Chinese (Lunar) New Year | Picture Books

The Lunar New Year falls on February 12th, and it’s the Year of the Ox!

Tied to the Chinese lunar calendar, the holiday was traditionally a time to honor household and heavenly deities as well as ancestors. It was also a time to bring family together for feasting. Check out this list picture books all about Chinese (Lunar) New Year, hand-picked by our Youth Services Department staff! 

  • All of the titles featured here we have in our collection. To see if an item is available to check out or place on hold, click the cover image or button to the right of the description.

Chinese New Year Colors

by Rich Lo

This bilingual color concept book celebrates a rainbow of traditional objects seen during the Chinese New Year. Hóng is the color of explosive firecrackers! Jīn is the hue of lucky coins. Zŏng is the shade of sweet peanut puffs. Welcome to the festivities of the Chinese New Year, where symbolic gifts, foods, and objects come together in a celebration of beautiful colors. This vibrant, simple, and highly graphic bilingual book is the perfect introduction to Chinese and English words for colors as it honors one of the biggest holidays around the world.

Nian, the Chinese New Year Dragon

by Virginia Loh-Hagan

An illustrated retelling for young readers of the Chinese folktale about a dragon that threatens a village each spring and Mei, the young girl who is destined to defeat him.

Mulan’s Lunar New Year

by Natasha Yim

It’s the Lunar New Year, which just happens to be Mulan’s favorite festival! There is a lot to do to prepare for this important celebration, and for the first time, Mulan is old enough to help out. But everthing Mulan does seems to turn out wrong.

Maisy’s Chinese New Year

by Lucy Cousins

Spending Chinese New Year with her friend Tiger, Maisy learns about traditional symbols, shares a delicious cultural feast and exchanges lucky red hongbao envelopes before listening to a story about the holiday and staying up late to watch a fireworks display.

Ruby’s Chinese New Year

by Vickie Lee

As Ruby travels to her grandmother’s house to bring her a gift for Chinese New Year, she is joined by all of the animals of the zodiac. Includes the legend of the Chinese horoscope and instructions for crafts.

The Great Race: Story of the Chinese Zodiac

by Christopher Corr

Celebrate Chinese New Year and learn how every animal earned its place in the Chinese zodiac by taking part in the Great Race! Discover who will come first to win the ultimate prize, and find out why Cat will never forgive his friend Rat in this ancient folk tale that has been passed from generation to generation.

Curious George Dragon Dance

by Adah Nuchi

George, Marco, and their new friend Lily get to dance in the dragon costume during the Chinese New Year parade.

Bringing in the New Year

by Grace Lin

A Chinese American family prepares for and celebrates the Lunar New Year. End notes discuss the customs and traditions of Chinese New Year.

This Next New Year

by Janet S. Wong

A family prepares to celebrate the Lunar New Year and looks forward to the good luck they hope it will bring.

It’s Chinese New Year

by Richard Sebra

Presents an introduction to the Chinese New Year holiday and discusses its traditions, including family meals, remembering loved ones, decorating with the color red, and giving gifts.

How to Catch a Dragon

by Adam Wallace

A real, wily dragon winds through streets in China, eluding the traps set by a group of children during the Chinese New Year celebration.

Lunar New Year

by Hannah Eliot

Introduces lunar new year, describing the food, decorations, and activities of the holiday.

Want more recommendations?

 

You can check out all of our online booklists (for kids and for adults), or reach out to us! Our staff is ready and willing to make reading, listening, or viewing recommendations to you! Email us at reference@benlib.org or contact us via our online form!

In Honor of Black History Month: 15 Picture Books about Black Heroes and Icons for Kids!

Every February, people in the United States celebrate the achievements and history of African Americans as part of Black History Month.

Take a look at this list, compiled by our Youth Services Department, that highlights picture books on black heroes and icons!

  • All of the titles featured here we have in our collection. To see if an item is available to check out or place on hold, click the cover image or button to the right of the description.

Brave, Black, First: 50+ African American Women Who Changed the World

by Cheryl Willis Hudson

An illustrated biographical compilation of over fifty African American women from the 1700s through to the present day.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Aretha Franklin, Queen of Soul

by Carole Boston Weatherford

Aretha Franklin was born to sing. The daughter of a pastor and a gospel singer, her musical talent was clear from her earliest days in her father’s Detroit church. Aretha sang with a soaring voice that spanned more than three octaves. Her incredible talent and string of hit songs earned her the title “the Queen of Soul.” This Queen was a multi-Grammy winner and the first female inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. And there was even more to Aretha than being a singer, songwriter, and pianist: she was an activist, too. Her song “Respect” was an anthem for people fighting for civil rights and women’s rights. With words that sing and art that shines, this vibrant portrait of Aretha Franklin pays her the R-E-S-P-E-C-T this Queen of Soul deserves. 

Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History

by Vashti Harrison

Little Leaders educates and inspires as it relates true stories of forty trailblazing black women in American history. Illuminating text paired with irresistible illustrations bring to life both iconic and lesser-known female figures of Black history such as abolitionist Sojourner Truth, pilot Bessie Coleman, chemist Alice Ball, politician Shirley Chisholm, mathematician Katherine Johnson, poet Maya Angelou, and filmmaker Julie Dash.

Rise: From Caged Bird to Poet of the People, Maya Angelou

by Bethany Hegedus

A biography of African American writer, performer, and activist Maya Angelou, who turned a childhood of trauma and emotional pain to become one of the most inspiring voices of our lifetime.

Between the Lines: How Ernie Barnes Went from the Football Field to the Art Gallery

by Sandra Neil Wallace

Discover the true story of NFL star Ernie Barnes, a boy who followed his dreams and became one of the most influential artists of his generation with this beautifully illustrated nonfiction picture book.

Sisters: Venus and Serena Williams

by Jeanette Winter

Before they were famous tennis stars, Venus and Serena Williams were sisters with big dreams growing up in Compton, California. In the early mornings, they head to the tennis courts, clean up debris, and practice. They compete in their first tournament and they both win. From there, the girls’ trophy collection grows and grows. Despite adversity and health challenges, the sisters become two of the greatest tennis players of all time. This inspiring story of sisterhood, hard work, and determination is perfect for budding athletes or any young reader with a big dream.

Human Computer: Mary Jackson, Engineer

by Andi Diehn

When Mary Jackson was growing up, she thought being an engineer was impossible for her. Why? After all, she was fantastic at math and science. She worked really hard to learn all she could in school. Why did this smart little girl think she couldn’t be an engineer?

Dream Big: Michael Jordan and the Pursuit of Olympic Gold

by Deloris Jordan

From the age of nine years Michael dreams of playing basketball for the United States in the Olympics, and with hard work and his mother’s encouragement, he realizes his dream.

Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson's Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions

by Chris Barton

A love for rockets, robots, inventions, and a mind for creativity began early in Lonnie Johnson’s life. Growing up in a house full of brothers and sisters, persistence and a passion for problem solving became the cornerstone for a career as an engineer and his work with NASA. But it is his invention of the Super Soaker water gun that has made his most memorable splash with kids and adults.

Muhammad Ali: Champion of the World

by Jonah Winter

Provides a profile of this legendary and flamboyant boxer and the complicated life he led, from changing his religion and his name to dodging the draft during the Vietnam era and fighting his way to regain a stripped title.

Kamala Harris: Rooted in Justice

by Nikki Grimes

Discover the incredible story of a young daughter of immigrants who would grow up to be the first woman, first Black person, and first South Asian American ever elected Vice President of the United States in this moving picture book biography of Kamala Harris.

Barack Obama: Son of Promise, Child of Hope

by Nikki Grimes

Ever since Barack Obama was young, Hope has lived inside him. From the beaches of Hawaii to the streets of Chicago, from the jungles of Indonesia to the plains of Kenya, he has held on to Hope. Even as a boy, Barack knew he wasn’t quite like anybody else, but through his journeys he found the ability to listen to Hope and become what he was meant to be: a bridge to bring people together.

Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom

by Carole Boston Weatherford

Describes Tubman’s spiritual journey as she hears the voice of God guiding her north to freedom on that very first trip to escape the brutal practice of forced servitude. Tubman would make nineteen subsequent trips back south, never being caught, but none as profound as this first one.

A Place to Land: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Speech that Inspired a Nation

by Barry Wittenstein

The true story behind the writing of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

When Rosa Parks Went Fishing

by Rachel Ruiz

No discussion of the Civil Rights Movement is complete without the story of Rosa Parks. But what was this activist like as a child? Following young Rosa from a fishing creek to a one-room schoolhouse, from her wearing homemade clothes to wondering what “white” water tastes like, readers will be inspired by the experiences that shaped one of the most famous African-Americans in history.

Want more recommendations?

 

You can check out all of our online booklists (for kids and for adults), or reach out to us! Our staff is ready and willing to make reading, listening, or viewing recommendations to you! Email us at reference@benlib.org or contact us via our online form!

Parish’s Staff Picks: Movies & TV Series

Hey hey… You know Parish from the Youth Services Department! He’s put together a list of some of his favorite movies and TV series — some for the whole family, teens, and even adults!

  • All of the titles featured here we have in our collection. To see if an item is available to check out or place on hold, click the cover image or button to the right of the description.

