Staff Picks Grades 3-5

February 2019

Extravaganza at the Plaza
by Lauren L. Wohl

Third-grader Hannah Levin hatches up an idea to restore Raccoon River's crumbling theater. Hannah, along with her friend Nico, remarks on the closed, dilapidated state of the Plaza Theater and how wonderful it would be to have a place where the town could show movies. Hannah decides that the kids will spearhead a project to restore the building.

Ella Unleashed
by Alison Cherry

After winning a lottery to show her dog at the National Dog Show, Ella Cohen is determined to persevere despite severe embarrassment at past shows.

In Your Shoes
by Donna Gephart

Miles Spagoski's favorite place is his family's bowling alley. A worrier who is awkward with girls, Miles wishes life were more like bowling, where there is "always a chance for a do-over."

Everlasting Nora
by Marie Miranda Cruz

Nora is a 12-year-old Filipino girl living with her mother in a cemetery, near the grave where her father is buried. Her mother is addicted to gambling and one day she doesn't return home. Nora sets out to find her, starting a dangerous journey that uncovers not only family secrets but also Nora's own strength and resilience.

Aquicorn Cove
by Katie O’Neill

Lana and her father return to their seaside hometown to help clear the debris after a big storm. As Lana explores the familiar beach, she discovers something incredible, a colony of Aquicorns, small magical seahorse-like creatures that live in the coral reef.

Sanity & Tallulah
by Molly Brooks

Sanity and Tallulah live in a space station at the end of the galaxy. When Sanity's illegally created three-headed kitten escapes, the girls have to turn their home upside down to find her.

The Guggenheim Mystery
by Robin Stevens

Twelve-year-old Ted Spark, his 14-year-old sister, Kat, and their mother, Faith, fly to the U.S. to visit Ted and Kat's cousin Salim and eccentric aunt Gloria. Tourism soon turns into investigation when a painting at the Guggenheim, where Aunt Gloria works, goes missing and she becomes the prime suspect.

The Stupendously Spectacular Spelling Bee
by Deborah Abela

Terribly shy India Wimple is brilliant at spelling and her loving family will do whatever it takes to help her compete in a televised national spelling bee in Sydney, Australia.

by Jen Calonita

Though she's royalty by birth, Devinaria of Cobblestone Creek isn't particularly interested in learning how to be a princess. She'd much rather spend her time chatting with the animals that live around her home. But when her invitation to the Royal Academy arrives, Devin has no choice as her mother sends her off at once to learn with the other young royals-to-be of Enchantasia.

Danger in Ancient Rome
by Kate Messner

The mysterious box that Ranger the golden retriever found in the garden transports him back to first century Rome, where he must rescue Marcus, a young servant boy, and Quintus, a volunteer gladiator, from the brutal world of the Colosseum.