Stories to Scare Your Socks Off As Recommended by School Library Journal

For Younger Readers

 

Dinosaur Thunder by Marion Dane Bauer (for preschool – grade 1)

What If…? by Anthony Browne       (for preschool – grade 2)

When Lions Roar by Robie H. Harris                  (for preschool – grade 2)

Some Things Are Scary by Florence Parry Heide          (for preschool – grade 2)

Black Dog by Levi Pinfold      (for preschool – grade 3)

Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds (for preschool – grade 2)

Bedtime Monsters by Josh Sneider   (for preschool – 1)

The Dark by Lemony Snickett (for preschool – grade 2)

 

For Middle Grade Readers

 

The Mostly True Story of Jack by Kathy Barnhill        (for grades 4 – 7)

Doll Bones by Holly Black      (for grades 4 – 8)

Infestation by Timothy Bradley                  (for grades 5 – 8)

Coraline by Neil Gaiman                   (for grades 3 – 6)

A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz                   (for grades 4 – 7)

Professor Gargoyle by Charles Gilman      (for grades 4 – 7)

The Orphan of Awkward Falls by Keith Graves (for grades 4 – 7)

Raven’s Gate by Anthony Horowitz           (for grades 5 – 8)

Home Sweet Horror by James Preller                  (for grades 3 – 5)

Literally Disturbed: Tales to Keep You Up at Night by Ben H. Winters

(for grades 3 – 6)

BURNT TOAST MAKES YOU SING GOOD by Kathleen Flinn

Kathleen Flinn’s earliest memories revolve around a life of rural poverty near Davison, Michigan.  Little Kathleen didn’t realize how cash-poor her family was, (possibly because her mother told her they were shopping in the ritziest store in Flint, when in reality they were buying used clothes at a thrift store) but also because the Flinns ate delicious food they made from scratch from their own harvest.  They couldn’t afford to buy processed products at the grocery store.   Flinn’s book mixes rollicking stories about her various relatives’ misadventures canning, deer hunting, and fishing with recipes for the comfort food she grew up loving.  This is a funny and heartfelt book about food and growing up in mid-20th Century Michigan that many readers can probably relate to.

 

Reviewed by Lynn Heitkamptoast

Hispanic Heritage Month Booklist 2014

To view the entire list click here

Childrens

Abuelo by Arthur Dorros
Together, a young boy and his Abuelo go camping, ride horses, get lost and found, and even confront a mountain lion.  When the boy’s family moves to the city from the country, away from Abuelo, it is his memories that help him adjust to his new life.

Gazpacho for Nacho by Tracey Kyle
Gazpacho for breakfast, gazpacho for lunch, gazpacho for dinner, for snack and for brunch, which is the only thing that Nacho wants to eat.  He won’t even try other dishes —until he discovers the miles and piles of mouthwatering vegetables at the market. 

Green Is a Chile Pepper: A Book of Colors by Roseanne Greenfield Thong
Yellow is masa, tortillas, and sweet corn cake.  These are just some of the featured objects in this fun-to-read rhyming book of colors.  The rich boisterous illustrations reinforce the beautiful colors found in every child’s day.

 

Teen

Aristotle & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Saenz
Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime.

Caminar by Skila Brown
A novel in verse inspired by actual events during Guatemala’s civil war, Caminar is the moving story of a boy who loses nearly everything before discovering who he really is.

The Death of Fidel Perez by Elizabeth Huergo
On July 26, 2003, the 50th anniversary of the Moncada Army Barracks raid that sparked the Cuban revolution, something unexpected happens. When Fidel Pérez and his brother accidentally tumble to their deaths from their Havana balcony, the neighbors’ outcry, “Fidel has fallen!” is misinterpreted by those who hear it. That wishful mistake quickly ripples outward on the running cries of the people, and it gloriously reawakens a suppressed city.

 

Adult

Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez
A triumph of storytelling, Henríquez pulls us into the lives of her characters with such mastery that we hang on to them just as fiercely as they hang on to one another and their dreams.  This passionate, powerful novel will stay with you long after you’ve turned the final page.

