The Scoop - The Blog For Kids World

School's First Day of School by Adam Rex

School's First Day of School book cover: illustrations of a school building with houses around it and children in front of it“It's the first day of school at Frederick Douglass Elementary and everyone's just a little bit nervous, especially... the school.”

Have you ever considered how the school feels about the first day of school? This school, newly built, has no idea what to think about "children" coming but it soon finds out and learns a lot in one day.

I recommend this book for kids ages 3 - 10 who are just starting school or switching to a "new" school. Readers of all ages will enjoy the humor of the familiar back-to-school tale voiced from the school building's point of view.  

Find School's First Day in the Library

Mary Jo, Kids World

My Old Pal, Oscar by Amy Hest

My Old Pal Oscar book cover shows an illustration of a bacl and white dog at the beach and a childin a raincoat with a yellow umbrella playing in the surf"Hello, you."
"No tags."
"No name."

While building a sandcastle on the beach an unlikely visitor joins a young boy. A small puppy, with no collar, hops up on to the boy's castle and just watches, the pup appears to be a stray.  This doesn't faze the boy as he simply walks away. The young boy had already once had a dog, the best dog he could possibly have, his name was Oscar. Oscar had  already won the boy's heart and still had it even tho he had passed. The boy thought that no one else could ever take his old pal', Oscar's, place. The small puppy with "big black eyes," is relentless and keeps finding his way back to the boy.

My Old Pal Oscar is a touching story about a boy learning how to open his heart up once again, after the loss of his first dog. Through the story the reader can see how much love an owner may have for their pet; and one may never replace the original, but someone can come along and patch up their heart. This read is recommended for a family read-a-loud with younger elementary school kids who loves dogs, or for anyone that has lost a pet.

Find My Old Pal Oscar in the Library

Gilly, Kids World

Child Soldier by Jessica Dee Humphreys and Michel Chikwanie

Child Soldier book cover: Image of trees with the silhouettes of children walking among them carrying various backpacks and cargo"The story you are about to read is true. It is my story, and it is just one of thousands like it."

This autobiographic graphic novel tells a haunting tale, albeit one that has a happier ending than most of its kind. The majority of the story takes place in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Michel was kidnapped from the schoolyard at age 5, and "trained" to be a child soldier. The story does not gloss over what child soldiers are forced to do and the psychological trauma the children are exposed to during training. Michel is able to escape, and the experience inspires Michel's father into becoming an activist. "This is what defines you: The legacy that you leave, not just for your family but for the whole world." Michel and his family become refugees, though only Michel, his mother and two sisters eventually settle in safety of Canada.

For its sobering but edifying content, this book is recommended to third grade readers all the way to adult. The book makes clear that, "these events did not occur out of the blue and won't suddenly happen to you." However, mid-elementary readers might benefit from an adult reading buddy to answer any questions that might arise. For older readers, this book provides great insight to the political unrest in Africa and the effect it has on children and families. This book might serve as an introduction to not only child soldiers but also the international refugee plight.

Find Child Soldier in the Library.

Celeste, Kids World

Wolf Camp by Andrea Zuill

Wolf Camp book cover: image showing a pet dog looking a wolf with a wooden sign for "Wolf Camp" between them“My name is Homer. I am a dog... but sometimes I am very wolfish.
Often I've wondered what it would be like to live as a real wolf.”

Homer believes that all dogs have a bit of wolf in them, so when he finds a flier for Wolf Camp "Where every dog can live as a wolf for an entire week!" he jumps (and howls!) at the opportunity. He follows his people around until they relent and let him go to Wolf Camp. Guided by his wolf instructors, Fang and Grrr, Homer and the other domestic dogs are ready to to howl, hunt, and sleep like real wolves! As with most wish-fulfillment tales, things aren't all sunshine and rainbows as our leading pup imagined, and returning to domestic life might hold more reward than his initial call to the wild. Or will it?

Wolf Camp is a fun picture book read that would entertain children of all ages who have pets, especially dogs, at home.

Find Wolf Camp in the Library

Brittany, Kids World

Maker Lab by the Smithsonian Institution

Maker Lab book cover: depicts planets Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn made out of rubberbands"We young scientists have to start somewhere...you can start by asking "why?" And by making messes, making mistakes, and making connections." -Jack Andraka in the "Foreword."

Maker Lab makes science look awesome. The 28 activities range from the simple such as making invisible ink or monster marshmallows to more complex like the construction of a breathing machine and sound speakers. Scientists ranging from grade 3 and older will find something to spark their imagination. (Younger scientists definitely will, too, though an older mind will be needed to assist.)

Each activity has background information followed by a photo list of items needed for the experiment. Step-by-step instructions are simple and their accompanying photograph makes it easy to find success. An "How It Works" section concludes each experiment lending an effective cohesion between the initial background information and what occurred during the experiment process. Parents may also be pleased to note that each entry also contains a difficulty rating and an estimated amount of time needed to complete the experiment.

While it will certainly be useful come science fair time, this book is recommended for anyone looking for time to fill.

Find Maker Lab in the Library.

