Children and Teen Favorites from 2018

December 07, 2018 | By Baltimore County Public Library


Younger Readers

"Shelby’s Snack Shack: A Lift-the-Flap Counting Book" Illustrated by Lucia Gaggiotti
Shelby is opening her snack shack for the day, but sneaky seagulls have hidden all of her dog bones. Help Shelby find the missing dog bones in this fun, vibrant board book.

"The Crocodile and the Dentist" Written and Illustrated by Taro Gomi
Are you afraid of going to the dentist? Is the dentist afraid of you? He is if you are a crocodile with a toothache. They are both scared and must be brave to overcome their fears. Told in matching dialogue, the author shows how different people experience the same feelings. You don’t want to miss this amusing story!

"Thank you, Omu!" Written and Illustrated by Oge Mora
Omu is making her delicious red stew for dinner. As the smell wafts through the apartment building, neighbors keep stopping by for a taste. As Omu sits down to eat dinner, she realizes there is no stew left for her. When there is a knock at the door, the neighbors are back to share their dinner with Omu. This is a charming story about community and sharing.

"Wild Swans" by Xanthe Gresham Knight and Illustrated by Charlotte Gastaut
A modern take on an Andersen classic focusing on independent, courageous Eliza, a young woman who must save her brothers. Knight deftly alters the story—the stepmother is not an evil witch, but a learned healer and Eliza does not marry but returns to rule her land. While the focus is on Eliza and her journey, Gastaut’s lush artwork creates an enchanted atmosphere. Fans of Brave, Frozen and Pocahontas will be charmed by this new spin on a familiar and magical tale.

"The True Adventures of Esther the Wonder Pig" by Steve Jenkins and Illustrated by Cori Doerrfeld
You may have already heard of Esther, the 650-pound rescue pig with 1.5 million followers on Facebook and Instagram. Now you can learn of the story of her rescue by her dads who mistakenly thought they were adopting a mini pig. As she grows and grows and grows, the trouble she gets into also increases. Despite the mischief and mayhem, her dads love her. The humorous story is accentuated with digital paint illustrations that perfectly capture the rambunctious nature of Esther and the affection her dads have for her. Information about the animal sanctuary her dads operate and a photo of Esther are included so readers can get a glimpse of her real world.

Middle Grade and Teen Readers

"The Parker Inheritance" by Varian Johnson
After her parent’s divorce, 12-year-old Candice has to move from Atlanta to small town Lambert, South Carolina for the summer to stay at her grandmother’s cottage. It’s starting to be the worst summer ever until Candace meets Brandon and she discovers a letter addressed to her from her deceased grandmother that contains a puzzle. Candice and Brandon work to solve the mystery and win the prize money, and as they investigate the clues, they learn more about the town’s history and what life was like for African-Americans there in the 1950s.  A beautifully written, complex story that addresses important issues of race, divorce and bullying. 

"Checked" by Cynthia Kadohata
Eleven-year-old Connor MacRea loves hockey. Connor also loves his dog Sinbad, who is diagnosed with cancer.  In order to pay for the expensive treatment for Sinbad, Connor gives up his expensive hockey lessons and starts doing odd jobs to make money. Now that Connor is spending more time off the ice, he is increasingly aware of the things he hasn’t been dealing with and has to grapple with who he is if he isn’t a hockey player. A memorable coming of age story. 

"The Poet X" by Elizabeth Acevedo
Xiomara’s Harlem neighborhood comes to lyrical life in this novel in verse. X is a strong-willed outspoken teen coming to terms with her body, her sexuality and her loudmouth nature, and she finds peace in ways she never dreamed in a slam poetry group. Acevedo, a poet herself, also narrated the audiobook of this story that is begging to be listened to as well as read. This debut novel is finding itself on countless year-end best lists.

"Unclaimed Baggage" by Jen Doll
Three teens work at a very unique shop—one that sells the contents of airline travelers unclaimed suitcases. Doris is a skeptic in a very religious Alabama town. Nell is a newcomer to the South from Chicago. Grant is a previous high school athlete whose misbehaviors have cost him a spot on the team and a whole lot more. Told in alternating chapters, this readable tale is a winner for teens (and adults) who like realistic drama with a hint of humor.

Category: Collection and Materials