Felicia Ballard, youth services staff member at Bernardsville Public Library, has been busy sampling a variety of children's fiction and recommends the following books for young readers and their families. Here are Felicia's comments:
The Green Dog by Suzanne Fisher Staples is a light read. It's the story of one girl's summer, her dog, and her family. It's also a book about growing up. The Green Dog would definitely make a good summer reading choice.
Habibi by Naomi Shihab Nye tells the story of a young girl born and raised in the United States who moves to her father's homeland, Jerusalem, when she turns 13. Although there is a little bit of romance in the story, the book also provides great deal of insight into the Middle East conflict. The author has given Habibi a terrific teenage voice, and this is a book that is guaranteed to keep a young person interested.
I read Number the Stars by Lois Lowry because it is one of my daughter's favorite books. Number the Stars is about the role that Denmark played in
World War II, including the smuggling of Jews across the sea to Sweden. Told through the eyes of a young Danish girl, this is a very moving book.
Newbury Award winning The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, was engrossing, although it did leave me wondering about a few of its twists and turns. Sequel maybe? I also heard that the book CD version of The Graveyard Book is excellent. It's read by the author, and while author-read books sometimes fall flat, this one seems to be a winner.