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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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