Chasing the Sun by Natalia Sylvester
Andres suspects his wife has left him—again.  Then he learns that the unthinkable has happened: she’s been kidnapped.  Too much time and too many secrets have come between Andres and Marabela, but now that she’s gone, he’ll do anything to get her back.  Or will he? Set in Lima, Peru, in a time of civil and political unrest, this evocative page-turner is a perfect marriage of domestic drama and suspense.

Cubop City Blues by Pablo Medina
Poet and novelist Pablo Medina’s Cubop City Blues, fuses raw, passionate language and elegant lyricism to breathe life into a musically disguised New York City, shaped by jazz masters, refugees, and storytellers.  Our guide into Cubop City is the Storyteller, born nearly blind and shrouded in his mother’s guilt.

Stubby the War Dog: The True Story of World War I’s Bravest Dog by Ann Bausum

Stubby was a stray Boston bull terrier who became the mascot for the Army’s 102nd Infantry division.  His Master, J Robert Conroy, smuggled him to the front lines of battle in WWI France. This is the story of how Stubby helped the soldiers in the trenches by warning of gas attacks and sniffing out the enemy.  Wounded in battle, he later cheered injured soldiers in the Army hospitals and assisted in finding wounded soldiers on the battlefield. Once, Stubby even captured a German soldier!  A true story of one of America’s bravest dogs, filled with period photographs and artifacts, Stubby the War Dog is sure to delight fans of history and animal-lovers alike.

Reviewed by Kim White, Hoyt Library.

Recommended for grades 5 and up.

THE DAY I LOST MY SUPERPOWERS BY MICHAËL ESCOFFIER

“The day I discovered I could fly, I knew that I was special.”  So begins a tale of a young
superheroine and the development of her superhuman strengths.  With each one she
discovers, a variety of exhilarating achievements and troubling setbacks occur. All of it leads
the masked hero to wonder “if my parents could tell – if they knew about my superpowers.”
The answer is revealed one day when her powers short-circuit, and Mom must step in
to save the day.  While the sparse text relates the girl’s impressions, the masterfully simple
illustrations reveal a more ordinary reality.  Pair this title with Ladybug Girl by Jacky Davis
and David Soman for a storytime of every day superheroes.

Reviewed by Jennie Tuttle, Wickes Library.

Recommended for preschool – 3rd grade.

How to Lose a Lemur by Frann Preston Gannon

Everyone knows that once a lemur takes a liking to you, there isn’t much you can do about it.  So when a lemur starts following the young boy in this story, he knows there isn’t much he can do about it, but he tries anyway.

He tries ignoring the lemur, hiding in a tall tree, riding his bike as fast as he can to get away, but that doesn’t work, AND the lemur is joined by his lemur friends—so now the boy has a whole passel of lemurs following him around.  He tries being upfront and honest and telling them to leave, but alas that doesn’t work either.

The boy had no choice but to continue trying to get away—he bought a ticket on a fast train, drifted across a lake in a boat, took to the skies in a hot air balloon, traveled across a scorching desert, climbed the highest mountain in a blizzard—but all that running got the boy was lost.  And alone.  But as he looked around, he started to see some familiar faces who guided him back home, realizing that lemurs aren’t so bad after all, and maybe they could be friends, because as everyone knows. . .

Once a lemur takes a liking to you, there is not much that can be done about it.

Reviewed by Kathy Thornhill, Zauel Memorial Library.

Recommended for preschool-1st grade.

Searching for Sarah Rector: The Richest Black Girl in America by Tonya Bolden

Coretta Scott King award winner Tonya Bolden investigates the story of Sarah Rector, a Cherokee freedman’s daughter, who became the richest girl in America due to the discovery of oil on land she owned as part of the land allotment she received in the breaking up of the Oklahoma Indian Territories.  Sarah’s wealth put her in great danger from those who would profit off her land. Newspapers reported that Miss Rector was missing and may have been done in for her fortune. Those stories set off an alarm leading to the search for Sarah Rector.

Bolden uses primary source materials to investigate what really happened to Sarah Rector and shows that a little bit of investigative research can help you solve history’s mysteries.

Reviewed by Kim White, Hoyt Library.

Recommended for grades 5 – 8.

 

DOG VS. CAT BY CHRIS GALL

One day, Mr. and Mrs. Button visit animal shelters to pick out a pet—unfortunately, they visit different shelters.  Mr. Button brings home a friendly-looking dog, while Mrs. Button brings home a smart-looking cat.  Since they live in a rather small house, Dog and Cat must share a room.

