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. 


June Kids Staff Book Club Read

Zombies Vs. Unicorns
 Edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier

Cover image for Zombies vs Unicorns

"Zombies Vs. Unicorns is a fantastic and original anthology, cleverly edited by experienced authors Justine Larbalestier and Holly Black, who have taken an oddball premise and turned it into a highly entertaining battle of imagination and wit. Enjoyment of individual stories will depend on personal preference, but overall this is a solid read for anyone who loves zombies and/or unicorns, or is just looking for a collection of good stories."

Bottom Line: While the Kids Staff here all started out as Team Unicorn, we're surprised to say that by the end of the book, Team Zombie managed to win us over! Whose team are you on?

This book is appropriate for a teen audience.


Kids Picks

I Will Never Get A Star on Mrs. Benson's Chalkboard
 by Jennifer K. Mann

Cover image for I Will Never Get A Star in Mrs. Benson's Class

Chosen by Allison

Rose is a distracted and creative soul. She does her best at school, but sometimes her mind wanders, and she answers the wrong question. And, well, keeping her desk neat is a challenge. When it's time for art class, Rose's art supplies turn her desk (and her) into a colorful mess. But her artistic skills shine through in the gorgeous card she creates. Could she possibly get a star after all? A cheerful and empowering picture book for the child whose talents lie in unconventional areas, and those searching for their strengths.

Won Ton
 by Eugene Yelchin

Cover image for Faithful Elephants

Chosen by Allison

Visiting hours! Yawn. I pretend not to care. Yet - I sneak a peek. 

Nice place they got here. Bed. Bowl. Blankie. Just like home! Or so I've been told.  

So begins this beguiling tale of a wary shelter cat and the boy who takes him home. Sometimes funny, sometimes touching, this adoption story, told entirely in haiku, is unforgettable.

Ancient Thunder
by Leo Yerxa

Cover image for Ancient THunder

Chosen by Allison

A beautiful and visionary book, Ancient Thunder celebrates wild horses and the natural world of the prairies. Using an extraordinary paper-leathering technique, Leo Yerxa, an artist of Ojibway ancestry creates art that is accompanied by a rich song of praise for the wild horses that came to play such an important role in the lives of the First Peoples. Years in the making, the book is truly a work of art -- one that reflects Yerxa's sense of nature and the place of the First Peoples within it.


by Cynthia Rylant

Cover image for Poppleton

Chosen by Lori

Poppleton, a most interesting pig, lives in a charming house in the country in this three-chapter beginning reader. In the first chapter, he makes a friend, though not without first making a muddle of it. In the second, he shows how much he values his Monday's at the library, and in the final chapter, he helps out a sick friend. Teague contributes fetching watercolor-and-pencil images of the pudgy pig, slender llama and dignified goat.

Mr. Putter and Tabby Pour the Tea
 By Cynthia Rylant

Cover image for Lord and Lady Bunny - Almost Royalty!

Chosen by Lori

"The gentle, affecting first volume introduces elderly Mr. Putter, who decides that a cat will keep him from feeling lonely. Rylant’s texts reflect admirable concern for brevity and meticulous consideration of every word. They are in perfect sync with Howard’s expressive sketches, which slip abundant visual jokes into sunny, transparent watercolors and gouaches, and fluid pencil and pastel scribbles."--Publishers Weekly

Marilyn's Monster
by Michelle Knudsen

Cover image for Marylyn's Monster 

Chosen by Maureen

Some of the kids in Marilyn's class have monsters. Marilyn doesn't have hers yet, but she can't just go out and look for one. Your monster has to find you. Marilyn tries to be patient and the kind of girl no monster can resist, but her monster doesn't come. Could she go out and search for him herself? Even if that's not the way it works?This is a story about one little girl and the perfect monster she knows is out there . . . and what happens when she decides she's waited long enough.

Interstellar Cinderella
by Deborah Underwood 

Cover image for How To

Chosen by Maureen

Once upon a planetoid, amid her tools and sprockets, a girl named Cinderella dreamed of fixing fancy rockets. With a little help from her fairy godrobot, Cinderella is going to the ball. But when the prince's ship has mechanical trouble, someone will have to zoom to the rescue! Readers will thank their lucky stars for this irrepressible fairy tale retelling, its independent heroine, and its stellar happy ending.

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.

Princess Decomposia and Count Spatula
by Andi Watson

Cover image for this is Princess Decomposia 

Chosen by Lindsay

Princess Decomposia is overworked and underappreciated. Oh, and her father (the king) just fired the chef, so now she has to hire a new cook. Luckily for the princess, she hires Count Spatula, the charming vampire chef. He's a go-getter, and pretty soon the two young ghouls become ... friends? Decomposia has to sort out her life, and with Count Spatula at her side, you can be sure she'll succeed. A gothy-cute sensibility adds to this sweet and mildly spooky tale of friendship, family, and management training for the undead.

The Lost Island
by Pauline Johnson

Cover of Lost Island

Chosen by Maureen

A Search for the timeless connection to the old world presages a vision of the future in the haunting story of The Lost Island.Set amidst the natural beauty of Vancouver, the stunningly tactile and detailed watercolour illustrations by Atanas convey a spirit infused with the love of nature.

