eBooks for Your Kids at Home: April 28, 2020

Here’s this week’s edition of my list of eBooks that are currently available and recommended. I hope this list might help you find something good to read while the libraries are closed.
The descriptions of the books are taken from the databases where they were found.


eBooks available through hoopla:

Create an account — it’s free! Your checkouts are limited, but you’ll never have to wait for a book you really want.

Elementary Fiction:

 

5-Minute Girl Power Stories by Disney

Read along with Disney! Follow along with word-for-word narration and join your favorite Disney and Pixar girls as they embark on new adventures. Investigate a toy case with Officer McDimples, play hide-and-seek with Moana, enjoy a day out with Helen Parr, and much more! Each story in this collection is ideal for reading aloud in just five minutes-a perfect fit for bedtime, story time, or any time!

 

A Boy Called Bat by Elana K. Arnold, illustrated by Charles Santoso

The first book in a funny, heartfelt, and irresistible young middle grade series starring an unforgettable young boy on the autism spectrum, from acclaimed author Elana K. Arnold and with illustrations by Charles Santoso.

For Bixby Alexander Tam (nicknamed Bat), life tends to be full of surprises-some of them good, some not so good. Today, though, is a good-surprise day. Bat’s mom, a veterinarian, has brought home a baby skunk, which she needs to take care of until she can hand him over to a wild-animal shelter.

But the minute Bat meets the kit, he knows they belong together. And he’s got one month to show his mom that a baby skunk might just make a pretty terrific pet.

 

A Dash of Trouble by Anna Meriano, illustrated by Mirelle Ortega

Leonora Logroño’s family owns the most beloved bakery in Rose Hill, Texas, spending their days conjuring delicious cookies and cakes for any occasion. And no occasion is more important than the annual Dia de los Muertos festival.

Leo hopes that this might be the year that she gets to help prepare for the big celebration-but, once again, she is told she’s too young. Sneaking out of school and down to the bakery, she discovers that her mother, aunt, and four older sisters have in fact been keeping a big secret: they’re brujas-witches of Mexican ancestry-who pour a little bit of sweet magic into everything that they bake. Leo knows that she has magical ability as well and is more determined than ever to join the family business-even if she can’t let her mama and hermanas know about it yet.

And when her best friend, Caroline, has a problem that needs solving, Leo has the perfect opportunity to try out her craft. It’s just one little spell, after all… what could possibly go wrong? Debut author Anna Meriano brings us the first book in a delightful new series filled to the brim with amor, azúcar, y magia.

 

Middle School Fiction:

Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly

Told from four intertwining points of view-two boys and two girls-the novel celebrates bravery, being different, and finding your inner bayani (hero). In one day, four lives weave together in unexpected ways. Virgil Salinas is shy and kindhearted and feels out of place in his crazy-about-sports family. Valencia Somerset, who is deaf, is smart, brave, and secretly lonely, and she loves everything about nature. Kaori Tanaka is a self-proclaimed psychic, whose little sister, Gen, is always following her around. And Chet Bullens wishes the weird kids would just stop being so different so he can concentrate on basketball.

They aren’t friends, at least not until Chet pulls a prank that traps Virgil and his pet guinea pig at the bottom of a well. This disaster leads Kaori, Gen, and Valencia on an epic quest to find missing Virgil. Through luck, smarts, bravery, and a little help from the universe, a rescue is performed, a bully is put in his place, and friendship blooms. The acclaimed and award-winning author of Blackbird Fly and The Land of Forgotten Girls writes with an authentic, humorous, and irresistible tween voice that will appeal to fans of Thanhha Lai and Rita Williams-Garcia.

 

The Mystery of Black Hollow Lane by Julia Nobel

The first in an exciting new series, this suspenseful debut brings readers on a journey filled with secrets, mystery, and unforgettable characters.
With a dad who disappeared years ago and a mother who’s a bit too busy to parent, Emmy is shipped off to Wellsworth, a prestigious boarding school in England, where she’s sure she won’t fit in.
But then she finds a box of mysterious medallions in the attic of her home-medallions that belonged to her father. Her father who may have gone to Wellsworth.
When she arrives at school, she finds the strange symbols from the medallions etched into walls and books, which leads Emmy and her new friends, Jack and Lola, to Wellsworth’s secret society: The Order of Black Hollow Lane. Emmy can’t help but think that the society had something to do with her dad’s disappearance, and that there may be more than just dark secrets in the halls of Wellsworth…

