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O'Connell, Caitlin.
New York : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014
IL K-3, RL 4.6
ISBN 0544149440

Meet adorable Liza, a baby elephant with strikingly pink ears, toenails, and tummy. Born in Namibia, Africa, she shares her scrub desert habitat with giraffes, zebras, antelopes, and lions. As a newborn weighing 250 lbs., Liza has tons of growing to do, since her mother weighs 8,000 lbs. Within a few hours of birth, Liza must travel with her extended family, covering up to 20 miles a day, to reach food and water. All of the family-oriented elephants stick together to protect Liza and the other young from attacks by prides of lions or hyenas. Read about Liza and her elephant family and discover many fascinating elephant facts, such as, they are the largest mammal on earth with the largest teeth (tusks). Elephants pass down their wisdom from generation to generation. That must amount to a lot of knowledge, since they come from the Proboscidea order, which has been on earth for 55 million years. (Booktalk by Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award Committee)

Jul 04, 15

Lewis, J. Patrick.
New York : Schwartz Wade, 2014

Two of children’s poetry’s most prolific and entertaining writers pair up to bring you a collection of wild and wonderful poems about cars. But you won’t see these cars on the highway! The poets and illustrator Jeremy Holmes have created a fantastical world full of imaginary automobiles like the bathtub car, the banana split car and the eel-ectric car. Filled with word play, rollicking rhymes and illustrations that are even wackier than the poems that inspired them, this book is impossible to read only once! (Booktalk by Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award Committee)

Jul 03, 15

Holub, Joan.
New York : Chronicle Books, 2013
IL K-3, RL 3.4
ISBN 0811878694

Little Red Writing is a story about Little Red in Pencil School, where Ms. 2, her teacher, instructs the class on how to write a story. The other pencils, Birthday pencil, State pencil, and Basketball pencil, can’t wait to write their happy, nonfiction “Great State of Pencilvania,” stories. Ambitious Little Red truly wants to write an adventure story about a brave and courageous character, who journeys through the school, fighting evil to “save the day.” Little Red begins by traipsing through the gym, bouncing, boogieing, and finally cartwheeling into the “deep, dark, descriptive forest,” the school library, on the next page. Hearing growling, the suspense intensifies as she spots a tail, and follows it into Principal Granny’s office, where Little Red meets Wolf 3000, showing his big sharp teeth instead of her Principal. Big Red musters her courage and bravery to combat the fierce pencil sharpener. Read to find out if she saves Principal Granny, now a short stub of a pencil, before it’s too late. (Booktalk by Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award Committee)

Jul 02, 15

Hanlon, Abby.
New York : Dial Books for Young Readers, 2014
IL K-3, RL 2.1
ISBN 0803740883

If you laugh at Junie B. you’ll laugh out loud when you meet lovable six-year old Dory Fantasmagory in this new beginning chapter book series. Everyone calls her Rascal but all that Dory really wants is attention and she has just enough wild imagination and endless energy to never stop trying. She’s the youngest in the family and unfortunately, her older brother, Luke, and older sister, Violet, only roll their eyes and invent scary sharp-toothed Mrs. Gobble Gracker to try and stop their little sister from being such a pest. After all, Rascal is supposed to be ready to go to first grade and it’s about time she stopped acting like a baby by asking so many annoying questions. Dory won’t quit outsmarting monsters and you’ll be surprised when she actually proves her bravery in real life! The hilarious illustrations will also help you to see her antics more clearly, and you can watch her grow in the second Dory story, Dory and the Real True Friend due out later this year. The author/illustrator, Abby Hanlon, is already thinking about her third Dory book too! (Booktalk by Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award Committee)

