Great Books for Children III

Compiled by the Youth Services staff here at the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library.

Hogwash by Karma Wilson
(ages 3-6) The Farmer has decided it’s time the farm animals had a bath. Most of the animals line up for their turn, but the hogs just aren’t giving up their mud. Can they convince the farmer to let them be?

Library Lion by Michelle Knudsen
(ages 3-8) One day, a lion walked into the library. Everyone was afraid of him, and the lion didn’t know the library rules. He came back every day to listen to story time – and even helped the librarians. But will they let him stay even if he sometimes breaks a rule?

I Need My Monster by Amanda Noll
(ages 3-8) What if the monster under your bed went on vacation? This happens to one little boy who can’t sleep without his monster. After auditioning other monsters, the boy finds that only his monster will do.

Guyku: A Year of Haiku for Boys by Bob Raczka.
(ages 7-12) Haikus are Japanese poems of three lines with a set number of syllables for each line. Raczka uses these poems to explore the seasons of a year through the high jinks of boys. Puddle-jumping and kite-flying are some of the fun in this lively little book.

Mummy Secrets Uncovered by Ron Knapp
(ages 7-12) From the Bizarre Science series comes this fact book about mummies. How did they get that way? Where do they come from? How old are they? Find the answers to these questions and more in this engaging selection.

Holes by Louis Sachar
(ages 9-14) Stanley has two choices: jail or Camp Green Lake. Choosing camp, Stanley digs holes every day in the Texas heat. He’s told that this will reform him, but Stanley learns that he and the camp’s other residents aren’t just digging; they’re looking for something in all that dirt.

Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool
(ages 9-14) Kansan and Newberry-winner Vanderpool tells the tale of Abilene, whose father sends her to a small, dusty Kansas town to live during the summer of 1936. Through letters she finds and a cast of quirky characters, she finds out about her father’s history and discovers a place for herself.

Amulet, Book 1: The Stonekeeper by Kazu Kibuishi
(ages 9-14) After losing her father, Emily and her family move to an old family house in the country. On their first night, her mother disappears while investing a mysterious noise. Emily and her brother, Navin, must find their mother with the help of some unlikely people – and creatures!

Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes by Chris Crutcher
(ages 13-18) Sarah Byrnes, badly burned in an accident, has built an emotional wall to protect herself from ridicule. Eric Calhoune loves to eat Oreos and Twinkies and now has a weight problem. These two outcasts connect, and their friendship is tested in ways they can’t imagine.

The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
(ages 13-18) Jerry is a freshman quarterback refusing to sell chocolate bars for a school fundraiser. Sound boring? Not at all. Jerry faces threats from the Vigils, a gang who terrorizes the school’s faculty and students, and Brother Leon, the ambitious and scheming headmaster.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
(ages 13-18) Junior lives on the Spokane Indian reservation but decides to attend an all-white school in the neighboring town. As the only Native American, he is viewed as an outcast at his new school and a traitor to his people. Still, Junior takes on his new life and finds strength within himself.

It Gets Better: Coming Out, Overcoming Bullying, and Creating a Life Worth Living, edited by Dan Savage and Terry Miller
(ages 14-18) Growing up is hard. Being bullied makes it even harder. Based on the popular YouTube videos, this collection of essays and testimonials by celebrities, politicians and regular folks tells LGBT teens that bullying does not define them and life is worth living to see it get better.