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Adult Books for Kids who are Advanced Readers


Parents, do you have a voracious reader at home? A preteen or teen who reads at a high level, but has “read everything already” and thinks everything is “too easy”?
One of my favorite questions is what books would I recommend for a young reader who has already sped through the novels meant for them and needs more books! Bigger books!
Here are some suggestions:

For the kid who has read all of Harry Potter, Narnia, and Percy Jackson…


For the kid who likes mysteries…


For the kid who likes out-of-this-world, funny books…



For the kid who likes history or classics…

Of course the best book for any child is the one they are interested in reading, but these might give you a place to start for those itching to move on to adult books. Even better, these books are ones you may enjoy too!

Hilary Perrino
Early Literacy Specialist
Youth and Family Services
Kenosha Public Library

Graphic Novels/Comics for Kids: To Read or Not to Read?


Is it okay for kids to read comics or graphic novels? The answer is yes! I know some parents are skeptical about that answer, but even the experts agree. Additionally, I know from personal experience that graphic novels and comics are good for kids. My youngest daughter was diagnosed with Dyslexia in 4th grade. It was very difficult to get her to read anything. She said she hated reading and forcing her to read didn’t help. Reading needed to be fun and enjoyable. Graphic novels as we know them now were not readily available at the time. However, she did find one series that she would read--the Garfield comic books by Jim Davis.

If we want our kids to be lifelong readers, we need to make sure that reading is fun. Graphic novels and comics naturally bring fun into the picture (no pun intended). This format helps build vocabulary, inference skills, and reading confidence sharpens visual cues, and inspires creativity. The skills gained from reading comics and graphic novels can benefit all readers, not just reluctant or struggling readers. There are graphic novel versions of classic literature, like Anne of Green Gables and plays from Shakespeare. There are even non-fiction graphic novels about dinosaurs, ocean animals, historical events, and more! So, when your kids ask to read a comic or graphic novel, remember how this genre has grown and diversified, and be confident in the knowledge that these books really can enhance reading skills.

If you’re on board, here are a few recommendations:



Karen Rozzoni
Early Literacy Specialist
Youth and Family Services
Kenosha Public Library


Exploring STEM with Your Family


Parents do not need to have a science degree to engage their kids in the STEM fields.  STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, and there are many great books available at the library to engage your children in fun and creative ways in the STEM fields.  Listed below are some of my favorite science books that will not only spark curiosity, but provide tons of engaging family fun and entertainment.

Author, scientist, and mom Liz Lee Heinecke has written multiple books with fun projects having to do with science.  Her work includes Kitchen Science Lab for Kids, Outdoor Science Lab for Kids, STEAM Lab for Kids and Star Wars Maker Lab.  My favorite is Kitchen Science Lab for Kids where you can put science to work by making snacks, treats and yummy main dishes.  All of her books are wonderfully laid out and color-coded with instructions. Included are safety tips along with detailed information and explanations about the science behind the experiments. 

Steve Mould is another science expert who has a physics degree from the University of Oxford and he is also a comedian. His most recent book that came out this year- Science is Magic is a how to book of magic tricks and the science behind the illusions of magic. The other two books he has written are:  How to Be A Scientist and The Bacteria Book.  These really awesome books have captivating pictures and information about the science world and how things work. He also has some great YouTube videos that combine both comedy and some very interesting science experiments.

Author Jack Challoner has written over 30 books on science and technology.  His latest book STEM lab : 25 super cool projects : build, invent, create, discover  has sensational activity projects that are worth trying including a making a wind up car, creating a geodesic dome or an indestructible sandcastle, not to mention experiments that involve chemical reactions.  He has other stem lab books like Maker Lab: 28 Super Cool Projects and Maker Lab Outdoors  that explores nature, water power, and weather experiments.

Laura Overdeck is the author of Bedtime Math: A Fun Excuse To Stay Up Late, Bedtime Math: This Time It's Personal, and Bedtime Math: The Truth Comes Out.  These books combine math and cool facts about many topics.  Kids can discover the science behind marshmallows, soda, and ice cream making math interesting and easy. Be sure to check out (linked)  or their free app that provides recreational daily math problems to make math a daily part of your family routine. 

