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Notes from a Children's Librarian: Adventure and the Reluctant Reader

Book Cover Big City Otto: Elephants Never Forget

Our Children's Librarian columnist, Julie Booker, brings us a new view from the stacks every month.


No matter the age, there are readers who shy away from pages filled with text. What better way to draw them in to literature than through exciting plot-driven graphic novels? These titles are able to engage uncertain readers from grades three to seven.

Beginning with grade three+, Big City Otto: Elephants Never Forget, by Bill Slavin, is the first book in a series about Otto the Elephant on a quest to find his estranged monkey pal, George. With his parrot friend, Crackers, Otto's adventure begins with him shrink-wrapped as baggage on a plane to America, ending up at the zoo, where a locked up cayman connects him with some shady characters “on the outside” (including a croc with a French accent and a hiphop gangster who uses Otto's peanut allergy to his benefit; a few big sneezes and the gangsters are busted out of the zoo.) The speech bubbles have minimal text and many ironic one-liners like: "This is America. You can't go around looking oversized (and) special."

Book Cover Into the Woods

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