This blog is created by Linda Williams at the Connecticut State Library. It’s purpose is to suggest books, by topic, to replace outdated books in the children’s/YA book collection. Tabs across the top categorize ongoing posts. Please feel free to suggest topics for future posts!

Booklist: Jack the Ripper

October 13, 2016 Leave a comment

Fiction for Teens

Johnson, Maureen. The Name of the Star (Shades of London #1 – Putnam, 2011)
Rory, of Boueuxlieu, Louisiana, is spending a year at a London boarding school when she witnesses a murder by a Jack the Ripper copycat and becomes involved with the very unusual investigation. Also books #2 and #3, The Madness Underneath and The Shadow Cabinet.

Kirby, Matthew J. A Taste for Monsters (Scholastic, 2016)
In 1888 seventeen-year-old Evelyn Fallow, herself disfigured by the phosphorus in the match factory where she worked, has been hired as a maid to Joseph Merrick, the Elephant Man–but when the Jack the Ripper murders begin she and Merrick find themselves haunted by the ghosts of the slain women, and Evelyn is caught up in the mystery of Jack’s identity.


Maniscalco, Kerri. Stalking Jack the Ripper (Little, Brown 2016)
A gothic murder mystery set in gritty Victorian-era London, where an intrepid society girl finds herself embroiled in the investigation of a serial killer known as Jack the Ripper.

Petrucha, Stefan. Ripper (Philomel, 2012)
Adopted by famous Pinkerton Agency Detective Hawking in 1895 New York, fourteen-year-old Carver Young hopes to find his birth father, but when he becomes involved in the pursuit of notorious killer Jack the Ripper, Carver discovers that finding the truth can be worse than ignorance.

Reeves, Amy Carol. Ripper (Ripper series #1 – Flux, 2012)
Sent to do volunteer work at the Whitechapel Hospital in the east end of London in 1888, seventeen-year-old Abbie discovers the identity of Jack the Ripper. Also the next two in the series, Renegade and Resurrection.

Nonfiction for Teens

Anderson, Jennifer Joline. Jack the Ripper (Unsolved Mysteries series – Essential Library, 2012)
Discusses the unsolved Jack the Ripper murders in Victorian England.


Categories: Uncategorized

Booklist: Bullying

October 5, 2016 Leave a comment

Picture Books


Davies, Matt. Ben Rides On (Roaring Brook, 2013)*
Ben rides his new bicycle the very, very long way to school but Adrian Underbite, perhaps the world’s largest third-grader, takes the bike anyway and later, when Ben finds Adrian in trouble, he must decide whether or not to help the larcenous bully.

Javerbin, Mina. Goal! (Candlewick, 2010)*
In a dangerous alley in a township in South Africa, the strength and unity which a group of young friends feel while playing soccer keep them safe when a gang of bullies arrives to cause trouble.

Lovell, Patty. Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon (Putnam’s, 2001)*
Even when the class bully at her new school makes fun of her, Molly remembers what her grandmother told her and she feels good about herself.

Peacock, Shane. The Artist and Me (Owlkids, 2016)
An introduction to the life of genius Post-Impressionist artist Vincent van Gogh is presented in the format of a bully’s confessional that reveals how the artist was tormented for his eccentric nature and how the narrator’s perspectives were changed after learning from van Gogh that there are different ways of seeing the world.

Polacco, Patricia. Bully (Putnam’s, 2012)
Sixth-grade friends Lyla and Jamie, both new to their school, stand up for each other when a clique of popular girls bullies them online.

Poulin, Andree. Pablo Finds a Treasure (Annick Press, 2016)
Pablo and his sister spend every day at Treasure Mountain,” the local dump, where they rummage through the mounds of garbage looking for items that can be sold to support the family. The work is exhausting, and sometimes not very lucrative, but the worst thing they have to contend with is Filthy-Face, a brutish bully who steals their finds.

Wells, Rosemary. Stella’s Starliner (Candlewick, 2014)*
Stella is unnerved by a bullying group of weasels who say mean things about her humble home until her mother offers words of comfort and her father drives the trailer to a new location where kind friends are found.

Woodson, Jacqueline. Each Kindness (Nancy Paulsen, 2012)*
When Ms. Albert teaches a lesson on kindness, Chloe realizes that she and her friends have been wrong in making fun of new student Maya’s shabby clothes and refusing to play with her.

Chapter Books 


Cox, Judy. Mean, Mean Maureen Green (Holiday House, 2000)
With help from Adam, a boy in her third grade class, Lilley gains enough confidence to stand up to the school bus bully, Mean Maureen Green.