Summer is an excellent time for kids to explore STEM and try something new. So why not try one of these books or check out some of the science programs currently being offered at your Kenosha Public Library.  

Lisa Rivers
Early Literacy Specialist
Youth and Family Services
Kenosha Public Library

Looking for Your Next Great Book Club Read?


Looking for Your Next Great Book Club Read?

Look no further! Kenosha Public Library has got you covered with a variety of titles to choose from with the Book Club in a Bag! These kits are available for a 6-week checkout period and provide your book club with everything you need to get started: 10 copies of a book, plus great discussion questions, all in a convenient tote bag.

KPL has an amazing selection already available for you, but we’ve got even better news-- because KPL is a SHARE library, you have fast access to even more titles from other local libraries!
All you need to do is visit our SHARE Catalog via our KPL website at or connect with any of our reference desks, either by stopping at your favorite neighborhood branch or by giving us a call. We know you’ve all got us on speed dial, but just in case: 262-564-6130. 

Plus, anything you request from other libraries on SHARE is ready for you to pick up in 2-5 business days (assuming it is not checked out). If your title is not available in SHARE, KPL Staff can also check Interlibrary Loan for you, though this will take a few weeks to arrive, once requested.


Not Sure How to Use the SHARE Catalog? 

Below is a quick run-down of the SHARE Catalog for you, focusing on searching Book Club in a Bag, but you can also stop by any reference desk and ask for a tutorial on how to use the catalog in person.

  • Open your preferred web browser and navigate to the Kenosha Public Library website at

    • You can also Google Search “Kenosha Public Library” and we will come right to the top of your search results!

  • On the Catalog Bar, type “Book Club in a Bag” and press enter to search.
    This option is great for browsing what KPL has quick access to.

    • You can also type “Book Club in a Bag” plus the title or author of a specific book to see if we have it!



  • Once you press enter, your web browser will take you to your results in the full-service SHARE Catalog.
    From here you can scroll through to find a title you are interested in or use the left sidebar to narrow down your search. 

    • Pro Tip: Click “Show all copies” to show all of the information about a title, including a summary, what SHARE  libraries own it, and whether it is available.



  • Once you find a title you are interested in, you can place it on hold for pickup at your favorite KPL branch!
    Just click on the blue “PLACE HOLD” button to the right of the title. 

    • This will prompt a pop-up box to appear, so you can enter your library card number and your PIN. 
    • Your library card number is located on the back of your card, near the barcode. 

    • Your PIN is typically the last four numbers of your phone number.
      ​​​​​​​If you are unsure of your PIN, or the PIN will not work, just give us a call at 262-564-6130.



That’s it!

At this point, the title will be sent over to the hold shelf for you.
Once it is available, you will receive a notification via your preferred means of communication (phone call, email, or text message). 

Still Unsure About Using the SHARE Catalog?

No worries - that is 1000% OK! You can always give us a call at 262-564-6130 or stop at the reference desk of your closest KPL branch.
We are always happy to help place a hold for you or give you a quick tutorial in person.

But I Don’t Have a Book Club! Where Can I Find One to Join?

Believe it or not, Kenosha Public Library has you covered here too! We have a fantastic line-up of book clubs for you to choose from, all facilitated by KPL staff.
We will do the work, so you can focus on the most important part-- the reading!

Looking for something more traditional?
These book clubs pick a specific title to read and discuss each month:

Afternoon Coffee Break Book Club
AUGUST BOOK: Gentlemen and Players by Joanne Harris
Wednesday, August 21
2:00 - 3:00 PM
Northside Library

Novels at Night Book Club
AUGUST BOOK: Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
Monday, August 19
6:00 - 7:00 PM
Southwest Library

Stuck at home?
This book club for seniors, hosted by KPL and KAFASI uses a party line to bring the book club to your phone!

Call-In Book Club
AUGUST BOOK: Read a Short Story of Your Choice!
Tuesday, August 13
2:00 - 3:00 PM
To join, call KAFASI at 262-658-3508 (ext: 110 or 118)  to get the party line information!

Do you like a bit of choice, but with a focused discussion?
These book clubs have a monthly theme, where you read a title of your choice within that theme!

