Category Archives: Children

Hispanic Heritage Month

September 15 to October 15 is National Hispanic American Heritage Month. Check out these titles featuring Latinx characters!

¡Vamos! Let’s go to the market by Raúl the Third

Little Lobo, a Mexican American, and Bernabe, his dog, deliver supplies to vendors at the Mercado, a busy border town market.

Book fiesta! : celebrate Children’s Day by Pat Mora

Children read aloud in various settings to celebrate El día de los niños, or Children’s Day, in this bilingual story.

Mango, Abuela, and me by Meg Medina

When a little girl’s far-away grandmother comes to stay, love and patience transcend language in a tender story written by acclaimed author Meg Medina.

Across the bay by Carlos Aponte

Carlitos lives in a happy home with his mother, his abuela, and Coco the cat. Life in his hometown is cozy as can be, but the call of the capital city pulls Carlitos across the bay in search of his father.

My papi has a motorcycle by Isabel Quintero

When Daisy Ramona zooms around her neighborhood with her papi on his motorcycle, she sees the people and places she’s always known. She also sees a community that is rapidly changing around her.

One is a pinata : a book of numbers by Roseanne Greenfield Thong

A beautiful and lively picture book for teaching numbers and exploring both Spanish words and Hispanic culture.

Planting stories : the life of librarian and storyteller Pura Belpré by Anika Aldamuy Denise

This portrait of the influential librarian, author, and puppeteer reminds us of the power of storytelling and the extraordinary woman who opened doors and championed bilingual literature.

Dancing hands : how Teresa Carreno played the piano for President Lincoln by Margarita Engle

The story of Teresa Carreño, a child prodigy who played piano for Abraham Lincoln

Separate is never equal : Sylvia Mendez & her family’s fight for desegregation by Duncan Tonatiuh

A touching account of one family’s quest for equality in America

Tito Puente, Mambo King = Tito Puente, Rey del Mambo by Monica Brown

From musical prodigy on the streets of Harlem to five-time Grammy Award winner, Tito’s life was full of rhythm. Drums and claves, saxophones and tambourines were all part of the fun.

Lucky Broken Girl by Ruth Behar

In 1960s New York, fifth-grader Ruthie, a Cuban-Jewish immigrant, must rely on books, art, her family, and friends in her multicultural neighborhood when an accident puts her in a body cast.

Lowriders in Space by Cathy Camper

Lupe, Flapjack, Elirio customize their car into a low rider for the Universal Car Competition to win the cash prize that will enable them to buy their own garage.

The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora by Pablo Cartaya

When his family’s restaurant and Cuban American neighborhood in Miami are threatened by a greedy land developer, thirteen-year-old Arturo, joined by Carmen, a cute poetry enthusiast, fight back.

Sal and Gabi Break the Universe by Carlos Alberto Pablo Hernandez

In order to heal after his mother’s death, thirteen-year-old Sal learns to reach into time and space to retrieve things–and people–from other universes.

The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Perez

Twelve-year-old María Luisa O’Neill-Morales reluctantly moves with her Mexican-American mother to Chicago and starts seventh grade with a bang–violating the dress code with her punk rock aesthetic.

Find even more titles celebrating Hispanic Heritage here.

Back to School

We all know that this year going back to school is very different from usual. However, we hope the books on this list will inspire students to get excited for school and ready to learn!

Picture Books

B. Bear and Lolly: Off to School by A.A. Livingston

B. Bear realizes the importance of friendship when he and his best friend Lolly attend the first day of school.

Lola Goes to School by Anna McQuinn

Spunky Lola meets new friends and tries many new things on her fun but exhausting first day of school. 

Dog Days of School by Kelly DiPucchio

Tired of school, Charlie envies his dog and wishes he could be a dog, too, but when his wish comes true he discovers that his life was not all bad.

School’s First Day of School by Adam Rex

It’s the first day of school at Frederick Douglass Elementary and everyone’s just a little bit nervous, especially the school itself.

Find more Picture Books about school here!

Early Readers

Bitsy Bee Goes to School by David A. Carter

Bitsy Bee is very excited about her first day of school, and it proves to be just as much fun as she expected.

Lucky School Bus by Melinda Melton Crow

It is the first day of school, and School Bus is excited. Tractor, Train, and Fire Truck wish him luck on his big day!

Mouse Loves School by Lauren Thompson

Hiding inside a backpack, Mouse spends the day at school, discovering colors, letters, numbers, and his favorite thing–friends.

