Staff Picks

Librarian Assistant
Stink: the Incredible Shrinking Kid
McDonald, Megan
Candlewick Press, 2005.

James Moody, also known as Stink, learns he has more in common with his favorite president, James Madison, than just their first names when they celebrate Presidents' Day at school. Stink is the little brother of the famous Judy Moody and this is the first chapter book in which he stars. Being the shortest kid in 2nd grade isn’t easy and when his big sister measures him, he gets shorter!  What is going on?! There are several surprises that keep the pages turning!

Youth Services Librarian
Queen Victoria’s Bathing Machine
Whelan, Gloria
Simon and Schuster, 2014

In continuation of my summer water theme, (in June I reviewed Breathe about a whale, and in May I reviewed President Taft is Stuck in the Bath), I read the new book Queen Victoria’s Bathing Machine. This humorous title written by Gloria Whelan and charmingly illustrated by Nancy Carpenter, chronicles the real-life building of a bathing machine for her royal highness Queen Victoria.  It wasn’t acceptable for women to swim in public in the mid-1800s, much less a reigning Queen.  But Queen Victoria really wanted to swim in the ocean.  A dip in the sea meant freedom for Victoria – freedom from heavy dresses, from the summer heat, and from having to act “queenly.”  So her husband, Prince Albert, ever concerned for his wife’s happiness, constructed her a “bathing machine.”  This small house on wheels allowed Queen Victoria to drive from her summer home up to the ocean, dress in her swimming suit, and privately enter the water.   As stated in the book, “No one will get so much as a peep, except for the creatures down in the deep.”  A happy Victoria enjoyed the bathing machine for years.  Today, it is restored and stationed at the Queen’s former summer home, Osborne House on the Island of Wight.  The public may visit the royal house and the inventive “bathing machine.”  This book is for elementary to middle school-aged children who are interested in quirky history.

Youth Services Librarian
Shooting the Moon
Dowell, Frances O’Rourke
Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2008.

Twelve-year-old Jamie is definitely an Army brat.  She has moved all over the world while her father was in the Army.  Now they are stationed in Texas and her brother, who has recently graduated high school, has decided to enlist. Jamie is excited…her brother is finally living out their Army dream and will be headed to the Vietnam War. Her mother is upset, and surprisingly so is their father. Jamie thinks it will be one big adventure, but soon her brother starts sending home rolls of pictures he has taken in Vietnam. Jamie quickly learns that the war is not the adventure she thought it was.  Find out what happens to Jamie and her brother in Shooting the Moon