Staff Picks

Librarian Assistant
Adventure According to Humphrey
Birney, Betty
G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2009

Humphrey is back in his fifth book, this time he is exploring boats. The children in his classroom are learning about what floats and why as well as pirates. Humphrey’s keep eyes help him see trouble brewing. What can one little hamster do?
A classroom hamster has many adventures visiting week-ends the children’s homes …

Youth Services Librarian
The Crossover
Alexander, Kwame
Houghton Mifflin, 2015

Twins Josh and Jordan Bell do everything together: play video games, study, and play basketball. Together, they make an unstoppable pair on their junior high basketball team. Their dad, a former professional basketball player helps them work on their game all the time. They have practiced together so much; they know what the other one is thinking when they are on the court and where the other is going to go ahead of time.

During the season, things start to unravel for Josh and Jordan. Jordan suddenly has a girlfriend, leaving Josh alone for the first time in his life. Josh is understandably upset, and takes it out on his brother the one place they have always gotten along: on the basketball court. The consequences of this action leave Josh even more upset and confused. All the while, Josh notices that his father isn’t feeling well, eventually having a heart attack. 

Will this family tragedy bring Josh and Jordan back together again? Find out in this Newbery Award winning novel told in verse. 

Youth Services Librarian
How Ben Franklin Solved a Mystery that Baffled All of France
Rockcliff, Mara
Candlewick Press, 2015

In my recent delve into books about Ben Franklin, I found a great new book about Franklin’s later life, when he visits Paris in 1776 and finds a mysterious situation a foot. In Mesmerized: How Ben Franklin Solved a Mystery that Baffled All of France, Franklin finds that Paris, France is infatuated with Dr. Franz Anton Mesmer, an German man who claims to use “animal magnetism” to cure people of illness.  Franklin is charged to investigate this amazing claim by King Louis XVI, Franklin’s royal host in France. With the help of three assistants (including the inventor of the Guillotine), Franklin questions, observes, analyzes, and repeats studies on Dr. Mesmer’s patients. Franklin concluded via the scientific method that “animal magnetism” does not exist, and that Dr. Mesmer’s patients were feeling better due to their own minds – the “placebo effect.”  Dr. Mesmer was defamed, and Ben Franklin returned to the United States to help draft the United States Constitution. Ben Franklin was pretty amazing as a statesman, inventor, scientist, and skeptic. This title is recommended for elementary-middle school aged children.

Mary Poppins & Page Turner
Youth Services Pet Frogs
One Frog Sang
Parenteau, Shirley
Candlewick Press, 2007

Mary Hoppins, our senior frog reviewer, had this to say about the book, “I loved the variety of frogs and the counting!  Our junior reviewer, Page Turner commented that “the book was so true to life” and   “their songs were so beautifully rendered”. Check out this ribbiting book. You can count on fun!