New reading recommendations from the Columbus Metropolitan Library

NOT QUITE NARWHAL by Jessie Sima

This gorgeous picture book tells the story of an adorable creature who has never quite fit in with his narwhal family. His tusk is too short, he is not fond of the food and he is a poor swimmer. Although his friends accept and love him just as he is, little Kelp feels he is missing something. One day he spots a unicorn on a cliff, and his search for belonging leads him to a place of magical horns and galloping on land. Explaining his new identity to his undersea family is almost as hard as finding a way to live with both parts of himself, but the story ends with a beach party that will delight readers of all ages. FOR AGES 4-8

ADA'S VIOLIN: THE STORY OF THE RECYCLED ORCHESTRA OF PARAGUAY by Susan Hood

Ada lives in a garbage dump. Her family and friends earn money by scavenging through the trash in one of the poorest slums in Latin America. Ada's family loves music, and when an environmental engineer starts offering music lessons, her grandmother signs her up. But real instruments are expensive and likely to be stolen. So the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay builds its own. The illustrations, which have colorful textures and rich layers, are just as fascinating as this inspiring nonfiction story. Check out the video links in the back of the book to see the real Cateura Orchestra perform. FOR AGES 4-8

THINGS TOO HUGE TO FIX BY SAYING SORRY by Susan Vaught

On the last day of eighth grade, Mac tells Dani he's not allowed to be her friend anymore because of something that happened decades earlier between their grandmothers. Now, a mysterious key and a packet of letters written for Dani by her grandmother send them on a journey to find answers. Ghost stories, historical documents and some detective work uncover the painful history of segregation in their Mississippi town. Few novels have the ability to tell a relatable, present-day story of family and friendship while also delving deep into the historical realities of racism and civil rights like this complex, layered book. FOR AGES 10-14

THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR by Nicola Yoon

When Daniel, a Korean-American romantic poet, and Natalie, a Jamaican-American scientific-minded pragmatist, meet the day before Natalie's family is set to be deported, a startlingly strong connection forms. Scenes flip between each character's point-of-view with a dizzying, euphoric feeling—much like the feeling of falling in love. But this is also a story of deportation, undocumented immigrants, broken dreams and racism. This authentic romance is a poignant and timely story. FOR TEENS

APP

CHOREMONSTER and MOTHERSHP by ChoreMonster Inc.

ChoreMonster and its parental control app, Mothershp, have lasted longer at my house than any other method of chore implementation. A child earns points for each task completed and can redeem the points for rewards. Parents can set chores for certain days, assign different tasks to different kids and even customize each job with photos so nonreaders can participate. It's easy for kids to use, and parents can monitor it remotely. Also, check out Landra, the version for teens. Available through Amazon, Google Play and iTunes.

Elisa Leahy is the Information Services Specialist (Youth Services) at the South High Branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library