In the Stacks: New chapter books

New chapter books include new books from Edgar Award winner Blue Balliett (“Hold Fast”), “Deltora Quest” author Emily Rodda (“The Golden Door”), and E.B. White award-winner Natalie Babbit (“The Moon over High Street”) as well as the books below.


“Violet Mackerel’s Remarkable Recovery,” by Anna Branford, illustrated by Elanna Allen.

Violet Mackerel is going to have her tonsils out and she’s so nervous that her stomach butterflies have turned into rhinoceroses. Her doctor tells her that she’ll get to eat lots of ice cream when it’s over, but even that doesn’t make Violet look forward to her tonsillectomy. It’s only when she meets an old lady in the waiting room who is having surgery on her arm that her stomach rhinos quiet down. The old lady’s name is Iris MacDonald, and after she shows Violet thumb-tricks and Violet shows her Blue China Bird, they’re both ready for their surgeries. And afterwards, Violet DOES have a remarkable recovery, with the help of ice cream, her family, and a radio gardening show.

“The Adventures of a South Pole Pig,” by Chris Kurtz.

In the spirit of Babe and Wilbur, Flora is a self-confident little pig who knows she’s special and dreams of adventure. After watching a team of sled dogs training with a wheeled sled, she sets herself a new goal: to become a sled-pig. When she is selected to accompany a group of explorers heading to the Antarctic, she is beside herself with excitement. But the dogs she thinks are her teammates seem sad when Flora talks to them, and the ship’s cook calls her his little pork chop. Flora is heartbroken at first, but soon rallies, sure that she can convince the ship’s crew that she’s more than just bacon on the hoof. As one disaster after another befalls the ship, our unsinkable little pig manages to keep her spirits up and is rewarded at the end.

“Legend of the Ghost Dog,” by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel.

Tee and her little brother, Jack, are spending two weeks of spring break in Nome while their dad is doing research, when they come across something spooky on a walk with their dog, Henry. Tee isn’t sure what the patch of darkness in the trees is, but scares Henry’s appetite right out of him. Her new friend, Quin, tells them about Shadow, a wraith that other people claim to have seen in the area, and the two girls decide to go look for it, with Henry in tow, and find more than they bargained for: an old, falling-to-pieces homestead with no one home except for a growling presence. As the three kids have more and more encounters with Shadow, he becomes more and more visible. But what business does a ghost dog have with them? All mysteries are solved, but not before Quin, Tee, Jack, and Henry nearly lose their lives in this spooky book.

“The Cats of Tanglewood Forest,” by Charles DeLint, illustrated by Charles Vess.

Fantasy master DeLint has written an all-ages story that will send readers off into the sunny hills and shady forests of Tanglewood, where fairies live and animals can talk. At least, that’s what skinny, red-headed, wild-child Lillian Kindred thinks. She spends all her free time stalking the stones where she’s been told fairies like to sun themselves, chasing deer into the forest, and feeding her friends, the feral cats. And when she gets bit by a snake and lies dying deep in the forest, the cats find her and save her life by working some really big magic. When Lillian wakes, she is a calico kitten. It’s the finding out how to become a girl again, and the consequences of doing so that are the story here. This rich, slow story is sprinkled with color illustrations and would be well-suited to an ongoing read-aloud.

Join library staff this Saturday, April 26, at the Downtown Library at 8 p.m. to welcome Southeastern Alaskan mystery author John Straley, who’ll be reading from his latest book, “Cold Storage, Alaska.”

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Margaret Brady Fund scholarship applications now accepted

Area students pursuing artistic excellence may apply for scholarships as part of the Margaret Frans Brady Fund.

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