Book Review: The Princess in Black by Shannon and Dean Hale

Title: The Princess in Black by Shannon and Dean Hale 51Pxqbstw0L._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_
Recommended for: K-3; ages 5-8
Genre: Beginning reader
Awards: Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2014; ALSC Summer Reading List
Reviewed by: Ms. Gayle

The Princess in Black is perfect for newly independent readers, girls or boys, who like superhero capes or pink sparkles!!! Get ready for some comic action and a self-reliant, adventurous heroine. Princess Magnolia is enjoying hot chocolate and scones with the nosy Duchess Wigtower when her monster alarm (a glitter stone ring) sounds. She quickly changes into her alter ego, Princess in Black, and jumps on her steed Blacky , aka Frimplepants, the unicorn. Princess in Black has a gentle fight with the shaggy blue goat-eating monster to protect Duff, her friend the goat boy, and his goats. Meanwhile, Duchess Wigtower is snooping around the Princess’ castle. Will Duchess Wigtower uncover Princess Magnolia’s secret?  Can’t wait for the release of The Princess in Black and The Perfect Princess Party, the next book in this new beginning chapter book series due to be released in October 2015. Hope Princess Magnolia can keep her secret and continue to use her ninja moves as she keeps all safe from the (rather adorable) monsters!

Posted in Youth Program

Book Review: One White Dolphin by Gill Lewis

Title:  One White Dolphin by Gill Lewis jacket (1)
Recommended for:  Ages 8-12
Genre:  Eealistic fiction, environmental protection, wildlife rescue
Awards: Green Earth Book Award Winner 2013
Reviewed by:  Miss Joanne

Living in a small English coastal town, Kara Wood faces many challenges. School is frustrating because she is dyslexic and the target of bullies.  She and her fisherman father must live with relatives because money is scarce.  Her father may even have to sell their lovingly restored fishing boat.  Worst of all, her marine biologist mother, who spearheaded a ban on the harmful practice of dredging the area’s coral reef, disappeared a year ago leaving Kara and her father baffled and heartbroken.  The ban is now just weeks from expiring and Kara does not know which way to turn.

One day she spots an albino dolphin calf frolicking in the ocean with its mother and her whole life changes.   Days later Kara finds the calf injured as a result of unsafe fishing methods and her efforts to save it become a catalyst for change in a community that is torn between economic need and the long-term protection of the coral reef.

An unexpected friendship, the perils of an ocean storm, and Kara’s courage and willingness to do what must be done bring the story to a heart pounding yet satisfying conclusion.

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Book Review: The Way to Stay in Destiny by Augusta Scattergood

Title: The Way To Stay in Destiny by Augusta Scattergood  jacket
Recommended for: Ages 9-12
Genre: Mystery, Historical Fiction
Reviewed by: Miss Penne

Theo M. Thomas is moved from his grandparents’ Kentucky farm, and everything and everyone that he has known his entire life. Theo’s Uncle Raymond, an Uncle he has never met, has moved him to Destiny, Florida. Music, baseball and friendships help convince Theo that Destiny, Florida can be a place to stay.

Read the book to learn the famous musician that Theo is named after!


  • Probably the World’s Best Story About a Dog and the Girl Who Loved Me by D.J. Smith
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Book Review: Thursdays with the Crown by Jessica Day George

Title: Thursdays with the Crown by Jessica Day George 91w6P3eSYxL
Recommended for: Grades 4-7
Genre: Fantasy
Reviewed by: Ms.Tery, Chief Novel Detective

Celie, the youngest child of the King and Queen of Sleyne, rides a griffin named Rufus. Her home, Castle Glower, unexpectedly travels to an unknown country with Celie and her siblings inside. The children meet the King and Queen Griffin and two unexpected wizards who may, or may not, help them get back home. This third book in the Castle series continues the adventures of Celie, Pogue, Rolf, Lulath, Lilah and the Castle Glower.


  • Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson
  • Shattering by Kathryn Lasky
  • Once Upon a Marigold by Jean Ferris
  • The False Prince by Jennifer Nielsen
  • Other books by Jessica Day George.
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Book Review: Almost Home by Joan Bauer

Title: Almost Home by Joan Bauer 13505629
Recommended for: Grades 4-8
Genre: Realistic Fiction; Rebecca Caudill Young Reader’s Book Award Nominee (2015)
Reviewed by: Mrs. Crabtree

Sugar was named “to bring sweetness into people’s lives.” That’s a tough assignment when you’re newly homeless, your father takes off, and you need to care for your sick mother. But Sugar Mae Cole is a strong, spunky twelve year old who finds ways to bring sweetness to others with the help of her rescue dog “Shush,” a caring teacher, and a foster family. As she records her thoughts and dreams in her journal, she realizes that “ home is something you can carry around like a dream.”

This book deals with homelessness, alcoholism, drug abuse and other life issues through the eyes of Sugar, a young girl moved from her familiar home and school in Missouri, to the new world of Chicago.

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Book Review: Under the Egg by Laura Marx Fitzgerald

Title: Under the Egg by Laura Marx Fitzgeraldunder the egg
Recommended for: Grades 4-7
Genre: Mystery
Reviewed by: Miss Lindsy

Theodora Tenpenny has mastered the art of frugality. At thirteen years of age, she knows that she can stretch the meager dollars she has by growing and canning her own beets, altering old clothes she finds in her attic or on the street, and collecting eggs from the chickens in the backyard. Housing is not an issue for her; Theodora and her mother reside in the Greenwich Village townhouse that has belonged to her once-affluent family for decades. But Theo knows that time and money are not on her side. Her grandfather only left $463 dollars when he died two months ago, and her mother, an absentminded genius, spends her days working on equations and theorems that come to nothing.

One day Theo has an accident with some rubbing alcohol and finds that the painting that has hung above the mantelpiece for so many years hides a different painting underneath. It appears to be the authentic (and possibly priceless) work of an Old Master, Raphael. This seems like a great discovery, except…Theo’s grandfather, Jack, used to be a security guard at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Could the painting be stolen?

So the mystery begins. Theo patches together a sleuthing team as she tries to discover the origin of the painting without incriminating her grandfather. Bodhi, the daughter of celebrity parents, has just moved in down the street and is more than happy to partner with Theo in the investigation. Along the way they find that information can come from the most likely places (the hipster librarian Eddie) to the most unlikely (the chestnut vendor they see every day). With smile-inducing characters and a brilliant Manhattan setting, Laura Marx Fitzgerald crafts a masterful mystery not to be missed.

From the Mixed-up FIles of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg
Masterpiece by Elise Braoch
Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett

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Hugs & Kisses

Today’s Baby Play storytime consisted of the following:


A Kiss Like This by Mary Murphy

Baby Cakes by Karma Wilson

Counting Kisses by Karen Katz

The Cuddle Book by Guido van Genechten


“Open, Shut Them”

“Little Red Valentine”

“Yo Te Amo”


“Up Up Up”

“I’m Toast in the Toaster”

“This is Big Big Big”

Posted in Youth Program