Classic Novels Book Club
AUGUST THEME: Austen vs. Bronte Smackdown
Wednesday, August 28
3:30 - 5:30 PM
Northside Library

Politics & Military Actions Book Club
AUGUST THEME: Animals in War
Saturday, August 3
9:15 - 11:15 AM
Southwest Library

Social Justice Book Club
Tuesday, August 13
12:30 - 2:00 PM
Northside Library
Tuesday, August 20
6:30 - 8:00 PM
Northside Library

Or maybe you’d like to connect with others to find something new to try?
These book clubs bring together people who like to read and discuss the same genres! No specific titles or themes read are required.

Fantasy/Sci-Fi Book Club
Monday, August 26
6:00 - 7:30 PM
Southwest Library

Mystery Lovers’ Book Club
Monday, August 12
2:00 - 3:00 PM
Northside Library


As your local library, we love to support reading in our community! What are your book clubs reading? What library book clubs are you engaged with? Let us know! Visit us on Facebook at or by Facebook searching for “Kenosha Public Library.” We always love to hear from you!


Young Adult Books for Tweens


Parents, we hear you. Your tween wants Young Adult (“YA”) books, but you don’t want them diving into the mature topics that those books may present. Not yet. We totally get it.

The good news is two-fold:

  1. We get this question frequently here in Youth & Family Services. We are prepared to help you find just the right book for your tween!

  2. There are many excellent, engaging books geared toward those in grades 5-8.

Here are seven of my personal favorites to get you started:

The Girl Who Drank the Moon - Kelly Barnhill
"Every year, the people of the Protectorate leave a baby as an offering to the witch who lives in the forest. They hope this sacrifice will keep her from terrorizing their town. But the witch in the forest, Xan, is kind and gentle. She shares her home with a wise Swamp Monster named Glerk and a Perfectly Tiny Dragon, Fyrian. Xan rescues the abandoned children and deliver them to welcoming families on the other side of the forest, nourishing the babies with starlight on the journey. One year, Xan accidentally feeds a baby moonlight instead of starlight, filling the ordinary child with extraordinary magic. Xan decides she must raise this enmagicked girl, whom she calls Luna, as her own. To keep young Luna safe from her own unwieldy power, Xan locks her magic deep inside her. When Luna approaches her thirteenth birthday, her magic begins to emerge on schedule--but Xan is far away. Meanwhile, a young man from the Protectorate is determined to free his people by killing the witch. Soon, it is up to Luna to protect those who have protected her--even if it means the end of the loving, safe world she’s always known.” -

Fallout - Todd Strasser
"What if the bomb had actually been dropped? What if your family was the only one with a shelter? In the summer of 1962, the possibility of nuclear war is all anyone talks about. But Scott’s dad is the only one in the neighborhood who actually prepares for the worst. As the neighbors scoff, he builds a bomb shelter to hold his family and stocks it with just enough supplies to keep the four of them alive for two critical weeks. In the middle of the night in late October, when the unthinkable happens, those same neighbors force their way into the shelter before Scott’s dad can shut the door. With not enough room, not enough food, and not enough air, life inside the shelter is filthy, physically draining, and emotionally fraught. But even worse is the question of what will -- and won’t -- remain when the door is opened again.” - 

The Mighty Heart of Sunny St. James - Ashley Herring Blake
"When Sunny St. James receives a new heart, she decides to set off on a New Life Plan: 1) do awesome amazing things she could never do before; 2) find a new best friend; and 3) kiss a boy for the first time. Her "New Life Plan" seems to be racing forward, but when she meets her new best friend Quinn, Sunny questions whether she really wants to kiss a boy at all. With the reemergence of her mother, Sunny begins a journey to becoming the new Sunny St. James.” - Junior Library Guild

The Screaming Staircase - Jonathan Stroud
"For more than fifty years, the country has been affected by a horrifying epidemic of ghosts. A number of Psychic Investigations Agencies have sprung up to destroy the dangerous apparitions. Lucy Carlyle, a talented young agent, arrives in London hoping for a notable career. Instead she finds herself joining the smallest, most ramshackle agency in the city, run by the charismatic Anthony Lockwood. When one of their cases goes horribly wrong, Lockwood & Co. have one last chance of redemption. Unfortunately this involves spending the night in one of the most haunted houses in England, and trying to escape alive. Set in a city stalked by spectres, The Screaming Staircase is the first in a chilling new series full of suspense, humour and truly terrifying ghosts. Your nights will never be the same again…” -

