The 2014 Curious City Besties


“Besties” from THIS ORQ. (HE CAVE BOY.)

What book will be a child’s “bestie”?   What 2014 book will be your child’s favorite companion?

Everyone in the book review press is lining up to declare the Best Children’s Books of 2014.  They are, indeed, astounding reads all.

If you are buying books for children, though, the best route is to approach a bookseller or librarian and describe your young reader by personality and (if you know) by their favorite books.  Those booksellers and librarians are magic at making book matches.  Let them give you a unique idea for a book gift.

If you’re buying gifts for a teacher, consider buying the teacher a small gift certificate to a local bookstore.  While you’re at it, buy a bookstore gift card for your school librarian.  Books bought for your school’s classrooms or libraries will not only benefit your child’s educational experience, but the entire school community.  Not to mention driving traffic to a local business…

Kirsten Cappy appeared on WKVT’s Green Mountain to talk about the 2014 Curious City  Besties and to share the Best Children’s Books of 2014 from the venerable book press. Listen here.




9781620915219Best Reason to Carry a Club…

This Orq, (he cave boy)
by David Elliott, Lori Nichols (Illustrator)
ISBN-13: 9781620915219
Publisher: Highlights Press
Age range: 3 – 6 Years
Find at a Local Bookstore

Orq the cave boy LOVES Woma the woolly mammoth. But Mom says Woma shed; Woma smell; Woma not house-trained. Is there any way Orq can convince his mother that Woma belongs with them? Orq has a plan. Well, kind of. Good thing Woma always nearby. An adorable friendship story at its core, This Orq. (He Cave Boy.) is filled with humor and heart.

EXPLORE Curious City Story Hour Kit


9780805099676Best Reason to Beachcomb…

The Storm Whale
by Benji Davies, Benji Davies (Illustrator)
ISBN-13: 9780805099676
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Age range: 4 – 8 Years
Find at a Local Bookstore

Every day, in a house by the sea, a little boy watches his father leave for a long day’s work. One night, a great storm washes a small whale onto the beach. The boy discovers the whale is a good listener. The father discovers the boy is lonely. Together, they return the whale to the sea. And from that day on, the boy learns that the father can be a good listener too, in Benji Davies’s heartwarming tale, The Storm Whale.


9781402286520_p0_v2_s260x420Best Sporting of Tightie Whities…

Even Monsters…
by A. J. Smith
SBN-13: 9781402286520
Publisher: Sourcebooks, Incorporated
Age range: 4 – 8 Years
Find at a Local Bookstore

Everybody knows monsters can be…well, MONSTERS. But did you know sometimes even monsters get scared? They can be sad, they can be kind, they can miss their mommies. Sometimes, they’re just plain silly. And even monsters need to brush their teeth!

A funny and family-friendly picture book by innovative author/illustrator A. J. Smith, who combines traditional storytelling with exciting interactive digital components.

EXPLORE Curious City’s Story Hour Kit

9780399242441_p0_v1_s260x420Best Depiction of Spoon Licking…

Baking Day at Grandma’s
by Anika Denise, Christopher Denise (Illustrator)
SBN-13: 9780399242441
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Age range: 3 – 5 Years
Find at a Local Bookstore

Three bouncing little bear siblings, wrapped tight in their winter clothes, can’t wait to tromp through the snow for Baking Day at Grandma’s! In a rhyming text that begs to be sung, the bears and their grandma pour and mix and stir—with breaks for hot cocoa and dancing—to create the perfect wintry treat. Then they wrap it up in ribbons to show that sweets are even better when they’re shared. With a recipe in the back, this is a perfect family feel-good story for the fall, winter, and any holiday spent with grandparents.

EXPLORE Curious City’s Story Hour Kit


9780823426669Best Reason to Listen to Rockabilly…

The Rockabilly Goats Gruff
by Jeff Crosby, Jeff Crosby (Illustrator)
ISBN-13: 9780823426669
Publisher: Holiday House, Inc.
Find at a Local Bookstore

Three rockin’ billy goats turn a grumpy troll into the biggest rockabilly fan at the honky-tonk, putting a fun twist on the classic fairytale.

