2018-11-30 / In the Know

Books that are too good to miss

By Louise Capizzo Special to the Leader

As the days grow shorter and colder, our thoughts turn to curling up in a cozy place with a good book.

The staff in the Youth Services Room at Scarborough Public Library has lots of suggestions of wonderful books for children of all ages.

Here are a few of our favorites:

For the picture book set, “Goldfish on Vacation” by Sally Lloyd-Jones, tells the amazing-but-true story of the summer an eyesore city fountain became a home for goldfish as well as a community gathering place.

Little Red Chicken is back for another adventure in “Interrupting Chicken and The Elephant of Surprise” by David Ezra Stein.

In this laugh-out-loud story, Little Red Chicken has just learned in school that every good story has an “elephant” of surprise (not an “element”) as Papa suggests and proceeds to find elephants in lots of stories.

For those ready to tackle chapter books, Katrina Chartman’s “The Ember Stone,” the first in “The Last Firehawk” series, recounts the adventures of Tag the owl and Skya the squirrel in their attempt to save their land from Thorn, a powerful vulture, who is using magic to spread a terrible darkness.

“Louisiana’s Way Home” is perfect for fans of Kate DiCamillo.

The author tells the tender story of the resilient Louisiana Elefante, first introduced in Camillo’s “Raymie Nightingale,” whose life with her eccentric grandmother has been one of uncertainty, as she finds love, home, forgiveness and family.

Laurel Snyder’s “Orphan Island” tells of an island where one child arrives annually in a small boat that appears out of the mist.

The eldest of the nine on the island must leave in the same boat. What will happen when Jinny refuses to leave and the nine on the island become 10?

Two books by Alan Gratz merit mention.

“Ban This Book” is an empowering story of fifth-grader, Amy Anne who, when faced with books being removed from her beloved school library, conspires to run a small lending library out of her locker to raise awareness and support the freedom to read.

Gratz’s historical novel for young adults, “Refugee,” is three intertwined stories of three refugees: Josef, a Jewish boy attempting to escape Nazi Germany in the 1930s; Isabel, a Cuban girl in 1994 setting out on a raft in hopes of finding safety in America; and Mahmoud, a Syrian boy in 2015, whose family begins the long trek from their violent homeland toward Europe.

Patricia Forde’s dystopian novel, “The List,” is set in Ark where citizens are allowed to speak using only 500 words when the ruler decides that language has caused the world’s problems.

Letta, the Wordsmith, keeps track of all words, and comes to realize the importance of words and language – a realization that leads her to help overthrow the despot and restore art, language and creativity.

Need more suggestions?

Stop by the Youth Services Room. We love to find that just-right book.

For more about the Scarborough Public Library, visit our website, www.scarboroughlibrary.org.

Louis Capizzo is youth services manager for Scarborough Public Library.

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