Doodler, Todd H. Super Fly: The World’s Smallest Superhero! (Bloomsbury, 2015)
When fourth-grader Eugene, a small and nerdy, mild-mannered housefly, becomes the world’s smallest superhero, he takes on Crazy Cockroach and his army of insect baddies.

Dowell, Frances O’Roark. Phineas L. MacGuire… Gets Cooking! (Atheneum, 2014)*JD
Phineas has a new chore of cooking dinner every night, but his kitchen experiments take a turn for the worse when the school bully takes a huge liking to Phineas’s brownies.

Edwards, Michelle. Stinky Stern Forever (Harcourt, 2005)
Pa Lia and her classmates share memories of Stinky Stern, the second-grade bully.

Grimes, Nikki. Garvey’s Choice (Wordsong, 2016)
Preferring science and reading to the sports his father wants him to play, Garvey comforts himself with food and endures bullying before joining the school chorus, where he learns how to accept himself and bond with his father.

Nilsson, Ulf. A Complicated Case (Detective Gordon series) (Gecko Press, 2016)
While Detective Gordon lays thinking in his bed, his assistant, Buffy, tries to solve the case of who is saying nasty things in the forest, with the hope of becoming the chief of police.

Wojciechowski, Susan. Beany and the Meany (Candlewick, 2005)
When Beany’s best friend Carol Ann pairs with the new girl at school to create a science project, Beany must work with Kevin the bully.



Shapiro, Ouisie. Bullying and Me: Schoolyard Stories (Albert Whitman, 2010)*
Relates the real life experiences of people who have been victims of emotional and physical bullying.

Online Lists

13 Children’s Picture Books about Bullying at The Institute for Humane Education.
14 Must-Read Anti-Bullying Books for Kids at We Are
Books About Bullying at
Books to Engage Students on Bullying and Diversity at
Choice Books to Spark Discussion on Bullying at

*Asterisked books are available at the Middletown Library Service Center, Middletown, CT
Categories: Uncategorized

Booklist: Things Aren’t Always What They Seem

September 22, 2016 Leave a comment

Picture Books

Alborough, Jez. Watch Out! Big Bro’s Coming! (Candlewick, 1997)*
Terror spreads through the jungle as animals hear the news that rough, tough Big Bro is coming.

Banyai, Istvan. The Other Side (Chronicle, 2005)*
A wordless picture book that shows a series of familiar scenes through many twists in point of view, such as a boy looking down out of a jet’s window and another boy on the ground looking up at the same jet.

Banyai, Istvan. R E M : Rapid Eye Movement (Viking, 1997)
The toys surrounding a boy who has fallen asleep while playing in his room reappear in fantastical images as he dreams.

Banyai, Istvan. Re-Zoom (Viking, 1995)*
A wordless picture book presents a series of scenes, each one from farther away, showing, for example, a boat which becomes the image on a magazine, which is held in a hand, which belongs to a boy, and so on.

Banyai, Istvan. Zoom (Viking, 1995)*
A wordless picture book presents a series of scenes, each one from farther away, showing, for example, a girl playing with toys which is actually a picture on a magazine cover, which is part of a sign on a bus, and so on.

Barnett, Mac. Guess Again! (Simon & Schuster, 2009)
For each round of guessing, readers are presented with a page of illustrations opposite a rhyming quatrain. The unexpected conclusion of the verse’s final line is revealed on the next page.

Borando, Silvia. Near, Far (Candlewick, 2016)
Abstract, boldly contrasting graphic forms create a playful exercise in visual perception, showing up-close images that gradually back away on sequential pages to enable small children to guess what animals will be revealed.

Cohen, Caron Lee. Where’s the Fly? (Greenwillow, 1996)
Illustrations from increasingly distant perspectives locate a fly on a dog’s nose in a flower bed by a house in a yard on a corner in a town near a bay on the earth.

Cole, Henry. Big Bug (Little Simon, 2014)*
Beginning with a bug, various objects are revealed as being big and small in comparison with other objects on a farm under the big, big sky.

Fischer, Jeremie. Wild About Shapes (Flying Eye Books, 2015)
Acetate inserts printed with abstract shapes transform abstract screen prints into animals, while simultaneously introducing basic color theory.

Grahn, Geoffrey. What’s Going on in There? (Orchard, 2005)
Granville looks like an ordinary town, but a turn of the page reveals that the pizza cooks are actually building a dinosaur, and many other things are not as they appear.

