Recommended Reads

Great Books for Kids 2019 – Recommended and reviewed by the Hudson Library Youth Services Staff










Cannonball by Sacha Cotter, illustrated by Josh Morgan (New jE)

This vibrant picture book follows a young boy who is trying to prove himself to his community by doing a cannonball. Choosing a jump for the diving board in this community tells them who you are and what you can do. Our young lad, who his Nan calls Sunshine, is determined to show everyone how amazing he with his cannonball. The first jump doesn’t happen, though. With advice from everyone else he tries again… only to bellyflop. Nan tells her Sunshine not to listen to anyone else, to only listen to himself. Our young fellow takes some time to really listen to himself. The next time he climbs up on the diving board, he is more than ready to show his community who he is. This is a great story about never giving up, always listening to yourself, and never be afraid to show people who you really are. Morgan’s illustrations bring beautiful life to Cotter’s powerful narrative.


Fight of the Century: Alice Paul Battles Woodrow Wilson For the Vote by Barb Rosenstock, illustrated by Sarah Green (New J Nonfiction)

In Fight of the Century’s opening, we meet our two opponents: 28th President of the United States, Woodrow Wilson, and suffragette, Alice Paul. (A suffragette is a person who fights and advocates for women’s right to vote. ) The day that Woodrow Wilson stepped off the train in Washington D.C. to start his presidency, he wasn’t greeted by supporters. Instead, Alice Paul was leading a parade she had organized with over 5,000 women marching for their right to vote. The suffragettes picketed Wilson and the White House for years, doing so in complete silence, becoming known as the Silent Sentinels. When Americans saw how these women were treated, they pressured Wilson to do something. Woodrow Wilson and Alice Paul fought their final match and, at last, agreed: Women deserved the right to vote. This book’s original, detailed illustrations, timeline of the American Suffrage movement, and its creative set-up as a boxing match offer a unique and energetic celebration of a century of Women’s Suffrage and the battle for the 19th Amendment.


What About Worms!? by Ryan T. Higgins  (New Easy Reader)

Tigers are big! Tigers are brave! Tigers aren’t scared of anything! Except this tiger is very afraid of worms. Join Elephant and Piggie in reading the latest from We Don’t Eat Our Classmates author Ryan T. Higgins, What About Worms!? and learn about tigers, worms, and worries. It turns out that Tiger’s fear of worms keeps him from enjoying flowers, apples, and a good book. But the worms find that after reading about tigers, they’re not so scared of them! After all, Tiger left them some wonderful dirt and an apple, their favorite things! In What About Worms!? Higgins offers up a surprisingly fun, sweet, and timely story of how reading can expand our worlds and help us face our fears.




Snapdragon by Kat Leyh (New Tween Graphic Novel)

Snapdragon’s town has a witch. But it’s not like that. It’s not exciting. It’s hard and lonely. For now. Kat Leyh’s new tween graphic novel, Snapdragon, shows readers the magic that happens when the excluded and outcasted are loved and respected unconditionally. From Jacks’ and Snap’s care for possums and other wildlife, both living and dead, to Snap’s and Lou’s families’ unwavering openness and understanding for their potentially queer children and siblings, Leyh offers a window into a wonderful, if challenging, world. Each character faces their hardships with the help of their own harnessed power and the protection provided by unending love and care. Revelations of family history combine with families growing and changing together to form a heartening story of the power of unwavering love.



Ghost Squad by Claribel Ortega (New Tween)

Lucely Luna lives with her dad, the proprietor of a ghost tour in their hometown of St. Augustine, Florida. She lives with the ghosts of her ancestors, too, who live on as fireflies in the willow tree behind her house. They all live a warm, happy life together, but, her dad, her home, and the fireflies are all in danger. In Ghost Squad, Claribel Ortega builds a delightfully new take on the classic story of tweens trying to save the day, making a bigger mess, and saving the town with the help of their families. Bringing in Dominican folklore, pop culture references, a very cool witch grandma, and a very fat and magical cat, Ortega tackles grief, poverty, power, and chosen family with her own sort of magic. At once gripping, emotional, and fun, Ghost Squad is highly recommended for tween fans of fantasy, mischief, and friendship.





Beach Day! by Candace Ransome, illustrated by Erika Meza (New Easy Reader)

It’s beach day! Filled with every kind of summer fun and simple rhymes, Beach Day! by Candice Ransome and illustrated by Erika Meza is an ideal Level 1 easy reader for any time of year. Follow a sweet family as they spend an entire summer day on the coast, taking in all of the sights, smells, tastes, and feelings it has to offer, from jumping waves, to eating frozen treats, to flying a kite, to riding a Ferris wheel! Though most have missed out on beach days this year, Beach Day! makes it easy to feel as if we’re there, while also practicing our budding reading skills!





Can I Play Too? by Samantha Cotterill (New jE)

Can I Play Too?, the latest from Samantha Cotterill’s Little Senses series, deals with an extremely common occurrence in every child’s life: two kids start to play together, one gets a little controlling, and it ends in anger. Cotterill’s story doesn’t end there, though. A grownup steps in with a helpful metaphor for understanding our friends’ cues for how playtime is going. After taking the opportunity to pause and reflect, and with the help of this handy advice, a do-over goes much more smoothly. With illustrations sensitive to children who struggle with sensory processing, Can I Play Too? is a must-read for all young children, so that everyone can have the very best playtime possible.