Dog and Cat do NOT get along.  They are TOTAL opposites.  Dog is sloppy while Cat is a neat freak.  Dog likes to keep in constant touch with all his friends and Cat likes to play games all night long.  And then, there was the litter box issue, which started a battle of epic proportions—each trying to get the upper hand over the other—that resulted in separation and time out for both, which did give them time to think about how much each missed the other one.   Upon release from their confinement, Dog and Cat find themselves united in trying to deal with the new TERRIFYING creature Mr. and Mrs. Button brought home.

Reviewed by Kathy Thornhill, Zauel Memorial Library.

Recommended for preschool-2nd grade.

THE ADVENTURES OF BEEKLE: THE UNIMAGINARY FRIEND BY DAN SANTAT

On an island far away, imaginary creatures are created and impatiently wait to be dreamed of by a real child.  Once imagined, the friends meet up for a lifetime of fun.  However, after watching all the other creatures be whisked off to their happy-ever-after, one particular imaginary friend gets tired of waiting.  Taking the initiative, he sets out to find his perfect match and special name – Beekle.  This richly illustrated title is sure to start great discussions about best friends, real and imaginary.

Reviewed by Jennie Tuttle, Wickes Library.

Recommended for ages 3 -6.

THE TILTED WORLD by Tom Franklin and Beth Ann Fennelly

It is the spring of 1927 and it has been raining in Hobnob, Mississippi since November. The levees along the river are reaching their breaking point when two federal agents enter town looking for the local bootlegger. Ted Ingersoll and his partner have been charged with tracking down two missing Prohibition agents, but they also have brought an orphaned baby they found on their way. Ingersoll, an orphan himself, can’t bear to leave the child with the indifferent local authorities, so, after making some inquiries, he gives the baby to Dixie Clay Holliver, a young mother who has lost her only son. Little does he know at the time that Dixie Clay’s rascal of a husband is the bootlegger he’s been searching for – or that Dixie Clay is actually the genius distiller behind their high-end whiskey.

The husband-and-wife team of Franklin and Fennelly has written a story that is a Western at heart. Ingersoll is the good-hearted cowboy charged with a duty that puts him at odds with the woman he loves, and Dixie Clay is the feisty heroine who has to relearn that there is more to life than mere survival. Their story, set during one of the most devastating floods in our nation’s history, is hard to put down.

 

Reviewed by Lynn HeitkampWorld

POPULAR MECHANICS GADGET PLANET: 150 GIZMOS & INVENTIONS THAT CHANGED THE WORLD

Popular Mechanics magazine and the History Channel formed a panel of experts ranging from astronaut Buzz Aldrin to David Pogue, Technology columnist for The New York Times.  The purpose of the group was to select the 150 most significant gadgets invented to date.

 gadgetA gadget is something you can hold in your hands.  Mechanical or electric, it is a “mass-produced, personal item that evolved from novelty to necessity and ultimately shows its paradigm-shifting power.” 

 The judges argued over all but one ranking:  the easy top pick was the smartphone.

 Each of the entries for the 150 gadgets includes information about the inventor, the year of invention, a photo, and some clever and interesting background data that makes the significance of the invention clear.

 This is a fun and informative book that kids and teens would love, and that could spark many a lively debate among adults as well.

 Reviewed by Kate Tesdell

SYNC into Teen Literature this Summer!

Kim4webSYNC is now available at the Public Libraries of Saginaw to encourage literacy by listening for teens ages 13 and up through the summer. This program offers two complete audiobook downloads each week, featuring a Young Adult title paired with a Classic title. 

How to download titles:

 

Titles are delivered through the OverDrive Media Console.  You can download the software to whichever device you use.   You can sign-up to receive alerts by text message, email newsletter or follow the SYNC blog through the Overdrive Media Console.

 SYNC is sponsored by AudioFile Magazine and titles are delivered through OverDrive Media Console.

