First - Third Grade Book Club Choices

Below is a list of our Book Club choices for grades 1 - 3. Ask any librarian for more information, or click here to see discussion questions for these books!

Book Club Kits in the Children's Library

Children reading on the playground, 1910. Photo via NYPL's archive.
Children reading on the playground, 1910. Photo via NYPL's archive.

Parents - thinking about starting a book club for your kids? 

Kids- looking for suggestions for your next book club meeting?

The children's library can help you choose books, offer discussion starters, and even provide a meeting space for your group! Choose a title from our list, check out mulitple copies of the book, and receive a discussion guide including a summary, discussion questions, and further activites for your club's use!

For more information, contact a children's librarian or check out the lists below!

First - Third Grade Books

Fourth - Sixth Grade Books

Zombies for Kids

If you like supernatural horror stories, you're in luck because there are finally books about the undead for kids!  Whether you like the all-out fright of kids being chased by rotting zombies or more of a kid-zombie-fighter story, check out the books below.

Dead City by James Ponti - Molly goes to a special science school in New York City and spends her free time hanging out in the city morgue (her mom used to work there), but she still isn't prepared for the information that zombies exist...and that she is a perfect candidate for a secret zombie-protection organization called Omega.  As she hones her zombie-fighting skills, she learns more about the history of the undead (they don't like to be called zombies) in New York City and discovers her family's secret connection to Omega.  A fun, modern take on zombies that's full of action.

Gravediggers: Mountain of Bones by Christopher Krovatin - The sixth grade is on a camping trip, but for Ian it's a chance to find the bodies of the dance troupe who supposedly disappeared in the area.  When Ian leaves the group, his quiet friend PJ and the class brain, Kendra, follow him and are pulled deeper and deeper into the woods, even as they try to find their way back to their classmates.  The trio finds refuge in an abandoned cabin, and a journal left by one of the missing dancers, a clue that seems irrelevant once a horde of zombies stumbles out of the woods--straight toward their cabin.  A satisfying choice for horror movie fans.

The Librarians are Talking About...The Lions of Little Rock

The Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine
The Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine

It's 1958 and Marlee Nisbett is attending junior high in Little Rock, Arkansas, one year after the Little Rock Nine. Marlee has always found it difficult to speak, but her best friend Sally McDaniels seems to do all the talking for her. While Marlee finds a way to manage her anxiety through reciting prime numbers, she is assigned a group project and will have to stand up in front of the entire class. Marlee's partner, a new student named Liz, is encouraging and quite determined to help Marlee speak. The two girls begin to meet at the local zoo to practice for their project and quickly become close friends.

Then one day Liz does not show up to school and Marlee's teacher announces that Liz will not be returning for the rest of the school year. Soon there are murmurs among classmates that Liz was actually attending the segregated junior high school despite not being white. Devastated, Marlee sets out to locate Liz in order to find out the truth and to bring back her new friend. As a result, Marlee soon becomes involved in the local movement of the Women's Emergency Committee to reopen the Little Rock schools. 

Set amid a turbulent time in the struggle for integration, The Lions of Little Rock by author Kristin Levine is already on many top ten lists for the year. 

Too many books!

Help!  The librarians are almost swimming in new books.  Please come in and borrow one.  Or two.  Or ten. 

We have Olivia's latest book and you can meet the newest American Girl.  Find out what happened to Stuart after Horten's Miraculous Mechanisms, and pick up Book 5 in Margaret Peterson Haddix's The Missing series. 

 

The Librarians Are Talking About...Splendors and Glooms

Dancing puppets!
Dancing puppets!

Whenever a former Newberry-winning author releases a new book, librarians sit up and take notice. When that Newberry winner is the author of A Drowned Maiden's Hair (a book both Miss Kiera and Miss Elisabeth love!) we have to talk about it. Laura Amy Schilitz, author of the Newberry-winning Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! has come out with a new book, and librarians around the country are buzzing - Splendors and Glooms is a dark, creepy, fantastical thriller.

Gaspare Grisini is the best puppeteer London has ever seen. With the help of his overworked, underfed orphan assistants, Lizzie and Parsefell, he puts on a daily puppet show in Hyde Park. A rich child named Clara Wintermute begs her father to let the puppeteer perform at her 12th birthday party. Gaspare Grisini leaves with his orphans after the party - and Clara disappears.

As her frantic parents try to locate their missing daughter,  Lizzie and Parsefell discover a horrifying secret. Grisini is a wizard, an evil one, and there's a new puppet in his theater that will send Lizzie and Parsefell out of London and into a trap set by Grisini's oldest rival, a witch bent on terrifying revenge.

Fantasy Friday: The False Prince

It's that time of year again- school is back in session, football is on tv, and Fantasy Fridays return to Darien Library!

This week we're talking about a marvelous work of fantasy that could just as easily have taken place in a real medieval kingdom like France or England. The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen contains no magic, no dragons, and no wizards. Instead, it's a twisty, turning, suprise-a-minute tale of treachery and treason in the imaginary kingdom of Carthya.

Sage is a cheeky orphan of 14 content with his life as a petty thief when he is suddenly purchased by the mysterious Lord Connor. Taken in secrecy to Lord Connor's estate, Sage meets 4 other orphans who all look like him. They have been chosen because they resemble the King of Carthya's missing son. At the end of two weeks, whichever orphan has learned to act the most like the Prince will be taken to the castle and introduced as the long-lost heir. The other three boys will be killed. Can Sage survive the next two weeks and become The False Prince?

First in her Ascendence Trilogy, Nielsen has written one of my favorite books of the year. Highly recommended for fans of courts, kings, Camelot, and Meghan Whalen Turner's The Thief.

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