Staff Picks

Animals All Around

Some of our favorite stories about animals for school-age children.

Children's Services Staff

Younger Elementary

8 Class Pets + One Squirrel ÷ One Dog = Chaos     8 Class Pets + One Squirrel ÷ One Dog = Chaos    
Vivian Vande Velde
    (Juvenile First Chapter Books - J Vandevel)

A dog chases a squirrel into an elementary school one night, creating monumental chaos.

Akimbo and the Lions     Akimbo and the Lions    
Alexander McCall Smith
    (Juvenile First Chapter Books - J Mccall)
Akimbo series: book 2

When Akimbo and his park ranger father unintentionally capture a lion cub near an African game park, Akimbo wants to keep the cub.

Duck for a Day     Duck for a Day    
Meg McKinlay
    (Juvenile First Chapter Books - J Mckinla)

When Abby's class gets a pet duck named Max, she is eager to take it home overnight, especially since her parents will not let her have a pet.

Lulu and the Duck in the Park     Lulu and the Duck in the Park    
Hilary McKay
    (Juvenile First Chapter Books - J Mckay)
McKay, Hilary. Lulu (Hilary McKay); 1.

Lulu, who loves animals, brings an abandoned duck egg to school, even though her teacher has banned Lulu from bringing animals to school ever again. (First in the Lulu series.)

Mercy Watson Goes for a Ride     Mercy Watson Goes for a Ride    
Kate DiCamillo
    (Juvenile First Chapter Books - Dicamil)
Mercy Watson: book 2

Mr. Watson's usual Saturday drive in his Cadillac with his favorite pig, Mercy, turns into an adventure when Mercy finds herself behind the wheel.

My Dog, Cat     My Dog, Cat    
Marty Crisp
    (Juvenile Fiction - J Cri)

Ten-year-old Abbie, bullied at school for being small, wants to get a big black dog, but two months of living with a little Yorkshire terrier changes his mind about a number of things.

My Dog, My Hero     My Dog, My Hero    
Betsy Cromer Byars
    (Juvenile First Chapter Books - J Byars)

A panel of three judges has to decide which dog out of eight finalists deserves to win the title of My Hero.

Rats on the Roof and Other Stories     Rats on the Roof and Other Stories    
James Marshall
    (Juvenile First Chapter Books - J Marshal)

An illustrated collection of seven stories about various animals, including a frog with magnificent legs, a hungry brontosaurus, and a mouse who gets married.

Older Elementary

A Room With a Zoo     A Room With a Zoo    
Jules Feiffer
    (Juvenile Fiction - J Feiffer)

Nine-year-old Julie loves animals. So much it seems that she's assembling a zoo in her room. But, what she really wants is a dog.

Abel's Island     Abel's Island    
William Steig
    (Juvenile Fiction - J Steig)

Castaway on an uninhabited island, Abel, a very civilized mouse, finds his resourcefulness and endurance tested to the limit as he struggles to survive and return to his home.

Because of Winn-Dixie     Because of Winn-Dixie    
Kate DiCamillo
    (Juvenile Fiction - J Dicamil)

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.

Catwings     Catwings    
Ursula K. Le Guin
    (Juvenile Fiction - J Le)

Four young cats with wings leave the city slums in search of a safe place to live, finally meeting two children with kind hands. Look for more Catwings titles.

Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat     Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat    
Lynne Jonell
    (Juvenile Fiction - J Jonell)

When Emmy discovers that she and her formerly loving parents are being drugged by their evil nanny with rodent potions that can change people in frightening ways, she and some new friends must try everything possible to return things to normal. Look for more Emmy and the Rat titles.

Frightful's Mountain     Frightful's Mountain    
Jean Craighead George
    (Juvenile Fiction - J Geoge)

As she grows through the first years of her life in the Catskill Mountains of New York, a peregrine falcon called Frightful interacts with various humans, including the boy who raised her, a falconer who rescues her, and several unscrupulous poachers.

I, Freddy     I, Freddy    
Dietlof Reiche
    (Juvenile Fiction - J Reiche)

Freddy, a remarkably intelligent golden hamster, learns how to read and how to write on a computer and escapes captivity to become an independent and civilized creature.  (First in The Golden Hamster Saga.)

Kakapo Rescue:  Saving the World’s Strangest Parrot     Kakapo Rescue: Saving the World’s Strangest Parrot    
Sy Montgomery
    (Juvenile Nonfiction - J 598.71 Mon)
Scientists in the field.

