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The Kidzone has programs galore as well as books, movies, and other cool stuff. Read our blog below for more information and check out our upcoming events to get an idea of what's happening at the Kidzone! Our main phone number is 205.444.7830.

Did you know about our Teletales?
Call 205-444-7838 to hear a new story every week read by a different Hoover Library staff member.

Recent Book Reviews

Horten's Incredible Illusions: Magic, Mystery & Another Very Strange Adventure
Lula Bell on Geekdom, Freakdom & the Challenges of Bad Hair
A Mutiny in Time
Starry River of the Sky
Pickle: The (Formerly) Anonymous Prank Club of Fountain Point Middle School
Iron Hearted Violet
Jake and Lily
Paris Pan Takes the Dare
Me and the Pumpkin Queen
Read All About It!
The Boy on Cinnamon Street
Nerd Camp
The Classroom
Smells Like Dog
Mission Unstoppable
On the Road to Mr. Mineo's
The Mark of Athena
A Whole Lot of Lucky
Alien on a Rampage
One for the Murphys

More of our favorite books on GoodReads »

Kidzone Blog

Two New Picture Books for the Traveling Reader

  1. Are We There Yet? by Dan Santat
    In this astonishingly inventive new book from Caldecott Medalist Dan Santat, boredom is taken to the extreme. We all know time slows down when you’re bored–but what happens when time slows down so completely it starts going backward? On this boring car ride, a boy and his family travel back in time, visiting cowboys, pirates, dinosaurs, and more! And since time flies when you’re having fun, the boy is hurtled forward into the future–complete with robots and flying cars. But no matter how much fun distractions can be, the boy must learn to appreciate the present to reach his ultimate destination: his grandmother’s house.
    Watch the book trailer!
  2. If You Ever Want to Bring a Piano to the Beach, Don't! by Elise Parsley
    Magnolia, the star of Parsley’s If You Ever Want to Bring an Alligator to School, Don’t!, and her multiracial family are beach-bound, and Magnolia insists on bringing the family piano. Before long, the piano has smooshed their lunch, gotten covered in seagull droppings, and floated off into the water. A situation this off-kilter requires a solution to match—fishing pole to the rescue!—and even that leads to more surprises. Magnolia’s wiser-than-thou narration and Parsley’s energetic illustrations are in perfect comic sync, though no words are needed for a misanthropically hilarious scene of Magnolia and her piano being attacked by hungry seagulls.
Target Age: 
Katiem's picture

150 Years of Alice

2015 marked the 150th anniversary of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.  And we're almost halfway through 2016.  No, I'm not late, late for a very important date.  I purposely postponed this post to coincide with the big screen release of Alice Through the Looking Glass!  In this sequel to Disney's 2010 live-action Alice in Wonderland, Alice returns to the whimsical world of Wonderland (and travels back in time) to save the Mad Hatter.  The original star-studded cast returns -- Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway, and Mia Wasikowska -- plus Sacha Baron Cohen as Time.  If you go to see it, prepare yourself for "visual extravagance" and extreme quirkiness.

Want to flip through the original, hand-penned and illustrated manuscript?  You can read it AND hear it when you visit Alice's Adventures Under Ground.

Target Age: 
Katiem's picture

Hensel & Gretel: Ninja Chicks

First, there were The Three Ninja Pigs.  Then, there was Ninja Red Riding Hood.  What's next from Corey Rosen Schwartz and Dan Santat?  Hensel & Gretel: Ninja Chicks!

"These ninja chicks are anything but chicken! When Hensel and Gretel’s dad gets snatched by a fox, the sisters put their ninja skills to work to track him down before he can be stir-fried. But are these two little chicks ready to take on a dark tangled forest, a tricky house made of corn bread, and an even trickier fox? This plucky pair isn’t giving up without a fight! Kiya!" 

Watch the book trailer, read the book, then practice your ninja moves.  You can also ninjify YOUR favorite fairytale!

Matt Tavares is a talented author and illustrator.  He's also the man responsible for this year's summer reading graphics!  Matt grew up surrounded by books and reading.  He rediscovered his love for picture books while a studio art major at Bates College.  For his senior project, Matt wrote and illustrated a story called Sebastian's Ball, about a boy who caught a magic foul ball at a Boston Red Sox game.  Three years later, after much revision, that project became Zachary's Ball, Matt's first published picture book.  Since then, Matt has written and illustrated several award-winning picture books, mostly about sports.  That's why he's such a perfect match for our program this year!  On Your Mark, Get Set, READ some of Matt's books!

Becoming Babe Ruth (2013)
Crossing Niagara: The Death-Defying Tightrope Adventures of the Great Blondin (2016)
Growing Up Pedro (2015)
Henry Aaron's Dream (2010)
Mudball (2005)
Oliver's Game (2004)
Zachary's Ball (2000)

Want to learn more about Matt Tavares?  Check out this amazing interview at or browse Matt's website

Everyone's a winner during this year's sports/fitness-themed summer reading program!  On Your Mark, Get Set, READ! is our children's summer reading program for birth through rising sixth grade.  (Make sure you watch the official commercial, starring Mr Justin and Miss Anna Beth and featuring the vocal talents of Mr Steve.)  Get in the Game -- READ! is our teen summer reading program for rising seventh through twelfth grade.

Registration begins Monday, May 23, 2016 and continues through July 18, 2016.  To sign up, simply stop by a Kid Zone or Teen Spot desk.  We ask a couple of questions for our stats (grade, name of school), then we hand you a bag of fun free stuff.  The most important thing you'll find in your bag is your reading log.  Every time you finish a book this summer, add the title to your log.  You'll also want to write down the number of pages in each book.  That's because you earn a ticket for every 100 pages!  These tickets can be exchanged for prizes in our Prize Locker, which opens Wednesday, June 1, 2016.  Prizes cost 2, 5, 10, or 15 tickets.  Teens can also use their tickets to enter into drawings for larger prizes.  Check the summer reading display by the teen desk for specifics.  Children also have a chance to win something big!  Every child who reaches 500 pages will have their name entered into a drawing for a bicycle!  Important thing to remember in all the excitement -- summer reading is not a race to see who reads the most or the fastest.  Read for fun and set a reading goal that's right for YOU!  The final day to redeem your tickets is August 3, 2016.

If you need help finding amazing books this summer, make sure you take a look at our official summer reading lists.  They are filled with our favorite fiction titles about playing sports and having fun.  I'll link to them at the end of this blog, but they are also always available in the Downloads sections of both the Kid Zone and Teen Spot webpages.  If you love nonfiction books, stay tuned to the blog all summer long for our Train Your Brain series.  For a sneak peek at some of the titles on the lists, watch our Summer Reading 2016 books trailer.  

Author Kate DiCamillo thinks you should sign up for Summer Reading, too!  Click here to learn more.