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Natalie Standiford is one of my favorite un-sung authors.  She's not super famous, but she should be!  I'm very excited about her newest book, The Only Girl in School.  

When Claire’s best friend, Bess, moves away, she becomes the only girl left in her entire school. At first, she thinks she’ll be able to deal with this -- after all, the girls’ bathroom is now completely hers, so she can turn it into her own private headquarters and draw on the walls. When it comes to soccer games or sailing races, she can face off against any boy. The problem is that her other best friend, Henry, has begun to ignore her. And Webby, a super-annoying bully, won’t leave her alone. And Yucky Gilbert, the boy who has a crush on her, also won’t leave her alone. It’s never easy being the only one -- and over the course of a wacky school year, Claire is going to have to make it through challenges big and small. The boys may think they rule the school, but when it comes to thinking on your feet, Claire’s got them outnumbered.

Don't miss these other winning Natalie Standiford titles!

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul, the fourth movie in the Wimpy Kid franchise, hits theaters this weekend.  It's an all-new cast -- Jason Ian Drucker, Charlie Wright, Owen Asztalos, Tom Everett Scott, and Alicia Silverstone -- making the Heffley family road trip to attend Meemaw’s 90th birthday party.  It goes hilariously off course thanks to Greg’s newest scheme to get to a video gaming convention.  Inspired by the ninth book in the series.  Read it again then see the movie. 

James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein have teamed up on what is sure to be another hit.  And it's the first and only kids’ book series officially approved by the Albert Einstein Archives!

Max Einstein: The Genius Experiment (October 8, 2018)
Twelve-year-old orphan Max Einstein (like Albert Einstein himself) is not your typical genius. Max hacks the computer system at NYU in order to attend college courses (even though she hates tests), builds homemade inventions to help the homeless, and plays speed chess in the park. Her not-so-normal life is crazy but predictable until…

Max is recruited by a mysterious organization! Their mission: solve some of the world’s toughest problems using science. She’s helped by a diverse group of young geniuses from around the globe as they invent new ways to power the farthest reaches of the planet. But that’s only if the sinister outfit known only as The Corporation doesn’t get to her first…

The Kid Zone has some brand new books that will help you answer that question!

Lots of people will hit the road this Labor Day weekend.  Looking for a story to listen to while you drive or fly or lay on the beach?  Consider an Odyssey Award-winning audiobook!  The Odyssey was established in 2008.  It is an annual award given to the best audiobook production for children or young adults.  The selection committee considers literary merit, reader narration, background music/sound effects, and other production elements then selects one winner and one-or-more honors.  Find the one that "speaks" to you at Hoover Public Library!

The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley (also available as downloadable audio via Overdrive)

2016 HONOR
Echo by Pam Muñoz Ryan (also available as downloadable audio via Overdrive & Hoopla)

2015 HONOR
Five, Six, Seven, Nate! by Tim Federle (also available as downloadable audio via Overdrive)
The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place by Julie Berry (also available as downloadable audio via Overdrive)
A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd (also available as downloadable audio via Overdrive & Hoopla)

Take a look at the official Odyssey Award website for more winning audiobook productions.


This is a holiday I can totally support!  And not just by eating things smothered in chocolate on Friday, December 16, 2017.  I can recommend books, too!

The World's Greatest Chocolate-Covered Pork Chops by Ryan K. Sager (2017)
Twelve-year-old chef Zoey Kate's Fried Banana Fondue is delectable, her Maple Cinnamon Crab Fajitas are divine, and her Chocolate-Covered Pork Chops are to die for. Zoey is the best cook in town and she wants everyone to know it. She's on a mission to start her own restaurant, but quickly learns that the restaurant industry is competitive . . . and dangerous. There are people who see Zoey as a threat, and they'll use any means necessary to make sure that she fails.

The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart by Stephanie Burgis (2017)
Aventurine is a brave young dragon ready to explore the world outside of her family's mountain cave . . . if only they'd let her leave it. Her family thinks she's too young to fly on her own, but she's determined to prove them wrong by capturing the most dangerous prey of all: a human.  But when that human tricks her into drinking enchanted hot chocolate, she's transformed into a puny human without any sharp teeth, fire breath, or claws. Still, she's the fiercest creature in these mountains—and now she's found her true passion: chocolate. All she has to do is get to the human city to find herself an apprenticeship (whatever that is) in a chocolate house (which sounds delicious), and she'll be conquering new territory in no time . . . won't she?