Pete the Cat: Too Cool for School by James Dean

Pete the Cat can’t decide what outfit he should wear to make him look cool at school. He has so many colorful choices in his closet to choose from, how will he decide on one?

Find more Early Reader books about school here!

Juvenile Fiction

Back to School, Mallory by Laurie Friedman

After moving, eight-year-old Mallory struggles with being new at school, especially because her mother is now the music teacher and director of the third grade play.

Bad Kitty: School Daze by Nick Bruel

When Kitty’s owners have finally had enough of her bad behavior, it’s time to ship her off to obedience school.

Pennybrook School is Headed for Disaster by Jennifer Brown

Thomas Fallgrout is a new student at Pennybaker Academy for the Uniquely Gifted where he his blamed for a missing statue so he teams up with his oddball friend Chip Mason to find it.

School Days According to Humphrey by Betty Birney

Humphrey the hamster is puzzled when unfamiliar students fill Mrs. Brisbane’s classroom at summer’s end, but he soon learns that his friends from last year are fine and that the new class needs his special help.

Find more Juvenile Fiction school books here!

No-Sew T-Shirt Bag

Have a huge collection of unwanted t-shirts that you’re not ready to part with? Check out this upcycle activity that you can do with your t-shirts using only a pair of scissors (and a marker) – 10 easy steps!

Materials Needed:

  • 1 t-shirt
  • 1 pair of scissors (need to be sharp enough to cut through cloth)
  • 1 market (optional)
  • 1 medium/large sized dish or bowl (optional)

TIP – If using a t-shirt with a logo on it, you’ll want it to be towards the middle of the t-shirt.


  • Step 1 – Lay your t-shirt down on the floor or any flat surface.
  • Step 2 – Take a look at your t-shirt and decide visually where your cut marks will go. If you have a logo, you may need to adjust where you cut.
  • Sept 3 – Turn your t-shirt inside out and lay it back down on your flat surface. Flatten it out (does not need to be ironed).
  • Step 4 – Using your scissors, cut off your sleeves (you want to cut just past the the thread marks). It is important that you only cut off the sleeves at this point.
  • Step 5 – Using your dish, place your dish on top of the neck hole. Move it down so you have a half of a circle on your t-shirt and the other half on your surface. Using your marker, draw the half circle. You can also eyeball this part as well if you’d like.
  • Step 6 – Measure 3 inches from the bottom of your t-shirt (or half of your hand). Mark with your marker where this is.
  • Step 7 – Cut out 1.5 to 2 inch strips from the bottom of your t-shirt up to your indicator line. Make sure you cut your end pieces so that the front and back are separated.
  • Step 8 – Make sure the strips are laying flat (you may need to re-smooth out your t-shirt).
  • Step 9 See how each strip has a strip underneath it? Tie those together. Do this all the way across and then double knot each one.
  • Step 10 – Fold your bag inside right – and you’re done!

Shark Week

Contact-Free pick up is here! How it works: Click on “request this item” and place the item on hold with your library card. You will be notified when your item is available for pickup. For Scotch Plains and Fanwood residents only at this time. Questions? Contact us at [email protected]

Misunderstood Shark : starring Shark! by Ame Dyckman

This super silly story is about a shark who just wants to show everyone who he is.

Dude! by Aaron Reynolds

This hilarious book shows the complex and silly ways to tell a story only using one word!

Chomp : a shark romp by Michael Paul

Learn all about different species of sharks – great for children in grades 2 and under!

Slickety quick : poems about sharks by Skila Brown

Creative poems about sharks from rare sharks like camouflaged wobbegong and the elusive frilled shark – and more common ones.

Super shark encyclopedia and other creatures of the deep by Derek Harvey

Everything you need to know about sharks and other creatures! Great for any shark lover.

I survived the shark attacks of 1916 by Lauren Tarshis

Based on True Events and the Jersey Shore!

The Bad Guys by Aaron Blabey

Read about how these bad guys are doing good deeds – humorous mixed media book for those that love fast paced books.

Looking for more Shark books? Click here to view additional titles (does not work in Firefox and on certain mobile devices).

Leveled Readers

Levels E-F | Levels G-H | Levels I-J | Levels K-L | Levels M-N | Levels O-P | Levels Q-R | Levels S-T

Levels E-F

Fly High, Fly Guy! By Tedd Arnold 

When Buzz, his parents, and his pet fly go on a road trip and get lost, Fly Guy comes to the rescue to help them find their way home

Biscuit Goes Camping by Alyssa Satin Capucilli

Biscuit the puppy camps out in the backyard.

