Solving the Puzzle Under the Sea:  Marie Tharp Maps the Ocean Floor

by Robert Burleigh     

Filled with gorgeous illustrations by acclaimed artist Raúl Colón, this illustrated biography shares the story of female scientist, Marie Tharp, a pioneering woman scientist and the first person to ever successfully map the ocean floor.  Marie Tharp was always fascinated by the ocean. Taught to think big by her father who was a mapmaker, Marie wanted to do something no one had ever done before: map the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. Was it even possible? Not sure if she would succeed, Marie decided to give it a try.

Penelope March is Melting

by Jeffrey Michael Ruby                   

Something sinister has come to Glacier Cove, an icy-cold town that sits on top of an iceberg  . Nothing bad ever happens here. Until now. And it's up to Penelope March to stop it. Mmm-hmm, that Penelope—the bookworm who lives in the ramshackle house with her brother, Miles. The girl with the mom who—poof!—disappeared. The one everyone ignores . . . except strange Coral Wanamaker, a tiny thing with raven-black hair and a black coat.  When Penelope meets someone who seems to know secrets, not only about Glacier Cove, but about Penelope herself, she and Miles are pulled into an ancient mystery. Together, they’ll face the coldest, cruelest enemy ever known. Looks like the girl who only reads about adventures is going to start living one.

Red:  The True Story of Red Riding Hood

by Liesl Shurtliff       

Red is not afraid of the big bad wolf. She’s not afraid of anything . . . except magic. But when Red’s granny falls ill, it seems that only magic can save her, and fearless Red is forced to confront her one weakness.  With the help of a blond, porridge-sampling nuisance called Goldie, Red goes on a quest to cure Granny. Her journey takes her through dwarves’ caverns to a haunted well and a beast’s castle. All the while, Red and Goldie are followed by a wolf and a huntsman—two mortal enemies who seek the girls’ help to defeat each other. And one of them just might have the magical solution Red is looking for. . . .

Margaret and the Moon

illustrated by Lucy Knisley

Margaret Hamilton loved numbers as a young girl. She knew how many miles it was to the moon (and how many back). She loved studying algebra and geometry and calculus and using math to solve problems in the outside world.  Soon math led her to MIT and then to helping NASA put a man on the moon! She handwrote code that would allow the spacecraft’s computer to solve any problems it might encounter. Apollo 8. Apollo 9.Apollo 10. Apollo 11. Without her code, none of those missions could have been completed.

Fresh-Picked Poetry:  A Day at the Farmers' Market
by Michelle Schaub    

This picture book takes us through a smorgasbord of sights, scents, and sounds in a local farmers' market. The children and their dogs explore numerous foods, listen to local musicians, and have their faces painted during their day at the market. The book concludes with some quick notes about the benefits of farmers' markets and offers a web address to help locate your local farmers' markets. This might be especially good to share in the late spring as local farmers' markets begin opening.   

The Matchstick Castle
by Keir Graff         

Brian is disappointed when, instead of a summer of doing what he wants, he ends up doing summer school at his uncle’s house in Boring, Illinois. When he and his cousin, Nora, run into the woods behind the house, they come upon an unexpected journey. There is a castle in the woods where you could encounter a hundred foot drop behind any door and not expect it. Brian and Nora meet a kid named Cosmo and they help him save his house from giant South American wasps and they also help save Cosmo’s uncle who got lost in his own house. But can Brian and Nora help save the Matchstick castle from being torn down by bulldozers and made into a new neighborhood? This book was amazing and I was disappointed when the book ended because I wanted the adventure to go on and on and on.… The Matchstick Castle teaches us that even when we are expecting to do what we want and it doesn’t happen, we can still have fun.

Special thanks goes to Roberta Sejnost, Leslie Forsman, Carol Owles, Julie Hoffman, Mallory P., Sherry Sejnost, Sheila Ruh, Amy Potts-Ostrowski, Donna Vorreyer, and Tammy Potts for their help in writing the book descriptions for the 2018 books.