The Giver - Lois Lowry
"Jonas’s world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear of pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the community. December is the time of the annual Ceremony at which each twelve-year-old receives a life assignment determined by the Elders. Jonas watches his friend Fiona named Caretaker of the Old and his cheerful pal Asher labeled the Assistant Director of Recreation. But Jonas has been chosen for something special. When his selection leads him to an unnamed man -- the man only called The Giver -- he begins to sense the dark secrets that underlie the fragile perfection of his world.” -

Among the Hidden - Margaret Peterson Haddix
"Luke has never been to school. He’s never had a birthday party, or gone to a friend’s house for an overnight. In fact, Luke has never had a friend. Luke is one of the shadow children, a third child forbidden by the Population Police. He’s lived his entire life in hiding, and now, with a new housing development replacing the woods next to his family’s farm, he is no longer even allowed to go outside. Then, one day Luke sees a girl’s face in the window of a house where he knows two other children already live. Finally, he’s met a shadow child like himself. Jen is willing to risk everything to come out of the shadows. Does Luke dare to become involved in her dangerous plan? Can he afford not to?” -

The Crossover - Kwame Alexander
"With a bolt of lightning on my kicks . . .The court is SIZZLING. My sweat is DRIZZLING. Stop all that quivering. Cuz tonight I’m delivering," announces dread-locked, 12-year old Josh Bell. He and his twin brother Jordan are awesome on the court. But Josh has more than basketball in his blood, he's got mad beats, too, that tell his family's story in verse, in this fast and furious middle grade novel of family and brotherhood from Kwame Alexander. Josh and Jordan must come to grips with growing up on and off the court to realize breaking the rules comes at a terrible price, as their story's heart-stopping climax proves a game-changer for the entire family.” -

Heather Thompson
Head of Youth and Family Services
Kenosha Public Library

Literacy App-y Hour


What’s ‘appening Kenosha?!
Are you working on literacy skills with your child?
Or would you like their screen time to be a bit more educational?
Try some of the following apps yourself, or with your child, to help improve their literacy skills!

You may have heard of our Grow a Reader program at the Kenosha Public Library. It’s based on the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten model that encourages parents and children to read together. Studies have shown that reading to and with your child is great bonding time and creates lifelong memories. Also, children who develop their literacy skills early in life have a much easier time learning in school. As you read to your child, their vocabulary expands, their visual literacy improves when they look at the pictures, and you instill a love of reading. 

The Calgary Public Library and Mid-Continent Public Library have taken this program and translated it into an app that helps you explore the Five Practices of Early Literacy: Talking, Singing, Reading, Writing, and Playing. In the app, you can find books broken down by those categories (both picture and board books) that you can check out at your local library. The app is linked to the Mid-Continent Public Library’s catalog, but you can use the title and author’s name to find them at the Kenosha Public Library. You can also watch videos that teach lap bounces, face and body rhymes, lullabies, and more, explaining why each are important for literacy development and how you can use them to bond with your child. This app is great for parents and is available on iOS and Android.

"The Monster At the End of This Book” is an animated storybook app that parents can use to help teach their child literacy skills. It is also good for teaching emotions and emotional expression. Sesame Street’s Grover is the narrator of the app who tries to prevent the reader from getting to the end of the “book.” As Grover tries to stop the reader, your child makes decisions, uses their listening skills, and roams through the app, trying to get to the monster at the end of the book. Your child may mistake this as playtime, but it is jam-packed with educational experiences. It does cost $4.99, but is well worth the investment. Available for iOS and Android. Best for Ages 3+. There is a sequel app, “Another Monster at the End of this Book.”

"Duck, Duck, Moose Reading” is a literacy app focused on beginning phonics skills. The game focuses heavily on letter sounds and recognizing letter-sound correspondence. It works with a lot of consonant-vowel-consonant words (ex: had, mad, bat), and teaches beginning readers to isolate and pronounce those sounds. The app was developed with educational researchers and teachers, and was tested extensively in schools. Also, it was made so it is difficult to randomly push buttons to get the correct answers (thanks, developers who understand children!). Users feed the different animals letter sounds, words that begin with them, or words that sound like pictures of objects that start with the sound/letter to complete each level. After completing levels, parents can review which sounds their child has completed. Available on both iOS and Android. Best for ages 3-8.

