Naomi Shihab Nye

Everything Comes Next: Collected and New Poems: Nye, Naomi Shihab:  9780063013452: Books

19 Titles of 2019

December 12, 2019


I’m not a big fan of creating best of lists, because I’m far too literal a person to declare anything “the best of 2019.” That being said, I have read all kinds of really wonderful books published this year. So as we head into the new year, here are 19 of my favorite titles published in 2019.




Kids Books

National Native American Heritage Month

November 7, 2019


November is National Native American Heritage Month. According to a study conducted by the Cooperative Children’s Book Center only one percent of children’s books published in 2018 depicted characters who are American Indian or First Nation. Here are some recommended titles all written by native authors:

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Ladybug Picture Book Award

October 7, 2019


Did you know New Hampshire has its own picture book award? The Ladybug Picture Book Award is designed to promote early literacy and honor the best in recent children’s picture books. A committee of children’s librarians from around the state selects 10 picture book titles each spring. Then, during November, New Hampshire children from preschoolers to those in third grade choose the award winner. The winning picture book is announced at the end of the year. This year’s nominees are truly fantastic. Stop by the kids room and check them out:

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Click by Kayla Miller

September 30, 2019


Olive just wants to find her place. Used to always getting along with everyone, being left out of all her friends plans for the school’s talent show really throws her for a loop. With the date of the performance drawing near, Olive is convinced she will never come up with something good enough on her own. But with a little help from her fierce and fabulous Aunt Molly, Olive might just realize how wonderful it can be to be yourself and stand out. Click is a sweet and funny graphic novel. A lovely and quick read.

You can find Click on Libby/Overdrive.

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Two Dogs in a Trench Coat Go to School by Julie Falatko

August 27, 2019


Sometimes books find us when we need them. This is a story of just such a book. It was a dreary Friday afternoon in March. With the energetic chaos of February school vacation week programs behind her your friendly neighborhood children’s librarian was feeling just a bit run down. There were books to be bought, budgets to be tracked, programs to be promoted, statistics to be compiled, meetings to be scheduled, and any number of other things that needed attending to. Really, it had just been one of those weeks where for every item she emphatically checked off her to-do list two more magically appeared in its place. And then, just as it was all getting to be a bit too much. It appeared in the check in bin. The book that would turn the whole week around. The book that would soon be pushed into the arms of many a library co-worker with only a cursory exclamation of “you have to read this! It’s so good!” (And dear reader it was so good. They thought so, and if you’ve continued reading this far into this rather unusual book review I believe it highly probable you will too)

Which book is it you ask? What great piece of literature could possibly inspire such a lengthy lead up? Well prepare yourself my friends, for you too may find that Julie Falatko’s “Two Dogs in a Trench Coat Go to School” is just the book you never knew you needed. Now I know what you’re thinking, “Two Dogs in a Trench Coat,” really, really? Yes, really. I will endeavor to describe it just a bit, but honestly if you are in need of a laugh, you should just take my word for it and check this one out!

Do you have a deep love in your heart for office supplies, this book is for you. Do you wonder just what your dogs are thinking when you leave them to go to work or school, this book is for you. Do you enjoy wacky hijinks, this book is for you. Do you want a book that provides kid friendly jokes but also includes an astonishing number of Golden Girls references, this is that book. Is everyone in your household a little stressed about going back to school, and you’d like something that you could all enjoy reading aloud together? You know what I’m going to say. Put it on hold already

Two Dogs in a Trench Coat Go to School is available on audio on Hoopla, and both eBook and audiobook on Libby/Overdrive.

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The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street by Karina Yan Glaser

November 30, 2017

[SAM] November is family literacy month! One of my favorite new literary families is the Vanderbeekers! Siblings Jessie, Isa, Oliver, Hyacinth, and Laney find out five days before Christmas that their beloved old brownstone in Harlem will no longer be their home. The landlord, Mr. Beiderman, has refused to renew the family’s lease on their apartment. But to the Vanderbeekers kids this building is like a member of their family, and they won’t abandon it that easily. 

