Chapter Book

The Curse of the Were-Hyena by Bruce Hale

"In a rushThe Curse of the Were-Hyena book cover: two boys hanging from the limbs of a tree with a hyena on the ground snarling, the were-hyena launched itself at the tree trunk, scrabbling with claws like hooked daggers...'That's not fair!...In all the wolfman movies we've watched, have you ever seen a werewolf climb a tree?'"

Mr. Chu is the most popular teacher at Monterrosa Elementary. Benny and Carlos have been lucky enough to have been in his class for the Frankenstein electricity experiment and the awful movie sequel lesson on probability. Then one day, Mr. Chu has a bandage covering a "bite from a strange-looking dog," and things begin to turn a little weird. Mr. Chu starts manically giggling at a high-pitch and hair begins to grow on his bald head. After the teacher gains super speed and strength, Mr. Chu begins to get, well, cruel.

With the help of the friendly neighborhood comic bookstore owner, Benny and Carlos must find a way to save Mr. Chu. Unfortunately, a secret cult and their attempts at sacrificing people make the "average task" of trapping a were-hyena even more difficult.

In time for Halloween thrills, comes the first in the new Monstertown Mystery series. This chapter book could be right up the alley for middle elementary readers looking for a mix of humor with their spooky.

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Celeste, 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

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.

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Celeste, Kids World

Paper Wishes by Lois Sepahban

Paper Wishes book cover: a girl with hand up watching a sheet of paper flyingJapan has just bombed Pearl Harbor. This single action is the spark that forces thousands of Japanese American citizens from their homes to internment camps. Ten year old Minami has to leave her island home and everything behind to go to the mainland camp. There is so much she has to leave behind, even her beloved dog Yujiin. Unwilling to leave Yujiin Manimi desperately attempts to sneak him into the camp but right when they reach the mainland he is disovered. Racked with guilt of Yujiin being abandoned leaves Manimi unable speak for many months. With only paper and pencil Manimi attempts to convey her wishes on paper and sends them on the wind for Yujiin to find them. This is a story of forgiveness, overcoming obstacles and a time in history not so far away from where we are now.

This book may appeal to kids in grades 4-6 who enjoy historical fiction, WWII homefront stories, and books about dogs.

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Tiffany, Kids World

Paper Cowboy by Kristin Levine

Paper Cowboy book cover: setting or rising sun skyline with shadow of boy on bicycleDealing with a sister hospitalized by an event you could have prevented and mother whose temper is unpredictable and unwieldy is hard. But it’s 1953 in Downers Grove and, on top of everything else, the Cold War is heating up. After finding a communist newspaper in the trash, Tommy is determined to prove that his neighbor is involved in communist activity using the paper route he works in his sister’s stead. Finding the truth might be harder to handle than Tommy ever realized.

Readers in grades 4 through 6 who enjoy mystery, history, and a little bit of sweet home Chicago pride will enjoy this saga by the notable author of Lions of Little Rock and The Best Bad Luck I Ever Had.

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Brittany, Kids World

Watch the Sky by Kirsten Hubbard

Watch the Sky book cover image of the night sky with stars shining in the background of what appears to be a toy house"Don't trust anyone outside the family"

Jory has been told for years to watch for signs. He is never told what the signs mean but they are everywhere. He is told that he should keep his head down in school and to not draw attention to himself or ever talk about his family.  He is careful to not let anyone know where he lives until one day the sign they are waiting for happens. Jory's stepfather knows what is coming, but he won't say why the family has to spend their nights digging in the ground. It is all part of the plan,  they will be safe since they watched for the signs. Exhausted from digging at night and pretending to be normal at school finally takes it's toll and Jory discovers a world outside of his stepfather's control.

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Tiffany, Kids World

The Marvels by Brian Selznick

The Marvels by Brian Selznick book cover: purple with gold designs of a ship, moon, flying birdsFirst, in pictures, learn the amazing history of a lone shipwreck survivor, taken in by a theatre family and turned into a multi-generation acting legacy. Then, in words, follow a young runaway boy find his estranged uncle who lives in a strangely preserved historic house. Finally, discover the shocking facts that tie these two stories together and why sometimes fiction is more honest than truth.

This title is recommended for curious readers in grades 4-6 who enjoy multi-layered plotlines and a touch of wonder.

Find The Marvels  in the Library.

Brittany, Kids World

Blackbird Fly by Erin Entrada Kelly

Blackbird Fly book cover: image shows 2 rows of lockers, in the middle aisle with back towards viewer is a figure with long hair with a backpack and guitar wearing a t-shirt and jeansApple has a few problems. She wants to be a rock star like her hero, George Harrison of The Beatles, but her Filipino immigrant mother is dead set against it. Playing the guitar and not studying after school is “too American.” But nothing can be “too American” for Apple when her so called friends drop her after her name ends up on her middle school’s infamous Dog Log: a list of the ugliest girls in school. If only her friends didn’t turn on her, if only she could fit in, if only she could follow her dreams to become a musician… then maybe life would be easier. Or maybe finding a new friend or two and uncovering bits of her mother’s secret past will make life as sweet as apple pie.

This title is recommended for any and all readers in grades 5-7, especially those with a fondness for The Beatles.

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Brittany, Kids World

George by Alex Gino

George book cover: each letter of the title is in a different color, from inside the O, we see the top of a head (eyes up) looking at the reader"George, whatever it is, you can tell me… Whatever happens in your life, you can share it, and I will love you.”

Sweet and funny, George tells the realistic middle-school tale of a boy who has always felt like a girl. We follow George as she struggles with her sense of self, shares it with her mother and friend and is, thankfully, supported by both of them.

This modern title is recommended for readers in grades 4 through 7, especially those who are becoming aware of gender identity issues among their peers or dealing with them personally.  It deals directly with this topic in a positive way, in the context of an accessible and charming middle-school story.

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Mary Jo, Kids World

Fuzzy Mud by Louis Sachar

Fuzzy Mud book cover: 3/4 of the cover shows mud with roots and fuzz. Top portion shows grass and trees as well as the silhouettes of people in what appears to be a forest“Be careful not to step in that,” Tamaya warned as Chad … made his way around the strange mud.  “What do you think all that weird fuzzy stuff is?” she asked.

Author Louis Sachar has been popular since Sideways Stories was released in the late 1970s.  This new novel is more like his big hit, Holes --- a dark story of unlikely friendship and strong middle-school characters dealing with a disturbing situation.

Sweet Tamaya, school bully Chad, and bullied classmate Marshall together uncover an environmental horror near their school.  The story is quite dystopian, involving an infectious rash spreading through town and a horrific injury to one of the main characters.  I recommend this exciting novel for ages 11-14, especially readers who enjoyed Holes.

Mary Jo, Kids World

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