 

Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi

Best-selling author Rick Riordan introduces this adventure by Roshani Chokshi about twelve-year-old Aru Shah, who has a tendency to stretch the truth in order to fit in at school. While her classmates are jetting off to family vacations in exotic locales, she’ll be spending her autumn break at home, in the Museum of Ancient Indian Art and Culture, waiting for her mom to return from her latest archeological trip. Is it any wonder that Aru makes up stories about being royalty, traveling to Paris, and having a chauffeur? One day, three schoolmates show up at Aru’s doorstep to catch her in a lie. They don’t believe her claim that the museum’s Lamp of Bharata is cursed, and they dare Aru to prove it. Just a quick light, Aru thinks. Then she can get herself out of this mess and never ever fib again. But lighting the lamp has dire consequences. She unwittingly frees the Sleeper, an ancient demon whose duty it is to awaken the God of Destruction. Her classmates and beloved mother are frozen in time, and it’s up to Aru to save them. The only way to stop the demon is to find the reincarnations of the five legendary Pandava brothers, protagonists of the Hindu epic poem, the Mahabharata, and journey through the Kingdom of Death. But how is one girl in Spider-Man pajamas supposed to do all that?

 

And if you haven’t read them yet, you could always try: Percy Jackson and the Olympians Books 1-3 by Rick Riordan.

 

Nonfiction:

Explore Ancient Egypt! by Carmella Van Fleet and Alex Kim

*This title is part of the hoopla BONUS BORROWS COLLECTION! For a limited time, this is one of 1000+ titles you can borrow without using any of your monthly hoopla Borrows!*
Pyramids, mummies, amulets, temples, and pharaohs- Explore Ancient Egypt! Brings this fascinating civilization to young reader’s ages 6–9 with 25 hands-on projects, activities, and games. Kids learn about ancient Egyptian homes, food, money, toys, games, makeup, clothes, kings, mummies, and more. Projects are easy to follow and require primarily common household products and very little adult supervision. Activities range from making a scarab necklace to writing in ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs and making King Tut sandals. By combining a hands-on element with riddles, jokes, facts, and comic cartoons, kids Explore Ancient Egypt! In this accessible introduction to an incredible, ancient world.

 

Rosie Revere’s Big Project Book for Bold Engineers by Andrea Beaty and David Roberts

*This title is part of the hoopla BONUS BORROWS COLLECTION! For a limited time, this is one of 1000+ titles you can borrow without using any of your monthly hoopla Borrows!*

Featuring art from the beloved New York Times bestselling picture book, Rosie Revere, Engineer, this activity book contains kid-friendly projects of all kinds and is the perfect gift for curious young readers! Soon enough they’ll be engineering whizzes just like Rosie, and along the way she’ll reassure them that failure, flops, mess-ups and cross-outs are part of the process.

Do you like to make things? Dream up gadgets to improve your life and the lives of others? Then you are ready to join Rosie Revere and become a great engineer! Engineering is persevering, and this book is the perfect place for trying out, crossing out, and trying again.

And now you can follow Rosie’s further adventures-with her friends Iggy Peck and Ada Twist-in the instant New York Times bestseller Rosie Revere and the Raucous Riveters, an all-new chapter book starring The Questioneers!

 


 

eBooks available through Overdrive:

Use your library card number and PIN to log in. If you need assistance, call us at 626-744-4066. Some books may not be available, but at this writing (on Tuesday, Apr. 28) they are available.

Elementary Fiction:

The Princess and the Pit Stop by Tom Angleberger, illustrated by Dan Santat

Once upon a time there was a Princess . . .

. . . who made a pit stop.

While the Birds and Beasts changed her tires, her Fairy Godmother told her she was in last place! With just one lap left! She might as well give up!

Give up? Not THIS princess! Instead, she hit the gas!

Join Her Royal Highness in the driver’s seat for a mad dash to the finish in this exciting ode to auto racing. With appearances by fairy tale favorites including the Tortoise and the Hare, the Frog Prince, and ALL of the Wicked Witches, this rollicking mash-up of race cars and royalty is a true celebration of both girl power and horsepower.

