Continuing on from last week, we are still featuring some thoughts on our favorite titles from 2014. This week we will be focusing on the youth with three days of books that are for the under-18 set. But adults, these books are for you too – especially if you enjoy reading with your children!
And remember, if you want the full 2014 Staff Picks list, you can visit any of our library locations or check out it out online in two parts: 2014 Staff Picks for Adults and 2014 Staff Picks for Children.
Here are our favorite children’s chapter books of 2014:
The Boundless by Kenneth Oppel
Will lives a pretty low-key life. His father works on the new railroad in the Canadian mountains, and his family barely scrapes by. All of that changes suddenly after Will drives the final golden railroad stake, gets swept up in a terrifying avalanche, and survives a Sasquatch attack. Fast forward a few years to the inaugural voyage of the Boundless: the largest and longest train in the world which Will’s father is responsible for. The Boundless carries people, freight, and a very valuable secret to which Will is privy. Again, Will finds himself fighting for his life, trying to escape a villain willing to kill Will for the secret he holds. Add Will unintentionally joining the circus on the train to seek asylum and you get a wonderfully fast-paced adventure taking place at 40 miles per hour across the Canadian wilderness. – Bethany
The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer Holm
Everything changes for 11 year old Ellie when her mom brings her grandfather home to live with them. And he isn’t your average grandfather! This is a funny story that includes science and a little bit of magic. Believe in the possible!
Frank Einstein and the Antimatter Motor by Jon Scieszka
Frank Einstein is determined to win the Midville Science Competition with plans to use the prize money to save his grandfather’s repair shop. His nemesis, T. Edison has other plans. – Mandee
The Great Greene Heist by Varian Johnson
Jackson Greene, the Robin Hood of middle school con men, sets out on his most ambitious mission yet; rigging the school election. Join him and his team as they outsmart the competition in style. – Jeff
Loot: How to Steal a Fortune by Jude Watson
March is reunited with his long lost twin sister when his father, a master jewel thief, falls to his death. The twins must work together to pull off the heist of a lifetime to reverse the curse on their family. – Bernice
The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher by Dana Alison Levy
What do two dads, plus four brothers, plus a handful of pets, plus one grouchy neighbor equal? Lots of loud, crazy, hilarious fun with the Fletcher family! This would make a fun family read-aloud or a great selection to listen to on a road trip. – Bethany
Navigating Early by Claire Vanderpool
At the end of WWII, Jack Baker’s father, a captain in the Navy returns home to Kansas after the unexpected death of Jack’s mother. Over a school break, Jack joins “the strangest of boys” Early Aulden on his quest on the Appalachian Trail. Early is determined to find the Great Appalachian Bear which he believes will lead him to his older brother Fisher, who is believed to have died in the war. Readers who enjoy stories of adventure, mystery, and friendship will love Navigating Early! There is also “a story within a story” and seeing how the two narratives parallel each other and become interwoven makes the book twice as fun! Recommended for ages 10 and up. – Mandee
Under the Egg by Laura Fitzgerald
There are often more to paintings than meet the eye. This is especially true for Theo whose grandfather left her a mystery to “unhatch” after his death. With the help of her neighbors Theo follows the clues discovering every painting has a story to tell. Best for older readers with a love for art, history and mystery. – Jeff