Hutchins, Pat. Shrinking Mouse (Greenwillow,  1997)*
Four animal friends notice that the size of distant objects seems to change depending on the location and movement of the viewer.

Kulka, Joe. Wolf’s Coming! (Carolrhoda, 2007)
All of the animals in the forest go into hiding because the wolf is coming, but why they are hiding is the big surprise.

Noll, Sally. Watch Where You Go (Greenwillow, 1990)
A gray mouse’s journey through what appears to be the grass, rocks, and tree branches of a forest proves his mother’s adage that “Things are not always what they seem.”

Portis, Antoinette. Not a Box (HarperCollins, 2006)*
To an imaginative bunny, a box is not always just a box.

Rex, Adam. Pssst! (Harcourt, 2007)*
The animals at the zoo have some unusual requests for a little girl who goes to visit.

Rinck, Maranke. I Feel a Foot! (Lemniscaat, 2008)*
Five animal friends, awakened by a strange noise, discover a creature in the dark that seems to be a giant-sized version of each of them.

Rosenthal, Amy Krouse. Duck! Rabbit! (Chronicle, 2009)*
Two unseen characters argue about whether the creature they are looking at is a rabbit or a duck.

Shaw, Charles. It Looked Like Spilt Milk (Harper, 1947)
A continuously changing white shape silhouetted against a blue background challenges the reader to guess what the shape is.

Shealy, Dennis R. I’m a T. Rex! (Golden Books, 2010)
A small T. Rex dinosaur describes who he is and how he spends his day.

Stevens, Janet. The Great Fuzz Frenzy (Harcourt, 2005)*
When a tennis ball lands in a prairie dog town, the residents find that their newfound frenzy for fuzz creates a fiasco.

Testa, Fulvio. The Endless Journey (North-South, 2001)
The reader is asked to look at everyday objects in a different way.

Thomas, Jan. The Doghouse (Harcourt, 2008)*
Cow, Pig, Duck, and Mouse are afraid to retrieve their ball when it goes into the dog’s house, but when they do go in they are pleasantly surprised.

Tougas, Chris. Dojo Surprise (Owlkids, 2016)
Six little ninjas break into Dojo Daycare with a few tricks up their sleeves.

Wenzel, Brendan. They All Saw a Cat (Chronicle, 2016)
In simple, rhythmic prose and stylized pictures, a cat walks through the world, and all the other creatures see and acknowledge the cat.

Willems, Mo. Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs (Balzer & Bray, 2012)*
Once upon a time, there were three hungry Dinosaurs: Papa Dinosaur, Mama Dinosaur . . . and a Dinosaur who happened to be visiting from Norway. One day–for no particular reason–they decided to tidy up their house, make the beds, and prepare pudding of varying temperatures. And then–for no particular reason–they decided to go . . . someplace else. They were definitely not setting a trap for some succulent, unsupervised little girl. Definitely not!

Willems, Mo. That is Not a Good Idea! (Balzer + Bray, 2013)
A surprising lesson about the importance of listening to one’s inner gosling ensues when a very hungry fox issues a dinner invitation to a very plump goose.

Willems, Mo. Your Pal Mo Willems Presents Leonardo the Terrible Monster (Hyperion, 2005)
Losing all hope in his ability to scare people, which is sorely lacking, Leonardo, who is terrible at being a monster, discovers a nervous little boy who seems to be the perfect candidate for him to practice on.

Young, Ed. Seven Blind Mice (Philomel, 1992)*
In this retelling of the Indian fable, seven blind mice discover different parts of an elephant and argue about its appearance.

*Asterisked books are available at the Middletown Library Service Center, Middletown, CT
Categories: Uncategorized

Booklist: LGBTQ Books for Children/YAs

June 14, 2016 Leave a comment

Online Lists:

Gay-Themed Picture Books for Children – from Patricia A. Sarles, MA, MLS 
GLBT Resources for Children: A Bibliographyfrom the GLBT Round Table of the American Library Association 
LGBT Books for Children – from Bank Street Library 
A Rainbow Celebration: Gays & Lesbians in Books for Childrenfrom the San Francisco Public Library
Rainbow Listsfrom the GLBT Round Table of the American Library Association
Suggested Reading on Coming Out, Families & Other LGBT Topicsfrom PFLAG New York City 
Suggestions for Children’s Books that Include Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Families from NAEYC 
25 Must-Read YA Books Featuring Gay Protagonistsfrom Epic Reads 


Stonewall Book Awards (ALA)