This is a great middle grade novel about family and the meaning of home. Chapters alternate perspective among all the siblings. You get very specific pictures of all five kids ranging in age from five to twelve. Their apartment and the neighbors around it are also lovingly described.

It’s not a Christmas book book per say, but has a little bit of Christmas in it, which makes it a fun family seasonal read! A perfect book for fans of The Penderwicks or The Silver Sisters series! Find it HERE

The Vanderbeekers can be found on Libby/Overdrive.

The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street - ebook

Cinnamon, by Neil Gaiman

October 31, 2017


It won’t surprise Gaiman fans that he presents this fairy-taleish story with surprising and delightful language and a wry, humorous take on the adult world from a child’s (and tiger’s perspective). I read it several times and enjoyed it even more with each reading. Much of the style and language hearkens back to Kipling’s Just-So Stories (I could almost hear the O Best Beloved in some of Gaiman’s phrasings), but it is like a nod to an old master by a new one – not derivative in any way, more a recognition of a long tradition in storytelling.

The story is about an Indian princess (named Cinnamon, of course) who is blind and who does not speak. Cinnamon’s well-meaning parents bring in many teachers to whom they promise wealth, etc. if they can get the girl to talk. Finally, a man-eating tiger arrives to take his turn, and if successful, to claim the rewards.

Parents may think because of its picture book format that this will be a good choice for very young children. Many stories in picture book format though are actually more appropriate for older kids and this is one of those. Anyone who has tried to read longer picture books like The Story of Ping or The Little House to younger kids will usually find the story can’t hold the child’s interest yet. On the other hand, sharing these with kids in early elementary school is a better match.

Cinnamon is available on Hoopla.

Check the library catalog for availability or to place a hold

Gabby Garcia’s Ultimate Playbook by Iva-Marie Palmer

September 11, 2017


“But this, dear unauthorized reader (or should I say intruder?) is a playbook. My ultimate playbook, in case you wanted clarification. It’s where I keep all my thoughts and ideas and strategies about how to win at life. Yeah but how is that different from a diary, you ask? Look, diaries are usually about what happened. Playbooks are about how you make things happen.”  

What I love about this book is Gabby’s confidence. She’s good at baseball, she knows it, and she’s proud of that. Even when things don’t work out her way, even when she’s a little over confident, even when she struggles, this story never punishes Gabby for being loud and proud.

The transition to a new school and finding her place on a new team are not as easy as Gabby assumed they’d be. But the skilled, confident Gabby we see in the book opening scene is the same Gabby we see at the end of the book. And along the way, she learns that no one succeeds alone, and no one is an all star all the time.

This book is super fun with appealing Diary of a Wimpy Kid style illustrations. A great chapter book for fans of realistic graphic novels like Roller Girl. Find it Here

Also available on Hoopla.

Space Battle Lunchtime : lights, camera, snacktion! by Natalie Riess

May 9, 2017

[Sam] Have you ever watched Iron Chef and thought, this is great but I really wish the contestants were aliens? If you are currently shouting at your screen “YES, YES, I THINK THAT ALL THE TIME!!!” this graphic novel is so for you. Don’t read any further, just take my word for it and put it on hold,  Find it Here.

Now for the rest of you, who maybe don’t spend as much energy wishing extraterrestrials would invade your favorite reality show, don’t worry this book is also for you. In fact you may have a lot in come with the main character of this book. Peony was honestly very happy being an awesome baker in an adorable earth based coffee shop. But after unwittingly accepting an offer from a strange customer she finds herself the newest contestant on Space Battle Lunchtime, a super popular alien cooking competition broadcast all over the universe.

This graphic novel is just fun. The art is bright, the story is simple, but entertaining. A fun read for kids or adults! Check it out now and you’ll be all caught up when vol. 2 arrives this summer.