Saskatoon Kids & Teen Staff Picks

Saskatoon Kids and Teen Staff Picks

Picks are broken down into Kids and Teen recommendations. 

Click here to check out our Winnipeg Staff Picks. 

 

Kids Staff Book Club Read

Mark of the Dragonfly
By Jaleigh Johnson

Cover Image for Mark of the Dragonfly

 

The Mark of the Dragonfly by Jaleigh Johnson is a fantastic steampunk adventure! Piper is a scrapper making her living off of repairing and selling the treasures that fall from the sky during violent and inexplicable meteor storms. But when she finds a girl lying amongst the rubble, marked with the Dragonfly tattoo that reveals she is under the protection of King Aron, Piper sets out to return the girl and claim a reward. But as Piper gets to know Anna, who has no memory of her life before the storm, Piper discovers that there is a dangerous man hunting them both. Stowing away on the 401 - a steamtrain with a very unusual crew - Piper finds several unexpected allies, including Gee, a boy with peculiar abilities of his own. With enemies closing in, Piper will have to embrace her own powers in order to protect Anna and unravel the mystery that surrounds her.

Bottom Line: This book is magnificent! Piper is brimming with spunk and grit as she takes on dangers to protect Anna, who stole our hearts with her brilliant mind and charming awkwardness. Gee is wonderful and curmudgeonly and wise beyond his years. Each of the supporting characters are multi-dimensional and have their own motivations. It was wonderful to read a book where female friendship was the heart of the story, and Piper and Gee worked together as equals. The world Ms. Johnson has created is rich in depth and detail, and we can't wait for more adventures set in Solace! Five Stars.

This book is appropriate for ages 9 and up.

 

 

Kids Picks

Harry the Dirty Dog
 by Gene Zion

Cover image for Harry the Dirty Dog

Chosen by Allison

Harry is a white dog with black spots who loves everything . . . except baths. So one day before bath time, Harry runs away. He plays outside all day long, digging and sliding in everything from garden soil to pavement tar. By the time he returns home, Harry is so dirty he looks like a black dog with white spots. His family doesn't even recognize him!

The Fire Cat
 by Esther Averill

Cover Image for The Fire Cat

Chosen by Allison

Pickles is a young cat with big paws and big plans. But all he can find to do is chase other cats, until he is adopted by the local firehouse. Knowing that this is his chance to do big things, Pickles works hard to be a good fire cat. Beginning readers will cheer when Pickle's dream finally comes true.

The Princess in Black 
by Shannon Hale

Cover image for The Princess in Black

Chosen by Lori

 Princess Magnolia is having hot chocolate and scones with Duchess Wigtower when . . . Brring! Brring! The monster alarm! A big blue monster is threatening the goats! Stopping monsters is no job for dainty Princess Magnolia. But luckily Princess Magnolia has a secret --she's also the Princess in Black, and stopping monsters is the perfect job for her! Can the princess sneak away, transform into her alter ego, and defeat the monster before the nosy duchess discovers her secret?

A Couple of Boys have the Best Week Ever
 By Marla Frazee

Cover image for A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever

Chosen by Janet

When James and Eamon go to a week of Nature Camp and stay at Eamon's grandparents' house, it turns out that their free time spent staying inside, eating waffles, and playing video games is way more interesting than nature. But sometimes things work out best when they don't go exactly as planned. This Caldecott Honor-winning book is a moving and hilarious celebration of young boys, childhood friendships, and the power of the imagination, where Marla Frazee captures the very essence of summer vacation and what it means to be a kid.

The Three Questions
by Jon Muth

Cover Image for Only One You

Chosen by Sherry

 In a gorgeous retelling of Tolstoy's profound fable, your child will reflect and discover who and what is important to him. Expressive, watercolor illustrations paint the tale of a young boy who seeks counsel from a wise turtle who lives in the mountains. But it's the boy's response to a stranger's cry for help that encourages young readers to seek the answers to the wonders within themselves.

My Heart Fills With Happiness
by Monique Gray Smith

cover image for My Heart Fills With Happiness

Chosen by Maureen

The sun on your face. The smell of warm bannock baking in the oven. Holding the hand of someone you love. What fills your heart with happiness? This beautiful board book, with illustrations from celebrated artist Julie Flett, serves as a reminder for little ones and adults alike to reflect on and cherish the moments in life that bring us joy.
   International speaker and award-winning author Monique Gray Smith wrote My Heart Fills with Happiness to support the wellness of Indigenous children and families, and to encourage young children to reflect on what makes them happy.

