If you’ve been into the youth services department lately (that’s downstairs for those who aren’t sure), then you’ve probably noticed a big brand new shelf right smack in the middle of our floor. 

We are ecstatic to share some of our favorite reads with you, and we hope you find one or two. Every other month we will be displaying some staff picks–youth edition.

These are books that your local librarians loved as a kid, loved sharing with young ones in their lives, or simply think are amazing books every kid should read. We’ve compiled a list of everything from picture books to young adult books. Here are some of the featured titles this month. 

Picture Books

One of the best things about reading is sharing fun, silly, sentimental, or fabulously fantastical stories with our youngest readers. Here are some of the picture books that we absolutely love:

Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes by Eric Litwin

Pete the Cat is a new classic. Pet has his school shoes and loves rocking out everywhere he goes. This groovy title helped my own children as they were preparing for their first days of school. 

I’m Bored by Michael Ian Black

Parents, I am sure, are familiar with this lament. This tale of a girl who couldn’t possibly be any more bored suddenly finds the tables turned when she meets a pontificating potato who insists that it’s children that are boring. Complete with dry, tongue-in-cheek humor, this title might be just what you need to liven up your own “boring” house. 

Creepy Carrots! by Aaron Reynolds (Jasper Rabbit Volume 1)

Need a hilarious tale to highlight why it isn’t good to get too greedy? Then this Caldecott Honor-winning picture book might be for you. Jasper loves his carrots. A. LOT. That is until they start following him everywhere. Stylish illustrations meet an uproariously funny tale to create just enough suspense to keep the kids entertained and listening without scaring them. 

BONUS En Español: 

La Oruga Muy Impaciente por Ross Burach from Adriana Alvarez 

“La Oruga Muy Impaciente” escrito por Ross Burach es de mis libros favoritos para leer en nuestra Hora de Cuentos! ¡Es muy gracioso! Es el libro perfecto si quieres reirte con tu pequeñín, pero también es muy bueno para enseñarle a los niños como expresar sus emociones, al igual que nos educa sobre la metamorfosis en las mariposas! 

Early Readers

For children who are emerging and growing as readers, our collection of Early Readers is leveled to help you find the right book for the burgeoning book lover in your life. We use the Fountas & Pinnell Levels to help group our books together using colored dots to help find them. Green dots fall into a Preschool or Kindergarten level, yellow dots are for our 1st grade level readers, and blue dots are for our 2nd grade readers. Here are some fun titles that may be right for your early reader. 

Clark the Shark and the Big Book Report by Bruce Hale (Clark the Shark Easy Readers)

Sharks can be scary, they can be intimidating, but not Clark. Clark the Shark often thinks he’s confident…until he’s not. In the relatable situation in this selection, Clark works through his emotions to present his book report in a way that would help build confidence in any child. This particular title is perfect for a first grader moving into second grade. 

Just a Little Sick by Mercer Mayer (Mercer Mayer’s Little Critter Easy Readers)

Mercer Mayer is coming into Dr. Seuss level (if he hasn’t already). Little Critter is probably his best known character, and I know I loved reading Little Critter books when I was a kid. In this title, Little Critter is excited to get a day off from school, that is until he realizes being “just a little sick” isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Found in our yellow dot section, this title is great for those just learning to read. 

Oh Say Can You Say? By Dr. Seuss

Speaking of Dr. Seuss, you can’t go wrong with this “sleeper” of a title. I loved reading this as a mother to my own children. The tongue twisters absolutely require you to read this with all of the silly voices and exaggerated mannerisms. Simply put, in true Dr. Seuss fashion, one cannot read this book without having fun. This title would be great for an advanced reader in the second grade level. Or you can just enjoy reading it together. 

Junior Fiction and Mystery

When I think of reading as a kid, I think of long summer days or Saturday afternoons lounging around enjoying my favorite fictional worlds. But to be honest, there are too many titles to choose from for this section, so I will hit on just a couple goodies. 

