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Kids Picks (5-8yrs)

Kids Picks

These are the kids picks for ages 5-8 years old.

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The Case of the Lost Boy Cover Image
ISBN: 9780807509326
Availability: In Our Shop Now!
Published: Albert Whitman & Company - September 2010

  King's people have disappeared, and a mean Uncle has abandoned King at the pound. Being a resourceful dog King comes up with a plan on finding his people, the only fly in the ointment? How to escape from the pound.....King's dilemma is solved when Connor and his Mom come and adopt him. His elation is short lived, when Connor disappears Buddy puts his search for his family on the back burner to find his new friend.

This is an engaging story, meant for a girl or boy from kindergarten to around third grade. This story would provide the start for both fun and serious conversations with kids when read together about strangers, divorce, moving, puppies, deductive reasoning and how people are defined by there smells (according to the dogs in the story). While touching on serious topics King’s or Buddy as his new family calls him, enthusiasm keeps the story from becoming to heavy for a young reader. I would recommend this for anyone looking for a fun chapter book for a young reader!

1 Accelerated reader point.

2010 Edgar Juvenile Award Winner

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The Case of the Mixed-Up Mutts Cover Image
ISBN: 9780807509333
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Albert Whitman & Company - September 2010

Buddy is a dog who has lost his humans, Kayla, Mom and Dad. However he has found new humans to watch over, Connor and Mom (Buddy is trying hard not to become too attached to since he is determined to find Kayla). When Connor and Mom announce it is time to go to obedience school, Buddy is excited, he knows his humans are very smart and will do well in class. During class he meets a pug named Jazzy whose human switched her with another dog named Muffin while at the dog park. Buddy, who understands what it is like to be separated from your person is determined to help reunite Muffin and Kathy. And perhaps Jazzy will come live with Connor and Mom to watch over them, since Buddy needs to leave Four Lakes to search for Kayla….

This is the second book in the fun series. Told from Buddy’s point of view it adds an air of excitement. You finally get to know what your dog is thinking! This series does a good job in showing how to break down seemingly impossible problems into little solvable pieces in a logical way, without ever talking down to the reader. The enthusiasm which Buddy pursues the problems keeps the story moving swiftly along. And I find it nice there is an overarching mystery to the series as well as smaller cases for each book. It gives the series a strong sense of cohesion without becoming boring or repetitive. There are five books in the series so far. The first book in the series, The Case Of The Lost Boy was the 2011 Edgar winner for best Juvenile Mystery. I would recommend this book for boys or girls (since there are a number of great female characters in the book).

Meet Me in Horrorwood Cover Image
ISBN: 9780545307437
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scholastic Paperbacks - August 2011

Creepella is a the spookiest mouse of Geronimo’s acquaintance. But her spookiness cannot keep even Geronimo’s ‘fraidy mouse streak from being friends with this fascinatingly creepy mouse! While she sleeps in a marble sarcophagus and drives a hearse, she is also a set and special effect designer for the moves and is going to school to become a journalist. Creepella’s new skills as a journalist are tested when her moat monster Gorgo’s crush Blobbina (who is also a movie star) has disappeared! And it is up to Creepella and her friens Billy Squeakspeare to find her!

I really enjoy this series and all of the great puns they use! It isn’t particularly frightening, no more than Scooby Doo ever was. With a great use of vocabulary and integrated with the color pictures it is a fun read. This series is focused on the mystery which Creepella is determined to solve. It does a good job in giving clues, following them and finding the solution to the mystery. They just begun this series and there are only two books so far, but it will grow quickly I am sure! The other book in the series is The Thirteen Ghosts. Again I would recommend this for girls (or open minded boys) who are looking for something a little bit different to read.

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Flight of the Phoenix Cover Image
By R. L. Lafevers, Kelly Murphy (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780547408453
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Houghton Mifflin - September 13th, 2010

Nathaniel Fludd is an ordinary boy, living in an ordinary village and is being raised by an ordinary governess. Nathaniel’s world tilts when he learns that his parents have been lost at sea and he is going to stay with his only living relative, Phil Fludd.