I REMEMBER YOU by Yrsa Sigurdardottir

This is a ghost story that takes place in Iceland.  There are two stories that alternate chapters.  At first, they seem to be unrelated, but eventually overlap and entwine.  Two couples purchase a house together in a remote, abandoned fishing village.  It’s a popular tourist destination, and has regularly scheduled ferries in the summer.  Of course, they decide to go in the winter to renovate it into a bed and breakfast for the following summer.  They are completely alone there, with no electricity or plumbing.  Cell phone service is available if you hike to the top of a hill…  As the man with the boat drops them off, he seems disturbed when they tell him which house they are staying at, but doesn’t tell them why….  Meanwhile, a psychiatrist is helping his police officer neighbor  to investigate a school break in and a suicide that seem to be somehow connected to the disappearance of his young son three years ago. 

I thought the Icelandic names were a little confusing, especially at first.  Quite a few characters and places are introduced in the beginning chapters, and sometimes I had to flip back and forth to remember which town was which.  It is also a British translation, so they have torches instead of flashlights and jumpers instead of sweaters.  It had a very creepy feeling, especially the empty town on the edge of the sea in the winter.  Hesteyri does actually exist, and there are pictures of it online.  (I didn’t find any reference to actual ghosts there, though.)  It was interesting to read about a place so far away.

Reviewed by Fiona Swiftremember

INVENTION OF WINGS by Sue Monk Kidd

wingsIf you read and enjoyed The Secret Life of Bees you will be sure to want to read Sue Monk Kidd’s latest work of historical fiction. The Invention of Wings is about two women in the south in the 1830’s who strive to be free.  Sarah Grimke, a wealthy white woman, is prisoner to the times of pre-suffrage sexism. Her maid, Handful, suffers under the bondage of slavery. At 11 years old, Sarah is given Handful to be her own personal maid as a gift. Sarah is appalled by this. The Invention of Wings is based loosely on the real-life story of Sarah Grimke, an abolitionist and suffragist. Together the two women fight to be set free. Sarah and her sister, Angeline, rebel so vocally that their lives are threatened and they are forced to leave Handful, their home, and families. Their crime: believing in the civil rights of African Americans and women.

Reviewed by Linda Brown

2014 NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English) Notable Poetry List

J 979.1004 Fl              Flood, Nancy Bo.  Cowboy Up!: Ride the Navaho Rodeo

J 811.54 Ge                 Gerber, Carole.  Seeds, Bees, Butterflies, and More!: Poems for Two Voices

J 811.54 Hu                 Hughes, Langston.  Lullaby (for a Black Mother)

J 821.008 Po               Kennedy, Caroline, ed.  Poems to Learn by Heart

J 811.54 Le                 Lewis, J. Patrick. Face Bug

J 811.54 Le                 Lewis, J. Patrick.  When Thunder Comes: Poems for Civil Rights Leaders

J 811.54 Le                 Lewis, J. Patrick.  World Rat Day: Poems About Real Holidays You’ve Never Heard Of

J 811.54 Pr                  Prelutsky, Jack.  Stardines Swim High Across the Sky and Other Poems

J 811.54 Si                  Sidman, Joyce.  What the Heart Knows: Chants, Charms, and Blessings

J 811.54 Si                  Singer, Marilyn.  Follow Follow: A Book of Reverso Poems

J 811.54 Si                  Singer, Marilyn.  Rutherford B., Who Was He? Poems About Our Presidents

J 808.1 Po                   Vardell, Sylvia & Janet Wong, eds.  The Poetry Friday Anthology for Middle School: Poems for the School Year with Connections for the Common Core

J 808.81 Wh                Wheeler, Lisa.  The Pet Project: Cute and Cuddly Vicious Verses

J 811.54 Wo                Worth, Valerie.  Pug and Other Animal Poems

J 811.54 Yo                 Yolen, Jane & Rebecca Kai Dotlich. Grumbles from the Forest: Fairy-Tale Voices with a Twist

J 811.54 Yo                 Yolen, Jane.  Wee Rhymes: Baby’s First Poetry Book

I ALWAYS LOVED YOU by Robin Oliveira

The stormy relationship between Edgar Degas and Mary Cassatt is explored in this rich novel about art and love in late 19th Century Paris.

