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Youth books at the Bandera Public Library

By John Hegemier

By John Hegemier
Director, Bandera Public Library

Getting kids to read can be a challenge. Oftentimes youngsters will gravitate towards visual entertainment. But if you can find a book that grabs their attention, allows them to enter the minds of a character, and explore their emotions they will derive immense enjoyment. So, if one captivating book is a good idea wouldn't a series be even better? The staff at the Bandera Public Library thinks so, and has recently upgraded its collection of children and young adult books. The following series are some of the staff's favorite.
Maze Runner by James Dashner - The story begins with Thomas waking up in something similar to an elevator. A group of about 30 boys are there to greet him. He has arrived at The Maze. Neither Thomas nor any of the lads have any memories of their life before entering the maze and none has ever been able to navigate their way out. When the first girl arrives the next day the story moves forward quickly. Part Hunger Games, part Lord of the Flies, it's sure to capture a youngster's attention.
Magic Tree House by Mary Pope Osborne - The first Magic Tree House book was published in 1992. Jack and Annie, a brother and sister, discover a magical tree house filled with books. In their first adventure, Dinosaurs Before Dark Jack and Annie get whisked away to prehistoric times. Many other adventures ensue.
Treasure Hunters by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein - The popular adult writer introduces the Kidd siblings to young adult readers. The Kidds are the brother and sister in a family of undersea treasure hunters. The family has explored shipwrecks, found treasures on the seabed, and traveled the world, but all that work and training has not prepared the youngsters for the day when their parents go missing. Battling pirates, and treasure hunting competitors, they have to solve the mystery of their missing parents.
Dork Diaries is a humorous series written and illustrated by Rachel Renee Russell - This series portrays the life and times of young teenager Nikki Maxwell. They feature drawings, doodles and comic strips that chronicle the tempestuous life of a middle schooler.
Captain Underpants - If your brand of humor trends towards the scatological you'll laugh out loud at this series by author and illustrator Dav Pilkey. The series revolves around two fourth graders, George Beard and Harold Hutchins. The two boys are aspiring comic book writers who come up with the character Captain Underpants. Captain Underpants accidentally becomes real when George and Harold hypnotize their megalomaniacal principal, Mr. Krupp.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid - is a series of books written by the author and cartoonist Jeff Kinney. All the books are the journals of the main character, Greg Heffley. Befitting a child's diary, the books are filled with hand-written notes and simple drawings of Greg's daily adventures.