When he arrives, Nathaniel discovers he is part of a long line of explorers and adventurers, one of whom is Phil, the family’s last Beastologist, and he is expected to carry on in her footsteps! Before he knows what has happened, Nathaniel is flying off to Arabia where the last phoenix is laying its egg and it is their job to make sure that the creature stays safe. Everything is going according to plan, until Phil and Nathaniel are separated and it is up to Nathaniel to make sure the phoenix stays safe!

I enjoyed reading this story. It is a great way of introducing younger audiences to mythological creatures in an interesting way. I like the series angle of this chapter book, where you are invested in knowing if Nathaniel’s parents are really lost at sea, or who tried to make off with the Book Of Beasts and will Greasle (Nathaniel’s friendly gremlin) be allowed to stay with him and Phil. I also enjoyed the resourcefulness of Nathaniel, which didn’t veer towards the implausible!

I would recommend this to boys (sorry girls, it is told exclusively from Nathaniel’s point of view) 7+ who are looking for a fun adventure story, with long running mysteries which need to be solved!

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Fortunately, the Milk Cover Image
By Neil Gaiman, Skottie Young (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780062224071
Availability: In Our Shop Now!
Published: HarperCollins Publishers - September 17th, 2013

It all starts when they run out of milk for their morning cereal, and their Dad has to go to the corner store to buy some more. When he returns he tells a tale of alien abduction, time-traveling dinosaurs, pirates, wumpires and a volcano god. But fortunately through all that their dad managed to keep a hold of the milk so his children could eat their breakfast (and he could have his tea!). This is a very, very funny book. I would expect nothing less from Gaiman, and he has delivered a hilarious tall tale from a father to his befuddled offspring. The illustrations which accompany the book (all done by Skottie Young) are wonderful and add a whole new layer to the story. There is a great mad-capped whimsy in this book to which I cannot do true justice. I would recommend you purchase this book right away! This is a great read-aloud book, one which both kids and adults will enjoy reading. For those who like reading to their kids I would recommend this book for ages 5+. For those who have independent readers I would say 8+. You won’t be disappointed!

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Dying to Meet You Cover Image
By Kate Klise, M. Sarah Klise (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780547398488
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Houghton Mifflin - August 2010

This is the first book in this great series! It is about a grumpy old man named Ignatius B. Grumply who moves into an old Victorian manor in hopes of curing his writers block. However his new house isn’t as empty as he thought, it turns out included in his lease was Seymour. An eleven year old boy (and his cat Shadow) whose parents have left him behind while they travel and pen their own books. Even more disturbing to Mr. Grumply is the manor’s other resident, Olive a book lover in life and in her death. Who is no slouch in the grumpy department herself. Will they ever find a way to coexist? Could they ever find a way of actually liking each other?

These books are fantastic. They are told as a series of letters, telegrams, newspaper articles, contracts, sketches, floor plans and even a tombstone rubbing! They are interesting to read with a very witty sense of humor that kids and adults can enjoy. Their unique storytelling approach keeps these books from ever dragging. And there is always something new to find in the fine print or a small detail to discover when you reread the book. While the titles sound as if they are a little scary or serious I assure you they are not! There are three books in this series so far the second is Over My Dead Body and Till Death Do Us Bark, you do need to read them in order however. I recommend these books to boys (or open minded girls who are into reading chapter books!

Geronimo Stilton, Secret Agent Cover Image
ISBN: 9780545021340
Availability: In Our Shop Now!
Published: Scholastic Paperbacks - July 2008

I love this series!

It has great color pictures and words which keep kids entertained and interested! While slipping in educational material on mystery concepts as well as general information on the main plot line of the book!

This award winning series is one which I would recommend to a girl or boy ages 6-9!

AR points- most of this series is worth one point! 

Geronimo Stilton #46: The Haunted Castle Cover Image
ISBN: 9780545103749
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scholastic Paperbacks - July 2011

Geronimo is the editor of the most famous newspaper in all of New Mouse City, The Rodent’s Gazette. While at work Geronimo gets a collect call from his Uncle Samuel S. Stingysnout, inviting Thea, Trap, Benjamin and himself to A CEREMONY in his drafty old castle! But before Geronimo can get a squeak in edge wise Uncle Stingysnout hangs up, leaving him clueless to what the ceremony is about……

This is a wonderful series of books, the color pictures and words draw event the most reluctant reader in. Geronimo and his relations have great vocabularies and never hesitate to use them! They also demonstrate and explain a number of concepts well, without ever talking down to the reader, integrating them well into the stories. There are 47 chapter books and graphic novels in this series. You are sure to find one which fit’s the interests and personality of your reader! For boys and girls it is told mainly from Geronimo’s point of view but has a number of strong female leads in it as well.