Celeste, Kids World

Big Friends by Linda Sarah & Benji Davies

Big Friends book cover: image of three friends in a soapbox derby car going down a hill“Two cardboard boxes,
big enough to sit in, hide inside.”

Birt and Etho know that all you need to have fun is this: a friend and a big cardboard box. The friends spend their days on Sudden Hill imagining grand adventures with the help of their boxes. Their "two-by-two rhythm" is unparalleled. That is, until Shu shows up on Sudden Hill one day, toting his very own cardboard box. The dynamic duo becomes a troubled trio when Birt, feeling alienated, smashes his box to pieces and stops going to the hill. Will Etho and Shu go on adventures without Birt, or will Birt come to see that friends and adventures are even better when shared?

The whimsy of childhood play is captured spectacularly in charming painted illustrations, and a "the more the merrier" messages shines. Recommended for all readers in preschool through approximately third grade, especially those who may be having a difficult time sharing a best friend.

Find Big Friends in the Library.

Brittany, Kids World

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is ready for checkout!

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child book cover: a child curled up on itself in what appears to be a bird's nest and wings coming outMany readers may recall that the epilogue of the last Harry Potter book shows Harry's son, Albus Serverus, taking the train to his first year at Hogswarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. (If the readers do not recall, fans of the movie might...) Fans of magic and Hogswarts have now been invited back into Harry Potter's life once again. Albus is at Hogswarts and is struggling with the weight of his father's legacy.

This play script is written by Jack Thorne is based upon a short story accredited to J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne.

Eisenhower Library's copies of the script are now available for checkout. Holds may be placed on the circulating copies in our general collections. However, residents of Norridge and Harwood Heights are welcome to select a copy from our Eisenhower Exclusive Collection. These copies are not holdable, but they are available for checkout to residents who visit the Library. Eisenhower Exclusives will be listed in our online catalog as "EE," and are on the pyramid displays in Library Services by the checkout desk.

Residents who prefer e-books to the print copies are welcome to place a hold, checkout, and download an e-copy through the Overdrive app. Feel free to stop in at the Kids desk for help setting up or navigating our digital collections.

Find Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in the Library.

Celeste, Kids World

Run for Your Life!: Predators and Prey on the African Savanna by Lola Schaefer

Run For Your Life book cover: illustration of a zebra running from 2 hyenasIt's a real-life game of hide-and-seek.”

The savannah animals are sleeping under the big night sky as this day-in-the-life story begins and ends. In between, each two-page spread shows and names a specific African pedator and its prey as they run in pursuit and in fear. The watercolors are engaging, the animals a bit cartoonish with hungry and/or fearful eyes. The simple text builds and maintains a sense of excitement with distinct action verbs; the animals don't run but spring, bound, swoop, hop, lunge, and trot.

Readers from 4 to 94 will enjoy this quick read, either as a lap-sit or shared with a group, Older kids and adults will appreciate the detailed back matter, a brief explanation of camoflauge and speed and a list of the animals and their average sprint speeds. (Note: the real-life gore, killing and flesh consumption is only implied, not depicted nor discussed.)

Find Run for Your Life! in the Library

Mary Jo, Kids World

The Girl in the Well is Me by Karen Rivers

The Girl in the Well is Me book cover: from point of view of someone in well, the brocks circle around the cover showing a blue sky in the open circle and the silhouettes of three girls looking down"Where are You?... YOU GUYS. Don't leave me!"

Kammie's life is in turmoil. Her family (minus her father) just moved to a new town, her brother is angry all the time, and she has to share an ugly orange room with him. Without anything familiar and comforting to hang onto, Kammie is desparate to fit in, and three girls have taken advantage of it. The story opens with an "initiation" into a fake club. The girls' trick  goes horribly wrong and Kammie is trapped in an old well, hurt, and alone.

The story unfolds from Kammie's perspective. The combination of hallucinations, memories, and facts makes the otherwise basic plot complex and enthralling. The sense of danger is heightened as Kammie loses more of reality and begins to ramble. This emotional ride is one you can hardly put down as the ending often seems uncertain. Perfect for upper elementary school readers who are looking for a quick read with a satisfying depth.
This book will also serve well as a great discussion into bullying.

Find The Girl in the Well is Me in the Library

Celeste, Kids World

Where's the Elephant? by Barroux

Where's the Elephant? book cover scene of the forest with various animals hidden among the leaves“Where's the elephant?
Where's the parrot?
Where's the snake?”

Take a look at the big, colorful forest and do your best to find the elephant, the parrot, and the snake. With each turn of the page, the forest shrinks smaller and smaller as the encroaching buildings grow taller and taller. With no forest left to hide behind, the trio of animals find themselves trapped behind the bars of a zoo. Will the animals ever be free again, or will the new city hold them hostage in its concrete jungle? And what will become of the earth without its forests?

Mimicking a search and find format, this title features brightly colored painted illustrations that grow starker as the animals' freedom becomes more and more limited. Serving as a wonderful jumping off point for discussions on the environment and deforestation, this title is recommended for all readers in preschool through approximately first grade, especially for animal lovers and budding environmentalist.

Find Where's the Elephant? in the Library

Brittany, Kids World

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