Signs in the Park by Mary Hill

Sally explains the signs that she and her mother see while walking their dog in a park, such as those that direct them to a trail and show who can use that trail.

You are (not) Small by Anna Kang 

Two fuzzy creatures can’t agree on who is small and who is big.

Looking for more E-F Level Readers? Click here to view additional titles (does not work in Firefox and on certain mobile devices).

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Levels G-H

Pete the Cat and the Lost Tooth by James Dean 

A tooth goes missing while Pete the Cat is helping the Tooth Fairy, and he must find it before it’s too late.

Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? By Bill Martin

Zoo animals from polar bear to walrus make their distinctive sounds for each other, while children imitate the sounds for the zookeeper

There is a Bird on Your Head by Mo Willems 

Gerald the elephant discovers that there is something worse than a bird on your head– two birds on your head! Piggie will try to help her best friend.

Looking for more G-H Level Readers? Click here to view additional titles (does not work in Firefox and on certain mobile devices).

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Levels I-J

Young Cam Jansen and the Zoo Note Mystery by David Adler

Cam helps her friend Eric when he misplaces his permission slip to go on the school field trip.

Pete the Cat and the Surprise Teacher by James Dean

When Pete discovers that his teacher is sick and his mom is the substitute, he must teach her the ins and outs of his school.

On Earth by G. Brain Karas

With poetic text and gorgeous illustrations, Karas illuminates the Earth and its cycles, making the concepts of rotation and revolution understandable even to the youngest readers

If You Give a Dog a Donut by Laura Numeroff

Chaos might ensue if you were to give a dog a donut.

Jack and the Box by Art Spiegelman

Jack just got a new toy. Is it a silly toy, a scary toy… or something else entirely?

Because a Little Bug Went Ka-Choo by Rosetta Stone

The mere sneeze of a bug triggers a chain reaction involving, among others, cows, turtles, policemen, and an entire circus parade.

Looking for more I-J Level Readers? Click here to view additional titles (does not work in Firefox and on certain mobile devices).

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Levels K-L

The Perfect Nest by Catherine Friend

Jack the cat gets much more than he bargained for when he decides to build the perfect nest to attract the perfect chicken.

Electric Fish by Elaine Landau

An introduction to various species of electric fish, particularly the electric eel, explaining how they generate and discharge electricity.

If You Take a Mouse to School by Laura Numeroff

Follows a boy and his mouse through a busy day at school.

Amelia Bedelia Sleeps Over by Herman Parish

Amelia Bedelia has a wonderful time at her first slumber party.

Alice the Fairy by David Shannon

Alice, who claims to be a Temporary Fairy, still has a lot to learn, such as how to make her clothes put themselves away in the closet.

Looking for more K-L Level Readers? Click here to view additional titles (does not work in Firefox and on certain mobile devices).

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Levels M-N

Big Chickens Fly The Coop by Leslie Helakoski

When four farmyard chickens begin to feel like they need to spread their wings a bit, they decide to go to the big farmhouse to check things out.

Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes

Lilly loves everything about school, especially her teacher, but when he asks her to wait a while before showing her new purse, she does something for which she is very sorry later.

Horrible Harry Goes to the Moon by Suzi Kline

Inspired by his third-grade class’s study of the moon, Harry announces that he is going there.

Stink and the Ultimate Thumb-wrestling Smackdown by Megan McDonald

After second-grader Stink gets an unsatisfactory grade in physical education, his parents tell him he must play a sport and so he masters thumb wrestling, as seen on a sports channel.

Fancy Nancy: Bonjour Butterfly by Jane O’Connor

Nancy is furious when she cannot go to her friend Bree’s butterfly-themed birthday party, but her family’s outing might just be extraordinary enough to make her feel better.

Junie B., First Grader Aloha-ha-ha! By Barbara Park 

Excitable Junie B. Jones manages to find trouble both before and during a trip to Hawaii and records each incident in a photo journal given to her by her teacher.

The Curse of the Bologna Sandwich by Greg Trine

After graduating from the superhero academy, Melvin Beederman heads for Los Angeles, where he unexpectedly teams up with Candace Brinkwater, school play actress, to nab the evil McNasty Brothers.

