Kiddosphere: Ridiculously Good Reads – April/May Edition

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Although I posted about some of my favorites reads (so far) for 2015, I left out several awesome books that didn’t quite fit the intent of that post. If you are in the market for new summer reads (children and adult), look no further:

A Chicken Followed Me Home! Questions and Answers About a Familiar Fowl by Robin Page book cover

A Chicken Followed Me Home! Questions and Answers About a Familiar Fowl is a charming introduction to our feathered friends. How do chickens fly? What does a chicken embryo look like? Do chickens come in different colors? All these questions (and more) are answered in this excellent nonfiction picture book.

Without naming names, I can name two picture book series that started off clever and charming, but quickly sold out to become predictable and boring. Fortunately, Deborah Underwood’s mischievous and goofy cat has not succumbed to that. Each book (Here Comes the Easter Cat and Here Comes Santa Cat) features unique scenarios. Her latest, Here Comes the Tooth Fairy Cat, finds Cat running errands with a competitive Mouse (whom he received as a gift from the Tooth Fairy). Utterly hilarious.

Ranger in Time: Rescue on the Oregon Trail by Kate Messner book cover

Another easy chapter book series to follow! Rescue on the Oregon Trail introduces the Ranger in Time series, which features a dog that time travels (yes, it’s a bit goofy, but it’s fun). In his first adventure, Ranger finds himself travelling with a family seeking a new life out west. Ranger flunked search-and-rescue school because he finds squirrels too irresistible; his keen rescue skills endear him greatly to his temporary family. One of the families that Ranger meets is a Mormon pioneer family, which adds an aspect of history not often found in children’s historical fiction (many Mormon pioneers traveled on the Oregon Trail).

Summer is the season for family trips to amusement parks, so The Thrills and Chills of Amusement Parks arrived just in time. The dynamics of roller coasters, bumper cars, fun mirrors, and more are explained in a fun and understandable manner for young readers. Even the laws of probability for winning carnival games is included!

The first half of 2015 has produced some astonishing adult nonfiction titles. In the mood for some engaging and accessible nonfiction? These books are remarkable:


Ashley’s War: The Untold Story of a Team of Women Soldiers on the Special Ops Battlefield is an amazing read. Read it now before the movie comes out (it hasn’t been made yet, so you have time), so that you don’t end up on a long waiting list. Warning: this story will rip your heart out. Ashley White’s strength and courage is unforgettable, and reading it over the Memorial Day break made it even more poignant and powerful.

(Speaking of books with probable long holds: grab a copy of The Astronaut Wives’ Club and A Walk in the Woods while you can! I adore The Astronaut Wives’ Club and hope the miniseries will be awesome. I haven’t read Bill Bryson’s memoir of walking the Appalachian Trail, but I have it checked out and am looking forward to seeing the movie in September).

Thank you, thank you to David McCullough for writing a history book that isn’t bloated with minutiae! The Wright Brothers clocks in at 320 pages, which includes author acknowledgements and citations. This is popular and accessible history writing at its best. Although McCullough does turn his attention to the many lawsuits and controversies that surrounded Orville and Wilbur Wright, he firmly states that they are to be recognized as the first to make flight possible (as Earmuffs for Everyone teaches us, being the first is not always the most important!). Their reception in France, which was the United States’s main rival in aviation (France paid more attention and interest in the Wrights before their own country did), is fascinating to read, as is the importance of their sister, Katharine, in their lives (they wrote to Katharine about their work and she accompanied them to France, where she charmed Parisian society and media). A must for history fans! If you’re looking for a Father’s Day gift for a history buff, buy this one! (Check it out for your reading pleasure, but buy the book for Dad or Granddad.).

Speaking of summer reads….our summer reading program has started! We have a fun-filled summer planned. Mark your schedules!

Need more titles? Perhaps my “Ridiculously Good Reads” for March or early 2015 might help.

Jennifer Schultz, Youth Services Librarian, Fauquier County Public Library

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