Little Nemo

Nemo is a young boy whose dreams transcend reality. He is sucked into his own fantasy, which is everything he has dreamed of. He journeys into the realm of Slumberland, where the King grants him a magical key that opens the door to the Nightmare World. In doing so he unleashes a century old secret that may not only destroy this perfect dream world but reality itself. Now, its up to him to banish nightmares forever.

From Parish: A movie from my childhood! Little Nemo is one of my favorite go to movies when I’m needing that blast from the past. Full of magic, colorful characters, and a flying bed! This is a must watch! All ages

Promare

Thirty years have passed since the appearance of the Burnish, a race of flame-wielding mutant beings,
who destroyed half of the world with fire. When a new group of aggressive mutants calling themselves
Mad Burnish appears, the epic battle between Galo Thymos, a new member of the anti-Burnish rescue
team Burning Rescue, and Lio Fotia, the leader of Mad Burnish begins.

From Parish: One of my all time favorite newly released movies! I highly recommend everyone to watch this movie! I’m a big fan of anime. One of the reasons why I love it is because the art style is beautiful; I love seeing how amazing the animation is. Promare delivers on the beauty and great storytelling! Teen

Spirited Away

When a young girl gets trapped in a strange new world of spirits, she must call upon the courage she
never knew she had to free herself and rescue her parents.

From Parish: YES! You can’t have a favorite movie list without adding a Studio Ghibli movie! Spirited Away is my favorite Studio Ghibli film and yes, it’s a must-watch movie! Everything about this movie is good; the story, the visuals and the music! I watch this movie at least once every month. Teen

Ok K.O.! Lets Be Heroes TKO

In the video game inspired world, K.O. works at Gar’s Bodega in Lakewood Plaza, a one-stop shop for all your hero needs. Whether he is mopping the floor with Lord Boxman’s evil robots or literally mopping the floor, K.O. tackles everything with his cheery, endless enthusiasm. Every person is a hero to look up to, every challenge is a chance to grow stronger and every success or failure is just another stepping-stone to becoming the ultimate hero.

From Parish: A show that used to air on Cartoon Network! This is a super family friendly show that has tons of funny jokes and puns. New and old gamers will enjoy! It’s one of my favorite series that I wished still aired! All ages

Avatar: The Last Airbender

After a lapse of 100 years, the Avatar-spiritual master of the elements -has returned. And just in the nick of time. The Four nations (Water, Earth, Fire and Air) have become unbalanced. The Fire Nation wants to rule the world, and its first conquest will be the Northern Water Tribe. It’s up to a 12-year-old Airbender named Aang to find a way to stop it. Join Aang, Katara, Sokka, Momo, and Appa as they head north on the adventure of a lifetime. The Chosen One who can restore the world order. This adventure, set in a fantastical Asian-influenced world, follows the story of Aang, the Chosen One, who must forgo his selfish wandering to learn to master his latent powers over the four elements.

From Parish: You may have already seen this show! But if not, it’s one you MUST watch! Trust me it speaks for itself why I like it! Teen

Kidnap

A typical afternoon in the park turns into a nightmare for single mom Karla Dyson when her son suddenly disappears. Without a cell phone and knowing she has no time to wait for police help, Karla jumps in her own car and sets off in pursuit of the kidnappers. Karla will stop at nothing to recover her kidnapped son.

From Parish: Who doesn’t love a good thriller with Halle Berry in it! This movie will not only get your heart racing, it’ll also leave you speechless with what this mother will do to get her son back!

Rated R

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

Meet charming and jobless Scott Pilgrim. A bass guitarist for garage band Sex Bob-omb, the 22-year-
old has just met the girl of his dreams, literally. The only catch to winning Ramona Flowers? Her seven evil exes are coming to kill him. As Scott gets closer to Ramona, he must face an increasingly vicious rogues’ gallery from her past, from infamous skateboarders to vegan rock stars and fearsome identical twins. If he hopes to win his true love, he must vanquish them all.

From Parish: If you love the graphic novel, you’ll love this movie! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this movie! Michael Cera is one of my favorite actors and the gaming puns and effects are the best!

Rated PG-13

Ghost Whisperer

Ever since she was a young girl, Melinda Gordon has been able to see and talk to dead people. Earth-bound
spirits who have yet to cross over to the other side seek her help in communicating and resolving unfinished business with the living.

From Parish: YES! I’m serious this is one of my favorite shows! It’s so good! You wouldn’t think it would hook you, but it does!

Teen/Adult

Infinity Train

Join Tulip on a mind-bending journey aboard the mysterious Infinity Train, alongside her companions Atticus, the canine king of Corginia, and One-One, a robot with dueling personalities. With puzzles and perils awaiting them in every car, and the relentless Steward on their trail, will Tulip ever find a way off the train and return home?