Lambda Literary Award Children’s/YA Winners

2016 – George by Alex Gino (Scholastic)*
2015 – Five, Six, Seven, Nate! by Tim Federle (Simon & Schuster)
2014 – If You Could Be Mine by Sara Farizan (Algonquin)
2013 – Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz (Simon & Schuster)*
2012 – Putting Makeup on the Fat Boy by Bil Wright (Simon & Schuster)*
2011 – Wildthorn by Jane Eagland (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
2010 – Sprout by Dale Peck (Bloomsbury)
2009 – Out of the Pocket by Bill Konigsberg (Simon & Schuster)*
2008 – Hero by Perry Moore (Hyperion)
2007 – The Full Spectrum edited by David Levithan (Random House)*
2006 – Swimming in the Monsoon Sea by Shyam Selvadurai (Tundra)
2005 – So Hard to Say by Alex Sanchez (Simon & Schuster)
2004 – Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan (Knopf)
2003 – Letters in the Attic by Bonnie Shimko (Chicago Review)
2002 – Finding H.F. by Julia Watts (Alyson)
2001 – Out of the Ordinary edited by Noelle Howey (St. Martin’s)
2000 – Hard Love by Ellen Wittlinger (Simon & Schuster)
1999 – Telling Tales Out of School by Kevin Jennings (Alyson)
1998 – The House You Pass on the Way by Jacqueline Woodson (Delacorte)
1997 – Good Moon Rising by Nancy Garden (Farrar Straus Giroux)
1996 – From the Notebooks of Melanin Sun  by Jacqueline Woodson (Scholastic)
1995 – Am I Blue? edited by Marion Dane Bauer (HarperChildren’s)
1994 – The Cat Came Back by Hilary Mullins (Naiad)
1993 – When Heroes Die by Penny Raife Durant (Atheneum)
1992 – The Duke Who Outlawed Jelly Beans by Johnny Valentine (Alyson)
1989 – Losing Uncle Tim by MaryKate Jordan (Albert Whitman)*


Categories: Uncategorized

Booklist: Baseball Books

April 4, 2016 Leave a comment

Links to lists online:
Fantastic Fun and Learning– Picture books (fiction and nonfiction).
Top 10: Best Baseball Chapter Books (ages 7-16) – Pragmatic Mom.
Baseball Books – Growing Book by Book – Picture books (fiction and nonfiction).
15 Books About Baseball – No Time for Flashcards – Picture books (fiction and nonfiction).
Girls & Baseball – A Mighty Girl.
Baseball Books for Kids – Imagination Soup – Picture books, fiction and nonfiction.
Books About Baseball – Book Mama – Picture books (fiction and nonfiction).
Baseball Books for Beginning Readers – Scholastic.
Take Me Out to the Ball Park – Reading Rockets.
Baseball Books – Adolescent
Baseball Books for Kids – Somers Library Pinterest.

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License.

Updated December 22, 2014

Categories: Uncategorized

European Countries – Fiction

March 20, 2016 Leave a comment

Fiction which take place in specific European nations:
Akrotiri ; Albania ; Andorra ; Austria ; Belarus ; Belgium ; Bosnia and Herzegovina ; Bulgaria ; Croatia ; Cyprus ; Czech Republic ; Denmark ; Dhekelia ; Estonia ; Faroe Islands ; Finland ; France ; Germany ; Gibraltar ; Greece ; Guernsey ; Holy See (Vatican City) ; Hungary ; Iceland ; Ireland ; Isle of Man ; Italy ; Jan Mayen ; Jersey ; Kosovo ; Latvia ; Liechtenstein ; Lithuania ; Luxembourg ; Macedonia ; Malta ; Moldova ; Monaco ; Montenegro ; Netherlands ; Norway ; Poland ; Portugal ; Romania ; San Marino ; Serbia ; Slovakia ; Slovenia ; Spain ; Svalbard ; Sweden ; Switzerland ; Ukraine ; United Kingdom


Stolen Words by Amy Goldman Koss (American Girl, 2001)
In her diary, eleven-year-old Robyn describes her family’s visit to Austria, from the disastrous theft of their luggage to adventures in the countryside, while she tries to recover from the death of her Aunt Beth.


Brothers by Bart Moenaert (Front Street, 2005)
Relates the daily adventures and misadventures of seven brothers living in Belgium, told through the eyes of the youngest, who is seven years old.

What About Anna? by Jan Simoen (Walker, 2002)
In Belgium in 1999, upon learning that her brother who was reported killed by a landmine in Bosnia may still be alive, sixteen-year-old Anna resents that she is the only one strong enough to try to uncover the truth.