Jul 01, 15

Hale, Shannon.
Somerville, MA : Candlewick, 2014
IL K-3, RL 3.2
ISBN 076366510X

While young Princess Magnolia entertains an unexpected guest with hot chocolate and delicious scones in her majestic castle, her monster alarm rings. Her guest, Duchess Wigtower, enjoys visiting unsuspecting friend’s homes to uncover their secrets. Oh no, the princess does have a big secret, and, hearing the alarm, she scurries into the broom closet, secretly changing from her frilly pink gown and tiara into her black dress, tights, and cape. Clad in her Princess in Black outfit, she slides down the secret chute of her castle, climbs upon her unicorn Frimplepants, and scoots off to Monster Land. Will she reach Monster Land before the big, hungry Blue Monster gobbles up two tasty goats? Read to find out if the Princess in Black saves the tender goats and returns to her castle before nosy Duchess Wigtower figures out her true identity. (Booktalk by Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award Committee)

May 25, 15

Bell, Cece.
New York : Amulet, 2014
IL 3-6, RL 3.3
ISBN 1419710206

In her graphic novel memoir, author Cece Bell tells the story of becoming deaf at a young age and learning to live with the large contraption strapped to her chest that allows her to hear, the phonic ear. When she discovers that the phonic ear in fact allows her to hear what mere mortals cannot (like her teacher's private conversations and *ahem* trips to the bathroom), she secretly imagines herself as the superhero, El Deafo. Childhood awkwardness, negotiating friendships, new schools, and everyday fun are all wrapped up in Cece's hearing loss. With a lot of humor, this graphic novel gives us all an opportunity to learn a lot. (Booktalk by the NH Great Stone Face Committee)

Jun 30, 15

DiPucchio, Kelly.
New York : Antheneum Books for Young Readers, 2014
IL K-3, RL 2.8
ISBN 1442451025

Gaston by Kelly DiPucchio, is the story of four puppies: Fi-Fi, Foo-Foo, Ooh-La-La, and Gaston. Three of these puppies are French poodles and no bigger than teacups but Gaston, who is actually a French bulldog, is the size of a teapot! As you get to know Gaston, you’ll want to give him credit for trying to be such a proper pooch just like his sisters. One day, Gaston’s family meets a bulldog family in the park with roundish faces and three brothers named Rocky, Ricky, Bruno, and their dainty poodle sister named, Antoinette. Gaston and Antoinette quickly realize there must have been a mix-up between the families and decide to switch places. The new families look right…but they just don’t feel right. You’ll have to read this book to find out where these two adorable dogs find their rightful place and happiness. (Booktalk by Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award Committee)

Jun 29, 15

DiCamillo, Kate.
Somerville, MA : Candlewick Press, 2014
IL K-3, RL 4.2
ISBN 0763663395

The tiny thief, Leroy Ninker, who tries to steal the toaster in Mercy Watson Fights Crime, has mended his ways and returns in this spinoff series. Still planning on a career as a cowboy, Leroy, the drive-in movie concession salesman, makes plans to fulfill his dream. His coworker, Beatrice, informs him that he needs a horse, handing him a “Horse for Sale” advertisement. Leroy can’t wait to find the horse of his dreams and soon locates Maybelline, an old horse with a velvety damp nose and only four teeth. After hearing her former owner’s advice (firstly, be kind to her, “you got to talk sweet to Maybelline,” secondly, give her lots of grub, and, thirdly, never leave her alone), Leroy and Maybelline gallop away faster and faster across the fields. He has never been happier! But when he forgets an important tip about Maybelline, he fears his cowboy dreams are over. Read to find out what hair-raising adventure occurs, AND if Leroy and Maybelline ever run into some old friends. (Booktalk by Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award Committee)

Jun 28, 15

Cronin, Doreen.
New York : Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2014
IL K-3, RL 3.1
ISBN 1442496762

J.J. Tully, a dog, has his paws full. He is in charge of protecting the Chicken Squad and their mother, Moosh. Dirt, Sugar, Poppy and Sweetie (the members of the Chicken Squad) are trying to solve the mystery of what BIG, SCARY, ENORMOUS, FRIGHTENING, HUGE, TERRIFYING, ROUND, SHINY thing has scared the squirrel, Tail. You won’t believe what it is! Read The Chicken Squad and discover along with Tully what has gotten the chickens’ feathers ruffled. (Booktalk by Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award Committee)

