From the December 2019 issue

Michigan’s Top Librarian Shares Best Kids Books in 2019

We caught up with Michigan's top librarian from the Troy Public Library to get her top picks for the best kids' books of 2019.

Cathleen Russ smiling from the Troy Public Library

What separates a good librarian from a great one, says Michigan’s current greatest librarian, is the drive to “leave no stone unturned to get whoever is standing on the opposite side of the desk what they want.”

And Cathleen Russ, director of the Troy Public Library with 28 years in the field, excels at that. It’s why a host of other librarians she’s mentored nominated her for Michigan Library Association’s Librarian of the Year.

This holiday season, she encourages families to find what they’re seeking at their local library.

“One of the things I love about libraries is that they have something for everyone,” Russ says.

We went to Russ’ “desk” to ask her for top new-in-2019 kids’ books to give as gifts. And she delivered!

Dear Sweet Pea by Julie Murphy

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“This funny, heartwarming story is about a girl learning to deal with changes in her family and friends as she takes on the temporary role of advice columnist for her small town.” Ages 8-12.

Sharon, Lois and Bram’s Skinnamarink by Sharon Hampson

“A new take on a classic children’s song that’s perfect to share with the little one in your life.” Ages 0-6.

Who Was Mister Rogers? by Diane Bailey

The newest addition to the popular ‘Who Was/Who Is’ biography series. Ages 8-12.

Caught! Nabbing History’s Most Wanted by Georgia Bragg.

“Find out how some of the most notorious characters in history ended up getting caught. A humorous take on history for ages 10-14.”

Stargazing by Jen Wang

“Fans of Raina Telgemeier will enjoy this graphic novel about two unlikely friends going through the ups and downs of life.” Ages 8-12.

I’m a Baked Potato by Elise Primavera.

“A silly and sweet read-aloud about a dog with an identity crisis.” Ideal for all dog lovers, especially those ages 4-8.

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