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. 

 

December 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

Morris's Disappearing Bag
 by Rosemary Wells

Cover image for Morris's Disappearing Bag

Chosen by Allison

It's Christmas Day and Morris is missing. He was there to open his present-a teddy bear-and to watch his older sisters and brother open their gifts. His siblings went off to play with each other's new toys, but nobody wanted to play with Morris's bear. So Morris found something new to play with-a disappearing bag. He jumped right in and became invisible! Now he has something everybody wants to try. But they have to find him first. This warm and humorous story proves that sometimes the littlest bunny gets the last laugh.

Jackalope
 by Janet Stevens

Chosen by Allison

Never seen a jackalope? Not even sure what one is? Well, you've come to the right place. You'll get the whole wild story right here in this book.
You see, the jackalope didn't start out with horns. First he was a plain old hare. You know, a jackrabbit. The horns came later, along with a corny fairy godrabbit and a cranky coyote. And the trouble those horns brought--hoooo-wee!
With a gut-busting brew of sassy storytelling and outrageous art, Janet Stevens and Susan Stevens Crummel finally give the jackalope his due. After all, he's long been part of American legend--isn't it time to tell the real story?

Sad, The Dog 
by Sandy Fussell

Cover image for Sad, The Dog

Chosen by Lori

 A clever little dog christens himself "Sad" when his humans fail to give him a name, nor do they appreciate his many gifts, like his love of singing ("stop that yapping!"). When the people move away and leave Sad behind, Sad is heartbroken. But then a new family with a young boy arrives at Sad's house in a big truck. Although Sad is initially frightened, it soon becomes clear that the boy is just the right person to make a dog's life complete with playtime, treats, and a brand-new name: Lucky. Welcoming illustrations illuminate this joyful tale, which reminds young readers to appreciate themselves and the ones--human or otherwise--who depend on them.

A Rock is Lively
 By Dianna Hutts Aston

Cover image for A Rock Is Lively

Chosen by Lori

From the creators of the award-winning An Egg Is Quiet , A Seed Is Sleepy , A Butterfly Is Patient , and A Nest Is Noisy comes this gorgeous and informative introduction to the fascinating world of rocks. From dazzling blue Lapis Lazuli to volcanic Snowflake Obsidian, an incredible variety of rocks are showcased in all their splendor. Poetic in voice and elegant in design, this book introduces an array of facts, making it equally perfect for classroom sharing and family reading.

Only One You
by Linda Kranz 

Cover Image for Only One You

Chosen by Sherry

 Adri's mama and papa share some of the wisdom they have gained through the years with their eager son. Their words, simple and powerful, are meant to comfort and guide him as he goes about exploring the world.

Lenny and Lucy
by Philip and Erin Stead

cover image for Lenny and Lucy

Chosen by Maureen

Peter and his father are moving to a new house beyond the dark unfriendly woods. When they arrive at their new home, Peter wants to turn back. Fortunately, he has Harold for company, but Harold is just a dog and can't help Peter. Scared of the things hidden in the woods, Peter makes a tall pile of pillows. He stiches and sews. He pushes and pulls. And when he is done, he has Lenny, Guardian of the Bridge, to protect him and Harold. Lenny is a good guard but Peter worries that Lenny will get lonely out by the woods all by himself, so he makes Lucy, who is a good friend. Together, Lenny, Lucy, Peter, and Harold discover that this new place isn't so scary after all.

Sometimes I Feel Like Fox
by Danielle Daniel

Cover of Sometimes I Feel Like A Fox

Chosen by Maureen

In this introduction to the Anishinaabe tradition of totem animals, young children explain why they identify with different creatures such as a deer, beaver or moose. Delightful illustrations show the children wearing masks representing their chosen animal, while the few lines of text on each page work as a series of simple poems throughout the book. In a brief author's note, Danielle Daniel explains the importance of totem animals in Anishinaabe culture and how they can also act as animal guides for young children seeking to understand themselves and others.

Love: The Tiger
by Frederic Brremaud

Cover image for love: The Tiger

Chosen by Dave

A day in the life of the king of the jungle, this lavishly illustrated story follows a single majestic tiger through a wordless adventure of survival as it hunts prey and defends itself from other would-be killers defending their territory.  A beautiful, all-ages title that explores genuine natural behavior through the dramatic lens of Disney-esque storytelling. Like a nature documentary in illustration.

I'm Trying To Love Spiders
by Bethany Barton

Cover image for I'm Trying to Love Spiders

Chosen by Lindsay

I’m Trying to Love Spiders will help you see these amazing arachnids in a whole new light, from their awesomely excessive eight eyes, to the seventy-five pounds of bugs a spider can eat in a single year! And you’re sure to feel better knowing you have a better chance of being struck by lightning than being fatally bit by a spider. Comforting, right? No? Either way, there’s heaps more information in here to help you forget your fears . . . or at least laugh a lot!

Firefly Hollow
by Alison McGhee 

Cover image for Firefly Hollow

Chosen by Lindsay

 Firefly. Cricket. Vole. Peter. Can four creatures from four very different Nations help one another find their ways in the world that can feel oh-so-big? Firefly doesn't merely want to fly, she wants to touch the moon. Cricket doesn't merely want to sing about baseball, he wants to catch. When these two little creatures with big dreams wander out of Firefly Hollow, refusing to listen to their elders, they find themselves face-to-face with the one creature they were always told to stay away from...a giant. But this giant is different -- he's ... miniature, and his name is Peter. Peter is in need of friends, even small ones, even if his dad thinksthey are imaginary. But Firefly and Cricket are actual, not imaginary. And so are their dreams. And sometimes dreams, like friendships, lead to something extraordinary.
Firefly Hollow
is nothing short of enchanting, reminding us all that the very best friend is the one who wants you to achieve your dreams.

