Books Your Kids Should Read

December 19, 2014
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Note from the Editors of iAt: Do your children like to read? We asked the staff of the Sioux Center Public Library the most read children and juvenile books for 2014. Of course there are books that are checked out a lot but there are also books often missed and would be a great book for your child to read. Thanks to Judy and Becky for their help in creating this list. Follow the link by the book to find the nearest local library!

The Most Read Books for 2014

Children’s Fiction:
Pink Cupcake Magic by Katherine Brown Tegen
Tulip Loves Rex by Alyssa Satin Capucilli
Henny by Elizabeth Rose Stanton
Pete the Cat: Old Mac Donald Had a Farm by James Dean
Nelly Gnu and Daddy Too by Anna Dewdney
The Pigeon Needs a Bath by Mo Willems

Children’s Non-Fiction:
Big Book of Tractors by Rob Lloyd Jones
I Am Abraham Lincoln by Brad Meltzer
Mama Built a Nest by Jennifer Ward

Juvenile Fiction
Isabelle by Laurence Yep
High Time for Hereos by Mary Pope Osborne
The Journey Through Timeby Geronimo Stilton
My Life as a Joke by Janet Tashjian
The 26-story Treehouse by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton
Mrs. Klute is a Hoot by Dan Gutman
Rarity and the Curious Case of Charity by G.M. Berrow

Judy’s Suggestion
The Boy on the Wooden Box by Leon Leyson
This is an exceptional story that gives a touching and disturbing account of a family’s survival during the Holocaust. Their survival was possible because of the courage and generosity of Oskar Schindle, a man well known today because of the book and film Shindler’s List. The story is told in the voice of the late Leon Leyson, the boy on the wooden box, and gives us an opportunity to get a glimpse of the mental and physical struggles his family faced in the brutal conditions of a concentration camp. His service in the U.S. military and his successful adult life serves as a tribute to his optimism and strength. Although this book is a juvenile book, this is a great read for everyone.

Unspoken: A Story From the Underground Railroad by Henry Cole
Unspoken is a quiet and moving story about a bond of courage and friendship between a young girl and a runaway slave during the Civil War. Because it is a wordless book, the heartrending pictures allow the reader to focus on the emotion and strength of the characters. I find something new every time I read this book and find that it is a great discussion starter on slavery in America and the compassion and courage found in one young girl as she cares for and saves a young man. Henry Cole ends his author’s note with the words, ‘I’m hoping you will write the words and make the story your own – filling in all that has been unspoken.”

Open Very Carefully: A Book with a Bite by Nick Bromly and Its a Tiger! By David LaRochelle
If you are looking for a laugh out-loud story you need to pick up this book and share it with a child. Although it starts out as a retelling of The Ugly Duckling the story is soon taken over by an annoying crocodile. The storyteller does not have time to be concerned about his story; he has to get rid of a pesky crocodile. The end of the story has the crocodile leaving the book in an unconventional way as he chews his way out of the cover of the book. Where has he gone? The book it’s a Tiger has an unexpected resolution to this dilemma.

Its a Tiger is delightfully illustrated by Jeremy Tankard, and if you haven’t discovered his work yet, you are in for a treat. Its a Tiger is energetic and fun-filled as a young boy takes his readers through a forest and no matter where he goes he runs into a very frightening tiger. With bold colors and delightfully illustrated creations even the most inattentive listener will be engaged. The end of the book, when paired with Open Very Carefully, will guarantee a story time that will leave your audience laughing right along with you.

Humphrey’s First Christmas by Carol Heyer
This is a beautiful picture book with a story that amuses us as it reminds us of the true meaning of Christmas. The story is told though the eyes of Humphrey, a cranky and delightfully illustrated camel. As you turn the pages you encounter his growing annoyance as he searches for a blanket he lost and his facial expressions and antics keep you smiling and waiting for the next page. I love this book and wish I could have added it to my growing pile of Christmas books when my children were small.

Becky’s Top Picks
Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin
I do not think there was anything about this book that I did not LOVE. It is a tender story of Rose – a young girl with autism and no mom. She lives with her dad who, left with a daughter and no wife, I feel is bitter and struggles to make it through life. Rose is resilient and strong – but life is not easy for her. I resonated with everything in this book – from having a child with many of the same struggles to dealing with the anger and frustration of raising a child with these struggles. I KNOW that the junior age set will also love this book – the tender story alone of Rain, Rose’s dog, and their companionship and story is just so wonderfully-told. Yes, this one is lovely.

The Nest by Esther Ehrlich
I thought this was such a tender story – the story of 11-year-old Naomi and her family and their struggle when their mom finds out she has a serious disease. Naomi, or “Chirp” as friends and family call her, finds comfort in birds and her friend, Joey, the boy from across the street. This is a juvenile novel that I would highly recommend – it is funny and very touching with great honesty. A bit slow going – but it picks up and keeps you turning pages to the very last one.

Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms by Katherine Rundell
Here is a book that I will be sharing with our “juvenile” readers from here to forever! This was a wonderful story of Wilhelmina – a girl raised on the African plains by her father. This life is all she knows and she loves everything about it. It is all stripped away from her when her father dies and his farm is taken over by a wealthy woman from a nearby city that wants nothing to do with Will. Will is sent to a boarding school in England and so begins her downward spiral – taunting from other girls, her feeling of being trapped in the school, and loss of all she loves. This is a tender, touching story that sticks with you long after you finish. I loved it!

Love, Ruby Lavender by Deborah Wiles
I cannot even begin to tell you how much we LOVED this book. The whole family was laughing out loud at Ruby and her 9 year old antics. The story is tender and oh-so-true – the deep, deep heartache when we lose a loved one and the deep, deep love that can form between family. Grandma is WONDERFUL and her trip to Hawaii is told in letter form which was also endearing. HIGHLY recommend this one – Good Garden of Peas!

Dig Deeper

Check out the other iAt top book lists featured this month:
Top 25 Most Influential Books Read in 2014
Ten Great Books on Church History
A Librarians Guide to a Good Book
Happy reading!

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  1. Sioux Center Library,

    thank you for providing this solid list of good reading for the kids in our lives. As a book club teacher for grades 3 – 8, I’m always on the hunt for stimulating & engaging and morally appropriate books for my students and my own children. Please continue to provide challenging, fine reading for our young people.

    Amy Vander Haag