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling (MinaLima Edition)

J.K. Rowling hit the scene hard with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in the mid-nineteen-nineties. I remember wondering what all the fuss was about… until I read the book! I was obsessed with the magical world of wizarding friends, from the books to the cinematic universe. If you or your young reader like heartwarming stories with a hint of magic, give this one a go.

I Survived the Attack of the Grizzlies, 1967 by Lauren Tarshis (I Survived Series) 

Like history but find history class boring? Well, these books bring historical events to life through fictional characters. This particular tale chronicles the events of a horrific and historic grizzly bear attack in Glacier National Park through the story of eleven-year-old Melody Vega. Through the “I Survived Series,” Tarshis lets readers, young and older alike, experience events that shaped our nation and world. 

Fablehaven by Brandon Mull (Fablehaven Volume 1)

If you are looking for a book to introduce you to fantasy outside of C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia, the Fablehaven series might be perfect for you. Follow Kendra and her brother Seth as they discover and explore what is their grandfather’s charge, Fablehaven. Where mythical creatures live in… well, we can’t say harmony, now can we? 

BONUS Mystery: 

The Yellow House Mystery by Gertrude Chandler Warner (The Boxcar Children Volume 3)

What can I say about the Boxcar Children? The Alden siblings felt like my own brothers and sisters as I grew up reading about their adventures. This is one series that many of our library staff recommended, so I had to include it here. Just pick up one of these books and you will see what I mean! 

Young Adult

This is one of my favorite genres, young adult fiction, or fiction written for and about adolescents from 12 to 18. I was a high school English teacher in a past life and one of the reasons I enjoyed it was because of YA Fiction. It pushes readers to explore who they are through high-interest topics, characters they can relate to, and storylines that are not too complicated but complicated enough to make them think. Here are some of our favorite titles. 

Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy (Dumplin’ Volume 1)

In this first installment of the series, we meet Willowdean Dickson, or Dumplin’ as her “former beauty queen mom” calls her. She is not shy about her own confidence in her body as a “self-proclaimed fat girl.” So when she meets a cute former jock who unexpectedly seems to like her back, she isn’t sure what to do. In an effort to regain her confidence, she does the last thing anyone would think to do–enter the Miss Clover City beauty pageant. Witty and warming, this is a tale for anyone who needs a boost. 

The Hobbit, or, There and Back Again by J. R. R. Tolkien (Lord of the Rings Series)

I vividly remember reading this book in the sixth grade at the behest of one of my all-time favorite teachers ever. Although, I didn’t fully appreciate the story until much later. Nevertheless, this is another title that popped up on several staff member recommended reads. A more advanced foray into the realm of fantasy than Brandon Mull’s Fablehaven, this classic tale is a must-read, if for nothing more than all of the pop culture references. But really, everyone should at least try to read this book. It’s just that good. 

The Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern’s Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure by William Goldman

One of the benefits of being the author of this blog post is that I get to include many of my own favorites. (I’m not sorry, either.) This particular title has personal sentimental value, but even without that, this “tale of true love and high adventure” is just delectable. Does Buttercup actually lose her true love and be forced to wed the vile Prince Humperdink? Is the land of Florin destined for war with Guilder? Who really is the man in the black mask, the Dread Pirate Roberts? With biting wit and sarcastic humor, Goldman creates one of the best fairy tales to ever poke fun at fairy tales. 

So What’s Your Next Read?

Well, if you’ve made it this far, I applaud you! And this is just a taste of what we have on display. Of course, if nothing on that display piques your interest, be sure to stop by the desk and we will help you find your next favorite read. 

P.S. It’s still Library Card Sign Up Month! So if you need to check out one of these books–or any of our other titles–and don’t already have a library card, be sure to bring in a current photo ID and proof of current address so we can get you set up. Anyone in our community ages 0 to 100 and beyond is eligible for a library card. Help us reach our goal of 300 new library cardholders and get a sweet treat for yourself too. 

And if you are reading this from far away, be sure to visit your local library to see if you can get your hands on some of these titles.  

Happy reading, everyone!