News from Youth Services Category: Picks by Claire B

Book review: Exquisite: The Poetry and Life of Gwendolyn Brooks

Exquisite: The Poetry and Life of Gwendolyn Brooks by Suzanne Slade, illustrated by Cozbi Cabrera  


Exquisite: The Poetry and Life of Gwendolyn Brooks by Suzanne Slade book cover

Discover the life and legacy of this famous Chicagoan in a biography that is beautiful to read and look at. 

Gwendolyn Brooks grew up on the South Side of Chicago in a family that didn’t have much money, but was rich in love and books. Hearing her father read poems made her want to write her own poetry, and her parents truly believed in her dream to become a great poet. Her first poems were published when she was only 11, but writing poetry didn’t help her make friends or pay bills once she became an adult. But still she wrote and wrote, and before long, she won the greatest prize in poetry, the Pulitzer Prize! Her poems were about her life on the South Side of Chicago, and about the inequalities she and her neighbors faced because they were Black. 

I loved learning about Gwendolyn’s life in this quick, award winning read with gorgeous illustrations. I bet you will too! 

-Review by Claire B, Youth Outreach Librarian

Pride Reads for Families

Read the Rainbow! To celebrate Pride Month this June, Youth Services staff have curated a collection of books that feature diverse families, identities, and ways of living. Everyone needs to see themselves reflected in books (and the world around them), and we also grow when we learn about people who are different from us! 

Be proud of who you are!
Ms Claire’s rainbow filled message for everyone

Pride books for families to enjoy together (picture books)

Pride books for 2nd-4th graders

Pride books for Tweens (4th-6th grade)

Stonewall award winning books for children

E-bookEl Deafo by Cece Bell

Cover image for El deafoWhen Cece was young, she lost her hearing because of an illness and her whole life changes. She starts wearing a bulky hearing aid around her neck, and has to learn not only how to use that, but how to read people’s lips. There are all sorts of adjustments she has to make. Worst of all, people start treating her differently, speaking to her really slowly, like there’s something wrong with her. She starts dreaming about being the good kind of special, like a superhero and having a best friend. However, it’s not really a sad book. Even though Cece has to deal with a lot of hard things, there are plenty of funny moments too! I’d recommend this book for fans of Smile by Raina Telgemeier, and people who like funny and heartfelt stories.

Book reviewed by Claire B., Youth Outreach Librarian

El Deafo is available as an e-book from Libby/Overdrive.

E-book – Frida, el misterio del anillo del pavo real, y yo (Me, Frida, and the Peacock Ring) por Angela Cervantes

Frida, el misterio del anillo del pavo real, y yo Aunque tenemos que quedarnos en casa, ¡todavía podemos viajar virtualmente a México! Éste es un cuento fantástico para los que se interesen por el misterio, el arte y los viajes. A Paloma le obligan a ir a México mientras su mama termina sus estudios. Su mamá decide que Paloma debería aprender español y le encuentra tutores de la misma edad pero ellos tienen un plan para ella que va más allá de la clase. Le piden que les ayuden a resolver el misterio de un anillo perdido en forma de pavo real que pertencía a Frida Kahlo, la famosa artista mexicana. Al mismo tiempo, Palmo conoce a Tavo, un niño lindo y un poco misterioso. La investigación revela hechos sobre Frida y México, pero también hace que Paloma se sienta recelosa de todos los que la rodean. Nadie le dice toda la verdad, y parece que todos están involucrados. ¿Por qué sus amigos están buscando el anillo de pavo real y quién puede estar buscando al mismo tiempo? 

Si te interesa Frida Kahlo, Google se ha unido a 30 museos de todo el mundo para una exhibición de su arte: 

We might be stuck at home, but there is no reason we can’t travel virtually to Mexico! This is a great story for fans of mystery, art, and travel. Paloma gets dragged to Mexico with her mother while she finishes her studies. Her mother decides Paloma should learn Spanish, and finds tutors her age, but the tutors have a plan for Paloma beyond class. They ask her to help solve the mystery of a missing peacock ring that belonged to Frida Kahlo, the famous Mexican artist. Around the same time, Paloma meets Tavo, a cute and slightly mysterious boy. The investigation reveals facts about Frida and Mexico, but it’s also making Paloma suspicious of everyone around her; no one is telling her the full story and everyone seems to be involved. Why are her friends really looking for the peacock ring, and who else might be looking at the same time?  

If you’re interested in Frida Kahlo, Google has partnered with 30 museums from around the world to showcase her art: This is a really special opportunity to learn more about her life and artwork. 

This ebook is available in Spanish in OverDrive’s Digital Library.  

This title is also a Caudill Award nominee for 2021.

Reseña del libro escrito por Claire B., Bibliotecaria de Alcance a los Niños 

Book reviewed by Claire B., Youth Outreach Librarian 

E-Book & E-Audiobook – Alvin Ho: Allergic to the Great Wall, the Forbidden Palace, and Other Tourist Attractions by Lenore Look   

Alvin Ho: Allergic to the Great Wall, the Forbidden Palace, and Other Tourist AttractionsAlvin’s family is going on vacation to China! That sounds great, but Alvin is terrified, no, not terrified, allergic to scary things like this. He’s pretty sure they will all be standing upside down, in the future, and who isn’t afraid of that? Since he has to go, he packs his Personal Disaster Kit and prepares for all the scary things he will run into. On his journey, Alvin will be naked and questioned at the airport, climb 28 flights of stairs many times, ride a cable car to the top of the Great Wall, and search for souvenir candy. It’s also Christmas, and Alvin decides to get a gift for a girl in an orphanage. But she wants a friend, and how do you give someone that? Alvin manages to figure it out, and maybe, just maybe, he will have fun along the way. This book will make you laugh out loud! I especially loved how Alvin refers to baby Claire, who he says is the size of a fish, as a different fish each time.  

The whole series is available as ebooks and  e-audio on Overdrive Digital Library.   

Book reviewed by Claire B., Youth Outreach Librarian