Through the hills and hollows, three Billy goats are rollin’ to a gig at Nanny Gruff’s Shimmy Shack, home of the best barbecue and boogie music around. But to get there, the billies have to cross a bridge . . . and deal with a mean old troll. As each billy zooms up, the troll threatens to smash his instrument to smithereens. But that old square gets a heaping surprise when the rockin’ billies take him to Nanny’s, where he tastes her famous barbecue and hears that rockabilly beat. Before long, the troll hits the dance floor to rock and roll at every Rockabilly gig from that night on!

EXPLORE Curious City’s website for the book
LISTEN to Song Curious City Commissioned


9780763656966_p0_v1_s260x420Best Flash Mob…

Tap Tap Boom Boom
by Elizabeth Bluemle, G. Brian Karas (Illustrator)
ISBN-13: 9780763656966
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Age range: 3 – 7 Years
Find at a Local Bookstore

When a thunderstorm hits a city street, children and grown-ups dash to the subway for shelter — and an impromptu friendly gathering.

The clouds are gathering above a city street and soon — tap, tap, boom, boom! As a thunderstorm rolls in, people of all stripes race down to the subway to get away from the crackling rain and wind. With quirky wordplay and infectious rhymes, Elizabeth Bluemle crystallizes an unexpected moment of community, while G. Brian Karas’s warm illustrations show the smiles to be had when a storm brings strangers together as friends.


9781481403528_p0_v1_s260x420Best Excuse to Don a Cape…

Extraordinary Warren Saves the Day
by Sarah Dillard, Sarah Dillard (Illustrator)
ISBN-13: 9781481403528
Publisher: Aladdin
Age range: 6 – 9 Years
Find at a Local Bookstore

Delightfully quirky chicken Warren and his sidekick Egg embark on dual adventures when Egg decides to cross the road in this follow-up to Extraordinary Warren, which Publishers Weekly called “a good-humored story that nicely blends picture book, chapter book, and graphic novel elements.”

Warren, the bespectacled hero of Extraordinary Warren, is delighted to have a sidekick and feathered friend in the newly hatched Egg. But Egg is rather exasperating. New to the world, he asks so many questions and has so much to learn. Early one morning Egg takes off on his own and crosses the road, where he winds up getting lost in a field of corn. Warren is so busy imagining his flight to the moon that he doesn’t even know Egg is missing! But when Warren finally realizes Egg has flown the coop, nothing stops him from locating his best buddy—not even that hungry rat, Millard.

Filled with simple text, speech balloons, and engaging illustrations, this easy-to-follow story is a blend between a picture book and a chapter book, making it an ideal bridge for independent readers.

EXPLORE Curious City’s Story Hour Kit


9780763648428Best Use of Verse in the Universe…

Firefly July: A Year of Very Short Poems
by Paul B. Janeczko, Melissa Sweet (Illustrator)
ISBN-13: 9780763648428
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Age range: 6 – 9 Years
Find at a Local Bookstore

Celebrated poet and anthologist Paul B. Janeczko pairs with Caldecott Honoree Melissa Sweet for a collection of short poems to sample and savor.

It only takes a few words, if they’re the right words, to create a strong image. Whether listened to in the comfort of a cozy lap or read independently, the thirty-six very short poems in this collection remind readers young and old that a few perfect words and pictures can make the world glow. Selected by acclaimed poet Paul B. Janeczko and gorgeously illustrated by Melissa Sweet, Firefly July: A Year of Very Short Poems invites children to sample poems throughout the four seasons.


9781580894180_p0_v1_s260x420Best Book to Make You Roar…

Wild About Bears
by Jeannie Brett, Jeannie Brett (Illustrator)
ISBN-13: 9781580894180
Publisher: Charlesbridge Publishing, Inc.
Age range: 6 – 9 Years
Find at a Local Bookstore

This comprehensive look at the world’s eight bear species focuses first on common physical traits and behaviors before profiling each bear. Discover the habits and habitats of the polar bear, brown bear, American black bear, spectacled bear, Asiatic black bear, sloth bear, sun bear, and giant panda and marvel at the adaptations each has developed to survive in a challenging world.