Madeline
by Ludwig Bemelmans

Chosen by Kayla

A Caldecott Honor Book. Madeline truly needs no introduction. An enduring classic, Madeline continues to enchant readers more than seventy years after its first publication. Nothing frightens Madeline—not tigers, not mice, not even getting sick. To Madeline, a trip to the hospital is a grand adventure.

Goodnight Mr. Darcy
by Kate Coombs

Chosen by Kayla

The adored children's classic Goodnight Moon gets a classic lit makeover in this charming parody of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice novel. All of Austen's much-loved characters are at the Netherfield Ball- In the great ballroom, there was a country dance, and a well-played tune, and Elizabeth Bennett; and Mr. Darcy surprised, by a pair of fine eyes ... And don't forget Jane with a blush and Mr. Bingley turned to mush, and a gossiping mother and father saying hush.

The Phantom Tollbooth
by Norton Juster 

Cover image for The Phantom Tollbooth

Chosen by Anna-Marie

This ingenious fantasy centers around Milo, a bored ten-year-old who comes home to find a large toy tollbooth sitting in his room. Joining forces with a watchdog named Tock, Milo drives through the tollbooth's gates and begins a memorable journey. He meets such characters as the foolish, yet lovable Humbug, the Mathemagician, and the not-so-wicked "Which," Faintly Macabre, who gives Milo the "impossible" mission of returning two princesses to the Kingdom of Wisdom.

 

 

Teen Picks

Girl Defective
by Simmone Howell

Cover image for Girl Defective

Chosen by Tressa

This is the story of a wild girl and a ghost girl; a boy who knew nothing and a boy who thought he knew everything.
It's a story about Skylark Martin, who lives with her father and brother in a vintage record shop and is trying to find her place in the world. It's about ten-year-old Super Agent Gully and his case of a lifetime. And about beautiful, reckless, sharp-as-knives Nancy. It's about tragi-hot Luke, and just-plain-tragic Mia Casey. It's about the dark underbelly of a curious neighborhood. It's about summer, and weirdness, and mystery, and music.
And it's about life and death and grief and romance. All the good stuff.

Fans of the Impossible Life
by Kate Scelsa 

Cover image for Fans of the Impossible Life

Chosen by Tressa

Mira is starting over at Saint Francis Prep. She promised her parents she would at least try to pretend that she could act like a functioning human this time, not a girl who can’t get out of bed for days on end, who only feels awake when she’s with Sebby. Jeremy is the painfully shy art nerd at Saint Francis who’s been in self-imposed isolation after an incident that ruined his last year of school. When he sees Sebby for the first time, it’s as if he’s been expecting this blond, lanky boy with mischief glinting in his eye. Sebby, Mira’s gay best friend, is a boy who seems to carry sunlight around with him. Even as life in his foster home starts to take its toll, Sebby and Mira together craft a world of magic rituals and impromptu road trips, designed to fix the broken parts of their lives. As Jeremy finds himself drawn into Sebby and Mira’s world, he begins to understand the secrets that they hide in order to protect themselves, to keep each other safe from those who don’t understand their quest to live for the impossible.

A Court of Thorns and Roses
by Sarah Mass

Cover image for A Court of Thorns and Roses

Chosen by Brenna

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin --one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.
     As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she's been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow over the faerie lands is growing, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin--and his world--forever.

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.

Throwaway Girl
by Kristine Scarrow

Cover image for Throwaway Girl

Chosen by Miranda

Andy Burton knows a thing or two about survival. Since she was removed from her mother's home and placed in foster care when she was nine, she's had to deal with abuse, hunger, and homelessness. But now that she's eighteen, she's about to leave Haywood House, the group home for girls where she's lived for the past four years, and the closest thing to a real home she's ever known.
Will Andy be able to carve out a better life for herself and find the happiness she is searching for?

Graceling
by Kristin Cashore

Cover image for Graceling

Chosen by Moraya

 Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight. She's a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece to the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the kings thug. When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa never expected her life to change, or to become Pos friend. She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away . . . a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone.

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.

Stargirl
by Jerry Spinelli 

Cover image for Stargirl

Chosen by Kayla

Stargirl. From the day she arrives at quiet Mica High in a burst of color and sound, the hallways hum with the murmur of “Stargirl, Stargirl.” She captures Leo Borlock’ s heart with just one smile. She sparks a school-spirit revolution with just one cheer. The students of Mica High are enchanted. At first.

Then they turn on her. Stargirl is suddenly shunned for everything that makes her different, and Leo, panicked and desperate with love, urges her to become the very thing that can destroy her: normal. In this celebration of nonconformity, Newbery Medalist Jerry Spinelli weaves a tense, emotional tale about the perils of popularity and the thrill and inspiration of first love.

The Named
by Marianne Curley 

Cover image for The Named

Chosen by Moraya

Ethan is a member of the Named, sworn to fight the Order of Chaos, an evil group determined to permanently change the course of history. But he is also a normal high school student trying desperately to keep up with his homework and fit in. When he is assigned to mentor Isabel, a cute classmate and future member of the Named, the line between his two lives begins to blur. So begins an epic quest as Ethan, Isabel, and others travel through time to battle dark forces and protect the future.

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