This was the era when a group known as the Impressionists created colorful, light-filled paintings that did not resemble what the art establishment expected to see in a serious exhibition.  They were frequently excluded from the prestigious Salon de Paris.  When Frenchman Degas met American-born Cassatt at the Salon and then introduced her to the rest of the Impressionists, it started a long and fruitful friendship. Their working relationship never resembled a traditional love affair, but they inspired each other as true equals – all the while hurting each other in ways no one else could.  It is a bittersweet story about two fiery people who needed each other, but were too set in their ways to admit it.

Oliveira is the author of the well-regarded Civil War novel My Name is Mary Sutter.  Her second book should put her on a list of to-read authors for lovers of historical fiction.

 

Reviewed by Lynn Heitkamploved

I ALWAYS LOVED YOU by Robin Oliveira

The stormy relationship between Edgar Degas and Mary Cassatt is explored in this rich novel about art and love in late 19th Century Paris.

This was the era when a group known as the Impressionists created colorful, light-filled paintings that did not resemble what the art establishment expected to see in a serious exhibition.  They were frequently excluded from the prestigious Salon de Paris.  When Frenchman Degas met American-born Cassatt at the Salon and then introduced her to the rest of the Impressionists, it started a long and fruitful friendship. Their working relationship never resembled a traditional love affair, but they inspired each other as true equals – all the while hurting each other in ways no one else could.  It is a bittersweet story about two fiery people who needed each other, but were too set in their ways to admit it.

Oliveira is the author of the well-regarded Civil War novel My Name is Mary Sutter.  Her second book should put her on a list of to-read authors for lovers of historical fiction.

 

Reviewed by Lynn Heitkamploved

SHAKESPEARE’S RESTLESS WORLD: A PORTRAIT OF AN ERA IN TWENTY OBJECTS by Neil MacGregor

MacGregor, Director of the British Museum since 2002, uses 20 ordinary objects from the past to define and explain how the ordinary British man or woman saw the world at the time of Shakespeare.  From a simple communion chalice to an apprentice’s cap, from a musical clock to plague proclamations, MacGregor brings history to life and gives a new and more immediate meaning to Shakespeare’s plays.  This is a fascinating, highly readable look at London during the time in and around 1600.  If you find this as interesting as I did, you may want to look for MacGregor’s earlier book, A History of the World in 100 Objects.

 

Reviewed by Kate Tesdellshakespeare BY

SHAKESPEARE’S RESTLESS WORLD: A PORTRAIT OF AN ERA IN TWENTY OBJECTS by Neil MacGregor

MshakespeareacGregor, Director of the British Museum since 2002, uses 20 ordinary objects from the past to define and explain how the ordinary British man or woman saw the world at the time of Shakespeare.  From a simple communion chalice to an apprentice’s cap, from a musical clock to plague proclamations, MacGregor brings history to life and gives a new and more immediate meaning to Shakespeare’s plays.  This is a fascinating, highly readable look at London during the time in and around 1600.  If you find this as interesting as I did, you may want to look for MacGregor’s earlier book, A History of the World in 100 Objects.

 

Reviewed by Kate Tesdell

FALLEN WOMEN by Sandra Dallas

Dsandraenver in the year 1885 was the gilded glory of the west. High society flourished and millions of dollars turned over daily. But, Denver had a greasy sinister side as well. Gambling, prostitution, and extreme poverty ran rampant. It is into this environment that the author, Sandra Dallas, drops wealthy Manhattan missionary, Beret Osmundsen.  Her strong-willed wayward sister, Lillie, has been found brutally murdered in a Denver brothel and Beret is bent on justice.  

Lillie as it turns out is not the wronged and innocent child that Beret believes her to be. Beret’s high society aunt and uncle (Lillie’s Denver charges) also disappoint, disillusion and disgust. Aided by Detective Sergeant Mick McCauley, Beret learns truths about life, death, self and love in her search for the murderer of her sister.

 Dallas always gives the reader a finely crafted tale, but this “era” novel is particularly engrossing.

Reviewed by Neica Dey

Noteworthy & New

2014 Riverside Saginaw Film Festival

November 6 - 9

The Public Libraries of Saginaw is proud to Sponsor and participate in the 8th annual Riverside Saginaw Film Festival. This year the festival runs from Thursday, November 6th through Sunday, November 9th and features independent, foreign, and short films as well as documentaries and panel discussions. Films will be shown on 6 screens throughout the City, including several free films at the Hoyt Library.

Click here for the schedule and to buy tickets.

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