Have any apps you love and want to shout out? Tell us at any of our Youth Service desks!

Jake Bowen
Youth Services Programming Librarian
Youth and Family Services
Kenosha Public Library

Not Your Typical Travel Stories



“Wherever I am, if I've got a book with me, I have a place I can go and be happy." - Harry Potter Beyond the Page: A Virtual Author Visit with J.K. Rowling


Let your summer vacations begin!  I love to read a story that takes me on a journey, and my absolute favorites are a good old fashioned road trip.  There are many popular travel novels, but I wanted to highlight a few that are maybe just obscure enough that they didn’t hit the popular radar.  

Alvin Ho: allergic to the Great Wall, the Forbidden Palace, and other tourist attractions by Lenore Look
(Chapter book series for kids)

As the Ho family departs for a visit to China, Alvin’s trademark PDK (personal disaster kit) causes an actual disaster in the airport’s security line. Alvin’s loving and long-suffering dad is left to explain the forbidden contents in the first of many mishaps Alvin causes while dealing with his anxieties, this time over travel, ominous clay soldiers, and dragons! Readers will get an introduction to famous Chinese sites—perhaps maybe even more than Alvin’s family does, since each outing ends up disrupted. This travel story was written for youth readers grades 2-4 but is pretty funny for all ages.  Look’s humorous and sympathetic characters combined with Pham’s delightful illustrations create a fun and successful chapter-book series.

Annie Freeman’s Fabulous Traveling Funeral by Kris Radish

Before dying from ovarian cancer, Annie planned her own "traveling funeral" with designated stops for the scattering of her remains, but leaves it to her best friend, Katherine, to assemble her closest friends.  Knowing that funerals are for the living, Annie intends for Katherine, Jill, Laura, Rebecca and her saintly hospice nurse Marie (who barely know each other) to take a break from their responsibilities to really celebrate life and get to know each other.
The road trip takes the ladies to the places that mattered most to Annie: the Florida Keys, rural New Mexico, New York City. The book is also something of a metaphysical detective story, as the women learn more about Annie in each location. They also face their own tragedies and realize that it is never too late to dramatically transform their lives for the better.

Travels with My Aunt by Graham Greene

A favorite among Graham Greene fans and a classic published in 1969.  Greene stated this was "the only book I have written just for the fun of it."  Travels With My Aunt tells the story of a retired bank manager, Henry Pulling, whose dull suburban life is forever changed when he finally meets his elderly Aunt Augusta, who then convinces him to go travelling with her. An uproarious trip across Europe followed by South America ensues, but as the story progresses the belly laughs and hilarious moments give way to deeper thematic undertones.
At its core, the book poses an intriguing question: what does it mean to lead a good life? Whether you’ve read Greene’s work before or whether you’re new to his writings, I recommend giving this book some of your time – it might not be life changing, but at the very least it’ll cheer you up and leave a smile on your face.


Marcia Siehr
Circulation Services Manager
Circulation Services
Kenosha Public Library

Tips for Reading to Children & Reading as a Family


It's summer. Kids are (almost!) out of school and there is time to relax and read!  

When children are little, we take the time to read to them. Did you know that it is just as important to keep reading to children, even though they are reading on their own?  

By reading aloud with children, you are lengthening their attention span, building their vocabulary and increasing their knowledge of the world. You are modeling the behavior that you want them to emulate.  

To make the book come alive, use your voice to show the emotions happening in the book. When you finish a chapter, talk and ask questions to increase their comprehension, curiosity, and background knowledge. Talk about how the characters could have handled something better or differently or ask your child what they would do in the same situation. Talk about the emotions and feelings happening in the book, or perhaps how it can relate to present day happenings.

