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HPL Kids

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.

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

Last September, I did a month-long blog series called Let's Learn.  Each Wednesday I posted a list of books focused on an early learning theme -- colors, alphabet, counting, and the five senses.  It was a popular series, so I'm continuing it this year.  Each Wednesday this month, I'll post a list of books on even more early learning themes -- shapes, opposites, seasons, and the calendar.  Let's start with SHAPES.  Bring on the circles, squares, and triangles!

Captain Invincible and the Space Shapes by Stuart J. Murphy
Circle Dogs by Kevin Henkes
Circles, Stars, and Squares: Looking for Shapes by Jane Brocket
Find Spot! by Stacey Previn
The Greedy Triangle by Marilyn Burns
Lots of Dots by Craig Frazier
Magic Shapes by PatrickGeorge
Monster Knows Shapes by Lori Capote
Mouse Shapes by Ellen Stoll Walsh
Party of Three: A Book About Triangles by Christianne C. Jones (in a series)
Perfect Square by Michael Hall
Pick a Circle, Gather Squares: A Harvest of Shapes by Felicia Sanzari Chernesky

Now, I know what you're thinking.  "Miss Katie Jane, you made a mistake there.  The name of the Newbery Honor-winning book by Jack Gantos is called Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key."  You're right.  You're also wrong.  The title of this blog refers to the fifth and final Pigza book.  It promises to bring the beloved chronicle of this wired, wacky, and wonderful boy to a crescendo of chaos and craziness.  I won't reveal more here.  You know how I hate spoiling things for readers who have just discovered a series.  Find all five books in the Kid Zone.

  1. Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key
  2. Joey Pigza Loses Control
  3. What Would Joey Do?
  4. I Am Not Joey Pigza
  5. The Key That Swallowed Joey Pigza

Kate and Jim McMullan pair up for another vehicular delight.  I'm Brave! features a super confident fire engine with a siren, a tank full of water, and a whole lotta hose.  Future firefighters and kids obsessed with transportation will love it!  Especially if they've also enjoyed these other McMullan books.

Charlie Joe Jackson is my favorite scheming middle schooler.  Yes, he comes up with crazy ideas.  No, they are not well thought out.  Yes, a lesson is learned.  And, YES, I laugh out loud through it all.  The fourth book in Tommy Greenwald's series came out this week.  It is called Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to Making Money.  Let's see what mess CJJ gets himself into (and out of) this time.

Charlie Joe's weekly allowance just isn't cutting it and he desperately needs money to buy a Botman, the latest gadget to sweep his middle school.  Only catch is that he wants to earn the money by doing the least amount of work possible.  After several failed attempts, including a near disastrous day of dog-walking, Charlie Joe hatches a plan to throw his own bar mitzvah (no gifts please -- checks only) even though he's not Jewish.  Hilarity ensues when throwing a fake coming-of-age party turns out to be much harder than it looks.

Find all four funny adventures in the Kid Zone!

  1. Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to Not Reading
  2. Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to Extra Credit
  3. Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to Summer Vacation
  4. Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to Making Money


R. J. Palacio did something Wonder-ful.  She wrote a book about a boy named Auggie.  He was born with extreme facial deformities and not expected to survive.  But he did, and now he faces another big challenge . . . attending a mainstream school and being treated like every other fifth grader.  Wonder reveals that struggle from Auggie's point of view, but you also hear from his sister, her boyfriend, his classmates, and more.  It is such a powerful story, one that quickly became a must-read across the country.  We have eighteen copies here at Hoover Public Library (though we have a hard time keeping them on the shelves).  We also have the companion ebook The Julian Chapter available through Overdrive.  Julian is the bully in Wonder, and he finally tells his side of the story.

Now, I told you all of that as lead-in to a very Wonder-ful announcement.  There is a new book called 365 Days of Wonder: Mr. Browne's Book of Precepts.  Mr. Browne is Auggie's teacher, and he is fond of inspiring his students with principles to live by.  There is a precept for every day of the year, contributed by noteworthy people such as Anne Frank, Martin Luther King Jr., Confucious, and 100 readers of Wonder.  Interspersed with the precepts are letters and emails from the book characters.  This is a must-read for every student and teacher touched by Auggie's story.