From Parish: In my opinion one of Cartoon Networks best shows next to “ Ok. K.O”. Infinity Train is a unique Sci-fi cartoon that will leave you on the edge of your seat!

Teen

Over the Garden Wall

From creator Patrick McHale, one of the minds behind Adventure Time. Cartoon Network’s first every animated mini-series. It follows the story of two brothers, Greg and Wirt, who find themselves in a strange forest. Along the way, they meet a bluebird named Beatrice who helps them navigate the strange land in the hopes of making their way home.

From Parish: I LOVE THIS SHOW! It’s a great binge worthy show that you can finish in a couple of hours! I love watching this in October, for its spooky theme.

Teen

Want more recommendations?

 

You can check out all of our online booklists (for kids and for adults), or reach out to us! Our staff is ready and willing to make reading, listening, or viewing recommendations to you! Email us at reference@benlib.org or contact us via our online form!

Read It, Then Watch It! | YA Edition | Part 2

Did you know that these YA reads are based on books? We’ve put together a list of some of our favorite YA books with movie adaptations. Then the ultimate question… Which was better: the book or the movie?

All of the books and movies featured here we have in our collection! To see if an item is available to check out or place on hold, click the cover image or the “Find it!” button under each book or movie.

Book: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Movie: "The Fault in Our Stars"

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

Book: Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Movie: "Before I Fall"

After she dies in a car crash, teenage Samantha relives the day of her death over and over again until, on the seventh day, she finally discovers a way to save herself.

Book: Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen

Movie: "Flipped"

Flipped is a romance told in two voices. The first time Juli Baker saw Bryce Loski, she flipped. The first time Bryce saw Juli, he ran. That’s pretty much the pattern for these two neighbors until the eighth grade, when, just as Juli is realizing Bryce isn’t as wonderful as she thought, Bryce is starting to see that Juli is pretty amazing. How these two teens manage to see beyond the surface of things and come together makes for a comic and poignant romance.

Book: The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares

Movie: "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants"

During their first summer apart, four teenage girls, best friends since earliest childhood, stay in touch through a shared pair of secondhand jeans that magically adapts to each of their figures and affects their attitudes to their different summer experiences.

Book: The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

Movie: "The Outsiders"

Ponyboy Curtis struggles with right and wrong in a society in which he believes that he is an outsider. Ponyboy is a greaser, and he’s always been proud of it, even willing to rumble against a gang of socs for the sake of his fellow greasers–until one terrible night when his friend Johnny kills a soc. The murder gets under Ponyboy’s skin, causing his bifurcated world to crumble and teaching him that pain feels the same whether a soc or a greaser.

Book: The DUFF by Kody Keplinger

Movie: "The DUFF"

Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn’t think she’s the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She’s also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her “the Duff,” she throws her Coke in his face.

Book: Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia

Movie: "Beautiful Creatures"

In a small South Carolina town, where it seems little has changed since the Civil War, sixteen-year-old Ethan is powerfully drawn to Lena, a new classmate with whom he shares a psychic connection and whose family hides a dark secret that may be revealed on her sixteenth birthday.

Mindfulness and Yoga Books for Kids!

Looking to start the new year on a calmer note? Check out this list of yoga and mindfulness books for kids, hand-picked by our Youth Services Department staff!

Yoga and mindfulness for children promotes resilience, positive perceptions, good health habits and mindful awareness, empowering children to excel at school, at home, and in life.

  • All of the titles featured here we have in our collection. To see if an item is available to check out or place on hold, click the cover image or button to the right of the description.

Sloth at the Zoom

by Helaine Becker

Sloth is a sloooooow creature. She’s supposed to be going to the Zzzzzoo, but is mistakenly delivered to the ZOOM! She wants to make friends in her new home, but it seems like all the animals here are always busy, late, and in a rush. Finally, the sloth meets someone more to her speed: a tiny snail who invites the sloth down for a cup of tea. The friendship of these two animals is surprising and delightful enough to stop all the other animals in their tracks. And as day became night, and night became day, the animals at the ZOOM! slowed down–j̥ust long enough, that is, to all become fast friends. A lovely story of mindfulness in an over-stimulated world! Kids will relate to being rushed around and longing for the undivided attention of the people around them.

Meddy Teddy: A Mindful Yoga Journey

by Apple Jordan

Meddy encourages readers to try yoga poses as he comes out of hibernation, greets the springtime, and teaches his forest friends how to mindfully get through a variety of situations. On each page, Meddy shows how to execute a pose, including downward-facing dog, tree pose, the Warrior, and more.