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The Mysterious Woods of Whistle Root Cover Image
By Christopher Pennell, Rebecca Bond (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780544540644
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Houghton Mifflin - September 1st, 2015

Vegetables have been magically appearing at night on the roofs of town, mainly on clear moonlit nights. However no one in town is paying them much mind, they aren’t hurting anything and well they are just vegetables. They don’t mean anything…? Carly knows better. Carly is an eleven year old with a strange problem. Carly can only sleep during the day; try as she might she can’t stay awake during the daylight hours. This poses a problem, since school requires a student stay awake and her Aunt will not allow Carly to be homes schooled. So Carly knows why vegetables keep appearing on the roofs all over town. The rats of Whistle Root play music, the horn, the drum and the fiddle. They play whenever moonlight fills the night sky and can only play in groups of three up high - so the whole world can hear them play. They may not play alone or on the ground and never has a human played in any of their groups. Until Lewis and Carly meet. I really enjoyed reading this book. The story reminds me of a fairy tale: where human children are needed in order to solve the mystery plaguing the fantastic and magical creatures. Through logic, luck and pluck, Carly solves the problem no one else is awake to see. While there is a fairy tale element to the story, at its heart it is a well written mystery, one I would recommend to any girl, (or open minded boy) from 8 – 12 years old. Music plays a key role in the mystery, so if you are musically inclined (leaning twords the classical/folk) I think you would enjoy reading this story as well.

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The Sasquatch Escape Cover Image
By Suzanne Selfors, Dan Santat (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780316225694
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - January 7th, 2014

Ben Silverstein’s parents are having problems, serious problems. Rather than have him living in a home filled with tension and fighting, they have sent Ben to live with his grandfather in Buttonville for the summer. Ben is sure this is going to be the most boring summer on record. With the button factory being closed down, most of everything around town is closed as well and most of the families left as well to find work, leaving behind an empty factory, retired factory workers (like his grandfather) and a very small main street.

Boredom gives way when his Grandfather’s mouser comes back to the house with an unexpected surprise/victim in her mouth, a baby dragon. Unfortunately the baby dragon is hurt, and the only vet in town is the mysterious Dr. Woo, who has just taken over the old button factory, and claims only to treat worms.

Enlisting the town’s troublemaker, Pearl, for assistance, Ben seeks out Dr. Woo to help with their hurt dragon. Things take an unexpected turn when they discover the worm hospital is a cover for their real veterinary clientele, imaginary creatures, like dragons. However things go even more awry (and possibly disastrous) when Ben leaves the front door of the worm hospital unlocked and a Sasquatch escapes into Buttonville. Now it is up to our dynamic duo to lure him back to where he belongs, before he is seen…..

This was a fast paced, clever adventure filled with great people and funny situations. It never dragged or felt over the top (as some fantasy-ish books can feel). There are wonderful illustrations which add a whole new level to this story. The book is split into smallish chapters, which help give it a bite-size feel. If you have a kid who is hesitant to read a bigger book, this feature will help them overcome this fear.

This is just a well written and fun book, which I thoroughly enjoyed reading. I would recommend this without hesitation to any boy (or open minded girl since Pearl is a great character) between 7 and 12 years.

Thea Stilton and the Cherry Blossom Adventure Cover Image
ISBN: 9780545227728
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scholastic Paperbacks - March 2011

Thea Stilton is the sister of Geronimo Stilton, who writes as a special correspondant for her brother's newspaper. With her and her four friends they travel the world and solve the occasional mystery.

Again this series is fantastic! They have the same great features of the Geronimo Stilton books, great pictures and eye catching color words. This series has a whole lot more meat to it; since each one is set in a different part of the world they make a point of giving cultural and general information about the area they are in. While still keeping the story light and VERY entertaining!

I would recommend this series to girls (or open minded boys, since it is told exclusively from a female perspective) from ages (6-10)

In general these books are worth 2 AR points.