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Youth Yak


Best selling books for Preschoolers in September

book   book   book  
Otis and the Scarecrow   Armond Goes to a Party   We’re Off to Find the Witch’s House  
    book   book  
    Cat in the Hat   Goodnight Loon  

Jen Jen's Picks


by Michael Perry

In Scavengers, Michael Perry has crafted a brilliant story— every bit for the 8-12 year old audience for which it was intended. It has action, adventure, fight scenes, cool survival techniques, mystery, and a touch of science fiction. It’s also about the possible consequences if the government takes over agriculture and turns it into a monopoly. I suspect kids that read this book now will remember it, and when they reflect on it years from now, a light bulb will go on. I certainly hope so.

Ford Falcon (a name she gave herself with full knowledge that it was the name of a not-so-great car model), the protagonist in Scavengers, lives with her family in the wilderness in “Outer Bubble”. Most of the population lives in the government-protected and controlled Bubble Cities. Those in the “Outer Bubble” must scavenge for food and life is hard. About ten years earlier, citizens had to choose whether they would live in the protected bubble cities or fend for themselves. Ford’s family chose the latter and they’re barely surviving. When Ford’s family disappears one night while Ford is staying at a neighbor’s, Ford is faced with finding them, sorting out family secrets, and ultimately making hard decisions.

One of our favorite writers for young children is Minnesota’s own Alison McGhee. She has written several witch books, which are perfect for October and Halloween: A Very Brave Witch, Only a Witch Can Fly (now available in PB) and her newest, The Sweetest Witch Around.

Alli Alli's Pick

  The Thickety: A Path Begins
by J.A. White

The first of The Thickety books begins with young Kara Westfall being kidnapped and brought to trial for the crime of witchcraft (as her mother had been, and subsequently executed, several years prior).

I really enjoyed this book. It was an interesting fast read which, through the young adult fantasy genre, explores themes of prejudice. The only thing I might be cautious about is that, while the book is recommended for ages 8-12, I expect it might be a bit too dark for those on the younger side of the age range given. It struck me in much the same way as some of the later Harry Potter books in that, while I enjoyed them a great deal and found them well written, I might be careful in regards to which child they were given to.

That said, I found it to be a very entertaining read by a new author. I look forward to reading the next in the series.

Mariah Mariah's Pick

I have recently re-read Divergent, by Veronica Roth, before reading the second and third books in the series: Insurgent and Allegiant. This young-adult dystopian novel focuses on Tris, who tries to figure out how she fits into her divided society. I have found this series to be really interesting, as it explores ideas such as personality types, social/political structure, and identity. I would definitely recommend this book!

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