One Green Apple
by Eve Bunting

Cover Image for One Green Apple

Chosen by Maureen

Farah feels alone, even when surrounded by her classmates. She listens and nods but doesn't speak. It's hard being the new kid in school, especially when you're from another country and don't know the language. Then, on a field trip to an apple orchard, Farah discovers there are lots of things that sound the same as they did at home, from dogs crunching their food to the ripple of friendly laughter. As she helps the class make apple cider, Farah begins to feel that she belongs. Ted Lewin's gorgeous sun-drenched paintings and Eve Bunting's sensitive text immediately put the reader into another child's shoes in this timely story of a young Muslim immigrant.

A Beginner's Guide to Bear Spotting
by Michelle Robinson

Cover image for A Beginner's Guide to Bear Spotting

Chosen by Tressa

Do you dream of seeing some real, live bears? Then this essential guide to bear spotting, filled with offbeat humor and quirky illustrations, is for you! In this perfect read-aloud, sure to delight kids and parents alike, a young aspiring bear spotter ventures into bear country... But coming face-to-face with the furry creatures themselves, whether black or brown, can be dangerous, and our protagonist--accompanied by a trusty teddy bear--might need to use some unconventional means to stay out of trouble and avoid being (gulp!) eaten.

I'd Really Like to Eat a Child
by Silviane Donnio

Cover image for I'd Really Like to Eat a Child

Chosen by Tressa

 A scrawny little crocodile wants the opportunity to bite off more than he can chew. He's tired of bananas; today he'd like to eat a child. But he's smaller than he thinks, and the little girl he chooses for his first meal puts him in his place--she picks him up and tickles his tummy! The little crocodile is going to have to eat a lot of bananas and grow a lot bigger before he can add children to his menu! Simple yet hilarious artwork brings this droll story to life.

The Little Book of Big Fears
by Monica Arnaldo 

Cover image for The Little Book of Big Fears

Chosen by Lindsay

 Whether it's raccoons, the dark, math, or whatever lurks in the bathtub, everybody is afraid of something. Big or small, common or quirky, fears are normal -- and maybe even a little less scary when brought to light (and made light of). This book introduces 16 fictional children, named in alphabetical order, along with something each fears. There's Claire, who recoiled from legumes; Drew, who was scared of raccoons; Quinn, horrified by needles; and Will, unsettled by beetles. Darkly playful illustrations show each fear as magnified and real as a child would imagine it. Rhyming text and complex, interesting vocabulary make this book an enriching read.

Outfoxed
by Claudia Boldt 

Chosen by Kayla

Harold is unlike any other fox. He hates eating chicken, for one thing. He much prefers reading detective novels. When Harold's father challenges him to catch a chicken as part of his initiation into adulthood, Harold is faced with a dilemma--should he obey his father and endanger the chicken's life, or do what his heart tells him is right?

The Last Dragon
by Jane Yolen

Cover image for The Last Dragon

Chosen by Lindsay

 Master storyteller Jane Yolen (Owl Moon, Sword of the Rightful King) and celebrated fantasy artist Rebecca Guay (Swamp Thing, Magic: The Gathering) weave a textured and lyrical tale of adventure, homelands, and heroism the hard way. Two hundred years ago, humans drove the dragons from the islands of May. Now, the last of the dragons rises to wreak havoc anew with only a healer's daughter and a kite flying would be hero standing in its way.

Bears make the Best Reading Buddies
by Carmen Oliver

Cover image for Bears Make the Best REading Buddies

Chosen by Brenna

All the students in the class are assigned reading buddies, except for Adelaide. She already has one--a bear! And Adelaide is quite persuasive as she explains to her language arts teacher, Mrs. Fitz-Pea, and the reader, that bears really do make the best reading buddies: they sniff out good books and their claws are just right for turning pages. And the bear looks rather friendly (and studious) in these crayon-bright, contemporary illustrations, making this is must-read picture book for story time!

 

 

Teen Picks

The Raven Boys
by Maggie Stiefvater

Cover image for The Raven Boys

Chosen by Tressa

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her. His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble. But Gansey is different. He's on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, Ronan, and Noah. For as long as she can remember, Blue has been told by her psychic family that she will kill her true love. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

I am Princess X
by Cherie Priest 

Cover image for I Am Princess X

Chosen by Tressa

 Once upon a time, two best friends created a princess together. Libby drew the pictures, May wrote the tales, and their heroine, Princess X, slayed all the dragons and scaled all the mountains their imaginations could conjure. Once upon a few years later, Libby was with her mom when their car went over the side of a bridge on a rainy night. Libby passed away, and Princess X died with her. Once upon a now: May is sixteen and lonely, wandering the streets of Seattle, when she sees a sticker slapped in a corner window.
Princess X?
May starts to see the Princess everywhere: Stickers. Patches. Graffiti. There's an entire underground culture, focused around a webcomic at IAmPrincessX.com. The more May explores the webcomic, the more she sees disturbing similarities between Libby's story and Princess X online. And that means that only one person could have started this phenomenon - her best friend, Libby, who lives.