Hurry up!: A Book About Slowing Down

by Kate Dopirak

For one busy boy, life is all hurry up, hurry down, hurry round and round and round! That is until he takes a big breath…and a big break…and slows down to see all the wonderful things in the world around him.

Straw

by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

A bendy drinking straw loves to speed through life, but he learns to appreciate taking it slow with the help of a friend.

Already A Butterfly: A Meditation Story

by Julia Alvarez

A too busy butterfly who spends her day hurrying and worrying finds her own “quiet place” after learning about meditation and mindfulness from a flower bud.

Good Morning Yoga: A Pose-by-Pose Wake-up Story

by Mariam Gates

Yoga helps children learn how to focus, relax, and both self-monitor and self-soothe. [This book] instills these four skills and more, enabling children to jumpstart the day with excitement and meet the adventures that come with mindfulness and perspective. Gates presents both a wake-up story and a series of simple poses for welcoming the natural world as day begins. It’s practice for kids and parents to begin the day in a calming, mindful way.

Good Night Yoga: Relaxing Bedtime Poses for Children

by Lorena Pajalunga

The perfect book to play yoga with your children and to encourage concentration, calmness and self-confidence. Twenty yoga positions inside inspired by animals and accompanied by step-by-step instructions.

I am! : Affirmations for Resilience

by Bela Barbosa

Ten relatable emotions are each followed by a centering exercise and a positive affirmation to be recited, as a practice in mindfulness. Young readers are encouraged to find their inner strength by recognizing and addressing their emotions, instilling a sense of power and self-confidence.

Yoga Animals: A Wild Introduction to Kid-Friendly Poses

by Paige Towler

Roar like a lion! Arch like a kitten! Stretch like a cobra! Did you know that many yoga poses were inspired by animals? Let these creatures inspire your young ones to get moving, practice mindfulness, or calm down after a long day. Simple step-by-step instructions explain the kid-friendly moves.

Yoga for Kids

by Susannah Hoffman

Teach your kids about yoga and mindfulness with this mindful yoga activity book with more than 50 poses and activities. Yoga is a great way to teach children about relaxation, meditation, and peace – while having fun at the same time. This book is packed with yoga activities for kids and mindful games – they can stretch into tree pose, bend into butterfly pose, learn how to make a mindfulness jar, and find out why and how we should stretch through a series of fun yoga poses and sequences.

Mindful Games: Sharing Mindfulness and Meditation with Children, Teens, and Families

by Susan Kaiser Greenland

Encourages parents to use mindful play to help their children develop focusing skills while learning to regulate their emotions and respond to any situation calmly, with kindness and compassion.

Llamaste & Friends: Being Kind Through Yoga

by Annabel Tempest

Meet Llamaste, a llama who loves yoga! Join her in this funny, sweet story as she helps Tiger calm down and Koala be brave by showing them simple, practical yoga poses. The easy-to-use text also encourages children to explore their emotions and develop empathy skills. All of Llamaste’s poses are designed to help parents and children to begin their own yoga practice at home!

Want more recommendations?

 

You can check out all of our online booklists (for kids and for adults), or reach out to us! Our staff is ready and willing to make reading, listening, or viewing recommendations to you! Email us at reference@benlib.org or contact us via our online form!

Let’s Dance! | Picture books that encourage kids to dance

Want to get your little ones up and moving this holiday season? Let’s dance! Check out this list of picture books, hand-picked by our Youth Services Department staff, that will encourage kids to dance, dance, dance!

  • All of the titles featured here we have in our collection. To see if an item is available to check out or place on hold, click the cover image or button to the right of the description.

Wiggle

by Doreen Cronin

A dog wiggles his way through the day, with infectious rhymes that invite readers to wiggle along with him.

Monster Boogie

by Laurie Berkner

Monsters aren’t scary, they just like to dance! Monsters love to boogie and want you to boogie too!

Dance with the Animals: Shake Your Tail and Stomp Your Feet

by Ella Bailey

Children will love to dance with this cast of colorful animal characters. Perfect to read together, kids can follow the simple instructions to create their own dance moves.

How Do You Dance?

by Thyra Heder

There are so many ways to dance! You can jiggle or wiggle or stomp. You can bop or bounce or go completely nuts. You can dance at the market or the bus stop, with your fingers or your face. You can dance because you’re happy or even because you’re sad. But what’s the best way to dance? Exactly how you want to! There are so many ways to dance! You can jiggle or wiggle or stomp. You can bop or bounce or go completely nuts. You can dance at the market or the bus stop, with your fingers or your face. You can dance because you’re happy or even because you’re sad.

