Children's Bookshelf - April 2014
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Make Your Vote Count: 2014 Nutmeg Nominees
by Suellen Heinrich

This April, let the thrill of reading commence! The interactive 2014 Connecticut Nutmeg Intermediate Book Award candidates have arrived and need your help to choose a winner!

Selected by the votes of students in grades 4-6, a committee of Connecticut librarians and teachers has narrowed down a wide array of fun, enriching books to take your whole family on an unforgettable journey this spring! Get reading and then get voting!

Start off with something sweet when you read The Candymakers by Wendy Mass. This book centers around four children selected to compete in a National Candymaking Contest. The kids soon realize that things are not what they seem when they find themselves in a candy-filled world of juicy surprises.

In Closed for the Season by Mary Downing Hahn, Logan and his parents arrive at their new house. Arthur, the boy next door, soon lets Logan in on a local murder mystery. Can the two unite and solve the crime? Find out!

Meg Wolitzer’s The Fingertips of Duncan Dorfman tells the story of Duncan, April and Nate, three students without much in common. When Duncan uncovers his mysterious power — the ability to read and see using his fingertips — a Scrabble Tournament ensues. Driven by competition and a touch of magic, this book is all about making the right choices and discovering what makes a winner.

The Great Wall of Lucy Wu by Wendy Wan-Long Shang begins when Lucy Wu plans for a great school year. She’ll finally have her own room, be in sixth grade and try out for the basketball team. But then trouble ensues when her aunt arrives from China and shares her room. Plus, a bully at school tries to scare Lucy off the courts. Join Lucy as she discovers silver linings in the most unexpected of clouds.

Hà and her family escape Vietnam in 1975 during Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai. Based on the author’s own experiences, Hà and her family are forced to flee Saigon and board a ship headed toward America. This moving story is a New York Times best seller and follows Hà’s year of change, dreams and growth.

Go out of this world when Mike Stellar: Nerves of Steel by K. A. Holt, catapults you into the future! During the year 2174, Mike Stellar and his parents set off on an expedition to colonize Mars. Can Mike save their mission from a know-it-all girl, a creepy assistant and bad food? Loaded with laughs and fast-paced adventures, this novel is a blast of fun!

Saving Armpit by Natalie Hyde is a home run for baseball fans. The Terriers wonder if they will ever win a baseball game if their coach loses his job as postmaster.  Can the group use teamwork to succeed?

Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper, takes readers inside the mind of Melody, a girl with cerebral palsy. Unable to talk or move, Melody cannot express herself to adults or classmates who dismiss her as mentally challenged. But Melody refuses to be defined by her condition and is determined to let everyone know who she is. Readers will love getting to know her brilliant mind and brave spirit.

Patricia Reilly Giff’s Wild Girl tells the story of Lidie, a young girl who leaves Brazil to join her father and brother in New York. Together, the three run a stable for racehorses. Lidie faces challenges in her new home: cold weather, problems with school and more. One bright spot is Wild Girl, a filly her father brings to the stables. Can this horse help Lidie feel at home?

If you’re in the mood for an adventure, read Wildfire Run by Dee Garretson. The president’s son Luke, and Luke’s friends, are away at Camp David. While the president is at the White House handling a major earthquake, the kids at Camp David are caught in a raging wild fire. Can the campers band together to escape?

After reading any of the nominees, students can vote at their school or public library throughout the month of April. A winner will be announced in May. Get reading — your vote counts!

Events at the Guilford Free Library

The book award is not the only adventure on the ballot this month! Spring into fun at the Guilford Free Library in Guilford with events such as Passover Story and Craft, April 3; Drum into Spring, April 17; Teddy Bear Sleepover,  April 25; Dance the Afternoon Away, May 1; Christina the Magician, May 7; and many more.

The events are free. Pre-registration is required. The Guilford Free Library is located at 67 Park Street.

For more information, call 203-453-2388 or visit

Suellen Heinrich is the Head of Children’s Services at the Guilford Free Library.



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