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New books for kids to enjoy in May
May 4, 2018

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By Amy Phelps

There are picture books for young readers and several new chapter books for middle-grade readers to keep boredom at bay!

A rhino finds an unlikely friend in Levi, a tickbird in "Friends Stick Together" by Hannah E. Harrison (Dial Books, $17.99.) Rupert the rhino is a bit more refined than the rest of his class. Levi, the tickbird, is not with his burping the alphabet and doing air guitar solos. And Levi has landed on Rupert and decided to be best friends! Does Rupert really want a friend like Levi? Will he miss him if he's gone?

This is a good story about celebrating the differences between friends and has a warm message of acceptance.

Sports and mystery team up in two new books for young readers just starting chapter books, "The Zach and Zoe Mysteries" by New York Times bestselling author Mike Lupica. In "The Missing Baseball" (Puffin, $4.99) the reader is introduced to the twins who are great athletes and best friends. When Zach's signed baseball goes missing the two will add another title on - detectives. In "The Half-Court?Hero" the two want to thank the mysterious benefactor who is making repairs to the basketball court. But can they find out who is doing it?

For those who enjoy both sports and kid mysteries, this is an unbeatable treat.

A bedtime picture book will get everyone settled and ready for bed - or adventure! - in "Night Out" by Daniel Miyares (Schwartz and Wade, $17.99.) When a young boy goes to boarding school, he isn't finding any friends. Then he receives an invitation in his turtle's bowl. His night out will take him through the woods, across a river to a magical island with large animals having a party. What else will he find on his journey?

A simple story with lovely illustrations will spark imaginations of children and will be swept away.

For older readers comes a graphic novel about middle school life in "Positively Izzy" by Terri Libenson (HarperCollins, $22.99.) Izzy loves acting and making up stories, but can't focus in school. Bri's mother is constantly bugging her to join drama club and be more than just the kid that gets all As. As the school talent show dawns, will the two girls find some special similarities?

With bright and colorful comic panels, this is a story of middle school that many will relate to and has plenty of exciting twists.

Another middle school story has a special twist as a 12-year-old gets struck by lightning and comes away as a math savant in "The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl"?by Stacy McAnulty (Random House, $16.99.) Lucy has found math has been easy for her since that fateful day as a child. But now she's not only leaving homeschooling, but she's also going to middle school, which is a whole new social mindfield to navigate. Her grandmother thinks she needs to attend for one year and make at least one friend, join one activity and read one book that is not math related. When Lucy's year is up, what will she find out about herself?

A good story about friends and getting out there, this will appeal to readers of that age group as they experience many of the same things Lucy does.

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