Everybunny Dance!

by Ellie Sandall

Bunnies dance, play, sing, all while including you in the dancing fun! Do you have a bunny’s rhythm?

Salsa Lullaby

by Jen Arena

How to get baby to sleep? Mami and Papi will try anything in this bouncy, loving, bilingual lullaby that gently says good night in both Spanish and English.

From Head to Toe

by Eric Carle

Can you do it? ‘I can do it!’ is the confidence-building message of this fun-filled interactive picture book. A variety of familiar animals invite young children to copy their antics, and as they play, they will learn such important skills as careful listening, focusing attention, and following instructions.

Stomp

by Ian Aurora

Readers will be up and out of their chairs as they follow―and stomp―along with the diverse group of children and adults featured in this rowdy read. From stomping really fast to stomping while you wiggle all your toes, this interactive title promises to be an engaging and fun read.

Clap

by Josie Silver

Clap is a book where we all clap along because sometimes a book has a beat like a song! This fun twist on a call and response picture book has kids clapping their way through the story. Pick up Clap to read aloud and get ready for things to get a little loud!

How Can You Dance?

by Rick Walton

Rhyming text explores the many ways one can dance, like the leader of a marching band, like a crab on a sunny day, like a tree as it waves in the breeze.

Want more recommendations?

 

You can check out all of our online booklists (for kids and for adults), or reach out to us! Our staff is ready and willing to make reading, listening, or viewing recommendations to you! Email us at reference@benlib.org or contact us via our online form!

Miss Kyrie’s Picks! | Fiction for Tweens & Teens

Miss Kyrie from the Youth Services Department has hand-picked a selection of her current favorite books, movies, and audiobooks for tweens & teens! Do you like fantasy reads? Graphic novels? Tried-and-true classics? Miss Kyrie has something for you! 

  •  To see if an item is available to check out or place on hold, click the cover image or button to the right of the description.

Miss Kyrie Recommends...

Cinder

by Kathryn Otoshi

As plague ravages the overcrowded Earth, observed by a ruthless lunar people, Cinder, a gifted mechanic and cyborg, becomes involved with handsome Prince Kai and must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect the world in this futuristic take on the Cinderella story.

AGES: Teens

Sailor Moon R: The Movie

Long before Mamoru found his destiny with Usagi, he gave a single rose in thanks to a lonely boy who helped him recover from the crash that claimed his parents. This long-forgotten friend, Fiore, has been searching the galaxy for a flower worthy of that sweet gesture long ago. The mysterious flower he finds is beautiful, but has a dark side- it has the power to take over planets! To make matters worse, the strange plant is tied to an ominous new asteroid near Earth!

AGES: Teens

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter has never been the star of a Quidditch team, scoring points while riding a broom far above the ground. He knows no spells, has never helped to hatch a dragon, and has never worn a cloak of invisibility. All he knows is a miserable life with the Dursleys, his horrible aunt and uncle, and their abominable son, Dudley — a great big swollen spoiled bully. Harry’s room is a tiny closet at the foot of the stairs, and he hasn’t had a birthday party in eleven years. But all that is about to change when a mysterious letter arrives by owl messenger: a letter with an invitation to an incredible place that Harry — and anyone who reads about him — will find unforgettable.

AGES: Grade school & tweens

The Little Prince

by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

The Little Prince is a classic tale of equal appeal to children and adults. On one level it is the story of an airman’s discovery, in the desert, of a small boy from another planet – the Little Prince of the title – and his stories of intergalactic travel, while on the other hand it is a thought-provoking allegory of the human condition.

AGES: Tweens & teens

The Hate U Give

by Angie Thomas

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed. Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr. But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

AGES: Teens

His Dark Materials Omnibus

by Philip Pullman

The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass are available together in one volume perfect for any fan or newcomer to this modern fantasy classic series. These thrilling adventures tell the story of Lyra and Will—two ordinary children on a perilous journey through shimmering haunted otherworlds. They will meet witches and armored bears, fallen angels and soul-eating specters. And in the end, the fate of both the living—and the dead—will rely on them.

AGES: Tweens & teens

5 Worlds. Book 1: The Sand Warrior

by Mark Seigel

Think Star Wars meets Avatar: The Last Airbender! The Five Worlds are on the brink of extinction unless five ancient and mysterious beacons are lit. When war erupts, three unlikely heroes will discover there’s more to themselves—and more to their worlds—than meets the eye. . . .

