Our literary picks for August.

FOR AGES 3 TO 6

"PRINCESS SPARKLE-HEART GETS A MAKEOVER" by Josh Schneider

Amelia and her doll, Princess Sparkle-Heart, do absolutely everything together - well, almost everything. When Princess Sparkle-Heart has an unfortunate encounter with Amelia's jealous pup, it's up to Mom to set things right. By the end of the story, Princess Sparkle-Heart isn't as good as new ... she's even better! This delightful story (with a twist) is one that moms and daughters are sure to enjoy.


FOR AGES 3 TO 8

"MY BODY BELONGS TO ME!" by proFamilia

This preschool-friendly, nonfiction book empowers children to feel comfortable saying "no!" to an unwanted touch - whether it be from a stranger, a family member, or even an overly affectionate dog. Colorful illustrations and nonthreatening examples of touch (both welcome and unwelcome) help to get the message across without resorting to graphic or potentially frightening material. Most importantly, the text emphasizes the need to tell a grown-up you trust if saying "no!" isn't enough to stop unwanted behavior.

FOR AGES 5 TO 8

"DRAGONQUEST" by Allan Baillie

"Hey, you! Yes, yes, you with the book! Up, up, we have deeds to do!"

Act as squire to a brave knight and his noble steed on a quest to find and defeat the world's last dragon. Travel over mountains, across deserts and through wicked forests, facing untold perils along the way. A dragon may not be waiting at the top of Glass Mountain, but young heroes are sure to be impressed - both by the journey and by the unexpected ending.

FOR TEENS

"THE WINNER'S CURSE" by Marie Rutkoski

Fans of Kristen Cashore and Leigh Bardugo rejoice - The Winner's Curse is a seamless blend of historical fiction, fantasy, adventure and romance. The Valorian Empire thrives by enslaving all those it conquers. Seventeen-year-old Kestrel is a privileged general's daughter with two choices upon turning 18: get married or join the military. After feeling compelled to purchase a young Harani slave named Arin, however, her life quickly becomes more complicated. Political intrigue, forbidden romance and complicated questions of morality make this novel - with the promise of a sequel - an absolutely stunning read.

- Kelsey Spicuzza, Youth Services ISS, Karl Road Branch


WEBSITE

LITERACYCENTER.NET

LiteracyCenter.net, provided by the Literacy Center Education Network, is a free and uncomplicated website designed to help young children prepare for school. Children can play through simple activities highlighting letter and number knowledge, shape and color recognition, and even very basic spelling and keyboard practice. Parents and teachers may also choose to utilize the site's "Print and Practice" worksheets for use at a later time. The Literacy Center Education Network focuses specifically on providing resources for Pre-K through Grade 1 English language learners and dual language learners (each activity is offered in English, Spanish, French and German), but native English speakers are sure to benefit as well.

-Kelly Spicuzza