Kids

Betty before X book cover

Betty before X

Ilyasah Shabazz

eAUDIO
Kids

Raised by her aunt until she is six, Betty, who will later marry Malcolm X, joins her mother and stepfamily in 1940s Detroit, where she learns about the civil rights movement.

Anne W's picture

Hopeful, heartwarming, but honest about real hardships. -Anne W

From the desk of Zoe Washington book cover

From the desk of Zoe Washington

Janae Marks

eBOOK
Kids

"Avid baker Zoe Washington receives a letter on her twelfth birthday from her biological father, who is in prison for a terrible crime"--

Paul's picture

The author, Janae Marks, deftly weaves the all too common experiences of African-Americans with the U.S. justice system and its fallout into an engaging tale of a young girl on the cusp of adulthood, juggling several things at one time while balancing what she feels is the right thing to do and the fear of suffering the consequences, both if she does or does not follow through in her quest. -Paul

Wink book cover

Wink

Rob Harrell

eAUDIO
Kids

After being diagnosed with a rare eye cancer, twelve-year-old Ross discovers how music, art, and true friends can help him survive both treatment and middle school.

Angie's picture

A cancer survivor himself, author Rob Harrell brings both honesty and humor to this comics-illustrated book. If you liked Cece Bell’s El Deafo -- like Cece, Ross imagines a superhero alter-ego to help him through the frustrating ups and downs of friendship. -Angie

The familiars book cover

The familiars

Adam Jay Epstein

eBOOK
Kids

When a scrappy alley cat named Aldwyn passes himself off as a magical animal companion to Jack, a young wizard in training, Aldwyn and his fellow "familiars," a know-it-all blue jay and bumbling tree frog, must save the kingdom after the evil queen of Vastia kidnaps Jack and two other wizards.

Becky's picture

A cat AND magic?! I think this is a book that I would have loved as a child. First in a series, “The Familiars” follows a seemingly ordinary cat named Aldwyn who is mistaken for an animal with magical abilities. He is paired up to assist Jack, a young wizard in training. When Jack and other wizard apprentices are captured, Aldwyn pairs up with a magical blue-jay and a tree frog on a quest to save them. Their quest is full of adventure, magic, humor, secrets and self-discovery. -Becky

Keeper of the lost cities book cover

Keeper of the lost cities

Shannon Messenger

eBOOK
Kids

At age twelve, Sophie learns that the remarkable abilities that have always caused her to stand out identify her as an elf, and after being brought to Eternalia to hone her skills, discovers that she has secrets buried in her memory for which some would kill.

Becky's picture

I want to give a big shout out to the tween patron that recommended this series to me! I think this is a series that will appeal to audiences of all ages, particularly to fans of Harry Potter and Percy Jackson. Shannon Messenger excels at character development, dialog, and intriguing plotlines. In “Keeper of the Lost Cities,” we follow Sophie’s passage into a new world, where we try to unravel the mysterious elements behind her powers and abilities. While I love the fantasy elements of this story, I also really appreciate Shannon Messenger’s focus on relationships, integrity, and bravery. I think many kids (and adults) reading this will find things to relate to and will quickly get sucked in to the fantastic storytelling. I’ve got the next book on hold and can’t wait! -Becky

Gregor the Overlander book cover

Gregor the Overlander

Suzanne Collins

eBOOK
Kids

When eleven-year-old Gregor and his two-year-old sister are pulled into a strange underground world, they trigger an epic battle involving men, bats, rats, cockroaches, and spiders while on a quest foretold by ancient prophecy.

Becky's picture

Looking for a middle-grade fantasy adventure series? “Gregor the Overlander” follows Gregor and his adorable two-year-old sister as they fall through a grate and enter the world of the Underland. Gregor finds that the uneasy cohabitation of humans with large spiders, cockroaches and rats in the Underland has placed this world on the brink of war. Interwoven throughout this fast-paced narrative, Suzanne Collins allows the reader to explore issues of tolerance and loyalty. Well written and exciting—a great start to the Underland Chronicles series! -Becky

The goose girl book cover

The goose girl

Shannon Hale

eAUDIO
Kids

On her way to marry a prince she's never met, Princess Anidori is betrayed by her guards and her lady-in-waiting and must become a goose girl to survive until she can reveal her true identity and reclaim the crown that is rightfully hers.

Casey's picture

Readers will love cheering for Ani as she learns to take charge of her destiny in this nuanced and clever retelling of a classic fairytale. Though the first installment in the Books of Bayern Trilogy, Goose Girl is a fabulous standalone. I’m loving listening to the full cast audio recording for my reread! -Casey

The forgotten girl book cover

The forgotten girl

India Hill Brown

eBOOK
Kids

When eleven-year-old Iris sneaks out at night to make snow angels, she was not expecting to raise the ghost of Avery Moore, a girl her own age; but bringing to light the segregated and abandoned black cemetery seems like the perfect way to help Avery get the recognition she craves, and it will also be a good idea for the school project about the history of her small North Carolina town, where racial tensions are never far from the surface--only it seems that if Avery gets everything she wants Iris will join her as a ghost, best friends forever.

Anne W's picture

Can they figure out what the ghost wants, and what her story is, before it’s too late? This is a classic ghost story that also teaches readers about systemic racism in the past and present. -Anne W

The inquisitor's tale, or, the three magical children and their holy dog book cover

The inquisitor's tale, or, the three magical children and their holy dog

Adam Gidwitz

eBOOK
Kids

"A peasant girl and her holy greyhound, an oblate on a mission from his monastery, and a young Jewish boy travel across medieval France to escape persecution and save holy texts from being burned"--

Paul's picture

Recommended for upper elementary and above, for some content and word complexity. -Paul

Where the mountain meets the moon book cover

Where the mountain meets the moon

Grace Lin

eBOOK
Kids

Minli, an adventurous girl from a poor village, buys a magical goldfish, and then joins a dragon who cannot fly on a quest to find the Old Man of the Moon in hopes of bringing life to Fruitless Mountain and freshness to Jade River.

Casey's picture

Believing the fantastic tales her father weaves every night, Minli sets out on a quest to change their family’s fortune. If you have yet to read Grace Lin’s Newbery Honor winning modern classic, now might be the perfect time to escape to Fruitless Mountain. -Casey