By Pam Heller
For Younger Readers
Memoirs of a Goldfish
by Devin Scillian
This is a simple, witty story about a couple of weeks in the life of a goldfish. His life was simple and solitary and he was happy. Then various items, i.e. a sunken pirate ship, crab, angelfish, snail, guppies, etc. were added to his bowl that made his life…well, more crowded and perplexing. Goldfish wanted out! But when he’s moved to another bowl, he realizes he is lonely and actually misses the gang. This is a simple story that can be used to teach so many lessons about feelings, sharing and habitats, and also lends itself to fun follow-up projects across many subject matters. Thank you, Devin Scillian. For ages 3 to 7.
by Andrew Clements
This is the story of a lovable little stray dog that shows up on a family’s back porch. He is tired, hungry and dirty, so they feed him, bathe him, name him Mooch and welcome him into their family. As might be expected, Mooch has typical puppy habits when the family is away and gets in puppy trouble. What makes this book so adorable and such a special treasure for young readers is that it is written using Haiku poetry. And as an added bonus, the author gives a wonderful explanation of Haiku at the back on the book. Readers will want to try their own hand at this form of storytelling. For ages 4 to 9.
For Older Readers
Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library
by Chris Grabenstein
This creative mystery story is sure to entice young fans of board games or video games about finding clues and solving puzzles. Seventh-grader Kyle Keeley is one of 12 kids chosen to spend a special lock-in night of fun and games in the new town library designed by Luigi Lemoncello, a genius gamecrafter. The real challenge begins the next morning when the doors mysteriously remain locked and the kids have to find clues and solve secret puzzles to escape and ultimately win the grand prize. A key to success comes from Lemoncello’s advice that knowledge not shared remains unknown. Will the kids work together or against each other to solve the puzzle and win the prize? For ages 8 to 12.
by John David Anderson
Drew Bean is a typical middle school kid except for one thing: secretly he is a superhero side- kick-in-training who possesses super-heightened senses. Drew suffers the usual middle school nightmares of getting picked on, being embarrassed by his mom, being bad at sports and feeling self-conscience around girls. But he is called into action when the superheroes start disappearing and a supervillain returns to the city of Justica. This is a humorous, coming-of-age story for readers who appreciate the superhero genre, the sarcasm of middle school boys and stories filled with lots of action, twists and turns. For ages 10 to 14.