EXPLORE Website Built by Curious City


9789081836883_p0_v3_s260x420Best Use of Dead Philosophers…

Maurices Valises Series
By JS Friedman, Chris Beatice (Illustrator)
Publisher: Mouse Print Press
Age range: 5 – 10 Years
Find at a Local Bookstore

Maurice of the Valise is a mouse chosen to travel the world and gather its many tales and lessons. Mementos of his adventures are packed into a valise, to be pulled out later for evenings of fireside storytelling. Those stories impart the multicultural teachings of Aesop, Buddha, Christ, Confucius, Einstein, Mohammed, the Talmud, Thoreau, and other sources of universal truth. Pull up a chair by the fire. Maurice is about to open a valise…


9781600608988Best Girl Tooting Her Own Horn…

Little Melba and Her Big Trombone
by Katheryn Russell-Brown, Frank Morrison (Illustrator)
ISBN-13: 9781600608988
Publisher: Lee & Low Books, Inc.
Age range: 7 years
Find at a Local Bookstore

Melba Doretta Liston loved the sounds of music from as far back as she could remember. As a child, she daydreamed about beats and lyrics, and hummed along with the music from her family’s Majestic radio. At age seven, Melba fell in love with a big, shiny trombone, and soon taught herself to play the instrument. By the time she was a teenager, Melba’s extraordinary gift for music led her to the world of jazz. She joined a band led by trumpet player Gerald Wilson and toured the country. Overcoming obstacles of race and gender, Melba went on to become a famed trombone player and arranger, spinning rhythms, harmonies, and melodies into gorgeous songs for all the jazz greats of the twentieth century: Randy Weston, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Billie Holiday, and Quincy Jones, to name just a few. Brimming with ebullience and the joy of making music, Little Melba and Her Big Trombone is a fitting tribute to a trailblazing musician and a great unsung hero of jazz.


9781609053505Best Weening From Picture Books…

Okay, Andy
by Maxwell Eaton
SBN-13: 9781609053505
Publisher: Blue Apple Books
Series: Jump-Into-Chapters Series
Age range: 5 – 8 Years
Find at a Local Bookstore

Andy, a crabby alligator, is a reluctant friend to Preston, a young coyote pup. Find out what makes Andy even crabbier! They spend lots of time not catching rabbits, falling over cliffs, and trying to decide the difference between an owl and a bear. A perfect bridge between picture books and text-heavy chapter books.

LOVE THE WHOLE SERIES!  Jump-Into-Chapters!


9781442423657Best Angry Outburst…

Grandfather Gandhi
by Arun Gandhi, Bethany Hegedus, Evan Turk (Illustrator)
ISBN-13: 9781442423657
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Age range: 4 – 8 Years
Find at a Local Bookstore

Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson tells the story of how his grandfather taught him to turn darkness into light in this uniquely personal and vibrantly illustrated tale that carries a message of peace.
How could he—a Gandhi—be so easy to anger?

One thick, hot day, Arun Gandhi travels with his family to Grandfather Gandhi’s village.

Silence fills the air—but peace feels far away for young Arun. When an older boy pushes him on the soccer field, his anger fills him in a way that surely a true Gandhi could never imagine. Can Arun ever live up to the Mahatma? Will he ever make his grandfather proud?

In this remarkable personal story, Arun Gandhi, with Bethany Hegedus, weaves a stunning portrait of the extraordinary man who taught him to live his life as light. Evan Turk brings the text to breathtaking life with his unique three-dimensional collage paintings.

EXPLORE Website Built by Curious City


9780316184021Best Reason to Be Silly…

Ling & Ting: Twice as Silly
By Grace Lin
ISBN-13: 9780316184021
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Age range: 6 – 9 Years
Find at a Local Bookstore

Ling & Ting are twins. They like to be silly. They like to tell jokes. Most of all, they like to laugh together. Laugh with Ling & Ting!

The beloved twins from the Geisel Honor book Ling & Ting: Not Exactly the Same! and Ling & Ting Share a Birthday are back to share their favorite funny stories with beginning readers. This collection of six laugh-out-loud stories is sure to tickle the funny bone of fans and new readers alike.

