New at Peter White Public Library

With the annual summer reading program kicking off last weekend, families may be searching for a new favorite writer to keep young readers motivated throughout the break, and discovering a new series can feel like a shortcut for kids eager to add minutes to their reading logs. Below is just a sample of some of the latest installments by popular writers available in Youth Services. When you stop by to check out PWPL’s new books, make sure to ask about summer reading registration, as well. Once registered, kids are eligible to earn up to three free books through their participation this summer.

“We Don’t Lose Our Class Goldfish” by Ryan T. Higgins

Penelope Rex — the young dinosaur of We Don’t Eat Our Classmates – stars in a new picture book with a new conundrum: she is terrified of the class goldfish, Walter. As each of her classmates spends a weekend caring for Walter, she dreads her turn and makes a list of every reason why Walter is awful. Once Penelope’s weekend arrives, she tries to limit her interactions with Walter — until a mishap occurs and she is forced to reconsider her feelings and her fears. While young readers will be easily amused by a dinosaur afraid of a tiny fish, they may also be reminded of their own moments of courage.

“The Odds” by Matt Stanton

Young Kip and her artist father share an apartment in a big city in this entertaining graphic novel that cuts quickly to the action. One morning, Kip wakes up to a roomful of imaginary characters she recognizes from the media and elsewhere, taking up real, physical space in her bedroom. Referring to the characters as “the Odds”, Kip and her father push through their bewilderment to try to manage the chaos of their suddenly overstuffed living situation. However, an immediate solution eludes them, forcing them to adapt together, and recognize the value and inherent strengths of each of the Odds. Wide-eyed illustrations convey much emotion through the absurdity, and the relationship between Kip and her father offers moments of warmth, despite the madness. The follow-up book in the series (Run, Odds, Run) is also available at the library now.

“Only Only Marisol Rainey” by Erin Entrada Kelly

For the third installment in this chapter book series, sweet and perceptive Marisol puts her favorite pastime of bike riding on hold, once she finds out a large and frightening neighborhood dog is missing. As Marisol consults her friends and family, she senses her reaction might be overblown, but still struggles to feel at ease. By shifting her focus to other people’s needs (like helping her friend learn to ride a bike), she becomes less fixated on her own fears, and builds a sense of accomplishment in the process. Accompanied by endearing illustrations elaborating on Marisol’s thought processes and the things she’s learning, this series is accessible for younger elementary readers.

“When Clouds Touch Us” by Thanhha Lai

As a follow-up to the 2011 Newbery Honor book, Inside Out and Back Again, Lai continues the narrative of young Vietnamese refugee, Ha, as she navigates the American South with her mother and siblings. Just as Ha starts to feel like she belongs in her community, her mother makes a challenging decision to relocate the family again for better opportunities. Ha struggles to understand her mother’s rationale, and her story is relayed through short poems – each dated, as a diary would be. An author’s note in the back explains Lai’s decision to use the verse format to capture the transition Ha is making between two different languages. Some entries are rich with complex, metaphorical language as Ha observes her new world, and these entries are anchored by other visceral, relatable scenes about moving and struggling to fit in. Readers who enjoy this format may be motivated to seek out other stories written in verse.

By Meghan LeBoeuf

Youth Services


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