Green Eggs and Ham
by Dr Seuss

Cover image for Green Eggs and ham

Chosen by Robbie

Sam-I-Am mounts a determined campaign to convince another Seuss character to eat a plate of green eggs and ham.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
by Ian Fleming

Cover image for Chitty CHitty Bang Bang

Chosen by Robbie

Published fifty years ago in 1964, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: The Magical Car introduced the world to the thrilling adventures of the "crackpot" Pott family and the flying car with a mind of her own. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang became an instant bestseller that has been reinvented as a musical and a film (with a screenplay co-written by Roald Dahl) and has also inspired three sequels written by Frank Cottrell Boyce. 

The Cat's of Tanglewood Forest
by Charles de Lint

Cover image for Princess in Black 

Chosen by Lindsay

In this whimsical, original folktale, a young girl's journey becomes an enchanting coming-of-age story about magic, friendship, and the courage to shape one's own destiny. Lillian Kindred spends her days exploring the Tanglewood Forest, a magical, rolling wilderness that she imagines to be full of fairies. The trouble is, Lillian has never seen a wisp of magic in her hills--until the day the cats of the forest save her life by transforming her into a kitten. Now she must set out on a perilous adventure that will lead her through untamed lands of fabled creatures to find a way to make things right.

Flora and Ulysses
by Kate DiCamillo

Cover image for El Deafo

Chosen by Lindsay

The squirrel never saw the vacuum cleaner coming, but self-described cynic Flora Belle Buckman is just the right person to step in and save him. What neither can predict is that Ulysses (the squirrel) has been born anew, with powers of strength, flight, and misspelled poetry -- and that Flora will be changed too, as she discovers the possibility of hope and the promise of a capacious heart.



Teen Picks

The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley
by Shaun David Hutchinson

Cover image for The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley

Chosen by Tressa

Andrew Brawley was supposed to have died, just like his family. Now he lives in the hospital, sleeping in a forgotten supply closet. Drew blends in, hiding from his past, his guilt, and those who are trying to find him.Then, Rusty is wheeled into the ER, half his body burned by hateful classmates. Rusty’s agony calls out to Drew, pulling them together though all their pain and grief. In Rusty, Drew sees hope, happiness, and a future for both of them. But to save Rusty, Drew will have to confront Death, and life will have to get worse before it gets better. And by telling the truth about who he really is, Drew risks destroying any chance of a future.

A Perfect Gentle Knight
by Kit Pearson

Cover image for A Perfect Gentle Knight

Chosen by Tressa

Set in the 1950s, this novel follows the story of the 5 Bell children, each of them coping in various ways in the aftermath of their mother's death. Seen through the perspective of 11-year-old Corrie, A Perfect Gentle Knight illustrates how a rich fantasy life both helps and hinders children trying to cope with loss, loneliness, and growing up.While elder sister Roz is growing up and out of the desire for fantasy games, eldest brother Sebastian, who fancies himself Sir Lancelot in their Round Table game, continues to need it as much as ever, creating tension in the family and concern for Corrie, who worries that he may have lost his grip on reality.

The 5th Wave
by Rick Yancey

Cover image for Seraphina

Chosen by Brenna

It's the dawn of the 5th wave. On a lonely highway, Cassie runs from Them, in order to save her brother. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets mysterious Evan Walker. Cassie must choose: trust or despair, defiance or surrender. To give up or to get up.

The Program
by Suzanne Young

Cover image for The Program 

Chosen by Brenna

Sloane knows better than to cry in front of anyone. With suicide an international epidemic, one outburst could land her in The Program, the only proven course of treatment. Sloane knows that everyone who's been through The Program returns with their depression gone--but so are their memories.

Under constant surveillance, the only person Sloane can be herself with is James. She knows their love is strong enough to withstand anything, but The Program is coming for them.

Arctic Giants
by Neil Christopher

Cover image for Forget Me 

Chosen by Maureen

In ancient times, giants ruled the Arctic. These were fearsome creatures, some so large and powerful that they could wade into the ocean to catch whales using their bare hands.

This rich and dramatic Arctic folklore is based on Inuit oral tradition and for hundreds of years these legends have been carried down through each generation, whispered quietly in the night. Unsparingly told in the vein of the Brothers Grimm, this powerful cultural legacy is bound to become part of Canada's fairytale canon.

The Giver
by Lois Lowry

Cover image for Knife Of Never Letting Go 

Chosen by Karlee

The Giver, the 1994 Newbery Medal winner, has become one of the most influential novels of our time. The haunting story centers on twelve-year-old Jonas, who lives in a seemingly ideal, if colorless, world of conformity and contentment. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver of Memory does he begin to understand the dark, complex secrets behind his fragile community.

Made For You
by Melissa Marr

Cover image for Jeremy Stone 

Chosen by Billy

When Eva Tilling wakes up in the hospital, she's confused--who in her sleepy little North Carolina town could have hit her, the town darling, with their car? And why? But she has little time to consider the question when she finds that she's awoken with a strange new skill: the ability to foresee people's deaths when they touch her. Chilling twists, unrequited obsession, and high-stakes romance drive Melissa Marr's racy thriller--a story of small-town oppression and salvation.

Princess Bride
by William Goldman

Cover image for Where I Belong 

Chosen by Robbie

Originally published in 1973, William Goldman's classic tale has now sold over one million copies. The 1987 movie perfectly captured the spirit of the book--a whimsical story of true love and high adventure, pirates and giants, monsters and princesses, miracles and narrow escape. This new edition's beautiful new package will attract a new generation of readers.

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