Books for Kids

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent


Perfect for sharing with your favorite little rule-breaker, Rules of the House creates a silly horror tale of sibling rivalry, disgruntled monsters and lots of rule-breaking. Hoity-toity Ian and his unruly big sister, Jen, stay in an old mountain cabin where there are only four posted rules to follow: Don't track mud on the bearskin rug; don't leave hair in the tub drain; replace any wood burned in the stove; and, especially, don't open a certain red door. Ian is happy to oblige but Jenny not only breaks all the rules, she also breaks the most important one and opens the red door. That night, the house comes alive and decides it's time for Jen to learn her lesson. The rug, the stove and the bathtub are hungry for "rule-breaker soup" and they have found the perfect ingredient: Jen. So now Ian has to decide: Is saving his sister worth breaking the rules? The perfect scary tale kids will love to devour while hoping not to get eaten themselves. AGES 4-7


Were you a fan of the Magic Tree House series? Then you will love reading The DATA Set, a brand-new chapter book series for young readers who love science. Filled with quirky whiz kids, wacky inventions and one looney mad scientist, three best friends affectionately known as the DATA Set must use their smarts and wits to resolve not-so-everyday catastrophes at their school.

One morning, the science teacher, Mrs. Bell, challenges the students to invent their own robots. The class builds their best creations and on presentation day, everything goes bonkers. The robots rebel and decide to create a robotic army able to take over the entire school! Can the DATA Set save the day? This is a fun series for kids just starting to read on their own, and with illustrations on almost every page, any reluctant reader can't help but get motivated. AGES 5-9


The hauntingly creepy spirits trying to steal your soul in the new book by Newberry winner Avi will have your heart beating so hard you may reconsider your bedtime. Seventh-grader Tony Gilbert isn't thrilled about his peculiar Uncle Charlie coming to live with him-that is until he realizes all the things they have in common. Soon the two unlikely souls are bonding over junk food, Halloween, scary stories and all things paranormal. After his uncle dies, Tony feels like he has lost his best friend forever, until he starts seeing Uncle Charlie's ghost. Following his ghost uncle's wishes, Tony decides to attend the prestigious, and possibly haunted, Penda School. In addition to the many unusual things that take place on his first day of school, Tony makes friends with an odd girl who loves to tell hair-raising ghost stories and the ghost of a boy who has been missing for years. With their help, Tony will hopefully solve the mystery of the school and give the undead some much-needed rest. This book is not your typical Goosebumps adventure. Avi uses some gruesome and gory imagery, perfect for tweens who love creepy, spine-tingling stories at night. AGES 8-12


After her mother's death, Jen Noonan's father thinks a move to the Harmony House is the key to their salvation. But to everyone who has lived there before, it is a threshold to pure horror. Stephen King's Carrie meets Stranger Things' Eleven in this truly frightening tale about Jen, a wannabe simple teenage girl who needs to escape from her fanatically religious father when he confines her inside the Harmony House. More than just a creepy old estate, the house has a terrifying past. And as Jen uncovers its secrets, she also begins to discover the supernatural power she didn't realize she had. This terrible power may not only explain the reason behind her mother's death, but could also be the key to escaping the house, escaping her father and saving herself. FOR TEENS

-Geni Randle, Youth Services Librarian, Columbus Metropolitan Library


My family is big into the arts. We paint, we draw, we sculpt and we visit the art museum for inspiration. So when I discovered the new app Wizard School by Duck Duck Moose, I was more than thrilled for my 5-year-old to try it out. The app contains 3,000fascinating and educational videosmeant to inspire young minds and have them create their own pieces of artwork in the challenges section. Challenges include designing a pet house, an outfit or my daughter's favorite, stained glass art. All the challenges include a "make it talk" feature that allows children to record their own voice and have their artwork come to life and speak it back. Download Duck Duck Moose'sWizard School app for iPhone (coming soon for Android) for free.And there are no in-app purchases, which is awesome. ALL AGES