 

The Magic Misfits by Neil Patrick Harris

When street magician Carter runs away, he never expects to find friends and magic in a sleepy New England town. But like any good trick, things change instantly as greedy B.B. Bosso and his crew of crooked carnies arrive to steal anything and everything they can get their sticky fingers on.

After a fateful encounter with the local purveyor of illusion, Dante Vernon, Carter teams up with five other like-minded illusionists. Together, using both teamwork and magic, they’ll set out to save the town of Mineral Wells from Bosso’s villainous clutches. These six Magic Misfits will soon discover adventure, friendship, and their own self-worth in this delightful new series.

 

Dog Man by Dav Pilkey

George and Harold have created a new breed of justice. With the head of a dog and the body of a human, this heroic hound digs into deception, claws after crooks, rolls over robbers, and scampers after squirrels. Will he be able to resist the call of the wild to answer the call of duty?  Dav Pilkey’s wildly popular Dog Man series appeals to readers of all ages and explores universally positive themes, including empathy, kindness, persistence, and the importance of being true to one’s self.

 

You can’t go wrong with the I Survived Series by Lauren Tarshis. Full of supsense and excitement, each book in the series is told from the point of view of a kid trying to survive a historic disaster.

 

Middle School Fiction:

Black Panther: The Young Prince by Ronald L. Smith

Black Panther. Ruler of Wakanda. Avenger. This is his destiny. But right now, he’s simply T’Challa—the young prince. Life is comfortable for twelve-year-old T’Challa in his home of Wakanda, an isolated, technologically advanced African nation. When he’s not learning how to rule a kingdom from his father—the reigning Black Panther—or testing out the latest tech, he’s off breaking rules with his best friend, M’Baku. But as conflict brews near Wakanda, T’Challa’s father makes a startling announcement: he’s sending T’Challa and M’Baku to school in America. This is no prestigious private academy—they’ve been enrolled at South Side Middle School in the heart of Chicago. Despite being given a high-tech suit and a Vibranium ring to use only in case of an emergency, T’Challa realizes he might not be as equipped to handle life in America as he thought. Especially when it comes to navigating new friendships while hiding his true identity as the prince of a powerful nation, and avoiding Gemini Jones, a menacing classmate who is rumored to be involved in dark magic. When strange things begin happening around school, T’Challa sets out to uncover the source. But what he discovers in the process is far more sinister than he could ever have imagined. In order to protect his friends and stop an ancient evil, T’Challa must take on the mantle of a hero, setting him on the path to becoming the Black Panther.

 

The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani

In the vein of Inside Out and Back Again and The War That Saved My Life comes a poignant, personal, and hopeful tale of India’s partition, and of one girl’s journey to find a new home in a divided country.
It’s 1947, and India, newly independent of British rule, has been separated into two countries: Pakistan and India. The divide has created much tension between Hindus and Muslims, and hundreds of thousands are killed crossing borders.
Half-Muslim, half-Hindu twelve-year-old Nisha doesn’t know where she belongs, or what her country is anymore. When Papa decides it’s too dangerous to stay in what is now Pakistan, Nisha and her family become refugees and embark first by train but later on foot to reach her new home. The journey is long, difficult, and dangerous, and after losing her mother as a baby, Nisha can’t imagine losing her homeland, too. But even if her country has been ripped apart, Nisha still believes in the possibility of putting herself back together.
Told through Nisha’s letters to her mother, The Night Diary is a heartfelt story of one girl’s search for home, for her own identity…and for a hopeful future.

 

Allies by Alan Gratz

June 6, 1944: Dee, a young U.S. soldier, is on a boat racing toward the French coast, on D-Day. And Dee — along with his brothers-in-arms — is terrified. He feels the weight of World War II on his shoulders.
But Dee is not alone. Behind enemy lines in France, a girl named Samira works as a spy, trying to sabotage the German army. Meanwhile, paratrooper James leaps from his plane to join a daring midnight raid. And in the thick of battle, Henry, a medic, searches for lives to save.
In a breathtaking race against time, they all must fight to complete their high-stakes missions. But with betrayals and deadly risks at every turn, can the Allies do what it takes to win?

 

The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Pérez

There are no shortcuts to surviving your first day at a new school—you can’t fix it with duct tape like you would your Chuck Taylors. On Day One, twelve-year-old Malú (María Luisa, if you want to annoy her) inadvertently upsets Posada Middle’s queen bee, violates the school’s dress code with her punk rock look, and disappoints her college-professor mom in the process. Her dad, who now lives a thousand miles away, says things will get better as long as she remembers the first rule of punk: be yourself.

