Staten Island


New York City has to be one of the greatest places in America, if not the world. Luckily for us, many authors have chronicled The Big Apple's antics in a way just right for kids.

Here are some of the books available. This is not yet a complete list, but I'm adding books to the list daily. If you wish to purchase any of these books, click on either the title or the book cover to be directed to Amazon.com. As a warning, I have put up pictures of the book covers to give you somewhat an idea of the style of each book (I know, I know. "Don't judge a book by its cover") so the pages may load slowly, depending on the speed of your internet connection.

The categories below are sorted by approximate age group and topical categories. Feel free to browse around. The same links are located on the left side of your screen. To return back to this page, simply click on the "Welcome" link on the left.

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Books for Beginning Readers



Riding the Ferry With Captain Cruz

By Alice K. Flanagan
Meet Captain Cruz, who "helps people get to work safely and on time" on the Staten Island Ferry. All of these dedicated individuals and their work make an impact on their communities. Through strikingly effective full-color photos and easy-to-read texts, these photo-essays illuminate each occupation. Children will feel they are actually spending the day at work with a friend--looking at the ferry's radar screen and compass as the boat maneuvers past the Statue of Liberty. These books explain each job's requirements and help to develop an appreciation of each profession. School and public libraries will want to update occupational sections with these attractive selections.

Description from School Library Journal

Our Neighborhood introduces young, beginning readers to the many and varied individuals they might encounter in their communities. With a striking, photojournalistic style and easy-to-read text, this series presents the life stories of real people. From a Chinese chef to a Staten Island Ferry captain, a wide variety of occupations is brought to life. The biographies in this series will encourage children to think about the ways they might influence their neighbors and their community as adults.

Take a ride on the Staten Island Ferry and learn about the special skills needed to be the captain of a ferry boat.
Description from Publisher

How Will the Easter Bunny Know

By Kay Winters
When Mike learns that he will be spending Easter at his grandmother's house on Staten Island, he worries that the Easter Bunny will be unable to locate him and deliver goodies. A well-planned story line weaves together several humorous episodes: an attempt to find E.B. Rabbit's telephone number in the local directory, the creation of a detailed geographic map and colorful signs, plus a heartfelt letter that includes vital information like the color of his grandmother's front door. Weston's full-color illustrations capture Mike's fears, doubts, determination, and final joy; Winters's book comforts children and reminds them of the power of belief.

Description from Kirkus Reviews

Although Mike loves to spend the night at his grandmother's house, he is worried that the Easter Bunny will not be able to find him there on the big day. After an unsuccessful phone call to an E. Bunney listed in the phone book, Mike and his friend Tony make signs and a map, then write and mail a letter explaining how to find Grandma's house. All is well until Mike discovers that the door to Grandma's apartment building has just been painted a new color. Filled with colorful illustrations, this six-chapter book has plenty of plot tension and action to keep newly independent readers interested. Those who still believe in magical mysteries will share Mike's concerns and be comforted by the story's happy ending while nonbelievers will still be curious about the boy's plans.

Description from School Library Journal



Books for Older Readers



Rats

By Paul Zindel
From a Pulitzer-prize winning author comes another white-knuckle thriller forteens. When mutant rats threaten to take over Staten Island, which has becomea huge landfill, 14-year-old Sarah and her younger brother Mike try to figureout how to stop them.

Description from Publisher

Zindel (Reef of Death) churns out another variation of his teen versus man-eating beast theme. Again, he relies heavily on horror, gore and gimmicks. The first scene graphically depicts a man being devoured by a mob of vicious rats, and the rest of this nightmarish thriller follows suit, as billions of rodents invade New York City after their feeding ground (a garbage dump in Staten Island) is buried under asphalt. Enter Sarah, the 15-year-old daughter of the landfill supervisor; like many of Zindel's recent heroes and heroines, Sarah possesses the courage, intelligence and creativity needed to take charge of a life-threatening situation and bring order out of chaos. Unfortunately, her scheme to "hypnotize" the rats has less narrative oomph than the string of grizzly deaths occurring before the story's climax. The book does contain a somewhat watered-down message about environmentalism, but readers caught up in the fast-paced, blood-spewing action may not take time to ponder the moral.

Description from Publishers Weekly

Staten Island and the rest of New York City are threatened by an invasion of vicious killer rats in this gory, makes-your-skin-crawl thriller. The epicenter of the disaster turns out to be a huge landfill brimming over with decades worth of rotting garbage, right next to the quiet neighborhood where Sarah Macafee, 15, and her brother Michael, 10, live with their widowed father. Mr. Macafee just happens to be the city sanitation officer in charge of the landfill, which is in the process of being paved over with a layer of asphalt. The horror begins one summer morning with rats emerging from residents' toilets, hot tubs, and in-ground swimming pools. Sarah and Michael discover a neighbor dead in her car, and alert their father that rodents from the landfill are mounting an attack on their neighborhood. Readers looking for gruesome details are treated to numerous descriptions of bodily dismemberment by these traditionally maligned mammals, and the jolts of horror recur at regular intervals while Sarah and her brother survive several cliff-hanger escapes. Just in the nick of time, Sarah figures out a way to halt the vermin in their tracks and put an end to the bloodbath that engulfs a crowded Manhattan entertainment center. Zindel's style is fast paced and the plot is chock-full of shivery, stomach-churning action. Young readers will certainly rest easier once Sarah uses her wits to end a nightmare of carnage.

Description from School Library Journal




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