Jun 27, 15

Cox, Lynne.
New York : Schwartz & Wade Books, 2014
IL K-3, RL 4.2
ISBN 0375958886

Elephant seals belong in the ocean, but Elizabeth is different. No one knows what draws her to settle in a busy intersection in the middle of Christchurch, New Zealand, but she makes it clear that is where she wants to be. This true story of love and determination will warm your heart! (Booktalk by Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award Committee)

Jun 26, 15

Brown, Peter.
Boston : Little Brown, 2014
IL K-3, RL 1.7
ISBN 0316070297

A young boy named Bobby has the worst teacher. She's loud, she yells, and if you throw paper airplanes, she won't allow you to enjoy recess. She is a monster! Luckily, Bobby can go to his favorite spot in the park on weekends to play. Until one day... he finds his teacher there! Over the course of one day, Bobby learns that monsters are not always what they seem. (Booktalk by Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award Committee)

Jun 25, 15

Bloom, C. P.
New York : Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2014
IL K-3
ISBN 1419708856

Monkey spies a banana tree. What will he do to get his hands on them? Monkey cleverly finds a way to outsmart a shark and get to the bananas. This mostly wordless picture book is truly hilarious! (Booktalk by Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award Committee)

Jun 24, 15

Barnett, Mac.
Somerville, MA : Candlewick, 2014
IL K-3, RL 1.9
ISBN 0763662291

Sam, Dave and their dog have a challenge. They want to dig and dig and dig until they find something spectacular – something huge – something thrilling. They seem unsuccessful. But are they really? Pay close attention to the illustrations and you’ll discover what Sam and Dave found. This book won a Caldecott Honor Medal for outstanding illustrations. (Booktalk by
Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award Committee)

Jun 23, 15

Tregay, Sarah.
Katherine Tegen Books, 2014

Jamie is a senior on the staff of Gumshoe, the school's literary magazine. He is confident with his sexuality at home where his mom and stepdad applaud him - in fact, his mom can't wait for him to have a boyfriend, and his stepfather wanted to be sure to support Jamie when he came out, so he threw him a party with balloons and "congratulations" - very charming family!

At school, though, it's a different story. He's had a crush on his best friend Mason for a long time and fears losing his friendship if he fesses up to being gay. The girls in the art class have it all figured out, though, and they attempt to work their magic to get Jamie together with his dream boy and best friend. When Jamie makes an independent decision about including a gay-themed comic for the magazine, things start happening - big time! .(Booktalk by NH Flume Committee)

Jun 22, 15

Nelson, Jandy.
New York : Dial Books, 2014
ISBN 080334964

Noah and Jude are twins who have always felt connected. Jude is the popular one, pretty and outgoing. Noah is the quiet, artistic one, who sees more in the world, but is always being picked on, until Brian moves in next door.

Fast forward two years, and things have changed. Their mom is dead, and the twins seem to have swapped lives. What happened and why comes in spurts of insight/story from each twin, both past and present, until it all comes together.

The language and imagery is delightful, with Noah being the more fanciful, but this excerpt is Jude talking to Noah:

“‘Maybe a person is just made up of a lot of people’ I say. ‘Maybe we’re accumulating these new selves all the time.’ Hauling them in as we make choices, good and bad, as we screw up, step up, lose our minds, find our minds, fall apart, fall in love, as we grieve, grow, retreat from the world, dive into the world, as we make things, as we break things.

“He grins. ‘Each new self standing on the last one’s shoulders until we’re these wobbly people poles?’

“I die of delight. ‘Yes, exactly! We’re all just wobbly people poles!’” (Booktalk by NH Flume Committee)

Jun 21, 15

Han, Jenny.
New York : Simon and Schuster, 2014
ISBN 1442426705

Lara Jean has this habit of writing really detailed love letters to boys she has crushes on in order to get them out of her system. Detailed, down to cataloging their good and bad qualities. Then she puts them away, and is done with both the boy and the letter.

Suddenly, the letters are missing, and boys are coming up to her with her letter in their hands.

