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Kuma-Kuma Chan's home book cover
Kuma-Kuma Chan's home book cover

Kuma-Kuma Chan's home

Kazue Takahashi

jREADER Takahash Kazue
Early Readers

Upon receiving an invitation, a boy goes to visit Kuma-Kuma Chan, a bear who lives far away, and although they have little to talk about they enjoy spending the day together.

It seems like an Early Reader book would be EASY to write, doesn't it? They're so short! In fact, the opposite is true. It is extremely challenging to craft a compelling story using a sharply limited vocabulary. For my money, Kuma-Kuma Chan's Home (and its companion, Kuma-Kuma Chan's Travels) are masterworks of the genre. A deceptively simple story, told in straightforward, no-frills prose, manages to make the heart swell at the truths about friendship, the loving bond between the characters, and the gently humorous obstacles, overcome with affable good cheer. The story bumps along agreeably, with the bear and the boy going with the flow on a day together that could have been awkward and stilted but is instead magical and sweet. -Anne W

The good left undone : a novel book cover
The good left undone : a novel book cover

The good left undone : a novel

Adriana Trigiani

FICTION Trigiani Adriana
Historical Fiction, Fiction

"From present day Viareggio to Glasgow during World War II, a multigenerational sweeping tale of love lost, family secrets, and reconciliation over decades from New York Times bestselling author Adriana Trigiani"--

"The Good Left Undone" is sweeping--a story crossing three generations covering a century. Trigiani is at her best in this novel. She really cares for her characters and this love shines through. That doesn't mean there isn't heartbreak or cruelty or tragedy in this novel. There is plenty of it--it covers mid-20th Century Europe. But Trigiani allows growth and healing to take place. To spin a quote from Edna Ferber's "So Big" mentioned in this very novel, Trigiani shows her characters living. -Anne M

A spoonful of frogs book cover
A spoonful of frogs book cover

A spoonful of frogs

Casey Lyall

jE Lyall
Picture Books, Fantasy, Humor, Cookbooks

Young readers will have a hopping good time in this hilarious story about a witch who is having a hard time wrangling a bunch of frogs into her frog soup until she comes up with a surprising solution.

Deliciously funny, cute, and perfect for the upcoming Halloween season! A Spoonful of Frogs is excellent for sharing aloud and repeated reads. -Casey

Beetle & the Hollowbones book cover
Beetle & the Hollowbones book cover

Beetle & the Hollowbones

Layne, Aliza, author.


Twelve-year-old goblin and witch-in-training Beetle enlists her former best friend, Kat Hollowbones, to help stop Kat's sorceress aunt from demolishing the mall where Beetle's friend Blob Ghost is trapped.

This graphic novel is just FUN. It's about magic, friendship, and early crushes (again, very age-appropriate). -Bond

Efrén divided : a novel book cover
Efrén divided : a novel book cover

Efrén divided : a novel

Cisneros, Ernesto, author.

jFICTION Cisneros Ernesto

While his father works two jobs, seventh-grader Efrén Nava must take care of his twin siblings, kindergartners Max and Mia, after their mother is deported to Mexico. Includes glossary of Spanish words.

This story introduces the challenges of the current immigration system and its impact on families. It centers a young boy, Efrén, and how he must deal with the challenge of his mother's deportation at school and at home. -Bond

Other words for home book cover
Other words for home book cover

Other words for home

Warga, Jasmine, author.

jFICTION Warga Jasmine

Sent with her mother to the safety of a relative's home in Cincinnati when her Syrian hometown is overshadowed by violence, Jude worries for the family members who were left behind as she adjusts to a new life with unexpected surprises.

What is life like for a refugee? What if that refugee is a kid who has moved to a country completely different from the home they've always known? This book does a great job of rejecting stereotypes and telling an authentic story. -Bond


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