The Chocopocalypse by Chris Callaghan (2017)
Life for Jelly Welly—or Jennifer Wellington—is totally and utterly normal in Chompton-on-de-Lyte. She lives with her mum and dad and gran, has nosy neighbors who like to gossip, and really needs to think of a science project that will get her a good grade.  But when news breaks of an impending chocopocalypse, her whole world—and the world at large—is thrown into utter chaos.  With only six days left until no more chocolate, Jelly has a sneaking suspicion that something isn’t right. She and her gran investigate, picking up on a mysterious trail of clues.  Is it really the dreaded chocopocalypse, or is there a mastermind behind the madness?

The Emoji Movie came out last weekend, and it brought out strong emotions in its viewers . . . mostly negative.  I am the proud owner of a flip phone.  I have absolutely NO knowledge about the world of emojis, so I don't plan to see the film and make my judgment.  But maybe YOU will!

"Hidden inside a smartphone, the bustling city of Textopolis is home to all emojis. Each emoji has only one facial expression, except for Gene, an exuberant emoji with multiple expressions. Determined to become "normal" like the other emojis, Gene enlists the help of his best friend Hi-5 and a notorious code breaker called Jailbreak. During their travels through the other apps, the three emojis discover a great danger that could threaten their phone's very existence."

Regardless of your opinion of the movie, you'll want to find these great emoji titles at Hoover Library!
The Story of Emoji by Gavin Lucas
302.2223  LUC

Cakemoji: Recipes & Ideas for Sweet-Talking Treats by Jenni Powell
641.8653  POW

Emoji Crochet: 15 Easy-to-Make Projects Emoting Attitude and Fun by Charles Voth

Our final Full S.T.E.A.M. Ahead of 2018 has a holiday twist.  Join Miss Anna Beth for Elf Engineering on Tuesday, December 4, 2018 at 4 p.m.  Kids ages 7-12 will face several Christmas-themed challenges:  

  • Construct a Christmas tree from various supplies
  • Build a set of stairs for the elves to use to get into Santa's sleigh
  • Design a Christmas stocking
  • Assist Santa in his flight with a telescope of your design
  • Complete the jingle bell challenge
  • Develop a Christmas catapult

Completing all challenges earns an elf's favorite snack: hot chocolate and Christmas cookies!  Registration is required for this event.  Sign up online or by phone (444-7830).

Wendy Mass has written another book set in Willow Falls.  Graceful will be the final title in this truly magical series.  It comes out tomorrow, April 28, 2015.

"Angelina D'Angelo has left town to see the world. It's now Grace's turn to use her magic to protect the people of Willow Falls, and she is up to the challenge. This is her destiny, after all. But destiny is a funny thing-it doesn't always behave the way you'd expect it to. Mysterious postcards from Angelina begin showing up in the mail, Grace's parents are freaking out with worry, and something BIG is coming to town that will affect everybody who lives there. But all Grace is powerful enough to do is turn leftover meatloaf into pizza. Fortunately, she's not alone. She has Team Grace on her side! Amanda, Leo, Rory, Tara, David, and Connor know a thing or two about magic and how it works. But none of them are prepared for what's coming, and none of them know how to stop it. Life in Willow Falls is about to change forever."

Read (or re-read) them all!

  1. 11 Birthdays
  2. Finally
  3. 13 Gifts
  4. The Last Present
  5. Graceful (no catalog record yet -- stay tuned!)

The rhythm is going to get you with this month's perfect pair.

  • I Am Drums by Mike Grosso (2016)
    Sam knows she wants to be a drummer. But she doesn’t know how to afford a drum kit, or why budget cuts end her school’s music program, or why her parents argue so much, or even how to explain her dream to other people. But drums sound all the time in Sam’s head, and she’d do just about anything to play them out loud—even lie to her family if she has to. Will the cost of chasing her dream be too high?
  • Are the Drums for You? by Elaine Landau (2011)
    J  786.9  LAN
    This book covers drums and percussion basics and features quotations from professional musicians. There's also a quiz to help readers discover if these instruments are a good fit with their interests.