AGES: Grade school

Wait Till Helen Comes: A Ghost Story

by Mary Downing Hahn

The spine-chilling tale begins when twelve-year-old Molly and her ten-year-old brother, Michael, learn that they’ll be moving to a refurbished old church in rural Maryland with their mother’s new husband, Dave, and their younger stepsister, Heather. Heather is an insufferable brat, but that turns out to be the least of the family’s worries. When she strikes up a friendship with Helen, the malevolent ghost of a seven-year-old girl who died in a mysterious fire more than a hundred years ago, things really heat up . . . and Heather’s unsettling threat, “Wait till Helen comes,” becomes a grim reality.

AGES: Grade school

Refugee

by Alan Gratz

Although separated by continents and decades, Josef, a Jewish boy living in 1930s Nazi Germany; Isabel, a Cuban girl trying to escape the riots and unrest plaguing her country in 1994; and Mahmoud, a Syrian boy in 2015 whose homeland is torn apart by violence and destruction, embark on harrowing journeys in search of refuge, discovering shocking connections that tie their stories together.

AGES: Tweens & teens

Priscyla’s Picks!

Miss Priscyla from the Youth Services Department has hand-picked a selection of her current favorite books!

Check out her list of books about crossing the border and understanding what it means to be from neither this side nor that side of the border, ni de aqui o de alla. She’s also got a list of novels that she enjoyed reading when she was growing up!

  • All of the books featured here are books that we have in our collection. To see if an item is available to check out or place on hold, click the cover image or button to the right of the description.

Priscyla Recommends… Crossing the Border

Dreamers by Yuyi Morales

An immigration story of a mother and son entering a new world with no form of communication, until this mother and son discover the many wonders of a library.

ALL AGES

Where Are You From? by Yamile Saied Méndez

When other children and their parents keep asking a young girl where she is from, she puts the same question to her grandfather who describes the land and people from which her family originated.

ALL AGES

Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote: A Migrant’s Tale
by Duncan Tonatiuh

When Papa Rabbit does not return home as expected from many seasons of working in the great carrot and lettuce fields of El Norte, his son Pancho sets out
on a dangerous trek to find him, guided by a coyote.

ALL AGES

The Distance Between Us by Reyna Grande

In this poignant memoir about her childhood in Mexico, Reyna Grande skillfully depicts another side of the immigrant experience—the hardships and heartbreaks of the children who are left behind.

TEEN/ADULT

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter
by Erika L. Sánchez

Perfect Mexican daughters never abandon their family. But Julia is not your perfect Mexican daughter. That was Olga’s role. Then a tragic accident on the
busiest street in Chicago leaves Olga dead and Julia left behind to reassemble the shattered pieces of her family. But it’s not long before Julia discovers that
Olga might not have been as perfect as everyone thought. With the help of her best friend Lorena, and her first kiss, first love, first everything boyfriend Connor, Julia is determined to find out.

TEEN/ADULT

My Papi Has a Motorcycle by Isabel Quintero

When Daisy Ramona zooms around her neighborhood with her papi on his motorcycle, she sees the people and places she’s always known. She also sees a community that is rapidly changing around her. But as the sun sets purple-blue-gold behind Daisy Ramona and her papi, she knows that the love she feels will
always be there.

ALL AGES

Carmelo by Sandra Cisneros

A story of a family who travels every year from Chicago to Mexico City as Celaya “Lela” Reyes experiences the reality of being Mexican American while processing the many memories of her awful grandmother and family in Mexico. Caramelo is
alive with the vibrations of history, family, and love.

ADULT

Priscyla Recommends… Favorites from Growing Up

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

In all the years she has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house, Grace has been particularly drawn to an unusual yellow-eyed wolf who, in his turn, has been watching her with increasing intensity.

The Awakening by Kelley Armstrong

Fifteen-year-old necromancer Chloe, having escaped from Lyle House with Derek, Simon, and Rae, finds herself imprisoned in a laboratory run by a sinister organization determined to control her and her supernatural friends.

Incantation by Alice Hoffman

Estrella is a Marrano: During the time of the Spanish Inquisition, she is one of a community of Spanish Jews living double lives as Catholics. And she is living in a house of secrets, raised by a family who practices underground the ancient and mysterious way of wisdom known as kabbalah. When Estrella discovers her family’s true identity–and her family’s secrets are made public–she confronts a world she’s never imagined, where new love burns and where friendship ends in flame and ash, where trust is all but vanquished and betrayal has tragic and bitter consequences.

Deep Down Popular by Phoebe Stone

In a small, Virginia town, sixth-grader Jessie Lou Ferguson has a crush on the hugely popular Conrad Parker Smith, and when he suddenly develops a medical problem and the teacher asks Jessie Lou to help him, they become friends, to her surprise.

Models Don’t Eat Chocolate Cookies by Erin Dionne

Overweight thirteen-year-old Celeste begins a campaign to lose weight in order to make sure she does not win the Miss Huskey Peach modeling challenge, in which her mother and aunt have entered her — against her wishes.

