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MADreads for Kids

Book reviews for children by library staff and guest contributors

Old Sins Cast Long Shadows

Cover of Ghost Boys
A review of Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes

I liked Jewell Parker Rhodes' book Towers Falling. So it was with great anticipation that I picked up her newest, Ghost Boys. Ghost Boys confronts another difficult, and all too real issue in today's society.  Twelve-year old Jerome is shot and killed by a police officer while playing with a toy gun in a park near his house.  Now, as a ghost, Jerome sees the devastating aftermath of his killing on his family, his friend, and his community.  Jerome meets the ghost of Emmett Till and hundreds of other ghost boys roaming the earth as their tragic history keeps replaying.

Feb 6, 2019

Newbery Greatness

Cover of Merci Suarez Changes Gears
A review of Merci Suarez Changes Gears by Meg Medina

This year's Newbery Medal went to Merci Suarez Changes Gears, a snappy and emotional novel about a middle school, family, and how little life changes add up fast. Sixth grade is not off to a great start for Merci-- things she's always loved to do are no long "cool", friendships seem to suddenly come with all these unwritten rules, and her beloved grandfather is acting more and more confused.

Feb 1, 2019

Keeping the light on

Cover of Hello Lighthouse
A review of Hello Lighthouse by Sophie Blackall

Sophie Blackall has won the Caldecott Medal for her incredible ode to lighthouses and the extraordinary lives of lighthouse keepers and their families. Blackall has illustrated such a broad range of books for children, including a board book featuring a GLBT family, the chapter book series, Ivy & Bean, and picture books about wild boars who go out to dinner, an

Jan 29, 2019

Snowed In

Cover of May B
A review May B by Caroline Starr Rose

If there is one thing the collective body of literature about frontier life has told us, it's that life on the prairie was rough stuff. In Caroline Starr Rose's riveting novel in verse, a lone little girl goes up against the Kansas grasslands, where being alone means being ALONE, and winter can come as early as it wants.

Jan 25, 2019

Life Among the Leaves

Cover of Everything You Need for a
A review of Everything You Need for a Treehouse by Carter Higgins

Everything You Need for a Treehouse (Chronicle Books, 2018) is for anyone who has ever dreamed of living in a treehouse (kid or adult, alike!) The lyrical text is a perfect match for the amazingly glorious illustrations of many different treehouses – from adventurous boat to glass castle. More poetic than practical – the story focuses on the importance of a big imagination, time, and space to explore (rather than the nuts and bolts of building & construction).  I bet you will start dreaming of your own amazing treehouse after reading this book!

Jan 11, 2019

Sweet Tunes for Tweens

Cover art
A review of Every Voice by Kira Willey

Got a tween fan of folksy pop music, but maybe you’re not quite yet ready for them to dive into some of the mature themes of many of the songs on the radio today?  Check out Every Voice by Kira Willey.  Full of catchy music and empowering lyrics, this album settles comfortably in that sweet spot between Laurie Berkner (who makes a cameo on this album, actually) and Taylor Swift, with a hint of mindfulness for balance.

Jan 4, 2019

All Hail the Snail!

Cover of Escargot
A review of Escargot by Dashka Slater

He’s my new favorite animal, this snail who hails from France.  From his beret, red scarf and blue and white striped shirt, down to his trail of “shimmery stuff.” From his speedy race across a checked tablecloth to reach the delicious salad with very specific ingredients, “a salad with croutons and light vinaigrette and absolutely no carrots,” to his sad realization that no one chooses snails as their favorite animal.  I love this intrepid little character who invites readers to make fierce faces with him to scare away carrots, race him to the salad, and give him a kiss.

Dec 21, 2018

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