This wasn't just a story of mortification, though it could have been, but it's about how Lara Jean copes with the revelations, as well as her sister Margot going off to college in Scotland, being in love with Margot’s boyfriend, taking care of her father and Kitty, now that Margot isn't around to do it, etc. (Booktalk by NH Flume Committee)

Jun 20, 15

Jury, Walter. SCAN
GP Putnam's Sons, 2014

I expected to hate this from the very beginning. Wrestling? Um, no. Aliens? Nope. But then the action drew me in.

The story of Tate and his friends and family was relatively interesting until people started shooting at them, and then the pace really picked up.

“[Dad’s] fingers close over my shoulder. ‘Tate, I know you’re angry with me. But we can fight later.’

“I wrench myself away from him. ‘Get off me.’…

“‘Tate.’ Dad grabs my arm again. ‘It’s very important that we run. Now.”… “Tate, wir müssen fliehen. Jetzt. Jetzt!” my father barks, snapping me out of my trance.

“We have to escape. Now. Clipped German words, tinged with pure desperation.”

I was emotionally involved right up until the big cliffhanger. Luckily, the sequel, Burn, comes out May 12th. (Booktalk by NH Flume Committee)

Jun 19, 15

Beautiful Music for Ugly Children
by Kirstin Cronn-Mills
Flux 2012

Gabe is a trans man, born as Liz, finally about to get out of high school, so he can begin living his life as himself.

He tells us:

“I’ve been a boy my whole life. I wish I’d been born a vampire or a werewolf instead, or with a big red clown nose permanently stuck to my face, because that stuff would be easy. Having a brain that doesn’t agree with your body is a much bigger pain…”

His best friend, Paige, is totally supportive, though there's that pesky attraction to her that makes life difficult. Gabe's parents and brother haven't been able to look him in the eye since he broke the news to them. His next-door neighbor and mentor, John, doesn't know yet, and Gabe's nervous about telling him. In the meantime, John and Gabe share a passion for music, and John's just gotten Gabe a gig DJing on KZUK in the middle of the night. Gabe calls his show Beautiful Music for Ugly Children, and is so honest and inspiring, he inspires an Ugly Children Brigade to form.

(Booktalk by NH Flume Committee)

Jun 18, 15

Lockhart, E.
Delacorte 2013

The wealthy Sinclair family (or is this the Kennedys?) owns a private island off the coast of Martha's Vineyard. They are beautiful and perfect in every way. Or are they?

Cadence is our narrator who talks about a particular summer she spends with her cousins Johnny and Mirren, and also Gat Patil (a friend and love interest of Cadence) who often stirs up the family with his political stance on the wealthy - trying to remind them that there are people who are NOT ridiculously loaded with money . They've been summering on the island together as a group for years (the patriarch of the family built three houses on the island besides his own for his three daughters, and these houses are filled with people who have secrets and lie), but this year deserves a special telling, and along the way, we learn that seemingly typical quirky teenager Cadence is damaged - has debilitating migraines and we don't learn why -- until we reach, or so we think, the TRUTH, and the book's end.

And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.

(Booktalk by NH Flume Committee)

Jun 17, 15

Sanderson, Brandon. .
Delacorte, 2013

The future is rather grim - populated and dominated by superheroes, but these superheroes - or EPICS as they're called, are not your comic book characters. Ever since "Calamity"arrived, which from the description sounds like a kind of satellite - and is hovering over the Earth, the superheroes have populated the earth as villains intent on ruling the world and eliminating anyone - human or fellow epic - who get in their way. Main character and snarky teen David's city of Chicago is ruled by Steelheart who is strong beyond measure, and can control the elements. He has turned Chicago into a shining city of STEEL. After losing his father to Steelheart as a 6 year old, David spends his entire life dedicated to finding this Epic's weakness and plans to destroy him.

Enter the Reckoners - a group of rag tag kids and adults whose mission is to restore peace by systematically taking out the epics. When David finds them, his knowledge becomes essential to their plans. Will they get to the strongest Epic to destroy him?

(Booktalk by NH Flume Committee)

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