Elem. – Not Enough Lollipops

Maynor, Megan. Not Enough Lollipops. Illustrated by Micah Player. Random House Kids, 2022. Unpaged. $17.99 978-0-593-37256-2. Grades PK-2. 

Alice wins the school raffle: a huge basket of lollipops! Suddenly, she is the center of attention, receiving many requests from wide-eyed schoolmates of varying ages. Then worry strikes: what if there are not enough lollipops? Now Alice hears much advice, like “I always saved you a seat!” “Don’t count the new kid, he’s not a real classmate,” “I scraped my knee” (with accompanying tears).  Alice is under pressure to part with her pops, and the desperation shows on the kids’ faces. When she’s had enough of the talk, she decides, “What if I don’t choose? What if I say everyone can handle a lollipop?  Everyone deserves one. Everyone counts.” Still people worry there may not be enough, but Alice counters, “what if there are?” A line forms and lollipops are distributed, one apiece. Typical personalities come through, from “I can’t wait!” to “There won’t be enough. You’ll see.” And some say thanks while others are upset to receive just one. Alice gives out numerous colors and flavors, and they all discover that there were enough lollipops! This begins some apologizing, like “I used to be the new kid…” All seem content, until a first-grader asks about the extras, and Alice faces the same problem.

THOUGHTS: This book would be a fun read-aloud, and could generate some important talk about fairness and decision-making, expectations and exceptions. Coloring lollipops and identifying flavors–and charting favorite flavors, totaling how many for all schoolmates–allows this book to touch on important skills.

Picture Book          Melissa Scott, Shenango Area SD

YA – Strong  Healthy Girls (Series NF)

Strong  Healthy Girls. ABDO Publishing, 2021. $25.95 ea. $312.00 set of 12. 112 p. Grades 8-12.

Emily, Lauren. Dealing with Drama. 978-1-532-19215-9.
Johnson, Anne E. Being a Leader. 978-1-532-19213-5.
Myers, Carrie. Coping with Stress and Pressure. 978-1-532-19214-2.
Allen, Rebecca J. Earning an Income. 978-1-532-19216-6.
Morrow, Kate. Finding your Identity. 978-1-532-19217-3.
Rowell, Rebecxa. Handling Family Challenges.   978-1-532-19218-0.
Huddleston, Emma. Healthy Friendships. 978-1-532-19219-7.
Burling, Alexis. Healthy Romantic Relationships. 978-1-532-19220-3.
Huddleston, Emma. Nutrition and Exercise. 978-1-532-19221-0.
Berg, Shannon. Surviving and Thriving at school.  978-1-532-19222-7 .
Ford, Jeanne Marie. Understanding Reproductive Health. 978-1-532-19223-4.
Huddleston, Emma. Using Social Media Responsibly. 978-1-532-19224-1.

The Strong Healthy Girls reference set focuses on positivity and wellness for a YA audience. Written in a conversational style, this set presents issues girls may find themselves facing during their teen years. Dealing with Drama focuses on navigating difficult relationships with peers and family. Realistic scenarios involving bullying, teasing, and other personal conflicts are described, and readers are presented with questions to consider about these difficult situations. Then an expert weighs in with effective strategies for handling these problems. Includes a glossary, a list of additional resources, and an index.

THOUGHTS: A solid resource for self help and mental health for young adults.

300s/600s          Nancy Summers, Abington SD

MG – The Kate in Between

Swinarski, Claire. The Kate in Between. Quill Tree Books, 2021. 978-0-062-91270-1. 289 p. $15.15. Grades 5-8.

Kate and Haddie are best friends and have been since first grade. But Kate needs a change, and she’s not exactly sure where Haddie fits in the new life she is trying to fashion for herself.  Kate’s mother has left town to pursue her dream of becoming a True Diamond in the world of True Cosmetics, and Kate is left to move into the guest room of her police officer father’s apartment where she doesn’t even have a bed. It’s embarrassing for Kate, and it’s sometimes difficult when you have a friend who knows your truth. She hopes seventh grade will be different, and when Kate finds herself in popular mean girl Taylor’s orbit, there just isn’t room for Haddie. When a near tragedy involving Haddie and some bullies who may or may not be Kate’s friends turns Kate into a hero, she begins to question exactly what it means to be Taylor’s friend and why it is harder than it should be. But when a video of the incident goes viral, her status as a hero also goes viral. Kate knows what really happened, and it’s only a matter of time before everyone else does too. Will Kate be able to figure out just who she is with her life in the spotlight?

THOUGHTS: Claire Swinarski takes a familiar middle grade theme of friends growing apart and makes it fresh. I would recommend this book to upper middle school students.

Realistic Fiction          Melissa Johnston, North Allegheny SD