A list of MPL Youth Services Librarians' recent favorites in young fiction
Eva is back in Rebecca Elliott’s brilliantly illustrated series. Meet Eva, her pet bat Baxter, and all her friends in Mrs. Featherbottom’s class. Written as Eva’s diary, beginning readers will love the bright colors and relatable stories of friendship and fun in this early chapter book. #3 of 5 in the Owl Diaries series
A new series out from the author of the Katie Woo. Follow Pedro as he navigates the 1st grade and everything that comes with it! New friends, soccer games, and even a run for class president. Simple text with full color illustrations mixed it, every 1st grader will love this First-Grade hero!
Jasmine Toguchi is excellent at solving mysteries, and she needs to be to figure out why her best friend Linnie is suddenly upset with her. Jasmine, a Japanese American child, has invited Linnie over to celebrate the traditional Japanese holiday of Girls Day, but nothing seems to be going right. Early elementary readers will definitely relate to this silly, yet poignant story of friendship. #2 of 4 in the Jasmine Toguchi series.
A martial arts book for newly independent readers with generous, attractive illustrations AND a female protagonist? Yes, please! Bunjitsu Bunny stars the brave, but never aggressive rabbit, Isabel. Each chapter is a stand-alone story about different encounters she has, making this a perfect bedtime book (no stressful cliffhangers!). Although Isabel uses considerable bunjitsu skills against a few antagonists in the book she goes to great lengths to avoid fights whenever possible. The red, black and white illustrations created with a brush stroke style enhance the reflective mood and guide new readers to understand the text. #1 of 4 in the Bunjitsu Bunny series
Kevin Sherry is a children librarian’s favorite already with his I’m the biggest thing in the ocean picture book series. The new Yeti Files series is full of the same silly humor, great illustrations, and fun. Your beginning reader will love Blizz Richards, his secret layer, and wacky adventures. #3 of 3 in the Yeti Files series
Lola Levine is ambitious, spunky, and very competitive on the soccer field. But when her competitive streak gets the best of her, knocking down her friend in an attempt to steal the ball at recess, she gets labeled as MEAN by her classmates. But Lola is not mean; she’s a good friend and as incredibly sweet big sister. I would recommend this middle level chapter book to strong girls like Lola everywhere. Her poise as she navigates this very relatable problem is wonderful, and the beautiful text and action packed illustrations take this book to the next level. #1 of 3 in the Lola Levine series.
The new series Calpurnia Tate Girl Vet, is an excellent introduction to historical fiction and perfect for any aspiring veterinarian. In this first book of the series, Calpurnia and her brother adopt an abandoned baby skunk they find the woods… with all the anticipated (and stinky!) repercussions. Calpurnia uses her ever curious brain to the solve problems of her new patient, including a scientifically accurate solution to a skunk’s spray. Quick moving chapters with interspersed pencil illustrations make this an accessible read for beginning readers. #1 of 3 in the Calpurnia Tate Girl Vet series.
If your little reader hasn’t discovered Lulu yet, they are in for a treat! Possibly this librarian’s favorite character in young fiction, I anxiously await British author Hilary Mckay’s next installment. Her most recent addition is no exception. A lover of all animals, Lulu has built a reputation for herself amongst her classmates, so she shouldn’t be too surprised when Emma Pond drops a poor unwanted hamster into her care. Lulu loves her new friend, building it mazes, and giving it lots of opportunities to exercise, but she is afraid to leave her new charge at home during a weekend visit to her Nan’s. What could possibly go wrong? Apparently everything. Your beginning reader and animal lover will adore this silly early chapter book story of an escaped hamster at grandma’s house and possibly fall for Lulu too. #6 of 6 in the Lulu Series.
Max’s parents have recently split, and the family has a big transition to make. This chapter book for upper 3rd or 4th grade has three distinct stories on Max’s first three weekends at his dad’s new place. This would-be heavy subject is lightened by Max and Dad’s silly adventures of being top secret spies, organizing an impromptu open mic night in their living room, and creating a diorama of a porcupine habitat. Each of these adventures increases the bond between Max and Dad and helps them settle into this new life together.