This is the time of year when “Best Of” lists are everywhere. Although we at Kidsreads.com don’t have a “Best Of” list of our own, we’ve compiled a number of them for you here. See which of your top picks appear on these lists and which titles you feel should've been included but weren't. Perhaps you’ll even find some books to add to your reading list as we head into the new year!
Our April roundup includes THE GRASSHOPPER & THE ANTS by Jerry Pinkney, a stunning rendition of the famous fable that reminds young ones not to procrastinate; MY FOOD, YOUR FOOD by Lisa Bullard, illustrated by Christine M. Schneider, a book from the new Alike and Different series from Millbrook Press that explores how everything from outfits to language vary around the world; and CHANGES: A Child's First Poetry Collection, which sets a collection of seasonally-themed poems by the late Charlotte Zolotow against bright illustrations by Tiphanie Beeke.
Our April roundup includes KRISTY’S GREAT IDEA by Ann M. Martin and illustrated by Raina Telgemeier, the graphic novel version of the original Baby-Sitters Club book, available in full color for the first time; THE WATER AND THE WILD by Katie Elise Ormsbee and illustrated by Elsa Mora, where Lottie discovers a door in an apple tree and goes on a quest to cure her best friend’s illness; and THE 39-STORY TREEHOUSE, the third book in the popular The Treehouse series by Andy Griffiths and illustrated by Terry Denton about the coolest treehouse in the world, complete with the world’s highest trampoline and a chocolate waterfall.
In paperback this month we have TIMMY FAILURE: Mistakes Were Made, the first Timmy Failure book by New York Times cartoonist Stephan Pastis about a young spy and his polar bear sidekick; MY BASMATI BAT MITZVAH by Paula J. Freedman, in which Tara questions how to balance her Jewish and Indian identities amidst other middle school dramas; and MISCHIEF AND MAYHEM by Roald Dahl, with plenty of tricks inspired by the legendary author’s most beloved books, as well as excerpts and other extras.
Gillian Seagret discovers a missing page from Dr. Underberg's diary in her father's mess of an office --- a space-themed riddle promising to lead to Dr. Underberg's greatest invention. Enlisting the help of her younger brother, her best friend, and their NASA-obsessed schoolmate, Gillian sets off on a journey into the ruins of Omega City. But they aren't alone inside its dark and flooded halls. For while Gillian wants to save her dad's reputation by bringing Dr. Underberg's secrets to light, there are others who will stop at nothing to make sure they stay buried...forever.
Using engaging graphics and lively humor, Gonick covers all of the algebra essentials, including linear equations, polynomials, quadratic equations, and graphing techniques. He also offers a concise overview of algebra’s history and its many practical applications in modern life.
Brooklyn, New York, 1951. Twelve-year-old Pete Collison is a regular kid who loves Sam Spade detective books and radio crime dramas, but when an FBI agent shows up at Pete’s doorstep accusing his father of being a Communist, Pete finds himself caught in a real-life mystery. At the same time, Pete’s class turns against him, thanks to similar rumors spread by his own teacher; even Kat, Pete’s best friend, feels the pressure to ditch him. As Pete follows the quickly accumulating clues, he begins to wonder if the truth could put his family’s livelihood--and even their freedom--at risk.
When a new foal is born but loses his mother, Fyfe gains a loyal best friend in the colt she names "Shadow of a Doubt." Though Shadow was bred to be a work horse, Fyfe and Shadow dream that one day he'll become the greatest racehorse the world has ever known by winning the Kentucky Derby. At first, few believe in Shadow's prospects-especially when the neighbor next door, Colonel Epsom, uses his great wealth to produce racehorses of the finest caliber, and he will do whatever it takes to see them win. But Fyfe and Shadow, with the help of their animal friends, refuse to give up on their dreams.
Nestled in the grass under the big palm tree by the edge of the desert there is an entire civilization --- a civilization of beetles. In this bug's paradise, beetles write books, run restaurants, and even do scientific research. But not too much scientific research is allowed by the powerful elders, who guard a terrible secret about the world outside the shadow of the palm tree.
When Pablo gets separated from his new schoolmates during his first field trip in New York City, he doesn't know how he'll be able to find them again. Luckily, he has a little knowledge, a new friend, and the surprisingly approachable city itself to guide his way. This story features maps, archival photos, and fascinating facts to help readers explore the subway.
Eleven-year-old Nell Warne arrives on her aunt's doorstep lugging a heavy sack of sorrows. If her Aunt Kate rejects her, it's the miserable Home for the Friendless. Luckily, canny Nell makes herself indispensable to Aunt Kate...and not just by helping out with household chores. For Aunt Kate is the first-ever female detective employed by the legendary Pinkerton Detective Agency. And Nell has a knack for the kind of close listening and bold action that made Pinkerton detectives famous in Civil War-era America. With huge, nation-changing events simmering in the background, Nell uses skills new and old to uncover truths about her past and solve mysteries in the present.
It's the summer of 1963, and something strange is afoot in the quiet town of Farro, Iowa. The school district's most notorious bully has gone missing without a trace, and furthermore, seventh grader Henry Nilsson and his friends have just found an odd book stashed in the woods by Longbelly Gulch --- a moldy instruction guide written to teach the art of "subtle travel," a kind of out-of-body experience. The foursome will soon discover that out-of-body life isn't so subtle after all --- there are some very real, and very dangerous, things happening out there in the woods.
All work and no play makes Jack extremely bored. And when Jack gets bored, he makes mischief. It’s not that he’s bad; he just longs for adventure. One day, adventure finally arrives in the form of giants, and soon Jack is chasing them to a land beyond the clouds, with his little sister, Annabella, in tow. But Jack and Annabella are on a mission. The king of the giants has taken something that belongs to them, and they’ll do anything to get it back.
Both torn from their homes in Laos, a boy and a moon bear cub form a deep bond in this piercing tale of impossible odds and resilient hope, based on true conditions in Eastern Asia. Deeply and powerfully moving, MOON BEAR is an unforgettable story of compassion, hope, and bravery against overwhelming odds, and brings to light the real-life, heartwrenching plight of Asia’s endangered moon bears.
The signs are everywhere, Jory's stepfather, Caleb, says. Red leaves in the springtime. Pages torn from a library book. All the fish in an aquarium facing the same way. A cracked egg with twin yolks. Everywhere and anywhere. And because of them, Jory's life is far from ordinary. He must follow a very specific set of rules: don't trust anyone outside the family, have your work boots at the ready just in case, and always, always watch out for the signs. The end is coming, and they must be prepared.
School is Jory's only escape from Caleb's tight grasp. With the help of new friends, he begins to explore a world beyond his family's farm. Then Caleb notifies the family that the time has come for final preparations: digging in their backyard canyon at night. Every night.
As the hole gets deeper, so does Jory's doubt about whether Caleb's prophecy is true. When the real reason for their digging becomes clear, Jory must choose between living his own life or following behind Caleb, shutting his eyes to the bright world he's just begun to see.
Moving from Texas to Hawaii in 1960, 12-year-old Peggy Sue faces a difficult transition when she is bullied as one of the few haole (white) students in her school. But when her parents take a trip to Hilo, life takes an unexpected twist in the form of a tsunami.
It's 1926 and one spunky girl, Kitty Evans, joins the thousands of well–trained waitresses providing first -class service in Harvey House. She faces the often funny and painful experiences she and fellow waitresses Cordelia and Emmy endure. As Kitty writes about her escapades, a loveable teenager emerges; she embraces adventure, independence, her position as a Harvey Girl, and a freelance writing career.