Staff Picks

Youth Services Librarian
Malala: Activist for Girls’ Educatio
Frier, Raphaële
Charlesbridge Publishing, 2017

In early April 2017, Malala Yousafzai was nominated as the youngest UN Messenger of Peace.  Malala’s phenomenal story is featured in a vibrant new picture book:Malala: Activist for Girls’ Education.

Born in 1997, Malala has an advantage over many other young girls who live in Pakistan.  Malala’s father wants his daughter to have an education.   In fact, Malala’s father runs a school for girls.  In the mid-2000s, the Taliban took control of Malala’s city and made singing, dancing, and movie watching forbidden.  Then, in January 2009, under the Taliban, girls are barred from going to school. 

Malala dares to speak out and she writes a blog on the British Broadcasting Corporation’s website.  At this time, the Taliban is driven away from Malala’s city, but returns later with violence.  This doesn’t stop Malala from becoming a children’s activist and supporter of the right for girls to have an education. This infuriates the Taliban and they take revenge.  On October 9, 2012, the Taliban attempts to assassinate Malala on her school bus.  Malala is gravely injured and goes to England for medical treatment.  In time, Malala heals from her injuries and continues to fight for education rights for children.  In 2014, Malala Yousafzai is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.  She is only 17.  Malala is the youngest person ever to receive this honor.

Malala’s story would be great to share with older elementary school/early middle school-aged children.  It is ideal for women’s history month, a unit on activism, or a story time about inspirational kids.   

Youth Services Librarian
Sleuth on Skates
Beauvais, Clémentine
Holiday House, 2014

Sophie "Sesame" Seade is a spunky and intelligent sleuth on skates, and her parents have no idea how to handle her. When a girl at the local college goes missing it's up to Sesame and her friends to find her and unravel the mystery.   

Sesame is far more observant than any of the adults in her life give her credit for. Even after the case appears to be solved, Sesame knows that something still isn't right. She won't stopped or distracted until she has all of the answers. Sesame's adventures cracked me up. She's so precocious, and doesn't hesitate to get right into the middle of things. I look forward to reading more of her stories.  

Youth Services Librarian
If Your Monster Won’t Go to Bed.
Vega, Denise
Alfred A. Knopf, 2017

As everyone knows, putting monsters to bed is no easy task.  Your parents will be of no help; they are only good at putting children to bed.  Thankfully, there is one little girl who knows all the dos and don’ts of putting monsters to bed.  First some don’ts.  You should not bring your dog to cuddle, this will lead your monster to growl and chase your dog’s tail.  Also on the don’t list is doing the Monster Stomp.  Both kids and monsters will be having so much fun, they will be up all night.  Now for some things from the to do list:  make you monster a big glass of bug juice, brush and floss your monster’s fangs, and read your monster the scariest story you can find.  Congratulations!  Your monster should be asleep!  Now your friends need help with their dragons, werewolves, and zombies.

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.