Books excite students about first day of school

The Town Crier asked the Los Altos main library’s children’s librarian Jill Lakstigala and teen librarian Sarah Neeri for recommendations on books that would spark children’s excitement about returning to school.

Their recommendations are available at the main library, 13 S. San Antonio Road.

For more information, call 948-7683 or visit

• “Diary of a Worm: Teacher’s Pet” (HarperCollins, 2013) by Doreen Cronin

Grades K-2, 31 pages

Worm and friends learn their teacher is having a birthday. Will they find the perfect present for Mrs. Mulch?

• “My Homework Ate My Homework” (EgmontUSA, 2013) by Patrick Jennings

Grades 3-6, 214 pages

When Zaritza takes the class ferret home for winter break, she thinks she has an easy way to score extra credit. It’s not long before the ferret outwits her with surprise consequences.

• “Weird but True 4! 300 Outrageous Facts” (National Geographic Children’s Books, 2012) by National Geographic Kids

Grades 3-6, 206 pages

Learn true facts that are unbelievable, for example, ancient horses were the size of house cats.

• “Jake and Lily” (Balzer + Bray, 2013) by Jerry Spinelli

Grades 4-7, 335 pages

Twins Jake and Lily have always had a unique bond. They can finish one another’s sentences and sometimes share the same dreams. Entering sixth grade, Lily discovers that Jake is making new friends and wonders whether she will remain close to her brother.

• “Middle School: Get Me Out of Here!” (Little, Brown, 2012) by James Patterson and Chris Tebbetts

Grades 5-8, 257 pages

Rafe Khatchadorian thinks seventh grade will be a breeze, but he is the new kid at school. It doesn’t take long before trouble finds him.

• “Linked” (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2013) by Imogen Howson

Grades 7-9, 359 pages

Elissa has been suffering from nightmares and strange bruises. The doctors insist that nothing is wrong, but then Elissa learns that all her symptoms are part of her connection to her twin sister, raised by the government as an experiment. Together, the sisters are on the run, looking for a safe place.

• “Belle Epoque” (Delacorte Books for Young Readers, 2013) by Elizabeth Ross

Grades 7-12, 327 pages

Maude runs away from home to Paris in 1888. Plain and poor, she finds work as a “repoussoir,” an ugly friend hired to make a socialite look more attractive by comparison. As Maude becomes closer to the girl she is hired to befriend, she has to decide whether to risk her job or push her new friend down an unwanted path.

• “Lexicon” (Penguin Press, 2013) by Max Barry

Grades 9 and up, 377 pages

Street-smart Emily is recruited by a school where words give you the power to control others, and Will is kidnapped by dangerous men who want to know what’s hidden in his mind. Emily and Will meet in Broken Hill, Australia, where words alone may have caused a terrible calamity.

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