There has been a boom in graphic novels for the middle grade readers! These are just a few of our favorites! Come in and check them out today!
Picture book biographies.
Did you know such a thing existed?
Many people do not realize that these books do exist. They are wonderful way to introduce the lives of famous and/or important people to young people.
The first picture book biography I read was the Day-Glo Brothers. It is the story of two brothers and how Day-Glo colors were invented. I learned something new and was entertained by the drawings in the book.
We have a list of some of the picture book biographies we own. Just ask at the Children’s Desk and we will be glad to help you find one.
So many authors have wondered what happened to Humpty Dumpty after the “great fall”, and they’ve come up with some terrific picture books to entertain that idea! Here are some titles for you and your child to explore.
For our very youngest library customer, we have Humpty Dumpty by Jonas Sicklar. If you are not familiar with the “Indestructibles” books, they are designed for the way babies “read” – with their hands and mouth. This version of Humpty Dumpty has the egg man on the Great Wall of China!
Next up is Humpty Dumpty by Daniel Kirk. After Humpty climbs the proverbial brick wall to get a better look at the young king in his birthday parade, the obvious fall happens, and it’s young King Moe who puts Humpty back together, “like a puzzle”!
In Humpty Dumpty Climbs Again by Dave Horowitz, Humpty’s shell has been fixed, but he’s lost his confidence. The author cleverly inserts other popular nursery rhyme characters in this “eggsistensial tale of hope”.
For beginning readers, check out Humpty’s Fall by Dosh Archer, one of the Urgency Emergency! Early Readers series. In this fun adventure, Humpty arrives at the hospital with a cracked shell and severe yolk seepage …. can the doctors at City Hospital save him?
Two fun picture books by Joe Dumpty (as told to Jeanie Franz Ransom) are What REALLY Happened to Humpty? and The Crown Affair (both are from the files of a hard-boiled detective! These stories take place in Mother Gooseland, so you’ll be sure to see some of your favorite characters making an appearance.
We have a series of picture books called Flip-Side Rhymes, where half-way through the book, you must flip the book to get another side of the rhyme. By Christopher Harbo, you may not want to read this Humpty Dumpty version if you are appalled by the ending … [SPOILER ALERT!!!] … poor Humpty gets scrambled and eaten!
Bob Graham tells the story of Humpty’s little sister in Dimity Dumpty. The author believes that Humpty’s notoriety for not doing much at all (basically just falling off a wall!) was not very clever, so he’s telling the story of his little sister, who was quite the heroine.
In Ode to Humpty Dumpty by Harriet Ziefert, the author blends the traditional rhyme with new characters. The whole book is done in rhyme, which makes it fun and playful.
And finally, the book that inspired the title of this post, is After the Fall – How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again by Caldecott Medal winner Dan Santat. From the book jacket: “Inspiring and unforgettable, this epilogue to the beloved classic nursery rhyme will encourage even the most afraid to overcome their fears, learn to get back up – and reach new heights”.
“Where are your mystery books?”
“My teacher says I need to read a historical fiction book for my report.”
“My son hates to read, but loves sports. Do you have any fiction sports books he might like?”
Sound familiar? These requests are made daily because most kids we serve think in terms of genre. A few have favorite authors and series, but most of them are open to the possibilities of what is out there, as long as it is whatever genre is capturing them at that moment. Maybe our patron just read Goosebumps and is looking for something else to give them that knot in their stomach, anticipating what creature or magic is waiting for their favorite character. Maybe the patron laughed their way through Greg’s antics in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series and she wants to recapture the humor. Most kids are still open to suggestion. When they ask us for a recommendation based on genre, it is a chance for us to open yet another door for them.
But… what about those kids who aren’t searching for genre because they already have an interest? Because they have read something similar and what more? What about those kids whose teacher or parent is trying to broaden their horizons for them? For me, even as a veteran to advisory, this is where I falter. I don’t want to give a kid a book just because it is this genre. I want to give them a reason to connect with the specific book I put in their hands. I want to get a feel for what they could read if the choice were their own and get as close as possible while sticking with what they need in regards to the genre. That is what we all want. To give them a reason not to dread that project but to open them up to the possibilities of trying something new!
It is a tricky balancing act sometimes, and the more knowledge we have as to what is out there, the better we will be at getting the right reader with the right book. With this in mind, we are launching our series on Reading by the Genre. We have created lists of new and old titles, some popular and some that flew under the radar, that will hopefully add titles to our arsenal so that when we get that genre request we have more options to share with our patrons.
For us at MPL, historical fiction seems to be one genre that we get asked about a lot (I mean… A LOT) in September, so we are jumping off there. Some of these titles are familiar and even award winning but some are lesser known. All are awesome options when put with the right reader.
What books would you add to this list?
One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg by Rodman Philbrick
Prisoner 88 by Leah Pileggi
Countdown by Deborah Wiles
The Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine
The Misadventures of Maude March by Audrey Couloumbis
Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk
Penny From Heaven by Jennifer L. Holm
The Rock and the River by Kekla Magoon
Celeste’s Harlem Renaissance by Eleanora E. Tate