NOTE: Red numbers denote how many holdings are noted in reQuest. An asterisk means that the book is available at the State Library Service Centers.

Categories: Uncategorized

GNM Booklist: Diversity/Kindness/Caring/Respect – K-5

March 17, 2016 Leave a comment

Booklist suggested on the goodnightmoon listserv

Those Shoes by Maribeth Boelts (Candlewick 2007)
Jeremy, who longs to have the black high tops that everyone at school seems to have but his grandmother cannot afford, is excited when he sees them for sale in a thrift shop and decides to buy them even though they are the wrong size.

The Christmas Menorahs by Janice Cohn (A. Whitman 1995)
Describes how people in Billings, Montana joined together to fight a series of hate crimes against a Jewish family.

Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena (Putnam’s 2015)
A young boy rides the bus across town with his grandmother and learns to appreciate the beauty in everyday things.

Never Say a Mean Word Again by Jacqueline Jules (Wisdom Tales 2014)
When Samuel’s father, the grand vizier, hears Hamza call Samuel names and tells his son to make sure Hamza never speaks an unkind word to him again, Samuel knows he must obey but has a hard time finding the right means to do so.

Painting for Peace in Ferguson by Carol Swartout Klein (Layla Dog Press 2015)

The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig (Knopf 2013)
Brian has always felt invisible at school, but when a new student, Justin, arrives, everything changes.

Pine and the Winter Sparrow by Alexis York Lumbard (Wisdom Tales 2015)
When sparrow injures his wing and cannot fly south for the winter, he asks for shelter from each of the forest trees.

Happy in Our Skin by Fran Manushkin (Candlewick 2015)
Depicts families of different colors and orientations as they play at a park, swim, and celebrate at a block party.

The Way to School by Rosemary McCarney (Second Story Press 2015)
Describes the different ways children in developing countries travel to school, crossing rivers, mountains, and fields of ice, emphasizing the difficulties of accessing education in remote areas.

Have You Filled a Bucket Today? : A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids by Carol McCloud (Ferne Press 2006)

We All Sing with the Same Voice by J. Philip Miller and Sheppard M. Greene (HarperCollins 2001)
This joyful Sesame Street song embraces the notion that no matter where children live, what they look like, or what they do, they’reall the same where it counts–at heart.

Enemy Pie by Derek Munson (Chronicle 2000)
Hoping that the enemy pie which his father makes will help him get rid of his enemy, a little boy finds that instead it helps make a new friend.

The Three Questions by Jon J. Muth (Scholastic 2002)
Nikolai asks his animal friends to help him answer three important questions: “When is the best time to do things?” “Who is the most important?” and “What is the right thing to do?”

I’m New Here by Anne Sibley O’Brien (Charlesbridge 2015)
Three children from other countries (Somalia, Guatemala, and Korea) struggle to adjust to their new home and school in the United States..

Beautiful Hands by Kathryn Otoshi (Gosling Press 2015)
A celebration of the many things children can accomplish with their little hands is illustrated with artwork created using thumbprints and handprints.

Ordinary Mary’s Extraordinary Deed by Emily Pearson (Gibbs Smith 2002)
A young girl’s good deed is multiplied as it is passed on by those who have been touched by the kindesss of others.

Horton Hears a Who! by Dr. Seuss (Random House 1954)
A city of Whos on a speck of dust are threatened with destruction until the smallest Who of all helps convince Horton‘s friends thatWhos really exist.

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein (Random House 1992)
A young boy grows to manhood and old age experiencing the love and generosity of a tree which gives to him without thought of return.

A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip C. Stead (Roaring Brook 2010)
Zookeeper Amos McGee always makes time to visit his friends who live at the zoo until the day he stays home because he is sick.

Rude Cakes by Rowboat Watkins ()
A story about a rude cake who never says please or thank you or listens to its parents, and a Giant Cyclops who is polite.

Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson (Nancy Paulsen 2012)
When Ms. Albert teaches a lesson on kindness, Chloe realizes that she and her friends have been wrong in making fun of new student Maya’s shabby clothes and refusing to play with her.

Books From These Booklists Added to the List Above:
13 Children’s Books That Encourage Kindness Towards OthersBuzzFeed

Other Booklists Online:
The Best Kid Lit on Bias, Diversity and Social JusticeAnti-Defamation League.
Bibliography of Children’s BooksUnderstanding Prejudice.



Categories: Uncategorized