Books for children - Oct. 21


"Notes from the Dog" by Gary Paulsen, Wendy Lamb Books, 132 pages

Read aloud: age 10 and older.

Read yourself: age 11, 12 and older.

Fourteen-year-old Finn doesn't really fit in. His plan for the summer is to read as many books as he can and speak to fewer than a dozen people.

Finn's plans are altered when he meets his new neighbor, graduate student Johanna, who is full of a zest for life, despite her cancer diagnosis.

It isn't long before Johanna's enthusiasm washes over Finn in unexpected ways. He helps to care for her after chemo treatments and discovers his ability to positively connect with others. Throughout, mysterious, uplifting notes about Finn are delivered to him by his dog, Dylan, and Finn begins viewing himself in a different light.


Library: The Stonington Free Library, 20 High St., Stonington

Library Director: Margaret Victoria

Children's/Teen Services: Maris Frey

Choices this week: "14 Cows for America" by Carmen Agra Deedy; "Toys Go Out" by Emily Jenkins; "The Underneath" by Kathi Appelt


"Each Kindness" by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by E.B. Lewis, Nancy Paulsen Books/Penguin, 2012, 32 pages, $16.99 hardcover

Read aloud: age 5 to 8.

Read yourself: age 8 and older.

When the new girl Maya comes to school one winter morning, she is assigned a seat next to Chloe. Maya smiles at Chloe but Chloe turns away and doesn't smile back. Months pass in the same way. Whenever Maya tries to become friends with Chloe and the girls, they make it clear they don't want anything to do with her.

When Maya doesn't come to school, Chloe's teacher talks about kindness and explains little acts of kindness makes the world a better place. Chloe reflects on this and realizes she could have made things better if she had just shown some kindness to Maya. Her realization is even more acute when Maya never returns to school.

"Charley's First Night" by Amy Hest, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury, Candlewick, 2012, $15.99 hardcover

Read aloud: age 3, 4 and older

Read yourself: age 7

When young Henry brings his new puppy, Charley, home for the first time, Henry shows Charley all the important things in his new home. Henry's parents put Henry in charge of taking care of Charley but also say that Charley has to sleep in the kitchen every night.

A bed is prepared for Charley under the kitchen table, but not long after everyone goes to bed, Charley begins to cry. Henry worries about Charley and wants to soothe him and decides that his puppy simply can't stay in the kitchen by himself.


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