EXPLORE Curious City’s Giveaway
EXPLORE Curious City’s Story Starters


9781609054472Best Use of Word Play…

What Ship Is Not a Ship?
by Harriet Ziefert, Josee Masse (Illustrator)
ISBN-13: 9781609054472
Publisher: Blue Apple Books
Age range: 6 – 9 Years
Find at a Local Bookstore

What language lesson doesn’t seem like a lesson? The fun guessing game inside this book Clever word groupings list three things that are alike and one that it is different. For example, there are living rooms, bedrooms, and bathrooms, but a mushroom is not a room

Picture clues will help kids figure out which thing is different and begin to grasp fine-tuned nuances of word parts, roots, and meanings. In addition, the text’s guessing-game approach invites kids into a call-and-response dynamic. This title is a great companion to the well-received “Do You Know Which Ones Will Grow?” and “What Is Part This, Part That?”


9781423137351_p0_v2_s260x420Best Use of the Graphic Novel Frame…

Gaijin: American Prisoner of War
by Matt Faulkner
ISBN-13: 9781423137351
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Age range: 8 – 12 Years
Find at a Local Bookstore

With a white mother and a Japanese father, Koji Miyamoto quickly realizes that his home in San Francisco is no longer a welcoming one after Pearl Harbor is attacked. And once he’s sent to an internment camp, he learns that being half white at the camp is just as difficult as being half Japanese on the streets of an American city during WWII.

Koji’s story, based on true events, is brought to life by Matt Faulkner’s cinematic illustrations that reveal Koji struggling to find his place in a tumultuous world-one where he is a prisoner of war in his own country.

WATCH Trailer with Script Written by Curious City
EXPLORE Website Built by Curious City & Samantha Clark


9780399162527_p0_v1_s260x420Best Book to Lead to Fine Dining…

All Four Stars
by Tara Dairman
SBN-13: 9780399162527
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Age range: 8 – 12 Years
Find at a Local Bookstore

Meet Gladys Gatsby: New York’s toughest restaurant critic. (Just don’t tell anyone that she’s in sixth grade.)

Gladys Gatsby has been cooking gourmet dishes since the age of seven, only her fast-food-loving parents have no idea! Now she’s eleven, and after a crème brûlée accident (just a small fire), Gladys is cut off from the kitchen (and her allowance). She’s devastated but soon finds just the right opportunity to pay her parents back when she’s mistakenly contacted to write a restaurant review for one of the largest newspapers in the world. But in order to meet her deadline and keep her dream job, Gladys must cook her way into the heart of her sixth-grade archenemy and sneak into New York City—all while keeping her identity a secret! Easy as pie, right?


9780884483564Best Reissue of a Classroom Classic…

Talking Walls: Discover Your World
By Margy Burns Knight; Anne Sibley O’Brien (Illustrator)
ISBN-13: 9780884483564
Publisher: Tilbury House
Age range: 7+ years
Find at a Local Bookstore

This newly revised and updated edition invites you on an expanded journey to become citizens of our world. The more we learn about our neighbors and ourselves across the street or across the globe, the more we find points of connection.

We hope the stories in this book will inspire you to ask lots of questions, find more information, and discover more stories.

Talking Walls: Discover Your World introduces young readers to different cultures and different issues around the world by telling the stories of walls and how they can hold a community together or separate it. Featured walls include the Great Wall of China, the murals of Diego Rivera, Nelson Mandela’s prison walls, a Holocaust memorial in Poland, Ndebele wall designs in South Africa, Hadrian’s Wall in England, and the Peace Lines in Belfast, Northern Ireland.These books will spark the curiosity of young readers as they learn about our world and its amazing diversity.


9780316247801Best Use of Art to Heal…

The Red Pencil
by Andrea Davis Pinkney, Shane Evans (Illustrator)
ISBN-13: 9780316247801
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Find at a Local Bookstore

“Amira, look at me,” Muma insists.
She collects both my hands in hers.
“The Janjaweed attack without warning.
If ever they come— run.”

Finally, Amira is twelve. Old enough to wear a toob, old enough for new responsibilities. And maybe old enough to go to school in Nyala— Amira’s one true dream.

But life in her peaceful Sudanese village is shattered when the Janjaweed arrive. The terrifying attackers ravage the town and unleash unspeakable horrors. After she loses nearly everything, Amira needs to dig deep within herself to find the strength to make the long journey— on foot— to safety at a refugee camp. Her days are tough at the camp, until the gift of a simple red pencil opens her mind— and all kinds of possibilities.

