Our literary picks for October.

FOR AGES 4 TO 10

"THE GIRL AND THE BICYCLE" by Mark Pett

The wonderful thing about wordless books is the story can be told in many different ways and you will never read it the same way twice. It also allows children to create their own interpretations. The Girl and the Bicycle is a wordless delight filled with heartwarming illustrations and a simple, yet captivating, storyline that revolves around persistence, hard work and generosity. If you are struggling with how to start the story, allow me: "There once was a little girl who walked by a toy store and saw the most incredible green bicycle." OK, your turn.

FOR AGES 8 TO 12

"THE CABINET OF CURIOSITIES: 36 TALES BRIEF & SINISTER" by Stefan Bachmann, Katherine Catmull, Claire Legrand and Emma Trevayne

Do you love creepy tales that keep you up at night? Are you Facebook friends with R.L. Stine? Yes and yes? Well then, do I have the book for you! The Cabinet of Curiosities: 36 Tales Brief & Sinister is broken into various sections called "drawers" or "rooms." The stories follow simple themes such as: cake, love, luck, tricks, flowers, travel, song and fairy tales. The themes seem innocent but don't be fooled. The terrifying tales written by these four horror authors will thrill and chill.


FOR AGES 10 TO 14

"HOW THEY CHOKED: FAILURES, FLOPS, AND FLAWS OF THE AWFULLY FAMOUS" by Georgia Bragg

With school in session again, kids soon will be asked to write biographies. But instead of using Wikipedia for research, try this book. The author examines 14 historical figures, using intelligent wit. For example, chapters titled "Amelia M. Earhart: Winging It" and "Thomas Edison: Shock and Awful," tell the stories of epic failures so hilariously, they won't be easy to forget. Chapters about Anne Boleyn and Montezuma are filled with gore, so beware to those weak at heart (and stomach). This book is not only filled with biographies of historical figures with behavior problems, bad luck and aloof egos, but it's crammed full of lessons about human nature as well.


FOR TEENS

"WE WERE LIARS" by E. Lockhart

This is a clever, sophisticated read with characters so well-written you will both love and hate them. Cadence, her cousins Johnny and Mirren, and friend Gat (the four "Liars") have spent every summer together since the age of 8. During one summer, however, Cadence has a mysterious accident and spends the next two years in a haze of amnesia, debilitating migraines and painkillers, trying to piece together just what happened. Every chapter is filled with a clue that will bring you closer to finding out the truth. But the moment when the secret is finally revealed is far more horrible and shocking than anything you can imagine. So, if anyone asks about the ending, don't ruin the surprise and be sure to LIE.

-Geni Randle, Youth Services Librarian Rovers/Main Library


FAMILY APP

LITTLE WRITER: THE TRACING APP FOR KIDS

Not to brag, but I have witnessed my 3-year-old writing her name. It's true! With Little Writer: The Tracing App for Kids, my daughter practices forming letters, numbers, shapes and words by using easy tracing techniques and positive reinforcement. The word section is her favorite. Using a little tractor to follow a path of hay (sometimes a crab following a path of pineapples), she traces the words one letter at a time. After all of the letters are traced, the word and a picture representation of the word appear, followed by a congratulatory exclamation. This free app is designed for all ages - from kids who just want to draw shapes to kids like my daughter who are learning how to write their own names.

-Geni Randle