Looking for more M-N Level Readers? Click here to view additional titles (does not work in Firefox and on certain mobile devices).

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Levels O-P

Lola Levine, Drama Queen by Monica Brown

Lola Levine is given a non-speaking part after getting stage fright during her class play audition. She saves the play after a couple of obstacles with the help of her grandmother

Bad Kitty: School Daze by Nick Bruel

When Kitty’s owners have finally had enough of her bad behavior, it’s time to ship her off to obedience school.

The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary

A reckless young mouse named Ralph makes friends with a boy in room 215 of the Mountain View Inn and discovers the joys of motorcycling.

Jelly Bean by Cynthia Lord

No pets are allowed in the apartment where Suzannah and her family live, so she volunteers at a local pet shelter and plays with the dogs and cats there–but when a child whose family is moving brings in her pet guinea pig, Jelly Bean, Suzannah promises that she will find him the perfect home.

Sideways stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar

Humorous episodes from the classroom on the thirtieth floor of Wayside School, which was accidentally built sideways with one classroom on each story.

EllRay Jakes is a Rock Star! by Sally Warner

Eight-year-old EllRay Jakes decides to “borrow” his father’s crystals to impress his classmates, but his plan to return the crystals before his father notices goes awry.

Looking for more Level O-P Readers? Click here to view additional titles (does not work in Firefox and on certain mobile devices).

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Levels Q-R

Spirit Week Showdown by Crystal Allen

Nine-year-old Mya is excited about participating in School Spirit Week, even making a pinky promise with her best friend Naomi to be her partner, but when she accidentally gets paired with the biggest bully in school, Mean Connie.

Jedi Academy by Jeffrey Brown

When Roan’s application to pilot school is rejected, he finds he has been invited to study under Master Yoda at the Jedi Academy.

Beast Keeper by Lucy Coats

Eleven-year-old Demon had never met his father, the god Pan, until the day he was whisked away to the stables of Olympus and charged with looking after all of the mythical creatures there.

Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo

Ten-year-old India Opal Buloni describes her first summer in the town of Naomi, Florida, and all the good things that happen to her because of her big ugly dog Winn-Dixie.

Swing It, Sunny by Jennifer L. Holm

In the mid-1970s Sunny Lewin is back, star of her personal show, facing the prospect of Middle School, and dealing with the problems of her somewhat dysfunctional family–in particular her older brother, Dale, who has been sent off to a military academy because of his delinquent behavior.

Rules by Cynthia Lord

Frustrated at life with an autistic brother, twelve-year-old Catherine longs for a normal existence but her world is further complicated by a friendship with an young paraplegic.

Looking for more Level Q-R Readers? Click here to view additional titles (does not work in Firefox and on certain mobile devices).

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Levels S -T

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

When Ivan, a gorilla who has lived for years in a down-and-out circus-themed mall, meets Ruby, a baby elephant that has been added to the mall, he decides that he must find her a better life.

Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett

When seemingly unrelated and strange events start to happen and a precious Vermeer painting disappears, eleven-year-olds Petra and Calder combine their talents to solve an international art scandal.

Upside Down in the Middle of Nowhere by Julie T. Lamana

At the end of August 2005, ten-year-old Armani is looking forward to her birthday party in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans, where she and her extended family live, but Hurricane Katrina is on the way, bringing destruction and tragedy in its wake.

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin

Minli, an adventurous girl from a poor village, buys a magical goldfish, and then joins a dragon, who cannot fly, on a quest to find the Old Man of the Moon in hopes of bringing life to Fruitless Mountain and freshness to Jade River.

The Hero Two Doors Down by Sharon Robinson

Eight-year-old Steve Satlow is thrilled when Jackie Robinson moves into his Jewish neighborhood in Brooklyn in 1948, although many of his neighbors are not, and when Steve actually meets his hero he is even more excited–and worried that a misunderstanding over a Christmas tree could damage his new friendship.

Save Me a Seat by Sarah Weeks

Ravi has just moved to the United States from India and has always been at the top of his class; Joe has lived in the same town his whole life and has learning problems–but when their lives intersect in the first week of fifth grade they are brought together by a common enemy and the need to take control of their lives.

Looking for more Level S-T Readers? Click here to view additional titles (does not work in Firefox and on certain mobile devices).