New York Times bestselling and Coretta Scott King Award-winning author Andrea Davis Pinkney’s powerful verse and Coretta Scott King Award-winning artist Shane W. Evans’s breathtaking illustrations combine to tell an inspiring tale of one girl’s triumph against all odds.


9781481400299_p0_v2_s260x420Best Book for Budding Feminists…

Searching for Silverheels
by Jeannie Mobley
ISBN-13: 9781481400299
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Age range: 10 – 14 Years
Find at a Local Bookstore

A girl’s search for the truth about a legendary woman teaches her a lot about what bravery and loyalty really mean in this gorgeous novel from the author of Katerina’s Wish.

In her small Colorado town Pearl spends the summers helping her mother run the family café and entertaining tourists with the legend of Silverheels, a beautiful dancer who nursed miners through a smallpox epidemic in 1861 and then mysteriously disappeared. According to lore, the miners loved her so much they named their mountain after her.

Pearl believes the tale is true, but she is mocked by her neighbor, Josie, a suffragette campaigning for women’s right to vote. Josie says that Silverheels was a crook, not a savior, and she challenges Pearl to a bet: prove that Silverheels was the kindhearted angel of legend, or help Josie pass out the suffragist pamphlets that Pearl thinks drive away the tourists. Not to mention driving away handsome George Crawford.

As Pearl looks for the truth, darker forces are at work in her small town. The United States’s entry into World War I casts suspicion on German immigrants, and also on anyone who criticizes the president during wartime—including Josie. How do you choose what’s right when it could cost you everything you have?

EXPLORE Curious City’s Book Club Kit


9781423152224_p0_v3_s260x420Best Use of Gummy Bears as Plot Device…

The Tribe: Camp Cannibal
by Clay McLeod Chapman
ISBN-13: 9781423152224
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Series: A Tribe Novel Series
Age range: 8 – 12 Years
Find at a Local Bookstore

Since being expelled for giving the Greenfield Middle School student body an “explosive” case of food poisoning and sent to live with his father, Spencer Pendleton hasn’t exactly been doing his best to put the past behind him and settle into his new life. What with losing the girl-of-his-dreams, Sully, and gaining a there-but-still-absentee father, his life still has a few kinks to work out. And when his single-minded quest to track down the Tribe and reunite with Sully lands him at camp New Leaf, Spencer is convinced things can’t get much worse. WRONG!
Not only is Camp New Leaf no ordinary camp, but it appears that the Tribe hasn’t laid the past to rest, either. And what better place to catch up with an old member-or recruit a few new ones-than a secluded camp for “troubled” boys. With rebellion in the air, Spencer must find a way to stop the Tribe’s plans to put down roots and expand its ranks before someone gets seriously hurt-or worse.


9780544107717Best Jump Shot…

The Crossover
by Kwame Alexander
ISBN-13: 9780544107717
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Age range: 9 – 12 Years
Find at a Local Bookstore

“With a bolt of lightning on my kicks . . .The court is SIZZLING. My sweat is DRIZZLING. Stop all that quivering. Cuz tonight I’m delivering,” announces dread-locked, 12-year old Josh Bell. He and his twin brother Jordan are awesome on the court. But Josh has more than basketball in his blood, he’s got mad beats, too, that tell his family’s story in verse, in this fast and furious middle grade novel of family and brotherhood from Kwame Alexander (He Said, She Said 2013).

Josh and Jordan must come to grips with growing up on and off the court to realize breaking the rules comes at a terrible price, as their story’s heart-stopping climax proves a game-changer for the entire family.

9781442490611Best Transporting Experience…

Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms
by Katherine Rundell, Melissa Castrillon (Illustrator)
ISBN-13: 9781442490611
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Age range: 8 – 12 Years
Find at a Local Bookstore

Even a life on the untamed plains of Africa can’t prepare Wilhelmina for the wilds of an English boarding school in this lovely and lyrical novel from the author of Rooftoppers, which Booklist called “a glorious adventure.”

