Books & DVDs

Save Me a Seat
Sarah Weeks and Gita Varadarajan
Ages 9-12

Ravi Suryanarayanan is trying to survive his first week in the 5th Grade at Albert Einstein Elementary.  Having just moved to the United States from India, Ravi is learning that school is very different in New Jersey than it was Bangalore.  American kids dress, eat, play, and speak differently.  Ravi begins to wonder if he'll ever adjust.

Joe Sylvester is also trying to survive the first week of 5th Grade at Albert Einstein Elementary.  As if having an Auditory Processing Disorder wasn't hard enough, his only friends at school moved away over the summer.  Joe begins to wonder if he'll be stuck eating by himself at the lunch table all year long.

Will Ravi and Joe be able to adjust to life in the 5th Grade?

Told in alternating points of view, this is a quick and engaging read.  A nice choice for reluctant readers who enjoy Realistic Fiction.

Sep 9, 2016
The War That Saved My Life
Kimberley Brubaker Bradley
10-13 yrs.

At the start of World War II in London, Ada lives a sheltered life with her abusive mother and little brother, Jamie.  Constrained by a disability and the restrictions placed on her by her mother, all this 10-year-old knows of the outside world is observed through her apartment window.  Due to threats of bombing, the children are evacuated to the countryside where their lives begin to change. This is a story of courage and resilience as Ada emerges from her cruel beginnings to see herself as a person of value and learns to trust those around her--a rewarding read. Book on CD features excellent character voices by Jayne Entwistle.  J FIC Bra or J CD FIC Bra

Sep 9, 2016
This is Not a Book
Jean Jullien
Ages 3+

*CAUTION* This book will cause your child to have massive fits of laughter with guaranteed repeated occurances!

The title of this book is correct in that it is NOT your typical picture book using words to tell a story. This IS a book that celebrates the joy of using your imagination, interactivity, and laughter. 

Ages 3 and up (must have a sense of humor)


Sep 9, 2016
Old MacDonald Had a Truck
Steve Goetz
Ages 3-6

We all know Old MacDonald had a farm, but did you know he also had an excavator, a front loader, a bulldozer, and a cement mixer?!  Kids interested in construction vehicles will love the detailed illustrations.  A fun rendition of the classic song. 

Aug 8, 2016
Chicken in Space
Adam Lehrhaupt
Ages 3-5

Zoey the chicken is determined to travel to outer space.  After finding a suitable "space ship," Zoey and her best pig, Sam, set off on their journey.  Though they encounter "asteroids," "comets," and "alien attack ships," Zoey and Sam return safely to earth and begin to plan their next big adventure. 

A cute, quick read for imaginative kids. 


Jun 6, 2016
The Girl in the Well is Me
Karen Rivers
Ages 10-13

"Help me, help me, please!" Kammie is trapped in a narrow well. Did her friends intend for her to stumble in or was it an accident?  Struggling to hold on, Kammie's voice is compelling as she recalls the events leading up to her fall. New in town, her family divided, and desperate to fit into a group, she has agreed to an "initiation" in order to be accepted by peers. Inspired by a true story of a toddler falling down a well, and dealing with issues of family hardship and bullying, this book really holds the reader's attention.

Jun 6, 2016
Maybe a Fox
Kathi Appelt and Alison McGhee
Ages 10 & Up

Ever since their mother died, Jules and Sylvie are nearly inseparable. So when Sylvie mysteriously goes missing, Jules is heartbroken.  In the midst of trying to cope with her sister's disappearance, Jules notices a red fox on her property.  Foxes are meant to bring the fox a sign that Sylvie will soon return?

A beautifully written book, definitely worthy of the Newbery buzz surrounding it. But be forewarned:  it's a tearjerker.  Recommended for children coping with death and loss.  A shouldn't-be-missed book for adults who enjoy reading Juvenile Fiction.


May 5, 2016
The Boys in the Boat
James Brown
Ages 10 & up

Now adapted for younger readers, the original adult version of this book was a New York Times best seller.  "The Boat" in the story refers to a crew of 9 college students and their 60 foot vessel and how the young men learned to rely on each other, working together to achieve victory at the 1936 Olympics. Compellingly, we hear the narrative through the experience of one of the rowers, Joe Rantz, who lost his mother at the age of 4, was abandoned once by his family at the age of 10, and forced to provide for himself from the age of 15.  It's a riveting tale of sacrifice, trust, and friendship in the midst of the Great Depression and the emergence of Hitler's Nazi Germany.  Highly recommended!

May 5, 2016
When Mischief Came to Town
Katrina Nannestad
Ages 9-11

After her mother dies, ten-year-old Inge Maria is sent to live with her grandmother on a small island off the coast of Denmark.  Set in 1911, Inge soon finds that country life is much different than the life she's led in Copenhagen.  Although she tries hard to behave in order to gain her grandmother's love, Inge's high-spirited, quirky personality often gets in the way. 

A funny, touching read that Pippi Longstocking fans will enjoy.

Apr 4, 2016
The Watsons Go to Birmingham—1963
Christopher Paul Curtis
Ages 8-12

The Watsons have a pretty good life living in Flint, Michigan, despite the cold that Mrs. Watson complains about. There is the “cry baby” youngest, Joey, the “smart” middle child, Kenny, and the “bully” oldest, Byron and of course Mr. and Mrs. Watson. When Byron pulls one too many stunts, his parents finally follow through with their threat to send him to his grandma’s house in Birmingham, Alabama. So the whole family packs up and drives to Alabama; but there is civil unrest in the South and the Watson family might be driving into the worst danger they’ve ever faced. 

Although there are serious issues addressed in this book, it is a rollicking story about the lives of one family told from the point of view of Kenny. Kids will be able to relate to Kenny who is often bullied by his older brother or his classmates while being at the age of trying to decide if he’s too old to play with things like plastic dinosaurs. Curtis creates a family that is a joy to read about and travel with as they go from Flint to Birmingham and back again in their “Brown Bomber” car and “Yakety Yak” playing on their portable record player. 


Apr 4, 2016

© 2016 William P. Faust Westland Public Library