On remote Codfish Island off the southern coast of New Zealand live the last 91 kakapo parrots on earth. Originally this bird numbered in the millions before humans brought predators to the islands. Now on the isolated island refuge, a team of scientists is trying to restore the kakapo population.

Love That Dog     Love That Dog    
Sharon Creech
    (Juvenile Fiction - J Creech)

A young student, who comes to love poetry through a personal understanding of what different famous poems mean to him, surprises himself by writing his own inspired poem.

Misty of Chincoteague     Misty of Chincoteague    
Marguerite Henry
    (Juvenile Classics - J Henry)

Paul and his sister Maureen's determination to own a pony from the herd on Chincoteague Island, Virginia, is greatly increased when the Phantom and her colt are among the ponies rounded up for the yearly auction.

Mouse Guard. Vol. 1, Fall 1152     Mouse Guard. Vol. 1, Fall 1152    
David Petersen
    (Juvenile Graphic Novels - J Peterse)

Graphic novel adventures of three mice, Saxon, Kenzie and Lieam patrol borders, and strive to make safeways to keep the mouse territories free from predators. Look for more Mouse Guard titles.

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH     Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH    
Robert C. O'Brien
    (Juvenile Fiction - J Obr)

Having no one to help her with her problems, a widowed mouse visits the rats whose former imprisonment in a laboratory made them wise and long lived.

Poppy     Poppy    
Avi
    (Juvenile Fiction - J Avi)

Poppy the deer mouse urges her family to move next to a field of corn big enough to feed them all forever, but Mr. Ocax, a terrifying owl, has other ideas.

Runt     Runt    
Marion Dane Bauer
    (Juvenile Fiction - J Bauer)

Runt, the smallest wolf cub in the litter, seeks to prove himself to his father King and the rest of the pack and to earn a new name.

Seaglass Summer     Seaglass Summer    
Anjali Banerjee
    (Juvenile Fiction - J Banerje)

While spending a month on an island off the coast of Washington helping in her Uncle Sanjay's veterinary clinic, eleven-year-old Poppy Ray soon questions her decision to follow in her uncle's footsteps.

Shiloh     Shiloh    
Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
    (Juvenile Fiction - J Nay)

When he finds a lost beagle in the hills behind his West Virginia home, Marty tries to hide it from his family and the dog's real owner, a man known to shoot deer out of season and to mistreat his dogs. Look for more titles in the Shiloh trilogy.

Silverwing     Silverwing    
Kenneth Oppel
    (Juvenile Fiction - J Op)

When a newborn bat named Shade but sometimes called "Runt" becomes separated from his colony during migration, he grows in ways that prepare him for even greater journeys. Look for more Silverwing saga titles.

The Capture     The Capture    
Kathryn Lasky
    (Juvenile Fiction - J Lasky)
Guardians of Ga'Hoole: book 1

Pushed from his nest, an owlet is captured by agents of the mysterious and ill-intentioned St. Aegolius Academy, where orphaned owls are brainwashed and enlisted in an evil attempt to take over the owl world.

The Incredible Journey     The Incredible Journey    
Sheila Burnford
    (Juvenile Fiction - J Bu)

A cat, a bull terrier, and a Labrador retriever travel 250 miles through the wilderness to find their family.

The Mouse and the Motorcycle     The Mouse and the Motorcycle    
Beverly Cleary
    (Juvenile Fiction - J 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. Look for Ralph the Mouse titles.

The One and Only Ivan     The One and Only Ivan    
Katherine Applegate
    (Juvenile Fiction - J Applega)

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.

Trundle’s Quest     Trundle’s Quest    
Allan Jones
    (Juvenile Fiction - J Jones)
Jones, Allan Frewin, 1954- Six crowns ; 1.

Trundle Boldoak's simple life as the town lamplighter is turned upside-down the night he meets Esmeralda, a Roamany hedgehog, who whisks him away on a quest to find six fabled crowns and fulfill his role in an ancient prophecy. (First in The Six Crowns series.)

Wanted: Mud Blossom     Wanted: Mud Blossom    
Betsy Byars
    (Juvenile Fiction - J Byars)

Convinced that Mud is responsible for the disappearance of the school hamster that he was taking care of for the weekend, Junior Blossom is determined that the dog should be tried for his "crime."

Watership Down     Watership Down    
Richard Adams
    (Juvenile Fiction - J Ad)

A taut and suspenseful tale of survival about a band of wild rabbits who leave their ancestral home to build a more humane society.