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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

Picture Book to the Rescue!

I just LOVE Mike Austin picture books. Last year, I was particularly taken with Fire Engine No 9. It shadowed a fire engine and its crew through a busy day, telling the story using mostly sound words. This year, Austin follows up with Rescue Squad No 9, which tracks a boat that rescues a girl and her dog when their sailboat is caught in a storm. This new story also uses onomatopoeia and repetitive vocabulary to emphasize the story's action. And there is plenty of action. It's an intense rescue mission after all!

Target Age: 
Katiem's picture

Don't Keep This a Secret

Trenton Lee Stewart, the author of The Mysterious Benedict Society series, has a new book out this week!  He invites readers to join the adventure, decipher the clues, and ask themselves the question: Is knowing a secret a gift or a curse?

The Secret Keepers
Parkour practitioner Reuben Pedley has been having a hard time since his mom lost her job and they had to move to a different (and poorer) part of the city. Friendless, he spends his days avoiding the Directions, the enforcement officers of the mysterious Smoke, who runs the city. On one of these afternoons, he finds a very interesting object after getting himself stuck on a ledge while he was supposed to be at home. What he discovers crammed in the masonry of a wall is an extremely old pocket watch that he is certain is worth a large sum and might just help him and his mother leave the poor part of town. Instead, he realizes that the watch has a little bit of magic in it, which gives him a special ability. Regrettably, the Directions learn of the presence of the watch, and they will stop at nothing to bring it to the Smoke. Only Reuben and his newfound friends have what it takes to solve the mystery of the watch and save their city.

Target Age: 
Katiem's picture

Banned Books Week 2016

Banned Books Week is here!  Defend the First Amendment and read a banned book September 25-October 1, 2016.  You can choose from the Top Ten Most Challenged Books of 2015 (click here to watch the video) or one of the titles featured on the many lists available on the official Banned Books Week website.  They have lists about frequently challenged children's books, teen books, books by authors of color, books with diverse content, and classics.

You think you don't like history?  The History of Fun Stuff series will change your mind!  This Level 3 Ready to Read series goes back in time and behind the scenes to teach you the cool history of all sorts of your favorite things.  The newest one comes out on Tuesday, September 27, 2016, and it's called The Colorful Story of Comics.  

"Do you know how comics, graphic novels, and manga came to be? Or that they have their roots in cave drawings? Did you know that Benjamin Franklin is credited as having the first cartoon in an American newspaper? Ever wonder who put the fun in the Funny Pages? Become a History of Fun Stuff Expert on the funny history of comics!"

Find the other titles in this series in the Kid Zone!

The Super Skills series has two new books to help you become more tech-savvy in our technology-driven world.  Perfect for beginners and near-experts alike!

How to Be a Blogger and Vlogger in 10 Easy Lessons by Shane Birley (2016)
J  006.7  BIR
This brisk read provides 10 lessons for those interested in bringing their voices to the internet, covering blogs, vlogs, podcasts, and everything that goes with them. The book expands upon these lessons in each chapter. For example, the “Record Your Podcast” chapter not only covers basic podcasting formats, but highlights the anatomy of a podcast, how long shows should be, theme-music development, and more. The book also features a section dedicated to internet safety, one all kids should read regardless of their online ambitions. The graphics and charts are serviceable, featuring racially diverse children and dutifully breaking up the chunks of text in a format that’s easy on the eyes. A chapter focused on developing audience is especially helpful to those looking to get their voices heard. But above all, the book positions online expression as equal to any other form of artistic expression: maintaining a web series is just as valid as photography or painting in the eyes of the book’s audience

How to Code in 10 Easy Lessons by Sean McManus (2015)
J  794.81  COD
The spiral binding on this book is completely necessary, as it enables the book to lay flat for readers to consult while working on their Scratch programs via computer—following along with the book without having the Scratch website open would be a confusing undertaking. The first couple of sections provide background on Scratch’s purpose and why one would program in it: it easily makes programs with graphics, and it does so while the programmer is online, requiring no software installations. Then programming teacher and prolific code-guide writer McManus hits his stride in guiding readers through increasingly complicated code. He takes readers from simple quiz games to games in which the player’s character jumps between moving platforms while dodging enemies. The book’s full-color design takes advantage of Scratch’s very visual, color-coded format, but the true-to-screen reproductions falter with some glossy code images of black text on dark colors, which are much harder to read than their computer-backlit equivalents. The final sections cover the basics of HTML tags and an impressive demystification of CSS, with the goal of embedding the Scratch game in a personal website.



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.