The real Malú loves rock music, skateboarding, zines, and Soyrizo (hold the cilantro, please). And when she assembles a group of like-minded misfits at school and starts a band, Malú finally begins to feel at home. She’ll do anything to preserve this, which includes standing up to an anti-punk school administration to fight for her right to express herself! Black and white illustrations and collage art throughout make The First Rule of Punk a perfect pick for fans of books like Roller Girl and online magazines like Rookie.

 

Also, you can’t go wrong with a timeless bestseller like Harry Potter. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling, the first in the series, is available on Overdrive in multiple languages, completely free and without waitlists!

 

Nonfiction:

Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison

An important book for all ages, Little Leaders educates and inspires as it relates true stories of forty trailblazing black women in American history. Illuminating text paired with irresistible illustrations bring to life both iconic and lesser-known female figures of Black history such as abolitionist Sojourner Truth, pilot Bessie Coleman, chemist Alice Ball, politician Shirley Chisholm, mathematician Katherine Johnson, poet Maya Angelou, and filmmaker Julie Dash.

Among these biographies, readers will find heroes, role models, and everyday women who did extraordinary things – bold women whose actions and beliefs contributed to making the world better for generations of girls and women to come. Whether they were putting pen to paper, soaring through the air or speaking up for the rights of others, the women profiled in these pages were all taking a stand against a world that didn’t always accept them.
The leaders in this book may be little, but they all did something big and amazing, inspiring generations to come.

 

Star Wars Coding Projects: A Step-by-Step Visual Guide to Coding Your Own Animations, Games, Simulations and More! by Jon Woodcock

Learn to code games and use Scratch, guided by your favorite Star Wars™ characters!

Star Wars Coding Projects is a step-by-step visual guide to coding fun projects in Scratch and shows you everything you need to know to create cool computer projects, animations, and games. Create your own sprites and use them in your projects. Build your own characters, navigate a spaceship through an asteroid belt, and go on a jetpack adventure. Learn essential coding skills, share your projects with friends, and challenge them to beat your scores. Each project consists of simple, numbered steps that are fully illustrated and easy to follow. Coding games has never been so easy or fun.

 


eBooks from the Internet Archive’s National Emergency Library:

Middle School Fiction:

Lu Wonder, a bright, curious girl who hopes to be a scientist, sets out from her Kansas home in 1855 with her best friend Eustace, a slave, on a journey to Antarctica to protect a mysterious artifact and hide it from the man responsible for her father’s death.
A Night Divided by Jennifer A. Nielsen
With the rise of the Berlin Wall, twelve-year-old Gerta finds her family suddenly divided. She, her mother, and her brother Fritz live on the eastern side, controlled by the Soviets. Her father and middle brother, who had gone west in search of work, cannot return home. Gerta knows it is dangerous to watch the wall, to think forbidden thoughts of freedom, yet she can’t help herself. She sees the East German soldiers with their guns trained on their own citizens; she, her family, her neighbors and friends are prisoners in their own city. But one day, while on her way to school, Gerta spots her father on a viewing platform on the western side, pantomiming a peculiar dance. Then, when she receives a mysterious drawing, Gerta puts two and two together and concludes that her father wants Gerta and Fritz to tunnel beneath the wall, out of East Berlin. However, if they are caught, the consequences will be deadly. No one can be trusted. Will Gerta and her family find their way to freedom?
The Isle of the Lost by Melissa De La Cruz
Imprisoned on the Isle of the Lost, the teenaged children of Disney’s most evil villains search for a dragon’s eye–the key to true darkness and the villains’ only hope of escape.

AnnMarie Kolakowski

I'm a youth services librarian working in the Children's Room at the Pasadena Central Library. I purchase juvenile nonfiction books for all sites, juvenile Spanish books for all sites, and juvenile DVDs for the Central Library. I do a lot of programs with school-age kids, including Lucha Libros, writing workshops, and STEAM/science programs. I also do 16 weeks of Infant/Toddler Storytimes each year. I love what I do, working with kids of all ages to inspire them to learn and use their curiosity and imaginations. Outside of my work at the library, I am also the author of a book on creative writing activities for kids.

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