Never Fail Titles

When you think summer at the library, you often picture hordes of kids coming in for summer reading club, and chances are, you will be asked the infamous “do you have a good book” question.

Our recent battle to win over this girl with our different recommendations for a scary ghost story reminds us that sometimes, we are pretty hopeless against a friend’s suggestion, so a “which book have you heard about?” or a “what are your friends reading?” question can be a helpful starting point.

However, we have put together a list of titles that we have great success rate in convincing kids to take home and read. These books’ premises are made for quick booktalking and we hope that there will be a few here you can use.

The Boundless by Kenneth Oppel
For fans of: Grown-up Thomas the Tank engine junkies, adventure, yeti-hunters
The quick pitch:
The Boundless is the greatest train ever built – 900 cars long with a circus, dining cars and a priceless treasure. Only Will has the key to that treasure and there are some bad people who will stop at nothing to get it. And sasquatches are about to attack.

Found by Margaret Peterson Haddix
For fans of: Mystery, time travel, kids too young for the plane in del Toro’s The Strain, kids who want to read/watch The Langoliers but are too young to know about The Langoliers
The quick pitch:
When an unscheduled plane just appears at the airport terminal, and no crew or passenger comes out for the longest time, Angela goes in and takes a peek. There doesn’t seem to be anyone inside the dark plane, but she hears a whimper as she is leaving. She walks down the aisle and that’s when she discovers that in every seat, all 36 of them, there is a baby.

Loki’s Wolves by Kelley Armstrong and M.A. Marr
For fans of: Action, fantasy, sword-slinging, Percy Jackson, Percy Jackson, Percy Jackson
The quick pitch:
It’s like Percy Jackson but with Norse mythology – like Loki and Thor from The Avengers movie.

The Savage Fortress by Sarwat Chadda
For fans of: High-octane action, high body count, orphans on the run
The quick pitch:
It’s like Percy Jackson but set in India with monsters and demons.

London Eye Mystery by Siohban Dowd
For fans of: disappearing acts, puzzle solvers, British invasion
The quick pitch:
At 11:32 a.m., Monday May 24, Salim waves at his cousins Ted and Kat, and then steps into one of the pods of the London Eye, the giant Ferris Wheel. It takes 30 minutes for the wheel to go around. At 12:02 p.m., Ted and Kat waits at the exit for Salim. People start coming out, but Salim didn’t. He has disappeared.

The Big Dip by Melanie Jackson
For fans of: Local connections, thrillseekers, very thin books
The quick pitch:
You know the PNE wooden coaster? The unsettling old rickety one, with that tiny crossbar which doesn’t seem capable of securing anything? Well, Joe and Skip love that coaster. They love riding in the front, but today, some old guy has already snatched that seat up. As the coaster climbs and prepares for the first dip, Joe hears a popping sound, like someone just opened a can of pop. But it is no can opening. It’s a gun shot, and the old guy is bleeding badly.

Cleopatra in Space by Mike Maihack
For fans of: Zita the Spacegirl, science fiction, fierce lady protagonists
The quick pitch:
The young Queen Cleopatra is enjoying life in Ancient Egypt when she is kidnapped by time-traveling alien cats from the future who take her to their planet to save it from destruction. And she gets a ray gun.

0.4 by Mike Lancaster
For fans of: Twilight Zone, eerie sci-fi, suspicious minds
The quick pitch:
Kyle thinks it’ll be fun to get hypnotized, but when he wakes up, everyone is frozen in mid-action. Only the four people who have been hypnotized can move. TVs, computers, cellphones are all not working. Are they still under hypnosis? Did something happen while they’re unconscious? Either way, it is creepy, but nothing compares to when the townsfolk wakes up…in an hour.

Great Greene Heist by Varian Johnson
For fans of: Funny books, kids who wish that Greg Heffley from Diary of a Wimpy Kid was a little more motivated
The quick pitch:
Some kids like to play baseball. Some like to write stories or play video games. Jackson Greene plans heists. And this year, he is going to plan to greatest heist the school has ever seen – he is going to steal a school election right from under the nose of the principal.

Charlie Joe Jackson’s Guide to Not Reading by Tommy Greenwald
For fans of: anything but books, Wimpy Kid middle school stories
The quick pitch:
You think you don’t like reading? Well, meet Charlie Joe Jackson. He doesn’t like reading. He would do anything, and I mean anything, to avoid reading. Here’s his story of how he manages to not read a single book one year in middle school.

The Lemonade War by Jacqueline Davies
For fans of: realistic fiction, making money, lemonade, sibling stories, series
The quick pitch:
This is a story of unbridled capitalism, of sibling rivalry, of brother pitted against sister. This is a story of greed that threatens to tear a family apart. This is a story of the brutality of war… and of lemonade.


The Crossroads by Chris Grabenstein
For fans of: vengeful spirits, creepy trees, pure evil
The quick pitch:
In a town, there is a crossroad.
At the crossroad, there is a house.
In the house, there is a yard.
In the yard, there is a tree.
In the tree, there is a ghost of a serial killer, and he is not done with his killings yet.
Zack just moved into that house.

We’d love to hear your never-fail kids’ titles. Share them in the comments.

Corene and Virginia
from the Port Moody Public Library

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s