The list of possible books to read aloud are endless. There are classics like Stuart Little, Charlotte's Web, and The Secret Garden. Visit the dark planet Camazotz in A Wrinkle In Time, or a young Laura Ingalls in the Little House books. Author Beverly Cleary has written so many wonderful timeless books such as The Mouse And The Motorcycle series and the Ramona Quimby series. There may be a movie made from the book you’ve read, so it would be fun to watch the movie after reading the book to note any differences. Also, don’t forget that reading non-fiction books together can be very enticing to a child.  Who doesn’t want to read about hero dogs, sharks, or planets? They will be learning, and they don’t even know it because of how you are presenting the topic. Please stop in to your neighborhood KPL branch; we’ll be glad to help you find the right book for your family.

Reading a book aloud together is the least expensive and most effective way to boost your child’s vocabulary and knowledge of the world. We never stop learning and growing, so why not do it as a family? Reading together will strengthen your family bond, and give your child great memories with an emotional connection to well-spent family time.




Donna Holmen
Early Literacy Specialist
Youth & Family Services
Kenosha Public Library

Tips for Reading with a Busy Schedule


Summer is upon us and the Kenosha Public Library is excited to kick-off our Summer Reading Program! If you aren’t familiar with the program, it is a very impactful way to keep reading skills active in children and teens during the summer months and a great opportunity for adults to de-stress and take a break from the ever growing information that is thrown at us every day.

Right now you may be asking yourself, “How can I make time to read with everything I have to do?” Great question! How you make time to read depends on how you like to read. Some people enjoy reading in small bits of time so they can think about the content and process it thoroughly, while others prefer reading for a longer period and immersing themselves in the world the book is creating. Some readers prefer poetry that can be broken down into smaller sections or nonfiction content where you read what you need. Then you have those of us who hunker down and read the entire book in one night. The joy of reading is that it is so individual, so planning to read will be the same way.

Here are some tips on how to make time to read broken down into short and long periods of time.


  • Read during commercial breaks

  • Divide your down time into 15 minute segments and use a timer to let you know when each bit is over. Designate at least one segment per hour for reading

  • Read in the bathroom

  • Set aside the last 10 minutes of your lunch hour for reading at work

  • Read while you are waiting for an appointment or meeting to start

  • Listen to audiobooks on your way to work or during your workout

  • Read while you are waiting for something to cook


  • Studies have shown that the blue light from electronic devices affects your brain chemistry and makes it harder for you to fall asleep, so set aside an hour to read before bedtime and get quality zzzz’s

  • Break up your off days into 1 hour chunks and use reading as a reward for getting 2-3 hours of tasks done

  • Going on a trip? See if you can get there by train and read while someone else gets you to your destination

  • Make it a family event and take turns reading together after dinner

  • Plan a reading “staycation” and set aside a day or two to binge-read your favorite novel. Don’t forget the snacks!


No matter which type of reader you are, you can find some quality time with a book if you manage your time well.
If you’d like more information on time management techniques, here are some titles we have at the Kenosha Public Library:


Stephanie Lewin-Lane
Instruction Librarian
Adult and Digital Services
Kenosha Public Library

Summer Reading Registration is here!

No matter your age or reading level, your Kenosha Public Library has a summer reading program for you!
Registration is currently open at all KPL branches for our Everybody Reads summer reading program, which will run from June 1st - August 31st. Anyone can participate either online, via the Beanstack mobile app, or in print.

We highly encourage families to participate together!
Programs available this year are for the following age groups:

0-3 Years
3-5 Years
Grades K-5


  • ONLINE: Visit
    If you already have a Beanstack account, type in your username/password. The programs open to your age group will appear on your home page with a register button.
    If you do not have a free Beanstack account yet, Scroll down to the appropriate age group and click REGISTER.
    Fill out the form and follow the instructions.

  • MOBILE APP: Visit your phone’s app store and download the BEANSTACK TRACKER app.
    If you already have a Beanstack account, type in your username/password. The programs open to your age group will appear on your home page with a register button.
    If you do not have a free Beanstack account yet, click DON’T HAVE AN ACCOUNT? SIGN UP! At the bottom of the page and follow the instructions.

  • PAPER: Visit your favorite KPL branch and visit any service desk.
    Staff will register you and provide you with a paper version of the Everybody Reads program for your age group.

QUESTIONS? We are happy to answer them! Stop by your local KPL branch, visit our Facebook Page or call Reference at 262-564-6130 or Youth Services at 262-564-6150.


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