Recommended Reads

Great Books for Kids 2018 – Recommended and reviewed by the Hudson Library Youth Services Staff













Everybody is Somebody by Henry Winkler & Lin Oliver (New J)

Everybody Is Somebody, a new title in Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver’s Here’s Hank series, shows 2nd grader Hank Zipzer eager to get his photo on the school bulletin board just like his sister. The only problem is that to get on the board, he’ll have to read a whole book in one day and reading is nearly impossible for Hank! As usual, Hank finds a way around his difficulties and discovers that though he struggles to read, he has the potential to be a great storyteller and writer. Like all Hank Zipzer stories, Everybody Is Somebody is written and designed by and for people with dyslexia. Winkler and Oliver portray the daily life of a child with dyslexia with experience and humor. This tale of a kid trying (and succeeding!) to make his family proud is equal parts accessible, fun, and touching for young readers of chapter books, especially those struggling to read.





When Sadness Is At Your Door by Eva Eland (New JE)

We all experience sadness now and again, and sometimes, we’re not sure why or how to handle it. When Sadness is at Your Door is a sweet and simple instructional for moving through those difficult times. In the text, Eva Eland describes the overwhelming and unexpected way that sadness can appear and our initial impulse to run away from it. As a response, she shows ways of acknowledging and working through our feeling instead of against them. The soft, sparse illustrations give a gentle face to sadness and a beautiful demonstration of how it can shrink if we only give it space to run its course. People of all ages can benefit from experiencing the guidance of this soothing picture book.




Wilma’s Way Home: The Life of Wilma Mankiller by Doreen Rappaport, illustrated by Linda Kukuk  (New JB)

Through Wilma’s Way Home: The Life of Wilma Mankiller, readers learn not just about the life of Wilma Mankiller, the first woman chief of the Cherokee Nation, but also about the recent history and culture of the Cherokee people and the indigenous peoples of the United States at large. Doreen Rappaport’s text, interspersed with quotes from Mankiller herself, beautifully brings to life a strong and effective leader dedicated to improving the everyday lives of her community members, while Linda Kukuk’s illustrations represent the Cherokee Nation as an independent people with a rich history of supporting one another through struggle. Since the text is lengthy and deals with difficult subjects such as the Trail of Tears, this biography is more appropriate for older children. Wilma’s Way Home: The Life of Wilma Mankiller is an excellent resource for learning about indigenous life and activism in the 20th Century.




Didi Dodo Future Spy: Recipe for Disaster by Tom Angleberger, 

illus. by Jared Chapman (New J)

It’s the day of the Queen’s Royal cookie contest and Koko Dodo is in trouble. Her cookies have won the contest every year, but with just hours before the competition, she is missing the secret ingredient for her super secret fudge sauce! Inspector Flytrap is too busy to help, but future spy Didi Dodo is on the case. Didi hatches daring plan after daring plan to solve the mystery. Can Didi help KoKo not only figure out the missing ingredient but get the cookies to the contest on time? Didi Dodo Future Spy: Recipe for Disaster is a wacky mystery filled with laughs and hijinks. The short chapters and illustrations help the story fly by.  The book will appeal to anyone who loves crazy situations and roller skating.






Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpre by Anika Aldamuy Denise, illustrated by Paola Escobar (New JB)

Meet the woman who helped bring Puerto Rican folktales to the United States and shape children’s librarianship into what it is today! In Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpre, Anika Aldamuy Denise tells the story of Pura Belpre’s life beginning with her visit to New York City in 1921. Through her career, she brought the Puerto Rican folk traditions of her ancestors alive for children and families throughout the United States. With the help of vibrant illustrations by Paola Escobar and the occasional Spanish phrase riddled throughout the text, readers get a sense of Pura’s life, work, culture and the incredible impact she had on so many. Today, an award in her honor recognizes exemplary Latino/Latina children’s literature. Become immersed in the world of this wonderful and important woman with this excellent picture book biography!




Spring After Spring by Stephanie Roth Sisson (New JB Car)

A beautifully illustrated picture book biography, Spring After Spring provides an overview of Rachel Carson’s childhood and the things that captivated her about the natural world. Rachel was inspired equally by bird and frog songs, by wonders large and small. Spring was her favorite season, and she marveled at the awakening flora and fauna – embracing the magic and beauty of the rhythm of nature. This biography follows Rachel into adulthood – and as she grew older, so did her fascination with the scientific world and the study of earth’s plant and animal creatures. Her zealous pursuit of knowledge and what she observed inspired Rachel to enlighten others about the very fragile world we live in, leading her to author Silent Spring. Her book has long been considered the start of the environmental movement, causing people to consider the impact of their own actions on our world and all living things. This book illustrates many lessons that are worth sharing with young readers, including following one’s passion for a cause and the fact that the actions of even one person can have a lasting legacy. This book is perfect to share with budding naturalists, in a classroom for Earth Day, or just a one-on-one read with a young enthusiast of the world around us. Don’t miss Spring After Spring, a thought-provoking and inspiring biography.



Searching for Lottie by Susan L. Ross (New Tween)

Charlotte, nicknamed Charlie, has to do a genealogy project for school. She decides to research the relative she’s named after: Charlotte nicknamed Lottie. Lottie was a young violin virtuoso who disappeared in Hungary during World War II. Charlie starts to uncover clues by talking to family members, translating old documents and doing a lot of research. But while Charlie uncovers the mystery of Lottie, she still faces the distractions of a 12 year old girl: boys, extra-curricular activities and current family drama. Searching for Lottie weaves together modern stresses of junior high with an approachable insight into adversity some families endured during WWII and the Holocaust. Charlie’s diligent and courageous quest to uncover answers to Lottie’s disappearance might just encourage readers to start researching their own families too!