The Demon King
by Cinda Williams Chima

Cover image for The Demon King

Chosen by Brenna

Times are hard in the mountain city of Fellsmarch. Reformed thief Han Alister will do almost anything to eke out a living for himself and his family. Ironically, the only thing of value he has is something he can’t sell. For as long as Han can remember, he’s worn thick, magickal silver cuffs engraved with runes. Han’s life gets even harder after he steals a powerful amulet that once belonged to the Demon King, the wizard who nearly destroyed the world a millennium ago. Meanwhile, Raisa ana’Marianna, Princess Heir of the Fells, has her own battles to fight. Raisa isn’t looking forward to trading in her common sense for a prince with a big castle and tiny brain. Raisa aspires to be like Hanalea—the legendary warrior queen who killed the Demon King and saved the world. The Seven Realms will tremble when the lives of Han and Raisa collide in this stunning new page-turner.

Alanna the First Adventure
by Tamora Pierce

Cover image for alanna the first adventure

Chosen by Brenna

"From now on I'm Alan of Trebond, the younger twin. I'll be a knight."

And so young Alanna of Trebond begins the journey to knighthood. Alanna has always craved the adventure and daring allowed only for boys. So Alanna, pretending to be a boy, takes her brother's place and finds herself on her way to the castle of King Roald to begin her training as a page. But the road to knighthood is not an easy one. As Alanna masters the skills necessary for battle, she must also learn to control her heart and to discern her enemies from her allies. Filled with swords and sorcery, adventure and intrigue, good and evil, Alanna's first adventure begins -- one that will lead to the fulfillment of her dreams and make her a legend in the land.

Famous in Love
by Rebecca Serle 

Cover image for Famous In Love

Chosen by Cori

When Paige Townsen gets plucked from high school obscurity to star in the movie adaptation of a blockbuster book series, her life changes practically overnight. Within a month, Paige has traded the quiet streets of her hometown for a bustling film set on the shores of Maui, and she is spending quality time with her costar Rainer Devon, one of People's Sexiest Men Alive. But when troubled star Jordan Wilder lands the role of the other point in the movie's famous love triangle, Paige's crazy new life begins to resemble her character's.
In this exciting tale of romance and drama, both on-and offscreen, Paige must adjust to a crazy new life without the daily support of her friends and family, while figuring out who she is--and who she wants--as the whole world watches.

Born at Midnight
by C. C. Hunt

Cover Image for Born at Midnight

Chosen by Cori

One night Kylie Galen finds herself at the wrong party, with the wrong people, and it changes her life forever.  Her mother ships her off to Shadow Falls—a camp for troubled teens, and within hours of arriving, it becomes painfully clear that her fellow campers aren’t just “troubled.”  Here at Shadow Falls, vampires, werewolves, shapshifters, witches and fairies train side by side—learning to harness their powers, control their magic and live in the normal world. Even worse, they insist Kylie is one of them. As if life wasn’t complicated enough, enter Derek, a half-fae, and Lucas, a werewolf, who both have a powerful hold on her heart. Even though Kylie feels deeply uncertain about everything, one thing is becoming painfully clear—Shadow Falls is exactly where she belongs…

Where Things Come Back
by John Corey Whaley

Cover image for Where Things Come Back

Chosen by Anna-Marie

In the remarkable, bizarre, and heart-wrenching summer before Cullen Witter's senior year of high school, he is forced to examine everything he understands about his small and painfully dull Arkansas town. His cousin overdoses; his town becomes absurdly obsessed with the alleged reappearance of an extinct woodpecker; and most troubling of all, his gifted fifteen-year-old brother, Gabriel, suddenly disappears. Meanwhile, a young missionary in Africa has a crisis of faith which prompts a frantic search for meaning. When these two stories collide, a surprising and harrowing climax emereges that is tinged with melancholy regret, comedy and absurdity, and above all, hope.

We Are All Made of Molecules
by Susin Nielsen

Cover Image for We Are All Made of Molecules

Chosen by Lindsay

Thirteen-year-old Stewart Inkster is academically brilliant but "ungifted" socially. Fourteen-year-old Ashley Anderson is the undisputed "It" girl of grade nine, but her marks stink. Their worlds are about to collide when Stewart and his dad move in with Ashley and her mom. Stewart is trying to be 89.9% happy about it, but Ashley is 110% horrified. She already has to hide the truth behind her parents' divorce; "Spewart" could further threaten her position at the top of the social ladder. They are complete opposites. And yet, no matter their differences, they share one thing in common: they--like the rest of us--are all made of molecules.

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