The American Library Association finally announced their Youth Media Awards today! Here are the winners!  Access the full list of medalists and honors here.  Many of our favorites made the cut.

The name's Bond . . . James Bond. Also known as Agent 007. He first appeared in a series of books by Ian Fleming, but catapulted to fame on the big screen. On October 5, 1962, the first Bond movie, Dr. No, introduced a larger audience to the Aston Martin-driving, shaken not stirred martini-drinking secret agent. And now -- 50 years, 6 actors, and innumerable Bond girls later -- the 23rd film, Skyfall, is in theatres.

Kimberly Brubaker Bradley won us over with The War That Saved My Life.  And not just us -- several award committees agreed.  It received a Newbery Honor, a Schneider Family Book Award, and a Josette Frank Award.  It was also included on just about every best-book-of-2015 list you can think of!  And now there's a sequel.  I repeat, A SEQUEL!

The War I Finally Won (October 2, 2017)
When Ada’s clubfoot is surgically fixed at last, she knows for certain that she’s not what her mother said she was—damaged, deranged, crippled mentally as well as physically. She’s not a daughter anymore, either. What is she?  
World War II continues, and Ada and her brother, Jamie, are living with their loving legal guardian, Susan, in a borrowed cottage on the estate of the formidable Lady Thorton—along with Lady Thorton herself and her daughter, Maggie. Life in the crowded cottage is tense enough, and then, quite suddenly, Ruth, a Jewish girl from Germany, moves in. A German? The occupants of the house are horrified. But other impacts of the war become far more frightening. As death creeps closer to their door, life and morality during wartime grow more complex. Who is Ada now? How can she keep fighting? And who will she struggle to save?

Beloved and bestselling author Gordan Korman has a hilarious new novel about what happens when the worst class of kids in school is paired with the worst teacher.

The Unteachables (01/08/19)
The Unteachables are a notorious class of misfits, delinquents, and academic train wrecks. Like Aldo, with anger management issues; Parker, who can’t read; Kiana, who doesn’t even belong in the class—or any class; and Elaine (rhymes with pain). The Unteachables have been removed from the student body and isolated in room 117.

Their teacher is Mr. Zachary Kermit, the most burned-out teacher in all of Greenwich. He was once a rising star, but his career was shattered by a cheating scandal that still haunts him. After years of phoning it in, he is finally one year away from early retirement. But the superintendent has his own plans to torpedo that idea—and it involves assigning Mr. Kermit to the Unteachables.

The Unteachables never thought they’d find a teacher who had a worse attitude than they did. And Mr. Kermit never thought he would actually care about teaching again. Over the course of a school year, though, room 117 will experience mayhem, destruction—and maybe even a shot at redemption.

Gennifer Choldenko's best-known books are set on Alcatraz, off the coast of San Francisco.  Choldenko returns to San Francisco for her newest historical fiction adventure, Chasing Secrets.   Will readers love it as much as her Al Capone series?  Let's see what Kirkus Reviews predicts:

" Infected rats and San Francisco’s dark past at the turn of the 20th century come to light in Newbery Honoree Choldenko’s look into an outbreak of bubonic plague. Even though 13-year-old Lizzie Kennedy attends the prim and proper Miss Barstow’s School for Young Women, courtesy of well-to-do Aunt Hortense and Uncle Karl, she’d rather accompany Papa on his medical house calls. She longs to follow in her father’s footsteps, unheard of for a girl and unlike her grouchy older brother, Billy. To ease her school loneliness, Lizzie relies on Jing, her family’s beloved cook, who never fails to make her smile. As rumors about the plague infecting San Francisco abound, only Chinatown is put under quarantine. When Jing fails to return home, Lizzie fears he may be stuck in Chinatown. She’s desperate to find him, not only for herself, but for Jing’s 12-year-old son, Noah, who is hiding out in Jing’s upstairs room. Lizzie and Noah’s secret friendship grows with genuine tenderness and illuminates the differences and injustices that exist within gender, class, and race. Historical details, such as Joseph Kinyoun’s pathogen experiment and immunization politics, feel meticulously researched but never take away from the story’s heart. A solid story of friendship, mystery, and one girl’s perseverance, in which a health scare and its rumors mirror today’s epidemics."

Yep, we're gonna love it!