Wilhelmina Silver’s world is golden. Living half-wild on an African farm with her horse, her monkey, and her best friend, every day is beautiful. But when her home is sold and Will is sent away to boarding school in England, the world becomes impossibly difficult. Lions and hyenas are nothing compared to packs of vicious schoolgirls. Where can a girl run to in London? And will she have the courage to survive?


9781442451100_p0_v3_s260x420Best Alien Chase Scenes…

He Laughed with His Other Mouths
(Pals in Peril Tale Series #6)

by M. T. Anderson, Kurt Cyrus (Illustrator)
ISBN-13: 9781442451100
Publisher: Beach Lane Books
Series: Pals in Peril Tale Series , #6
Age range: 10 – 14 Years
Find at a Local Bookstore

In the sixth and final Pals in Peril adventure, Jasper Dash is off into the universe to search for his long lost father!

In this action-packed conclusion to the celebrated Pals in Peril series, Jasper Dash soars to unprecedented heights—as in, intergalactic, out-of-this-world dimensions—in order to locate the father he’s never known. And if Jasper’s previous adventures are any indication, this is going to be one stellar expedition!


9780544232693Best Thrill Ride…

Dirt Bikes, Drones,and Other Ways to Fly
by Conrad Wesselhoeft
ISBN-13: 9780544232693
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Age range: 12 years
Find at a Local Bookstore

Seventeen year-old dirt-bike-riding daredevil Arlo Santiago catches the eye of the U.S. military with his first-place ranking on a video game featuring drone warfare, and must reconcile the work they want him to do with the emotional scars he has suffered following a violent death in his family. Adios, Nirvana author Conrad Wesselhoeft, takes readers from the skies over war-torn Pakistan to the dusty arroyos of New Mexico’s outback in this young adult novel about daring to live in the wake of unbearable loss.


9780399252518Best Reason for Adults to Read KidLit…

Brown Girl Dreaming
by Jacqueline Woodson
ISBN-13: 9780399252518
Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books
Age range: 10 – 14 Years
Find at a Local Bookstore

Jacqueline Woodson, one of today’s finest writers, tells the moving story of her childhood in mesmerizing verse.

Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement. Touching and powerful, each poem is both accessible and emotionally charged, each line a glimpse into a child’s soul as she searches for her place in the world. Woodson’s eloquent poetry also reflects the joy of finding her voice through writing stories, despite the fact that she struggled with reading as a child. Her love of stories inspired her and stayed with her, creating the first sparks of the gifted writer she was to become.


9781442497344Best Reason to Visit a Museum…

Girl in Reverse
By Barbara Stuber
ISBN-13: 9781442497344
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Age range: 12 – 17 Years
Find at a Local Bookstore

Being adopted isn’t easy—especially when you’re seen as a national enemy. A teen seeks the roots of her identity in this stirring novel from the acclaimed author of Crossing the Tracks.

When Lily was three, her mother put her up for adoption, then disappeared without a trace. Or so Lily was told. Lily grew up in her new family and tried to forget her past. But with the Korean War raging and the fear of “Commies” everywhere, Lily’s Asian heritage makes her a target. She is sick of the racism she faces, a fact her adoptive parents won’t take seriously. For Lily, war is everywhere—the dinner table, the halls at school, and especially within her own skin.

Then her brainy little brother, Ralph, finds a box containing a baffling jumble of broken antiques—clues to her past left by her “Gone Mom.” Lily and Ralph attempt to match these fragments with rare Chinese artifacts at the art museum, where she encounters the artistic genius Elliot James. Elliot attracts and infuriates Lily—especially when he calls their first kiss “undimensional.” With the help of Ralph and Elliot, will Lily summon the courage to confront her own remarkable creation story?


9780374300609Best Use of Particle Physics…

Evidence of Things Not Seen
by Lindsey Lane
SBN-13: 9780374300609
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Age range: 12 – 17 Years
Find at a Local Bookstore

When high school junior Tommy Smythe goes missing, everyone has a theory about what happened to him. He was an odd kid, often deeply involved in particle physics, so maybe he just got distracted and wandered off. He was last seen at a pullout off the highway, so maybe someone snatched him. Tommy believes that everything is possible, and that until something can be proven false, it may be true. So as long as Tommy’s whereabouts are undetermined, he could literally be anywhere.

