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New book recommendations from children’s librarian Tracy Kampa

Image of librarian Tracy Kampa holding a young child and 5 book covers of children's books that Tracy is recommending.
Various publisher
Children's librarian Tracy Kampa recommends new books and reads to her grandson.

Grand Rapids Area Library children's librarian Tracy Kampa reviews and recommends new children's books of interest for "What We're Reading."

New books from authors Shaw Harris, Dave Eggers, and Lisa Yee are among the latest books recommended by Tracy Kampa, children’s librarian at the Grand Rapids Area Library.

On a recent installment of What We’re Reading, Kampa reviewed and recommended three new picture books and two middle grade books.

Among the picture books is Soren’s Seventh Song by Dave Eggers. Eggers is an award-winning and bestselling author, known for his novels and works of non-fiction, but he’s written several children’s books as well.

Soren the humpback whale is tired of the slow boring mating song sung by his elders. So, he set to work creating shorter, catchier songs. His first attempt is terrible, but Soren tries again and again and again until he writes a hit song. Soren’s Seventh Song is illustrated by Mark Hoffmann.

Kampa calls Egger’s Soren’s Seventh Song her current favorite picture book of the year and said it is perfect if you’re looking for “a laugh wrapped in a great story.”

Kampa also recommended a middle grade book by Lisa Yee, author of the 2022 Newbery Honor Maizy Chen's Last Chance. Yee’s new book is The Misfits #1: A Royal Conundrum, illustrated by Dan Santat.

Olive Cobin Zang doesn’t have the easiest time at school, but nonetheless is surprised and dismayed to learn that she is to be sent to boarding school. It’s not as bad as it sounds because Olive will turn out to be one of five secret agents trying to stop a jewel heist the night of the school fundraiser.

Kampa said, “If you are looking for excitement, adventure, cool spy gear, and cats, do not miss The Misfits #1: A Royal Conundrum.

You can find Kampa’s latest recommendations at your local library or bookstore.

Picture books:

Middle grade books:

Looking for a good book recommendation? Want to recommend a book you've just read? Check out our What We're Reading page on Facebook, or text us at 218-326-1234.

What We're Reading is made possible in part by the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund and the citizens of Minnesota.

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Tammy works at Bemidji State University's library, and she hosts "What We're Reading," a show about books and authors.