Night World by L.J. Smith

Night World is their secret society, a secret society with very strict rules. And falling in love breaks all the laws of the Night World. In “Secret Vampire”, Poppy thought the summer would last forever. Then she was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Now Poppy’s only hope for survival is James, her friend and secret love. A vampire in the Night World, James can make Poppy immortal.

My Life in Pink & Green by Lisa Greenwald

When the family’s drugstore is failing, seventh-grader Lucy uses her problem solving talents to come up with a solution that might resuscitate the business, along with helping the environment.

My Life in Pink & Green by Lisa Greenwald

In this continuation of the Cinderella story, fifteen-year-old Ella finds that accepting Prince Charming’s proposal ensnares her in a suffocating tangle of palace rules and royal etiquette, so she plots to escape.

Coffeehouse Angel by Suzanne Selfors

Sixteen-year-old Katrina’s kindness to a man she finds sleeping behind her grandmother’s coffeehouse leads to a strange reward as Malcolm, who is actually a teenage guardian angel, insists on rewarding her by granting her deepest wish.

Penny’s Picks: Part 2 | A Booklist For Kids & Teens

Miss Penny from the Youth Services Department has hand-picked a selection of her current favorite books — and there’s something for a range of ages!

  • All of the books featured here are books that we have in our collection. To see if an item is available to check out or place on hold, click the cover image or button to the right of the description.

Penny Recommends...

When We Were Magic

by Sarah Gailey

A great story about group of friends entering their senior year in high school. The focus is on all the changes and stresses that their relationships go through. It is a sweet, funny, scary and tense story about the power of friendships. 

AGES: Young adults

Hostile Territory

by Paul Greci

A devastating earthquake strands four teens in the Alaskan wilderness. The situation is complicated by the fact that there is no civilization to return to. Gripping story of adventure and survival. Paul Greci has lived in Alaska for 25 years and speaks from experience about the environment and wildlife of the region. A suspenseful, survival and self preservation story.

AGES: Young adults

Yes, No, Maybe So

by Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed

A young adult book about romance that includes political, ethical and cultural issues. The story is told in alternating chapters with references to national issues. The main characters are quirky but very relatable. The characters have different points of view, but are still connect through their common goal to change things that matter.

AGES: Young adults

Lovely War

by Julie Berry

A story of romance set in the days of World War l, where Greek Gods hold the fates of four mortals in their hands. The reader follows Hazel, James, Aubrey and Colette four every different people from different backgrounds as the find and lose love. Beautiful writing, thrilling battle scenes and the inclusion of Greek mythology. Unique premise , a fantastic read, more than just a romance an accurate historical fiction book that also deals with racial prejudice.

AGES: Young adults

Do I Have to Wear a Coat?

by Rachel Isadora

A sweet story that highlights all the adventures that kids enjoy as the seasons cycle through the year. The illustrations are beautifully done with watercolors. Highlights each season not just through outerwear, but through all the fun kids have in each particular season. A joyful story that would be a great tool to help teach the seasons.

AGES: Preschool – Kindergarten

No More Naps!

by Chris Grabenstein

A funny story centered around the age old question, “Will my child EVER take a nap?” Readers will love the amusing idea that naps are really just opportunities to be seized! Adults try to encourage sleepiness but Annalise will have nothing to do with their ideas. This book captures the toddlers emotional highs and lows of nap taking as well as how the parents feel.

AGES: Preschool

Fritzy Finds a Hat

by Scott Hamilton

A heart warming book that uses a gentle touch to talk about cancer. Fritzy’s mom is diagnosed with cancer and he begins a search to find her the perfect hat to wear to her treatments. The book teaches children a powerful message that love and support can sometimes be the best message. The illustrations are done by singer Brad Paisley who depicts Fritzy’s mom perfectly.

AGES: 8 to 12 years old

Zoom Help


Are you or your child having difficulty understanding how to login and use Zoom during remote learning or for other virtual programs? The library is here to help. You can call or come in to schedule a one-on-one appointment, and a staff member will sit down and walk through Zoom and answer any questions. We can also provide appointments in Spanish. Call us today at (630) 766-4642.

Usted o su hijo/a a tenido problemas para entrar a las juntas virtuales por Zoom durante estos tiempos de aprendizaje en casa o otros programas virtuales? Pues la biblioteca está aquí para ayudar. Puedes llamar o apuntarte para una cita personal con un empleado de la biblioteca donde tomaran el tiempo de enseñarte cómo usar Zoom y responder a cualquier pregunta que tenas. Tendremos citas en español. Llámenos hoy al (630) 766-4642