Thursday, October 20, 2016

Alchemy by Margaret Mahy

Roland is given two choices by his favorite teacher -- either spy on fellow student Jess or be turned into the authorities as a thief.  Roland has no choice but to spy on Jess.

But why is his teacher so obsessed with Jess and her family?

Who is the mysterious man who keeps following Roland?

And what is the voice in his head trying to protect him from?

This is another great supernatural romance from Australian author Margaret Mahy.  This book combines family drama, mystery, magic and romance into a story that keeps you guessing until the end.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Scary Stories for Spooky Nights

Halloween is quickly approaching.  We're making jack-o-lanterns and picking out our costumes to wear.  But don't forget to get a few creepy books to read.  Here are some of my favorite scary chapter books for kids . . .

Coraline by Neil Gaiman
Looking for excitement, Coraline ventures through a mysterious door into a world that is similar, yet disturbingly different from her own, where she must challenge a gruesome entity in order to save herself, her parents, and the souls of three others.

A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz
Follows Hansel and Gretel as they walk out of their own story and into eight more tales, encountering such wicked creatures as witches, along with kindly strangers and other helpful folk. Based in part on the Grimms' fairy tales Faithful Johannes, Hanseland Gretel, The seven ravens, Brother and sister, The robber bridegroom, and The devil and his three golden hairs.

The Doll Graveyard by Lois Ruby
Unhappy about her new home at Thornewood Manor before discovering its mysterious backyard doll cemetery, Shelby learns interesting but unsettling facts about the dolls, their strange powers, and the girl who used to own them.

Took: A Ghost Story by Mary Downing Hahn
A witch called Old Auntie is lurking near Dan's family's new home. He doesn't believe in her at first, but is forced to accept that she is real and take action when his little sister, Erica, is 'took' to become Auntie's slave for the next fifty years.

More Scary Stories --
Charlie and the Grandmothers by Katy Towell
Haunted House by Robert San Souci
The House on Stone Throw's Island by Dan Poblocki
I Text Dead People by Rose Cooper
Mothman's Curse by Christine Hayes
Professor Gargoyle by Charles Gilman
Revenge of the Witch by Joseph Delaney
Scary School by Derek Kent
The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud
Skeleton Creek by Patrick Carman
The Spider Ring by Andrew Harwell
Terrifying Tales by Jon Scieszka
Whisper in the Dark by Joseph Bruchac

Check these books out on display through November 2, 2016.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Eureka! The Most Amazing Scientific Discoveries of All Time by Dr. Mike Goldsmith

This books highlights 19 different scientists and their amazing discoveries that changed history.  The book is written in a very conversational style without a lot of scientific jargon so even someone who doesn't know a lot of science can understand it.  This is a great book for kids interested in science!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Let's Eat!

This month's theme for story time is food and eating.  Each week we are focusing on a different type of food including veggies, meat, fruits, and sweets.  Here are some other great picture books to go along with our story times this month.

Badger's Fancy Meal by Keiko Kasza
Badger is bored with the same old meals, but his search for more exciting food only leads to trouble.

Soup for One by Ethan Long
A little fly who anticipates enjoying a big bowl of hot soup is unexpectedly joined by a sequence of interlopers who help themselves to his lunch one by one until their number reaches ten.

Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds
The carrots that grow in Crackenhopper Field are the fattest and crispiest around and Jasper Rabbit cannot resist pulling some to eat each time he passes by, until he begins hearing and seeing creepy carrots wherever he goes.

Hey, Pancakes! by Tamson Weston
The day gets off to a rough start, but soon the smell of pancakes fills the air and a family gathers for a breakfast feast.

Edible Numbers by Jennifer Bass
A colorful and delicious counting book featuring an array of familiar and unfamiliar fruits and vegetables.

More Food Books --
Armadilly Chili by Helen Ketteman
Before We Eat: From Farm to Tables by Pat Brisson
Bread and Jam for Frances by Russell Hoban
Chew, Chew, Gulp! by Lauren Thompson
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs by  Judi Barrett
Eat Healthy, Feel Great! by William Sears
Fortune Cookies by A. Bitterman
Go, Go, Grapes! A Fruit Chant by April Pulley Sayre
Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Ehlert
How Martha Saved Her Parents from Green Beans by David LaRochelle
June 29, 1999 by David Wiesner
The Lion's Share by Matthew McElligott
Little Pea by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
The Little Red Hen (Makes a Pizza) by Philemon Sturges
Kitten's First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes
Me Hungry! by Jeremy Tankard
The Milkman by Carol Corsden
Muncha! Muncha! Muncha! by Candace Felming
On the Farm, At the Market by G. Brian Karas
Peanut Butter & (Jelly) Brains by Joe McGee
Possum Magic by Mem Fox
Secret Pizza Party by Adam Rubin
Thelonius Monster's Sky-High Fly Pie by Judy Sierra
Yuck! by Nick Manning

Check out these books on display at the Arnold Branch through 28, 2016.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Away We Go by Emil Ostrovski

All they do at Westing is make things up.  Maybe aliens infected all the children.  Maybe the Peter Pan virus is a punishment from God.  Maybe their memories will be downloaded in chips.  Maybe they'll just sit in a bed until they die.

Noah is at Westing boarding school / treatment center for teens with the Peter Pan virus.  All they know is they won't live to graduate.  They're just trying to make the best of the time they have left . . . .

This tearjerker for teens was a great read.  You really grow to care for Noah and the other teens at the center.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Teens' Top Ten

Every year, YALSA asks teens to let them know which books are their favorites.  Working with select teen book clubs across the country, they come up with a list of 26 books.  Teens are asked to read as many of the 26 books they can and then to vote for their favorite book.  The winning books are compiled into the Teens' Top Ten list and announced the week of October 17th.

Voting is now open at

2016 Nominee Books
Alive by Chandler Baker
All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
Black Widow: Forever Red by Margaret Stohl
Charlie, Presumed Dead by Anne Heltzel
Con Academy by Joe Schreiber
The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black
The Devil You Know by Trish Doller
Every Last Word by Tamara Stone
Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough
The Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus Sedgwick
The Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons
Hold Me Like a Breath by Tiffany Schmidt
I Am Princess X by Cherie Priest
Illuminae by Amie Kaufman
Mark of the Thief by Jennifer Nielsen
Mechanica by Betsy Cornwell
The Novice by Taran Matharu
Powerless by Tera LynnChilds
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls by Lynn Weingarten
The Summer After You + Me by Jennfier Doktorski
When by Victoria Laurie
The Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker
You and Me and Him by Kris Dinnison
Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld

Check out these books on display at the Arnold Branch through October 21, 2016. 

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Hollow Fields by Madeleine Rosca

Lucy is on her way to Saint Galbat's Academy for Young Ladies when she gets lost in the woods.  Somehow she finds her way to the school -- but the wrong school.  It is Miss Weaver's Academy for the Scientifically Gifted and Ethically Unfettered -- otherwise known as Hollow Fields.

It seems like the perfect school at first with huge private rooms and scrumptious meals prepared to order.  However, Lucy quickly discovers that it is a school for mad scientists.  The worst part though is that the student with the lowest grades each week is sent to detention . . . and is never seen again!

This is an interesting graphic novel for older kids and teens.  Lucy is a great character who never seems to lose her optimism.  The school and teachers are appropriately creepy.  A great read for those wanting a few chills with their reading.