Told in a series of first-person narratives from people who knew Tommy, Evidence of Things Not Seen by award-winning author Lindsey Lane explores themes of loneliness, connectedness, and the role we play in creating our own realities.


9781582704647Best Chance to Change the World…

Be a Changemaker: How to Start Something That Matters
by Laurie Ann Thompson, Bill Drayton (Foreword by)
SBN-13: 9781582704647
Publisher: Simon Pulse/Beyond Words
Age range: 12+ years
Find at a Local Bookstore

Empower yourself in today’s highly connected, socially conscious world as you learn how to wield your passions, digital tools, and the principles of social entrepreneurship to affect real change in your schools, communities, and beyond.

At age eleven, Jessica Markowitz learned that girls in Rwanda are often not allowed to attend school, and Richards Rwanda took shape.

During his sophomore year of high school, Zach Steinfeld put his love of baking to good use and started the Baking for Breast Cancer Club.

Do you wish you could make a difference in your community or even the world? Are you one of the millions of high school teens with a service-learning requirement? Either way, Be a Changemaker will empower you with the confidence and knowledge you need to affect real change. You’ll find all the tools you need right here—through engaging youth profiles, step-by-step exercises, and practical tips, you can start making a difference today.

This inspiring guide will teach you how to research ideas, build a team, recruit supportive adults, fundraise, host events, work the media, and, most importantly, create lasting positive change. Apply lessons from the business world to problems that need solving and become a savvy activist with valuable skills that will benefit you for a lifetime!





School Library Journal: Best Books 2014

Publisher’s Weekly: Best Books 2014

Kirkus Review’s Best Picture Book Read-Alouds of 2014

Kirkus Review’s Best Picture Books of 2014 to Start a Conversation

Kirkus Review’s Best Picture Books of 2014 for Animal Lovers

Kirkus Review’s Best Picture Books of 2014 That Celebrate Diversity

Kirkus Review’s Best Picture Books of 2014 That Confound Expectations

Kirkus Review’s Best Informational Picture Books of 2014

New York Times Best Illustrated

GoodReads Best Picture Books of 2014

MIDDLE GRADE (Ages 7-12)

School Library Journal: Best Books 2014

Publisher’s Weekly: Best Books 2014

Kirkus Review’s Best Chapter Books of 2014

Kirkus Review’s Best Middle-Grade Nonfiction of 2014

Kirkus Review’s Best Middle-Grade Realism of 2014

Kirkus Review’s Best Middle-Grade of 2014 Readers Who Like Quirky

Kirkus Review’s Best Middle-Grade Science Fiction, Fantasy & Adventure Books of 2014

Kirkus Review’s Best Middle-Grade Books of 2014 That Celebrate Diversity

GoodReads Best Middle Grade Books of 2014


School Library Journal: Best Books 2014

Publisher’s Weekly: Best Books 2014

Kirkus Review’s Best Teen Science Fiction & Fantasy of 2014

Kirkus Review’s Best Teen Love Stories of 2014

Kirkus Review’s Best Teen Mysteries & Thrillers of 2014

Kirkus Review’s Best Teen Realism Books of 2014

Kirkus Review’s Best Teen Friendship Books of 2014

Kirkus Review’s Best Teen Books of 2014 for a Laugh (and Maybe a Bit of a Cry)

Kirkus Review’s Best Teen Books of 2014 That’ll Send Readers Traveling Through Time

Kirkus Review’s Best Teen Books of 2014 That Grapple with Big Ideas

Kirkus Review’s Best Teen Books of 2014 About Healing

GoodReads Best Young Adult Books of 2014

GoodReads Best Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction of 2014


School Library Journal: Best Books 2014

Kirkus Review’s Best Informational Picture Books of 2014

Kirkus Review’s Best Middle-Grade Nonfiction of 2014

Kirkus Review’s Best Teen Nonfiction of 2014


NPR’s Book Concierge: Our Guide To 2014’s Great Reads

New York Times Notable Children’s Books of 2014





  1. Thanks the list links! So much fun browse through the picks.

  2. Great Besties! Found some new ones to add under our Xmas tree!

  3. You are the best bestie.