Staff Picks

Youth Services Librarian
Fish Girl
Napoli, Donna Jo and David Wiesner.
J 741.5973 NAPOLI
Clarion Books, 2017.

Fish Girl, a new graphic novel by Donna Jo Napoli and David Wiesner, is a mix-up of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid and the old story, Beauty and the Beast.  In this book, a young girl with a fish tail is confined in a seaside aquarium and labeled as “Fish Girl,” an elusive mermaid that people can only sneak a peek at.  She is told to not to communicate with visitors or leave the aquarium by her master, a man who claims he is Neptune, God of the Sea.  The story Neptune tells to Fish Girl about her past unravels when she finds out the truth behind her origin and her captivity.  When Fish Girl befriends a visitor to the aquarium, she finds a kindred spirit in a Livia, a kind teenager.  Livia re-names Fish Girl “Miracle” or Mira for short.  Livia helps Mira take a chance at a new life as a human, not a mermaid, in the outside world.  For those readers who like graphic novels and fairy tales, this one is a winner.   For late-elementary and middle school-aged readers.  

Youth Services Librarian
Chasing Vermeer
Balliett, Blue
Scholastic, 2004

Three mysterious letters, two curious kids, and one missing masterpiece take center stage in this well-loved tale from Blue Balliett. When "A Lady Writing" from Vermeer goes missing on its way to an art exhibit in Chicago, Calder and Petra find themselves in the midst of a mystery that has captured the attention of the entire world. They're in a race against time to find the painting before it's lost forever.  

Chasing Vermeer is full of art, adventure, and puzzles. The mystery will keep you glued to the pages and you try to figure out who stole "A Lady Writing," and what their motives really are. Chasing Vermeer is our September selection for To Be Continued. Stop by the Main Library every Thursday from 4:00-5:00 to hear a few chapters each week.  

For more details about To Be Continued... and other programs offered by RPL check out our events on Facebook and .  

Youth Services Librarian
The Teacher’s Pet
Rissi, Anica Mrose
Disney-Hyperion, 2017.

Mr. Stricter has always wanted a pet. When is class’s tadpoles are ready to be released into the wild, he decides to keep one as the classroom pet. The class chose Bruno. Bruno turned out to be more than the class bargained for.  He started out as the smallest tadpole, but quickly grew; eating school supplies along the way. Mr. Stricter was blind to how large Bruno was becoming, but his students could tell that Bruno was trouble.  Bruno smashed classroom furniture, snored during silent reading, and even ate homework!  Mr. Stricter failed to listen until one day when Bruno swallowed him whole. The students used finally came up with a way to free Mr. Stricter.  Find out what happens to Bruno in this hilarious story.

Librarian Assistant - Youth Services
Freaky Stories from Beneath the Sea
McAneney, Caitie
Gareth Stevens Publishing, 2016

This is a newer non-fiction series that offers titles on a variety of topics. Some titles include Freaky Stories from Beneath the Sea, Freaky Space Stories, Freaky Stories While You Sleep, and Freaky Stories about the Paranormal.

Some of the interesting facts listed in the “Beneath the Sea” book from the series:  Have you ever heard of the Freaky Frilled Shark?  It is a rarely sighted type of shark that is considered to be a living fossil.  It has not changed much over the last 80 million years.  Scientists know this because they can compare live specimens of this shark to fossils that have been discovered.  These sharks have over 300 needle-like teeth and stay down deep in the ocean.  Another cool fact from the book:  In 1996, archaeologists found a sunken city in a bay near Alexandria, Egypt. They discovered that this was once an ancient part of the city. The find included statues, temples, monuments, and the foundation of what they believe was a palace. I loved the freaky facts section on each page.  These books are filled with great pictures, a glossary in the back and also include a section where you can find more information.