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Summer Reads for Toddlers & Preschoolers

Contact-Free pick up is here! How it works: Click on “request this item” and place the item on hold with your library card. You will be notified when your item is available for pickup. For Scotch Plains and Fanwood residents only at this time. Questions? Contact us at [email protected]

And then comes summer by Tom Brenner

A joyful, sun-drenched tribute to the anticipation and adventures of the warmest season of the year. Request this item.

Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall

A sweetly appealing tale of overcoming your fears, newcomer Gaia Cornwall captures a moment between a patient and encouraging father and a determined little boy you can’t help but root for. Request this item | VOX edition

One hot summer day by Nina Crews

Relates a child’s activities in the heat of a summer day punctuated by a thunderstorm. Request this item.

Grains of Sand by Sibylle Delacroix

A brother and sister dream up ways to save sand from a beach vacation. Request this item.

Surfer Chick by Kristy Dempsey

The story of a little chick and her dad who take to the beach where he teaches her how to surf. Request this item.

Come on, rain! by Karen Hesse

A young girl eagerly awaits a coming rainstorm to bring relief from the oppressive summer heat. Request this item.

Fetch by Jorey Hurley

Illustrations and simple text follow a dog as it chases a ball at the beach. Request this item.

It’s a Seashell Day by Dianne Ochiltree

Rhymes chronicle a mother and son sharing a day of sand digging, seashell collecting, and seashore exploring. Request this book.

Summer Supper by Rubin Pfeffer

Follow the creation of a family meal from the farm to the picnic table on a warm sunny day. Told entirely in words beginning with S. Request this item.

Pignic by Matt Phelan

What a perfect day for a pignic! A blue sky. A shady tree. A bright kite. A full picnic basket. Family. And friends. But the pigs need one more thing for it to be a perfect day. Request this item.

Summer Wonders by Bob Raczka

Illustrations and rhyming text celebrate the sights and sounds of summer, from days of diving and swimming to nights of stargazing and fireflies. Request this item.

Sun by Sam Usher

A boy and his grandad set off on a scorching adventure. Its the hottest day of the year, hotter than broccoli soup, hotter than the Atacama Desert, hotter than the surface of the sun. Its just the right kind of day for a boy and his grandad to go for a picnic. Request this item

Summer by Cao Wenxuan

In this lovely picture book from two of China’s most acclaimed creators, animals fight over shade on a blazing hot day–until they learn to overcome their selfishness. Request this item

A Beach Tail by Karen Lynn Williams

When his father tells him not to leave the lion he is drawing on the beach, a little boy starts making a very, very long tail–and a trail to follow back. Request this item.

Summer Reading Prizes

Update – Our summer reading program has ended. You may continue to log your minutes until 9/13/20 to earn your completion certificate.

Prizes – last day to earn prizes 8/28

We have included two graphics on how to schedule prize pick up. Need help? Contact us via phone (908) 322-5007 x 209 or e-mail at [email protected]

You may reach us via phone Mon.-Wed, & Fri., 9am-5pm, Thurs. 12pm-8pm and Sat. 9am-1pm.

Raffle Prizes – Last day to enter 8/28

Once you finish your summer reading goal, you’ll be eligible to enter in one of our raffles.

Raffle 1 – Book Bundle: Eerie Elementary by Jack Chabert

Raffle 2 – Book Bundle: Zoey and Sassafras by Asia Citro

Raffle 3 – Gift Certificate to Scoops Ice Cream

Raffle 4 – Marvel Avengers Fuse Bead Kit

Raffle 5 – Crayola Colored Pencils Design & Sketch Set

Second Chance Raffle – last day to enter 8/28

For anyone who enters one of our raffles and does not win, you will be entered into our Second Chance Raffle for a free book! Children who complete their BINGO board will earn an extra raffle ticket to try and win a free book!

The 2020 Summer Reading program is Sponsored by the Friends of the Scotch Plains Public Library.

Crafty Kids is back!

We are excited to announce that Crafty Kids is back. Each week, we will share a new craft you can do with your little one that is related to the stories we are sharing on our Tuesday Zoom storytime at 9:30am. You can register for this event, by visiting our calendar.

Our videos will be shared on our Facebook page every Wednesday at 9:30am and then posted on our Youtube Crafty Kids channel.

Feel free to share with us pictures of any of the crafts your child creates and we will share them right here on our blog!

Screen Free Fun

These ideas are meant to inspire and entertain you and your children. Many have links with additional ideas or instructions. We hold no responsibility for what else is on the given links.

Screen Free Play for Toddlers/ Preschoolers

Screen Free Play for Elementary Students