Otter Goes To School by Sam Garton
(Balzar & Bray, July 2016)
Our lovable Otter is very interested in what happens at the mysterious place called school. While his otter keeper is gone for the day, Otter “teaches” math, lunch, and more. But Teddy thinks he is not good at anything. It’s a gentle book with a sweet message for preschoolers everywhere.
Lion Lessons by John Agee
(Dial Books, July 2016)
Violin, karate, and knitting lessons are not for this young man–he’s signing up for lion lessons from a master teacher with a degree from the Harvard School of Claw. We soon learn lioning is not as easy as it seems. Our scrawny young friend finds he needs extra practice in looking fierce, roaring, prowling, and pouncing; in fact, he needs a lot of extra practice! Just when we despair he’ll ever earn his diploma, we realize he’s a natural at the most important lesson of all!
Cockatoo, Too by Bethanie Murgeia
(Little Bee Books, January 2016)
Silliness abounds in this colorful tropical rainforest of tutued cockatoos and can-canning toucans. Begging to be read aloud, the simple but tongue-twisting text is sure to delight!
The Summer Nick Taught His Cats To Read by Curtis Manley
(Simon & Schuster Books, July 2016)
A quiet book about a little boy just learning to read that has a fun twist: he reads aloud to his two cats. One is interested and one is, well, a typical cat. Verne reads to himself after Nick goes to bed and becomes the voracious reader that you imagine Nick will be. And what about Stevenson, the other cat?
School’s First Day of School by Adam Rex
(Roaring Brook Press, July 2016)
A few times each year, you come across a picture book that’s the perfect marriage between author and illustator. SCHOOL’S FIRST DAY is one of those books. Adam Rex tells the story of a new school that opens for the first time, conveying the school’s anxieties and excitement of housing children. Christian Robinson’s illustrations bring the story lovingly to life with situations everyone will recognize. Perfect for use in a school or in a home. Just delightful!
Job Wanted by Theresa Bateman
(Holiday House Books, July 2015)
A down-on-his-luck scruffy dog arrives tired, hungry, and looking for a job at the farm at the end of a dirt road. When the farmer tells him “Dogs just eat and don’t give anything back,” the hound pluckily applies for the position of cow. Although he makes the milking process much more efficient, he doesn’t get the job. Disappointed but not discouraged, the dog shows up bright and early each morning, applying for the positions of various farm animals, determined to prove his worth to the farmer. Job Wanted heartwarmingly and humorously proves the power of persistence.
Tru & Nelle by Greg Neri
(HMH Books for Young Readers, March 2016)
Tru is different from most boys in Monroeville. And Nelle is different from most girls. So, naturally, a friendship is formed. Tru and Nelle long for adventure in their tiny town, and as everyone knows, if you look for adventure you’ll usually find it. Based on the childhood friendship of Truman Capote (Breakfast at Tiffany’s) and Harper Lee (To Kill a Mockingbird), this story follows Tru and Nelle through a rollicking tale eerily reminiscent of To Kill a Mockingbird, and you will find yourself laughing and crying at the adventures of two friends with wild imaginations. *This review was written by one of our junior reviewers. Call us to find out how to be a junior reviewer.
As Brave As You by Jason Reynolds
(Atheneum Books, May 2016)
Genie and his older brother Ernie head to rural Virginia to spend a month with their grandparents while their parents take a summer vacation. Genie has seen his Grandma only once and has never met Grandpop. Life in the country is pretty straightforward: there’s chores each day and places to explore. But Grandpop won’t go outside and shuts himself away in a room for hours at a time. During the month in the country, Genie learns that bravery comes in many different forms and that families can sometimes find their way back together.
This Is Not A Werewolf Story by Sandra Evans
(Atheneum Books, July 2016)
Raul is one of the students at One Of Our Kind boarding school. He is something of a loner and seems to have been abandoned by his parents. When all the other boarders go home on weekends, Raul escapes into the woods where he is magically transformed into a wolf and joins his wild animal friends. There is mystery, adventure, shape-shifting and questions of identity and friendship, all told with beautiful language and imagery that leaps off the pages.
Beware That Girl by Teresa Toten
(Delacorte Press, May 2016)
Kate is a scholarship student at Waverly Academy in New York and she’ll stop at nothing to gain admission to Yale. A major part of her plan is befriending fragile, wealthy Olivia. The novel alternates between the voices of the two girls, and you don’t ever really know who is telling the truth. It was impossible to put down! Consider this GIRL ON THE TRAIN or GONE GIRL for grades 9 and up
The Killer In Me by Margot Harrison
(Disney-Hyperion, July 2016)
Nina Barrows has a dark secret. She can “see” through someone’s eyes, and this someone is a serial killer. She is determined to figure out who the killer is and why he does what he does. With the help of a sometime friend, she travels cross country in this creepy (in a good way) thriller for teens.